Personality Disorders San Diego

Understanding Personality Disorders

A personality disorder is a mental health disorder that causes rigid and unhealthy patterns of function, behavior, and thinking. The person can have difficulty discerning and relating to others or situations, leading to significant issues in social activities, relationships, and everyday life. To be diagnosed with a personality disorder, patterns of thinking, feeling, and behavior deviate from normal expectations of the culture, cause distress, and last over time. Personality disorders significantly impact the affected person’s life and those who care about them. However, there is help through personality disorders treatment in San Diego which can include therapy and medication management.

Personality disorders are usually a result of many factors including genetics, childhood development, and traumatic events. Many people with personality disorders do not realize they have it because their behavior and thinking seem natural to them. They may also blame others for their challenges or problems. This may cause individuals to go without treatment which can worsen the condition.

A San Diego mental health clinic can make the proper diagnosis and provide personality disorders treatment options to help individuals gain control of their emotions, behaviors, and thought processes. Alter Mental Health’s treatment programs use whole-person wellness to address all health areas affecting mental health disorders and help clients gain a solid foundation for long-term personality disorder treatment and management. We offer various treatment options including medication management and holistic practices to provide personalized treatment plans for each client.

Click here to contact Alter Mental Health San Diego at 657-218-5095 to learn about using our short-term crisis stabilization unit for individuals struggling with an acute mental health crisis.

Symptoms of Personality Disorders

There are 10 types of personality disorders with varying symptoms. Many individuals with one personality disorder also have symptoms of at least one other personality disorder. Every person will experience symptoms of personality disorders differently and do not necessarily need to exhibit all symptoms listed to be diagnosed. Personality disorders are diagnosed into three groups, A, B, and C, and include the following symptoms:

Group A personality disorders

People with group A may find it difficult to relate to others and their behavior may seem odd or eccentric.

  • Paranoid personality disorder: Suspicious of others without good reason causing them to feel others are being unpleasant towards them and will hold grudges or anger.
  • Schizoid personality disorder: Feeling detached from social relationships and expressing little emotion. Individuals will not typically seek out close relationships and would rather be alone.
  • Schizotypal personality disorder: Problems with starting or keeping relationships, strange thoughts, feeling paranoid, distorted thinking, eccentric behavior, odd beliefs, and peculiar behavior or speech.

Group B personality disorders

Individuals with group B personality disorders have dramatic, overly emotional, or unpredictable thinking or behavior.

  • Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD): Impulsive or reckless behavior, easily frustrated, aggressive and prone to violence, lack of concern for others, difficulty understanding others’ emotions, and blaming others for problems in their lives.
  • Borderline personality disorder (BPD): Mood swings, low self-esteem, extreme fear of abandonment, frequently feeling anxious and distressed, and may have suicidal thoughts or self-harming behavior.
  • Histrionic personality disorder: Constantly worrying about appearance, wanting to be noticed or the center of attention, bored with normal routines, anxious about being ignored, and easily influenced by others. Individuals may also feel depressed.
  • Narcissistic personality disorder: High sense of self-importance, wanting attention and admiration, feeling entitled to things, acting selfishly to gain success, unable to acknowledge feelings or needs of others, sensitive to criticism or comments made about them, and exaggerated belief in one’s skills or power.

Group C Personality Disorders

Individuals with group C personality disorders have strong feelings of fear or anxiety.

  • Dependent personality disorder: Low self-confidence, inability to do things alone, fear of being alone, putting others’ needs before their own, feelings of abandonment by others, allowing others to make decisions for them, and intense desire for approval from others.
  • Avoidant personality disorder: Feeling anxious, tense, insecure, and inferior leading to feeling uncomfortable in social situations, low self-esteem, fear of rejection, unable to receive criticism, and worrying a lot.
  • Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder: Feeling anxious about unorganized or ‘messy’ things, obsessed about doing things right, overly cautious, extreme perfectionism, and may be seen as controlling.

Diagnosing Personality Disorders in San Diego

Personality disorders are complex and each has its own diagnostic criteria. Usually, diagnosing personality disorders only occurs after age 18, as adolescents’ personalities are still developing. A mental health professional will evaluate long-term functioning patterns and symptoms to make a proper diagnosis. They may also do a physical exam and ask in-depth questions to rule out any underlying physical health problems as the source of your symptoms. It may include lab tests and screenings for alcohol and drugs. According to DSM-5, diagnosing a personality disorder generally includes long-term marked deviation from cultural expectations, leading to significant distress or impairment.

It can be difficult to determine the type of personality disorder, as some share similar symptoms and more than one may be present. Individuals can also have other mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, or substance use disorder, further complicating diagnosis. However, taking the time and effort to get an accurate diagnosis can help you get the right type of treatment.

Personality Disorders Treatment Options in San Diego

There is no cure for personality disorders, however, with the right type of treatment, individuals can successfully manage their symptoms and enjoy a more balanced life. Personality disorder treatment options often involve psychological treatments or talk therapies. Treatment plans can also include medication management and lifestyle changes. Researchers and mental health specialists are understanding the disorders much better each day, which has led to the development of more treatment options.

Mild symptoms can be treated through outpatient options such as seeing a psychiatrist or psychologist every week or every other week. However, personality disorders can become a mental health crisis when untreated. Individuals who are at risk of hurting themselves or others, or unable to care for themselves, need immediate, professional care through crisis intervention units or hospitalization. These types of personality disorders treatment options in San Diego provide around-the-clock monitoring and treatment to help stabilize individuals and get them on track toward long-term care options.

Click here to contact Alter Mental Health San Diego at 657-218-5095 to learn about using our short-term crisis stabilization unit for individuals struggling with an acute mental health crisis.

Treatment Types

There are several treatment types available for managing personality disorders. Alter Mental Health San Diego provides personalized treatment plans using various forms of therapy to find what works best for each client and stabilize them quickly. Our clinicians will also use medication management and holistic practices as part of our whole-person wellness approach to mental health. We aim to provide a safe, comfortable, and structured environment where clients can heal and gain the necessary resources to manage their personality disorder for a lifetime.

Personalized treatment plans at Alter Mental Health will include a variety of behavioral health and psychotherapies, including:

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is a widely used type of psychotherapy that can help reduce personality disorder symptoms by changing the way the person thinks about or interprets situations and behaviors. CBT focuses on the present, focusing on current ways of thinking or acting as they relate to symptoms and how to change those patterns. Clients can learn how their thoughts affect feelings and behaviors and how to use reasoning and critical thinking to see problems in a logical way. CBT can help clients respond to day-to-day challenges more healthily and with less reactivity.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Alter Mental Health San Diego therapists will use dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) to help clients develop skills like tolerating distress, living in the moment, emotional regulation, and interpersonal relationships. DBT focuses on changing behavior patterns rather than figuring out and talking about issues that are causing problems in one’s life. Therapists provide clients various tools and strategies to regulate emotions and decrease impulsivity, reducing potentially harmful behaviors over time. DBT is also helpful in treating other mental health disorders which may be present such as anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation.

Solution Focused Therapy (SFT)

As a crisis stabilization unit, Alter Mental Health San Diego aims to provide evidence-based techniques for quick solutions to distress. Solution-focused therapy (SFT) is a brief therapy that helps clients identify a path forward and quickly identify solutions to their challenges. One of the advantages of SFT is that therapists help clients discover solutions to their problems from within. Clients will use skills, strengths, and abilities already possessed instead of developing them, which allows them to handle situations, negative emotions, and behaviors more quickly.

Motivational Interviewing (MI)

One of the biggest challenges of treating personality disorders is that the person often does not recognize they have an issue and need to change. Motivational interviewing (MI) is a form of therapy that meets clients where they are in their mental health recovery process. It can help resolve ambivalence and insecurities related to mental health treatment, so they adhere to treatment plans more easily. Clients can better recognize problems in their lives and feel motivated and empowered to make changes to resolve those problems.

Personality Disorders Treatment San Diego

Psychoeducational and Process Groups

Our psychoeducational and process groups at Alter Mental Health place clients with similar mental health diagnoses together so they can learn, support, and heal together. Family and community support are highly important for the recovery process, especially in individuals with personality disorders who may have issues with interpersonal relationships. Group therapy can reduce feelings of isolation, connect individuals to others with similar problems, and help clients develop necessary social skills. Our groups are led by one or more therapists who will educate clients about the disorder and how to manage it. Clients can also learn from one another and receive feedback or advice from others who have experienced similar situations.

Holistic Practices

Our whole-person wellness approach to mental health disorders at Alter Mental Health includes holistic practices to address the body, mind, and spirit related to proper healing. Holistic therapies can greatly support conventional, evidence-based therapies by teaching mindfulness, stress reduction techniques, and overall wellness. Some holistic practices you can expect to be part of your personalized treatment program are nutrition and physical exercise. Proper diet, exercise, and self-care techniques can help the brain stabilize neurotransmitters needed to maintain mental health.

Click here to contact Alter Mental Health San Diego at 657-218-5095 to learn about using our short-term crisis stabilization unit for individuals struggling with an acute mental health crisis.

Why Choose Alter Mental Health for Personality Disorders Treatment in San Diego

Alter Mental Health offers a more comfortable, private alternative to inpatient hospitalization. Short-term intensive stays can help individuals struggling with personality disorders or other mental health disorders quickly regain control of their mental health and build a path toward long-term recovery. Programs are individualized with a holistic approach to address every client’s unique needs. Referral for ongoing services will also be provided before discharge so you can have a clear plan for continued care while returning to normal home life.

If you or someone you love is struggling with a personality disorder and looking for personality disorders treatment in San Diego, please call us today at 657-218-5095. Our helpline is available 24/7 to answer any questions or for quick admissions in times of crisis.