5 Most Common Personality Disorders

The most common personality disorders affect people of all ages, races and genders. This disorders can seriously impact the way in which individuals act around others and the way they think and feel. Psychology students and professionals working in this field look at these disorders to learn more about identifying the symptoms in patients and to determine how to treat those patients.

Antisocial Personality Disorder

One of the more common personality disorders is something called antisocial personality disorder. Patients dealing with this disorder have a difficult time being around other people. They often go out of their way to avoid being around people, including their friends and loved ones. Many patients experience panic attacks and similar symptoms when they need to spend time outside of their homes. There are even cases of patients with antisocial personality disorder who cannot work outside of the home because of fear of being around others.

Dependent Personality Disorder

While it’s natural for people to feel connections with others, when those connections begin taking over their lives, they may suffer from a condition called dependent personality disorder. Dependent personality disorder is characterized by a compelling need to be around one specific person. This is common among the loved ones of substance abusers. A man may develop a dependent relationship with a wife or partner because of her addiction. Patients suffering from this disorder tie their well-being and self-worth to another person. They feel as though they cannot survive without a relationship with that person.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Another of the common personality disorders is narcissistic personality disorder. This disorder causes patients to feel as if they are better than others. Others often look at these patients as being self-absorbed, overly confident or even conceited. Those diagnosed with the disorder often spend a lot of time fantasizing about the future and thinking about all their successes. Other symptoms can include seeking out positive reinforcement from others, feeling jealous of others for their own successes and acting overly arrogant. Many of those with a narcissistic personality disorder will also take advantage of their friends and family to benefit their own needs.

Avoidant Personality Disorder

Though an avoidant personality disorder is similar to an antisocial personality disorder, these two common personality disorders have some differences. Avoidant personality disorders often share symptoms with anxiety disorders. Patients suffer from extremely low self-esteem, which makes it difficult for them to be around others, including their closest friends and family members. They often avoid being in public because they feel like others look down at them and because they are not worthy of either attention or affection. This is one of several disorders that present with symptoms during the early and late stages of childhood.

Histrionic Personality Disorder

There is also a disorder called histrionic personality disorder. This is one of the common personality disorders that affect the relationships that patients have with others. According to Steve Bressert of Psych Central, symptoms of this disorder may include going to extreme lengths to gain attention, frequent mood swings and manipulating others. When an individual does not receive the attention that he or she craves, the person may act out in emotional and even violent ways, including throwing items, screaming or crying.

Psychologists study personality disorders to learn more about how environmental conditions and other factors can impact the way people think and act. These disorders can make it difficult or even impossible for patients to have lasting relationships with others and to even work a full-time job. Some of the common personality disorders include narcissistic, avoidant, antisocial, histrionic and dependent personality disorders.