There is a broad range of personality disorders, but one thing they all have in common is how destructive they can be to a family dynamic. Here’s how a family can be disrupted by personality disorders, and how things can be rebuilt.
Personality Disorders and Family Dysfunction
Personality disorders include borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, obsessive compulsive personality disorder, and paranoid personality disorder to name just a few. These conditions are all unique, and are split into two main categories: cluster A and cluster B personality disorders. Cluster A disorders are characterized by eccentric or strange behaviors and thought processes, like paranoia and hallucinations. Cluster B disorders are often indicated by intense and paradoxical or just unexpected emotional responses or behaviors. All of these personality disorders can cause intense strain on relationships, and sometimes families and individuals struggle for years with the effects of them. There is no blame that should be cast on the person with a personality disorder or the family in many cases. While some personality disorders seem to develop more commonly in people who were abused or traumatized as children, it’s not a hard fact that awful things need to happen to cause a personality disorder to develop. Indeed, it’s not fully understood why they happen, or why it seems to be hereditary in some cases. Regardless of a family’s emotional strength and preexisting bond, a personality disorder can disrupt and test the limits of a family relationship. In some cases, the damage may seem permanent. Things can’t be undone or unsaid, and while that’s true, each individual needs to be considerate of the other party in familial issues like this.
How You Can Rebuild Your Life After Family Disruption
Personality disorders are sometimes difficult to treat and cope with because many symptoms of these disorders involve self-harm or self-sabotage. If a person is not interested in preserving their own well-being, it becomes that much harder to appreciate the well-being of others, even those in their own family. But it’s not impossible to cope with destructive behavior and mend wounds caused by personality disorders. With patience and compassion, families can often mend even the most extensive damage, but willing participation is imperative. The best thing for everyone involved in the family is therapy of some sort. Group therapy can be incredibly useful for the people affected by a loved one’s personality disorder. In a group setting, you can hear other people’s stories, and that can be critical in recognizing that your family member isn’t acting maliciously. People with personality disorders are mentally ill. They cannot just will away their behavior. Hearing that other people have similar experiences to you can help illustrate how destructive and difficult these disorders are for the people suffering from them. Group therapy can also help to arm families with important knowledge on how others coped with disruption. Since group therapy is often ongoing, your first time may be another person’s 60th time. Learning from those people’s experiences can help you avoid similar mistakes or give you ideas for dealing with your own family member.
Psychiatric assistance for personality disorders is very often critical to rebuilding damaged familial relationships. Medications can do a great deal for people with personality disorders, helping to restore balance to a person’s mental well-being. There is no cure for a personality disorder, but psychiatric care, medication, and some form of counseling can greatly improve a person’s quality of life. Repairing a relationship is never easy, and repairing a relationship while also coming to terms with your own mental illness is exponentially more difficult. You don’t want to do it alone. Having a support system of neutral and dedicated mental health professionals can make rebuilding your life a much more achievable goal.
Personality disorders are incredibly hard on families, and sometimes disruptions are unavoidable. If you want to begin your healing journey and rebuild in the wake of a personality disorder disruption, call the pros at SOL Mental Health today for a consultation.