What Are Personality Disorders?
Personality disorders refer to a cluster of various mental health conditions that include long-term patterns of inflexible thoughts and behaviors. These thoughts and behaviors tend to cause issues with relationships and with other areas of functioning at work, school, and at home. Individuals with personality disorders often struggle to cope with everyday issues. They may resort to unhealthy tactics such as impulsive, erratic, or aggressive behavior in an attempt to get their needs met.
What Causes Personality Disorders?
Research suggests that a combination of genetic and environmental factors may play a role in personality disorder development. Many people with personality disorders experienced trauma in early childhood. As a result, they often struggle to feel safe in the world. They may distrust other people, fear rejection and abandonment, and struggle with feeling close or intimate with others. For these reasons, personality disorders, if unaddressed, can cause immense problems within family systems as well as with friends and in occupational environments.
Personality disorders exist on a wide spectrum, which means that some conditions can be more severe than others. Many people with personality disorders struggle to identify that they have a problem. These individuals might first enter therapy due to a specific problem related to a personal or professional relationship. They may also enter therapy for a co-occurring mental illness like depression, anxiety, substance use disorders, or eating disorders.
How I Can Help With Personality Disorders
If you have a personality disorder, therapy offers a supportive space to feel heard, appreciated, and respected. Finding acceptance and improving your distress tolerance skills will be the fundamental tenets of our work. You will learn to implement healthier coping strategies in your daily living. Mindfulness, emotional regulation, impulse control, and identity development may be explored to best meet your needs. Through a combination of various interventions, you will learn how to improve the quality of your relationships and your overall well-being.