Beach House Center for Recovery offers intensive therapeutic interventions that address the full spectrum of personality disorders. Our compassionate approach empowers patients with the support, tools, and resources they need to successfully confront addictions and the mental health disorders that exacerbate them.

It can be extremely disorienting to live with a personality disorder. The desire to minimize symptoms and hide the related challenges from loved ones can trigger the instinct to self-medicate. Over time, reliance on substances to normalize behaviors or alleviate anxiety can lead to addiction.

Treating co-occurring personality disorders and substance abuse requires understanding how the two conditions interrelate. At Beach House, we offer comprehensive treatment modalities for various personality disorders, effectively treating the underlying conditions contributing to substance misuse.

What Are Personality Disorders?

Personality disorders are defined by the fifth (and current) version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-5) as “significant impairments in [themselves] and interpersonal functioning.” While a mood disorder might co-occur with a personality disorder, a personality disorder is characterized by a pattern of unhealthy or destructive behaviors rather than unhealthy or destructive emotions.

Personality disorders are not caused by substance abuse or other medical conditions.

The DSM-5 categorizes personality disorders into three clusters with ten subtypes.  

The 10 Personality Disorders

A person with a personality disorder can exhibit characteristics from only one category. However, it is very common to have symptoms across all three clusters. Below is a brief overview of the ten types of personality disorders.

Cluster A

  1. Paranoid personality disorder: People struggling with paranoid personality disorders distrust others, including family and friends. They interpret and distort their experiences to justify their fears and project inappropriate thoughts and feelings onto others. This condition is believed to have genetic components.
  2. Schizoid personality disorder: This disorder causes aloof and detached behaviors and a profound lack of interest in socialization. People with schizoid personality disorder consistently fail to recognize the needs of others or demonstrate acceptable emotional responses.
  3. Schizotypal disorder:Schizotypal disorders cause an irrational interpretation of normal experiences. Other symptoms include obsessive behaviors, a distorted perception of reality, eccentric appearance, and social isolation.

Cluster B

  1. Antisocial personality disorder: Antisocial personality disorder is marked by a lack of empathy and indifference toward others’ feelings. Patients ignore social rules, behave aggressively, act without forethought, have no sense of guilt, and have an inflexible mindset. Criminal records or long jail histories are common among people with antisocial personality disorder.
  2. Borderline personality disorder:This disorder is characterized by fear of abandonment, feelings of emptiness, and a lack of a sense of self. Studies have shown that it is more common among women and often manifests after childhood sexual abuse. People with borderline personality disorder tend to have short-lived and intense relationships because of their emotional instability, violent outbursts, and suicide threats.
  3. Histrionic personality disorder: People with a histrionic personality disorder demonstrate dramatic emotional fluctuations, often to boost their self-esteem. A patient’s histrionic – highly dramatic or theatrical – behavior increases when they feel rejected. The behaviors may seem obsessive, inappropriate, and driven by impulse, which puts patients at risk of exploitation. Patients are very sensitive to criticism and cannot cope with rejection or failure.
  4. Narcissistic personality disorder:This disorder causes an overinflated sense of self-importance. Patients believe they deserve unwavering attention and admiration. Envy for other people surfaces as an expectation that others will be equally envious of the patient. Narcissists lack empathy for other people’s feelings and frequently lie to achieve their objectives.

Cluster C

  1. Avoidant personality disorder: Avoidant personality disorder causes patients to fear embarrassment or rejection because they feel awkward or unwanted. Unless they are certain of acceptance, they avoid meeting other people, sacrificing Intimate relationships or professional achievements. Abuse or criticism as a child can lead to avoidance and anxiety later in life. The hyperawareness of their reactions prevents them from fully engaging in social situations.
  2. Dependent personality disorder: A patient with this condition completely depends on others for everyday decisions and care. Due to self-perceived inadequacy, patients fear abandonment; this leads to a sense of shame and idealization of their caregivers. With no insight into their strengths and weaknesses, patients with a dependent personality disorder often appear helpless and childlike.
  3. Anankastic (obsessive-compulsive) personality disorder: This personality disorder causes an obsession with perfection, inhibiting normal functioning. People with this condition are excessively preoccupied with details, lists, rules, organization, and order, frequently neglecting rest and relationships in favor of work. A person with an anankastic personality disorder often overcompensates for lack of control over the world by overmanaging simple things. They have a strong desire to control others, a dislike of change, a refusal to take risks, and a lack of tolerance for complexity.

Treating Personality Disorders and Substance Abuse

Statistically, a person with a personality disorder is more likely to experience a co-occurring substance use disorder than the overall population. However, substance misuse does not cause the development of personality disorders, though it does exacerbate their symptoms. Identifying the personality disorder and addressing its destructive patterns is essential to achieving successful outcomes.

Patients with personality disorders might refuse to acknowledge having mental health issues because their beliefs and behaviors feel rational and deeply ingrained. Although reluctance to recognize a mental health disorder makes addiction treatment challenging, Beach House Center for Recovery offers next-level interventions that help a diverse patient population discover freedom from addiction.

 At Beach House, our team of addiction specialists and mental health professionals have in-depth experience in dual diagnosis treatment. We provide dedicated, empathetic care that helps patients identify and address the destructive traits that contribute to substance misuse.

To learn more about our treatment for personality disorders and substance abuse, please contact our helpful and compassionate admissions counselors today.