Treatment for Personality Disorders

Do You or Someone You Love Need Personality Disorder Treatment?

If you or your loved one has been struggling with one of the several mental health issues that fall under the classification of a personality disorder, you may have a good understanding in regards to the challenges these disorders present.  Perhaps life has become difficult to live on a daily basis because of how a personality disorder has affected your life.  It is likely that because of a personality disorder, you may have felt the consequences in your physical health, emotional well being, as well as your social life.  Personality disorders can distort your perception of yourself and others. It can also cause you to respond in rigid behaviors that last for prolonged periods of time.  As a result, you may lack intimacy in your closest relationships, you may isolate yourself from friends and loved ones, or you may continually suffer with low self-esteem.  However severe or minor the extent of your personality disorder may be, you can find hope for healing, recovery, and wellness again.  Consider taking the first and most important step towards healing through your personality disorder by recognizing the severity of what you have been enduring.  It is possible that you may be dealing with multiple personality disorders or with other co-occurring mental health issues, such as substance abuse or an eating disorder.  Receiving professional personality disorder treatment can effectively address any and all of these mental health issues, promote healing and offer guidance so that the personality disorder recovery process is effective and successful.

Treatment Plan for Personality Disorder

Treatment for a personality disorder begins with the formation of a core foundation for your recovery process.  By establishing a support system of professionals and loved ones, you will have a comprehensive base to your recovery and healing journey.  Your support system will consist of loved ones, a therapist, a personality disorder rehabilitation program, and a support group. These four components will contribute tremendously to your ability to find healing in your grieving.

  • Friends and Family – Friends and family are important in the healing process and should not be underestimated. When therapy and healing becomes difficult, they can provide the inspiration to continue.
  • Find a therapist – A therapist who specializes in personality disorders will be able to create an individualized treatment plan. They will also help find and provide the resources needed for healing.
  • Personality disorder psychotherapy facility – A personality disorder psychotherapy program will help increase the odds for successfully dealing with personality disorder. They will use various treatment strategies to tackle any other co-occurring addictions.
  • Continuing groups of support – The motivation and accountability provided by a support group is invaluable. A support group can offer supervision when facing tests of ending treatment and taking medications. They will play a key role in ongoing success.

Treatment Levels for Personality Disorder

Treatment for personality disorders will usually be determined on an individual’s needs and circumstances.  Treatment can range in levels of acuity, with higher levels of care necessary for those whose symptoms may be endangering themselves or others.  Treatment options will involve varying levels of supervision, therapy, and medications.  If the effects of personality disorder are not immediately threatening or fatal to an individual or their surroundings, a less acute level of care is usually recommended for treatment.   The following are common levels of care for personality disorder treatment, in order of acuity:

  • Hospitalization Treatment / Inpatient – Inpatient offers hospital care 24 hours a day. This level of treatment is designed for medical stabilization so the patient can be moved to a residential center for continued care.
  • Residential Treatment Center (RTC) – This kind of facility provides the patient an extended overnight stay for 30 to 90 days. An RTC will focus on the main issue and any other co-occurring concerns that may also be present.
  • Partial Hospitalization Treatment (PHP) – This treatment level integrates individual therapy and group therapy, normally in a hospital or residential environment. The program can run all day long but more often the sessions are either in the mornings or afternoons.
  • Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP) – This type of outpatient program offers group and individual services and assistance. It allows the person to continue in some of their normal daily activities such as work, and then they can participate in a program either early in the morning or later in the evening.
  • Outpatient Treatment Care – This type of care offers some form of structured therapy in a less informal setting. It places fewer limits on the person but still implements both group and personal therapies.
  • Treatment with Support Groups – This type of treatment is important as the members help alleviate the trials of relapsing. The group can supply much needed care and compassion on the road to recovery.

Types of Pharmacological Therapy for Personality Disorder Treatment

While there are no current medications that are specifically approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat personality disorders, there are many certain psychiatric medications that may be used to manage some of the symptoms experienced with personality disorders.  Types of medications that may be used in the management of personality disorder symptoms include the following:

  • Mood stabilizing medications
  • Anti-anxiety medications
  • Antidepressant medications
  • Anti-psychotic medication

Types of Therapy for Personality Disorder Treatment

One of the most effective resources for personality disorder recovery is psychotherapy.  A personality disorder treatment center will incorporate a variety of psychotherapy techniques to encourage healing form any underlying issues that may be associated with the particular mental health condition.  In addition, various holistic therapy approaches may be utilized as well, including yoga, meditation, art and music therapy.  The following are the main types of psychotherapies that may be used for the treatment of personality disorders:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – This category of rehabilitation is designed to work on a patient’s maladaptive ways of thinking as a way influencing their behavior with an approach that is more positive. This also assists the patient in developing coping skills that replace negative skills with positive ones.
  • Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) – This type of therapy focuses on the interpersonal relations and societal functions using an encouraging and short-term psychotherapy while trying to help the patient find more effective ways of handling current crisis’ and concerns. IPT identifies role disputes, unresolved grief, relationship shortcomings, and role changes as the four basic areas.
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) – This version of behavioral therapy combines aspects of IBT and CBT behavioral therapy for emotion regulation. Mindful awareness and stress management elements are merged into this treatment.
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) – ACT is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy that implements commitment and behavior-change strategies by combining acceptance and mindfulness strategies in several different ways. This should enhance the patient’s emotional and mental flexibility.
  • Supportive Programs – These are programs like family therapy, group therapy, support groups, etc. These types of supportive programs are beneficial for both the family and the person suffering from personality disorder.

If you are seeking to address your personality disorder and discover how to reclaim your life, you can take the most important step towards this goal by recognizing the difficulty you may be having on your own and by reaching out for help.  Personality disorders can alter the many aspects of your life, damaging your ability to live normally, but you can get your life back on track by healing from the root causes that may be connected with this mental health condition.  A personality disorder treatment center can be an invaluable resource to helping you recover, even if you feel recovery may not be possible.  Consider taking the first step towards healing today and access the resources available on Addiction Hope to find a personality disorder treatment center and get started on your recovery journey.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on April 15th, 2013
Published on, Assistance Guide for Substance Abuse