The 10 Most Common Personality Disorders
The article is developed in partnership with BetterHelp.
In recent years, it seems the general public has realized that taking care of your mental health is equally as essential as caring for your physical health. This article will briefly discuss each of the ten most common personality disorders. Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (which is different from OCD), narcissistic personality disorder, and borderline personality disorder are the three most common.
Please note that this article is not meant to be used as a tool to diagnose yourself with a disorder. It’s simply meant to provide education on a mental health topic. If you believe you may be living with one of the disorders discussed below, or if you have any other type of mental health concern, be sure to reach out to a mental health professional and get the guidance and support you deserve. To learn more about personality disorders, click here.
Antisocial personality disorder, or ASPD, is a disorder that covers two related conditions: sociopathy and psychopathy. People living with this disorder often appear very charming and charismatic but have a tendency to exploit and manipulate others without feeling remorse for their actions.
Those with ASPD who are considered sociopaths usually disregard social rules, but they often still form attachments to others. They’re generally more impulsive and easily agitated than those who are considered psychopaths.
People who have ASPD and are considered psychopaths are typically cunning and calculated, and they often behave in ways that hurt others without feeling any type of emotion or empathy.
2. Avoidant Personality Disorder
People living with avoidant personality disorder are usually very sensitive to rejection and criticism, and they are extremely inhibited socially. However, an avoidant personality disorder is more than just being shy; it causes significant issues that make it extremely challenging for people to maintain relationships and interact with others in daily life.
You’ll often see self-isolation, low self-esteem, and avoidance of all types of social activities in people who have an avoidant personality disorder.
3. Borderline Personality Disorder
People who have a borderline personality disorder or BPD tend to be impulsive, struggle to regulate their emotions, and feel everything very intensely. They generally think in a black-and-white manner, have an overwhelming fear of abandonment, and engage in dangerous behaviours. People living with a borderline personality disorder also struggle to cope with stress, often feel dissociated and empty inside, and have trouble maintaining relationships.
4. Dependent Personality Disorder
A dependent personality disorder is a mental health disorder where people spend huge amounts of effort attempting to please others and are emotionally overdependent on other people. Those who live with a dependent personality disorder or DPD usually have a fear of separation and display clingy, needy behaviours. They often have a hard time making everyday decisions without getting advice from others, and they behave in a helpless and passive way when faced with adult responsibilities in hopes that a friend or loved one will help them.
Those with DPD usually will not disagree with others because they fear losing their approval, and they have a very hard time being alone. Unfortunately, their willingness to tolerate mistreatment and even abuse from others means they are susceptible to staying in unhealthy relationships.
5. Histrionic Personality Disorder
People with histrionic personality disorder typically have a distorted self-image and experience very intense and unstable emotions. Their self-esteem is entirely dependent on others’ approval. They have an irresistible desire to be noticed by other people, which can result in inappropriate and dramatic behaviour.
Those living with HPD usually have very good social skills, but they will often utilize these skills to position themselves as the centre of attention. Whenever they aren’t the centre of attention, they feel uncomfortable. They tend to seek approval constantly and cannot tolerate criticism.
6. Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Narcissistic personality disorder or NPD has symptoms including a need for extreme admiration and an overinflated sense of self. However, those with NPD are usually quite sensitive and struggle with criticism. They have a tendency to monopolize conversations, look down on others, and expect people to do anything they ask. They usually have a hard time empathizing with others and frequently experience jealousy due to the deep insecurity they attempt to hide. Often, people living with NPD spend a lot of time fantasizing about success.
7. Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder
The first thing to note about obsessive-compulsive personality disorder is that it’s not the same as obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD. Those who have obsessive-compulsive personality disorder have a need for order that impairs their ability to function normally, and they fixate on lists and rigidly follow rules. They tend to be unwilling to delegate tasks, and when they do delegate, they micromanage others. Sometimes, those living with this disorder are so perfectionistic that they cannot finish tasks. They also tend to be very frugal and have hoarding tendencies.
8. Paranoid Personality Disorder
People who have a paranoid personality disorder or PPD usually experience paranoia and are constantly on guard as a result. They tend to doubt others’ trustworthiness and struggle to maintain relationships. They usually suspect others are attacking their character and find hidden meaning in innocent looks and comments. They also have a tendency to be unforgiving, cold, distant, and controlling.
9. Schizoid Personality Disorder
A schizoid personality disorder is not the same thing as schizophrenia. Those living with schizoid personality disorder usually appear odd to others, and they’re often detached, distant, and aloof, with no desire for relationships. They don’t take pleasure in many activities. In most cases, they’re loners who prefer being on their own. Still, they tend to function well in daily life and simply choose career paths that allow them to work alone.
10. Schizotypal Personality Disorder
Like schizoid personality disorder, a schizotypal personality disorder is not the same as schizophrenia. People who have schizotypal personality disorder usually do not realize that they have any type of problem at all, but they have rigid thoughts and behavioural patterns that are quite different from what society views as normal. Their personality traits cause them to have issues in various parts of life, and they often struggle to form healthy relationships and develop effective coping skills.
Those who live with a schizotypal personality disorder may dress and speak unusually, engage in magical thinking, misinterpret reality, and feel uncomfortable with intimacy.
We hope this article helped you understand more about the ten most common personality disorders. If you or someone you know is experiencing one of these disorders, know that help is available, and things can get better.