Personality Disorder Treatment

Personality disorders are behaviors and personality types that are perceived to deviate from social standards, especially when relating to others, to the point that they can cause severe distress and disability. Many types of residential personality disorder treatments are employed to help those that have a personality disorder; since a wide range of illnesses fall under the category, there are numerous forms of treatment that may be effective, depending on the severity of the disorder in question. There are ten personality disorders, in three clusters, currently recognized by the DSM-IV:

  • Cluster A consists of paranoid, schizoid, and schizotypal disorders
  • Cluster B refers to antisocial, borderline, histrionic, and narcissistic personality disorders
  • Cluster C comprises avoidant, dependent, and obsessive-compulsive personality disorders (the latter is not to be confused with obsessive-compulsive disorder).

Residential personality disorder treatment employs, depending on the type and severity of disorder (or disorders) that a patient has, a combination of medication and psychotherapy to help with the symptoms of the disorder. Individually tailored psychotherapy sessions are the most-used and most effective forms of treatment, especially when coupled with appropriate medications to help reduce the effect of a patient’s symptoms. Group therapy is the second-most used type of treatment, with family and couples therapy and psychoeducation often being utilized as well.

Treatment and management of personality disorders has historically been very difficult and controversial, due to the range of differing issues, varying degrees of severity and disability that fall under the category of “personality disorder.” Nearly all require different approaches. Additionally, many people with personality disorders are susceptible to substance abuse, which alters the necessary treatment approach even further.