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Personality is most often defined as the blend of characteristics, traits and habits that make a person unique. Personality is shaped by an individual's perception of the world, and people's personality affects how they interact with others and respond to social situations. Sometimes people have trouble relating to others and do not know how to function in social situations, which may indicate a mental disorder.
Personality disorders usually manifest in one of three ways; as inflexible attitudes, compulsive or destructive habits or irrational fears and aggressions. Any of these extreme reactions creates an inability to cope with everyday situations and circumstances. People experiencing personality disorders have a very limited perception of how their attitudes and actions create difficulties in their lives. Symptoms of personality disorders are often noticed first in adolescence, though they can occur earlier or later in life. As sufferers of personality disorders reach middle age their symptoms often become less obvious.Why do people develop personality disorders? Most professional psychologists agree that the root of many mental problems stem from negative childhood experiences. There is also evidence that genetics plays a significant role in the formation of personality disorders. The American Psychiatric Association has determined classifications for clinical personality disorders by dividing them into three groups: Cluster A personalities exhibit odd or unusual behaviors; Cluster B patients display highly emotional behavior and erratic responses to normal situations; Cluster C behavior results in anxious or fearful over-reactions, such as phobias.Cluster A personalities are generally eccentric by nature. A Schizoid disorder refers to someone who spends a lot of time in introspection and remains emotionally distant and suffers from intimacy issues. The Paranoid personality views the actions of others as a threat and they believe they are deliberately being targeted and persecuted. The Schizotypal personality displays outlandish beliefs and peculiar mannerisms that stem from their belief that they have magical abilities.Cluster B personalities experience very dramatic mood swings. Antisocial people habitually act out their frustrations and show little consideration for how their reactions affect others. People diagnosed with Borderline personalities struggle with self-identity issues and often over-react to others' intentions. A Narcissistic person experiences an overdeveloped sense of self-importance coupled with deep insecurities and a tendency to exploit others.Cluster C personalities exhibit fearful and hypersensitive reactions. Avoidant personalities foster deep set fears of rejection, which leads them to shun the social contact they crave and become hypersensitive to criticism. A Dependant personality develops an unhealthy need for another's approval and fears being alone or criticized.
Pschologists have developed many methods for treating personality disorders and can offer patients hope for a full recovery. Traditional psychotherapy allows patients to come to terms with harmful behaviors and develop new ways of coping with stressful situations. Behavior therapy and cognitive association helps patients resolve deep rooted issues that manifest as personality disorders.
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