10 common types of personality disorder

Personality refers to one’s unique way of thinking, feeling and behaving, which is formed through personal experiences, surroundings, life situations and inherited characteristics. 

One’s personality usually stays the same over time, but it may be different for some people with a personality disorder. Check out these ten (10) interesting types of personality disorders

1. Schizotypal personality disorder (SPD)

Generally, people have their own awkward and unique behaviors. However, if you find it hard to think or behave in a way that can relate to others, you can be diagnosed with schizotypal personality disorder.

SPD refers to a pattern of behavior that makes it extremely uncomfortable to have close relationships. Also, the disorder can cause distorted thinking and eccentric behavior [1].

Schizotypal personality disorder (SPD)
Photograph: simonapilolla/Envato

Being diagnosed with schizotypal personality disorder can have odd beliefs or peculiar behavior or speech. The disorder may also come with excessive social anxiety. 

Compared to schizophrenia, a person with schizotypal personality disorder does not experience psychosis. 

Some notable traits and behaviors of SPD are the following: 

  • Maintaining close relationships is extremely hard 
  • Thinking and expressing oneself in an odd manner
  • Uses unusual words or phrases that many people can’t understand
  • Has distorted thoughts or perceptions
  • Experiences consistent feelings of anxiety and paranoia in several social situations, making it difficult to relate to others
  • Believes the self can read minds or possesses powers like a sixth sense 

2. Antisocial personality disorder (APD)

This disorder refers to a pattern of behavior that disregards or violates other people’s rights. 

An individual with APD usually does not conform to social norms, repeatedly lies or deceives others or may impulsively do and decide on things. 

Sometimes, people put their needs, pleasure or personal gain above anything else. However, people with antisocial personality disorder insist on putting themselves first often. 

Usually, antisocial personality disorder can cause a struggle to stabilize a person’s life. Also, they can regularly act impulsively due to anger or lack of consideration for other people. 

Some notable traits and behaviors of APD are the following: 

  • Puts self in dangerous situations without thinking about the consequences 
  • Always puts needs and desires above anyone else
  • Acts dangerously and illegally
  • Has aggressive tendencies and a propensity for conflict
  • Becomes bored and acts rashly. For instance, you may find it hard to hold down a job for long

3. Borderline personality disorder (BPD)

A person with a borderline personality disorder or BPD, also called emotionally unstable personality disorder (EUPD) [2], may experience challenges with relationships, self-image and emotions. 

Some notable traits and behaviors of BPD include: 

  • Worries too much about people abandoning them and may do anything to prevent that from happening or may push them away
  • No strong sense of personality or wants in life 
  • Unable to have stable relationships or friendships
  • Acts impulsively and does harmful things, like binge eating, using drugs or driving dangerously
  • Feels intense emotions that can change quickly; for instance, from feeling happy and confident in the morning to feeling sad and melancholy in the afternoon
  • Regular suicidal thoughts and self-harm
  • Gets very angry and struggles to manage their anger
  • Have various ideas that change significantly depending on the person is with
  • Finds it hard to trust other people
  • Experiences other mental health issues alongside BPD, such as anxiety, depression, eating problems and post-traumatic stress disorder

4. Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD)

Naturally, some people may want others to be aware of their abilities and achievements, and these are not negative traits. 

However, a person with narcissistic personality disorder has thoughts, feelings and behaviors that are very extreme and can cause problems relating to others. 

Narcissistic personality disorder refers to a pattern of behaviors that need admiration and a lack of empathy for other people. 

An individual with NPD has a grandiose sense of self-importance and a greater sense of entitlement. A narcissistic personality usually takes advantage of other people or lacks empathy.

Some notable traits and behaviors of NPD are: 

  • Fragile self-esteem; hence, relying on other people to recognize worth and needs
  • Puts own needs above anyone else and thinks that they must do as well
  • Feels upset when others ignore them and don’t give them what they think they deserve
  • Resents other people’s successes
  • Believes they are special, different, better or more deserving than other people 
  • Selfish, dismissive or unaware of other people’s needs
Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD)
Photograph: NomadSoul1/Envato

5. Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD)

Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) is different from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), as OCD focuses more on behavior rather than a type of personality [3]. 

However, OCD and OCPD both involve issues with perfectionism, control and difficulty in becoming flexible in thinking about things.

Some notable traits and behaviors of OCPD include: 

  • Thinks their way is the best way to do things
  • Has a constant need to be in control and keep everything in an organized manner
  • Sets unrealistically high standards for self and other people
  • Worries about self or other people’s making mistakes
  • Feels extremely anxious if things aren’t ‘perfect’ based on personal definition 

6. Avoidant personality disorder

Avoidant personality disorder refers to a pattern of extreme shyness, constant feelings of inadequacy and extreme sensitivity to criticism. 

A person with this disorder typically avoids social situations unless they are certain they will be well-liked. Additionally, this disorder makes one extremely sensitive to criticism or rejection, and they may think they’re not good enough or be socially awkward.

Some notable traits and behaviors of avoidant personality disorder are the following: 

  • Avoids work or social activities
  • Feels lonely and isolated and inferior to other people 
  • Always expects to receive disapproval and criticism but highly sensitive to it
  • Pushes away relationships, friendships and intimacy because of fear of rejection
  • Constantly worries about being found out, rejected, ridiculed or shamed by other people
  • Reluctant to try new things in case they embarrass tehmselves

7. Paranoid personality disorder (PPD)

Paranoid personality disorder refers to a pattern of being constantly suspicious of other people. Usually, people with this disorder are often seen as mean or spiteful [4]. 

Having paranoid personality disorder makes you assume all people will harm or deceive you; hence, you don’t confide in others or establish close relationships with them.

Some notable traits and behaviors of PPD are the following: 

  • Have difficulty in relaxation
  • Doesn’t trust others because they fear being taken advantage of
  • Struggles to confide in other people, even family and friends
  • May read threats and danger in everyday situations, innocent remarks or casual looks from other people, which other people don’t usually notice. 

8. Histrionic personality disorder (HPD)

This disorder refers to a pattern where there is excessive emotion and attention-seeking at play.

Many people love to receive compliments or positive feedback about their actions or achievements from time to time. 

However, if you heavily depend on being noticed or are seeking approval most of the time, this way of thinking and behaving may affect your day-to-day living, and you may be diagnosed with histrionic personality disorder.

A person with histrionic personality disorder is usually uncomfortable when he or she is not the center of attention. 

Hence, the person may use physical appearance to attract attention to themselves or may shift emotions exaggeratedly. 

Some notable traits and behaviors of HPD are the following: 

  • Feels extremely uncomfortable if not the center of attention
  • Thinks they need to entertain people
  • Always making rash decisions
  • Have a reputation for being dramatic and overemotional
  • Flirts, behaves or dresses provocatively to make sure they are the center of attention
  • Constantly seeks or feels dependent on the approval of others
  • Easily influenced by other people 

9. Dependent personality disorder (DPD)

Dependent personality disorder refers to a pattern of thinking and behaving where you need to be taken care of and shows submissive and clingy behavior. 

A person with dependent personality disorder usually struggles with daily life decisions and needs constant reassurance from other people. A dependent personality also makes you feel very uncomfortable or helpless when you are alone because of your fear of inability to take care of yourself.

Some notable traits and behaviors of DPD are the following: 

  • Usually allows or requires other people to assume responsibility for important areas of life
  • Always agrees to things they feel are wrong or dislike to prevent from being alone or lose one’s support
  • Feels needy, weak and unable to decide alone or function with day-to-day without asking for help or support from other people
  • Always concerned or terrified of being abandoned to fend for self.
  • Have low self-confidence
  • May see other people as much more capable compared to you

10. Schizoid personality disorder

A person with this disorder usually can function fairly well, unlike people with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Plus, this disorder would not usually have psychotic symptoms [5]. 

Schizoid personality disorder refers to a state where you become detached from social relationships and express very little emotion. Having schizoid personality disorder makes you push away relationships, choose to be isolated and ignore praise or criticisms from other people. 

Some notable traits and behaviors of schizoid personality disorder  are the following: 

  • Finds it hard to establish close relationships with other people
  • Feels it’s better live life without interference from other people, even with family or friends
  • Prefers to be isolated with own thoughts
  • Does not want to experience pleasure from any activities
  • Have little to no interest in sex or intimacy
  • Have difficulty relating with others or are emotionally cold towards other people 


[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4182925/ 
[2] https://www.youngminds.org.uk/young-person/mental-health-conditions/borderline-personality-disorder/
[3] https://healthsci.mcmaster.ca/demystifying-medicine/demystifying-medicine-video/2022/01/08/ocd-vs-ocpd
[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5793931/
[5] https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/schizoid-personality-disorder 

Photograph: gpointstudio/Envato
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