Personality Disorder Treatment

personality disorder treatment in Florida

What is a Personality Disorder?

Personality represents the unique way each individual thinks and behaves, shaped by a combination of environmental and biological factors. Factors such as your upbringing, family origins, socioeconomic background, and the history of mental health in your family tree all contribute to your personality. People are essentially a product of their life experiences and the inherited traits passed down from their parents. While personality takes shape early in life, it generally remains relatively stable over time, though minor changes can occur.

A personality disorder, on the other hand, is characterized by a deviation from the expected and socially accepted patterns of thinking and behavior. Personality disorders often have adverse consequences for the individual and persist over an extended duration, underscoring the importance of seeking mental health treatment.

Personality disorders are typically not diagnosed until after the age of 18, as personality traits continue to develop during adolescence. A proper diagnosis necessitates the evaluation and consent of a mental health professional. Some individuals may experience multiple personality disorders, and it’s important to note that approximately 9 percent of adults in the United States have at least one personality disorder. Recognizing the presence of a personality disorder is the first step toward seeking appropriate mental health treatment.

Understanding the Different Types of Personality Disorder

There are 10 individual types of personality disorders, each with different traits and characteristics. Each one differs substantially from what is considered normal. This deviance is usually formed during late adolescence or early adulthood.

All personality disorders impact at least two of the following areas of life:

  • Way of responding emotionally
  • Way of relating to other people
  • Way of thinking about oneself and others
  • Way of controlling one’s behavior

The different personality disorders are:

Antisocial Personality Disorder

Antisocial Personality Disorder is characterized by a profound disregard for the rights, thoughts, and values of others. Individuals with this condition frequently transgress societal norms, engaging in deceitful behaviors, impulsivity, aggression, and physical altercations without experiencing remorse or guilt.

Avoidant Personality Disorder

Avoidant Personality Disorder is marked by pronounced shyness and a persistent fear of criticism or judgment from others. Those with this disorder often feel inferior, are overly sensitive, and tend to avoid social interactions and close relationships, leading to feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder is one of the most recognized personality disorders, characterized by intense emotions, unstable relationships, impulsive actions, and low self-esteem. Individuals with this disorder often go to great lengths to avoid being alone, sometimes resorting to self-harm or explosive anger to cope with feelings of emptiness.

Dependent Personality Disorder

Dependent Personality Disorder is characterized by a strong reliance on others for emotional and practical support, often accompanied by submissive behavior. Those with this disorder struggle to make decisions independently and fear being alone, leading to clinginess and dependency.

Histrionic Personality Disorder

Histrionic Personality Disorder is characterized by a constant need for attention and praise by others. Individuals with this disorder tend to be excessively dramatic, seeking to entertain and captivate those around them, often resorting to flirtatious behavior to gain approval.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is marked by an exaggerated sense of self-importance, a lack of empathy for others, and a belief in one’s uniqueness. Individuals with this disorder may exhibit entitlement and exploit others to achieve their goals.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) involves recurring thoughts and behavior patterns centered around control, perfectionism, and order. Individuals with OCD are often task-oriented and goal-driven, which can lead them to prioritize work and routines over social connections.

Paranoid Personality Disorder

Paranoid Personality Disorder is characterized by a constant fear of impending harm or betrayal. Those with this disorder struggle to trust others and may be hesitant to confide in anyone, resulting in wariness in interpersonal relationships.

Schizoid Personality Disorder

Schizoid Personality Disorder is marked by emotional detachment and a lack of interest in forming close relationships. Individuals with this disorder prefer solitude, find little pleasure in intimacy, and can come across as emotionally distant.

Schizotypal Personality Disorder

Schizotypal Personality Disorder involves eccentric thought patterns and behaviors that may alienate others. Individuals with this disorder have difficulty forming close relationships and often display peculiar social behaviors.

What Causes Personality Disorders?

There are a number of factors that contribute to the development of personality disorders. For a while, individuals with these illnesses were just seen as impulsive and reckless. However, research has found that trauma, genetics, and the environment all play a pivotal role in these illnesses.isions independently and fear being alone, leading to clinginess and dependency.

causes of personality disorders


There is a gene malfunction that is explicitly linked to obsessive-compulsive disorder. There is also a genetic basis for anxiety, depression, fear, and aggression, all of which are significant features in some personality disorders.


Adverse childhood experiences or trauma can cause permanent changes to one’s personality and lead to disordered behaviors. Multiple studies have connected early sexual abuse with borderline personality disorder. Verbal abuse, when encountered in childhood and attached to poor treatment from loved ones, also made individuals far more susceptible to paranoid, narcissistic, obsessive-compulsive, and borderline and paranoid personality disorders.

Sensory Issues

Young children who are highly sensitive to sound, texture, and light may end up becoming shy and anxious adults who are easily overwhelmed by stimuli in their environments, resulting in the development of a personality disorder.

How are Personality Disorders Treated?

Personality disorders are complex and notoriously difficult to treat. However, with a holistic tailored approach, individuals with these conditions can lead normal, fulfilling lives.

Currently, there are no medications that are specifically designed to treat personality disorders. However, various mental health medications such as anti-anxiety pills, mood stabilizers, and antidepressants can address some of the symptoms that are unique to each of the ten different personality disorders. For example, anti-anxiety medication treats obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, while mood stabilizers could benefit someone with borderline personality disorder.

While medications can be used, therapy is the most effective form of treatment. Psychotherapy, a type of talk therapy, helps individuals dealing with personality disorders to understand where their attitudes and behaviors come from. Sometimes just knowing why you do something is an integral part of reversing those problematic elements of one’s personality. It allows for better coping mechanisms.

Psychotherapy also gives individuals the opportunity to express their emotions and verbalize what they are going through. This can help lessen some of the emotions tied to their thoughts and behaviors while providing a safe space to receive support and professional guidance.

Talk therapy can be facilitated in group or individual sessions. Groups may involve therapy with others who share similar illnesses. Another type of group therapy used is family therapy. Since personality disorders can affect the entire family, it’s important to address and repair damaged relationships.

Specific types of psychotherapy used may include:

  • Psychoanalytic/psychodynamic therapy
  • Psychoeducation
  • Dialectical behavior therapy
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy

All psychotherapies for personality disorders can cater to the specific needs of the individual.

Dual Diagnosis: When a Personality Disorder and Addiction Co-Exist

Dual diagnosis is when a person suffers from both a substance abuse disorder, such as drug or alcohol addiction, and a mental health disorder, such as anxiety or depression, at the same time. Oftentimes, a drug or alcohol addiction can lead to mental illnesses like personality disorders if it becomes such a deep-rooted issue that one’s brain chemistry is altered. Personality disorders may also lead to problems with addiction at a later time in their lives if people try to self-medicate.

Many people with a co-occurring disorder develop an addiction because they desire to feel accepted and wish to fit in with others surrounding them. It could start with just one drink to help with feelings such as social anxiety that turns into alcohol addiction long-term. The same could be true with just one hit of marijuana in an attempt to forget traumatic memories. While these may provide short-term relief, they are not resourceful long-term methods of treatment and oftentimes will cause the person to experience worsening mental health conditions.

At 1st Step Behavioral Health, our comprehensive approach allows us to address both personality disorders and addiction at the same time, paving the way for long-term recovery.

Personality Disorder Treatment Center in Florida

If you or a loved one are searching for a Personality Disorder Treatment Center in Florida, please reach out to our team at 1st Step Behavioral Health. You can reach us by dialing or texting (855) 425-4846 or contact us here.

personality disorder treatment center in Florida
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