Treatment for Personality Disorders



Personality disorders are mental health conditions that can cause disruptive patterns of behavior, thinking, mood, and the ability to relate to others. People with personality disorders often cannot identify their behaviors and thoughts as disruptive or problematic. They may experience challenges in their functioning and interpersonal relationships but do not meet the criteria for other mental illnesses. People with personality disorders require comprehensive, skilled treatment to learn to manage the symptoms of their conditions and live the healthiest, most fulfilling lives possible.

There are ten personality disorders broken down into three categories. This article will detail what a personality disorder is, how personality disorders are treated, and how to find personality disorder treatment in New Jersey.

At Moving Mountains Recovery, we believe that long-term recovery requires overcoming not only substance abuse but also the root cause of your addiction. That’s why we offer comprehensive personality disorder treatment at our New Jersey rehab center. Our licensed therapists are committed to helping those affected learn how to manage their personality disorder and improve their overall well-being.

Reach out to the mental health specialists at Moving Mountains Recovery now to learn about our holistic mental health and personality disorder treatment programs.

What is a Personality Disorder?

A personality disorder is a mental illness involving long-term disruptive mood patterns, interpersonal relationships, thinking, and behaviors. People with personality disorders often experience distress or impaired functioning.

A person’s personality includes unique traits, attitudes, behaviors, and thoughts and how we express these traits when interacting with others and the world. Personality disorders can distort a person’s sense of reality, cause abnormal behaviors, and lead to intense distress in every aspect of a person’s life.

There are ten distinct personality disorders, and each has its own symptoms. Personality disorders are divided into three categories.

Cluster A personality disorders

Cluster A personality disorders involve unusual or odd behaviors and thoughts. They are:

  • Paranoid personality disorder: persistent, unwarranted paranoia and suspicion of others.
  • Schizoid personality disorder: a consistent pattern of detachment from others and a limited emotional range.
  • Schizotypal personality disorder: intense discomfort in close relationships, distorted sense of reality, and unusual behaviors.

Cluster B personality disorders

Cluster B personality disorders involve intense, unstable emotions and impulsive or erratic behaviors. They are:

  • Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD): a lack of respect for others, rules, and social norms that harm others, and failure to accept responsibility for their actions
  • Borderline personality disorder (BPD): extreme emotional regulation difficulty resulting in relationship difficulties, low self-esteem, and impulsive behaviors
  • Histrionic personality disorder: distorted self-image, intense emotions, self-esteem based on others’ approval, and dramatic attention-seeking behaviors
  • Narcissistic personality disorder: perceived superiority, excessive need for admiration and praise, lack of empathy, and low self-esteem

Cluster C personality disorders

Cluster C personality disorders involve intense fear and anxiety. They include:

Avoidant personality disorder: chronic feelings of inadequacy, intense social anxiety and fear of rejection, and heightened sensitivity to criticism

Dependent personality disorder: excessive need for care from others, submissiveness, needing constant reassurance, and difficulty making decisions

Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD): a consistent need for things to be in order, perfectionism, a lack of flexibility, and interpersonal difficulties

Understanding the Roots of Personality Disorders

Mental health experts are still in the process of understanding the roots of personality disorders. There are several proposed causes of personality disorders, including:

  • Genetics
  • Changes or differences in brain structure
  • Childhood trauma
  • Verbal abuse
  • Cultural factors

Each personality disorder has its own symptoms, but all ten share some characteristics. People with any personality disorder struggle with:

  • Maintaining a stable self-image
  • Forming and keeping healthy, long-lasting relationships
  • A lack of insight into how their own thoughts and behaviors can cause problems or impair functioning

It can be challenging to determine whether someone has a personality disorder or if their behaviors are simply part of their unique personality. For example, someone who is naturally shy or introverted does not necessarily meet the criteria for avoidant personality disorder or other conditions. Only a doctor or mental health specialist can diagnose someone with a personality disorder.

The Relationship Between Personality Disorders and Addiction

Individuals with personality disorders often struggle with emotional regulation, impulse control, and interpersonal difficulties, which can make them vulnerable to substance abuse.

Several personality disorders, such as borderline, antisocial, and narcissistic personality disorders, are particularly associated with a heightened risk of addiction. For example, individuals with borderline personality disorder may turn to substances as a way to cope with intense emotional instability. Those with antisocial personality disorder may engage in risky and impulsive behaviors, including substance abuse. Narcissistic individuals may use drugs or alcohol to maintain a grandiose self-image.

Conversely, addiction can also exacerbate existing personality disorder symptoms and make them more challenging to manage. Substance abuse can lead to emotional volatility, impaired judgment, and strained relationships, all of which can worsen the symptoms of personality disorders.

Understanding and addressing the relationship between personality disorders and addiction is crucial for effective treatment. A comprehensive approach that combines therapy for both conditions can provide individuals with the best chance for recovery and improved mental health.

Personality Disorder Treatment

Personality disorder treatment can help people manage the symptoms of their conditions, improve their relationships, and function more effectively. Some people may take prescription medications to manage some symptoms related to a personality disorder, but no drugs are approved specifically to treat personality disorders.

Psychotherapy–talk therapy– Is one of the most important aspects of personality disorder treatment. People may work with a trained therapist to identify the roots of the personality disorder and work toward better functioning and healthier relationships.  Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) are two of the most common forms of psychotherapy used to treat personality disorders.

The goals of psychotherapy include:

  • Reducing stress
  • Managing depression
  • Helping people recognize and accept personal responsibility for their thoughts and actions
  • Reducing unhealthy and disruptive behavior
  • Identifying and changing personality traits that are causing interpersonal difficulties or otherwise impacting functioning

People with personality disorders often struggle to recognize that their thoughts, behaviors, and actions are the source of their troubles and may not seek treatment when needed. However, personality treatment can help people live happier, more productive lives.

Find Personality Disorder Treatment in New Jersey

If you or someone you love struggles with the symptoms of a personality disorder, contact the specialists at Moving Mountains Recovery to learn about our holistic personality disorder treatment in New Jersey.


  1. American Psychiatric Association (APA): What are Personality Disorders? Retrieved October 2023 from
  2. National Institute of Mental Health (NAMI): Personality Disorders, Retrieved October 2023 from
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