Posts tagged personality disorder
Posts tagged personality disorder
· Desperately holding on to other people, places or things in an attempt to find meaning and purpose in your life.
· Letting others do so much for you that it prevents you from developing your own sense of personal autonomy, independence, responsibility and accountability.
· Being unwilling to let go of others so that you can find your own direction in life.
· Refusing to formulate your own goals and dreams in case they don’t match those of the people you are dependent on.
· Having a feeling of emptiness and worthlessness; feeling you “need to be needed” in order to be loved; or having your whole identity wrapped up in someone else.
· Thinking sympathy and pity are the same thing as love.
· Having a desperate need for approval; desperately fearing rejection and abandonment by the person you are dependent on; being clingy, possessive and jealous.
· Lacking a belief in your own competency and ability to cope on your own.
· Feeling stuck and immobilised because of a fear of failure, or the fear of making the wrong decision.
· Having a fear of loneliness – which causes you to cling desperately to someone – even when you should let them go.
Overdependency is a control issue because:
· You are handing control of your life and happiness over to someone else.
· When you become too dependent on someone, you give them the power to control you.
· People who are overdependent frequently use manipulation and other subversive control techniques to “hook” others into taking care of them – so that they can rescue, fix or save you. Alternatively, they may use intimidation, threats and coercion.
· They use the same hooks to prevent the person from detaching and walking away (For example, by threatening suicide)
· They may use the mask of “helplessness” to get others to take care of them, and do things for them.
· When forming close relationships, they deliberately look “fixers,” “caretakers” and “rescuers” – that is, they seek out people who are likely to assume responsibility for their wellbeing.
Freedom from overdependency:
· First, recognise what is going on and be honest with yourself about your patterns and tendencies.
· Second, recognise that you are a separate person from your partner (or family member). Thus, it’s up to you to assume responsibility for your own choices, decisions and actions (or lack of choosing, deciding and acting). In the same way, stop assume responsibility for, or try to control, the choices and behaviors of others. Don’t speak and act for them, don’t tell them what to do (or how to do it) or redo what they’ve done (as it isn’t the way you would have done it.)
· Notice your negative feelings – anxiety, fear, and even terror – and learn to face and manage these. This is one of the most powerful things you can do!
· Next, notice how critical you become when others don’t do things your way, or meet the standards that you set for them. Also, notice how you act in response to these feelings. Do you jump in, try to fix, get angry, pout, withdraw sexually and emotionally? It’s time to get rid of those unhealthy behaviours as they’re part of the pattern of dependency.
· Consciously work on your self-esteem. Don’t look to others to make you happy, or to feel you have worth and significance. Healthy self-esteem comes from the inside out.
· Recognise the value of boundaries – and know where you end and another begins. Learn to establish and enforce your boundaries, and accept that others can choose for themselves – so don’t manipulate to try and get your way.
· Stop blaming others for making you upset. We have control of how we think and feel. You’re not a helpless victim – you can choose how you will live, and what you will accept in your relationships.
· Don’t take the flack for, or defend others’ behaviour. Allow them let them to feel the consequences of their actions. Stop defending and enabling them.
· Get professional help. Being dependent in relationships often has its roots in our early childhood experiences. You may some need help to unravel that, and better understand why you act the way you do.
At the movies, it’s easy to spot the psychopath. He’s the one with the charm and the smile, the one who’s ready to stab you with a knife. But it’s not so easy when it’s everyday life – and we’re not trained as doctors or as psychiatrists. However, professionals have highlighted a few warning signs that might indicate that this could be a psychopath. They include:
• Playing on our sympathy: Psychopaths will use us, will hurt and rip us off – then heartlessly play to our sympathetic feelings - and we blindly believe them and tend to let them off. But if this happens often, it shows a lack of conscience so don’t be fooled by their cheap and empty words.
• Being manipulative: Psychopaths, in general, love to play with your emotions. They want you to jump, squirm, feel anxious or afraid.
• Being a parasite: The psychopath will use their charm and persuasion to get you to pay, or to meet their various needs. There’s rarely any benefit or payoff for you. You’re just being exploited – you’re a pawn in their hands.
• Being deceitful: They’re con men who’ll trick you and lie constantly. Their life is a deception; you can’t trust a word. But if you point to a snag in their tangled web of lies they’ll vehemently deny it, and jump to their defence.
• Highly charming: Psychopaths are usually charismatic characters. That is, they’re often mesmerizing, can pull in a crowd, and make a person feel like they’re a famous movie star. But it won’t last forever … they drop you and move on.
• Conceited: Psychopaths are caught up with themselves and their importance. They’re boastful, proud, haughty, heartless, arrogant – and like to undermine, criticise and put you down.
• Never accepting blame: The psychopath believes that they are never to blame - and they won’t accept any culpability.
• Being highly reactive: Although psychopaths can quickly cover up their anger, they will overreact to perceived slights and offences … or to insufficient deference, recognition and respect.
• Risk-takers: These types of individuals are extreme risk takers who draw in others to their games, schemes and plans. They’re hungry for power and they seek control – regardless of the risks or the danger this entails.
Note: Research indicates that psychopaths cannot be treated. So put up your guard and keep a healthy distance – and don’t ever form a relationship with them.
This is very similar to generalized social phobia. Those with the disorder think of themselves as being inadequate, unlikeable and socially inept. They fear being rejected, criticised or ridiculed and would rather avoid most social situations. The reasons can differ may be related to emotional neglect and peer group rejection in childhood and/ or adolescence. Symptoms may include the following:
- Hypersensitivity to rejection/criticism
- Self-imposed social isolation
- Extreme shyness or anxiety in social situations. (However, the person still has a strong desire for close and meaningful relationships)
- May avoid physical contact with others (because it is associated with emotional or physical pain)
- Painful feelings of inadequacy
- Poor self-esteem
- Intense feelings of self consciousness
- Self hatred or self-loathing
- Mistrust of others
- Emotional distancing/ fear of intimacy
- Highly critical of their ability to relate naturally and appropriately to others
- Do not feel they can connect with others (although others may view them as easy to relate to)
- Intense feelings of inferiority.
- In more extreme cases, may suffer from agoraphobia.
Treatment approaches include social skills training, cognitive therapy, gradually increasing exposure to social situations, group therapy and, occasionally, drug therapy. Gaining and keeping the client’s trust is essential for progress to be made.
What we refer to as a sociopath is officially a person diagnosed as suffering from antisocial personality disorder. This is the third time the name has changed. The original description was “morally insane.” This was later changed to someone with a “psychopathic personality” – before the most recent name change. Common characteristics include the following:
· Superficial and insincere charm. Hence, they may blind people around them with their charm and wit - but it’s never genuine.
· Being domineering, manipulative and abusive.
· Expert con men. Have no problem lying; are often caught up in a web of lies, and display no remorse if their lying is uncovered.
· View people as instruments and victims for their own use. In their mind, “the end justifies the means” so they don’t allow anyone to stand in their way.
· Often derive pleasure from hurting and humiliating their victims.
· Are in love with themselves, and have a grandiose sense of what they deserve and are entitled to. For example, they see themselves as being above the Law.
· Beating the system and breaking the law without getting caught is a game for them. In fact, winning is the key motivator for this person – in everything they do and in all relationships.
· Have shallow emotions. Any warm expressive shows are merely feigned and are likely to serve an ulterior motive. They’re incapable of love and can’t experience empathy. Hence, they’re contemptuous of those who feel and show distress.
· Lack impulse control and live on the edge. They are huge risk takers so promiscuity, illegal drugs and gambling are all common. They are also likely to demonstrate criminal or entrepreneurial versatility.
· Refuses to accept responsibility for their actions. Are quick to blame others even when it’s clear that they themselves are to blame.
· Has a history of antisocial behaviours before age 15. This may take the form of repeatedly conning others, being disaffected at school, being involved in criminal activities (such as theft and arson), hurting others without remorse and being cruel to animals.
It is crucial to grasp that there is no known cure for a person diagnosed as a sociopath. In fact, it appears that therapy may even make them worse as they use what they’ve learned about human nature to exploit other peoples’ vulnerabilities. They then become more astute at manipulating others and have better excuses that are more believable.
Note: All psychopaths are sociopaths but not all sociopath are psychopaths. Psychopaths have an anti-social personality disorder that is accompanied by aggressiveness.
A doctor will diagnose borderline personality disorder in persons who have five or more of these symptoms and if the symptoms have a significant impact on them.
- Having emotions that are up and down (for example, feeling confident one day and feeling despair another), with feelings of emptiness and often anger
- Difficulty in making and maintaining relationships
- Having an unstable sense of identity, such as thinking differently about yourself depending on who you are with
- Taking risks or doing things without thinking about the consequences
- Harming yourself or thinking about harming yourself (for example, cutting yourself or overdosing)
- Fearing being abandoned or rejected or being alone
- Sometimes believing in things that are not real or true (called delusions) or seeing or hearing things that are not really there (called hallucinations).
Note: People with borderline personality disorder have high rates of other mental health related problems, such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders and substance misuse (drugs or alcohol).
What helps people with BPD?
- People with BPD have a strong need to feel accepted, heard and understood.
- They need a sense of safety; for instance consistent people and places where they can become attached while working through their difficulties.
- There are a growing number of talking therapies that may help, when a person is ready and able.
- Medication has helped some people to cope with difficult thoughts and feelings.
1. Don’t expect empathy, understanding or praise and recognition from a narcissistic person. Keep your private thoughts and feelings close to your heart, and don’t open up and make yourself vulnerable.
2. Expect them to be rude and to say offensive things.
3. Don’t be offended by the things they say and do as it’s not about you – they treat others the same way.
4. Make a lot of their achievements and praise them publicly as they’re always looking to be noticed and affirmed.
5. Don’t try to get a narcissist to see things differently as they’re not going to change, or be influenced by you.
6. Understand that a narcissist is going to drain you dry – and will guilt you into think that you haven’t done enough. But it’s actually not true. They just can’t be satisfied.
7. Don’t push for a meaningful relationship with them as it will always be one-sided … look for love from someone else.
1. Trichotillomania is where the sufferer is overcome by the powerful urge to pull out their own hair. This is includes eyelashes, scalp and facial hair, and even pubic hair. Where the person also consumes the hair, it can lead to something called “Rapunzel Syndrome” (intestinal problems caused by the body’s inability to digest human hair).
2. Foreign Accent Syndrome is usually the result of experiencing a stroke or severe brain injury. It results in the person speaking with a different accent – and one that they haven’t been exposed to personally. For example, an American will speak with a British accent or a Brit may start sound as if they’re from New York.
3. Genital Retraction Syndrome is exactly what the name implies. It’s the irrational belief that the genitals or breasts are physically shrinking, and will disappear inside the person’s body – and will lead to their death.
4. Windigo Psychosis is where the person is fighting a constant craving for human flesh. At the same time, he or she also is afraid that they will become a cannibal.
5. Body Integrity Identity Disorder is rare and difficult to comprehend. It is where the individual is convinced that their life would be significantly better if they were amputees – hence they feel the urge to have a healthy limb removed. However, this leads to a psychiatric diagnosis and not the removal of their limb!
Millions of people across the world are diagnosed as suffering from mental illness. And though most of those are disorders are common and well-known (such as depression, anxiety and phobias) there are also some unusual and bizarre disorders. For example:
1. Stockholm Syndrome – Typically seen in abducted hostages, this is where the captive shows signs of sympathy, compassion and loyalty towards the hostage taker. This occurs regardless of the way they have been treated – and even where they’ve been tortured or their life is under threat.
2. Lima Syndrome – This is the opposite of the previous syndrome. It’s where the hostage taker is extremely concerned for the plight and wellbeing of the hostages.
3. Diogenes Syndrome – This disorder is marked by severe self neglect, compulsive hoarding, reclusive tendencies, and keeping large numbers of animals at home.
4. Paris Syndrome – This is very exclusive disorder … one restricted to Japanese tourists in Paris (It’s true!) The sufferer experiences a total mental breakdown when the city fails to meet their cultural expectations (Paris is rarely as polite, romantic, peaceful and idyllic as the tourists had imagined). To cope with this experience, their embassy established a 24hr hotline to help those with the syndrome.
5. Jerusalem Syndrome – People diagnosed with this particular disorder experience delusions and spontaneous psychosis after visiting a holy city. To date, all identified sufferers have had a history of mental illness, or some kind of psychosis.
6. Capgras Delusion – In this rare disorder, the individual believes that a friend or family member has been abducted and replaced by an impostor (who looks identical to them). It is generally seen in those with schizophrenia, dementia, or some kind of brain injury.
7. Fregoli Delusion – This is the exact opposite of Capgras delusion. It is the false belief that numerous different people are actually one person who keeps changing their disguise.
8. Cotard Delusion – A person suffering from this delusion believes that they don’t exist, are dead, are putrefying or have no blood or internal organs.
DSM-IV lists ten different personality disorders. These are grouped into three clusters: odd or eccentric disorders; dramatic, emotional or erratic disorders; and
anxious or fearful disorders. These can be summarised as follows:
1. Odd or Eccentric Disorders
a) Paranoid personality disorder: This is characterised by irrational suspicions and a deep mistrust of others.
b) Schizoid personality disorder: This is characterised by a lack of interest in other people, and no need or desire for relationships.
c) Schizotypal personality disorder: This is characterised by bizarre thought patterns and behaviours.
2. Dramatic, Emotional or Erratic Disorders
a) Antisocial personality disorder: This is characterised by a blatant and pervasive disregard for authority, the law and the rights of others.
b) Borderline personality disorder: This is characterised by rigid, categorical and extreme “black and white” thinking. Also, instability in their relationships with others, a poor self-image, low self-esteem, impulsivity and behaviour which results in self-harm.
c) Histrionic personality disorder: This is characterised by attention-seeking behaviour. For example, behaving in ways that are inappropriately seductive, or displaying exaggerated emotions.
d) Narcissistic personality disorder: This is characterised by grandiose claims and behaviours, a need for admiration, and a lack of empathy. This individual also finds it hard to relate in meaningful ways to others.
3. Anxious or Fearful Disorders
a) Avoidant personality disorder: This is characterised by social inhibition, feelings of inadequacy, extreme sensitivity to negative evaluation, and avoidance of social situations.
b) Dependent personality disorder: This is characterised by an inappropriate psychological dependence on others.
c) Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (This is different from obsessive-compulsive disorder): It is characterised by rigid conformity to rules and moral codes – with an excessive need for orderliness.
There are 4 main parenting styles:
1. Authoritarian Parenting: Here, the child is expected to follow the rules – and failure leads to punishment. There is no discussion or explanation related to why the rules exist, and no negotiation with children over rules. Instead, children are expected to obey, right away, and without questioning their parents.
In terms of personality, children raised by authoritarian parents are typically compliant, obedient, reliable are obedient and proficient. However, they often suffer from depression, rate themselves lower on subjective happiness, are less socially competent and have low self-esteem.
2. Authoritative Parenting: These parents also establish rules and guidelines for their children. However, the main difference here is that parents are willing to provide explanations, listen to children’s questions, and occasionally negotiate a compromise. Parents are also less harsh, and more understanding and forgiving when children fail to meet their expectations. These parents do not set out to raise submissive, obedient individuals. Rather, they want their children to be responsible, appropriately assertive, self-regulating and co-operative individuals.
In terms of personality, children raised by authoritive parents fair the best of all. They are generally, confident, capable, competent happy, socially well adjusted and successful in life.
3. Permissive parents: These are also described as indulgent parents. They make few demands on their children, rarely discipline their children, and don’t require their children to be responsible and self-controlled. They are often very high in nurturing and treat their children more like friends.
In terms of personality, children raised by permissive parenting are often unhappy adults. They have poorer self-regulation and self-control, many experience problems with authority, and they tend to perform poorly in school, and then the work place.
4. Uninvolved Parenting: As the name suggests, this type of parent makes few demands, rarely communicates, and is generally unresponsiveness to the needs of their children. Although the child’s essential needs are cared for, their emotional needs are neglected so the child often feels rejected and unloved.
In terms of personality, children raised by uninvolved parents have the worst outcome – in all areas of life (emotional wellbeing, life satisfaction, success in relationship, success at school and work etc). Many lack self-control, the majority have low self-esteem, and they tend to be less competent in social and practical life situations.
The list below contains descriptions of some of the more common traits of people who suffer from personality disorders, as observed by family members and partners. Please note that these descriptions are not intended for diagnosis. No one person exhibits all of the traits and the presence of one or more traits is not evidence of a personality disorder.
2. Alienation- Interfering or cutting a person off from relationships with others. This can be done by manipulating the attitudes and behaviors of the victim or of the people with whom they come in contact. The victim’s relationships with others may be sabotaged through verbal pressure, threats, diversions, distortion campaigns and systems of rewards and punishments.
14. Circular Conversations - Arguments which go on almost endlessly, repeating the same patterns with no real resolution.
17. “Control-Me” Syndrome - A tendency to foster relationships with people who have a controlling narcissistic, antisocial or “acting-out” nature.
27. Fear of abandonment - A pattern of irrational thought which causes a person to think that they are in imminent danger of being rejected or replaced by someone else.
37. Imposed Isolation – May be caused by an abusive person who does not want their victim to have close relationships with others. Often, isolation is self-imposed by abuse victims, who out of a sense of shame or guilt, fear the judgment of others.
42. Lack of object constancy - The inability to remember that people or objects are consistent, trustworthy and reliable, especially when they are out of your immediate field of vision.
47. Moments of Clarity- Spontaneous, temporary periods when a person with a personality disorder is able to see beyond their own world view and can, briefly, understand, acknowledge and begin to make amends for their dysfunctional behavior.
50. Neglect – a form of abuse where the physical or emotional needs of a dependent are disregarded or ignored by the person responsible for them.
70. Triggers: Small, insignificant or minor actions, statements or events that produce a dramatic or inappropriate response.
Source: http://outofthefog.net/CommonBehaviors/Top100Traits.html (abridged)
Depersonalization Disorder is where a person “looks at themselves from the outside”, and observes their own physical actions or mental processes as if they were an observer instead of themselves. This often brings a sense of unreality, and an alteration in the perception of the environment around them, as well as the person fearing they are not in full control of themselves. People with this disorder feel like they are “going crazy” and they frequently become anxious and depressed. An episode of depersonalization disorder can be as brief as a few seconds or continue for several years.
Depersonalization is the third most common psychiatric symptom and frequently occurs in life-threatening danger, such as accidents, assaults, and serious illnesses and injuries; it can occur as a symptom in many other psychiatric disorders and in seizure disorders.
Clinical picture of Depersonalization disorder
Patients describe feelings of being unreal and experiencing an unreal quality to perceptipns They say that their emotions are dulled and that their actions feel mechanical. Paradoxically, they complain that this lack of feeling is extremely unpleasant. Symptoms may be intense, and accompanied by deja vu and by changes in the experience of passage of time. Some patients complain of sensory distortions affecting a single part of the body (usually the head, the nose, or a limb), which may be described as feeling as if made of cotton wool. Two-thirds of the patients are women. The onset is often in adolescence or early adult life, with the condition starting before the age of 30 in about half the cases. Once established, the disorder often persists for years, though with periods of partial or complete remission.
Treatment of Depersonalization Disorder
Since dissociative disorders seem to be triggered as a response to trauma or abuse, treatment for individuals with such a disorder may stress psychotherapy, although a combination of psychopharmacological and psychosocial treatments is often used. Many of the symptoms of dissociative disorders occur with other disorders, such as anxiety and depression, and can be controlled by the same drugs used to treat those disorders. A person in treatment for a dissociative disorder might benefit from antidepressants or antianxiety medication.
Source: http://www.depression-guide.com/depersonalization-disorder.htm (abridged)
1. Capgras delusion theory - Being convinced that a friend or family member has been kidnapped and replaced by an identical-looking impostor.
2. Alice-in-Wonderland syndrome (or Todd’s syndrome) - A temporary condition caused by migraines, brain tumors or psychoactive drugs. It is a form of perceptual distortion where the individual thinks they have grown in size or that other people, animals and objects have shrunk in size.
3. Celebriphilia - An overwhelming obsession and desire to have a romantic relationship with a celebrity.
4. Hybristophilia -Being sexually aroused by, or falling in love with, someone who has committed a heinous crime.
5. Cotard’s syndrome or walking corpse syndrome – Believing you are dead and putrefying, or have lost all your blood, or have no internal organs.
6. Reduplicative paramnesia – An unusual delusion where the person believes that a building has been relocated without their knowledge, or exists in two places or dimensions at the same time.
7. Pica – A rare eating disorder where the person believes that non-edible items are, in fact, edible. Hence, they start eating items like rocks, hair, plastic and dirt.
1. Borderline Personality Disorder is diagnosed where the individual displays at least 5 of the following symptoms:
(i) frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment;
(ii) a pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation;
(iii) a markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self;
(iv) impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating)
(v) recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior; (vi) mood instability;
(vii) chronic feelings of emptiness;
(viii) inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights); (ix) transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms.
2. The condition is diagnosed in 1 - 2 percent of the population.
3. Three times as many females as males are diagnosed with BPD.
4. Statistics indicates that 75% of those with BPD self-injure.
5. It is estimated that around 10% of those with BPD complete suicide attempts.
6. When treated properly, BPD has a good prognosis.
7. BPD is generally co-morbid. Statistics for co-morbidity with other disorders are as follows:major depressive disorder – 60%; dysthymia (chronic, moderate to mild depression) – 70%; eating disorders – 25%; substance abuse – 35%; bipolar disorder – 15%; antisocial personality disorder – 25%; narcissistic personality disorder – 25%.
Codependency is an unhealthy form of love. It is where my need to take care of you compromises or harms my quality of life. Although it’s usually seen in romantic partnerships, it can occur in any relationship, including family, friends or peers. Characteristics of codependency include:
1. I feel good about myself when you like and approve of me.
2. Your problems and concerns disturb my peace of mind.
3. A lot of my mental energy is focused on helping and rescuing you (either solving your problems or relieving your pain).
4. A lot of my mental energy is diverted into protecting you.
5. I spend a lot of time and energy trying to get you to do it my way (ie. Being manipulative).
6. My self-esteem is boosted by solving your problems or helping to relieve your pain.
7. I set aside my own interests, hobbies and goals as I’d rather spend my time doing what interests you.
8. I feel how you look, how you behave, and what you achieve (or do not achieve) reflects on me – and is a judgment of me.
9. I’ve lost touch with feelings as I’m totally consumed with how you feel, and how your feelings are changing.
10. I don’t really know what I want any more – as I’m so wrapped up in you, and what you want.
11. The hopes and dreams for the future are all tied to you.
12. My fear of rejection or abandonment by you determines how I act and what I say.
13. My fear of upsetting or making you mad determines how I act and what I say.
14. I use giving as a way to feel safe and secure in my relationship with you.
15. My friends and social circle gets smaller and smaller as I involve myself more and more with you.
16. I value your opinions more than my own opinions, and am willing to sacrifice my personal values to be accepted and valued by you.