Abnormal Psychology

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The Nature of Psychopathology and Abnormal Psychology
The Diagnosis of Mental Disorders

Medications to Treat Personality Disorders

According to Essentials of Abnormal Psychology by Andrew Gatzfeld for most of the PD's, psychotropic medications are sometimes used in treatment. In order to determine which drug to prescribe is based on the Axis I disorder the personality disorder resembles. When unipolar depression occurs in a PD, SSRIs such as Prozac (fluoxetine) is useful. Avoidant Personality Disorder patients can be prescribed anxiolytics such as Xanax (alprazolam) to help alleviate their phobias and social anxieties. Drugs such as Risperdal (risperidone) can be given to Schizotypal PD patients (Getzfeld, 238).

Text has shown that no one medication is ideal to treat Borderline PD. Antidepressants and anxiolytics may help calm some of the emotions of a borderline patient, but will not alter the long-term maladaptive behavioral patterns. Prozac (fluoxetine) seems to help in reducing aggression, depression, and impulsivity in those with borderline. LIthium also appears to reduce anger and suicidal behaviors and gestures, while antipsychotics appear to reduce anxiety along with suicidal behaviors and gestures and their psychotic symptoms. Borderline patients however have an increased risk for abusing drugs and a greater risk for successfully completing suicide, as a warning these drugs must be given with extreme caution. ASPD patients may be given Lithium and Tegretal (carbamazepine, and anticonvulsant) for the anger or rage these patients may have but data for the usage of these drugs are rare. Anxiolytics may be used but because of the impulse control of ASPD patients is poor, using it is not recommended. Antisocial PD remains under knowledged therefore medications are not recommended (Getzfeld, 238).

According to the Mayo Clinic there are no medications specifically approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat personality disorders. However, several types of psychiatric medications may help with various personality disorder symptoms.

  • Antidepressant medications.
  • Antidepressants may be useful if you have a depressed mood, anger, impulsivity, irritability or hopelessness, which may be associated with personality disorders.
  • Mood-stabilizing medications.
  • As their name suggests, mood stabilizers can help even out mood swings or reduce irritability, impulsivity and aggression.
  • Anti-anxiety medications.
  • These may help if you have anxiety, agitation or insomnia. But in some cases, they can increase impulsive behavior.
  • Antipsychotic medications.
  • Also called neuroleptics, these may be helpful if your symptoms include losing touch with reality (psychosis) or in some cases if you have anxiety or anger problems.

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