Crownview Psychiatric Institute specializes in helping adults whose lives have been disrupted by acute symptoms of personality disorders and other complex mental health concerns.
Our programming is particularly appropriate for people who have a history of unsuccessful treatment experiences, or who have struggled to find their place in society.
Our approach to treatment combines therapy, adjunct services, education, and true wraparound support. We work closely with each client to understand the full scope of their needs and establish realistic, achievable treatment goals. We also include family members in the process when appropriate.
When a client is ready to transition out of our care, we want them to be capable of realizing their true potential as an individual, within their family, and as a member of their community.
What Are Personality Disorders?
Personality disorders are a category of complex mental health concerns. The several disorders that fall within this category affect how a person feels, thinks, and acts. The symptoms of personality disorders can have a profound negative impact on a person’s ability to function.
The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) contains entries for 10 personality disorders. The DSM-5 organizes these disorders into three groupings: Cluster A, Cluster B, and Cluster C.
Cluster A Personality Disorders
The DSM-5 notes that people who have Cluster A personality disorders often appear “odd or eccentric” due to the beliefs and behaviors that are symptomatic of this category.
- Paranoid personality disorder: This disorder is characterized by a pervasive sense that other people are untrustworthy, plotting against them, deceiving them, or otherwise prone to acting malevolently.
- Schizoid personality disorder: People who have this personality disorder will demonstrate little to no interest in engaging with other people. They typically appear to be aloof, cold, or detached.
- Schizotypal personality disorder: This type of personality disorder can cause a person to be uncomfortable forming relationships with other people. Individuals who have this disorder may also exhibit extreme social anxiety, paranoia, abnormal beliefs, and unconventional speech patterns.
Cluster B Personality Disorders
The DSM-5 uses the terms “dramatic, emotional, and erratic” to describe the symptoms of Cluster B personality disorders.
- Antisocial personality disorder: People who have this disorder will demonstrate a consistent inability to follow laws or adhere to social norms. They may cause considerable harm to other people without experiencing regret or remorse.
- Borderline personality disorder: The common characteristics of this disorder are impulsivity and instability in terms of a person’s behaviors, relationships, and self-esteem or sense of self.
- Histrionic personality disorder: People who develop this type of personality disorder will experience considerable distress when they are not the center of attention. They often exhibit exaggerated emotions and extreme attention-seeking behaviors.
- Narcissistic personality disorder: The primary symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder are an inflated sense of self, a continued need to be admired, and a distinct lack of empathy for others.
Cluster C Personality Disorders
According to the DSM-5, anxiety and fear are fundamental features of Cluster C personality disorders.
- Avoidant personality disorder: People who have avoidant personality disorder have a profound sense of inadequacy. They will resist many interpersonal interactions due to a deep fear of being criticized or rejected.
- Dependent personality disorder: A person who has this type of personality disorder will have an excessive need to be cared for. This can lead to submissiveness and a pervasive dread of abandonment.
- Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder: This type of personality disorder is characterized by a preoccupation with order, organization, and control. People who have obsessive-compulsive personality disorder may be described as inflexible, rigid, and stubborn.
Warning Signs & Symptoms of Personality Disorders
As indicated in the descriptions of the 10 personality disorders in the previous section, the warning signs and symptoms of these conditions can vary considerably. Even people who have the same type of personality disorder may exhibit different symptoms.
With these caveats in mind, the following are a few common examples of the many signs that could indicate that someone has a personality disorder:
- They speak and/or behave in ways that are far outside the norms of the culture in which they are living – and they exhibit little to no interest in making changes to better fit in with their peers, family, or community.
- They develop problematic beliefs that separate them from other people. This can include believing that other people are “out to get them.” It can also involve extreme superstitiousness, claims of clairvoyance, and other examples of magical thinking.
- They do not appear to experience common emotions such as joy, desire, sexual attraction, regret, or remorse. They often seem to be motivated by fear or anger.
- They often act recklessly and impulsively. This may include acts of aggression toward others, as well as self-defeating behaviors such as spending sprees, unsafe sex, and gambling binges. Even in cases where they are seeking love or attention, they may quickly react with indifference or hostility if they don’t receive what they wanted.
- Although their beliefs and behavior patterns do not align with the ways that most people think and act, they are unable to acknowledge the difference. In other words, no matter how extreme or distressing their symptoms become, they often remain unaware that anything is amiss.
In most cases, the symptoms of personality disorders begin to appear in late adolescence or early adulthood.
Effects of Personality Disorders
Given the severity of most personality disorders, it is hardly surprising that they can cause considerable distress. People who need, but who do not receive, professional care for a personality disorder may be at risk for myriad negative outcomes, including the following:
- Lack of friendships and/or romantic relationships
- Unhealthy friendships and toxic relationships
- Inability to find and keep a job
- Legal problems, including arrest and incarceration
- Substance use / self-medicating
- Development or worsening of co-occurring mental illnesses
- Medical problems due to recklessness and/or substandard self-care
- Social isolation
- Self-harm and suicide
Depending on the type of personality disorder a person has, the risk of suicide can be considerable. For example, some experts estimate that as many as 70% of people with borderline personality disorder make at least one attempt to end their life.
Treatment for Personality Disorders at Crownview
Treatment for personality disorders at Crownview Psychiatric Institute typically includes a combination of therapy, education, and wraparound support. When appropriate, we also incorporate medication and adjunct services into a client’s treatment plan.
Clients who have personality disorders and co-occurring concerns may benefit several evidence-based therapies, including the following:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
- Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT)
- Eye movement desensitization & reprocessing (EMDR) therapy
- Acceptance & commitment therapy (ACT)
The educational component of treatment at Crownview helps clients develop essential personal and professional skills.
- Our life skills sessions address topics such as time management, housekeeping, personal hygiene, diet and nutrition, and household finances.
- Our work skills instruction includes employment workshops, job training options, motivational interviewing, mock interviews, and personal coaching.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved any medications to treat personality disorders. However, many people who develop these disorders also struggle with co-occurring conditions such as anxiety and depression. All Crownview clients meet with a psychiatrist, who may prescribe medication to address these or other co-occurring concerns.
Our adjunct service options include transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy, Spravato treatment, GeneSight testing, psychological testing, and other elements. As with medication, most of our adjunct services may benefit people whose personality disorder is accompanied by treatment-related depression and other co-occurring concerns.
An experienced case manager oversees each person’s treatment at Crownview. This professional’s responsibilities include communicating with the client’s family members. They also offer supplemental support as needed to help clients with functions such as applying for benefits, accessing community-based services, and navigating the public transportation system.
Community & Connection
For adults who have personality disorders, it can be extremely difficult to find a place where they truly feel like they belong. By the time they arrive at Crownview Psychiatric Institute, many of our clients have a history of being ostracized or pushed to the margins of society.
At our center, they find a place where they are accepted for exactly who they are.
While a person is with us, they receive compassionate care and comprehensive support from a team of dedicated treatment professionals. They also benefit from the experience of socializing with other adults who have faced similar challenges and who are working toward common goals.
As our clients progress in their treatment, they learn how to become productive, contributing members of a community. The healthy connections they establish here – and the skills they develop — can help them achieve the greatest possible degree of personal independence when they transition out of our care.
Learn More Today
To learn more about our programming for adults who have developed personality disorders, or to get a more detailed understanding of how we can help someone you care about, please contact us at your earliest convenience. A member of our team will be happy to provide you with the answers you need, so that you can make the most informed decision for your loved one.