It has been often stated in my posts that personality disorders are often linked to traumatic childhoods. I have already described several personality disorders, but I would like to introduce you to some we have not met before. I also wish to introduce the psychiatric concept of clusters.
There are very many personality disorders, but many of them have overlaps and symptoms in common. Due to this fact, for the purposes of diagnosis, they have been split into 3 groups, or families, which psychiatric professionals refer to as CLUSTERS.
THE 3 CLUSTERS OF PERSONALITY DISORDERS :
1) CLUSTER 1 – ODD and ECCENTRIC.
2) CLUSTER 2 – DRAMATIC, EMOTIONAL and ERRATIC
3) CLUSTER 3 – ANXIOUS and FEARFUL (also termed ANAKASTIC)
Let’s look at each of these in turn :
CLUSTER 1. ODD and ECCENTRIC :
a ) PARANOID – suspicious, tendency to hold grudges, feels easily rejected, believes others are being unpleasant to him/her even when there is no evidence
b) SCHIZOID – emotionally cold, prefers own company, has a rich fantasy world
c) SCHIZOTYPAL – eccentric, has strange/bizarre ideas, has difficulties with thinking, lacking in emotional responses or displaying inappropriate emotional responses, hears and/or sees things which are not there (hallucinates)
CLUSTER 2. DRAMATIC, EMOTIONAL and ERRATIC :
a) ANTISOCIAL – not concerned with the feelings of others, easily frustrated, aggressive, prone to committing crimes, finds intimate relationships problematic, impulsive, feels little guilt, unable to learn from bad experiences
b) BORDERLINE/EMOTIONALLY UNSTABLE
c) HISTRIONIC – over-dramatic, self-centred, has intense, but fleeting, emotions, can be suggestible, worries about appearance, can be seductive
d) NARCISSISTIC –
CLUSTER 3. ANXIOUS AND FEARFUL (also termed ANAKASTIC) :
a) OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE – worries a lot, perfectionist (e.g. need to keep checking things), rigid ways of behaving, worries about doing the wrong thing, finds it hard to adapt to new situations, high moral standards, judgmental, sensitive to criticism
b) AVOIDANT – anxious and tense, worries a lot, feels insecure and inferior, strong need to be liked and accepted, extremely sensitive to criticism
c) DEPENDENT – passive, relies on others to make decisions for him/her, does what others want him/her to do, finds it hard to cope with daily chores, feels hopeless and incompetent, easily feels abandoned.
David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE)
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