Personality disorders are atypical ways of thinking about oneself and relating to other people. They permeate most, if not all, facets of one’s life, and usually emerge during the teenage or young adult years. On the whole, these disorders are notoriously difficult to treat, and, as such, can engender impairment for the individual and pain for those within the afflicted person’s orbit. Personality disorders are grouped into three clusters; Cluster B disorders are marked by inappropriate emotionality and heightened drama.
These disorders are taxonomically grouped together by the DSM-V because a single, clear-cut diagnosis is very rare—patients often exhibit a number of overlapping symptoms. For example, someone with borderline tendencies (such as intense mood swings) may present with histrionic symptom overlap (for example, behaving erratically to garner attention). Similarly, someone who exhibits signs of both Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Antisocial Personality Disorder is sometimes referred to as a “malignant narcissist.”
Cluster A disorders describe odd and eccentric behavior and Cluster C includes those with anxious, fearful personalities and behavior. Cluster C is the most frequently discussed group in part because people with these disorders consistently draw attention to themselves and wreak havoc in relationships.