Personality Disorders in teens exhibit themselves as unstable moods, extreme acting out and impulsive behavior unrelated to normal teenage development

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About Personality Disorders

Personality DisordersPersonality Disorders encompass an array of behaviors that differ vastly from normal social and cultural expectations. The most common types of Personality Disorders in teens include Borderline, Narcissistic, or Antisocial disorders. Teens with Borderline Personality Disorders display wild mood swings, intense anger and impulsive behavior. They see people in black and white, frequently fear abandonment and cannot form close personal relationships. Narcissistic Personality Disorder displays itself as extreme perfectionism, boasting, entitlement, despising others who excel, and swings between feeling vastly superior and hopelessly inferior. Teens with Antisocial Personality Disorders act out against other people in extreme ways and are known for dishonesty and lack of remorse. Personality Disorders typically accompany other mental health disorders, and teens with Personality Disorders are prone to depression, suicidal tendencies, and self-harm.

Personality Disorders are diagnosed when the behaviors cannot be attributed to another mental health issue or to factors such as substance abuse. Personality Disorders can be difficult to diagnose in teens, whose personalities are still under development at this age and who may go through stages in which they demonstrate some of these troublesome symptoms. The treatment protocols for Personality Disorders frequently begin with a search for underlying causes, such as childhood trauma or abuse. Depending on the instigating circumstances and the nature of the particular disorders, an individual treatment plan is prepared, to include psychotherapy and sometimes medication as well.  The severity of the symptoms and disturbances may necessitate hospitalization and extended treatment in some cases.  As with many disorders, early diagnosis and treatment can greatly reduce the disruption of the personality disorders.

Parents of teens with Personality Disorders are often stressed by the struggles of rearing a child with such disruptive behaviors.  Experts recommend that unless there is an active threat to the teen or the family, graduated measures be employed, beginning with psychotheraputic approaches and escalating if necessary.  Parents may also benefit from both family training and therapy to understand the nature of the problems of personality disorders and how best to respond.

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