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Personality Disorders

"A personality disorder is a long-standing pattern of maladaptive thoughts and behaviors that usually develops in adolescence or early adulthood. Often described by those who experience them as rigid, pervasive, and distressing, this type of emotional disturbance is likely to cause significant impairment in a person's life when left untreated. The behavior and thinking patterns that characterize personality disorders typically fall outside cultural norms. Some believe personality disorders are not treatable, and an abundance of misunderstanding about this type of mental health concern only helps increase the stigma surrounding it. With the help of a compassionate, qualified therapist or counselor, and the desire of the person in therapy to seek help and participate in treatment, people can often learn to manage their emotions, communication, relational patterns, and other characteristics of the particular issue affecting them. It is generally known that personality disorders are often difficult to treat. Not all mental health care providers choose to work with people who have personality disorders, and some may not have certified training in modes of therapy, such as dialectical behavior therapy, known to be most effective for some types of personality disorders. Not only are traits associated with personality disorders long-standing, they often appear in many or most areas of a person's life and daily function, hindering interpersonal relations and potentially school, work, or other daily norms. All of these factors can become barriers to treatment. People with a personality disorder, because of these or other reasons, may not seek treatment or may end treatment becore they would be considered ready to do so by a therapist or counselor . Emerging research does suggest treatment for personality disorders can be effective, though most of the research has been done on borderline personality. Studies have found that DBT, developed and pioneered by Marsha Linehan, is the most effective treatment for that diagnosis and often yields significant results. Medication is another option. A psychiatrist may prescribe a medication in the case of pervasive or especially affecting symptoms. Though no medication approved for the treatment of any one particular diagnosis, medications can treat certain symptoms of personality disorders, such as depression or anxiety. For severe cases, treatment might also include hospitalization or a residential program. "

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