Personality Disorders: Categories and Symptoms

Mental Disorders

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Humans are complex beings because their personalities are made up of a variety of characteristics. Personality is a unique blend of thoughts, behaviors, moods, and attitudes. It is also shaped by the way people express their traits while dealing with people and situations. Some characteristics are inherited while others are shaped by experiences and life experiences. 

What Is a Personality Disorder?

Personality Disorder
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When a certain personality trait becomes too inflexible or rigid it becomes a personality disorder. Personality disorders make it hard for people to go through life smoothly and can cause a lot of interference and distress. 

Many people suffering from personality disorders are not aware of it which makes it hard for them to work on the treatment. Our website has the best and most efficient personality tests that offer reliable results. They can help in knowing one’s traits and identify a disorder before it gets out of hand. 

Disorders related to personality are pretty common in the world. The disorders are most likely to develop during the teen years as personality is maturing and going through a lot of changes. 


Categories of Personality Disorders 

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There are three main categories of disorders related to personality. The categories are created by considering the similarity of characteristics and symptoms of different disorders. 


Cluster A 

These disorders are categorized by eccentric and odd behavior or thinking. Some of the disorders included in this category are: 


Paranoid personality disorder 

It’s a pervasive and chronic mental illness and is mostly categorized by disruptive behavior and thoughts. People suffering from the disorder are at a high risk of becoming depressed and indulging in substance abuse. 


People with paranoia have a hard time trusting other people. Their mistrust is unfounded and makes it impossible to establish any type of relationship. The main characteristics of the disorder are pervasive and chronic mistrust and suspicion.   

The common characteristics of paranoia are: 

  • Constant feelings of being lied to and exploited by people around them. 
  • They may believe that their romantic partners, friends, and even family members are untrustworthy. 
  • Because of their perceived deception, they often experience bursts of anger.
  • They are often described as secretive, cold, serious, and jealous. 
  • Their mistrust of everyone makes them too controlling. They want to be in charge of relationships so they can avoid manipulation. 
  • They read too much into conversations and gestures. 
  • Paranoid people are always hype and find it impossible to relax. 
  • They do not welcome criticism and are overly sensitive.


Schizoid personality disorder 

People suffering from schizoid disorder appear peculiar and odd. They have an indifferent attitude towards social relationships and are detached. They are loners as they do not like company.   


  • They do not crave close relationships, even with their family members. 
  • They prefer solitary activities and jobs. 
  • People with schizoid disorder find pleasure in very few activities. 
  • Apart from their first-degree relative, they do not have any close friends as they find it extremely hard to relate to other people. 
  • They are not bothered by criticism or worried about compliments. 
  • These people are not good at showcasing their emotions and staying aloof. 
  • They create vivid fantasies about complex and hard inner lives and daydream about them. 


Schizotypal personality disorder 

People with schizotypal disorder have difficulty blending into society because they are described as eccentric or odd. Their inability to understand leads to developing mistrust as they misinterpret others’ behaviors and motives. 


Schizotypal people display the following five or more symptoms:

  • Outside of immediate family, they do not have any close friends. They are loners. 
  • They display flat emotions and have either inappropriate or limited emotional responses. 
  • They experience excessive and constant social anxiety. 
  • The mental disorder makes them misinterpret events and believe everything has a hidden meaning that relates to them. 
  • These people have eccentric and peculiar thinking. They have unique mannerisms and beliefs. 
  • They constantly question the loyalty of other people and have a lot of paranoid thoughts. 
  • They strongly believe in superstitions and telepathy. 


Cluster B 

Disorders of Personality
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The disorders in cluster B are categorized by unpredictable thinking and dramatic behavior.


Antisocial personality disorder 

People suffering from antisocial disorder or sociopaths have no regard for other people’s feelings or rights. They have no trouble manipulating and antagonizing other people. 


  • They have difficulty differentiating right or wrong. 
  • Always lying and deceiving others.
  • Sociopaths are disrespectful, callous, and cynical. 
  • They have strong and rigid opinions. 
  • They show hostility, aggression, and agitation and can even get violent. Safety is not their priority. 
  • Remorse and empathy are not among their personality traits. 
  • They are a part of abusive and poor relationships. 



Borderline personality disorder 

The borderline disorder can disrupt one’s life as it affects the way you feel and thinks about yourself. 


  • Borderline disorder creates an intense fear of abandonment, and people with this disorder can take extreme measures to make sure they do not experience imagined rejection or separation. 
  • Their relationships are unstable and intense. They may idolize someone one moment and the next moment they can establish a negative image of that person. 
  • They experience rapid changes in self-image and self-identity. Their values and goals shift constantly. 
  • Their life is full of periods of paranoia that is stress-related. They have difficulty grasping onto reality and can be aloof. 
  • They can indulge in risky and impulsive behavior like speeding, drug abuse, binge eating, reckless driving, sabotaging success, etc. 
  • They find it hard to deal with fear and rejection and respond with self-injury and suicidal threats. 
  • They have wide mood swings which lead to anxiety, irritability, shame, and even unhappiness. 
  • They have a constant sense of emptiness. 
  • People with borderline disorder frequently lose their temper and often get into physical fights because of their bitter and sarcastic attitude. 


Histrionic personality disorder 

People with histrionic disorder are always looking for others’ approval. They possess excellent social skills, but they often use them to manipulate others to become the center of attention. 


  • They feel uncomfortable unless they get all the attention.
  • To get attention, they can exhibit inappropriate and seductive behavior. 
  • Their emotions shift rapidly. 
  • They tend to be dramatic as if performing for an audience. They exaggerate their emotions and expression to make a big impact but the exaggeration leads to a lack of sincerity. 
  • They are always looking to get approval from other people. 
  • They pay too much attention to appearances. 
  • Influencing people with histrionic disorder is easy as they are pretty gullible. 
  • They do not appreciate disapproval or criticism. 
  • They have low tolerance and can easily become bored. They keep skipping from one project to the other and find it hard to complete any of them. 
  • They act before thinking and make rash decisions. 
  • Other people are not important to them, and they barely show any sincere concern for their relationships. 
  • They can get pretty extreme and go to the extent of threatening or even attempting suicide to get attention.


Narcissistic disorder 

The world of narcissistic people revolves only around themselves. They find it hard to find happiness as they are generally disappointed when not given special treatment or favors. 


  • They establish a sense of exaggerated self-importance.
  • They believe that they deserve special attention and admiration. 
  • They create fantasies about beauty, perfection, success, and power. 
  • Narcissistic people have a superiority complex and prefer to associate with people who are as special as them. 
  • They constantly look down on other people and try to monopolize conversations. 
  • They are manipulators and only concerned with getting what they want.   
  • There is a lack of compassion in their personality, and they fail to recognize and respect other people’s feelings. 
  • Their behavior is haughty, boastful, pretentious, and arrogant. 
  • They are always envious of others and believe others have the same feeling toward them. 


Cluster C 

The disorders included in cluster C are categorized by fearful and anxious behavior and thinking. 


Avoidant personality disorder 

People with avoidant disorder do not like being in social situations because they have a fear of rejection and being judged. 


  • The avoidant disorder makes people overly sensitive and they are not able to handle disapproval or criticism. 
  • They hardly make any friends because they fear rejection. They only become close with others when they are sure of being liked by the other person. 
  • Social gatherings make them anxious, so they prefer to avoid them. 
  • They exaggerate problems and make a big deal of things.
  • They are not comfortable with trying new things. 
  • They consider themselves inferior and have a poor image of themselves. 


Dependent personality disorder 

It is a type of anxious mental disorder and makes people feel submissive, incapable, and helpless. People with dependent disorders are not capable of taking care of themselves and need others’ help. 


  • Taking responsibility is not for them as they cannot handle it. 
  • They are not independent. 
  • They have an extreme fear of abandonment and feel completely helpless if their relationships end. 
  • They become oversensitive to criticism.
  • The dependent disorder makes people pessimistic, and they lose their self-confidence. 
  • They always look to others when making decisions and also find it hard to disagree with anyone. 
  • They crave relationships which is why they tend to tolerate abusive treatment and are afraid of ending a relationship. 


Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder 

People with OCPD crave extreme perfectionism and are obsessed with neatness and order. They set certain standards and feel the need to impose those standards on the people and environment around them. It prevents people from becoming part of society and getting along with people. 


  • Their tasks often go unfinished because of their desire to be perfect. 
  • Obsessive-compulsive people are inflexible, formal, and rigid. 
  • They always want to be punctual and always pay too much attention to details. 
  • They do not like spending money. 
  • Their focus is too much on work, and they tend to ignore social relationships and family members.   
  • People with OCPD are not good at delegating work because they do not trust other people to do it as perfectly as them. 
  • They get too fixated on lists and adhere strongly to rules and regulations. 
  • There is a sense of righteousness in their personality, and they have a very rigid adherence to their ethical and moral codes. 


Diagnosing personality disorders is not easy because they seldom showcase physical symptoms. A mental disorder is often confused with personality style. Understanding the difference between personality style and disorder is critical. It can be determined by taking a look at personality functions in some areas such as impulse control, behavior, work, self-identity, emotional state, relationships, etc.  

Our website has the best and most efficient personality tests that offer quick and reliable results. The tests can help in identifying symptoms of a disorder and help in treating it before it gets out of hand and disrupts your life. 

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MBA from the Australian Institute of business. Over a decade working for IBM Australia and Oracle Europe and the Middle East. Worked on Artificial Intelligence technology for many years and believes that technology can help everyone better understand his/her personality and find the job they deserve.