COUNSELLING BLOG

Posts tagged personality disorder

2,894 notes

7 Strange Mental Disorders

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.

Filed under counselling psychology therapy mental illness mental health personality personality disorder motivation self help self improvement online counselling college

1,730 notes

Avoidant Personality Disorder

Avoidant Personality Disorder (AVPD) is a recognised disorder which is characterized by a hypersensitivity to criticism, intense self loathing and a strong desire to isolate themselves. Sufferers believe that they lack social skills, and feel they don’t know or understand “the rules”. Hence, they tend to avoid social situations to avoid the pain of rejection by others.

People in a close relationship with them often feel frustrated by the person’s tendency to pull away from them and avoid other people. They also find it hard to lead an active social life as the sufferer refuses to go to events such as family gathering, work parties and so on. Also, they may feel pressurised to cut themselves off, too, and live in a bubble with the AVPD person. This can be a source of stress for the person and the extended family.

Although people with AVPD will generally display a number of the traits outlined below, each person is unique and different. (Also, most of us display avoidant traits at times but that doesn’t mean we have AVPD).

Symptoms and traits include the following:“always” & “never” statements; blaming; catastrophizing (automatically assuming a “worst case scenario”); circular conversations (endless arguments which repeat the same patterns); “control-me” syndrome (a tendency to form relationships with people who are controlling, narcissistic or antisocial); dependency; depression; emotional blackmail; false accusations; fear of abandonment; hypervigilance;  identity disturbance ( a distorted view of oneself); impulsivity; lack of object constancy (the inability to remember that people or objects are consistent and reliable over time – regardless of whether you can see them or not); low self-esteem; mood swings;  objectification (treating a person like an object); panic attacks; passive aggressive behaviour; projection (attributing one’s own feelings or traits onto another); self-hatred; “playing the victim” and thought policing (trying to question, control, or unduly influence another person’s thoughts, feelings and behaviours.)

Specifically, the DSM-IV-TR, defines Avoidant Personality Disorder (AvPD) as being:

A pervasive pattern of social inhibition, feelings of inadequacy, and hypersensitivity to negative evaluation, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by four (or more) of the following:

1. Avoids occupational activities that involve significant interpersonal contact, because of fears of criticism, disapproval, or rejection.

2. Is unwilling to get involved with people unless certain of being liked.

3. Shows restraint initiating intimate relationships because of the fear of being ashamed, ridiculed, or rejected due to severe low self-worth.

4. Is preoccupied with being criticized or rejected in social situations.

5. Is inhibited in new interpersonal situations because of feelings of inadequacy.

6. Views self as socially inept, personally unappealing, or inferior to others

7. Is unusually reluctant to take personal risks or to engage in any new activities because they may prove embarrassing.

A formal diagnosis must be made by a mental health professional.

Filed under counselling psychology therapy Avoidant Personality Disorder personality personality disorder mental health mental illness psychiatry self help self improvement relationship online counselling college

591 notes

Overdependency in Relationships

Overdependency is:

·  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.

Filed under overdependency personality disorder counselling psychology therapy mental illness mental health inspiration relationships online counselling college

4,451 notes

Spotting a Psychopath

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.

Filed under counselling psychology therapy psychopath personality disorder psychiatry mental health mental illness self help self improvement online counselling college

1,496 notes

Avoidant (or Anxious) Personality Disorder

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.

Filed under counselling psychology therapy mental health personality disorder anxiety Anxiety Disorder self help self improvement psychiatry online counselling college

1,915 notes

Profile of a Sociopath

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.

Filed under counselling psychology therapy psychiatry sociopath psychopath mental disorders mental health mental illness personality disorder online counselling college

406 notes

What is Borderline Personality Disorder?

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.

Source: http://www.mind.org.uk/help/diagnoses_and_conditions/borderline_personality_disorder (Abridged)

Filed under counselling psychology therapy personality disorder mental health mental illness psychiatry moods self improvement self help online counselling college

471 notes

How to Deal with a Narcissist

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.

Filed under counselling psychology therapy narcissism personality disorder mental illness relationships self improvement self help online counselling college

138 notes

Some Strange and Rare Psychological Disorders

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! 

Filed under counselling psychology therapy mental illness personality disorder psychological disorders psychiatry self improvement self help online counselling college

455 notes

8 Strange Personality Disorders

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.

Filed under counselling psychology therapy relationships mental health mental illness personality disorder personality self help self improvement online counselling college

261 notes

Personality Disorders

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.

Filed under counselling psychology therapy personality disorder personality mentall illness mental disorders online counselling college self improvement self help

625 notes

How Parenting Style Affects Personality

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.

Filed under counselling psychology personality personality disorder mental health mental illness education child psychology developmental psychology self improvement self help success life relationships online counselling college

10,122 notes

Top 70 Traits of People with Personality Disorders

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.

1. Abusive Cycle - This describes the characteristic rotation between destructive and constructive behavior that typically exists in dysfunctional relationships.

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.

3. “Always” & “Never” Statements - These are but rarely true.

4. Unresolved anger – The belief that they have been wronged, invalidated, neglected or abused.

5. Avoidance - The practice of withdrawing from relationships with other people as a defensive measure to reduce the risk of rejection, accountability, criticism or exposure.

6. Baiting and Picking Fights - The practice of generating a provocative action or statement to obtain an angry, aggressive or emotional response from another person.

7. Belittling, condescending & patronizing speech - Giving someone a verbal put-down while maintaining a facade of reasonableness or friendliness.

8. Blaming - The practice of identifying a person or people responsible for creating a problem, rather than identifying ways of dealing with the problem.

9. Bullying - Any systematic action of hurting a person from a position of relative physical, social, economic or emotional strength.

10. Catastrophizing - The habit of automatically assuming a “worst case scenario” and inappropriately characterizing minor or moderate problems or issues as catastrophic events.

11. Chaos Manufacture - The practice of unnecessarily creating or maintaining an environment of risk, destruction, confusion or mess.

12. Cheating - Sharing a romantic or intimate relationship with somebody when you are already committed to a monogamous relationship with someone else.

13. Chronic Broken Promises - Repeatedly making and then breaking commitments and promises.

14. Circular Conversations - Arguments which go on almost endlessly, repeating the same patterns with no real resolution.

15. Cognitive Dissonance - The discomfort that most people feel when they encounter information which contradicts their existing set of beliefs or values.

16. Confirmation Bias - The tendency to pay more attention to things which reinforce your beliefs than to things which contradict them.

17. “Control-Me” Syndrome - A tendency to foster relationships with people who have a controlling narcissistic, antisocial or “acting-out” nature.

18. Denial - The practice of believing or imagining that some painful or traumatic circumstance, event or memory does not exist or did not happen.

19. Dependency - An inappropriate and chronic reliance on another individual for their health, subsistence, decision making or personal and emotional well-being.

20. Dissociation - A psychological term used to describe a mental departure from reality.

21. Divide and Conquer - A method of gaining and advantage over perceived rivals by manipulating them into conflicts with each other.

22. Emotional Abuse - Any pattern of behavior directed at one individual by another which promotes in them a destructive sense of fear, obligation or guilt.

23. Emotional Blackmail – Using threats and punishments to control a person.

24. Engulfment - An unhealthy level of attention and dependency on a spouse, partner or family member. It comes from believing that we only exist within the context of that relationship.

25. Entitlement - An unrealistic expectation of favorable living conditions and favorable treatment at the hands of others.

26. Favoritism - Giving positive, preferential treatment to one child, subordinate or associate among a group of peers.

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.

28. Feelings of Emptiness - A chronic and acute sense of nothingness or emptiness, so that their own existence has little worth or significance to them.

29. Gaslighting - The practice of systematically convincing an individual that their understanding of reality is mistaken or false.

30. Harassment - Any sustained or chronic pattern of unwelcome behavior.

31. Hoarding - Accumulating items to an extent that it becomes detrimental to quality of lifestyle, comfort, security or hygiene.

32. Holiday, Anniversary & Memory Triggers - Mood Swings triggered or amplified by emotional events such as family holidays or significant anniversaries and events.

33. Hoovers - A Hoover is where an abuse victim gets “sucked back in” when the perpetrator temporarily exhibits improved or desirable behavior.

34. Hyper Vigilance - The practice of maintaining an unhealthy level of interest in the behaviors, comments, thoughts and interests of others.

35. Hysteria - An over-reaction to bad news or disappointments.

36. Identity disturbance – Having a distorted or inconsistent self-view.

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.

38. Impulsivity - The tendency to act or speak based on current feelings rather than logical reasoning.

39. Infantilization - Treating a child as if they are much younger than their actual age.

40. Intimidation - Any form of veiled, hidden, indirect or non-verbal threat.

41. Invalidation - Encouraging an individual to believe that their thoughts, beliefs, values or physical presence are inferior, flawed, problematic or worthless.

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.

43. Low Self-Esteem - Having negative self-views which are inconsistent with reality.

44. Manipulation - Baiting an individual or group into a certain response or reaction for the purpose of achieving a hidden personal goal.

45. Masking - Covering up one’s own natural outward appearance, mannerisms and speech in dramatic and inconsistent ways depending on the situation.

46. Mirroring - Imitating another person’s characteristics, behaviors or traits.

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.

48. Mood swings - Unpredictable, rapid, and dramatic emotional cycles.

49. Narcissism - A set of behaviors characterized by a pattern of grandiosity, self-centered focus, need for admiration, self-serving attitude and a lack of empathy/

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.

51. Objectification - The practice of treating a person or a group of people like an object.

52. Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior - Characterized by an inflexible adherence to arbitrary rules & systems or an illogical affinity to cleanliness and orderly structure.

52. Panic Attacks - Short intense episodes of fear or anxiety, often accompanied by physical symptoms, such as hyperventilating, shaking, sweating and chills.

53. Parental Alienation Syndrome - The process by which one parent uses their influence to make a child believe that the other estranged parent is bad, evil or worthless

54.  Parentification - A form of role reversal where the child of a personality-disordered parent is expected to meet the emotional or physical needs of the parent or siblings.

55. Passive Aggressive behavior- Expressing negative feelings, resentment, and aggression in an unassertive, passive way (such as through procrastination and stubbornness).

56. Pathological lying: Persistent deception to serve one’s own interests.

57. Perfectionism: Holding oneself or others to an unrealistic, unsustainable or unattainable standard.

58. Physical Abuse: Any form of voluntary behavior by one individual which promotes pain or discomfort on another or deprives them of necessary health and comfort.

59. Projection: Attributing one’s own feelings or traits onto another person and imagining or believing that the other person has those same feelings or traits.

60. Sabotage: Disruption of calm or status quo in order to serve a personal interest, provoke a conflict or draw attention.

61. Scapegoating: Singling out one person for unmerited negative treatment or blame.

62. Selective Memory and Selective Amnesia: The use of memory, or a lack of memory, which is selective to the point of reinforcing a bias, belief or desired outcome.

63: Self Harm: Also known as self-mutilation, self-injury or self-abuse. It is any form of deliberate, premeditated injury inflicted on oneself.

64. Self-Loathing: An extreme self-hatred of one’s own self, actions or one’s ethnic or demographic background.

65. Shaming: The difference between blaming and shaming is that in blaming someone tells you that you did something bad, in shaming someone tells you that you are something bad.

66. The Silent Treatment: A passive aggressive form of emotional abuse in which displeasure, disapproval and contempt is exhibited through nonverbal messages.

67. Splitting: The practice of thinking about people and situations in extremes and regarding them as completely “good” or “bad”.

68. Stalking: Any pervasive and unwelcome pattern of pursuing contact with another individual.

69. Testing: The practice of repeatedly forcing another individual to demonstrate or prove their love or commitment to the relationship.

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)

Filed under counselling psychology therapy personality disorder psychiatry mental health mental illness self improvement self help online counselling college

1,356 notes

Depersonalization Disorder

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)

Filed under counselling psychology psychiatry therapy depersonalization personality disorder Dissociative Disorders mental illness self improvement self help online counselling college

2,032 notes

7 Strange Mental Disorders

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.

Filed under counselling psychology therapy personality disorder personality mental illness self improvement psychiatry online counselling college