Spotlight on personality disorders: what to look for

Photo by John Noonan on Unsplash

In today's blog, we'll attempt to unmask personality disorders so you can identify them when you encounter a person displaying specific behaviors. Beware. However, people are complicated. And not all people who are in distress and exhibiting dramatic behavior have a personality disorder. Indeed, this four-part series is not meant to help you judge or diagnose anyone. Use these posts for educational purposes only. Thank you.

In our first essay on the topic, we delved into the world of personality, discussing what a "normal" personality is and how a personality disorder deviates from this norm. Today, we will look a little closer, focusing on four specific personality disorders: Avoidant, Borderline, Narcissistic, and Obsessive-Compulsive.

Each personality disorder has its unique characteristics that make it stand out from the rest.

Avoidant Personality Disorder, for example, is characterized by a pervasive pattern of social inhibition, feelings of inadequacy, and hypersensitivity to negative criticism. People with this disorder may avoid stepping out socially or in work activities because of fears of criticism. They are not likely to share their feelings openly, making it hard to connect or maintain a relationship with them.

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is characterized by a long-term pattern of unstable relationships, distorted self-image, and intense emotions. Individuals with BPD may experience intense episodes of anger, depression, and anxiety that can last from a few hours to days. Borderlines will love you and then turn on a dime and hate you. Unfortunately, predicting which version of the person will show up is tough.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is characterized by a grandiose sense of self-importance, a need for constant admiration, and a lack of empathy. These individuals often come across as arrogant, manipulative, and demanding. NPDs make up approximately 5% of the population.

Lastly, Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) is characterized by a preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism, and control. As a result, people with OCPD tend to be inflexible, and their obsession with perfection can interfere with their ability to complete tasks.

Recognizing these patterns in ourselves and others can be a significant step towards understanding and empathy. But remember, a diagnosis should be left to professionals.

Have you observed these behaviors in your interactions? Do any of these patterns resonate with your own experiences or behaviors? Can you think of someone in your life who might exhibit some of these traits, and how has that affected your relationship with them?

Join us tomorrow as we explore the possibilities of change for people with personality disorders and therapy's role.

Wishing you abundant health, happiness, and prosperity,


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