Types of personality disorder (List)

In this brief blog, we will discuss the different Types of personality disorders, their symptoms, the different names of these personality disorders, and why these are considered as disorders.

What are personality disorders in the psychology of abnormality?

Personality disorders are kinds of psychological disorder that revolve around some traits of a person that may cause distress to the person, deviant behaviour, dysfunction in some areas in life, and shows deviance as a person in a specific society.

Personality disorders are more common in most countries but most of these people have some traits of personality disorder. 

The traits of a personality disorder can cause distress to a person through seeing relationships get broken down because of the patient.

For instance, patients with borderline personality disorder tend to have unstable relationships which cause them to think about suicide and may attempt suicide.

Personality is labelled as a personality disorder if it causes problems to happen to the person because the person seems to be lacking in the social graces that other people should be treated with.

Personality disorders are quite common among citizens in the country.

Most people with personality disorders tend to be unaware that their personalities are disturbing to some people or even themselves.

What types of personality disorder are recognised by mental health professionals?

Recently, psychiatrists tend to use a standardized protocol of diagnosis which determines ten types of personality disorders.

These different and somewhat similar types of personality disorders are grouped and classified into three clusters.

Cluster A: Suspicious

Cluster B: Impulsive and emotional

Cluster C: Anxious

Each of these kinds of disorders has its own set of diagnostic criteria.

To get a specific diagnosis, you must meet some of these specific symptoms in the official diagnostic criteria in the DSM-5. 

The minimum amount you need to get from the patient’s presenting symptoms is different for different types but it should always be more than one or two of the symptoms of each type of personality disorder which will be discussed below.

If you meet criteria for more than one type of these disorders, this may be diagnosed as a mixed personality disorder by mental health professionals. 

It is also probable to get a psychological diagnosis on one of these kinds of these disorders without meeting the complete criteria for a specific type of personality disorder.

This is recognized as a personality disorder not otherwise specified (PD-NOS) or personality disorder trait specified by mental health professionals to guide them in how to treat these different patients.

Wide strata of people may get the same diagnosis of a personality disorder, despite having very different personalities and varied individual characteristics that make the abnormal experience different for each affected person.

Your experience of living with this kind of disorder will be unique to you. 

You can learn more about these kinds of disorders by buying this book on this website.

What is a paranoid type of personality disorder in abnormality?

The experiences, emotions, and thoughts correlated with paranoia or persecutory delusion may cause the person to:

  • find it difficult to share their distressing thoughts to people, even their loved ones such as friends and family
  • find it hard to put their faith on other people, believing these people will use them or take advantage of them when vulnerable
  • have a hard time relaxing or calming down even when danger is not currently present
  • read threats and danger which others don’t see and perceive into daily life, innocent comments or casual looks from others due to these eccentricities.

This might become such a big concern and burden in one’s life that he or she is given a psychological diagnosis of this personality disorder.

Some conspiracy theorists are prone to having a paranoid personality disorder. 

This is because the suspiciousness needs to have evidence which they can secure from hacking through suspicious people and recording conversations from these people.

This is a difference between this personality disorder from schizophrenia since the persecutory perceptions are not delusions in paranoid personality disorder. 

What is a schizoid type of personality disorder in abnormality?

Many affected people with schizoid personality disorder are able to function relatively great in daily life.

Unlike in people with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder or another psychotic disorder, you would not often have symptoms of these psychological disorders. 

However, as a result of the emotions and cognitions associated with this diagnosis you may:

  • find complications creating intimate relationships with other people
  • choose to live your life without interventions from others
  • prefer to be alone with your own cognitions and inner world
  • not feel pleasurable emotions such as happiness from many activities
  • have little or no interest in intimacy or sex
  • have a hard time connecting to or are emotionally cold and aloof towards others.

As you can see, people with this personality disorder are often called loners and some psychologists find these people to have suffered from extreme shyness in their early years. 

You can learn more about this personality disorder by buying this book on this website.

What is a schizotypal type of personality disorder in abnormality?

Everyone has their own quirky, uncomfortable or eccentric behaviours.

But if your modes of behaving and thinking make connecting with others very difficult, you may be considered to have a psychological diagnosis of schizotypal personality disorder.

Unlike in schizophrenia, you often would not experience psychosis in this personality disorder.

However, you may have the following:

  • The experience of distorted perceptions or thoughts 
  • find creating intimate relationships excessively difficult
  • think and express yourself in methods that others find ‘odd’, using uncommon phrases or words, making connecting to others difficult
  • believe that you can read minds or that you have supernatural powers such as a ‘sixth sense’ or ESP
  • feel anxious around others who do not share these strange beliefs
  • feel very anxious and paranoid in social scenarios, finding it hard to connect with others.

What is a histrionic type of personality disorder in abnormality?

Most people are giddy with joy at being given flattery or positive feedback about their pleasing behaviours by people who they care about seeking approval.

But if you rely very excessively on being noticed or are looking for approval so much that this influences and makes your daily living dysfunctional, you might get a diagnosis of histrionic personality disorder from the mental health professional.

You may have the following symptoms of this condition:

  • feel very uncomfortable and weird if you are not the centre of attention
  • feel that you have the constant need to entertain people
  • persistently seek or feel dependent on the approval of others
  • Create impulsive decisions
  • flirt or behave/dress provocatively or inappropriately to make sure that you stay as the centre of attention
  • get a reputation for being overemotional and overly dramatic
  • be easily affected by others.

Some psychologists find this personality disorder as a controversial diagnosis.

This is because this kind of personality disorder is usually diagnosed with women. 

This is because of the traits in the personality disorder which characterizes the over-dramatization of these patients are mostly related to most characteristics of women’s over-emotional behaviours.

You can learn more about the details about histrionic personality disorder by buying this book on this website. 

What is an antisocial type of personality disorder in abnormality?

Most of us tend to not bother with the needs of other people and give time to our needs which is normal because if you keep giving yourself to others, you might get burnout.

However, if you keep giving yourself the time and attention you need and you are manipulating other people for your own pleasure, this can get you a psychological diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder.

You may have the following behaviours and characteristics:

  • put yourself in risky or dangerous scenarios, typically without thinking about the possible outcomes for yourself or other people
  • act dangerously and sometimes illegally such as you may have a criminal record
  • act in ways that are unpleasant and uncomfortable for others
  • feel very easily bored and act on impulse, for instance, you may find it hard to keep a job for a long time
  • act aggressively and get involved in fights easily
  • do things even though they may harm people to get what you want, putting your desires and needs above other people’s
  • have issues with empathy, for instance, you may not show or feel any sense of guilt if you have mistreated or created misconduct upon others
  • have had a psychiatric diagnosis of conduct disorder or childhood antisocial personality disorder before the age of 15.

This psychological diagnosis involves psychopathy and sociopathy.

These psychological terms are no longer considered in the Mental Health Act but a psychopathy checklist test may be used in your psychological assessment for this disorder.

What is a borderline type of personality disorder in abnormality?

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is also recognized as an emotionally unstable personality disorder (EUPD) of all of the other personality disorders.

We can all experience conflicts and inconsistencies with our relationships, self-image and emotions.

However, you will get a psychological diagnosis of this personality disorder if your behaviours, feelings, and thinking patterns are affecting your opportunity to experience a normal and stable relationship.

You may have the following traits of this personality disorder:

  • feel very worried and anxious about people abandoning you, and either does anything to avoid that happening or push them away
  • have very intense and powerful emotions that can alter immediately, for example, from feeling very happy and ready in the morning to feeling low and sad in the afternoon
  • not have a strong sense of identity or goals with your ideas about this changing significantly relying on who you’re with
  • find it very difficult to make and keep stable and secure relationships or friendships
  • behave impulsively and do things that could hurt you such as driving dangerously, binge eating or substance abuse
  • have suicidal thoughts and tendencies
  • Self-harming behaviours
  • feel lonely and empty all the time
  • get very aggressive and having great difficulty in controlling your anger
  • Has a hard time trusting people
  • experience other mental health illnesses alongside this personality disorder including post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, eating issues, and depression.

When very stressed, sometimes you might have these feelings and cognitions:

  • feel paranoid about everything and everyone around you
  • have psychotic perceptions such as seeing or hearing things that other people don’t see or hear and feeling dissociated from reality

This personality disorder is recently the most commonly diagnosed personality disorder in patients.

You can learn more about this personality disorder by buying this book on this website. 

What is a narcissistic type of personality disorder in abnormality?

It is a human characteristic to know about our own needs, to get them out in the open, and to want others to approve of our capabilities and accomplishments.

These are not bad or horrible characteristics. 

However, if these behaviours, cognitions, and emotions are very severe and cause concerns in connecting others, you may get a psychological diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder which is another type of personality disorder.

You may have the following characteristics of this personality disorder:

  • believe that there are special reasons that make you unique, better or more deserving than others in several areas in life such as beauty and intelligence
  • have vulnerable self-worth so that you depend on others to make your worth known and your needs recognised
  • feel disappointed if others ignore and reject you and don’t give you what you feel you deserve
  • resent and jealous of other people’s accomplishments
  • place your own needs above other people’s, and demand they get what they deserve from other people
  • be observed as selfish and unaware or aloof of other people’s needs.

What is an avoidant type of personality disorder in abnormality?

All people have objects, people or places we don’t like or things that make us anxious and tense.

But if these things cause so much anxiety and nervousness that you have difficulty maintaining relationships and partnerships in your life, you may get a psychological diagnosis of avoidant personality disorder which is sometimes called anxious personality disorder to some people.

You may the following characteristics and traits of this personality disorder:

  • Get away from work or social activities that mean you must be joining others
  • expect criticism and disapproval and be very vulnerable to it
  • worry persistently about being discovered and rejected
  • worry about being humiliated or shamed by others
  • Doesn’t engage in relationships, friendships and intimacy because you fear rejection
  • feel lonely and weak to others
  • be hesitant to attempt new activities in case you humiliate yourself.

This kind of personality disorder inhibits early intervention since this kind of personality disorder cannot be diagnosed with children who are between the ages of 4-17.

You can learn more about avoidant personality disorder by buying this book on this website.

What is the obsessive-compulsive type of personality disorder in abnormality?

Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) is different from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) which characterizes a type of behaviour rather than a kind of personality as these disorders’ major comparison.

However, similarly to OCD, this personality disorder involves the constant need for control, the standard of perfectionism and significant dysfunction being flexible in how you think about concepts and ideas.

You may have the following characteristics of this personality disorder:

  • need to keep everything organised and controlled
  • set impractical high expectations for yourself and others
  • thinking your ideas are the best ways of doing specific activities
  • Worry and anxious about you or others making mistakes
  • feel very anxious or tense if actions and things aren’t perfect.

What is the dependent type of personality disorder in abnormality?

It is human nature to be sociable since this has helped us with our survival.

Although it’s better if you have a balance of needing the help of others when you require it and working on your problems that you are the only one who can fix them.

However, if thoughts and emotions about needing and wanting others become so distressing that they affect your everyday life and relationships, you may get a psychological diagnosis of dependent personality disorder from a mental health professional.

You may have the following traits and behaviours of this personality disorder:

  • feel weak, needy and unable to choose decisions or function daily without assistance or support from others
  • permit or require others to take responsibility for different areas of your life such as school or work
  • agree to things you feel are immoral or you dislike to prevent being isolated or losing someone’s assistance
  • fearful of being left to take care of yourself
  • have low self-esteem
  • perceive other people as being much more capable and powerful than you are.


In this brief blog, we have discussed the different types of personality disorders, their symptoms, the different names of these personality disorders, and why these are considered as disorders.

If you have any inquiries about the contents of this blog, please let us know.

FAQs: Types of personality disorder

What is the most difficult personality disorder to treat?

The most difficult personality disorder to treat is a borderline personality disorder.

This is because people with this personality disorder have uncontrollable mood swings and distrust towards the therapeutic relationship that the therapist is trying to create.

What is the best medication for a personality disorder?

There is no best medication for personality but there are medications to alleviate the symptoms of several personality disorders such as antidepressant medications, antipsychotic medications, and anti-anxiety medications.

What age does borderline personality disorder typically start?

The age that borderline personality disorder typically starts after the age of 30.

Although there are some cases that a borderline personality disorder will happen in the teenage years.

This may be because the teenager will be facing various relationships that will become the teen’s factors to develop

When was personality disorder first diagnosed in the history of abnormality?

Personality disorder was first diagnosed in the 1980s as mentioned in the history of abnormal psychology.

This was diagnosed by the early psychiatrists who are still trying to understand personality.

They noticed that people act differently but some have exhibited behaviours that can endanger themselves and others which they then studied personality disorders. 

Do borderlines have empathy?

Borderlines don’t have empathy but the feeling of dissociation from oneself is apparent in this disorder.

People with this personality disorder don’t understand why a person is leaving a relationship with them which is a sign that they don’t have any empathy.


American Psychiatric Association. What are Personality Disorders?.

MAYO CLINIC. Personality disorders.

MedicalNewsToday. Types of personality disorder.

Mental Health UK. Types of personality disorders.

Mind. Personality disorders.

NHS. Personality disorder.

NHS Inform. Personality disorder.

Priory. Types and Symptoms of Personality Disorders.

Psychology Today. The 10 Personality Disorders.

PSYCOM. Personality Disorders: A Guide to the 10 Different Types.