What is a Personality Disorder?

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What is a Personality Disorder? 2017-05-18T14:21:38+00:00

Dual Diagnosis: Personality Disorder

What is a Personality Disorder?

There is hope if you, or somebody you care about, is dealing with an addiction problem complicated by a personality disorder. Our rehab program offers a path to a better way of living, and it can work for you too.

There has been a lot of debate over the years about the definition of a personality disorder. The one thing that is clear is that these conditions do exist, and it is not just a case of the person being bad or selfish. There is a strong link between personality disorder and a history of childhood neglect or abuse, but there can also be a genetic component. Some children are ‘highly reactive’, and this sensitivity makes them more likely to develop a personality disorder.

Personality disorders are associated with ways of thinking and feeling about oneself and others that significantly and adversely affect how an individual functions in many aspects of life.

– American Psychiatric Association (Personality_Disorders_Factsheet.pdf)

NOTE: At Hope, we do not treat enduring mental health diseases such as paranoid schizophrenia, we accept most personality disorders together with addiction. It is often impossible to separate mental health and addiction because so many doctors misdiagnose addiction and confuse the symptoms. We know this because so many clients regain mental stability and normality once they address their addiction.

Types of Personality Disorder

  • Paranoid

  • Schizoid – focus on the person’s inner life rather than the outside world

  • Schizotypal – behaviour similar to schizophrenia

  • Antisocial

  • Borderline personality – the name comes from the fact that the symptoms are on the border of other types of mental illness

  • Narcissistic

  • Dependent – the individual is over-reliant on other people to take care of him/her

  • Histrionic – no self-worth

  • Obsessive-Compulsive

  • Avoidant – needs to be liked and avoids social interaction where there is a risk of being disliked

It is possible to divide personality disorders into three clusters

  • Cluster A is characterised by unusual thinking and behaviour (1 to 3 in the above list).

  • Cluster B personality disorders involve strong emotions and unpredictable thinking/behaviour (4 to 7).

  • Cluster C personality disorders are associated with behaviour driven by intense fear and anxiety (8 to 10). 

The exact symptoms a person experiences depends on the type of personality disorder, but they can include:

  • Unstable Relationships

  • Distorted Thinking

  • Impulsivity

  • Emotional Instability – Extreme Emotions

  • Fear of Abandonment

  • Unstable Self-Image

  • A Feeling of Emptiness

  • Self-Harm

  • Compulsive Behaviour

Changes in how a person feels and distorted beliefs about other people can lead to odd behaviour, which can be distressing and may upset others.

– NHS Choices

Personality Disorder and Addiction

People who are dealing with a personality disorder can be tempted to turn to alcohol or drugs in an attempt to soothe their inner discomfort. This act of self-medication can feel like it is working in the beginning, but it is actually making the situation worse. The person can then end up in a catch-22 situation where it is not possible to effectively treat the personality disorder because of the substance abuse, and it is not possible to effectively treat the substance abuse because of the personality disorder.

When a person has a mental health problem alongside an addiction, it is referred to as a ‘dual diagnosis’. It is important for the two conditions to be dealt with together, and this type of treatment is provided as part of the dual diagnosis rehab programme we offer here at Hope Rehab.

Our team has a good track record of helping clients who have been diagnosed with a personality disorder. We provide individualised care to ensure that you have access to the resources you need to transform your life. You will be warmly welcomed into our therapeutic community, and you will be entering an environment where amazing transformations happen on an almost daily basis.



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