Sep 25th 2023
Personality disorders are a class of mental health conditions marked by dysfunctional patterns of behaviors, thoughts and experiences which deviate from social and cultural norms. The DSM-5 recognizes ten different personality disorders, which can be grouped into three clusters differentiated by certain characteristics. These are known as Cluster A, Cluster B and Cluster C. 
Cluster A personality disorders are characterized by odd, eccentric, and unusual behavior, with sufferers finding everyday tasks and problems disproportionately challenging. Though living with a Cluster A personality disorder can feel stressful and overwhelming, with proper treatment sufferers can lead fulfilling lives.
The following article will explore different types of Cluster A personality disorders, the ways they differ from other personality disorders, how they are caused and diagnosed and treatment options available.
People with Cluster A personality disorders typically display strange and eccentric behavior that can cause them to struggle with everyday tasks and activities. There are three main types of Cluster A personality disorders: 
Cluster A personality disorders differ from other personality disorders in the way sufferers present symptoms. These individuals often display odd or eccentric behavior and may have difficulty forming close relationships due to their social and emotional detachment. 
In contrast, Cluster B personality disorders, including borderline, narcissistic, histrionic, and antisocial personality disorders, are characterized by dramatic, erratic, and emotional dysregulation. Sufferer’s actions are typically impulsive and underpinned by emotional stability, making it challenging for them to forge and maintain relationships.
Cluster C personality disorders differ from both Cluster A and Cluster B as these are marked by anxious and fearful traits. Individuals with Cluster C disorders tend to be hypervigilant, anxious, and consumed by fears of inadequacy and low self-worth.
It is not known what specifically causes Cluster A personality disorders, however it is believed to be a combination of genetic, environmental, and neurobiological factors.
Known risk factors include childhood trauma, a family history of personality disorders and abnormalities in neural function. 
It must be emphasized that these risk factors are not specific to Cluster A personality disorders and diagnosis ought to be carried out by a trained mental health professional.
To get diagnosed with a cluster A personality disorder, you will need to make an appointment with a mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or therapist. They will conduct a thorough assessment of your psychological health, which may involve examining your medical history, questioning you about your symptoms and a range of tests.
You will be assessed against the criteria laid out in the DSM-5 for a range of disorders and if the doctor believes you have a Cluster A personality disorder, they will provide you with a diagnosis.
Once a diagnosis is made, the mental health professional will work with you to develop an appropriate treatment plan, which may include psychotherapy, medication, or other interventions tailored to the specific personality disorder. A range of treatment plans for Cluster A personality disorders are outlined below:
Psychotherapy is the frontline treatment for cluster A personality disorders, with cogntitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) among the most popular choices. Both focus on encouraging individuals to recognize their maladaptive cognitive and behavioral patterns, and over time consciously choose to create more positive outcomes for themselves.
Group therapy can also prove beneficial to sufferers of Cluster A personality disorders, giving people the chance to engage socially in a supportive environment . Whilst this may initially feel taxing, over time sufferers will garner a better understanding of their personality disorder and be better equipped to overcome their symptoms.
While no medication is FDA approved specifically to treat cluster A personality disorders, certain medications could be used to treat specific symptoms of an individual’s condition. For example, antipsychotics may be used to treat certain symptoms of schizotypal personality disorder, such as delusions or hallucinations .
Self-help techniques can be used at home to support therapeutic intervention, with meditation, yoga, regular exercise and a balanced diet all positive implementations into your life. They can help you manage stress and anxiety, better equipping you to combat your personality disorder and nourishing your overall sense of wellbeing. 
Mindfulness, central to DBT, can be practiced at home and helps you become more aware of the present moment. You will learn to focus on one problem at a time and refrain from judging yourself or others. This can be useful in addressing the social concerns that accompany Cluster A personality disorders.
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