Personality Disorders

Teen personality disorders affect the daily lives of millions of people. While the teenagers afflicted with personality disorders suffer the most, the people close to themĀ – family, friends and teachersĀ – also have to cope with the personality disorder and what it does to a teen. Personality disorders, in teens and others, are defined by rigid behaviors and inflexible attitudes. Teenagers with personality disorders are generally unable to cope with life’s demands and the changes that are an inevitable part of life.

What is a teen personality disorder?

Teen personality disorders usually follow a set of criteria. Basically, it involves an inflexible pattern of thinking, perceiving and relating that is so serious that it impairs the function of the teenager. Personality orders are marked by the fact that this behavior is deeply ingrained. And, though the scope of the person’s behavior and thoughts is narrow, the teen feels as though he or she is “normal.” Teens with personality disorders also tend to have a difficult time functioning in social settings.

Teen Personality Disorder Types

Teen personality disorders are divided into three clusters. Each serves as a category with specific personality disorders within it.

Cluster A teen personality disorders:

Characterized by odd or eccentric behavior on the part of the teenager with the personality disorder. Cluster A personality disorders include:

  • Schizoid personality disorder, in which the teenager is withdrawn, emotionally cold and fearful of intimacy with other people. A daydreamer who is often absorbed in his or her own thoughts and feelings, and who prefers not to take any active action.
  • Paranoid personality disorder is characterized by the teenager interpreting other people’s actions as deliberately threatening. Teenagers with this personality disorder is often jealous and guarded and very untrusting and unforgiving.
  • Schizotypal personality disorder is basically a pattern of peculiarities. Teens with schizotypal personality disorder may speak and dress in eccentric ways. Beliefs may be outlandish, and it is difficult for the teenager to form relationships.

Cluster B teen personality disorders:

Characterized by erratic behavior that is emotional and dramatic. Cluster B personality disorders include:

  • Antisocial personality disorder, in which teens act out their conflicts. Normal rules of behavior are ignored by teenagers with this personality disorder, and they are often irresponsible, impulsive and feel no remorse for how their behaviors affect other people.
  • Borderline personality disorder is a disorder marked by instability in several areas. Interpersonal relationships suffer, and teens with this personality disorder tend to have a fluctuating self image, characterized by bouts of self-destructive behavior. Teens in this position have a hard time with their sense of identity and often become dependent upon others.
  • Narcissistic personality disorder is a teen personality disorder that creates a sense of self-importance that is exaggerated. Fantasies of success and a desire to have constant attention mark this teen personality disorder. Oversensitivity to failure is also a hallmark.

Cluster C teen personality disorders:

Characterized by anxious and fearful behavior. Cluster C personality disorders that affect teenagers include:

  • Avoidant personality disorder, which is marked by hypersensitivity to rejection. Teenagers with this personality disorder avoid building relationships with people unless they are sure they will be liked. Excessively timid in social situations, they worry overmuch about becoming embarrassed and saying or doing “something stupid.”
  • Dependent personality disorder is a teen personality disorder in which the teenager relies on others to make decisions. There is a strong fear of rejection and a lack of self-confidence, which leads to overly submissive behavior.
  • Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder refers to persons with high, almost unattainable, levels of aspiration. Even though they are reliable and orderly, they are so inflexible that adapting to change is difficult. Because they are so detailed, and afraid of making a mistake, decisions may be hard to come by as obsessive-compulsive teens weigh every possible choice and outcome.

Personality Disorders Sources:

  • “Personality Disorders,” National Mental Health Association. [Online.]