What is a personality disorder?

Unfortunately, as is often the case with mental health conditions, TV and film have depicted personality disorders in extreme and unhelpful ways, leaving many people with a warped view of what they’re actually like. So, what is a personality disorder?

How personality disorders affect people

Your personality is your own way of thinking, feeling, and acting. It makes you unique, but also acts as a foundation for your understanding of other people, enabling you to build relationships and interact with the world. For people with a personality disorder, their personalities can be different in a way that makes life more difficult. Personality disorders create certain patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving that disrupt a person’s ability to handle stress and get along with others.

Diagnosing a personality disorder

Diagnosis can sometimes be tricky because people with personality disorders are often mischaracterised as just being difficult, meaning they’re less likely to seek help or get diagnosed. This is particularly true for those with BPD, which stands for Borderline Personality Disorder, the most common personality disorder. It’s estimated that one in a hundred people have it. What’s BPD really like? Learn more in our article on Borderline Personality Disorder.

What is bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder is another common personality disorder. People with bipolar disorder experience hypomanic symptoms, which are periods of being very ‘up’, often followed by major depressive episodes. These extreme mood episodes can make it very difficult to manage money, relationships and other aspects of life. There are different types of bipolar, bipolar i and bipolar ii disorder, as well as cyclothymia, which is often referred to as a milder form of bipolar. Learn more about bipolar disorder and the symptoms of cyclothymia here.

Treatment for personality disorders

The good news is that with the right diagnosis and treatment, such as talking to a therapist or counsellor or taking mood stabilisers, people with personality disorders can learn new ways of thinking and behaving that make their condition much more manageable.

Get support from The Mix

If you’re concerned that you or someone else might need help with a personality disorder, contact The Mix today. We’ll guide you to the best local service and help you find treatment options.

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