Addiction and Personality Disorders

A personality disorder is a type of mental condition that alters a person’s perspective on themselves, others, and society. Personality disorders often correlate with substance abuse and addiction. When an individual is suffering with both conditions, it’s important to address them with dual diagnosis treatment. At Spero Recovery, we offer 12-step based and wilderness therapy to help our clients recover from addiction and learn how to manage their personality disorder.

What Is a Personality Disorder?

addiction and personality disorder treatmentPersonality disorders are mental health disorders that cause people to experience significant impairments in themselves and their interpersonal functioning. People who suffer from personality disorders have patterns of thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors that differ from the norm. As a result, individuals who have a personality disorder may cause them to misinterpret the emotions and motivations of others. As a result, these individuals may be compulsive and frequently exhibit irrational displays of anger.

Individuals with certain personality disorders may have a poor sense of self, which may prompt them to copy and imitate the personality traits and actions of those they admire or envy. Some personality disorders may cause the individual to avoid forming relationships with others. Others cause people to display unusual beliefs and extreme levels of suspicion and paranoia.

addiction discussions
The community vibe we foster at Spero Recovery enables our clients to feel comfortable and teaches them interpersonal skills. We want to create a safe environment for our clients; our goal is to provide a space where they can become the people they have always wanted to be.

sponsor community
At Spero Recovery, we immerse our guests into a 12 Step community. They find sponsors, meet up with them regularly, and work through the 12 Steps. Members of the community pass down the gift of recovery to our clients, which allows them to begin the process of recovery and eventually pass on the gift to other clients.

mountain rehab
We also offer experiential programming – hikes and other outdoor activities. We also have a full woodworking shop. Inviting specialists onto the premises—such as meditation teachers and chefs—is one of our favorite things to do. Our goal is to teach our guests essential life skills and the importance of building relationships.

10 Types of Personality Disorders

There are 10 different types of personality disorders. One can separate these 10 different personality disorders into three groups, or clusters. These clusters are based on the different symptoms and behaviors that they cause people to exhibit. We detail the three different clusters of personality disorders ‌below.

Personality disorders that fall under cluster A cause people to exhibit behaviors that fall outside of the social norm. Some common types of cluster A conditions include:

1. Paranoid Personality Disorder

This personality disorder causes affected individuals to distrust others. Individuals who suffer from paranoid personality disorder often misinterpret events and experiences to validate their own fears and perceptions. As a form of self-defense, people who suffer from paranoid personality disorder also often project their inappropriate thoughts and emotions onto others. This condition is inheritable.

2. Schizoid Personality Disorder

This personality disorder often causes a detachment to society and self-absorption. As a result, those who suffer from schizoid personality disorder may have little to no desire for intimate or social relationships. These individuals seldom follow social norms and may react to situations inappropriately due to their condition.

3. Schizotypal Disorder

Individuals who suffer from schizotypal disorder are highly eccentric in their speech, behavior, and appearance. They also often have unusual thought patterns and perceptions of standard, everyday experiences. This may cause these individuals to be suspicious of others. Such beliefs cause people with schizotypal disorder to avoid social interactions out of fear of others.

Similar to those with schizoid personality disorder, people who suffer from schizotypal disorder don’t care about social norms. Individuals with this condition are likely to develop schizophrenia later on in life.

Individuals who suffer from one of the personality disorders under cluster B may exhibit dramatic, erratic, and emotional behaviors. Here are some of the more common conditions within this cluster:

1. Antisocial Personality Disorder

Individuals who suffer from antisocial personality disorder have little empathy or regard for the feelings of others. They also often have a disregard for social rules. As a result, people with antisocial personality disorder will often act aggressive towards others and feel no guilt about doing so. Antisocial personality disorder is more often found in men than women.

2. Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline personality disorder is one of the more complex personality disorders. These individuals have a poor sense of their own identity. They also often feel depressed and turn to others to help them feel and form their identity. It’s common for individuals with borderline personality disorder to be physically violent when overcome with emotion. Such erratic and irrational behavior often causes individuals with borderline personality disorder to struggle to maintain relationships with others despite their strong desire for love and attention.

Struggles with compulsivity is one of the key characteristics that distinguishes conditions like borderline personality disorder from other mental health issues. Such compulsive behavior often extends to substance abuse and addiction issues.

3. Histrionic Personality Disorder

People with histrionic personality disorder base their self-worth by the attention and approval of others. This need for attention and approval often causes those with histrionic personality disorder to act out. Like some of the other personality disorders under cluster B, those who suffer from histrionic personality disorder are very impulsive. They may also be hypersensitive to criticism, failure, rejection.

4. Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Individuals who suffer from narcissistic personality disorder have an exaggerated sense of self-importance. They often think others should admire and envy them, and may resort to lies to get this recognition. Despite this, individuals with this condition actually suffer from a poor sense of self and low self-esteem, which may cause them to envy and imitate others.

These individuals may be skilled at social manipulation and lack empathy. Due to the social stigma around this condition, many inidividuals who suffer from narcisiistic personality disorcer are in denial about their diagnosis or symptoms.

People who suffer from cluster C personality disorders contain fearful and anxious patterns of thoughts and behaviors. Some common cluster C conditions include:

1. Avoidant Personality Disorder

People who suffer from avoidant personality disorder contain an intense fear of embarrassment and rejection. As a result, people with avoidant personality disorder will often only interact with those who they feel will accept them. This is true for both romantic partners and non-romantic partners.

2. Dependent Personality Disorder

Dependent personality disorder causes people to depend on others for everyday life decisions. They may exhibit child-like behavior and struggle with independence. Like many other personality disorders, this condition can cause individuals to fear abandonment.

Difference Between Personality and Mood Disorders

Mood disorders often cause internal struggles and present in the relationships of those who have the condition, while personality disorders are integral to who someone is and how they react to external stimuli.

The reason why personality disorders are so deeply ingrained in a person’s being is because they  often present early in an individual’s life due to trauma that occurs while one is still developing. Mood disorders, on the other hand, can form anytime in a person’s life. While personality disorders can trigger the development of certain mood disorders, such as depression, mood disorders can’t trigger the appearance of personality disorders. That’s why those who suffer from certain personality disorders sometimes also develop mood disorders such as depression.

What Are Co-Occurring Disorders?

Co-occurring disorders are two disorders that impact one another and are occurring within a person at the same time. For example, many people simultaneously suffer from substance addiction and personality disorders. This can be because of the impulsivity that personality disorders can cause. Sometimes, an individual who is suffering with one of these conditions may abuse substances to cope as a coping method, though it’s an ineffective one.

The Link Between Substance Addiction and Personality Disorders

addiction and personality disorder treatment programThere’s a high correlation between alcohol abuse, addiction issues and Cluster C personality disorders. There’s also a high correlation between illegal drugs, such as cocaine, and Cluster B personality disorders. In fact, people with Cluster B personality disorders are most likely to develop substance abuse issues.

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a great tool to treat personality disorders. Examples of personality disorders that DBT can help treat include borderline personality disorder, depression, stress, and suicidal ideations.

Individuals can also use medications, on top of therapy programs such as dialectical behavior therapy, to help treat substance addictions and co-occurring personality disorders. Examples of such medications include:

  • Anti-anxiety medications
  • Antidepressants
  • Mood stabilizers
  • Antipsychotics

Receive Treatment for Substance Addiction and Personality Disorders at Spero Recovery

Spero Recovery is a treatment center for individuals with substance abuse and addiction issues. Here at Spero recovery, our mission is to improve the lives of individuals, families, and communities by making addiction treatment affordable and accessible.

Because we’re aware that many individuals that suffer from substance addiction also suffer from mental health conditions such as personality disorders, we offer dual diagnosis treatment programs. With dual diagnosis treatment, we recognize how our client’s conditions intersect and offer personalized care to help begin their path to recovery.

To learn more about Spero Recovery and the addiction treatment programs that we offer, contact us. We are here to help and are ready to provide support as you start your treatment journey.

Program Admissions


Begin With Spero Recovery Center Today

Finding the right program for recovering from addiction can be challenging. For more information on what Spero Recovery does and how we can help, give us a call. Your are not alone. We can accomplish so much together!