Teen Personality Disorder, What Is It?
Those with Teen Personality Disorder have a rigid, unhealthy way of thinking, behaving, and relating to people and situations, including themselves. These teen’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are eccentric from social expectations and appropriateness and because of that, often cause friction and limitations in relationships as well as responsibilities. Because the teens aren’t necessarily aware that their thoughts and behaviors are askew, they may not be aware and/or believe that they have a teen personality disorder.
What It looks Like
There are a number of different types of personality disorders, which include specific symptoms, but there are some common symptoms that are present amidst all personality disorders. These symptoms include, but are not limited to:
- Extreme and frequent mood swings
- Difficulty in relationships
- Unpredictable behavior
- A need for immediate gratification
- Inability to control impulses
- Substance Abuse issues
Four common teen personality disorders are summarized below:
1. Borderline Personality Disorder
Teen borderline personality disorders are characterized by trouble forming and maintaining healthy, lasting relationships, because of compulsive and unpredictable behavior. These behaviors are often linked to the teen being fearful of abandonment or being alone as well as general moodiness and insecurity.
2. Narcissistic Personality Disorders
Teens with narcissistic personality disorder view themselves as superior to others and yet, at the same time, need the praise and affection of others, to affirm their opinions of their high standing. In this sense, what can appear like a big ego is actually a delicate state, stemming from a lack of self-esteem. These people, in concentrating so much on themselves, tend to seem unconcerned with the thoughts and feelings of others.
3. Dependent Personality Disorder
Teens with dependent personality disorder have difficulty operating independently, and often depend upon someone else for help making decisions, and taking care of themselves. In connection with their strong need and reliance upon others, they often have an extreme fear of abandonment and being alone.
4. Paranoid Personality Disorder
Teens with paranoid personality disorder have a constant and overwhelming fear and mistrust of others, always assuming that people have ulterior motives. These people feel a strong need to protect themselves from others and this distrust results in the distance they often maintain from others and in relationships.
It’s also important to note that it’s common for a teen personality disorder to exist as co-occurring disorders, along with disorders such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse.
Teen Personality Disorder Treatment
Because a teen personality disorder is primarily connected to a teen’s thoughts and behaviors, treatment is designed to address both of these things.
Therapists first encourage teens to become aware of their thoughts and behaviors, creating an awareness from which changes can be made. Then, they help the teens to understand the effects that their behaviors have, both in their own lives, and in the lives of others. Therapists can then also begin working with the teens to change those compulsive behaviors and bring about an awareness of their actions, as well as introducing healthy behaviors and practices that will help the teens grow. Therapists also help the teens to gain an ability to deal with stress and conflicts in their lives in healthy ways, so that they can learn to react intentionally and with control.
Is it dangerous to be around someone with a Personality Disorder?
People with personality disorders are not necessarily more likely to behave dangerously than others, but it can feel that way, because their behavior can seem so unpredictable. Statistically speaking, it’s more likely for a person with a personality disorder to physically harm himself/herself, rather than someone else. Because people with personality disorders often lack an awareness of themselves, this can lead to problems in multiple areas of life. This is why seeking support and treatment for them early on is so important.
How can I figure out if I have a Personality Disorder?
The truth is, you probably can’t figure out on your own if you have a personality disorder, such as borderline personality disorder. But if you’re wondering, there’s a good chance it’s because you’re struggling in one or multiple areas of your life, and you’re searching for help. If this is the case, then whether or not you have a personality disorder isn’t really the most important thing. The most important thing is for you to get help addressing whatever it is you’re going through. Whether it is or isn’t an official disorder, we can help support you, wherever you’re at.