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What are the most common types of personality disorders?

Personality disorders are generally divided into three subtypes (or clusters) and include the following:

Cluster A – Odd/Eccentric

  • Paranoid Personality Disorder
  • Schizoid Personality Disorder
  • Schizotypal Personality Disorder

Cluster B – Dramatic/Erratic

  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Narcissistic personality disorder
  • Histrionic personality disorder

Cluster C – Anxious/Inhibited

  • Dependent Personality Disorder
  • Avoidant Personality Disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive Personality Disorder

Are personality disorders genetic?

There is evidence that genetics plays a role in personality disorders and associated mental health problems. For example, an antisocial personality disorder is associated with alcohol abuse. Depression is common in the family background of individuals with borderline personality disorder. People with an avoidant personality disorder often have high anxiety levels.

What is General Personality Disorder?

A diagnosis of “general personality disorder” is given to an individual with an enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates markedly from the expectations of the person’s culture. The disorder is demonstrated in two or more of the following areas:

  • Cognition (i.e., ways of perceiving and interpreting self, other people, and events)
  • Affectivity (i.e., the range, intensity, range, and appropriateness of emotional response).
  • Interpersonal functioning.
  • Impulse control.

The longstanding pattern can be traced back at least to adolescence or early adulthood. The enduring pattern is inflexible and pervasive across a broad range of personal and social situations. The pattern leads to significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. The disorder is not related to another mental disorder and is not attributable to the physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse or medication) or another medical condition (e.g., head trauma).

Mental Health Library Sources:

Information included in all topics of the Mental Health Library comes from the Desk Reference to the Diagnostic Criteria From DSM-5 and Kaplan & Sadock’s Concise Textbook of Clinical Psychiatry. Complete diagnostic and treatment information may be found within these publications.


Information within the Mental Health Library is not intended to be used for self-diagnosis purposes. Rather, it is provided as a public educational service to make people aware of mental health conditions. Please consult a qualified mental health professional for a diagnosis of any suspected mental health illness.

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