WE SEE THEM WHEN EYES CLOSE
PICTURE AGAIN WHEN THE MIND DOSE,
WE CHASE EXACTNESS
TO FIND COMFORT IN OUR SLEEP
MIND’S A CUNNING PLAYER , THOUGH
IT ENJOYS CHAOS, AVOID PEACE
IT PLAYS TINY TRICKS FIRST
ROUNDS UP DRAMA,
DO IT’S THING, PLAY ALONG
THEN COMES AROUND TO MEND AND HEAL!
We, humans, are controlled by an odd functioning invention of God. Our brain is a tricky compulsive artist, inside every human it paints a variant kind of picture. The circuits inside our brain drive our personalities, traits, habits, and behavior. Indeed, its a high-functioning complicated system and it sure can function erratically sometimes. This erratic behavior of our mind gives rise to various Personality Disorders. The theories behind mental disorders are commonly misinterpreted, largely considered as myths and confused with ridiculous superstitions.
To throw light on the actual causes of such disorders, their trigger points and effects on a person’s behavior as well as the society as a whole is highly crucial. In this article, I attempt to highlight the symptoms of the primary ten personality disorders while clearing the clouds from around the superstitions born due to lack of awareness about such mental health issues.
The ten original personality disorders involve the following symptoms:
1. paranoid personality disorder
A paranoid personality disorder is characterized by a pervasive distrust of others, including even friends, family, and partner. As a result, the person is guarded and suspicious, and constantly on the lookout for clues or suggestions to validate his fears. He also has a strong sense of personal rights: he is overly sensitive to setbacks and rebuffs, easily feels shame and humiliation, and persistently bears grudges. Unsurprisingly, he tends to withdraw from others and to struggle with building close relationships. The principal ego defense in paranoid PD is projection, which involves attributing one’s unacceptable thoughts and feelings to other people. A large long-term twin study found that paranoid PD is modestly heritable and that it shares a portion of its genetic and environmental risk factors with schizoid PD and schizotypal PD.
- Concern with hidden motives
- Expects to be exploited by others
- Inability to collaborate
- Social isolation
- Poor self-image
2. schizoid personality disorder
The term ‘schizoid’ designates a natural tendency to direct attention toward one’s inner life and away from the external world. A person with schizoid PD is detached and aloof and prone to introspection and fantasy. He has no desire for social or sexual relationships, is indifferent to others and social norms and conventions, and lacks emotional response. A competing theory about people with schizoid PD is that they are in fact highly sensitive with a rich inner life: they experience a deep longing for intimacy but find initiating and maintaining close relationships too difficult or distressing, and so retreat into their spiritual world. People with schizoid PD rarely present to medical attention because, despite their reluctance to form close relationships, they are well functioning and entirely untroubled by their apparent oddness.
- Takes pleasure in few, if any, activities
- Does not desire or enjoy close relationships, including family
- Appears aloof and detached
- Avoids social activities that involve significant contact with other people
- Almost always chooses solitary activities
- Little or no interest in sexual experiences with another person
- Lacks close relationships other than with immediate relatives
- Indifferent to praise or criticism
- Shows emotional coldness, detachment or flattened affect
- Exhibits little observable change in mood
3. schizotypal personality disorder
Schizotypal PD is characterized by oddities of appearance, behavior, and speech, unusual perceptual experiences, and anomalies of thinking similar to those seen in schizophrenia. This latter can include odd beliefs, magical thinking (for instance, assuming that speaking of the devil can make him appear), suspiciousness, and obsessive ruminations. People with schizotypal PD often fear social interaction and think of others as harmful. This may lead them to develop so-called ideas of reference, that is, beliefs or intuitions that events and happenings are somehow related to them. So whereas people with schizotypal PD and people with schizoid PD both avoid social interaction, with the former, it is because they fear others, whereas with the latter it is because they have no desire to interact with others or find interacting with others too demanding. People with schizotypal PD have a higher than average probability of developing schizophrenia, and the condition used to be called ‘latent schizophrenia.’
- Discomfort in social situations
- Odd beliefs, fantasies or preoccupations
- Odd behavior or appearance
- Odd speech
- Difficulty making/keeping friendships
- Inappropriate display of feelings
- Suspiciousness or paranoia
4. Antisocial personality disorder
Antisocial PD is much more common in men than in women and is characterized by a callous unconcern for the feelings of others. The person disregards social rules and obligations, is irritable and aggressive, acts impulsively, lacks guilt, and fails to learn from experience. In many cases, he has no difficulty finding relationships—and can even appear superficially charming (the so-called ‘charming psychopath’)—but these relationships are usually fiery, turbulent, and short-lived. As antisocial PD is the mental disorder most closely correlated with crime, he is likely to have a criminal record or a history of being in and out of prison.
- Disregard for society’s laws
- Violation of the physical or emotional rights of others
- Lack of stability in job and home life
- Irritability and aggressiveness
- Lack of remorse
- Consistent irresponsibility
- Recklessness, impulsivity
- A childhood diagnosis (or symptoms consistent with) conduct disorder
- Antisocial personality is confirmed by a psychological evaluation. Other disorders should be ruled out first, as this is a serious diagnosis.
5. borderline personality disorder
In borderline PD (or emotionally unstable PD), the person essentially lacks a sense of self, and, as a result, experiences feelings of emptiness and fears of abandonment. There is a pattern of intense but unstable relationships, emotional instability, outbursts of anger and violence (especially in response to criticism), and impulsive behavior. Suicidal threats and acts of self-harm are common, for which reason many people with borderline PD frequently come to medical attention. Borderline PD was so called because it was thought to lie on the ‘borderline’ between neurotic (anxiety) disorders and psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It has been suggested that borderline personality disorder often results from childhood sexual abuse and that it is more common in women in part because women are more likely to suffer sexual abuse. However, feminists have argued that borderline PD is more common in women because women presenting with angry and promiscuous behavior tend to be labeled with it, whereas men presenting with similar behavior tend instead to be labeled with antisocial PD.
- Intense bouts of anger, depression, or anxiety
- Episodes of impulsive aggression, self-injury, and drug or alcohol abuse
- Highly unstable patterns of social relationships
- Highly sensitive to rejection, reacting with anger and distress to mild separations
6. histrionic personality disorder
People with histrionic PD lack a sense of self-worth and depend for their wellbeing on attracting the attention and approval of others. They often seem to be dramatizing or ‘playing a part’ in a bid to be heard and seen. Indeed, ‘histrionic’ derives from the Latin histrionics, ‘ about the actor.’ People with histrionic PD may take great care of their appearance and behave in a manner that is overly charming or inappropriately seductive. As they crave excitement and act on impulse or suggestion, they can place themselves at risk of accident or exploitation. Their dealings with others often seem insincere or superficial, which, in the longer term, can adversely impact on their social and romantic relationships. This is especially distressing to them, as they are sensitive to criticism and rejection, and react poorly to lose or fail. A vicious circle may take hold in which the more rejected they feel, the more histrionic they become; and the more histrionic they become, the more rejected they think. It can be argued that a vicious circle of some kind is at the heart of every personality disorder, and, indeed, every mental disorder.
- Self-centeredness, uncomfortable when not the center of attention
- Constantly seeking reassurance or approval
- Inappropriately seductive appearance or behavior
- Rapidly shifting emotional states that appear shallow to others
- Overly concerned with physical appearance, and using physical appearance to draw attention to self
- Opinions are easily influenced by other people, but difficult to back up with details
- Excessive dramatics with exaggerated displays of emotion
- Tendency to believe that relationships are more intimate than they are
- Is highly suggestible (easily influenced by others)
7. Narcissistic personality disorder
In narcissistic PD, the person has an extreme feeling of self-importance, a sense of entitlement, and a need to be admired. He is envious of others and expects them to be the same of him. He lacks empathy and readily lies and exploits others to achieve his aims. To others, he may seem self-absorbed, controlling, intolerant, selfish, or insensitive. If he feels obstructed or ridiculed, he can fly into a fit of destructive anger and revenge. Such a reaction is sometimes called ‘narcissistic rage,’ and can have disastrous consequences for all those involved.
- Exaggerates own importance
- Is preoccupied with fantasies of success, power, beauty, intelligence or ideal romance
- considers he or she is unique and can only be understood by other special people or institutions
- Requires constant attention and admiration from others
- Has unreasonable expectations of favorable treatment
- Takes advantage of others to reach his or her own goals
- Disregards the feelings of others, lacks empathy
- Is often envious of others or believes other people are envious of him or her
- Shows arrogant behaviors and attitudes
8. Avoidant Personality Disorder
People with avoidant PD believe that they are socially inept, unappealing, or inferior, and constantly fear being embarrassed, criticized, or rejected. They avoid meeting others unless they are certain of being liked, and are restrained even in their intimate relationships. Avoidant PD is strongly associated with anxiety disorders, and may also be related to actual or felt rejection by parents or peers in childhood. Research suggests that people with avoidant PD excessively monitor internal reactions, both their own and those of others, which prevents them from engaging naturally or fluently in social situations. A vicious circle takes hold in which the more they monitor their internal reactions, the more inept they feel, and the more inept they feel, the more they monitor their internal reactions.
- Easily hurt by criticism or disapproval
- No close friends
- Reluctance to become involved with people
- Avoidance of activities or occupations that involve contact with others
- Shyness in social situations out of fear of doing something wrong
- Exaggeration of potential difficulties
- Showing excessive restraint in intimate relationships
- Feeling socially inept, inferior, or unappealing to other people
- Unwilling to take risks or try new things because they may prove embarrassing
9. dependent personality disorder
Dependent PD is characterized by a lack of self-confidence and an excessive need to be looked after. The person needs a lot of help in making everyday decisions and surrenders important life decisions to the care of others. He greatly fears abandonment and may go to considerable lengths to secure and maintain relationships. A person with dependent PD sees himself as inadequate and helpless, and so surrenders personal responsibility and submits himself to one or more protective others. He imagines that he is at one with these protective other(s), whom he idealizes as competent and powerful, and towards whom he behaves in a manner that is ingratiating and self-effacing. People with dependent PD often end up with people with a cluster B personality disorder, who feed on the unconditional high regard in which they are held. Overall, people with dependent PD maintain a naïve and child-like perspective and have limited insight into themselves and others. This entrenches their dependency and leaves them vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.
- Difficulty making decisions without reassurance from others
- Extreme passivity
- Problems expressing disagreements with others
- Avoiding personal responsibility
- Avoiding being alone
- Devastation or helplessness when relationships end
- Unable to meet ordinary demands of life
- Preoccupied with fears of being abandoned
- Easily hurt by criticism or disapproval
- Willingness to tolerate mistreatment and abuse from others
10. anankastic(obsessive compulsive) personality disorder
Anankastic PD is characterized by excessive preoccupation with details, rules, lists, order, organization, or schedules; perfectionism so extreme that it prevents a task from being completed; and devotion to work and productivity at the expense of leisure and relationships. A person with anankastic PD is typically doubting and cautious, rigid and controlling, humorless, and misery. His underlying anxiety arises from a perceived lack of control over a world that eludes his understanding; and the more he tries to exert control, the more out of control he feels. In consequence, he has little tolerance for complexity or nuance and tends to simplify the world by seeing things as either all good or all bad. His relationships with colleagues, friends, and family are often strained by the unreasonable and inflexible demands that he makes upon them.
- Have repeated thoughts, images, and urges about diverse issues, including being compulsively neat and organized; fearing germs, dirt, contamination, intruders, or violence; or imagining hurting loved ones or committing sexual acts or behaving in a way that conflicts with religious beliefs.
- Engage in repetitive behaviors or mental acts such as washing hands, locking and unlocking doors, counting, keeping unneeded items (hoarding), or repeating the same steps to any task again and again.
- Have obsessions that are intrusive and compulsions that often feel out of the person’s control but dictated by a rule that must be applied rigidly.
- Get no pleasure from engaging in the behaviors or rituals but do receive some relief from the anxiety the thoughts cause.
- Spend at least an hour a day on the thoughts and rituals, which cause distress and get in the way of daily life.
The oddities in human behavior do not arise due to some unruly force of nature or ghostly figure trying to lure oneself under its influence, every unusual trigger in any human’s actions have a reason to it, hence creating superstitions around the scientific explanations existing against variant behavioral notions is senseless and illogical. On the other hand, these symptoms may seem to persist in some corner of your behavior that still does not mean that you are suffering from any of these personality disorders. I would suggest not to jump to conclusions unless you are a hundred percent clear about your assumptions. Happy Reading!
Source: Psychology Today.