Schizoid Personality Disorder: A defining feature of individuals with Schizoid Personality Disorder is a preference for solitary activities and isolation, reflected by a pattern of detachment and withdrawal, and an indifference to social relationships (including those with family). This preference is not due to anxiety about being in social situations or paranoia but rather stems from an inner emptiness and apathy towards social situations. They generally lack strong emotional experiences and display a restricted range of emotion. In addition to their own lack of emotionality, they also lack an awareness of other people’s feelings and struggle to empathize. Their limited involvement in their relationships with others precludes the development of friendships, and when interacting with others they will exhibit significant social skills deficits, demonstrating long silences and minimal verbal exchanges. Overall, it is estimated that Schizotypal Personality Disorder characterizes 1-3% of the general population.
Schizotypal Personality Disorder: Individuals with Schizotypal Personality Disorder present with odd or peculiar beliefs (e.g., ideas of reference or magical thinking), appearance, and behavior. They tend to report unusual perceptual experiences that do not meet threshold for psychosis. Their exocentric beliefs may manifest in unusual speech that is overelaborate or vague. Additionally, they exhibit considerable social anxiety resulting from paranoid fears and suspiciousness, rather than negative self-appraisals. Their tendency to experience interpersonal discomfort and paranoia often leads them to withdraw which subsequently limits opportunities for them to develop social skills or experience interactions that may disconfirm their paranoid beliefs; as a result, they lack close friends other than close relatives. When they do interact with others, they may display constricted or inappropriate emotions and poor psychosocial functioning in general. Overall, it is estimated that Schizotypal Personality Disorder characterizes about 1% of the general population.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Individuals with Narcissistic Personality Disorder exhibit a grandiose sense of self-importance, need for excessive admiration, and lack of empathy. They may display a sense of entitlement, believe they are exceptionally unique and can only be understood by or associated with an elite few, and/or be preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, beauty, intellect, or ideal love. Nonetheless, the appearance of superiority and arrogance actually masks the thin-skinned sensitivity to rejection, criticism, or defeat. Their arrogant attitudes, behaviors, and interpersonal exchanges primarily serve to enhance and maintain self-esteem. This maintenance of self-esteem is often dependent on relationships with others and individuals with Narcissistic Personality Disorder are often interpersonally exploitive such that they will try eliciting admiration from others in service of themselves. Limited empathic responses are characteristic of these individuals and the motive behind any seemingly altruistic behavior is to enhance self-esteem. Overall, it is estimated that Narcissistic Personality Disorder characterizes slightly less than 1% of the general population.
Antisocial Personality Disorder: Individuals with Antisocial Personality Disorder are characterized by a pattern of disregard for or violation of other people’s rights since adolescence. They exhibit a tendency to violate social norms, and may engage in behaviors that may lead to run-ins with the law. They may be involved in deception, lying, or conning for personal gain or pleasure. They have a tendency to be impulsive and/or aggressive, leading to physical altercations. They may have little awareness of personal or others’ safety. They lack a sense of responsibility, leading to failure to meet work demands or financial obligations. Furthermore, individuals with Antisocial Personality Disorder lack remorse and may rationalize negative consequences that they may have inflicted on others.
Avoidant Personality Disorder: The lives of people with Avoidant Personality Disorder are marked by a pattern of social inhibition and hypersensitivity to perceived criticism, which are associated with chronic feelings of personal inadequacy beginning by early adulthood. Believing that they are socially inept or otherwise inferior to others, people with this disorder typically avoid activities involving significant interpersonal contact because they are afraid that they will be negatively evaluated or rejected. They are commonly inhibited about initiating relationships or openly expressing themselves within relationships, and may be highly reluctant to take risks due to fear of embarrassment.
Histrionic Personality Disorder: Individuals with Histrionic Personality Disorder often display dramatic and fluctuating emotions. They tend to enjoy being the center of attention and may become uncomfortable otherwise. They may use their appearance, impressionistic speech, or provocative/sexually-seductive behaviors to draw attention to themselves. People with Histrionic Personality Disorder tend to be easily influenced by others. Furthermore, they may deem relationships to be more intimate than generally perceived by others.
Dependent Personality Disorder: Individuals with dependent personality disorder tend to feel capable of caring for themselves. They have difficulty making decisions and assuming responsibility without relying on others for advice and reassurance. They may be reluctant to take on projects due to lack of self-confidence. In order to avoid disapproval or being left alone, they may have difficulty expressing disagreement, and may subject themselves to unpleasant activities or abusive relationships. Furthermore, they may be preoccupied with unrealistic fears of being left alone, and may pursue close relationships urgently after one has ended.
Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD): Beginning by early adulthood, people with Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) display a persistent preoccupation with themes of order and control. Their perfectionism and focus on organization frequently interferes with their ability to complete tasks effectively or enjoy leisure pursuits. Peers might describe individuals with this disorder as inflexible, stubborn, or closed-minded. Other common features may include “workaholic” tendencies, hoarding, and unwillingness to delegate responsibility to others. OCPD differs from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) because it reflects a general personality style and does not involve specific obsessions or compulsions.
Paranoid Personality Disorder: The primary feature of Paranoid Personality Disorder is a tendency, apparent in multiple contexts, to distrust others and suspect them of malicious intentions even when there is little evidence to support these suspicions. Because of this attitude, which develops by early adulthood, people with this disorder are frequently reluctant to confide in others or worry constantly about the potential disloyalty of romantic partners, friends, or associates. Such individuals are also likely to misinterpret many remarks as threats or insults, and to respond to perceived insults with immediate anger and long-term grudges.
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a disorder characterized by chronic, stable patterns of emotional distress, mainly relating to concerns about self-identity and relationships with others. People with BPD report feeling extremely emotional yet empty and cannot bear the thought of being abandoned. Behaviorally, BPD is often accompanied by impulsive behaviors such as frequent sex, substance abuse, shoplifting, and self-injurious cutting or overdosing. Living with someone who has BPD can be difficult since relational dysfunction is a primary symptom of the disorder.