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Teen Personality Disorders

Teens with personality disorders suffer as result of their unusual thinking and odd behavior. This mental disorder directly affects their personal life and relationships. Millions of teens experience various types of personality disorders. Early identification and positive steps are important factors for treating personality disorders successfully and preventing future difficulties.

Causes of Teen Personality Disorders

Research suggests that teen personality disorders can develop as a result of genetic history. Additionally, social issues during the teenage years at school and college can trigger personality disorders.

Symptoms of Teen Personality Disorders

The common symptoms of teen personality disorders are:

  • Impulsive behavior
  • Frequent and erratic mood changes
  • Inability to control thoughts
  • Improper relationships
  • Inability to handle stressful

Various types of Personality Disorders

Generally, there are three types of common personality disorders: Schizoid Personality Disorder; Borderline Personality Disorder; and Obsessive-compulsive Personality Disorder.

Schizoid Personality Disorder

This disorder comprises strange and weird behavior, where the teen prefers to isolate from family, friends and society at large.

Common symptoms are:

  • Preference to be alone
  • Avoidance of close bonding with family members or friends
  • Preference to live in isolation without the interference of others
  • Less or limited interest in intimate and sexual relationship

Schizoid Personality Disorder has two core subdivisions – paranoid personality disorder and schizotypal personality disorder.

Paranoid personality disorder

Paranoid personality disorder occurs when teens feel that other people are threatening. They become more self-conscious and protective. Common symptoms are:

  • Lack of trust of others
  • Belief that they are being used and that others will take advantage of them
  • Suspicious that their partner is unfaithful
  • Watchful of others to find signs of betrayal.
  • Finding danger and threat in regular daily situations

Schizotypal Personality Disorder

Schizotypal Personality Disorder is an eccentric mental disorder where teens are unable to build relationships.

The common symptoms are:

  • Difficulty forming close relationships
  • Using weird words and unusual phrases when explaining something
  • Behaving awkwardly

Feeling tense and anxious in social situations

Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline personality disorder is a severe mental ailment connected with unbalanced mood and uncontrolled behavior. This disorder is directly connected with behavioral norms, where teens are reckless, and behave rudely but do not have any regret for their behavior. This behavior is quite self-destructive.

The common symptoms are:

  • Extreme responses, such as, depression, anger, panic and wild untamed reactions
  • An odd pattern of deep and wild relationships with family, friends and close relatives
  • Frequent mood changes and sudden shifts in feelings, plans and opinions
  • Suicidal behavior
  • Reckless actions like abusive behavior, unsafe sex, and rash driving

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Narcissistic personality disorder is a sub category of borderline personality disorder. Teens with this personality disorder are over sensitive to failure. They believe that they are better than others. They love to be pampered.

Common symptoms are:

  • Believing they are special and important
  • Becoming upset if anyone ignores them
  • Disliking other people’s success
  • Taking advantage of others

Obsessive-compulsive Personality Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCD) is a personality disorder that epitomizes panic and anxious behavior. This mental disorder is easily recognizable by the fear of rejection and antipathy. Teens with this disorder commonly remain single. They are afraid of saying something that will be inappropriate and are reliant on others’ approval and opinion in every type of situation.

Other common symptoms are:

  • Attempting to keep everything under control with perfection
  • Worrying if / when they make a mistake
  • Usually hoard items and keep unnecessary items

Hesitant to spend money

Treatment of Teen Personality Disorders

Teens who exhibit any symptoms of personality disorders require early and proper diagnosis and effective treatment. Hillcrest Adolescent Treatment Center (Hillcrest) is a residential rehabilitation facility designed to effectively address teen personality disorders. With its stellar professional team in a state of the art, peaceful and natural setting, your loved one’s sensitivities will be considered and individually treated with bespoke therapeutic treatment plans so that he / she can live a full and wholesome life, and acquire tools to deal with the stress and anxiety triggered in their daily lives.

Teen Borderline Personality Disorder (T-BPD)

Teen Borderline Personality Disorder is a disorder that is destructive in the context of a teen’s personality and overall development. This disorder has a significant effect on a teen’s mood, behavior, stability, and self-image. Teens with this disorder generally display unwarranted anger, depressive moods, and extreme nervousness in their day to day life. The facts about this disorder are not very encouraging, as the statistics show that two to six percent of teenagers have this disorder. Of the millions of suffering teens, 75% are females.

Adolph Stern, an American psychoanalyst in the 1930s was the first person who used the term ‘borderline’. In his studies, he categorized these patients having mental, neurotic, and psychotic features hanging near the edge of lunacy. In 1949, Margaret Mahler described this disorder for the first time as teen borderline behavioral disorder.

Further studies have been very productive in finding the causes of this disorder and its systematic treatment. Noticeably, teens’ behavior displayed low self-acceptance and indifferent emotional reactions to their mothers, in addition to the sequence of phobic conditions. This disorder may present with other mental health disorders, eating disorders, anxiety disorders and mood disorders. It is therefore important to be able to isolate some of the prominent symptoms to help accurately identify the existence of teen borderline personality disorder.

Symptoms of Teen Borderline Personality Disorder
Some common symptoms of teen borderline personality disorder are:

Reckless behavior such as impulsive spending of money, substance abuse, reckless driving, promiscuous sexual relationships

  • Self inflicting actions
  • Suicidal tendencies
  • Loneliness and feelings of abandonment
  • Easily depressed
  • Unreliable, unpredictable
  • Difficulty in maintaining close and deep relationships

Types of Teen Borderline Personality Disorders

Psychoanalysts have categorized this disorder into several distinct categories to help them accurately and diagnose the disorder.

The discouraged borderline disorder type is identified with depression, seriousness, outrageous anger, and a reckless attitude.

The Impulsive borderline disorder type is a type who is keen to take risks, exhibits flirtatious behavior, constantly desires attention and seeks to be in the limelight.

The Petulant borderline disorder type is identified by problematic management of relationships, gloomy, anxious, moody, and irritated.

The self-destructive borderline disorder type exhibits negativity and shades of grey in their behavior, displaying harmful and punishing actions, and often reckless substance abuse.

Treatment of T-BPD

Therapists require detailed family history as well as daily observation of the teen’s behavior, their actions and reactions, over a period of time to accurately treat this disorder. Some of the most effective treatment methods are:


Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) is incorporated in therapeutic treatment sessions for teens with this disorder. Skills promoted in these sessions are alertness and mind focus, social interactive behavioral norms, control of emotions, tolerance, and distress management. The treatment usually involves the teen’s family as well.

Mentalization-based treatment (MBT) is another method used in psychotherapy treatment for this disorder. Mentalization is a way to assess the human mind and behavior, including an assessment of the senses, requirements, wishes, opinions, and plans. This technique is used to bring the teen out of their make-believe / fantasy world.

Pharmacotherapy and other Therapeutic Treatments

There are also other methods used to treat T-BPD, such as medication regimens and other psychological therapeutic treatment modalities. Usually a combination of treatment methods is used to balance and maximize healing on all levels.

Treatment at Hillcrest

Hillcrest Adolescent Treatment Center (Hillcrest) is a tranquil, rehabilitation oasis expertly designed to treat adolescents struggling with T-BPD. The magnificent residential facility is based in the tropical foothills of Agoura Hills, California. Rustic, yet elegant, it is uniquely situated and designed to provide and nurture healing on all levels, while focusing on the key principles of mind-body health.

Healing is accelerated when all states of being are nurtured. Hillcrest provides a healing environment that is multi-faceted, including, the ultimate balance of elegant accommodation, expansive green natural outdoors, nutritious meals, and wholesome healing programs, in order to ensure that recovery is deep-rooted and long-lasting. At Hillcrest you and your loved one are supported by our professional and dedicated staff every step of the way, both during and post treatment.

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