Personality disorders are characterised by a deeply ingrained and maladaptive pattern of behaviour of a specified kind, mostly noticed during puberty. It can create long-term difficulties in proper functioning and maintaining relationships. Having to live with a personality disorder or helping a loved one with the disorder can be a challenging job. According to Psychology Today, there are ten total personality disorders, which are divided into three clusters: odd or eccentric disorders; dramatic, emotional or erratic disorders; and anxious or fearful disorders.
Identifying the symptoms in the early stage can help in controlling most disorders and personality disorders are no exception. Here are some pointers to help you identify if there is a problem that is to be attended to.
A person suffering from personality disorder usually suffers from a constant sense of suspicion. They are more likely to keep hatreds towards others and become too sensitive in seemingly trivial issues and take offence for no apparent reason.
Isolating oneself from the world around is a symptom for some personality disorders. This translates into less social interactions and reduced communication. If you find your friend in such a state for a long period of time, don’t wait till the problem escalates.
I don’t care attitude
Do you know a friend or a family member who is perennially rude, perpetually unconcerned and not sensitive towards other’s feelings? Think twice before judging him as someone who is difficult to deal with. He/she might be suffering from the antisocial personality disorder. (Well, this can also be just another character trait and not really a disorder, so don’t jump into conclusions about those old uncles).
Passionately in love with themselves
Loving the self is extremely important and a healthy level of self-esteem is necessary for all of us. However, there are some folks who are too much into themselves. This can be an indicator of narcissistic personality disorder in many cases.
Your friend who never goes for a social function and is afraid of meeting people and mingling with them may not be just ‘different’. These symptoms are suggestive of avoidant personality disorder.
Obsession with order and detail
Though it might seem alright and even preferable for someone to be impeccable with minute things, it is not pleasant always. People with Obsessive Compulsive Personality disorder get annoyed and upset if their ordered scheme of things is tampered with. They create inflexible rules for everything and become unable to imagine a life outside it.
What is to be done?
If you suspect that your spouse/friend/relative is suffering from a personality disorder, it is very important to be non-judgemental and not to make hasty decisions. Sometimes, they might be going through just an unhappy episode and would recover soon. However, if the conditions prevail and interferes with normal functioning, professional help has to be sought.