Your personality disorder can strain your relationships with friends and family members. Here’s how.

Personality disorders involve behaviors or characteristics that contradict with cultural expectations, and the effects of these conditions can harm a person’s relationships. Family members or friends might struggle to understand someone’s actions or thoughts, and the person struggling with the personality disorder may close themselves off from their loved ones.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5) lists the types of personality disorders. They include:

  • Paranoid personality disorder
  • Schizoid personality disorder
  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Narcissistic personality disorder
  • Avoidant personality disorder
  • Dependent personality disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder

Depending on the disorder someone has, relationships can suffer due to a personality condition. For instance, people with paranoid personality disorder often distrust others and cannot have healthy friendships or romantic connections due to persistent paranoia. This specific personality disorder can cause someone to have constant thoughts or beliefs that people mean them harm, either physically or emotionally. Someone in a romantic relationship may suspect that their partner is having an affair despite there being no proof.

Antisocial, schizoid and avoidant personality disorders deter social interaction. Since people with these disorders are uncomfortable in social settings, they may become distant from friends or family members. Contrarily, dependent personality disorders can cause a reliance on relationships, which could be overwhelming for someone’s partner.

How Do Personality Disorders Affect Daily Life?

A personality disorder can affect someone’s interactions with others. Paranoid personality disorder can cause overwhelming distrust of friends and strangers. Borderline personality disorder causes unstable moods. Avoidant personality disorder and other types of personality conditions can make people isolated from others. Each of these effects can change a person’s daily life, from not feeling comfortable around people to living a secluded lifestyle that could result in loneliness.

Related Topic: Avoidant personality disorder treatment

People with a personality disorder may resort to substance abuse for coping with their struggles. However, consistently relying on these substances can result in addiction. Additionally, drugs and alcohol only provide temporary relief from the turmoil associated with personality disorders and are not a long-term treatment solution. If you struggle with substance abuse and have a personality disorder, contact The Recovery Village. A representative can help you begin treatment for both issues.


American Psychiatric Association. “Personality Disorders.” 2013. Accessed February 20, 2019.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.