Mental Health » Personality Disorders


Personality disorders are characterized by deeply rooted  behavioral traits that differ significantly from the expected and accepted norms of an individual’s culture. Consequently, regional and cultural characteristics should always be considered before diagnosing a patient with a personality disorder. Personality disorders usually arise during childhood and are difficult to treat. A key feature of personality disorders is that they must cause impairment in social and/or occupational functioning. Personality disorders are associated with a higher risk of developing other psychiatric disorders, especially in times of stress.


A diagnosis is made on the basis of the history and observations made by a mental health professional during an interview. There are no laboratory tests to determine whether someone has borderline personality disorder. Since there is often an overlap with mood disorder or substance abuse, these diagnoses should be considered by a mental health professional in anyone who has the symptoms of borderline personality disorder.


Treatment for personality disorders may include a combination of medication and psychotherapy. Personality disorders are often difficult to treat and may need long-term attention to change the inappropriate behavior and thought patterns.

Personality disorder treatments typically consist of individual, group, or family psychotherapy (also called talk therapy), of which there are many types including Mentalization Based Therapy (MBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Schema Focused Therapy, Transference Focused Therapy, Dynamic Psychotherapy, and Cognitive Analytical Therapy. For more severe cases of personality disorders, especially when the patient is at high risk of harming self or others, inpatient treatment options are available.

Treatment for personality disorders can take months or even years because of the longstanding nature of the disorder. It may also require a reliable team of caring professionals, including a primary care provider, psychiatrist, psychologist or other therapist, psychiatric nurse, pharmacist, and social worker. At the San Antonio Behavioral Healthcare hospital we offer all of these medical professionals in one convenient location, so your mental health team can all work together to treat and maintain your personality disorder in the best way possible.


Eccentric personality disorders

People with these disorders often appear odd or peculiar. The eccentric personality disorders include:

  • Paranoid personality disorder
  • Schizoid personality disorder
  • Schizotypal personality disorder

Dramatic personality disorders

People with these disorders have intense, unstable emotions and a distorted self-image. They also often tend to behave impulsively. These disorders include:

  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Histrionic personality disorder
  • Narcissistic personality disorder

Anxious personality disorders

People with these disorders often are nervous or fearful. These disorders include:

  • Avoidant personality disorder
  • Dependent personality disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder
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