Cluster B Personality Disorders and It's Treatment

cluster b personality disorder treatment

Every individual in this world is born with distinct traits which design an individual’s personality. Personality is the combination of a person’s behavior, thought process, and attitude toward others.

The defining feature of personality disorder is it shows a long-term pattern and affects at least two of the given below areas.

  • Perspective on oneself and others
  • Way of responding emotionally
  • Way of relating to other people
  • Way of controlling one’s behavior

Personality disorders are broadly classified into three categories or clusters. Cluster A (or odd personality disorders), Cluster B (or dramatic personality disorders), and lastly Cluster C(or anxious personality disorders).

Cluster B personality disorders are characterized by dramatic, too much emotional, and erratic thoughts or deeds. Cluster B personality disorders may include

  • Antisocial Personality Disorder
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Narcissistic Personality Disorder
  • Histrionic Personality Disorder

let’s discuss cluster B personality disorders one by one.

Anti-Social Personality Disorder:

in general terms anti-social personality disorder can be called sociopathy. It is been estimated that 1-4% of the general population has an anti-social personality disorder or sociopathy. Males are five times more likely to have this disorder in comparison to females. Defining features are

  • They are generally manipulative and deceiving in nature
  • They are habitual to lying for personal gains and assuming false identities
  • They are very impulsive, which might lead to frequent job or relationship changes.
  • They are irresponsible in their actions and have a disregard for personal safety and the safety of others
  • They are most aggressive in their behavior which may end up in physical fights
  • They do not generally show remorse and may act indifferent in such situations

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

It is also known as Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD), which is a severe and complicated mental illness. It is characterized by a long-term pattern of unstable interpersonal relations, unstable behavior, and strong emotional reactions. As per the National Institute of mental health’s definition, a borderline personality disorder is marked by an ongoing pattern of varying moods, self-image, and behavior. Other symptoms of borderline personality disorder may include

  • They have a general tendency to get involved in impulsive, risky actions. examples are unsafe sex, gambling, reckless driving, and spending sprees.
  • They have a very unstable or fragile self-image
  • They always have dysfunctional, unstable relationships
  • They often showcase suicidal behavior or threats of self-harm
  • They have paranoia and difficulty trusting

The third most common personality condition is borderline personality disorder. It is also one of the more well-known personality disorders, as it is been portrayed in many Hollywood movies such as Wiona Ryders character in Girl, interrupted, and glen close’s character in fatal attraction.

A core feature and contributor to BPD is emotional dysregulation. The patient is unable to regulate emotions in a manner that allows the patient to pursue important goals or behave effectively in various life situations.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

A person with narcissistic personality disorder considers himself/herself to be superior to fellow beings, displays grandiose behavior, always need to be admired endlessly, and always has a lack of empathy for others. The defining features are:

  • They show a pattern of self-importance or grandiose
  • They fantasize about unlimited success, power, beauty, or perfect love
  • They need excessive admiration to prove their credibility
  • They have a tendency to take advantage of others for personal gain
  • They envy others and believe that others are envious too
  • They display a very arrogant attitude

Histrionic Personality Disorder

A person with histrionic personality disorder wants attention all the time and goes out actively seeking it. People with this disorder will usually be very much aware of their looks. Another defining feature is an overreaction. These people are prone to overreact to minor incidences in their life and have trouble maintaining relationships because of the way they act.

Diagnosis of Cluster B Personality Disorders

Personality disorders are much harder to be diagnosed as compared to other mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression. A personality disorder should have a long history to be finally diagnosed. It is also noteworthy here that some people may experience several types of personality disorders at the same time.  So, the diagnosis can be a combination of more than one type of personality disorder making it more complex a case. For this purpose, a very detailed case history has to be taken especially focusing on “History of past illnesses”. Differential diagnosis with mental disorders is to be made too, so the you don’t confuse personality disorders with certain other mental disorders.

Treatment of Cluster B Personality Disorders

There is no particular approach that may be singled out for treating personality disorders. You may be referred to a specialist personality disorder service or unit, if your general practitioner thinks you have a complex personality disorder These service units are made up of several different types of professionals such as psychologists, psychiatrists, and therapists who have desired skillset and experience required to treat people with personality disorders. At other times you may directly contact these services to get help for yourself. Once admitted to a specialist service unit, you and your healthcare team should agree on a treatment plan that is tailor-made for you and is also working best for you as much as it can.  The treatment plan may include: