personality disorder symptoms

Personality Disorder Symptoms

Personality disorders are often more challenging to recognize than other diagnoses. This is because symptoms tend to be more subtle and only become evident after a period of time. Because of this, clinicians look at patterns and rely on the observations of loved ones or self-reported indicators of these disorders. Personality disorder symptoms vary from person to person, but knowing what to look for can help people decide when it might be time to seek professional help.

What Is a Personality Disorder? 

A personality disorder is a mental health condition that affects a person’s perception of themselves, others, and the world around them. As a result, this person’s behavior is outside of the norms of society and persists over time. There are three different clusters of personality disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5-TR), organized based on specific characteristics. However, the consistent pattern within these diagnoses is that they all cause significant impairment in a person’s daily functioning. 

Signs of a Personality Disorder

The DSM-5-TR lists ten different personality-related diagnoses, including paranoid, schizoid, antisocial, borderline, and narcissistic personality disorders. Because each disorder has its own set of diagnostic criteria, it’s difficult to create a comprehensive list of symptoms. However, there are general indicators that people can look for if they are concerned about this type of mental health issue. Some common symptoms of personality disorders include:

  • Patterns of behavior that affect a person’s perception of self, others, and circumstances
  • Emotional responses that don’t match the severity of a situation or the social norm
  • Difficulty maintaining healthy relationships
  • Inability to control impulsive behaviors

For example, someone with a paranoid personality disorder may suspect that a person is stalking or seeking to harm them, but this is not founded in evidence. An inappropriate emotional response might be emotional detachment in relationships or at a solemn event. A person with one of these diagnoses may be manipulative, deceitful, irritable, impulsive, or reckless. They may put others at risk with their behavior and have no remorse for their actions. 

Personality disorders can carry a negative stigma because they affect how people interact with those around them. However, it’s important to remember that these are mental health disorders, and people do not choose this condition. Much like medical diagnoses, mental illnesses can be outside of a person’s control. While the actions of someone with one of these diagnoses might be alarming, people should work to show compassion and attempt to understand this person rather than judge them.

Recognizing Personality Disorders

Most personality disorders develop in the teenage and young adult years, but people may not notice them until later in life. Most often, family, friends, or loved ones notice this type of diagnosis before the person who is affected does. However, social media and internet research have brought recent awareness to personality-related diagnoses. If someone is concerned about this mental health issue, they should look for consistent patterns of concerning behavior over time. Emotional or physical responses that deviate from the social norm are often the first things that people notice, especially if this behavior continues. 

Help for Personality Disorders

Personality disorders are complex and require treatment from a trained mental health provider. At Serene Behavioral Health, we treat mental health issues ranging from depression and anxiety to borderline personality and schizoaffective disorders. Our levels of care include residential, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and monitored outpatient, ensuring clients have appropriate levels of support throughout treatment. If you notice these symptoms in yourself or someone you love, it’s time to consider professional support. Contact our admissions team today to learn more about how our evidence-based practices produce lasting results.

Share this post