View Full Version : personality traits or personality disorder?


mementomori
08-11-15, 08:17 PM
I've read so much lately about personality types (I'm an INTP according to multiple tests) inattentive ADD, and OCPD that my head is spinning a bit! I've kept a note of areas of my life that I feel are the biggest problems, but the majority seem to be common traits of the INTP personality, as well as common symptoms of inattentive ADD and OCPD. Feels a bit like the case of the chicken or the egg.

I've kept a note of areas of my life I feel are most problematic. Any others here undecided whether they have a disorder or simply a high strung personality? I've asked to be referred to a specialist to discuss so hopefully I'll be able to get clarification.

compulsive/addictive/hoarder

addictive or compulsive personality - if doing something i want to be the best. decide i like rum then need to try all the rum to decide which is my favourite. same with restaurants/beer/takeaway/recipes/apps/tv shows/ films. keep lists for everything.
often hard at putting limits on alcohol/junk food once started.
information hoarding . get stuck spending weeks/months researching a topic. feel like i canít move forward with something unless know it completely so will search and read as many blogs/articles/books on the subject as I can find as the knowledge may be useful in the future. Have trouble shutting off/shifting focus. Lose track of time and neglect myself (eating/drinking/exercising) and others. find people a hinderance and become irritable when others get in the way of my current obsession. look forward to them being gone so i can get back to it. want to know everything about subject immediately, feel like life running away from me because of it, to the detriment of other tasks needing done.

overthink/ruminate/perseverate

can find it difficult to make decisions no matter how trivial - choosing what to eat at restaurants, colour of paint for bedroom etc
focus too much on planning over doing. results in being overwhelmed and failure to act. low self esteem because of that.
often told I think too much
had a period health anxiety where I convinced myself I had cancer/brain tumour/heart problems
sensitive to criticism/failure/rejection, dwell on it and hold grudges
often canít get to sleep because thoughts racing
become lost in worries and trouble putting them aside

focus/distraction

easily distracted by both both internal thoughts and external events. go off on tangents. one thought leads to another, which i then pursue and get further from my initial task.
difficulty finishing a task before switching to something else - skip songs whilst playing, jump to end of blog posts/articles and often read backwards
have trouble staying focussed on mundane tasks, become tired and take breaks, end up taking forever to complete
often ask question then donít listen / forget answer / get distracted by thinking what i want to say next so have to ask again.
more productive/focussed at night, stay up late because less distractions/easier to focus/more productive

time keeping

bad at timekeeping/time management - leave things to last minute, get lost in tasks, then often late
trouble adhering to deadlines - uni, work, put off cleaning until someone visiting, filing taxes, arriving late for meetings
find it very difficult to get started with tasks iím not interested in

trouble switching gears/inflexible

persistent/stubborn - once put my mind to something difficult to let it go
find multitasking/switching gears difficult - all or nothing, prefer closure on one task before moving onto next. very linear.
if made plans find it hard getting over when things deviate from them

perfectionism

overly ambitious/overestimate capabilities which sets up for failure, then causes anxiety/overwhelm. all or nothing .

memory/recall

difficulty estimating passage of time when asked how long ago something occurred
tend to forget trivial/low-interest information - plots/characters name, names of people (though better with faces), lyrics, following recipes, phone numbers when jotting them down
prefer watching seasons of tv shows all in one go, rather than weekly - forget what has happened inbetween weeks/seasons otherwise.
reliance on notes, lists, triggers/prompts (reminders and visual), routine/structure, associations, pro/con lists as coping mechanisms
quickly forget things - say in my head, ďneed to remember thatĒ, then find within seconds forgot and need to make a conscious effort to bring it back into focus
when talking I often can trip over / muddle words - left/right, fork/spoon etc. call people by wrong name that Iíve known for years. often canít think of correct word/phrase. self-conscious with pronunciation, often forget even though checked in past.
need to re-read paragraphs a couple times a take notes to let it sink in, need to get people to repeat verbal instructions or preferably get it in writing.
prefer written communication over verbal - more articulate, follow written instructions better.

relationships/emotions

donít feel as mature / grown up as others my age
difficulty maintaining eye contact, low confidence, low self-esteem
little interest in empty conversations/small talk. trouble keeping momentum in conversations that donít serve a purpose or take to long to get to the point. often have to fake it to fit in.
awkward / quiet / reserved / withdrawn - avoided presentations at uni
often feel like i need to learn how to act human rather than like a robot - people ask how i am, reply, but donít ask how they are. learning to be more mindful others whereas it seems to come naturally to others.
small group of friends
react internally more than externally to events
show a lot of attention when first start dating, then dwindles as relationship goes on
neglect others needs when consumed with learning about latest interests
emotional, but rarely show it / have trouble expressing it. can appear emotionless. very rarely return ďi love youĒ when others say it and when I do feel like Iím saying it because itís expected. tend to bottle emotions up.
find it easier to express emotions through text/sms/messenger
enjoy alone time

fidgety

nail biting/picking, humming/whistling, playing with hair, chewing pens, toilet/water breaks at work, tapping feet - adult manifestation of hyperactivity

effects of stimulants

alcohol - more focussed/motivated/calm/productive/sociable whilst drinking. donít overthink as much. often got good chunk of essays written, work done when drunk. better scores on brain training after alcohol. though very anxious next day if drink too much - ended up in a&e with panic attack a couple times.
coffee - too strong can make me jittery, buzzy, unfocused

other

Poor executive functioning explains why a person with ADD can waste hours on a minor task or get distracted by the slightest interruption.
fatigue
often feel build up on left side of head
more interested in pursuing passion than money
work after hours/longer hours/through night/weekends to catch up/keep up - both uni and work - often feel a bit like a swan - appearing to glide along, but paddling hard under the water to keep afloat
comorbidity - anxiety, depression, ocpd (ObsessiveĖcompulsive personality disorder), hoarding, perfectionism.. fear of failure is at the root of ocpd/hoarding. anxiety is therefore the root problem. all can be treated with SSRIís.
people with ADHD often rely on external pressure (accountability, reminders, deadlines) to take action than internal pressure.

School Reports

low self-confidence
hold pencil awkward
slow with written work
attention wandering
problems with concentration
unsure how to deal with people and their reactions
often daydreams
prefers alone time in reading corner

daveddd
08-11-15, 10:03 PM
personality disorders are pretty much personality traits that are employed so stringently that they are pervasive and not able to be changed when life circumstance calls for ir

impossible to diagnose unless by a highly trained professional in a professional setting

even then, diagnoses are tending towards "problems that need solved" instead of labeled PDs

Fortune
08-11-15, 10:56 PM
impossible to diagnose unless by a highly trained professional in a professional setting

I don't buy this - someone can certainly have a valid concern that they have a personality disorder, which is basically what self-diagnosis is.

daveddd
08-11-15, 11:22 PM
I don't buy this - someone can certainly have a valid concern that they have a personality disorder, which is basically what self-diagnosis is.

the reason i don't think its a good idea is because PDs are being moved away from in diagnostic practice

studies have shown just a PD label can make treatment less successful than if just treating the issue at hand

'Judging a book by its cover': An experimental study of the negative impact of a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder on clinicians' judgements of uncomplicated panic disorder.
Lam DC1, Salkovskis PM2, Hogg LI2.
Author information
Abstract
OBJECTIVES:
Diagnosis is ubiquitous in Psychiatry, and whilst it does bring benefits; adverse effects of 'labelling' may also be possible. This study aimed to evaluate experimentally whether clinicians' judgements about a patient with panic disorder were influenced by an inappropriately suggested diagnosis of comorbid borderline personality disorder (BPD).
DESIGN:
An experimental design was used to evaluate clinician's judgements when the nature of the information they were given was varied to imply BPD comorbidity.
METHODS:
Two hundred and sixty-five clinicians watched a video-recorded assessment of a woman describing her experience of uncomplicated 'panic disorder' and then rated her present problems and likely prognosis. Prior to watching the video recording, participants were randomly allocated to one of three conditions with written information including the following: (1) her personal details and general background; (2) the addition of a behavioural description consistent with BPD; and (3) the further addition of a 'label' (past BPD diagnosis).
RESULTS:
The BPD label was associated with more negative ratings of the woman's problems and her prognosis than both information alone and a behavioural description of BPD 'symptoms'.
CONCLUSIONS:
Regardless of potential actuarial value of such diagnoses, it is concluded that clinicians can be overly influenced by past diagnostic labels in the context of an apparent current comorbid problem, although such biases appear to be less likely if a description of the relevant behaviours is used instead. Thus, the label, rather than the behaviour it denotes, may be stigmatizing in mental health professionals.
PRACTITIONER POINTS:
Diagnostic labels can have an inappropriately negative effect on clinicians' judgements not only of treatment variables such as engagement and response but also risk issues and interpersonal effectiveness. Diagnostic labels can have a greater effect on clinicians' judgements than a behavioural description or clinical presentation. Clinicians should therefore be cautious both in the use of diagnostic labels to describe patients and ensure that these are still valid, and also be mindful of the influence that such labels can have on their own clinical judgements and constantly seek to challenge these. Behavioural descriptions of difficulties are less likely to result in such negative judgements and predictions.
© 2015 The British Psychological Society.
KEYWORDS:

daveddd
08-11-15, 11:40 PM
also most personality disorder models were constructed before things like ADHD, aspergers, hfa were recognized in adults


we know these things didn't just not exist in adults before they were recognized

and most PDs have a high occurrence of neurological disorders in childhood

i think the axis 1-axis 2 model needs reevaluated with this in mind, with specific attention paid to the 'not applicable while occurring during an axis 1 disorder' specifier given attention

Fortune
08-12-15, 12:04 AM
Well I agree the entire axis 2 model of "personality disorders" needs to be re-evaluated and revised, but I mean the stuff they describe is stuff people can spot in themselves.

daveddd
08-12-15, 12:09 AM
Well I agree the entire axis 2 model of "personality disorders" needs to be re-evaluated and revised, but I mean the stuff they describe is stuff people can spot in themselves.

i know

i just think (based off reading, ill keep opinion out of it) that when the PD label is used its still used in a "attachment" model

recent stuff is leaning towards biosocial which can bring dimensions of what are thought of as unchangeable faults (when misunderstood) to more complex states that are more amenable to newer treatments

i really think past label stigmas can affect treatment, so I'm not sure if axis 2 labels are beneficial for anything anymore

BellaVita
08-12-15, 03:35 AM
I don't know OP....but a lot of your post sounds normal (for us) to me.

I can relate to a lot of it.

A lot of what you wrote is just what I consider my own natural tendencies. (Little eye contact, suck at small talk, having special interests and looking forward to those, people being irritating - or overwhelming for me, poor focus, mind wandering, perfectionism, etc...)

More people need to be like us ;)

sarahsweets
08-12-15, 04:47 AM
I don't know. I really feel like something is going on but to me my gut reaction is a disorder like anxiety,adhd,ocd not some of the older school personality disorders. Not that its not possible just that my gut says otherwise. Also I'm not sure that being high strung is a personality disorder?
Also for me alcohol was never a depressant. It always revved me up.

Tmoney
08-12-15, 07:49 AM
Wow that is one long post for your first one! It is too much for me so I'll have to break it down and read it in small increments.

Pilgrim
08-12-15, 09:31 AM
I don't know. I really feel like something is going on but to me my gut reaction is a disorder like anxiety,adhd,ocd not some of the older school personality disorders. Not that its not possible just that my gut says otherwise. Also I'm not sure that being high strung is a personality disorder?
Also for me alcohol was never a depressant. It always revved me up.

This is a good place to start. At different stages of my life I could have written 90% of this.
As for the chicken and the egg; my guess Inattentive. I use to ask myself this question.
So much to say.

mementomori
08-12-15, 10:37 AM
Thanks for the replies so far folks :) I am seeking out a professional opinion in the real world too.

daveddd
08-13-15, 12:23 AM
Thanks for the replies so far folks :) I am seeking out a professional opinion in the real world too.

seeking advice here is fine too

im willing to bet that 90% of the posters here are more informed then 50% of professionals

especially axis 1, they are cut and dry

axis 2 just has a lot od validity disagreement right now, and can be harmful to dx as opposed to helpful


even the top rung of experts don't believe that PDs deserve a distinct categorical label

dvdnvwls
08-13-15, 04:11 AM
Also for me alcohol was never a depressant. It always revved me up.

Alcohol was a depressant for you too. The statement you've made is a common misconception that comes from alcohol's tendency to disinhibit a person's behaviour - making them "let it all hang out". In those people, just as in everyone, alcohol is still obviously a depressant - reflexes slower, judgment impaired, etc.

sarahsweets
08-13-15, 04:54 AM
Alcohol was a depressant for you too. The statement you've made is a common misconception that comes from alcohol's tendency to disinhibit a person's behaviour - making them "let it all hang out". In those people, just as in everyone, alcohol is still obviously a depressant - reflexes slower, judgment impaired, etc.

Physically I get what you're saying and I agree about the inhibition but unlike other alcoholics I know, it never helped me sleep or get me passed out drunk. I did drink until I was in a blackout but if anything alcohol caused a lack of sleep. I understand that you are basing this off of clinical physically definition but anecdotally thats how it was for me and I was trying to share that experience.

Fuzzy12
08-13-15, 07:13 AM
Physically I get what you're saying and I agree about the inhibition but unlike other alcoholics I know, it never helped me sleep or get me passed out drunk. I did drink until I was in a blackout but if anything alcohol caused a lack of sleep. I understand that you are basing this off of clinical physically definition but anecdotally thats how it was for me and I was trying to share that experience.

I think, in this case as you said the clinical definition of depressant is different to the colloquially used one (just as it is with stimulants in a way, e.g. stimulants can reduce hyperactivity or restlessness and for me at least, I find their effect calming and relaxing though most people would associate stimulation with an increase in physical activity). Alcohol can feel elating (probably because it reduces your inhibition and/or because it can be relaxing) but it depresses mental and physical functions.

Many people think it helps them with sleep but I think that's mostly a misconception. Alcohol can make you feel drowsy and sleepy but it actually interferes with sleep or with the quality of your sleep.