Cluster A

The personality disorders in Cluster A consist of paranoid personality disorder, schizoid personality disorder, and schizotypal personality disorder. The behavior of people with a cluster A personality disorder is described as odd or eccentric.

Paranoid personality disorder is characterized by a pervasive distrust of others, chronic suspicion about others' motives, and paranoid thinking. Others often avoid individuals with paranoid personality disorder, which reinforces the individual's mistrust of others. The suspicion is chronic and creates a difficulty in establishing and maintaining interpersonal relationships. Paranoid personality disorder is more prevalent in males than females.

Schizoid personality disorder is characterized by a pervasive and long-lasting indifference toward others. The term "schizoid" was initially chosen to refer to the preliminary symptoms, or latent symptoms of schizophrenia. A person with this disorder has little or no interest in interacting with others and is viewed as a loner. People with schizoid personality disorder have little interest in intimacy and tend to display a limited range of emotions. These individuals often are dull and lack a sense of humor. They are perceived by others as being aloof or apathetic and may appear disheveled or unkempt.

Schizotypal personality disorder is characterized by peculiar patterns of behaving and thinking. A person with this disorder may express superstitious beliefs or may engage in fantasy-based thinking. Although their thought processes might be unusual, their beliefs are not considered to be of delusional proportions. Because the symptoms of cluster A personality

DSM-IV-TR General Criteria for a Personality Disorder

Enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior deviating markedly from expectations of individual's culture

Manifested in two or more of the following areas:

• cognition (ways of perceiving and interpreting self, other people, and events)

• affectivity (range, intensity, lability, and appropriateness of emotional response)

• interpersonal functioning

• impulse control

Enduring pattern inflexible and pervasive across a broad range ofpersonal and social situations

Enduring pattern leads to clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning

Pattern stable and of long duration, and its onset can be traced back at least to adolescence or early adulthood

Enduring pattern not better accounted for as manifestation or consequence of another mental disorder

Enduring pattern not due to direct physiological effects of a substance or general medical condition

DSM-IV-TR personality disorders:

• Cluster A: Paranoid; Schizoid; Schizotypal

• Cluster B: Antisocial; Borderline; Histrionic; Narcissistic

• Cluster C: Avoidant; Dependent; Obsessive-Compulsive disorders resemble symptoms of schizophrenia, researchers believe these disorders may be genetically related to schizophrenia.

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