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Personality Disorders

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Although “personality disorder” is a blanket term, all types tend to present significant barriers to treatment. Behavioral issues can be very disruptive to the recovery process. Since rehab includes major group dynamics, the dysfunction that personality orders introduce can preclude a person’s entry into treatment entirely.

New Start accommodates clients with personality disorders on a case by case basis.

List of Personality Disorders

While you or a loved one is suffering from a personality disorder, it is important most of all to remember that only a licensed psychiatrist can make an official diagnosis. Therefore, New Start firmly believes in getting dual diagnosis addicts the help they need. Hence we partner with a local psychiatric group to offer clients professional psychological evaluations. Getting addiction treatment and appropriate psych meds simultaneously could be the 180 degree turn you or your loved one needs to start their recovery.

Cluster A




Cluster B





Cluster C



Obsessive Compulsive

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of American adults meet the criteria for a personality disorder

People with personality disorders are


likely to also have an Axis I Disorder

Women are


likely to experience rapid cycling

Types at Risk

Although all personality disorders are at some level of risk for substance abuse, there are certain types that we see in treatment more often.

Antisocial personality disorder is characterized by a striking lack of empathy and pattern of disregard for the rights of others. As a result they see no issue with crossing boundaries and violating those rights with little regard.

Borderline personality disorder is characterized by unstable behavior, poor self-image, dysfunctional social relationships, and mood instability. They go through episodic bouts of anxiety, depression, and anger, and furthermore have a difficult time maintaining stable relationships.


  • Episodic mood shifts that last from hours to days
  • Intense fear of abandonment that leads to erratic behavior
  • Distorted self-image
  • Suicidal behaviors (if you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, please call 800-273-TALK)
  • Intense/unstable relationships that range from intense love to intense hate
  • Inability to control anger
  • Symptoms of depression
  • Severe dissociation

Individuals with narcissistic personality disorder present significant barriers to treatment. This is because their symptomatic behavior often introduces dysfunction to group therapy. It takes a high level of willingness for people with NPD to benefit from treatment, but it’s definitely possible in the right environment.


  • Expecting to be recognized as superior without achievements to back it up
  • Belittling others to aggrandize self
  • Belief in personal superiority
  • Consequently exaggerated sense of self-importance
  • Preoccupation with either power, success, intelligence, or appearance
  • Strong sense of entitlement
  • Seeking constant admiration
  • Taking advantage of others

As far as treatment admissions are concerned, avoidant personality disorder is usually the least problematic among personality disorders. This is because their issues are primarily internal. As a result, the difficulty lies more in their personal willingness to engage in recovery and work with others rather than the problems they present to group dynamics.


  • Intense feelings of inadequacy
  • Extreme sensitivity toward other’s perceptions of them
  • Feelings of social ineptitude
  • Extremely avoidant of any social situations
  • Consequently may avoid finding work or going to school

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