These are complex disorders that affect the normal process of the development of an individual's personality; disorders that arise as a result of the influence of the environment, experiences of the individual, family upbringing and several other factors.
They can also be described as those disorders in personality which continue over a long period of time and have the tendency of becoming chronic. They are also said to have a negative effect on the normal personality development process of an individual. We can also describe them as those disorders which make it difficult for an individual to integrate into society and could result in emotional instability.
Personality development disorders are best understood as deeply ingrained thought patterns and behaviour which can lead to imbalanced relationships. In the past, people have though that those with some of these disorders are just evil or lazy mentally but this is not the case. Research in this area is increasingly indicating that the influence of genes, parents and peers are potential causes. Some genetic factors have been identified as being behind personality disorder. A group of researchers have identified malfunctioning genes as a possible causative factor while another group are researching the links genes have with aggression, anxiety and fear. These are all traits which influence personality disorder.
There are strong indications which show that trauma, pain and experiences
from childhood are major causes of most personality development disorders. It has been observed that people who suffer from borderline personality disorder suffered some form of sexual trauma in their childhood. Verbal abuse is also a cause of personality development disorder. From studies carried out, it has also been observed that children who experienced verbal abuse were more likely to suffer borderline, narcissistic, paranoid and anankastic personality disorders. Another factor is peer influences.
Types of Personality Development DisordersFrom various studies, there are about ten (10) different personality disorders that have been identified and these are arranged in groups such as: Cluster A, B and C.
Cluster A (odd, bizarre, eccentric) - Paranoid PD, Schizoid PD, Schizotypal PD
Cluster B (dramatic, erratic) - Antisocial PD, Borderline PD, Histrionic PD, Narcissistic PD
Cluster C (anxious, fearful) - Avoidant PD, Dependent PD, Anankastic PD
Cluster A:1. Paranoid Personality Disorder
Those who have this type of disorder generally do not trust of others even their own family members and friends. This keeps them constantly searching for clues to validate their fears. Individuals in this category are also suspicious of others and have a strong sense of entitlement. They overreact to setbacks and rejection; also feel shame and humiliation; isolate themselves; find it difficult to build close relationships. They also blame others for their unacceptable thoughts and feelings. Some of these traits are largely inherited.
2. Schizoid Personality Disorder
People with this disorder are usually detached and live in a fantasy world. They do not have desires for any social or sexual relationship and lack any emotional connection with anything.
3. Schizotypal Personality Disorder
This is a disorder that is characterized by odd dressing, behaviour and speech. People who have this problem are afraid of mixing with others and regard them as being harmful. Studies have shown that there is a probability of
Cluster B:4. Antisocial Personality Disorder
This is more common with men than women and is usually characterized by unconcern for the feelings of the other. People with this personality disorder are very irritable and aggressive; act impulsively; lack guilt and they always fail to learn from experiences. Men who have this disorder get in and out of relationships and most times they are turbulent and short lived.
5. Borderline Personality Disorder
Those with this disorder lack a sense of appreciation of themselves
and have feelings of emptiness and most times feel abandoned. They experience emotional instability, outbursts of anger, unstable relationships and impulsive behaviour. People with this disorder are often suicidal and harm themselves. It has been linked to sexual abuse from childhood and is said to affect women more.
6. Histrionic Personality Disorder
People who suffer from this disorder lack a sense of self worth and always seek the attention and approval of others. They also like to take care of how they appear and most times behave seductively or over-charming. People with histrionic personality disorder love excitement and they are usually too sensitive to criticism and rejection.
7. Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Those who suffer from this disorder usually have an extreme sense of self-importance and a sense of entitlement. They usually love to be admired and revel in it. They usually like to exploit other people for their selfish reasons and lack empathy. People view those with this disorder as controlling, intolerant, selfish and insensitive. They usually exhibit terrible anger and revenge.
Cluster C:8. Avoidant Personality Development Disorder
People who have this disorder have inferiority complexes and are always wary of being embarrassed, rejected or criticized. They do not easily mix up with people and this makes them avoid getting into intimate relationships. Various studies seem to indicate that those with these always monitor internal reactions of themselves and others. This prevents them from flowing easily in relationships.
9. Dependent Personality Development Disorder
People who have this type of disorder seem to lack self confidence and seek attention. They also need others to help them in making daily decisions and surrenders important decisions of their lives to others. They often see themselves as helpless, inadequate and always fear that they may be abandoned so they go extra lengths to maintain their relationships.
10. Anankastic Personality Development Disorder
This is also known as Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. Those who have this disorder are preoccupied with rules, order, details, organization and perfection. They are chronic doubters; are rigid and controlling; miserly. They are not able to keep lasting relationships with others and love to control others. They pay excessive attention to details and usually find it hard to relax; they also feel that time is running against them and most times feel pressured to achieve their goals. They do not like not being in control as this makes them feel helpless.