Cluster C Personality Disorders

Allison Bailey Bailey, M.D., Nicholas Daneshvari, Mariel Cataldi, M.D., Traci Speed, M.D., PhD


Personality disorders are defined by enduring, inflexible, pervasive patterns of inner experience and behavior that deviate markedly from the expectations of an individual’s culture. This pattern may manifest in thoughts, behaviors, interpersonal functioning, and impulse control. Personality disorders lead to significant distress or impairment in social, occupations, or other important areas of functioning[1].

Cluster C Personality Disorders are collectively characterized by anxious and fearful patterns of thoughts and behaviors[1]:

  • Avoidant Personality Disorder is a pattern of social inhibition, feelings of inadequacy, and hypersensitivity to negative evaluation.
  • Dependent Personality Disorder is a pattern of submissive and clinging behavior and fears of separation related to an excessive need to be taken care of.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder is a pattern of preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism, and control at the expense of flexibility and efficiency.

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Last updated: December 6, 2020