Cluster C Personality Disorders


Personality Disorders are characterized by inflexible and maladaptive personality traits that significantly interfere in how a person perform, behave or act within the society.


The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) categorizes personality disorders into clusters based on the major or identifying symptom.

CLUSTER A: people with odd and eccentric behavior.

CLUSTER B: people who are dramatic, emotional and erratic.

CLUSTER C: people who appear anxious and fearful.

Cluster C: Personality Disorders

  • Avoidant Personality Disorder

Avoidant personality disorder is characterized by a persistent pattern of:

  1. Social uneasiness and reticence
  2. Low self-esteem
  3. Hypersensitivity to negative reaction

Clinical Manifestations

  1. Shy
  2. Unusually fearful of rejection, criticism, shame or disapproval
  3. Socially awkward
  4. Easily devastated by real or perceived criticism
  5. Have a very low self-esteem
  6. Believes that they are inferior
  • Dependent Personality Disorder

People who are noted to excessively need someone to take care of them that lead to their persistent clingy and submissive behavior have a dependent personality disorder. These individuals have fear of being separated from the person whom they cling on to. The behavior elicits caretaking from others.

Clinical Manifestations

  1. Pessimistic
  2. Self-critical
  3. Can be easily be hurt by other people
  4. Frequently reports feeling unhappy or depressed ( due to actual or perceived loss of support from a person)
  5. Preoccupied with unrealistic fears of being alone and left alone to take care for themselves
  6. Has difficulty deciding on their own even how simple the problem is
  7. Constantly seeks advice from others and repeated assurances about all types of decisions
  8. Lacks confidence
  9. Uncomfortable and helpless when alone
  10. Has difficulty initiating  or completing simple daily tasks on their own
  • Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder

Individuals who are preoccupied with perfectionism, mental and interpersonal control and orderliness have an obsessive compulsive personality disorder. Persons with an obsessive compulsive personality are serious and formal and answer questions with precision and much detail. These people often seek treatment because of their recognition that life has no pleasure or because they are experiencing problems at work and in their relationships.

Clinical Manifestations

  1. Formal and serious
  2. Precise and detail-oriented
  3. Perfectionist
  4. Constricted emotional range (has difficulty expressing emotions)
  5. Stubborn and reluctant to relinquish control
  6. Restricted affect
  7. Preoccupation to orderliness
  8. Have low self-esteem
  9. Harsh
  10. Have difficulty in relationships

Daisy Jane Antipuesto RN MN

Currently a Nursing Local Board Examination Reviewer. Subjects handled are Pediatric, Obstetric and Psychiatric Nursing. Previous work experiences include: Clinical instructor/lecturer, clinical coordinator (Level II), caregiver instructor/lecturer, NC2 examination reviewer and staff/clinic nurse. Areas of specialization: Emergency room, Orthopedic Ward and Delivery Room. Also an IELTS passer.

What Do You Think?