Sep 26th 2023
Personality disorders are a group of mental health conditions characterized by long-term, sometimes lifelong, patterns of persistently harmful thoughts and behaviors. They are split into 3 categories based on the way sufferers present symptoms: Cluster A, Cluster B and Cluster C.
People with Cluster B personality disorders typically behave dramatically, erratically and with a high degree of emotional volatility. These disorders can be challenging to diagnose and treat, but with the right approach individuals can learn to manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. 
The following article will explore Cluster B personality disorders, the ways they differ from other personality disorders, their causes, how they are diagnosed and what treatment options are available.
Cluster B personality disorders are a group of personality disorders characterized by dramatic, emotional, and erratic behavior. Sufferers often struggle to form relationships with others, both personally and professionally. 
Everyday tasks and activities are more challenging for people with personality disorders, with impulse control and emotional regulation particularly problematic or people with Cluster B personality disorders. Below are four of the main Cluster B personality disorders:
Cluster B personality disorders are differentiated from Cluster A and Cluster C in the way their symptoms are presented. While Cluster B personality disorders are marked by dramatic, erratic, and emotionally volatile behavior, Cluster A personality disorders are known for the eccentric, unusual behavior sufferers exhibit. Cluster C personality disorders, however, are characterized by anxiety and fearfulness. 
The causes of cluster B personality disorders are not fully understood, but research suggests that genetic and environmental factors are both contributing factors
Research has shown that individuals with a family history of mental health conditions or personality disorders are more likely to develop a personality disorder themselves. Childhood experiences, such as abuse or neglect, can also increase the risk of developing a personality disorder .
Cluster B personality disorders are diagnosed by mental health professionals following a thorough assessment of a patient. The first step for most people is making an appointment with their doctor, with the aim of being referred to the appropriate mental health professional – typically a psychologist, psychiatrist or therapist.
You may be asked to participate in a clinical interview, provide a detailed medical history and discuss your symptoms. The clinician may also use standardized tests and questionnaires to aid in the diagnosis of a personality disorder.
The latest edition Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) outlines the eligibility criteria for Cluster B personality disorders. This is what the mental health professional will assess your symptoms against.
It's important to differentiate between different personality disorders and other mental health conditions that may have overlapping symptoms. Mental health professionals will consider other possible mental health conditions, before providing you with a definitive diagnosis. 
Once a diagnosis is made, the mental health professional can work with the individual to develop an appropriate treatment plan, which may include psychotherapy, medication, or other interventions tailored to the specific personality disorder and its impact on the individual’s life.
Below are the primary treatment options used to treat Cluster B personality disorders.
Therapeutic intervention is the frontline treatment for personality disorders. The primary aim of therapy for Cluster B personality disorders is to help the patient manage their symptoms, improve the way they socially interact with others and live a better quality of life. Different therapeutic approaches include:
While no medication has been approved specifically for the treatment of cluster B personality disorders, certain medications may be used to manage comorbid conditions, such as depression, anxiety, or impulsivity.
The type of medication prescribed will depend on the patient's symptoms and may include antidepressants, antipsychotics, or mood stabilizers. Do not take start any course of medication without it being prescribed by a doctor. 
Self-care can be extremely beneficial for individuals with Cluster B personality disorders, enabling them to be the best version of themselves to combat the symptoms of their condition. Strategies include :
The road to managing your symptoms can be difficult and can take time, but through dedication to a treatment plan and a solid support network, you can get on top of your Cluster B personality disorder.
Listen to feedback from friends, family and colleagues and consult a doctor as soon as you suspect you may have a personality disorder. They will set you on your way towards a better quality of life.
Our Medical Affairs Team is a dedicated group of medical professionals with diverse and extensive clinical experience who actively contribute to the development of our content, products, and services. They meticulously evaluate and review all medical content before publication to ensure it is medically accurate and aligned with current discussions and research developments in mental health. For more information, visit our Editorial Policy.
MentalHealth.com is a patient-first health technology company driven by its mission to make optimal mental health attainable for everyone. With a focus on expanding care access, empowering patient choice, and enhancing care quality, the company delivers innovative solutions that support individuals throughout their mental health journey.