Personality disorders are common, but are often kept a secret or ignored by loved ones and family members because addressing them causes conflict. Who wants to be yelled at when you make suggestions? People with personality disorders can have anger and resentment issues and resist change and treatment. Mental illness is really hard both for patients and people around them. That’s the reason it’s so important to understand how a personality disorder can negatively affect you, and how you can be effectively treated for it. We’ve talked a lot here about narcissistic personality disorder, but there are many other disorders that can cause distress for you and the people who live around you.
What Is a Personality Disorder
A personality disorder is a type of mental disorder in which you have a rigid and unhealthy pattern of thinking, functioning and behaving. A person with a personality disorder has trouble perceiving and relating to situations and people. This causes significant problems and limitations in relationships, social activities, work and school.
In some cases, you may not realize that you have a personality disorder because your way of thinking and behaving seems natural to you. And you may blame others for the challenges you face.
Personality disorders usually begin in the teenage years or early adulthood. There are many types of personality disorders. Some types may become less obvious throughout middle age. Mayo Clinic
Blaming others for problems is very common, and so is hiding the problems and covering up. Are you coping with someone whose behavior is extremely difficult to live with? Do you have coping problems yourself? What are the types of personality disorders?
Types of Personality Disorder
There are different types of personality disorders. Some affect the way people manage life skills like obsessive compulsive and avoidant personality disorders. Others affect the ability to self regulate, and still others affect the ability even to know what reality is and isn’t. So, personality disorders and their symptoms can’t be lumped together into one category with one kind of treatment. Here are the most common personality disorders.
- Paranoid personality disorder
- Schizoid personality disorder
- Schizotypal personality disorder
- Antisocial personality disorder
- Borderline personality disorder
- Histrionic personality disorder
- Narcissistic personality disorder
- Dependent personality disorder
- Avoidant personality disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder
Symptoms for each of these disorders are different, but some behaviors, like irritability, reactivity, and lack or impulse control are common. You’ve heard of codependency, paranoia, antisocial disorder and probably obsessive-compulsive disorder. These disorders can be crippling, or more easily managed, just like any physical problem. Get assessed and get professional mental health professionals involved. Don’t think will power alone can help you heal.
Tips to cope with personality disorders
Almost 9% of people around the world have a serious personality disorder. Understanding how to handle a personality disorder is important for everyone around you to function properly. Accident doctors in Atlanta mention that most of their patients go through a personality disorder even after a minor accident with minimum injuries. Learning how to cope with a personality disorder is the key to developing healthy functioning on every level. Here are some tips to start coping and healing.
Find work where you can function
People who have personality disorders might not get along well with their colleagues. Being accepted and supported despite having relationship and other difficulties can help the healing process. Working is important for self esteem. Having a source of income and a place where you enjoy working can play a huge role in your mental health. If you get fired, or are laid off during the pandemic, continue to look for resources that can help you find work where you can thrive, grow, and heal.
Identify your disorder ad problems
The most important part of recovery is self awareness. Can you give your problems a name? If you rely on yelling and blaming others, you cannot heal, and you risk harming others with your behavior. Personality disorders are not something that can be changed just by will power or denial. Do you know how difficult and challenging your behavior is to others? The first step in coping with a problem is to have an understanding of what’s wrong. There is no shame in having a mental illness. Half of the population will experience one at some time in their life. So give your problem a name and that will launch your recovery efforts.
Get a mental health check up
People with personality disorders are more likely to have suicidal thoughts as compared to people who don’t. You are also more likely to adopt an intoxicating addiction like drugs or alcohol. In such a scenario, when you realize that something is becoming more and more addictive, take a step back. Talk to a mental health professional who will recommend various ways to reduce the impulsive need for drugs, food, and other methods of relief, and start focusing on dealing with the core mental health problem. You may need medication, and that’s all right, too.
Sort out relationship issues
Having relationship issues with friends, family, and acquaintances often accompany personality disorders. As a matter of fact, accident doctors in Atlanta report their patients begin having strained relationships with their family – especially after a brain injury. You might have trust issues, overthinking problems, judging the people too much. Get help to begin the healing process. Explain to them about what you feel and that what you do is completely unintentional. There is no support better than that of family and your partner.
Examine your eating habits
Many people have personality disorders that are directly linked to eating disorders. Most obese people are not that way by choice. In fact, they have some major personality disorders that trigger cravings, laziness, and other factors that contribute to obesity. If you are rapidly gaining weight and have no control over your eating habits, it is time to see a specialist. Obesity will not only cause a major personality disorder but, many people who are obese suffer from a long list of health complications.
Work on getting a healthy lifestyle
How you live affects your mental health. Are you eating, sleeping, and exercising? Do you have activities that give you pleasure? Can you read a book and do puzzles? Everything you do makes a difference in managing mental health issues. What you eat, drink and incorporate into your daily routine speaks volumes about your physical and mental health. It is important to eat healthy meals, avoid over-consumption of sugar, drink plenty of water, get enough rest and exercise. Ideally, you should be able to sleep 8 to 10 hours every day. That may not be possible for people who obsessively worry about problems. Here’s where exercise can help. No matter who you are. Go out into the light, walk around. Get exercise to life your mood and help you stay focused on positive steps you can take for self care and healing.