Skip to content

5 Common Personality Disorders

Personality Disorder: 5 of the Most Commonly-Occuring

  • Antisocial Personality Disorder
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Schizotypal Personality Disorder
  • Narcissistic Personality Disorder
  • Avoidant Personality Disorder

Personality disorders are mental health disorders that cause specific behavioral, functioning, and thought patterns. Individuals with personality disorders often have struggled with interpersonal relationships, as well as professional and social difficulties. There are many different types of personality disorders, most of which begin during teen years into early adulthood when symptoms become the most noticeable, that are separated into three cluster groups: Suspicious, anxious, and emotional and impulsive. These clusters are grouped based on similar symptoms and personality characteristics. Read on to learn more about 5 common personality disorders and their signs, symptoms, and traits.

Related resource: The Top 30 Online Counseling Degree Programs (Bachelor’s)

1. Antisocial Personality Disorder

Individuals with Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD) are diagnosed after 18 years of age and display signs of aggression and apathy or a lack of remorse. Individuals with this diagnosis often take part in risky behavior without thinking about the consequences of this behavior for themselves and others. Typically those with APD have received a conduct disorder diagnosis before the age of 15, and display signs of extreme impulsivity, as well as dangerous, even illegal behavior. Those with APD will manipulate and exploit others for personal gain without remorse. According to the Merck Manual, APD is present in just over 3-percent of the population and is 6 times more likely to be present in male patients. It is less prevalent in older patients, which suggests that behavior can be changed over time.

2. Borderline Personality Disorder

Individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) have a difficult time regulating their emotions. Sufferers typically possess a fear of abandonment or loneliness, extreme mood swings, and explosive irritability and anger. Other common symptoms include the display of self-destructive, impulsive behavior, self-harm, and suicidal or para-suicidal tendencies. When experiencing periods of stress, an individual with BPD may experience hallucinations, disassociation, or paranoia. Recent studies in the US have shown that approximately 1.6-percent of the population has BPD, with 75- percent of these cases diagnosed in women (a 3:1, female to male ratio).

3. Schizotypal Personality Disorder

Individuals with Schizotypal Personality Disorder (STPD), also called schizotypal disorder, often demonstrate paranoia about persecution and harassment, transient psychosis, and unconventional belief systems. Those with STPD have been recorded to possess odd manners of speech and unusual appearances by way of dress and hygiene. This disorder occurs in less than 4-percent of the population, slightly more often in men. Unlike many personality disorders, STPD is less likely to improve with age.

4. Narcissistic Personality Disorder

According to the Mayo Clinic, Individuals with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) are unable to recognize or empathize with the feelings and needs of others, and often possess an inflated sense of self-importance. NPD causes sufferers to require admiration and attention from others constantly and can come across to others as pretentious or conceited. Other symptoms include: moodiness, difficulty dealing with stress, need for perfection, inability to control rage, and belittling others to feel better about themselves. NPD occurs within 0.5 to 1- percent of the population with 50 to 75 percent of cases diagnosed in men.

5. Avoidant Personality Disorder

Individuals with Avoidant Personality Disorder are incredibly anxious, nervous, and fearful. Often battling extremely low self-esteem and self-loathing, sufferers are constantly afraid of embarrassment, and rejection and judgment by others. This level of social inhibition and fear often wreaks havoc with social and professional environments and forming healthy interpersonal relationships. Approximately 1-percent of the general population has Avoidant Personality Disorder.