DSM-5 groups the 10 types of personality disorders into 3 clusters (A, B, and C), based on similar characteristics. However, the clinical usefulness of these clusters has not been established.
Cluster A is characterized by appearing odd or eccentric. It includes the following personality disorders with their distinguishing features:
Cluster B is characterized by appearing dramatic, emotional, or erratic. It includes the following personality disorders with their distinguishing features:
Cluster C is characterized by appearing anxious or fearful. It includes the following personality disorders with their distinguishing features:
Symptoms and Signs
According to DSM-5, personality disorders are primarily problems with
Self-identity problems may manifest as an unstable self-image (eg, people fluctuate between seeing themselves as kind or cruel) or as inconsistencies in values, goals, and appearance (eg, people are deeply religious while in church but profane and disrespectful elsewhere).
Interpersonal functioning problems typically manifest as failing to develop or sustain close relationships and/or being insensitive to others (eg, unable to empathize).
People with personality disorders often seem inconsistent, confusing, and frustrating to people around them (including clinicians). These people may have difficulty knowing the boundaries between themselves and others. Their self-esteem may be inappropriately high or low. They may have inconsistent, detached, overemotional, abusive, or irresponsible styles of parenting, which can lead to physical and mental problems in their spouse or children.
People with personality disorders may not recognize that they have problems.