Treatment Required for Personality Disorders?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Hi. just a quick question if you don´t mind. Are all the personality disorders really necessary to be “treated?” They are only considered out of the norm by society. I feel that I function with 100 percent efficiency right now. Why should I conform because of something someone else says is wrong with me? It´s not dangerous is it?

A. Your question seems to be missing some key details that may have assisted me in providing you with a more personalized answer. If I had the opportunity to speak with you in person, I would want to know the following: Are you referring to a specific personality disorder? Have you been recently diagnosed with a personality disorder that you disagree with? Were you told that your behavior is a problem and if so, who made the complaint and which behaviors did they find problematic? Without that information I can only provide you with a general answer.

By definition, individuals with personality disorders behave outside the norm. They can be rigid, their behavior can be maladaptive and they have difficulty responding to the normal, everyday demands of life. They often have significant difficulty interacting with others.

These behaviors and traits are considered out of the norm because they significantly and negatively impact the lives of individuals with the disorders and those who interact with them.

You might ask “why should it bother me if other people have a problem with my behavior?” If others have a problem relating to you, then they’re less likely to want to interact with you. They may feel the need to keep their distance, thus hindering the development of meaningful relationships.

It is not uncommon for individuals with personality disorders to have difficulty recognizing that their behavior is negatively affecting others. Their perception of reality tends to be skewed.

Whether or not someone with a personality disorder should seek treatment depends on how much it is disrupting their lives. Generally speaking, individuals should seek treatment if: they are unhappy; it is causing impairment in social or occupational areas of functioning; or if they are receiving feedback from others that their behavior is a problem.

If you have additional questions or want to write back with more specific details about your question, I would be happy to provide you with a more nuanced answer. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 18 Feb 2012

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2012). Treatment Required for Personality Disorders?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/02/18/treatment-required-for-personality-disorders/