An individual with borderline personality disorder (BPD) tends to have fragile or low self-esteem, which causes them to overreact to various stressors they may experience in relationships. They are overly sensitive to perceived slights, have unstable moods, are prone to angry outbursts, are deeply fearful of being abandoned, tend towards paranoid thinking, and generally experience emptiness inside. These individuals see the world in stark black or white terms and tend to be judgmental. People with BPD may use unhealthy measures to soothe their emotional distress, such as binge eating, self-harming behaviors, substance abuse, engaging in risky sex, and overspending.
Cluster B Personality Disorders
The personality disorders group of mental health disorders feature impairments caused by disturbances in thoughts, behaviors, and emotions. Individuals with a personality disorder share a common trait of inflexibility, which leads to disruption in relationships, work, and daily functioning. There are three categories of personalities, grouped into Clusters A, B, or C. These clusters are differentiated by certain personality traits.
Personality disorders appear to be caused by a combination of childhood experiences and genetics. Those with family members who have a personality disorder are at a higher risk of developing one themselves. Childhood environmental factors, such as dysfunctional family relationships, neglect, abuse, and other stressful events may shape the child’s psychological makeup, resulting in a personality disorder.
Cluster B Personality Disorders
The Cluster B personality disorders category is characterized by terms like dramatic, erratic, unpredictable, and emotional. In general, individuals with a Cluster B personality disorder struggle with impulse control and emotional regulation.
Cluster B personality disorders include:
Someone with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is preoccupied with their sense of superiority over others. These individuals tend to believe they deserve special treatment due to their distorted perception that they are uniquely intelligent, attractive, or talented. Individuals with NPD tend to be emotionally unavailable, lack empathy, are arrogant, exhibit angry outbursts or rage, and disregard the value of others. These individuals may seek out a victim or host that will supply them with a steady supply of adulation and subservience, but they are unable to bond emotionally with the person.
When someone has histrionic personality disorder they constantly seek the spotlight, desiring to be the center of attention. To do this they will exhibit excessive and exaggerated mannerisms, such as speaking in a loud voice, using dramatic flourishes when they speak, being overtly flirtatious, or displaying excessive emotions. Individuals with histrionic personality disorder will feel uncomfortable in situations when they are not the center of attention. Their relationships are superficial, as they lack the ability to form authentic intimacy with another, and they are at a higher risk of suicidal thoughts.
The individual with antisocial personality disorder is characterized by the lack of regard for others. This is expressed through hostile, aggressive, and deceitful behaviors. Someone with antisocial personality disorder will disregard rules or social norms, believing they do not apply to them. They may harm or torment people or animals, yet show no remorse for hurting them. A child with conduct disorder may develop antisocial personality disorder later. Individuals with antisocial personality disorder tend to be highly impulsive, leading to adverse consequences like loss of employment, accidents, or legal problems.
Diagnosis and Treatment for a Cluster B Personality Disorder
While most people will display symptoms of a personality disorder on occasion, it is not a diagnosable mental health disorder unless they are inflexible, consistent, and cause the individual distress and impairment.
Treatment of a Cluster B personality disorder will depend upon the specific type of personality disorder. Available treatments include:
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