Personality disorders are chronic thought patterns or behaviors that can have a serious and negative impact on interpersonal relationships. Those who have a personality disorder are often seen as inflexible and difficult to deal with. Personality disorders are organized into three clusters: A, B, and C. Borderline personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder fall into cluster B.
- Custer A: these disorders can be identified by odd, eccentric, suspicious, solitary, and irrational behaviors (e.g. paranoid, schizoid, and schizotypal personality disorders).
- Cluster B: these disorders are identified by intense, erratic, dramatic, and reckless behaviors, an unstable sense-of-self, and emotional instability (e.g. borderline, narcissistic, and histrionic personality disorders).
- Cluster C: these disorders are identified by fearful and anxious behaviors (e.g. avoidant, dependent and obsessive-compulsive personality disorders).
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is also known as emotional regulation disorder and it affects two percent of adults, most of them young women. People with BPD often exhibit extreme mood swings, impulsivity, identity distortions, unstable relationships, and fears of abandonment. There is also a high rate of self-destructive behavior including eating disorders, self-mutilation, suicide attempts, substance abuse, and risky sex.
Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) affects approximately 0.7-1 percent of the general population, most of them men. Those with NPD experience an inflated sense of self-importance and an incredible need for admiration from others. Some feel superior to those around them, which can result in an obsession with the self and a lack of empathy for others. Despite these characteristics, psychologists believe people with NPD have fragile self-esteems and mask them with their extremely confident behaviors.
The causes of BPD and NPD are unknown, but research suggests that both genetic and environmental factors contribute to disorder development. Both disorders may be the result of a dysfunctional childhood or genetic predisposition. Many individuals with BPD have a history of being physically or sexually abused and neglected as a child. On the contrary, people suffering from NPD often report a history of being overly pampered as a child and feeling obligated to live up to unrealistic expectations. Although both BPD and NPD are considered lifelong disorders, individual psychotherapy and group therapy can be effective.
Keywords: personality disorders, paranoid, schizoid, schizotypal, borderline, narcissistic, histrionic, avoidant, dependent, obsessive-compulsive, BPD, NPD, health care needs, psychologist, help
What is narcissistic personality disorder?