Causes of Personality disorders

This page explains in brief, potential causes for personality disorders 

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Just as each person’s experience with a personality disorder is personal to them, the causes are unique too.

There’s no definite explanation for why some individuals develop the emotions and behaviours linked to personality disorders, while others do not. Most experts think that a variety of factors likely raises the risk of developing or setting off these conditions.

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Surroundings and Social Situations

The environment and social situations we’re raised in, along with the level of care we get, can influence how our personality forms. You might face challenges linked to personality disorders if you’ve gone through:

  • minimal or no support from your caregiver – this can be particularly tough if you’ve been through a traumatic event or situation
  • facing poverty or discrimination
  • a lack of support or negative experiences in your school life, with peers, or in the broader community, like being bullied or left out
  • an unstable or turbulent home life, for instance, living with a parent who has alcohol issues or mental health difficulties
  • any form of upheaval, such as moving from another country.

Experiences from Early Life

Our childhood experiences can shape our personality as adults. If your childhood was tough, you might have formed specific ideas about how people think, behave, and how relationships function. This can result in adopting coping methods that were essential during your childhood but might not be beneficial in your adult life.

If you’ve been diagnosed with a personality disorder, it’s more likely that you’ve gone through challenging or traumatic events in your childhood, such as:

  • Experiencing emotional, physical, or sexual harm
  • Involvement in significant incidents or accidents
  • Frequently feeling scared, distressed, unaided, or dismissed
  • The loss of a parent or sudden grief
  • Being neglected

However, not everyone who goes through a traumatic event will face these issues. Your individual responses, along with the steady and quality support and care you’ve had, play a significant role.

In the same way, not everyone with a personality disorder will have gone through a traumatic experience.

Genetic influences

Personality is incredibly complex, and currently, researchers aren’t sure about the components that form our personalities and the role genetics may have.
It’s probable that some aspects of our personality come from genetics. We’re born with different natures – for instance, there’s variation in how active babies are, their attention span, and their response to change.

While some specialists think genetics might influence the development of personality disorders, others argue it’s hard to tell if temperamental and behavioural similarities are passed down genetically or learned through the behaviour seen and copied in childhood. More investigation is needed in this field.

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Talk with a trained professional about your thoughts and feelings with out free counselling and private counselling service for people over the age of 18.

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