Types of personality disorders

Types of personality disorders DSM 5

There are many types of problems in our mental health, from affective disorders like depression to neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s. One of the most common and at the same time most serious psychological problems is personality disorders. We define these disorders as a pattern of persistent behaviors, emotions, and thoughts in a person that makes daily life difficult in many ways. There are many types of personality disorders according to their characteristics and psychological consequences.

Do you want to know all the types of personality disorders that exist? Then take note of this Psychologyorg article. In it, you will find a complete list and all the characteristics of personality disorders according to the DSM-V manual.

Personality disorders according to the DSM-V

As its name indicates, a personality disorder directly affects how we are, which is why its nature is persistent and influences many spheres of our lives.

The diagnostic manual par excellence in the practice of psychology is the DSM-V. In it, we can find an entire chapter dedicated to analyzing personality disorders. The American Psychological Association (APA) defines this problem as follows:

A personality disorder is characterized by a permanent internal and personal pattern of behaviors, emotions, and thoughts that is too far removed from what is expected in the culture. It usually appears in adolescence or adulthood and without psychological treatment it does not vary over time, causing emotional discomfort in the person and social prejudice towards them due to their “abnormal” behavior.

The main personality disorders are:

1. Group A:

  • paranoid personality disorder
  • Schizoid personality Disorder
  • Schizotypal personality disorder

2. Group B:

  • antisocial personality disorder
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Histrionic personality disorder
  • narcissistic personality disorder

3. Group C:

  • avoidant personality disorder
  • Dependent personality disorder
  • obsessive-compulsive personality disorder

Other personality disorders

  • Unspecified personality disorder

Next, we will briefly describe this classification and what characteristics each disorder has.

Types of personality disorders

Group A personality disorders: eccentrics or Thinking

Known for their “strange” behavior and outside the social norm. They are reserved personalities, with an absence of close personal relationships and a rather low emotional expression. They are usually labeled with the adjective “strange” or “eccentric” and we divide them as follows:

Paranoid personality disorder

They are people who are continuously suspicious of others, believe that the whole world is against them, and tend to isolate themselves to avoid being harmed. They do not trust and are usually very spiteful. All this leads them to present difficulties in relating to other people and a practically constant state of anxiety. If you want to know more, you can consult this other article on paranoid personality disorder.

Schizotypal personality disorder

Schizotypal personality disorder is perhaps the most eccentric of the three, a person with schizoid disorder usually behaves completely outside the norm, lives in his inner world, and creates his own system of ideas. However, it is not too difficult for them to relate to others either.

Schizoid personality Disorder

People with this disorder interpret the events of their lives in a distorted way, so they tend to isolate themselves completely from society. These people do not usually think that their problem is disabling, however, it is necessary to recommend psychological treatment.

personality disorders

Group B Disorders: Dramatic or Emotional Personality

Cluster B disorders are usually people who have very extreme and uncontrolled emotions and are unable to manage their feelings and this usually causes them enormous discomfort and difficulty making decisions. Another common feature of cluster B personality disorders is that they have great difficulty relating to others.

There are four ways in which type B personality disorder can express itself:

Antisocial personality disorder

This disorder has been added more recently to cluster B since the symptoms are precisely the lack of expression of emotions towards others. Antisocial personality disorder is closely related to the personality of a psychopath and sociopath.

Borderline personality disorder

Also known as BPD or Borderline disorder. The symptoms of borderline personality disorder are:

  • Lack of emotional control
  • Impulsiveness
  • unstable personal relationships
  • fear of abandonment
  • Constant negative thoughts…

If you feel identified with these symptoms, you can take the borderline personality disorder test. People with BPD have great mental suffering that they can sometimes try to mitigate with self-harm, alcohol, and drug abuse. There are studies that state that a large percentage of people who attempt suicide suffer from this type of personality disorder.

Histrionic personality disorder

This disorder is characterized by exaggerated behavior and an uncontrolled expression of emotions. They tend to be individuals with a very marked and egocentric personality (they want to be the center of attention), for that very reason, they often use seduction and/or victimhood to focus attention on them.

Narcissistic personality disorder

Finally, we come across this personality disorder. The characteristics of a person with narcissistic disorder are the following:

  • Egocentric dialogue: they always talk about themselves
  • the superficial belief of superiority
  • envy towards others
  • Internal insecurity that they try to hide with airs of grandeur…
personality disorders

Group C or Anxious Personality Disorders

Finally, we find this way of grouping these pathologies of the mind. This type of personality disorder is characterized by a pattern of anxious and fearful behaviors, they usually live in fear that something bad will happen and their mind is usually occupied by recurring and obsessive thoughts.

Avoidant personality disorder

As its name suggests, people with this type of personality disorder tend to avoid social relationships out of fear and a feeling of inferiority. They tend to be constantly worried about what other people may think of them or them and that generates a practically constant state of anxiety.

Dependent personality disorder

When a person develops a dependent attachment style, they may end up with this type of personality disorder. Highly dependent people need constant care and attention to feel loved and valued. Their communication style is passive since they are afraid of being rejected for their ideas or feelings. In addition, they often go to great lengths and favors to obtain much-needed support and care.

Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder

Better known as OCD, people with obsessive-compulsive disorder are those who are dominated by their own recurring thoughts and need to perform compulsive actions to mitigate mental obsessions. This disorder has been widely studied and is divided into two very marked phases:

  • Obsessive thought: “If I don’t clean the house, I’ll catch it and die”
  • Compulsive action: “I must wash every day at all hours and disinfect my place to avoid contracting an infection”

OCD can appear in many ways and its nature is not reduced to being meticulous with cleanliness and order, it is important to comment that obsessive thoughts can be very varied, and, as a consequence, compulsive actions can be of many types.

Types of personality disorders

Unspecified personality disorder

The diagnostic manual reserves this category to include types of personality disorders that do not fit any of the listed boxes but meet the definition of personality disorder. That is to say: patterns of behavior, thought, and emotions that last over time and that usually generate a strong discomfort to the individual who presents them.

  • An example of a personality disorder not otherwise specified is the presence of some traits and characteristics of a specific personality disorder but not meeting the full criteria (ie, a “mixed personality”).

Causes and treatment of personality disorders

The most effective treatment has turned out to be psychotherapy combined with the use of drugs in strictly necessary cases.

Psychoactive drugs such as fluoxetine help maintain a relatively stable state of mind with which a person can begin to improve their behaviors. However, the key piece in the treatment of personality disorders is psychotherapy: it is essential that the individual learn coping strategies in order to improve over time. These types of disorders usually have a chronic prognosis, therefore, more than a cure, the objective of treatment is for the patient to learn to live a stable life by controlling and knowing her atypical personality traits.

Causes of personality disorders

The exact cause of these disorders is unknown, however, many experts affirm that they appear due to the interaction of genetic factors, insecure, ambivalent, or avoidant attachment styles, and other psychosocial factors.

This article is simply for information, at Psychologyorg we do not have the power to make a diagnosis or recommend treatment. We request you go to a psychologist to treat your particular case.

If you want to read more articles similar to Types of personality disorders, we recommend that you enter our MENTAL DISORDERS category.

Read Also: Emotions and Their Types, Power of Emotions


Q: What are personality disorders?

A: Personality disorders are a group of mental health conditions characterized by long-standing patterns of behavior, cognition, and inner experiences that deviate from cultural expectations and cause significant distress or impairment in various areas of life.

Q: How many types of personality disorders are there?

A: The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) identifies ten separate classes of personality disorders, grouped into three clusters: Cluster A, Cluster B, and Cluster C.

Q: What are the personality disorders in Cluster A?

A: Cluster A includes paranoid personality disorder, schizoid personality disorder, and schizotypal personality disorder. These disorders are characterized by eccentric or odd behavior, social withdrawal, and unusual beliefs or perceptions.

Q: What are the personality disorders in Cluster B?

A: Cluster B contains antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, and narcissistic personality disorder. These disorders are characterized by dramatic, emotional, or erratic behaviors, as well as difficulties with impulse control and interpersonal relationships.

Q: What are the personality disorders in Cluster C?

A: Cluster C contains avoidant personality disorder, dependent personality disorder, and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. These disorders are characterized by anxious or fearful behaviors, excessive need for reassurance or support, and preoccupation with rules, order, or control.

Q: What are the symptoms of paranoid personality disorder?

A: Symptoms of paranoid personality disorder include a pervasive distrust and suspicion of others, interpreting innocent remarks or actions as threatening, reluctance to confide in others, and maintaining persistent grudges.

Q: What are the symptoms of borderline personality disorder?

A: Symptoms of borderline personality disorder include unstable relationships, intense fear of abandonment, impulsive and self-destructive behaviors, chronic feelings of emptiness, and mood swings.

Q: What are the symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder?

A: Symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder include an exaggerated sense of self-importance, a constant need for admiration, a lack of empathy for others, a sense of entitlement, and a preoccupation with fantasies of success and power.

Q: Can personality disorders be treated?

A: Yes, personality disorders can be treated. Treatment approaches may include psychotherapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), medication for managing specific symptoms, and support from a mental health professional.

Q: Can personality disorders be cured?

A: While personality disorders are long-standing patterns of behavior, with appropriate treatment and support, individuals with personality disorders can experience significant improvement in their symptoms and quality of life. However, a complete “cure” may be less common, and ongoing management and self-care are often necessary.

Q: How are personality disorders diagnosed?

A: Personality disorders are diagnosed based on a thorough psychological evaluation conducted by a qualified mental health professional. The evaluation may involve interviews, self-report measures, observations, and assessments of the individual’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.

Q: Are personality disorders common?

A: Personality disorders are estimated to affect about 9% to 13% of the general population, with prevalence rates varying among different types of personality disorders. Certain personality disorders, such as borderline personality disorder, are more commonly diagnosed than others.

Q: Can personality disorders coexist with other mental health conditions?

A: Yes, it is not uncommon for individuals with personality disorders to also have other mental health conditions. Conditions such as depression, anxiety disorders, substance use disorders, and eating disorders may coexist with personality disorders and require comprehensive treatment approaches.


  1. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-5. Pan-American medical editorial, 2014.
  2. LeGris J, van Reekum R. The neuropsychological correlates of borderline personality disorder and suicidal conduct. Can J Psychiatry. 2006, 51(3):131-142.

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