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Personality Disorder Tips

Borderline Personality Disorder - How To Identify It?

Borderline Personality Disorder - How To Identify It?

The feeling of instability is the crux of borderline personality disorder. This condition usually begins in early adulthood and is worst at its onset. As a person ages, borderline personality disorder usually improves and becomes easier to handle. For a person with borderline personality disorder, everything from their relationships to their moods, thinking and behaviour is unstable and constantly changing. This can be frightening but thankfully, this condition can be treated.

As with any other personality disorder or health issue, the earlier a condition is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat. Hence, it is important to understand the signs and symptoms of this disorder. This disease manifests itself in different ways in each person but some symptoms are commonly experienced. These include:

  1. Fear of abandonment: No one likes to be alone, but people suffering from borderline personality disorder are terrified of being abandoned. Even something as simple as being stood up at a meeting, can make such a person extremely anxious. It can also lead to relationship problems by making the person seem clingy and jealous of their partner.
  2. Unstable relationships: For a person suffering from this disorder, relationships are either perfect or failures. Hence their relationships are extremely passionate but very short-lived and they often feel disappointed by their partners.
  3. Unstable self-image: People suffering from this disorder may feel very confident one day and feel the opposite on the next. Though everyone has shifting views of their identity from time to time, for people suffering from this personality disorder, these shifts are extreme. It can often lead to frequent changes in jobs, friend circles, relationships, goals and values. It can also cause changes in their understanding of sexual orientation.
  4. Impulsive behaviour: People who display self-destructing and attention seeking behaviour may suffer from this condition. This disorder has been often associated with alcoholism, drug abuse and recklessness.
  5. Suicidal behaviorPeople suffering from this disorder may often be associated with behaviour that physically harms them. They are also capable of following through on suicidal threats.
  6. Mood swings: Extreme fluctuations in emotions and moods are a common experience or people suffering from borderline personality disorder. These mood swings usually start only a few minutes of a few hours unlike depression and other anxiety disorders.
  7. Suspicion about everyone around: Borderline personality disorder can make a person struggle with suspicious thoughts about everyone around them and make them paranoid. They often feel out of touch with reality and can feel spaced out when under stress.

Social Isolation - Does It Indicate Avoidant Personality Disorder?

Social Isolation - Does It Indicate Avoidant Personality Disorder?

Don’t like social gatherings? Have you always been the one who avoids family get together? If your answer is affirmative, then you are probably suffering from Avoidant personality disorder (APD).  Avoidant personality disorder is a psychological condition wherein, one feels extremely shy. Becoming overly sensitive to rejection and developing feelings of inadequacy are common signs of this disorder. This disorder can lead to problems in your work life and relationships. 

Symptoms:

With APD, the commonly surfacing symptoms would include disapproval and disregard of situations and people, rejection and embarrassment. It generally gets very difficult for the one to get acquainted with new people and form intimate relationships. One generally ends up misinterpreting people’s comments and criticism thus, feeling angry and frustrated all the more. 

Causes:

The exact cause of APD has not been established yet. It is believed that environmental and genetic factors play a role in this disorder. People who are inherently shy and reserved are usually prone to developing this psychological anomaly. 

How do you treat APD?

In order to treat APD, you can opt for the following modes of treatment:

  1. PsychotherapyCognitive behavioral therapy is a treatment option for APD wherein, the doctor counsels on how to change one’s thinking patterns and thought process, thus, influencing his/her actions.
  2. Psychodynamic psychotherapy: Psychodynamic therapy involves you becoming aware of the unconscious thoughts. It helps you figure out how your past experiences frame your behavior. Your past emotional pains can be resolved with this technique so that you can move ahead with your life. 
  3. Medications: Anti-depressant medications used to treat depression and anxiety can be used to treat APD.
309 people found this helpful

Split Personality Disorder - Know The Symptoms & Causes Of It!

Split Personality Disorder - Know The Symptoms & Causes Of It!

Previously known as multiple personality disorder or simply split personalitydisorder, dissociative identity disorder is a very serious and unpleasant form of dissociation. It is based on the lack of connection, or rather a discontinuity in thought, action, feeling, memory or even a misplaced sense of identity.

It is usually considered to be a result of severe traumatic experiences in early childhood, varying from extremely physical to repeated emotional or sexual abuse. It is thought to be a self-defense mechanism where the person dissociates himself from any such experience or situation that would deem to be harmful to his or her conscious self. It is, however, not to be confused with schizophrenia.

Symptoms:

There are innumerable indicators that point towards dissociative identity disorder. Some of them include:

  1. Severe depression
  2. Sleeping problems such as insomnia or sleep apnea
  3. Alcohol or drug abuse
  4. Anxiety attacks and phobias
  5. Suicidal tendencies
  6. Abnormal rituals and compulsions
  7. Visual or auditory hallucinations
  8. Self-persecution and self-sabotage tendencies
  9. Time-loss and amnesia
  10. Mood swings
  11. Headaches and migraines
  12. Inability to remember important personal information
  13. 'Switching' of identities

Causes:

The main causes of split personality disorder are unfortunately still unclear and vague, although 99% of persons who suffer from this disorder have a severe traumatic history or background. The causes need not be physical or sexual abuse. It could also stem from emotional abuse like insistent neglect. Studies have also showed that children may become dissociative, if their parents are either too strict or unpredictable.

2028 people found this helpful

Narcissistic Personality Disorder - How To Identify It?

Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental syndrome in which individuals have their very own inflated feeling of self-significance, a deep requirement to be inspired and an absence of compassion for others. However, behind this cover of ultra-confidence mask, lies a delicate self-esteem that is helpless against the slightest criticism.

A narcissistic personality disorder causes issues in numerous areas of life, for example, work, school, relationships or monetary issues. Here are a few signs and symptoms that can show if a person is suffering from this disorder:

  1. Are highly reactive to criticism. People with this disorder are highly reactive to being criticised by the others or anything they assume is adversely affecting their identity. They get defensive when questions are posed.
  2. Have low self-esteem. This arena of their psyche is complicated because externally their self-esteem would seem to be higher and more guaranteed than pretty much anybody else's. They are continuously headed to justify themselves, both to others as well as their own self-esteem.
  3. Can be unnecessarily defensive and self-righteous. Anything said or done that they see as scrutinising their competence can activate their vigorous self-defensive systems. This is the reason why such a large number of non-narcissists have shared that it is so hard to break through to them in different situations of conflict.
  4. Respond to opposite perspectives with outrage. It is not a specific feeling of dread or surrender that draw out their alleged narcissistic rage. These people respond with heated emotions when others convey their most profound insecurities excessively close to the surface. The reason that sentiments of outrage and anger are so normally communicated by them is that they hide feelings of shame and anxiety underneath it.
  5. Project others qualities, attributes, and practices they will not acknowledge in themselves. Since they are constrained to conceal their defeats, downfalls or shortcomings in their mental self-image, they routinely divert any unfavourable evaluation of themselves externally. It is difficult to break into the root cause of their aggression because their feelings are too underdeveloped to talk about it in matured terms.
  6. Have poor interpersonal boundaries and limits. It has been said in regards to narcissists that they cannot tell where they end and the other individual starts. They tend to see others as extensions of themselves. They view them as existing essentially to serve their own needs as they put their requirements before anyone else.
  7. Have an exceptionally solid feeling of privilege. They have nonsensical desires of getting good treatment by others or others complying with his or her desires.
  8. Need sympathy. People with this disorder are unwilling to perceive or relate to the sentiments and needs of others.
1311 people found this helpful

Bipolar Disorder - How To Diagnose It?

Bipolar Disorder - How To Diagnose It?

Bipolar disorder is also known as manic depression. This usually sets in low and high moods in a person along with a change in energy and sleep.

People with bipolar disorder tend to have periodical changes; sometimes they are over happy and other times they might feel sad, depressed and hopeless. Between these changes, they are normal. The highs and lows are considered as extreme poles of moods, thus, the condition is called bipolar disorder.

Manic term is used when a person with bipolar disorder is highly excited and feels confident. Also, feelings of irritability and recklessness along with irrationality might occur. Some people with mania might have hallucination in which they see and hear the things that actually do not exist. 

The term hypomania is used to describe mild symptoms of mania, in which a person does not have hallucinations and delusions and the symptoms do not interfere with their daily life. Similarly, the term depressive is used to describe a person's time when they feel depressed or sad. 

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder:

The highs and lows in a bipolar disorder do not follow any set pattern. One might feel manic or depressed for hours or days or weeks, months and even years together before they actually switch to a happy mood. The severity depends from person to person and also changes with time by becoming less or more severe.

Symptoms of mania are extreme excitement, change from being happy to angry and irritable along with restlessness, speech is rapid with low concentration, less sleep and increased energy, high sex drive, grand plans, alcohol and drug abuse and impulsiveness.

Symptoms of low or depressive phase are lethargy, worthlessness, feeling of sadness and hopelessness, lowered concentration, irritability, loss of sleep or excessive sleeping, loss of appetite and suicidal tendencies.

Diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder:

In case, someone exhibits symptoms of bipolar disorder, then talking to a psychiatrist or a doctor helps. Doctors ask questions related to the mental illness and the associated concerns. Diagnosis is basically recognizing the symptoms of the person, whether they are due to some underlying cause or mood swings because of excessive alcohol. The symptoms have to be noted and the duration for which they last along with the severity should all be noted. The most obvious symptoms are that of lows and highs in mood and changes in behavior, energy, sleep and thoughts.

Consulting a doctor or talking to family and friends helps to differentiate the symptoms of bipolar disorder from unipolar disorder.

Treatment:

Medicines which involve mood stabilizers such as lamotrigine, valproate, lithium, carbamazepine and antipsychotics such as olanzapine, quetiapine should be taken. Psychotherapy is also recommended.

4119 people found this helpful

Dependent Personality Disorder - How To Avert It?

Dependent Personality Disorder - How To Avert It?

Dependent personality disorder (DPD) is a frequently diagnosed personality disorder that is characterised by a strong need to be taken care of and a fear of being abandoned by important people in the patient’s life.

Symptoms include long-term dependent and submissive behaviours to elicit caregiving in others. The disorder is found equally in men and women.

Common signs

  1. Emotional dependence is one of the most common signs of DPD. Other signs are-
  2. Needy, passive, and clinging behaviour, and an intense fear of separation
  3. Inability to make everyday decisions without other’s advice and reassurance
  4. Avoidance of adult responsibilities
  5. Acting passive and helpless all the time
  6. Oversensitivity to criticism
  7. Lack of self-confidence
  8. Difficulty being alone
  9. Willingness to tolerate abuse from others


Causes of Dependent Personality Disorder (DPD)
Chronic physical illness or other psychological disorders like separation anxiety disorder in childhood can predispose a person to the development of dependent personality disorder. The exact cause of DPD is not known but several factors are involved like genetic, behavioural, psychological and temperamental.

Impaired parenting styles may also be to blame.
However, research suggests that no single factor is solely responsible rather, it is the complex and likely intertwined nature of all three factors that are important.

Treatment
Many people with a dependent personality disorder don’t seek treatment until it starts to significantly interfere or impact their lives. This usually happens when a person can’t cope with stress due to life events.
People with DPD are more prone to develop depression or anxiety symptoms.

Treatments for DPD are focused around psychotherapy, a type of counselling. Its goal is to help a person become more active and independent and to learn to form healthy relationships. The psychologist prefers short term therapy with specific goals when the focus is on managing behaviours that interfere with day-to-day functioning.

Assertiveness training helps the person with DPD develop self-confidence and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) helps him or her develop new attitudes and perspectives about themselves that are positive. However, change in someone's personality structure usually requires long-term psychoanalytic therapy. In this type of therapy, childhood experiences are examined for the formation of defence mechanisms, coping styles, and patterns of attachment in relationships.

DPD is the most difficult personality disorder to treat because of the patient’s strong need for constant reassurance and support. It is also very important for the doctor to monitor patient dependency.

Group therapy can also be helpful, although care needs to be taken so that the patient doesn’t use groups to reinforce dependent relationships in his life. Medication is also used though it’s not very effective. Medicines usually help DPD patients manage their depression or anxiety.

5014 people found this helpful

Paranoid Personality Disorder - How To Track It?

Paranoid Personality Disorder - How To Track It?

The mind is a very intricate organ and controls the entire body functioning with great precision. Any small change in its wiring would mean changes in the way a person functions, including changes of emotions and feelings.

There is a group of personality disorders known as “cluster A” personality disorders. One of the most common forms in this is a paranoid personality disorder, also known as PPD. The onset of the problem is in early adulthood and men are more likely to have this condition as compared to females. People with paranoid personality disorder are very odd or have eccentric ways of thinking. The most common way of thinking is suspicion with no reason to do so.

Symptoms:

  1. They are always on watch or guard and believe that others are out to harm or demean them.
  2. Their belief and distrust are often unfounded, and they find it very difficult to form close relationships, either at work or at home.
  3. There is always a doubt in terms of other people’s commitment and trust, and believe that others are out to use them and often end up deceiving them
  4. Find it very difficult to confide in people, and think the information they tell others may be used against them.
  5. They are always known to hold grudges from past experiences and find it very difficult to forgive others
  6. They are not open to criticism and are extremely sensitive to what others think of them or tell them
  7. Try to read between the lines and interpret more than the obvious
  8. They are very quick to retaliate and think others are constantly attacking what they say and/or do
  9. There is a constant thread of suspicion especially of their spouses or partners, which would be completely unfounded, and add unwanted strain on the relationships
  10. Refrain from forming close relationships and keep some distance even in close relationships. They are generally cold and can be jealous and controlling of their near and dear ones
  11. Firmly believe that their thoughts and words and actions are always right and do not believe in conflict resolution. They are usually argumentative, hostile, and stubborn
  12. They always present as tense and cannot relax very easily

Causes: There is usually a past history of emotional or physical abuse, which is unresolved, leading to these symptoms. Hypnosis, which is often used to diagnose the condition, is very helpful in identifying the cause.

Diagnosis: There are specific assessment tools and questionnaires which are useful in confirming the diagnosis.

Management: Psychotherapy where the person is taught to manage the above feelings and taught to communicate and cope with others. This is often combined with antidepressants, benzodiazepines, and antipsychotics.

Depersonalization Disorder - What Should You Know?

Depersonalization Disorder - What Should You Know?

Sometimes you may feel like you are observing yourself from outside your body. For most people, this is a passing feeling but for some it can be a persistent feeling. This is known as depersonalization disorder. This dissociative disorder is most common amongst people who have suffered from a traumatic experience. In some cases, it may interfere with relationships, work-life and other types of daily activities. This disease may also be a sign of other personality disorders, seizures, brain disease or substance abuse.

Observing yourself from the outside is one of the most common signs of depersonalization disorder. Some other symptoms to watch out for are:

  1. Feeling like you are not in control of your speech or movements
  2. Feeling like parts of your body have got distorted, enlarged or shrunk
  3. Feeling like you are a robot
  4. Emotional numbness
  5. Physical numbness
  6. Feeling like your memories are not your own
  7. Distortions of time
  8. Distorted understanding of size, distances etc
  9. Feeling emotionally disconnected from people
  10. Feeling alienated in familiar surroundings

These episodes can last for hours, days, weeks or months and vary in terms of severity as well. Though the exact cause of this disorder is not known, it may be linked to an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain. This makes parts of the brain more vulnerable to stress and fear. Depersonalization can be triggered by a number of factors including

  1. Childhood trauma such as witnessing domestic abuse, a recent traumatic experience such as an accident or the unexpected death of a loved one.
  2. Stress
  3. Develop as a result of growing up with a mentally impaired parent.
  4. The use of Hallucinogens
  5. Depression, anxiety or other mental disorders
  6. Seizures of head injuries
  7. Personality traits that make a person avoid difficult situations

Depersonalization is not a serious disorder on its own, but it can interfere with a person’s daily life. It can also cause difficulties remembering facts and focussing on tasks. It can also interfere with your daily routine activities and relationships.

In most cases, the symptoms go away with time but in some cases, you may need medication. Treatment is usually advised only in cases of recurrent episodes or when the disorder affects daily life and is customized to the patients symptoms. The goal of treatment of depersonalization is to address the stress resulting from the disorder. This treatment could be in the form of medication, family therapy, cognitive therapy, clinical hypnosis or a combination of them.

2508 people found this helpful

Borderline Personality Disorder - All You Should Be Knowing!

Borderline Personality Disorder - All You Should Be Knowing!

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is such a disorder of personality that causes mood swings, self-esteem issues, impulsive behavior and recurrent self-harm behaviour. It is very difficult to lead a normal life with these varied psychological issues.

People suffering from BPD fear abandonment and loneliness. Yet, they have a tendency of showing mood swings, sudden emotional outburst or anger and hostility. This prevents them from having a long lasting relationship in life. It usually starts affecting the patient's life from early adulthood. It however seems to improve with age. The patient also has distorted self-image. He or she is unclear about what they want from life or what they are in reality. Even minor incidents can trigger intense reactions in people with BPD.

Symptoms of BPD:

  1. Disturbed self-image: People have self-esteem issues, they sometimes love or hate themselves or see themselves as evil. They have unclear goals, views, beliefs and often end up changing their friends, lovers, jobs, sexual identity frequently.
  2. Emotional instability: Intense feelings of rage, sorrow, anger, guilt and emptiness or loneliness are experienced by some sufferers of BPD. Extreme mood swings, lasting for a short span of time, are common in BPD. They may also have issues with their self-image where they cannot place themselves and don't know what they feel about themselves or who they are.
  3. Dysfunctional relationships: It is very difficult to maintain a normal relationship for people with personality disorder. They tend to have quick short-lived relationships and get put off very easily which leads to a lot of heartbreak. Suicidal tendencies and frequent self-harm behaviour like cutting skin using blades/ sharp objects are common. Drugs and alcohol abuseeating disorders and sexual promiscuity are other forms of self-destructive behaviour commonly encountered in this population. Extreme aggression, delusions, transitional Psychotic states are other possible symptoms of BPD.

Causes for BPD:

  1. Usually it has been found by researchers that it occurs to patients who have had a disturbed childhood. Complex and unpleasant happenings in the childhood may leave a deep impact on the patient's personality, which comes back as a disorder in his or her early adulthood. From mental, physical to sexual abuse in the childhood can lead to this condition in adults.
  2. Besides, researchers have discovered recently that this illness has hereditary links. Some genes may be responsible for BPD. Improper functioning of the brain is also another factor. Especially, the portion of brain that controls emotions might not be functioning properly in co-ordination with other parts of it.

Diagnosis for BPD:

There is no particular clinical test that can diagnose BPD. It can be diagnosed by a series of interactive session with the patient by a psychiatrist.

Love and support from family and friends are crucial for patients suffering from this disease. Prolonged counseling sessions, therapies and the effort to break away from the chronic gloomy thoughts will definitely lead one to a better life.

5355 people found this helpful

Somatic Symptom Disorder - How To Handle It?

Somatic Symptom Disorder - How To Handle It?

Somatic symptom disorder is when you put so much focus on symptoms such as pain or fatigue that you have trouble functioning or experience severe emotional distress. You will be visiting the doctor a lot, completely unnecessarily and will waste a lot of money when you have no major health concerns. However, there are treatments which can help you cope with this problem. Read further to find out what they are:

Symptoms 

1. Worrying excessively about an illness which has not yet occurred
2. Frequent health care visits
3. Fear of physical activity damaging your body
4. Fearing that the evaluation of doctors is not adequate

There are many more symptoms which may indicate that you are suffering from somatic symptom disorder. However, the most important way of telling whether someone is suffering from somatic symptom disorder or not is to see whether the patient is overly worried about a physical problem which has not yet occurred. One of the first steps in making sure that this does not happen is finding out what causes the problem and preventing it. Here are the causes of somatic symptom disorder.

Causes

As with other psychological disorders, the exact cause of somatic symptom disorder is not yet known. However, there are a number of factors which may increase the risk of it. Here they are.

1. Genetic and biological factors
These, as well as increased sensitivity to pain, are some of the factors which you have no control over. 

2. Environment you grew up in
Just like the genes you have, the environment you grew up in and your family influence will have a major impact on whether you develop the condition as well.

3. Problems processing emotions
When people have problems processing emotions, their physical symptoms seem like a bigger problem than they actually are.


Treatment

Luckily, there are treatments for this disorder as well. They include.

1. Psychotherapy
Psychotherapy is the most common treatment used to help people with somatic symptom disorder.

2. Medications
Since depression and pain often occur when a person is suffering from somatic symptom disorder, antidepressants can be given as well. 

3977 people found this helpful
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