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What are Personality Disorders?

personality disorders, substance abusePersonality disorders are forms of mental illness which cause the individual to behave in certain patterns that deviate from normal behavior in a society or that are different from the cultural norms. These patterns and behaviors are inflexible, and they affect many aspects of the individual’s life. Personality disorders usually start in adolescence or early in adulthood but in some cases traits of these disorders can be seen in younger children. These types of mental illness can cause impairment or cause serious problems for the individual who has a personality disorder. These individuals are also at a greater risk for substance abuse as well. According to the psychiatric professionals these mental disorders can be one of three main groups or categories, labeled A through C, and as of right now there are 10 personality disorders that are listed in the DSM.

Personality disorders which are in group or cluster A will involve behaviors that are eccentric, odd, or bizarre. These PDs include paranoid PD, schizotypal PD, and schizoid PD. Personality disorders in cluster or group B will include behaviors that are erratic and dramatic. These types of PD include narcissistic, antisocial, histrionic, and borderline. Personality disorders in the last group, cluster C, will involve behaviors which are fearful and anxious. These include PS types avoidant, obsessive compulsive, and dependent personality disorders. Someone with a cluster C PD may use substance abuse as a way to live with constant fear or obsessive worrying, while someone with one of the other cluster types may drink or use drugs for other reasons.

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