Personality Disorders

Barriers to intimacy can lead to disordered behavior

Defining Personality Disorders

Those who struggle with a personality disorder often have trouble interacting with others and maintaining healthy relationships. These social difficulties can result in barriers to intimacy that can manifest as problematic sexual behaviors. This also can lead to having unhealthy and inflexible thought patterns, and difficulty coping with everyday problems.

The Connection Between Personality Disorders and Sex Addiction

Because individuals with PDs can have difficulty perceiving and relating to situations and people, this causes significant problems and limitations in relationships, social encounters, work, and school. Someone dealing with a personality disorder may develop a sexual addiction in an attempt to relate to those around them in a way that they can accept and understand.

In some cases, someone may not realize that they have developed a sexual disorder because their way of thinking and behaving seems natural to them.

Treating Complex Mental Health Issues

No one knows exactly what causes personality disorders, although certain factors seem to increase the risk of developing or triggering a disorder. Personality disorders usually begin in the teen years or early adulthood and include a range of different conditions.

Risk factors for personality disorders:

  • A family history of personality disorders or other mental illness
  • Verbal, physical, or sexual abuse during childhood
  • Neglect or an unstable/chaotic family life during childhood
  • Variations in brain chemistry and structure

Common personality disorders include:

  • Narcissistic personality disorder
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Avoidant personality disorder

Personality disorders are thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental influences. These complex mental health issues need treatment from an experienced team that understands how to address them along with any co-occurring conditions.

Change Your Story

Gentle Path is a safe, nurturing community composed of peers where your journey of recovery will include not just dealing with outward behaviors but examining the underlying causes. The goal is to gain the courage to face difficult issues (including grief and loss), heal from emotional trauma, and become accountable for your feelings, behaviors, and recovery.


Taking that first step is hard, but there’s a new life of health and hope just waiting for you. The next chapter of your life can begin now, but only you can change your story.

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