Cluster B Personality Disorders

cluster b personality disorder

Verified by World Mental Healthcare Association

Cluster B personality disorders are characterized by dramatic, erratic, or overly emotional behavior. These disorders can significantly impact mental health, leading to difficulties in relationships, impulse control, and emotional regulation.

What Is Cluster B Personality Disorder?

Cluster B personality disorders are a group of mental health conditions 1 Jemal, M., Tessema, W., & Agenagnew, L. (2022). Cluster B personality disorders and its associated factors among psychiatric outpatients in Southwest Ethiopia: institutional-based cross-sectional study. BMC psychiatry22(1), 500. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12888-022-04143-3 characterized by unpredictable thinking and behavior. People with cluster B personality disorder often experience intense mood swings, unstable self-image, impulsivity, and difficulty with relationships.

The affected may have intense fear of abandonment, engage in self-destructive behaviors, and have frequent conflicts with others due to their sensitivity to perceived rejection. These patterns of behavior can significantly impact various aspects of their lives, from work to personal relationships, and often require specialized treatment and therapy for management.

Traits Of Cluster B Personality Disorders

Research 2 Fariba, K., Gupta, V., & Kass, E. (2020). Personality Disorder. PubMed; StatPearls Publishing. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK556058/ attributes the common cluster B disorder symptoms to the following:

  • Intense, unstable emotions
  • Impulsive and risky behavior
  • Difficulty maintaining relationships
  • Distorted self-image
  • Fear of abandonment
  • Manipulative or controlling behavior
  • Grandiosity (exaggerated sense of one’s importance)
  • Attention-seeking behavior
  • Lack of empathy

Types Of Cluster B Personality Disorders

The common 3 Massaal-van der Ree, L. Y., Eikelenboom, M., Hoogendoorn, A. W., Thomaes, K., & van Marle, H. J. F. (2022). Cluster B versus Cluster C Personality Disorders: A Comparison of Comorbidity, Suicidality, Traumatization and Global Functioning. Behavioral sciences (Basel, Switzerland)12(4), 105. https://doi.org/10.3390/bs12040105 types of cluster B personality disorders include:

  1. Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD): A mental health disorder characterized by unstable moods, behaviors, and relationships.
  2. Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD): A personality disorder marked by a grandiose sense of self-importance, a need for admiration, and a lack of empathy for others.
  3. Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD): A condition involving excessive attention-seeking behavior, emotional overreaction, and an intense desire to be the center of attention.
  4. Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD): A personality disorder characterized by a pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others.

Read More About Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) Here

Causes Of Cluster B Personality Disorders

The common 4 Jemal, M., Tessema, W., & Agenagnew, L. (2022). Cluster B personality disorders and its associated factors among psychiatric outpatients in Southwest Ethiopia: institutional-based cross-sectional study. BMC psychiatry22(1), 500. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12888-022-04143-3 causes of cluster B personality disorders include:

  • Genetic inheritance
  • A family history of personality disorders
  • Traumatic experiences (such as childhood abuse or neglect)
  • Early childhood experiences that shape attachment styles and interpersonal relationships
  • Dysfunctional family dynamics and upbringing
  • Neurobiological factors (like abnormalities in brain structure and function)
  • Environmental influences (such as exposure to chronic stress or unstable living conditions)
  • Personality traits (such as impulsivity and emotional dysregulation)
  • Societal expectations and peer influences
  • Substance abuse or addiction

Read More About Genetics Here

Mental Health Impact Of Cluster B Personality Disorders

The mental health impact of unchecked 5 Chapman, J., Jamil, R. T., & Fleisher, C. (2022). Borderline personality disorder. National Library of Medicine; StatPearls Publishing. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK430883/ cluster B disorder symptoms include:

  • Impaired emotional regulation leading to frequent and intense mood swings.
  • Difficulty maintaining stable and healthy relationships, resulting in loneliness and isolation.
  • Increased risk of depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders.
  • Struggles with impulsivity and risky behaviors, which can lead to legal and financial problems.
  • Challenges in work or academic settings due to interpersonal conflicts and instability.
  • Higher rates of self-harm and suicide attempts.
  • Negative impact on self-esteem and self-image, often feeling misunderstood or rejected.
  • Difficulty in managing stress and coping with everyday challenges.
  • Co-occurring substance abuse issues, exacerbating mental health symptoms and complicating treatment.

Read More About Depression Here

Diagnosis Of Cluster B Personality Disorders

Diagnosing cluster B personality disorders involves a thorough assessment of symptoms and behaviors 6 Lunghi, C., Cailhol, L., Massamba, V., Laouan Sidi, E. A., Sirois, C., Rahme, E., Rochette, L., Renaud, S., Villeneuve, E., Koch, M., Biskin, R., Martineau, C., Vincent, P., David, P., & Lesage, A. (2023). Psychotropic medication use pre and post-diagnosis of cluster B personality disorder: a Quebec’s health services register cohort. Frontiers in psychiatry14, 1243511. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2023.1243511 based on the criteria outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5).

This process often includes structured interviews such as the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM Disorders (SCID) or Personality Inventory for DSM-5 (PID-5), along with psychological assessments like the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory (MCMI) or Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI). Additionally, clinical observation and history-taking are essential to understand behavior patterns and responses to stressors.

Cluster B Personality Disorders Treatment

Cluster B personality disorders treatment typically involves a combination of psychotherapy, such as dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and psychodynamic therapy. These therapies aim to address underlying emotional dysregulation, improve coping mechanisms, and enhance social skills.

Medications 7 Lunghi, C., Cailhol, L., Massamba, V., Laouan Sidi, E. A., Sirois, C., Rahme, E., Rochette, L., Renaud, S., Villeneuve, E., Koch, M., Biskin, R., Martineau, C., Vincent, P., David, P., & Lesage, A. (2023). Psychotropic medication use pre and post-diagnosis of cluster B personality disorder: a Quebec’s health services register cohort. Frontiers in psychiatry14, 1243511. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2023.1243511 may be used to manage specific symptom and comorbid conditions. However, cluster B personality disorders treatment approaches can vary based on individual needs, and a comprehensive, long-term therapeutic relationship is often essential for effective management.

Read More About Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Here

Coping With Cluster B Personality Disorders

Coping with Cluster B personality disorders involves developing self-awareness, practicing mindfulness techniques 8 Soeteman, D. I., Verheul, R., Delimon, J., Meerman, A. M., van den Eijnden, E., Rossum, B. V., Ziegler, U., Thunnissen, M., Busschbach, J. J., & Kim, J. J. (2010). Cost-effectiveness of psychotherapy for cluster B personality disorders. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science196(5), 396–403. https://doi.org/10.1192/bjp.bp.109.070482 to manage impulsivity and emotional reactivity, building healthy boundaries, seeking social support from understanding individuals or support groups, and engaging in consistent therapy to learn effective coping skills and improve interpersonal relationships.

Loving Someone With Cluster B Personality Disorders

Loving someone with a Cluster B personality disorder in a romantic relationship can bring significant challenges 9 Hutsebaut, J., Willemsen, E., Bachrach, N., & Van, R. (2020). Improving access to and effectiveness of mental health care for personality disorders: the guideline-informed treatment for personality disorders (GIT-PD) initiative in the Netherlands. Borderline personality disorder and emotion dysregulation7, 16. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40479-020-00133-7 . The impact can be profound, affecting both partners emotionally. Individuals with these disorders may struggle with emotional dysregulation, impulsivity, and difficulties with empathy, leading to conflicts and unpredictability. Partners may feel confused, frustrated, and hurt.

Managing this involves setting and maintaining boundaries, prioritizing self-care, seeking support through therapy or support groups, and fostering open communication when the person with the disorder is receptive. It’s essential for the partner to understand that while they can offer support, they cannot “fix” the disorder, and self-preservation and personal growth are crucial for their own well-being. Ultimately, navigating a relationship with someone with a Cluster B personality disorder requires patience, understanding, and a commitment to personal boundaries and self-care.

Read More About Empathy Here

Takeaway

Cluster B personality disorders present complex challenges in both treatment and personal relationships. Understanding and compassion, combined with effective cluster B personality disorders treatment and self-care, are crucial for managing these disorders and fostering healthier lives for individuals and their loved ones.

At A Glance

  1. Cluster B personality disorders feature dramatic, erratic behavior impacting mental health.
  2. Types of cluster B personality disorders include borderline, narcissistic, histrionic, and antisocial personality disorders.
  3. Cluster B disorder symptoms encompass fear of abandonment, impulsivity, distorted self-image, and lack of empathy.
  4. Causes of cluster B personality disorders involve genetics, trauma, and dysfunctional upbringing.
  5. Mental health impact includes mood swings, relationship issues, and higher risk of depression.
  6. Cluster B personality disorders treatment includes therapy, medication, and coping strategies.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do you communicate with someone with cluster B personality disorder?

Communicate with someone with cluster B personality disorder by setting clear boundaries and using calm, consistent, and assertive communication.

2. Why do I attract people with Cluster B personality disorder? 

You might attract people with Cluster B personality disorder due to shared dynamics that feel familiar or comfortable, but it’s important to explore this with a therapist for deeper understanding.

3. Can people with cluster B personalities change? 

Yes, with therapy and self-awareness, people with Cluster B personalities can change and develop healthier behaviors.

4. Can a person have more than one Cluster B personality disorder?

Yes, it’s possible for a person to have traits or meet criteria for more than one cluster B personality disorder, such as exhibiting traits of both narcissistic personality disorder and borderline personality disorder.

References:

  • 1
    Jemal, M., Tessema, W., & Agenagnew, L. (2022). Cluster B personality disorders and its associated factors among psychiatric outpatients in Southwest Ethiopia: institutional-based cross-sectional study. BMC psychiatry22(1), 500. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12888-022-04143-3
  • 2
    Fariba, K., Gupta, V., & Kass, E. (2020). Personality Disorder. PubMed; StatPearls Publishing. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK556058/
  • 3
    Massaal-van der Ree, L. Y., Eikelenboom, M., Hoogendoorn, A. W., Thomaes, K., & van Marle, H. J. F. (2022). Cluster B versus Cluster C Personality Disorders: A Comparison of Comorbidity, Suicidality, Traumatization and Global Functioning. Behavioral sciences (Basel, Switzerland)12(4), 105. https://doi.org/10.3390/bs12040105
  • 4
    Jemal, M., Tessema, W., & Agenagnew, L. (2022). Cluster B personality disorders and its associated factors among psychiatric outpatients in Southwest Ethiopia: institutional-based cross-sectional study. BMC psychiatry22(1), 500. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12888-022-04143-3
  • 5
    Chapman, J., Jamil, R. T., & Fleisher, C. (2022). Borderline personality disorder. National Library of Medicine; StatPearls Publishing. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK430883/
  • 6
    Lunghi, C., Cailhol, L., Massamba, V., Laouan Sidi, E. A., Sirois, C., Rahme, E., Rochette, L., Renaud, S., Villeneuve, E., Koch, M., Biskin, R., Martineau, C., Vincent, P., David, P., & Lesage, A. (2023). Psychotropic medication use pre and post-diagnosis of cluster B personality disorder: a Quebec’s health services register cohort. Frontiers in psychiatry14, 1243511. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2023.1243511
  • 7
    Lunghi, C., Cailhol, L., Massamba, V., Laouan Sidi, E. A., Sirois, C., Rahme, E., Rochette, L., Renaud, S., Villeneuve, E., Koch, M., Biskin, R., Martineau, C., Vincent, P., David, P., & Lesage, A. (2023). Psychotropic medication use pre and post-diagnosis of cluster B personality disorder: a Quebec’s health services register cohort. Frontiers in psychiatry14, 1243511. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2023.1243511
  • 8
    Soeteman, D. I., Verheul, R., Delimon, J., Meerman, A. M., van den Eijnden, E., Rossum, B. V., Ziegler, U., Thunnissen, M., Busschbach, J. J., & Kim, J. J. (2010). Cost-effectiveness of psychotherapy for cluster B personality disorders. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science196(5), 396–403. https://doi.org/10.1192/bjp.bp.109.070482
  • 9
    Hutsebaut, J., Willemsen, E., Bachrach, N., & Van, R. (2020). Improving access to and effectiveness of mental health care for personality disorders: the guideline-informed treatment for personality disorders (GIT-PD) initiative in the Netherlands. Borderline personality disorder and emotion dysregulation7, 16. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40479-020-00133-7
8 Indications to recognize the signs of Social Anxiety 10 Ways to Cope With Overthinking Daily Mindfulness: Simple Practices for a Better Life 8 Steps to Enhance Your Father’s Well-being Journey 6 healing strategies to cope with trauma 8 ways exercise can boost your mental health 8 ways to cope with the signs of panic attack 7 Mental Health Benefits Of Watching Rom-Coms 10 Reasons Why People Find Horoscopes Comforting 10 Breathing Exercises For Mental Health How To Have A Mental Health Conversation With Your Partner 8 Tips To Overcome Trauma