The personality disorders of cluster B are borderline personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, and histrionic personality disorder. The cluster B personality disorders are described as dramatic, erratic, and emotional. The behavior of people with such a disorder creates significant impairment in establishing and maintaining interpersonal relationships. Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is the most prevalent personality disorder. It is diagnosed twice as often among women as men and is characterized by a long-standing and inflexible pattern of emotional instability and unstable personal relationships. Individuals with BPD have an intense fear of abandonment and tend to form intense and unstable relationships with others. They tend to fluctuate between having posi tive and negative feelings about significant people in their lives. This behavior is referred to as splitting and may contribute to the emotional instability displayed by these people. People with BPD often engage in self-destructive behavior, such as self-mutilation, suicidal acts, or drug abuse. Those with BPD report chronic feelings of emptiness.
Antisocial personality disorder is exemplified by an enduring pattern of behavior that disregards and violates the rights of others. The term "antisocial" refers to behaviors that are antisociety. Antisocial personality disorder is preceded by conduct disorder in the adolescent stages of development. People with antisocial personality disorder often appear initially to be charming and intelligent yet are also manipulative and grandiose. They lack a moral code which would disallow unacceptable or hurtful behaviors. Therefore, an individual with antisocial personality disorder is likely to engage in criminal acts, manipulative behavior, and the exploitation of others.
Freud coined the term "narcissistic personality disorder" in reference to the Greek myth of Narcissus, who fell in love with his own reflection in a pool of water, preventing him from forming relationships with others. The essential feature of narcissistic personality disorder is an exaggerated sense of self-importance. This disorder is characterized by a need to be the center of attention and a preoccupation with fantasies of one's success or power. A person with narcissistic personality disorder has difficulty understanding the feelings of others and constantly is demanding of attention. These grandiose behaviors typically mask feelings of insecurity.
Symptoms of histrionic personality disorder include excessive emotionality and attention-seeking behavior. A person with histrionic personality disorder is overly dramatic and emotional and inappropriately seductive in order to gain the attention of others. Histrionic personality disorder is more prevalent among females than males.
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