The following personality disorders list may help you understand the ten personality disorders (types of personality disorders) as well as their similarities and differences. At first glance, some of the disorders may seem almost exactly alike, but each disorder on the list of personality disorders has at least one differentiating characteristic.
List of Personality Disorders
Cluster A Personality Disorders
Paranoid Personality Disorder – Individuals with this mental illness have a strong and continuing distrust of others and harbor deep, yet unfounded suspicions about their peers and acquaintances. Imagine someone always on guard, who constantly fears you and others are out to harm, humiliate, or manipulate them in some way. This person may even preemptively attack you and others whom they perceive as threatening.
While this behavior falls well outside the boundaries of societal norms, this person sees an offensive attack as perfectly a logical response to the perceived threat. Do you or have you ever known a person who reads malicious intent in the most innocuous and innocent actions on others? People with paranoid personality disorder see threats all around them. They tend to hold grudges, dwelling to the point of obsession over past slights they've experienced. These tendencies keep them from forming lasting and close relationships as hostility and general distrust consume their emotional lives.
Schizoid Personality Disorder – You will notice a long-term, consistent pattern of social detachment and a limited range of emotional expression in people suffering from this personality disorder. The tendency toward detachment isolates them from socializing and they typically deliberately choose to participate in only solitary activities. Of all the personality disorder types, people with schizoid personality disorder are the ones with more obvious emotional issues. To others, they seem distracted and cold and, similar to people with autism, miss the social cues most of us take for granted. This makes them appear socially inept and fake. Schizoid personality disorder is one of the more rare personality disorder types.
Schizotypal Personality Disorder – People suffering from this disorder exhibit a persistent and long-term pattern of limited social and interpersonal skills. They feel deeply uncomfortable in social situations and have great difficulty forming close relationships. As with schizoid personality disorder, these individuals are socially isolated, distant, and don't interact with others. What makes this different than the schizoid type? Unlike those with the schizoid type of disorder, these people experience distortions in perception and behave eccentrically. For instance, he may experience flashes of light or see objects and shadows in his peripheral vision that no one else sees. He'll then admit that nothing is there. The individual may also have eccentric beliefs, such as believing she can read the thoughts of others or that someone else has stolen her own thoughts from her.
Cluster B Personality Disorders
Antisocial Personality Disorder – Those with antisocial personality disorder have a reckless disregard for the rights and boundaries of others. This disregard frequently appears in the form of aggression and hostility. Their hostile, aggressive, and deceitful behaviors often appear during childhood. As children, these individuals may torture animals, destroy property, and bully and intimidate other children. The reckless behavior continues to deepen and includes:
- Deceitfulness – constant lying, conning others for pleasure
- Impulsive behavior – inability to plan ahead
- Aggressiveness – frequent physical fights or assaults
- Lack of remorse – indifference about how they might have hurt others
Borderline Personality Disorder – This disorder appears most obviously in early adulthood and is characterized by an unstable pattern of interpersonal interactions, poor self-image, and dramatic outbursts. People with BPD display most of these symptoms persistently and regularly:
- Deep fear of abandonment – individuals with BPD have a profound fear of abandonment and exhibit powerful efforts to avoid feeling abandoned, whether imagined or in reality.
- Unstable and intense relationships – alternate between the extremes of idealization and devaluation of those close to her
- Disturbed and unstable self-identity – significant and pervasive issues with self-image and personal identity
- Chronic emptiness – almost constant feelings of emptiness which she tries to "fill up" with things or people
- Inappropriate emotional responses – intense bouts of anger and frequent displays of uncontrollable temper often punctuated by physical fights
- Impulsive – shows impulsive behavior in at least two of the following: spending, sex, substance abuse, binge eating or drinking
- Emotionally unstable – mood changes can occur rapidly and can last a few hours, but almost never more than a few days
- Stress-related paranoid thoughts – thinking others are out to get him or plotting against him. These thoughts usually disappear once the stress trigger is relieved.