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Personality Disorders and Alcoholism

Woman struggling with personality disorder and alcoholism

Personality disorders affect a person’s behavior, mood, and ability to function in everyday life. A personality disorder can disrupt a person’s relationships, ability to keep a job, and other areas of life that are important to personal well-being and happiness. Experiencing emotional or behavioral difficulties can make a person more susceptible to turning to drugs or alcohol for relief. Using alcohol to cope with pain or feelings of isolation from others is unsustainable. Alcohol use can increase the risk of suicide in people with personality disorders and lead to other serious health risks.

If you or someone you know with a personality disorder is struggling with personality disorders and alcoholism, understanding the different types of personality disorders and treatment options may be an essential first step toward seeking help. Contact Vertava Health at 844.470.0410 today to learn about our borderline personality disorder treatment and other options.

Types Of Personality Disorders

There are ten distinct types of personality disorders (PDs). These are divided into three clusters. Each personality disorder is categorized into one of these clusters based on the most dominant personality traits and behaviors.

Cluster A

  • Paranoid – Paranoid personality disorder is characterized by being highly suspicious of others and their intentions. People with this disorder may have difficulty getting close to others and suspect others are out to get them or harm them.
  • Schizoid – People with this disorder are primarily detached from others, prefer to be alone, and show little emotion. They typically do not have close relationships, pay little attention to social norms, and may display inappropriate emotional reactions.
  • Schizotypal – People with this disorder often have eccentric behaviors or speech patterns, obsessive and distorted thinking, and hold odd beliefs.

Cluster B

  • Antisocial – Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) is one of the most common personality disorders to co-occur with alcohol dependence. People with ASPD may act without guilt, become aggressive, frequently lie and manipulate, and show disregard for the feelings or pain of others.
  • Borderline – Borderline PD is characterized by unstable moods, difficulty maintaining relationships, poor self-esteem, and high impulsivity. Borderline people may fear abandonment, require significant attention from those closest to them, and experience intense mood swings from emptiness to unexpected anger.
  • Histrionic – Histrionic People rely excessively on the approval of others and may dramatize their emotions to seek more attention and increase feelings of self-worth. They may change their appearance often for attention, act on impulse, and engage in risky behaviors and self-exploitation for the sake of gaining approval from others.
  • Narcissistic – People with narcissistic PD lack empathy for others and have an inflated sense of importance, entitlement, and self-worth. They are likely to take advantage of other people to fulfill their desires, caring little for how it affects others.

Cluster C

  • Avoidant – This disorder is characterized by avoiding social interaction, extreme shyness, low self-esteem, and difficulty facing criticism from others. This can lead to extreme isolation and difficulty maintaining social and intimate relationships.
  • Dependent – Characterized by an excessive dependence on others to the point where they have extreme difficulty making everyday decisions without external assistance or reassurance.
  • Obsessive Compulsive – Not to be confused with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), OCDP refers to a pattern requiring perfection, control, and inflexible expectations. People with OCPD often work excessive hours, leave little time for social interaction, and become preoccupied with creating lists and schedules.

Personality Disorders and Alcoholism

People with personality disorders are more likely to struggle with alcohol dependence and addiction than the general population. There may be a genetic component that puts certain individuals at higher risk for both PDs and alcoholism. Still, environmental factors and childhood experiences may also play a role in the co-occurrence of these disorders.

Find Relief at Vertava Health

It is important for individuals struggling with personality disorders and alcohol dependence to seek professional help from a trained therapist or treatment program. Contact Vertava Health at 844.470.0410 today to learn more.