The 10 different personality disorders

The 10 different personality disorders

A person with a personality disorder would normally be dealing with one of 10 main personality disorders. The definition of a personality disorder is an enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates markedly from the expectations of the individual’s culture, is pervasive and inflexible, has an onset in adolescence or early adulthood, is stable over time, and leads to distress or impairment. In order for the pattern of behavior to constitute a personality disorder, it must cause significant functional impairment or subjective distress (DSM-5).

The ten personality disorders described in the DSM-5 are categorized by three “clusters”, or subgroups, each of which having their own set of personality types. The categories in this approach are “cluster A, cluster B and cluster C”.

Cluster A shares all “odd and eccentric” personality types including paranoid personality disorder, schizoid personality disorder and schizotypal personality disorder. Cluster B shares “dramatic, emotional and erratic” personality types. Cluster B includes borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder. Lastly, cluster C shares “anxious, fearful” personality types which includes avoidant personality disorder, dependent personality disorder, and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (DSM-5).

As explained in the DSM-5, diagnosable personality disorders are manifested in two or more ways. The first is through cognition which is the way a person perceives and interprets themselves, others and events. The second is through affectivity which involves the range, intensity and appropriateness of their emotional response. The final way a personality disorder manifests is through interpersonal functioning and impulse control (DSM-5).

A person with a personality disorder will exhibit inflexible and pervasive behaviors in both personal and social situations leading to distress and impairment in their daily functioning. Often the onset of the disorder occurs in adolescence of early adulthood (DSM-5)

10 personality disorders

The following are the ten types of personality disorders as identified in the DSM-5 :

  • Paranoid personality disorder—A pattern of distrust or suspiciousness such that others’ motives are interpreted as being malevolent.
  • Schizoid personality disorder—A pattern of detachment from social relationships and a restricted range of emotional expression.
  • Schizotypal personality disorder—A pattern of acute discomfort in close relationships, cognitive or perceptual distortions and eccentricities of behavior
  • Borderline personality disorder—A pattern of instability in interpersonal relationships, self-image effects (range of emotional reactions), and marked impulsivity.
  • Narcissistic personality disorder—A pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration and a lack of empathy.
  • Histrionic personality disorder—A pattern of excessive emotionality and attention seeking.
  • Antisocial personality disorder—A pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others.
  • Avoidant personality disorder—A pattern of social inhibition, feelings of inadequacy and hypersensitivity to negative evaluation.
  • Dependent personality disorder—A pattern of submissive and clinging behavior related to an excessive need to be taken care of.
  • Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder—A pattern of preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism and control.

The current diagnosing procedure for these personality disorders requires an absolute methodology, leaving no room for grey area in personality that might contain less or more of different personalities, or that of no personality disorder at all. Utilizing the ‘dimensional model’ described in the DSM-5 called ‘Emerging Measures and Models’, will allow for varying degrees of severity or dimensions of a particular personality disorder, for those who don’t meet all the criteria for a particular personality disorder.

If you or a loved one would like more information on obtaining treatment for a personality disorder or a mental health disorder, you can call the Mental Health Helpline at .

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