Personality disorders are generally divided into three subtypes (or clusters) and include the following:
Cluster A – Odd/Eccentric
Cluster B – Dramatic/Erratic
Cluster C – Anxious/Inhibited
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.
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:
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).