Why Personality Disorders Are so Hard to Treat
Updated: Oct 13, 2021
Personality disorders are difficult to treat because it's very difficult for someone suffering from one of these disorders to separate their personality (how they interact with others, how they view the world, and how they think about themselves) from the symptoms of their mental illness. There are a few other reasons why treating personality disorder requires a dedicated, specialized approach.
What to Know About Treating Personality Disorders
Multiple Disorders Could Be Involved
"Personality disorder" is an umbrella term for a range of mental illnesses, which include:
Antisocial Personality Disorder
Avoidant Personality Disorder
Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder
Schizoid Personality Disorder
Any of these diagnoses is going to have unique symptoms that need their own approach to treatment. To add complexity, people with personality disorders often have multiple diagnoses. It's common for people with panic disorder, anxiety disorder, and depression disorder to also have a personality disorder. That's why it's not possible to treat personality disorder with a "cookie cutter" mindset. Clinicians and professionals must take a committed approach to developing a detailed treatment plan for each person with a personality disorder they meet with.
Digging Deep Is Necessary
It can feel frustrating for people with personality disorders to go through treatment because there are so many layers influencing how these disorders impact people's lives. For example:
Brain Chemistry/Genetics: Some of a personality disorder could be due to chemical differences and imbalances in the brain and hormones. Sometimes these characteristics are inherited, which makes it more difficult for people who grew up with them to believe things could be different.
Childhood Trauma: Childhood trauma can affect us in a range of ways, depending on what we're going through at any given time. We may never be "done" unpacking it, because it can come up at different stages of life for different reasons.
High Sensory Sensitivity: If someone with a personality disorder is highly sensitive to changes in the environment that affect their five senses, it may feel more difficult for them to put what they're learning from a therapist or health coach into practice.
A Mind-Body Approach Is Key
Because so many factors can influence how a personality disorder develops and changes, it's important to treat the physical and mental impacts it can have. Many people who have tried traditional counseling or medication by themselves may find that it didn't feel like enough, like they were still feeling physically exhausted, wired, or overwhelmed, and that they are unsure how to deal with it. Without taking into account how someone feels physically, some of the most challenging aspects of living with a personality disorder remain unaddressed.
Have a Personality Disorder? We Can Help
If you have a personality disorder, you are not untreatable, and there is hope for greater well-being. The Collective is here for you. We have a team of mental health professionals experienced in diagnosing and treating personality disorders compassionately and effectively.
Our holistic behavioral health philosophy gives you multiple options, including working with a health coach, group counseling, individual counseling services, medication management, and nutritional support.
We understand that what you're facing is unique to you, and we'll take our time to develop a plan that makes you feel more comfortable, confident, and safe moving forward. We also understand how important the connection between your mind and body is, and we'll help you think creatively about new ways your body, mind, and emotions can care for one another as you learn to manage a personality disorder.
If you need help now, it’s easy to get started. Contact our team to complete a short screening and begin your intake process. We are eager to help you make a plan for a healthier body and mind.