Cluster C Personality Disorders (A Comprehensive Guide)


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Page last updated: 15/11/2022

Cluster C Personality Disorders

A personality disorder is a kind of mental disorder in which you have an inflexible and damaging pattern of thinking, performing, and behaving.

A person with a personality disorder has a problem perceiving and concerning situations and people.

This derives important problems and restrictions in relationships, social behavior, work, and education.

In some cases, you might not apprehend that you have a personality disorder because your means of thinking and behaving looks natural to you. And you might be responsible for the dares you face.

Personality disorders generally begin in the adolescent years or early adulthood. There are many kinds of personality disorders. Some kinds might become less noticeable during the middle age.

There are many types of personality disorders. In this article, We will discuss Cluster C personality disorders. 

The four important attributes of personality disorders are:

1) Distorted thinking styles,
2) Problematic emotional reactions,
3) Over or under-regulated instinct jurisdiction, and
4) Interpersonal difficulties.

These four important attributes are general to all personality disorders. Before a diagnosis is made, an individual must reveal important and long-term difficulties in at least two of those four features.

In addition, personality disorders are not more often than not diagnosed in children because of the prerequisite that personality disorders represent continuing problems across time.

These four important features combine in a variety of ways to shape ten precise personality disorders acknowledged in DSM-5 (APA, 2013).

In order to be diagnosed with an exact personality disorder, an individual must get together the minimum figure of criteria confirmed for that disorder.

Also, to assemble the diagnostic necessities for a psychiatric disorder, the signs or symptoms must cause practical impairment or biased distress.

This means the symptoms are upsetting to the person with the disorder and the symptoms make it complicated for them to perform well in society.

The Three Clusters:

In addition, the ten different personality disorders can be assembled into three clusters based on expressive comparison within each cluster. These clusters are:

  • Cluster A (odd and peculiar cluster)
  • Cluster B (theatrical, affecting, and variable cluster)
  • Cluster C (nervous and afraid cluster)

Usually, an individual can be diagnosed with more than just one personality disorder.

Research has shown that there is a tendency for personality disorders within the same cluster to co-occur (Skodol, 2005). Later on, this matter of co-occurrence will be discussed in considerable detail.

The substitute model of personality disorder, projected for further study in DSM-5 (APA, 2013), anticipates lessening this overlie by using a dimensional approach versus the current definite one. 

Cluster C Personality Disorders (A Comprehensive Guide)

Cluster A Personality: 

Cluster A is called the odd and eccentric cluster. It consists of:

The general features of the personality disorders in this cluster are:

  • Social awkwardness and 
  • Social withdrawal. 

These disorders are subjugated by distorted thinking.

Cluster B Personality:

Custer B is called the theatrical, affecting, and inconsistent cluster. It includes:

Disorders in this cluster distribute problems with impulse control and emotional regulation.

Cluster C Personality Disorders:

Cluster C personality disorders are distinguished by nervous, frightened thinking or behavior. Cluster C personality includes:

  • Avoidant Personality Disorder, 
  • Dependent Personality Disorder and 
  • Obsessive-compulsive Personality Disorder.

Avoidant personality disorder:

The Avoidant Personality Disorder is distinguished by invasive conduct of social shyness, thoughts of insufficiency, and hypersensitivity to pessimistic assessment.

Individuals with this disorder are deeply fearful that others will mock them, refuse them, or criticize them. This directs them to avoid social circumstances and to stay away from relations with others.

This further confines their aptitude to expand social skills. People with Avoidant Personality Disorders repeatedly have a very inadequate social world with a tiny circle of intimates.

Their social life is otherwise quite limited. They are: 

  • Too reactive to disapproval or negative response
  • Feeling insufficient, lesser or unpleasant
  • Avoidance of work ventures that have to need an of interpersonal connection
  • Socially reserved, nervous and lonely, avoiding new behaviors or meeting outsiders
  • Intense timidity in social circumstances and personal relationships
  • Fear of dissatisfaction, humiliation or mockery

Dependent Personality Disorder:

The key feature of the Dependent personality disorder is a strong need to be concerned by other persons.

This has to be taken care of, and the related fear of losing the support of others, usually directs individuals with a dependent personality disorder to perform in a “tacky” manner; to propose to the needs of other persons.

In order to stay away from conflict, they might have immense complexity standing up for themselves.

The deep fear of losing an association makes them helpless in handling and maltreatment. They have:

  • Extreme dependence on others and feeling the need to be taken care of
  • Obedient or clingy manners toward others
  • Afraid of including to provide self-care or resist for themselves if left on their own
  • Need of self-confidence, requiring extreme guidance and encouragement from others to make even small conclusions
  • The complication in starting or doing projects on their own apt to lack of self-assurance
  • Complexity differing with others, fearing dissatisfaction
  • The patience of deprived or insulting action, even when other options are accessible
  • Vital need to start a new relationship when a close one has broken

Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder:

Persons with obsessive-compulsive personality disorder are obsessed with rules, set of laws, and neatness.

This obsession with strictness and control is at the price of elasticity, sincerity, and competence.

They are eminent makers of lists and plans and are habitually dedicated to working to such a degree that they commonly abandon societal relationships.

They have an obsessive predisposition, and are so determined in their effort to “get it correct” that they turn out to be unable to finish projects or precise tasks as they get gone astray in the particulars, and cannot see the “forest for the trees.”

People with OCPD have a propensity to be firm and rigid in their perspective on things. These persons are: 

  • Obsession with particulars, neatness, and regulations
  • Extreme perfectionism, resulting in dysfunction and distress when perfection is not achieved, such as feeling unable to finish a project because you don’t meet your own strict standards
  • Wish to be in charge of people, tasks and circumstances, and failure to allot tasks
  • Ignoring friends and pleasurable activities as of extreme obligation to work
  • Failed to remove broken or useless things
  • Inflexible and obstinate
  • Rigid about principles, ethics or values
  • The firm, miserly have power over funds and expenses

An obsessive-compulsive personality disorder is not the same as obsessive-compulsive disorder, a kind of anxiety disorder.

General features of all Cluster C Personalities:

  • Isolation
  1. Arranged
  2. Controlled
  3. Nervous
  4. Obsessive-compulsive or compulsive 
  • Passive-Aggression
  1. Self-chosen breakdown
  2. Masochistic
  3. Dysthymic

Causes of Cluster C Personality Disorders:

Similar to all mental health problems, personality disorders are complex.

A blend of biological and ecological reasons can cause some individuals to develop a cluster c personality disorder.

There are some facts that propose that heredity might play a role, but the environment and life experience are also causes.

People who undergo trauma, violence, or have unhealthy affairs as children are at a higher risk of beginning a cluster c personality disorder. 

Signs and Symptoms of Cluster C Personality Disorders :

Cluster C personality disorders are identified when the way an individual feels, thinks, or acts impairs his/her capability to live a healthy life, or when it generates severe distress for him/her or the people around them.

The signs and symptoms of cluster c personality disorders can be clarified by a number of elements or other illnesses, and any person at some end or another might experience or behave in these ways whether they have a mental health problem or not.

Everyone has “personality”, so you might observe behaviors and thoughts explained here that everyone has at times.

The dissimilarity between undergoing these signs and having a cluster c personality disorder is how intense the symptoms or signs are, how often they occur, and how much they predisposed your life or the lives of those around you.

Because mostly cluster c personality disorders are defined by how one share to the people around them, the signs and symptoms are generally about how a person’s behaviors are disturbing their relationships.

Symptoms generally appear when a person is in their adolescence or early adulthood.

Some symptoms with a cluster c personality disorder include:

  • Avoiding new activities or taking personal risks for fear of embarrassment.
  • Afraid of disapproval and refusal.
  • Overthinking things and finding it difficult to make decisions without support.
  • Sense of a severe need to be taken care of or intended for.
  • An intense need for organizing, neatness, and power.
  • Very focused on working and being productive

Treatment of Cluster C Personality Disorder:

Personality disorder explains a number of different types of issues. How they are experienced will differ from one person to another.

As each case is matchless, the cure will likely be exclusive for each individual.

In the case of cluster c personality disorders, receiving help might comprise group or individual counseling or psychotherapy, learning coping strategies and ways to have more fit and creative relations and affairs with others.

Medication might be arranged to help treat other symptoms or hurdles of a personality disorder, like depression, anxiety, or psychotic symptoms.

It might take time to get the right mental health expert and cure strategy because of the nature of cluster c personality disorders and how they influence relations and how one relates to others.

Family members of someone who has cluster c personality disorders might contribute to therapy, support groups, or help from learning about it and ways to hold up their loved ones at home.

A person living with a cluster c personality disorders, like any other person, will do well from maintaining wellness and having good support in life. 

FAQs about Cluster C personality disorders

1. What are personality clusters?

The Three Clusters
These clusters are: Cluster A (the “odd, eccentric” cluster); Cluster B (the “dramatic, emotional, erratic” cluster); and, Cluster C (the “anxious, fearful” cluster). Oftentimes, a person can be diagnosed with more than just one personality disorder

2. What are cluster B and C traits?

Cluster A disorders describe unusual or paranoid behavior and Cluster C personality includes those with anxious, fearful personalities and behavior. 

Cluster B disorders draw significant attention because they are frequently portrayed in the media and because those with the disorders often wreak havoc in their personal relationships.

3. What is the most common personality disorder?

Finally, according to findings of the most contemporary study (NESARC), the most common personality disorder in the United States is presently obsessive-compulsive personality (7.9%), followed by narcissistic (6.2%) and borderline (5.9%) personality disorders.

4. At what age do you develop your personality?

The Important Personality Trait Kids Develop By Age 5. Hint: It has to do with confidence. By the time your kids head off to school—kindergarten even—their self-esteem might already be fully developed and like that of an adult, suggests a new study from The University of Washington.

References: “DSM-5: The Ten Personality Disorders: Cluster A” “Cluster C Personality Disorder” “DSM-5: The Ten Personality Disorders: Cluster C” “Personality Disorders”