The Role of Psychological Factors in Personality Disorders

Psychological Factors

and Health

Personality disorders can have far-reaching physical and mental health implications that create lasting effects. A person with a personality disorder may suffer from depression, anxiety, insomnia and excessive stress, which all contribute to a decline in their overall wellbeing. The psychological and physical impact of a personality disorder can be especially severe if left untreated. This article will explore the role psychological factors play in the emergence and presentation of certain personality disorders and the ways in which they affect one’s health, wellbeing and quality of life.

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How Psychological Factors Impact the Development and Presentation of Certain Personality Disorders

Personality disorders are likely caused by a combination of biological and environmental factors. The biological factors may include brain chemistry, genetic vulnerabilities and life experiences. Environmental factors like upbringing, traumas and environmental stressors can also play a role. There is evidence to suggest that people with certain personality disorders, like avoidant and borderline personality disorders, are more likely to have experienced parental neglect and/or abuse. Research has also linked depression, anxiety, substance abuse and PTSD with certain personality disorders.

Physical and Mental Health Implications of Personality Disorders

There are various physical and mental health implications of personality disorders that can have a significant impact on one’s wellbeing. Those with a personality disorder may experience symptoms like depression, anxiety, insomnia, hostility, irritability, impulsivity and difficulty controlling their emotions. They may also suffer from a weakened immune system, high blood pressure and increased risk of heart disease. Additionally, they may be prone to substance abuse, overeating, self-harm and/or suicide attempts.

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The Role of Treatment in Improving Health

Fortunately, there are effective treatments available to address personality disorders and the physical and mental health issues that accompany them. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the most popular approach and involves helping the individual become aware of, and consciously change, unhelpful thinking and behavior patterns. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is also effective for treating personality disorders. DBT is a mindfulness-based cognitive-behavioral therapy and focuses on skill building, addressing thinking and behavior patterns, and helping the individual better manage emotions.

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It is important to recognize that personality disorders are complex and can have a serious impact on physical and mental health. Treatment is available in the form of CBT and DBT, and can help individuals improve their wellbeing and quality of life. Psychological factors play a major role in the development and presentation of certain personality disorders, and these implications must be addressed in order to improve the individual’s overall health.