A personality disorder is commonly defined as a rigid, unhealthy way of thinking, behaving and functioning in life. In general, when people have personality disorders, they often have difficulty in relating to others and to certain situations. They often cannot perceive things as they are in reality, which leads them to experience difficulty in social situations, personal relationships, and at work or school in their everyday lives.
Personality Disorder Causes
Generally speaking, there may be two things that cause a personality disorder. One of the most common is genetics, as many of these illnesses are inherited. Environmental issues can also be a factor. For example, if someone was around certain situations in his or her family life while growing up, it can cause a personality disorder over time. It is not uncommon for the illness to develop as a result of a combination of both genetic and environmental factors.
Personality Disorder Risk Factors
Risk factors for developing a personality disorder include an unstable, abusive, or neglectful family history; a history of mental illness within the family; a low level of education or social and economic status; having a past diagnosis of conduct disorder during childhood; and changes in brain chemistry. The disorders typically begin to manifest during the teenage years or in early adulthood.
Personality Disorder Treatment
Treatment for a personality disorder usually depends on the disorder itself, the severity of that disorder, and the individual’s personal situation in life. A personality disorder tends to be treated through both medical and psychiatric methods, often requiring the collaboration of a team of medical professionals. This team may include the primary care physician, a psychiatrist, a psychotherapist, pharmacist, social workers, and even family members. If necessary, the individual may receive hospitalization and medications as treatment. Medications that can help include antidepressants, mood stabilizers, anti-psychotics, and anti-anxiety drugs.
If you are suffering from a personality disorder, being an active participant in your own care is important. You should think about your own personal goals for treatment, follow the advice of your doctors, avoid alcohol and drugs, and stay physically active with exercise. These steps can combat stress, anxiety, and depression, which are some common symptoms that accompany personality disorders.
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