Cluster C Personality Disorders Treatment

Cluster A Personality Disorder

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.

  • Way of thinking about 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 C personality disorders are characterized by anxiety and fearfulness. Avoidant personality disorder, Dependent Personality Disorder, and Obsessive-Compulsive personality disorder are classified under this cluster.

Avoidant Personality Disorder

People with avoidant personality disorder may avoid socializing and social gatherings, out of inhibition, or maybe they are too afraid of criticism or being rejected. The defining features of people with this personality disorder are

  • They are not able to handle criticism or rejection
  • They avoid social activities and social interactions
  • They avoid meeting new people
  • They are fearful of disappointing others
  • They usually prefer to be alone and hence have trouble developing interpersonal relationships.

Dependent Personality Disorder

People with this disorder end up clinging to a few key people in their life and lose self-confidence. Defining features of people with this personality disorder are

  • They are extremely dependent on others
  • They are totally submissive to a few key people they hang around
  • They are not able to plan their own life
  • They are always seeking support and encouragement from others.

Amongst all the cluster C personality disorders Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder is the most common personality disorder. The inclusion of a chapter on “obsessive–compulsive and related disorders” in “DSM 5” indicates the ever-increasing presence of this range of disorders. “DSM 5” stands for “Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders” and is considered as bible for psychiatry practice. The main defining features of people with Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder are:

  • Constant checking and arranging
  • A need for symmetry
  • Distress
  • Anxiety
  • Fears of contamination
  • Ruminating thoughts
  • Washing hands again and again

It is also noteworthy here that obsessive-compulsive personality disorder is often confused with obsessive-compulsive disorder OCD. A differential diagnosis needs to be made between the two. Both of them are psychiatric disorders, but obsessive-compulsive personality disorder is categorized under Cluster C personality disorder, while obsessive-compulsive disorder is categorized under anxiety disorders. The ICD (international classification of Diseases) uses the term “Anankastic” personality disorder to code and describe OCPD. The word anankastic comes from Greek word “anankastikos” meaning “compulsion”.

Diagnosis of Cluster C 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 the “History of past illnesses”.

Differential diagnosis with mental disorders is to be made too, so that you don’t confuse personality disorders with certain other mental disorders.

Treatment of Cluster C 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 C. 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:

  • One-to-one discussion about your disease

Group psychological treatments or talking therapies like CBT(cognitive behavior therapy)