Everyone has their own unique personality. However, there are some cases when an individual's pattern of thinking can lead to problems for that individual in his or her relationships, work life, or school. This is referred to as a personality disorder, and it's important to know whether you have a personality disorder if you are struggling in these areas. 

Your Disorder Might Seem Natural

One of the challenges of dealing with a personality disorder is that you might think your ways of thinking are natural. You might not seek out help when you need it. Personalities tend to stay the same with time, but if you are 17 or younger, you will usually not be diagnosed with a personality disorder because your personality will be considered to still be developing. 

The challenge with personality disorders is that the way that the individual looks at the world is very different from the norm. You might have other psychological disorders that will bring you to a therapist, and he or she might notice that you have a personality disorder. Or, you might have a time of crisis, such as incarceration, and a therapist might find that you have a personality disorder.

Personality Disorders Are Based on Observation

One of the problems with personality disorders is that they are based on observation rather than being a scientific construct. Some personality disorders can blur together. Also, a personality disorder might be caused by another mental disorder, or the personality and mental disorder might exacerbate the symptoms of each.

There Are Treatments Available

There are no medications designed for treating personality disorders. Instead, there are medications that are designed to treat other problems and can help make the personality disorder less severe. More important is a team-based treatment approach that relies on your doctor, a mental health professional for therapy, a social worker, and family members. 

You will want to learn as much as you can about the condition so that you can understand the nature of your disorder and why there are issues with how you think. Avoid drugs and alcohol because they can interact with the medications you take to treat your symptoms. Join a support group for others with your personality disorder or write a journal as a way to express your emotions. Engage in relaxation and stress management. Also, make sure to stay connected with friends and family members so that you don't become socially isolated.