Personality and our first impression are what people think of us. They make a judgment about you when they meet you first. Most importantly, the first impression of you. However, when you have a certain set of characteristics, you come under the category of personality. On the other hand, DSM-V has criteria for personality disorders. There are three main clusters, under which the personality disorder types come under. Furthermore, in this article, you will be able to read the complete details on personality disorder. Firstly, paranoid personality disorder. Secondly, avoidant personality disorder. Thirdly, dependent personality disorder, and many more.

What is a Personality Disorder?

It is a pattern of emotions, thought processes & behavior that lead/ result in emotional distress for the person going through the disorder. In addition to that,  it also causes many difficulties for people in their surroundings.  Furthermore, it might affect relations in work settings and impair life.

It often happens that people themselves do not realize that something is not right. Usually, people around them realize that it is a disturbing behavior pattern.

The different disorders are categorized into three clusters also known as personality disorder types. Firstly Cluster A which are odd disorders. Secondly, Cluster B revolves around concepts like being emotional. Lastly, Cluster C, which is characterized by anxiety and fearfulness.

Mental health is as important as physical health. Here are a few tips for good mental health.

Personality Disorders types- Clusters

Based on the characteristic of the disorders, the personalities are categorized into three clusters. The names of the clusters in themselves give an exact definition of it. The various personality disorder types are as follows.

Personality Disorder- Cluster A

Under this cluster come three personality disorder types. They are as follows:

Paranoid Personality Disorder

This is a type of behavior pattern where the person does not trust anyone. In addition to that this can interfere with daily activities and meeting people for work or social life. They are extremely suspicious of other people’s actions, without any kind of justification. Sometimes they even assume that people are out to harm them.

The symptoms are as follows.

A. A distrust and suspicious attitude. The person suffering from this disorder have where they see other people having motives for harming them. In addition to that, it does not have any kind of justification. Mainly seen in early adulthood. Furthermore, these symptoms are present in more than one context or setting. Four or more of the following must be there:

  • The person suspects people around them for no reason and no basis. They think that others are harming or cheating them.
  • Secondly, The person doubts the loyalty and trustworthiness of the surrounding people.
  • The individual is not able to share anything about himself/herself with others, like close friends. For instance, close friends usually know our secrets and the details of our life. The person suffering from this disorder is unable to share anything with the fear that it might be used against them in the future.
  • The normal and non-threatening conversation is seen as if it has some in-depth meaning. furthermore, they feel like it needs to be analyzed.
  • The individual doesn’t forgive easily on insults. Furthermore, bears grudges that also created suspicion.
  • Reacts angrily to perceived insults or attacks on his/her character.
  • Repeated doubt on their partners. They feel like their partner is cheating on them without having any justification for the same.  

Schizoid Personality Disorder

This is type of behavior where there is complete detachment from any kind of social relationships and is not able to express emotions appropriately in any setting. Extremely less emotions expressed by the person

The symptoms area as follows

A. A particular pattern of behavior where the person shows no interest in social relations and has an extremely controlled range of emotions in many settings. Mainly in the early adulthood stage. In addition to that, it is present in more than one context. Furthermore, four or more of the following indicate this disorder:

  • Does not desire close relationships. The interest to be involved in family gatherings and close intimate relations is not present.
  • The person enjoys being alone. They almost always choose to do so. But, very different from an avoidant personality disorder.
  • Lacks interest in having sexual experiences with another person.
  • The individual is unable to take pleasure in any activities.
  • He/She has very little or no friends or close people apart from first-degree relatives.
  • Any kind of appreciation or criticism doesn’t affect them. They are indifferent to everything.
  • The person shows complete emotional detachment. In simple terms, like when a person is being cold.

Schizotypal Personality Disorder

This type of behavior pattern represents the ‘odd’ term of Cluster A the most. These people have unusual perceptual experiences, where they feel like they can sense other people in the room other than them. Therefore, what they sense cannot be seen or heard by the common man.  They have an odd dressing sense. They believe in magical things as well.

The symptoms are as follows:

A. A particular pattern of behavior where close interpersonal relations cause intense discomfort. The perceptual distortions starts in early adulthood.

  • The people suffering from this have ideas of reference.
  • Odd beliefs or magical thinking that they think have some kind of influence on behavior. In addition to that, it is not consistent with the sub-cultural norms. ( For instance, belief in telepathy or “sixth sense”, in children and teens, and their fantasies are extremely different. )
  • They experience unusual perceptions. In addition to that, they also have bodily illusions.
  • The thoughts, as well as speech, are odd. ( For instance, vague, metaphorical, and so on)
  • They are suspicious and paranoid just like the people suffering from a paranoid personality disorder.
  • Individuals lack emotional expressiveness.
  • Their appearance is peculiar or odd.
  • These individuals have little or no close relations, friends, or anyone. Only first degree relatives are connected.
  •  Lastly, they have extreme social anxiety that doesn’t reduce easily. Another aspect is that they are more connected to paranoid fear than anything else.

Cluster B- Personality Disorder

This cluster is characterized by emotional, dramatic behavior. Below is the various disorder under this.

Anti-Social Personality Disorder

As the name suggests, people suffering from this disorder have complete disregard for other people’s feelings. But, it is different from an avoidant personality disorder.

The symptom seen are as follows:

A. A continuous pattern of behavior where the person disregards as well as violates the rights of others. Furthermore, this should be occurring since 15 years of age. In addition to that, Three or more of the following are seen in their behavior: They mistreated, hurt, or stolen from another.

  • Doesn’t obey the social norms and violates them repeatedly.
  • They have deceitful behavior. They indulge in repeatedly lying, taking advantage of them for personal gain and more related patterns of behavior.
  • The individuals suffering from this disorder are unable to plan ahead of time. Extremely irritable and aggressive can be seen through their repeated physical fights with the surrounding people.
  • Complete disregard for others in relation to their safety as well as self also.
  • They are also extremely irresponsible in many varied aspects. For instance, they fail to be consistent at work submissions or even financial obligations.
  • Lack of guilt or the behavior of being indifferent to anyone and anything.

B. The person must fulfill the criteria of being being at least 18 years.

C. Conduct Disorder is seen as a pattern of behavior before the age of 15 years .

Borderline Personality Disorder

A particular behavior pattern where interpersonal relations are unstable. Furthermore, no stable self-image and suddenness in almost all actions. This kind of behavior begins in early childhood.

  • The person engages in risky behavior. For instance, is sudden in his/her actions
  • Interpersonal relations are extremely unstable. For instance, a person can reach two extremes. Firstly, that of idealization and secondly, that of devaluation.
  • Lacks a sense of self-image.
  • The suddenness of doing any action is present in at least two settings. Furthermore, this behavior could be self-damaging. For instance, actions like spending huge amounts of money, having unsafe sex, and many more.
  • Repeated thoughts of death. The person also self-harms himself/herself.
  • Extreme fear of being alone or abandoned.
  • The feeling of emptiness is majorly present.
  • Sudden mood displays of anger.
  • Extreme stress-related paranoid ideation. On the other, it could be severe symptoms of disconnection. But, very different from a paranoid personality disorder.

Those with disorder have suicidal thoughts mostly. They cut themselves and this is one of the main indications of suicidal thoughts. Self-image is something very important in life. Those suffering from this disorder lack self-image itself.

Histrionic Personality Disorder

The main characteristic of this disorder their attention-seeking behavior. Emotional about small things in life. Mainly seen in early adulthood. Furthermore, indicated by five or more of the following.

  • Doesn’t like it or is uncomfortable in settings where he/she are not the center of attention.
  • Is dramatic and over stresses small things. In short, makes a big deal of small things. But, they do not know the actual facts about what they are saying.
  • The person is easy to influence or please. In addition to that, they will easily accept what others say.
  • They consider relations with others to be more close or intimate than they actually are.
  • Their style of speech focuses on creating an impression on the opposite person.
  • These people use physical appearance as a way of drawing attention to them.
  • Frequent change of emotions and a sense of being shallow is also seen.
  • Their communication with others is unsuitable and seductive in most settings.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

A particular behavior where they think they are really special. They feel like they should be admired by everyone. In addition to that, they have a sense of grandiosity about themselves. This usually starts in the beginning of early adulthood.

  • Too much self-importance. Keeps talking about one’s achievements and talents.
  • Has repeated thoughts (fantasies) of having unlimited power or beauty.
  • They consider themselves to be very special. Furthermore, they feel like they must interact with other special people only.
  • Expectations of favors and advantages that cannot be justified. They always take advantage of the people around them.
  • They do not care of other people’s emotions and needs. Being indifferent.
  • Often the person feels envy towards others. In addition to that, they also feel that others are envious of them.
  • They have a tone of arrogance in their attitude.

Cluster C- Personality Disorders

This category revolves around the features of anxiety and fearfulness. The personality disorder types that come under this are as follows. The cluster C disorders are given below.

Avoidant Personality Disorder

The urge to decrease being social because they feel like they are not good enough for anything. Furthermore, they are extremely sensitive to any kind of negative comments. Therefore it is called avoidant personality disorder. This is usually seen in early adulthood. Five or more of the following indicate this pattern:

  • Tries to avoid activities and social functions where there would be interaction with many people. This is mainly because of the fear of rejection.
  • They are only willing to talk or be with others if they are sure about being liked.
  • They restrain from close relations because they fear being shamed or made fun of.
  • The individual overthinks over situations of being rejected in social situations.
  • Very shy when introduced to new people and relations
  • They have low self-esteem. Most importantly, they feel they are inferior to others and it is highly impossible for them to be sociable.
  • These individuals are extremely reluctant to any kind of personal risks. In addition to that, they rarely engage in new activities as they are scared of embarrassment.

Dependent Personality Disorder

As the name suggests these people are dependent on other people for everything. Therefore, it is called a dependent personality disorder. They are clingy and always need to be taken care of. They also fear separation from the people they are dependent on. Most importantly, this pattern starts in early adulthood as indicated by five or more of the following.

  • The person finds it difficult to make decisions. Therefore for any small aspect seeks advice from others.
  • There is a need for others to take responsibility for them.
  • Rarely disagrees with others due to the fear of others’ loss of support.
  • Their self-confidence is very low in judgment or their own abilities. It is very difficult for them to start new projects or do things on their own.
  • They will go beyond limits to gain and be nurtured. At times they will go through unpleasant situations as well to not lose their support.
  • The individual feels uncomfortable or helpless when they are alone. They feel like this because they think they cannot take care of themselves.
  • When a close friend or relation ends, they immediately seek a replacement.
  • Repeated thoughts and fear of being left alone to care for themselves.

The above are the symptoms of dependent personality disorder in detail.

Obsessive- Compulsive Personality Disorder

A behavior where they are hooked with orderliness. This is one of the most searched personality disorder types. Furthermore, they need to do everything with perfection. In addition to that, they want interpersonal control. This comes at the cost of openness and efficiency. It starts in early adulthood as indicated by four or more of the following:

  • Is extremely involved in making rules or lists for anything that the point of the activity is lost in the end.
  • The “everything should be perfect” attitude leads to not being able to complete the task.
  • They are so engrossed in their work that they exclude activities of fun.
  • These individuals are not flexible on matters of morality, ethics, or values.
  • They are unable to let go or discard worthless objects.
  • Wants to do things just their way. Furthermore, is unwilling to do tasks by others’ methods.
  • Has a miserly spending style. They view money as something that should be stored. In addition to that, they over-budget and are tight on spending money.
  • They are very rigid and extremely stubborn.

Treatment of Personality disorders

Based on the severity, the one realizes that they actually need help. Therapy is one of the best ways to deal with this. Sometimes if they are extreme cases then treatment could go on for months. But, it is effective if there are people around who want to work as a team.

Mainly if there are mild symptoms, then you might need to visit only one doctor. A few sessions will help you cope with it. But, with severe symptoms, the help of a therapist and psychiatrist together is needed. Medication and therapy together help in severe cases.

Psycho-therapy is the most common type of therapy. It helps you understand what is in your unconscious mind. When you talk about the mood and emotions, you learn even more about yourself. This results in helping you deal and cope with your thoughts in the end.

For personality disorder types like paranoid, avoidant and dependent personality disorders, this therapy would be really effective for mild symptoms especially.

When Should we Seek Treatment

Many a time, people with personality disorders do not realize that something isn’t right. The people around them slowly understand how difficult it is getting to deal with them. When the person’s life is disrupted then he needs treatment. The person is not able to live a normal life and has difficulty coping with life.

They are so used to doing things their way that they are unwilling to do it any other way. Let us take an example from the Friends series. Monica suffers from this disorder. She is a complete perfectionist.


There are a few causes that can be a major factor for the disorders. Furthermore, these can affect the person in the childhood and through genetics. Most importantly, we must not consider that these are the only reasons. There might be other reasons and causes that have not been discovered as yet.

  • Genes- there have been some researches that have some come to the conclusion of this. A few inherited traits can be the cause for personality disorders. For instance, anger and many more. When there are defects in genes, it can be a major factor for OCD.
  • Extreme negative experiences/ Trauma in childhood. The childhood age is when the brain adapts to the world. Personality disorder can occur because of the environment they have faces during the childhood. For instance, those faced childhood sexual trauma. They have more chances of being Borderline personality disorder.
  • The company of friends and the people around you. Peers are extremely important factor as well. If you are being bullied or what kind of environment you are in.
  • Verbal abuse & negativity shouting. Research says that it more likely for those children who have faced verbal abuse as child to develop personality disorder types. For example, OCD, paranoid and many more.

FAQ | Personality Disorder – Types like Paranoid, Avoidant & Dependent Personality Disorders

What are the most commonly seen symptoms of dependent personality disorder?

These people are highly dependent on others for everything. They think that are not capable of taking care of themselves. They will go to any extent to be nurtured. In addition to that, they don’t mind going through unpleasant situations for care. These individuals cannot make simple and small decisions in life.

What are the most common symptoms of avoidant personality disorder?

They do not want to interact with others due to the fear of being inadequate. Secondly, they take any small negative comment seriously. In short, they are very sensitive to criticism. people suffering from this try to avoid new activities as they fear embarrassment.

How should I deal with a paranoid personality disorder person?

Firstly, convince them on taking counseling and therapy. Therapy in the form of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is really helpful. It helps restructure the thoughts in the mind. Furthermore, this helps them realize that those close to them really want good for them. In addition to that, therapy helps to recognize and deal with emotions.

Editor’s Note | Personality Disorder

Paranoid personality disorder, dependent personality disorder, and many more are given in detail. Hope you have received some insights over these in detail. The American Psychological Association (official Website) keeps posting updates on various mental illnesses. There are several myths and facts about mental health. Click here for more details on it.


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