View Full Version : On Personality and Personality Disorders


Trooper Keith
01-22-11, 10:51 PM
Personality Disorders and Personality

In order to understand personality disorders, we must first understand what they are a disorder of, that is, we must first understand personality. Personality is a relatively stable construct. There are many different approaches to defining personality. The most prevalent, perhaps, is trait theory. Trait theory describes personality along a variety of continuous scales. The most common, and empirically supported, take on personality is the "Big Five" approach, also known as the OCEAN model. These major traits are Openness to Novelty, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. It is believed that these five dimensions can adequately map a personality for clinical purposes.

What it is critical to understand is that personality is very, very stable over time. Personality begins its development genetically, where it is influenced heavily by temperament, a separate concept distinct from, though related to, personality. It is then strongly, strongly influenced by very early childhood experiences, with the most important events occurring between ages 0-2. While there are further crises that refine personality, it is largely set in stone by the end of the first three major life crises, as defined by Erikson: trust vs. mistrust, autonomy vs. shame and doubt, and initiative vs. guilt. With these three developmental crises met, the rest of development is largely determined.

Early personality development is described by several researchers and theorists, and is a very complex time. I will not be able to address the entirety of personality development in this thread. However, I will hit on some major concepts of personality development that are critical to the etiology of psychopathology.

Sigmund Freud first described early personality development with his drive theory and the stages of psychosexual development. The most pertinent three are the oral, anal, and phallic (oedipal) stages. These stages correlate almost exactly with the previously mentioned Eriksonian stages. While many psychologists have moved away from the use of psychosexual terms, American culture still makes reference to old psychoanalytic terms, calling people "anal" when they are especially restricted. To help clarify these terms, I will describe their use. An "anal fixation" is when an adult is seen as having regressed to the anal stage of development, which can be either retentive or anal expulsive. Oral, similarly, can be either aggressive or passive. While we have largely moved away from these original descriptions of the stages in the mainstream of psychology (except for the most stalwart of Freudian classical analysts), these stages merit discussion simply because they are the foundation of other theories of childhood development.

The most important derivation of psychosexual development are Erikson's stages of development, which have been previously mentioned. I will describe the first three stages in the next paragraph, as well as describing the structural theory developments taking place. Structural theory describes the internal psychological structures that comprise a person's self. These structures are the Id, which operates on the pleasure principle, the Ego, which operates on the reality principle, and the Superego, a portion of the ego that can best be described as the conscience. The Id wants instant gratification of desires. It is essentially hedonistic. Because hedonism is not adaptive or realistic, we develop an Ego to regulate the Id, to decide what should and should not be pursued, and to defend against anxiety. The Superego develops as a result of our parents teaching us societally acceptable behavior. It punishes the Ego and Id for acting in socially maladaptive ways with it's primary weapon: guilt. The development of these structures will be described in the subsequent paragraphs.

The first crisis that a child must face is that of trust vs. mistrust. This crisis is experienced between the ages of birth to one or one and a half years old. During this crisis, the child must determine whether or not he or she trusts the world and believes he or she is safe, or distrusts the world and believes that it is a fundamentally harsh and cruel place. While temperament has some influence here, the most critical influence is that of the mother. If the mother is nurturing and provides nourishment and, most importantly, love and affection, the child will likely resolve the crisis by learning to trust the world. This is a key stage of development. During this stage, the Id rules king. There is no ego to keep its desires in check. Towards the end of this stage, the Ego develops as the child edges into the autonomy (anal) stage. The ego develops in order to regulate the impulses of the Id as the child realizes that instant gratification of needs is not realistic.

The second crisis that a child faces is that of autonomy vs. shame and doubt. This takes place from ages 1.5 to 3 or 4. During this stage, the child must resolve whether or not he or she acts autonomously and freely, or if his or her behaviors are inhibited by doubt and shame. Resolution of this crisis determines whether a child will act freely and express his or her agency, or will be inhibited by feelings of doubt. Failing to resolve this crisis with autonomy leads to a person who is fearful and hesitant to act and make decisions. This is when the ego most fully develops, as it determines if it is able to act on its own. At the same time, another process is taking place, called separation-individuation, which I will describe in a few paragraphs.

The third crisis is that of Initiative vs. Guilt, taking place around ages 4-6. During this stage, a child learns if he or she can take the initiative to seek out desires and act with the agency he or she has recently developed with the development of the ego, or if he or she will be inhibited by the development of an overly strong Superego. As the child ages, he or she is exposed to social norms and generally acceptable behaviors. This morphs into the Superego, a portion of the ego partially conscious, mostly unconscious, that inhibits us from negative behaviors.

Another critical and simultaneously occurring process is that of separation-individuation, described by Hungarian psychoanalyst Margaret Mahler. Mahler describes two phases, the symbiotic phase and the separation-individuation phase. During the symbiotic phase, the child is attached to the mother, aware of the mother but not aware of the self, without a self-conception. The next phase is that of separation-individuation. Separation is the distinction made between the mother and the self, a learning that they are not one unit. Individuation then refers to the development of the Ego and subsequently of the Self.

Separation-individuation is divided into three stages: hatching, practicing, and rapprochement. Hatching begins about five or six months after birth. The child becomes aware of the world and, while remaining oriented to the mother, begins to see that there is more to the world than simply the mother. After this, from about 9 months to 1.5 years (and corresponding to the beginning of the autonomy vs. shame and doubt stage of Erikson's model), the child begins to wander and explore, but always returns very quickly to the mother. During rapprochement (and exactly corresponding to the Autonomy stage), the child searches out the world, entering a crisis of staying with the mother or becoming more independent, and finally resolving either to act independently or act with shame and doubt.

The final important conception necessary to understand the etiology of personality disorders is Melanie Klein's object relations theory. In psychoanalytic literature, an "object" is an internalization, an internal representation of a person. Klein describes the two concepts, and then two "positions."

The first concept is the concept of "unconscious phantasy" (spelled such to differentiate it from fantasy, a Freudian defense). The Phantasy is characterized by the development of a mental world, allowing for the eventually development of contact with reality. The next concept is projective identification. This is a process where the Freudian defense projection is applied to "bad part objects" (I will describe part objects in the next paragraph), that is, the Ego has developed and is utilizing a defense where anxiety is projected onto external objects. At the same time, good characteristics are internalized (introjected) by the ego to create a concept of positive self-worth.

There are also two positions, which establish the names for personality disorders which I will discuss in a reply to this post. You will recognize the names of the positions because they are intrinsically linked to personality disorders with which many of you are already familiar.

The first position is the paranoid-schizoid position. In this position, the child is characterized by the ego defense of splitting. Objects are separated into part objects - there are two breasts, the "good breast" which answers to needs and responds to the child's desires, and the "bad breast," a hallucinated aspect of the phantasy that encompasses the bad. The child introjects aspects of the good breast while projecting aspects of the bad breast onto real things. In this position, the ego is terrified of impending destruction. It splits (splitting is a primitive defense mechanism) the bad from the good, then projects the bad out in order to control the mental environment.

The second position is the depressive position. In this position, the child begins to integrate that the good and bad breast are representations of the same object. The child learns that one object can be good or bad. In integrating the good breast and the bad breast, the child represents that there is one mother. In representing that there is one mother, there is a separation, called the "primal split," where the child realizes that he or she is not the same object as the mother. This is a critical stage of development as it allows for the construction of a concept of self.

In the next post, I will describe how these processes lead to the etiology of several personality disorders.

Mignon
01-22-11, 11:05 PM
The "cluster B" catergory fascinates me - maybe more than it should.

Trooper Keith
01-22-11, 11:11 PM
The "cluster B" catergory fascinates me - maybe more than it should.

Me too. I just last night started wondering whether I want to dedicate my practice to borderline personality disorder. It would certainly keep my work interesting and challenging. Personality disorders in general fascinate me, as they are all grounded in a rich psychoanalytic tradition.

Mignon
01-22-11, 11:22 PM
Me too. I just last night started wondering whether I want to dedicate my practice to borderline personality disorder. It would certainly keep my work interesting and challenging. Personality disorders in general fascinate me, as they are all grounded in a rich psychoanalytic tradition.


Totally. There must be a smidge of shameful entertainment value that I gain from it to string my interest along - but mainly it's so tragic. I can't imagine a worse hell than what "CB" afflicted folks experience - particularly borderline. It calls on the best part of good people to fix it - an you just don't want to accept that it's unsolvable (incurable). It's almost maddening to think about. Emotionally, it doesn't compute.

What scholars do you think are the best writers on the subject?

daveddd
01-22-11, 11:26 PM
Totally. There must be a smidge of shameful entertainment value that I gain from it to string my interest along - but mainly it's so tragic. I can't imagine a worse hell than what "CB" afflicted folks experience - particularly borderline. It calls on the best part of good people to fix it - an you just don't want to accept that it's unsolvable (incurable). It's almost maddening to think about. Emotionally, it doesn't compute.

What scholars do you think are the best writers on the subject?

this says pills can help some parts of it
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19636254

Trooper Keith
01-22-11, 11:46 PM
What scholars do you think are the best writers on the subject?

I'm admittedly not well versed in the scholars, and it's been a long time since I've studied personality disorders as disorders themselves outside the psychoanalytic tradition. The work of Margaret Mahler is hugely important in the understanding of symbiotic-psychotic individuals. Melanie Klein's work defines borderline personality disorder, as I will demonstrate in the next post. Freud and Janet spoke wonderfully to hysteria, now known as conversion disorder and histrionic personality disorder.

Personally, I strongly recommend the book Psychoanalytic Diagnosis: Understanding Personality Structure in the Clinical Process by Nancy McWilliams as an excellent crash course in psychoanalytic constructions of personality. It is dense, and requires some background in psychodynamics, but it is a wonderful resource. The original post of this thread, and some additional reading expanding on Klein and Mahler's work, should be sufficient to "get" the book.

I should also mention that Sigmund and Anna Freud's work on the description of ego defenses is probably the single most important contribution to the field of ego psychology, and a solid understanding of ego defenses can inform a practitioner to identify psychodynamic processes and thus give him or her an invaluable weapon in identifying the neuroses of a client.

Mignon
01-22-11, 11:53 PM
this says pills can help some parts of it
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19636254

Things like that are hopeful for patients who are just done with it all. But isn't a trademark of that B cluster group a conviction of self superiority (persistant denial that anything to do with them is in need of fixing)?

I don't know, I get my PD information from shady internet summaries, but that's what keeps coming up. That is, my impression is that treatment compliance would be a rare thing, since the diagnosed patient would "comply" with treatment under duress. People who lack a conscience (APD) do not wish to acquire one, as it is viewed as a complicating weakness (I've read).

Interesting thread!

Trooper Keith
01-22-11, 11:56 PM
As I described in the other thread, with a personality disorder the dysfuntion is usually ego syntonic, meaning it is fundamental to the way the ego works and the client will not identify anything as wrong with that mode of operation. For a narcissist, the problem is "other people don't recognize how great I am." For the borderline, it is "other people hate me." For the histrionic, "nobody understands how ______ I am." And for the antisocial, other people don't matter.

Fortune
01-22-11, 11:59 PM
Totally. There must be a smidge of shameful entertainment value that I gain from it to string my interest along - but mainly it's so tragic. I can't imagine a worse hell than what "CB" afflicted folks experience - particularly borderline. It calls on the best part of good people to fix it - an you just don't want to accept that it's unsolvable (incurable). It's almost maddening to think about. Emotionally, it doesn't compute.

What scholars do you think are the best writers on the subject?

For various reasons I was researching BPD a few weeks ago, and watching youtube videos made by people who have BPD were quite painful to watch. I tend to have a visceral response to raw and/or intense emotion and those videos were loaded with it.

Mignon
01-23-11, 12:02 AM
As I described in the other thread, with a personality disorder the dysfuntion is usually ego syntonic, meaning it is fundamental to the way the ego works and the client will not identify anything as wrong with that mode of operation. For a narcissist, the problem is "other people don't recognize how great I am." For the borderline, it is "other people hate me." For the histrionic, "nobody understands how ______ I am." And for the antisocial, other people don't matter.

With that in mind - while it seems like an advance to have pharmaceuticals improve PD symptoms - who but someone who doesn't have a PD would comply?

Is my thought.

Trooper Keith
01-23-11, 12:12 AM
It's been pointed out to me that the use of the term "mother" doesn't accurately represent the situation. For the purposes of modernization, you're welcome to replace "mother" with "primary caregiver" or "person filling the mother role." Remember that the "mother object" is an internalization, and that any primary caregiver can fill that role. The language used in psychoanalysis is sometimes archaic.

In essence, assume when I say "mother" that I mean "the mental representation of the generally accepted conception of a mother in Western culture to the child."

Mignon
01-23-11, 12:16 AM
For various reasons I was researching BPD a few weeks ago, and watching youtube videos made by people who have BPD were quite painful to watch. I tend to have a visceral response to raw and/or intense emotion and those videos were loaded with it.


Yeah I feel you - but I just want to clarify that by "entertainment value" I mean reading clinical write ups / summarized case histories about certain PDs in a removed way. It "entertains" my curiosity and attraction to difficult (considered unsolvable) puzzles, I guess? I don't want readers to think that by "entertainment value" I mean glee / delight. Far from it. Just clarifying for other readers.

daveddd
01-23-11, 12:22 AM
do most cluster Bs end up in treatment by circumstances like, ultimatums by family members, forced by a court or something, or seeking treatment for a axis 1 type disorder?


how do most patients with ego systonic PDs end up making their way to docs?

daveddd
01-23-11, 12:23 AM
or are some bad enough to get committed?

Mignon
01-23-11, 12:25 AM
do most cluster Bs end up in treatment by circumstances like, ultimatums by family members, forced by a court or something, or seeking treatment for a axis 1 type disorder?


how do most patients with ego systonic PDs end up making their way to docs?


I don't know, but I've read more than once (in half jest) that people around the cluster B PD afflicted seek counseling / treatment / diagnoses eventually.

Trooper Keith
01-23-11, 12:39 AM
do most cluster Bs end up in treatment by circumstances like, ultimatums by family members, forced by a court or something, or seeking treatment for a axis 1 type disorder?


how do most patients with ego systonic PDs end up making their way to docs?

All of the above.

or are some bad enough to get committed?

Studies indicate that a significant portion of hospitalized people are borderline personalities.

Mignon
01-23-11, 12:47 AM
Studies indicate that a significant portion of hospitalized people are borderline personalities.

To clarify I assume you mean hospitilized for mental / psychiatric reasons yes? Not hospitalized at all.

sarey
01-23-11, 12:56 AM
Just something to put out there -
Me & my Fiancee both have BPD & we aren't like "it's not me who needs changing".
We are aware we need to change certain things about ourselves, however, change is frightening for us both, daunting & frightening, that's probably what stands in the way of people with PD's & changing themselves.
However, as said, people with Narcissistic PD tend to have that mindset - the "it's not me who needs changing/has a problem etc".
Plus, the fact that being told it's "incurable" makes you feel this is who you are, for good.
Nothing can change that.
That's the sort of mindset that is common amongst people with PD's.
But I do agree that people with BPD are likely to think "people hate me", people with BPD have chronic low self esteem, can be paranoid, anxious around others, and suspicious of others, especially their motives, and especially of what they do when they are not with them, ie; talking behind their back, creating plans to hurt them, "in" on something they are not, etc.
At least, that's what I experience, as well as my Fiancee, and others I've met with this torturous disorder.

Just thought I'd add some things here.

Trooper Keith
01-23-11, 02:38 AM
I want to make the post describing personality disorders the best it can be, and with school and **** it might be a few days before I get to finish it. I'll post a heads up when I finish it, and possibly post it as a different thread. Please continue to use this thread to discuss the development of personality and other personality disorder related topics, I will continue to follow it and answer any questions anyone has to the best of my ability.

Trooper Keith
01-23-11, 09:26 PM
On Personality and Personality Disorders pt. 2: Ego Defenses

Touched on in brief in the previous part, ego defenses are the method by which the ego protects itself from destruction and reduces the anxieties generated by the Unconscious. Ego defenses are primarily responsible for the familiar "typological" classification of mental disorders. That is, it is the ego defenses typically employed that determine whether a person is paranoid, schizotypal, avoidant, antisocial, and so on. The developmental history described in the previous post speaks to the organization of the personality, be it neurotic or psychotic, or borderline. The organization of the typology describes how the type will present itself. The previous discussion, then, was primarily meant to speak to the etiology of the personality disorders - their fundamental cause - and not to the definition of the personality disorders, which are defined by ego defense utilization.

At this point, I would like to speak briefly to the DSM. The DSM has adopted the names for the personality disorders that have been pioneered by psychoanalytic theory, but sanitizes them and empiricizes them, removing the rich traditional understanding of the disorders and replacing them with rigid, "checklist" symptoms. A DSM understanding of personality disorder, therefore, is superficial. The symptoms and presentations of the DSM personality disorders are certainly valid and empirically supported, and their inclusion in the DSM demonstrates their construct validity. However, DSM does not discuss the ego defenses employed nor the developmental stages interrupted in its discussion of personality disorders. Thus, it is an insufficient resource for learning about personality disorders (and in fact many other disorders whose existence is steeped in psychoanalytic theory) exactly because it omits the underlying theory and speaks only to the external, quantifiable manifestations.

Returning to the original topic, we find ourselves with the ego defenses. Ego defenses are classified into four primary categorizations, based on their developmental level of appearance and their adaptedness. The four categories are the primitive, the immature, the neurotic, and the mature. I will omit a discussion of the mature defenses because while they may be employed by disordered individuals, they are not typical of any disorder.

Primitive defense mechanisms are the defense mechanisms used by the symbiotic mind to defend against the fear of ego-annihilation. They include delusional projection, denial, distortion, and splitting.
- Delusional projection is the projection onto external reality of the fear of annihilation. Because the ego fears that it will be destroyed, it reduces anxiety by projecting onto reality the idea that reality wishes to destroy it. In doing so, it psychically removes the fear from the ego by externalizing it in another source ("I needn't be afraid of destruction, because those things that want to destroy me are over there, not in here with me," says the developing ego.).
- Denial is the refusal to acknowledge or accept reality as it presents itself. This is not a simple "no, that's no true" but rather a neglect to even acknowledge the truth. This is a delusional, hallucinatory refusal to accept reality.
- Distortion is when reality is distorted into a new, less threatening form. When this occurs, the individual literally changes how he or she perceives the reality of an event.
- Splitting is a defense where negative things are split away from good things - objects are divided into part objects and polarized into good and bad. These defenses are rarely employed by neurotically organized individuals, they are primarily the weapon of borderline and psychotic individuals.

Immature defenses are those defenses which lessen anxiety from threats or truths that we don't wish to accept. These defenses are typical of adolescents, and are employed naturally in even well adjusted or neurotic adolescents, but when used by adults they seem immature and make the adult seem infantile and socially awkward. These defenses include acting out, fantasy, idealization, projection, projective identification, and somatization.
- Acting out is the venting of frustration or anxiety in physical ways, it is the acting out of an unconscious drive without acknowledging its emotional origin. This is common in children, who will throw tantrums or destroy things without acknowledging that they are acting out a frustration.
- Fantasy is a retreat into the internal world where the person lives in unreality.
- Idealization is the projection of positive qualities onto people who may not have them - identifying the good nature of people who are doing wrong.
- Projection is the transference of an emotional state onto another, such that the impulses, drives, fantasies, and fears of the person are perceived as existing in others.
- Projective identification is the unconscious manipulation of objects to cause them to act in the way that the person fears they will act. That is, a person may try to make another angry at them, in order to play out the fear that the person hates them.
- Somatization is the manifestation of anxiety and pain in physical sensations.

The neurotic defenses are common in all adults, and are not necessarily pathological, unless employed frequently. The neurotic defenses are displacement, dissociation, intellectualization, hypochondriasis, isolation, reaction formation, rationalization, regression, repression, and undoing.
- Displacement is the retargeting of an impulse onto a less threatening target, for example, punching a pillow instead of a person.
- Dissociation is the retreat into either an internal or "external" reality in order to remove one's ego from the emotional state and avoid the experience of the negative reality.
- Intellectualization is the reframing of anxiety producing things in unemotional, purely logical and intellectual terms.
- Hypochondriasis is the preoccupation with having an illness, but more to the point, it is a preoccupation with something other than the actually stressful reality.
- Isolation is when emotions are removed from events, such that traumas can be recounted in detail without evoking arousal.
- Reaction formation is when the opposite of the actual impulse is acted out - for example, a person who is uncomfortable with their homosexual impulses becoming an anti-gay activist.
- Rationalization is making excuses and finding reasons for behaviors or impulses that are not necessarily grounded in reality.
- Regression is a retreat into an earlier stage of development, employing older defenses and facing events in an earlier developmental stage in order to avoid having to deal with things as an adult.
- Repression is the forcing of thoughts into the unconscious, keeping them from surfacing into conscious awareness and instead having them simmer beneath consciousness.
- Undoing is the act of attempting to reverse whatever it is that one has done which is causing anxiety.

These fundamental ego defenses are the foundation of the typological presentations of personality disorders. I will discuss what defenses form what disorders, and how they present in different personality organizations, in a near-future post, perhaps later tonight.

Trooper Keith
01-24-11, 12:23 PM
I missed a majorly important primitive defense mechanism called omnipotent control. Omnipotent control is based in the infantile conception that we enact things by force of will. That is, an infant may cry until he or she gets a blanket, and, in the mind of the infant, he or she has summoned the warmth by force of will. As children grow older, they transfer their locus of control to the parents (primitive idealization), and then eventually they learn that nobody is truly omnipotent. When employed as a defense mechanism in adults, this ego defense is activated by trying to get one over on people or exerting one's force of will over others, a primary behavior of psychopaths.

daveddd
01-24-11, 04:17 PM
anyway you can expand some in laymans terms on splitting and projection

these are 2 im curious about

daveddd
01-24-11, 04:22 PM
and when does the fantasy defense mechanism become maladaptive

and what is it usually defending against

Trooper Keith
01-24-11, 04:31 PM
Sure.

Splitting is a primitive defense mechanism. In this ego defense, the person separates objects (people) into either all good or all bad, with no middle ground or ambivalence. A person is either an entirely evil and hateful thing (literally worse than Hitler) or a beautiful wonderful being of all good (literally better than Jesus). A person employing splitting as a personality trait is incapable of seeing that people can have both good and bad aspects. This necessarily causes distortion, because nobody is perfect and nobody is entirely detestable. This ego defense is commonly employed by borderline organized personalities closer to the psychotic side of the borderline continuum.

Projection as an ego defense is when feelings, thoughts, drives, impulses, motivations, etc. that a person feels are instead seen as being felt by someone else. For example, if I hate someone, but that hatred is anxiety producing (perhaps I hate my boss, who pays me for my work so I can't act out against him), I might see him as actually hating me. I'm taking the negative emotions from myself and putting them in someone else. A person who employs projection as his or her primary defense can be described as having a paranoid personality. Note that in psychoanalytic language, "paranoid" does not necessarily mean suspicious and fearful, but instead speaks to misunderstanding the motives of others because they are actually the motive of the paranoid person. A paranoid person who is persecutory, angry, jealous, or hateful might project these emotions onto others, seeing them as the ones who are persecutory, etc., and so they will be fearful, but it's not always this way.

daveddd
01-24-11, 04:37 PM
so splitting is done to others

not splitting the good and bad of yourself?

say like an alcoholic refusing to acknowledge terrible things he did do to his alcoholism

Fortune
01-24-11, 04:54 PM
Splitting is always, as far as I've ever been able to tell, done to others.

daveddd
01-24-11, 04:56 PM
Splitting is always, as far as I've ever been able to tell, done to others.

what is it when people dont acknowledge wrong they have done recently

just denial

and i mean extreme not just a normal thing

i read about it somewhere but cant think of what it was

daveddd
01-24-11, 05:02 PM
- Rationalization is making excuses and finding reasons for behaviors or impulses that are not necessarily grounded in reality.

maybe just something like this

Blueranne
01-24-11, 06:22 PM
This entire topic is also very interesting to me!

For the borderline, it is "other people hate me."

Shoot, maybe I should really invest in a psychiatrist huh? LOL

Trooper Keith
01-24-11, 10:34 PM
so splitting is done to others

not splitting the good and bad of yourself?

say like an alcoholic refusing to acknowledge terrible things he did do to his alcoholism

Actually, kinda. A borderline personality doesn't have a firm concept of "self." When you or I think of ourselves, we have a conception. Borderlines do not have a self-ideal. They don't have anything to orient themselves to except others. This is actually the etiology of the pattern of behavior typical of the disorder. At first, a borderline might like someone, so they split (all good). They begin to identify with this person, but the closer they become, the more terrified they become of being engulfed, taken over, and enmeshed in the other personality. They fear losing their "selves." This causes them to sabotage, unconsciously, the relationship. Doing so makes the other person upset, which justifies the borderline personality splitting them again (all bad). However, they are still identifying themselves in terms of the other person (introjective identification). Now they are in a position where the other person is all bad, meaning the self is all bad. This triggers self loathing. The self-loathing is piteous, and evokes the care of others. When others care for them, they see that person as all good, and begin to enmesh with them, and the cycle repeats itself.

And that's the cause of the relationship instability typical of borderline personality disorder. There are other contributing factors, but that's the nuts and bolts of it.

Trooper Keith
01-24-11, 10:35 PM
what is it when people dont acknowledge wrong they have done recently

just denial

and i mean extreme not just a normal thing

i read about it somewhere but cant think of what it was

This can be either denial or repression, depending. When someone denies they are doing something wrong, then that means on some level they are aware of wrongdoing, but are forcing it into the unconscious. The person has, at some point, consciously thought "that was bad of me," but they forced it to the unconscious immediately, so as to prevent self-loathing or guilt. That is repression.

If, however, they do not ever consciously think "man that might have been a bad thing I did," if that thought never makes it to conscious awareness, that is denial.

Trooper Keith
01-24-11, 10:43 PM
This entire topic is also very interesting to me!



Shoot, maybe I should really invest in a psychiatrist huh? LOL

To be fair to borderlines, they aren't always "other people hate me." Sarey pointed this out. Borderlines have tumultuous relationships characterized by cycles of love and hate of self and others. They hate themselves much of the time because they are not psychotic, so they can't simply delude themselves away from their feelings, but they lack an observing ego, so they are often incapable of realizing how or why, exactly, their behavior elicits results in others.

Also, with borderlines, it is important to realize that they are not consciously manipulative. There is a tendency to peg them as manipulative, but as Nancy McWilliams (1994) states, if we call them manipulative, we have no word for the conscious manipulations of psychopaths. What happens with borderlines is that they project their of hatred or fear or anger onto others. The problem for them is, they are not psychotic - they can see that the other person is not acting angry or hateful. However, they lack an observing ego, and aren't often capable of recognizing their projection. As a result, they unconsciously act in ways to make the other person hateful (projective identification). Soon enough, that person does hate them, and they are left feeling miserable because others hate them.

They then act piteously, evoking a loving response from others, and so the cycle begins again.

Mignon
01-24-11, 11:24 PM
anyway you can expand some in laymans terms on splitting and projection

these are 2 im curious about


It sounds like you might like to read Alice Miller, a scholar on these subjects with a not - so - jargony writing style IIRC.

Trooper Keith
01-24-11, 11:44 PM
and when does the fantasy defense mechanism become maladaptive

and what is it usually defending against

I missed this, sorry.

Fantasy as a defense is immature. It's characterized by acting out destructive or "taboo" impulses in one's own head, rather than acting them out physically. It becomes maladaptive first and foremost if the person is psychotic, because a psychotic person can't differentiate between the fantasy and reality. Fantasy is most commonly employed when there are impulses or desires or wishes that aren't acceptable. The ego acts out the impulse in the head in order to diffuse its power without making it real. We often fantasize about omnipotent control. In this case, we have the impulse to, for example, make it stop raining on our parade. Unfortunately, this is not realistic - we cannot do this. So instead we act out this fantasy in our head.

It's not commonly maladaptive, but fantasizing about things is seen as immature to outsiders.

sarey
01-25-11, 02:27 AM
Sure.

Splitting is a primitive defense mechanism. In this ego defense, the person separates objects (people) into either all good or all bad, with no middle ground or ambivalence. A person is either an entirely evil and hateful thing (literally worse than Hitler) or a beautiful wonderful being of all good (literally better than Jesus). A person employing splitting as a personality trait is incapable of seeing that people can have both good and bad aspects. This necessarily causes distortion, because nobody is perfect and nobody is entirely detestable. This ego defense is commonly employed by borderline organized personalities closer to the psychotic side of the borderline continuum.

Projection as an ego defense is when feelings, thoughts, drives, impulses, motivations, etc. that a person feels are instead seen as being felt by someone else. For example, if I hate someone, but that hatred is anxiety producing (perhaps I hate my boss, who pays me for my work so I can't act out against him), I might see him as actually hating me. I'm taking the negative emotions from myself and putting them in someone else. A person who employs projection as his or her primary defense can be described as having a paranoid personality. Note that in psychoanalytic language, "paranoid" does not necessarily mean suspicious and fearful, but instead speaks to misunderstanding the motives of others because they are actually the motive of the paranoid person. A paranoid person who is persecutory, angry, jealous, or hateful might project these emotions onto others, seeing them as the ones who are persecutory, etc., and so they will be fearful, but it's not always this way.

I agree with all of this, this is seen A LOT in borderlines, and I know I do these behaviours a lot as well as my Fiancee.

To be fair to borderlines, they aren't always "other people hate me." Sarey pointed this out. Borderlines have tumultuous relationships characterized by cycles of love and hate of self and others. They hate themselves much of the time because they are not psychotic, so they can't simply delude themselves away from their feelings, but they lack an observing ego, so they are often incapable of realizing how or why, exactly, their behavior elicits results in others.

Also, with borderlines, it is important to realize that they are not consciously manipulative. There is a tendency to peg them as manipulative, but as Nancy McWilliams (1994) states, if we call them manipulative, we have no word for the conscious manipulations of psychopaths. What happens with borderlines is that they project their of hatred or fear or anger onto others. The problem for them is, they are not psychotic - they can see that the other person is not acting angry or hateful. However, they lack an observing ego, and aren't often capable of recognizing their projection. As a result, they unconsciously act in ways to make the other person hateful (projective identification). Soon enough, that person does hate them, and they are left feeling miserable because others hate them.

They then act piteously, evoking a loving response from others, and so the cycle begins again.

I agree with this too.

Sandy4957
01-25-11, 03:27 AM
Wow, Keith, you have so well described my mother... It's exhausting trying to maintain a relationship with her. She swings from being grossly fawning to abusive in a matter of hours, practically....

So sad. My brother and I have grown immune to the piteousness, but the whole experience has consequences. I'm 44 y.o. and I can't accept anyone acting in a loving way toward me. It makes me squirm because it evokes the memory of that fawning behavior from my mother, which always preceded the abuse... :(

sarey
01-25-11, 03:40 AM
I'm sorry you were abused by her Sandy. I suspect she had other problems that made her so angry inside, and so aggressive. If you want to talk about it anytime, I'm here, I can relate. x

daveddd
01-26-11, 11:45 PM
from another thread


are all personality disorders an extension of a type?


like when someone says they are a neat freak , then others start throwing disorders at them

Icecream
01-26-11, 11:50 PM
To me the important thing is that there is no normal response to an abnormal situation;

Trooper Keith
01-26-11, 11:52 PM
from another thread


are all personality disorders an extension of a type?

In psychoanalytic circles, it's common to diagnose somebody based on personality type rather than necessarily on pathology. So, for example, I might refer to someone as a "borderline paranoid-obsessive" or a "neurotic schizoid" or a "psychotic narcissist." This describes their personalities. In the first example, it is a person who straddles between neurotic and psychotic, and employs the primary defense mechanisms of projection/introjection and intellectualization/rationalization. The second example describes someone who uses the primary defense of retreat to fantasy, but is not detached from reality. The third person uses idealization and devaluation as primary defense mechanisms, but is delusional as well. This does not mean they do these things to a pathological level (though the borderline and psychotic individuals often do), but rather simply describes their personalities in precise terms.

In common parlance, however, calling someone "obsessive" generally works as a pejorative. It's not used this way in psychology, however.

daveddd
01-26-11, 11:56 PM
so i take it its tough to dx someone with one PD

and even to decide wether or not its pathological

Fortune
01-27-11, 12:03 AM
so i take it its tough to dx someone with one PD

and even to decide wether or not its pathological

It should be, but some are quick to diagnose PDs without sufficient background information.

I guess it varies depending on a lot of factors (like which PD, and who's getting diagnosed).

daveddd
01-27-11, 12:05 AM
some doctors or regulars

or both

Fortune
01-27-11, 12:19 AM
Regulars?

I was mainly thinking of doctors.

sarey
01-27-11, 12:23 AM
I would have thought psychiatrists could only officially diagnose a PD.

Trooper Keith
01-27-11, 12:23 AM
so i take it its tough to dx someone with one PD

and even to decide wether or not its pathological

The guideline for deciding if it's pathological is to see if it causes distress in the person or those around him or her, or to see if it causes impairment of functioning, and if this impairment and distress is a result of the personality itself or rather just a behavioral manifestation that can be corrected. It's also important to note whether the behavior is ego alien or ego syntonic, as the latter is more characteristic of a pathological level of personality.

Fortune
01-27-11, 12:26 AM
I would have thought psychiatrists could only officially diagnose a PD.

They typically have doctorates, I think?

sarey
01-27-11, 12:28 AM
I'm not sure.

Trooper Keith
01-27-11, 12:33 AM
Any mental health professional with the qualifications to diagnose can diagnose an Axis II disorder. Whether or not they should is a question of whether or not they have the competence and experience to understand and diagnose the disorders.

Mignon
01-27-11, 04:50 AM
Um when do we get to use people of note as examples?

I know that even a skilled professional wouldn't retroactively diagnose a person they've not met, but some of us (me) like concrete examples and have a hard time keeping tract of carefully worded theoreticals.

I pick Ed "box full o' vulvas" Gein.

daveddd
01-27-11, 02:48 PM
have you seen or heard of the possibility of axis one disorders manifesting themselves similar to a PD?

other than the obvious grandiose bipolar

Trooper Keith
01-27-11, 03:44 PM
Um when do we get to use people of note as examples?

Unfortunately, I don't keep a good enough track of names of people to be able to rattle off personality assessments.

I pick Ed "box full o' vulvas" Gein.

There's not enough information on his Wiki for me to posit a personality type. For example, he seems to be split from the world and withdrawn, which would indicate a schizoid character, and he's clearly psychotic, which would qualify him for a diagnosis of schizophrenia. However, to confirm that I'd have to know if his primary defensive method was fantasy or not.

It's easy to quickly "jump the gun" and label him a psychopath, as is our cultural wont with serial killers, but there are likely other reasons other than a need to assert omnipotent control behind his murders.

daveddd
01-27-11, 03:46 PM
i read ocpd is more common in serial killers than psychopaths

dont remember how valid the source though

Trooper Keith
01-27-11, 03:47 PM
have you seen or heard of the possibility of axis one disorders manifesting themselves similar to a PD?

other than the obvious grandiose bipolar

According to Nancy McWilliams (1994), one of the greater missteps of the DSM has been to subsume all manifestations of depression under the banner of "mood disorders." She argues that in fact chronic depressions such as dysthymia or unrelenting major depression may be better classified as an Axis II disorder, because they represent a character rather than a single disorder.

Indeed, "depressive" is one character type, and I will discuss it when I discuss the other character types and their disordered manifestations.

Sandy4957
01-27-11, 07:12 PM
I read an interesting book by a woman who studies serial killers... She identified a common trait, which is an interest in experimentation. So the guy hurts others or kills others out of curiosity about how it will feel to do that. I can't recall her theory on it. I think she saw it as organic, even, and yet having to do with attachment. Like a portion of their brains never forms correctly. I recall thinking that it was like those poor little baby monkeys who had the option of the carpet "mother" with no food and the wire "mother" with food.

This woman's descriptions of them wasn't sympathetic or anything. She wasn't advocating that they were anything other than extremely dangerous. She was just interested in what made them tick.

I read it in Singapore, and I have NO IDEA who the author was, but I thought that she might be from the states, maybe even Wisconsin?

Very interesting book. I'd be curious what you thought of it, Keith. Maybe it was written to a popular audience and wouldn't interest you.

Dang it. I wish that I could recall enough about it to find it in a search.

The only other thing that I recall about it was that her writing style was very annoying. Can't recall the details, but she seemed like an unlikable character; very full of herself.

Mignon
01-28-11, 04:12 AM
It sounds like you might like to read Alice Miller, a scholar on these subjects with a not - so - jargony writing style IIRC.


Ok I made that sound like a breezy read. I should have added that decent books on this subject matter (ego dynamics, dysfunction, why people abuse) put me in a bleak place, mentally, when I first began reading them. Looking back I should have gotten counseling at the same time.

Bluerose
01-28-11, 07:39 AM
I was once told by someone who thought I was dwelling in self-pity over my upbringing, that that was then and this is now. He said that I was an adult now and could change all that by deciding how it is going to affect me now and in the future.

I worked for years and years on personal and spiritual development in order to improve the quality of my life only to discover that what he said was a load of crap.

Like the OP (KMiller) said, by around three years old a person's personality is set in stone. The person we are at the core of our being is set in stone. We might, like I did, work to improve our lot but we are basically what genetics, environment, nature and nurture made us.

And most of our problems and difficulties are cause by our struggle to change. We can improve the quality of our life to a certain extent; we can work our asses off and surround ourselves with nice things and tell ourselves that we are successful. But if we were to take a really close look at ourselves, through meditation perhaps, we would find the person we have always been and will always be. Acceptance is the secret to a peaceful existence.

Bluerose
01-28-11, 08:43 AM
Posted by KMiller - "To be fair to borderlines, they aren't always "other people hate me." Sarey pointed this out. Borderlines have tumultuous relationships characterized by cycles of love and hate of self and others. They hate themselves much of the time because they are not psychotic, so they can't simply delude themselves away from their feelings, but they lack an observing ego, so they are often incapable of realizing how or why, exactly, their behavior elicits results in others."


I believe a 'stormy' relationship with a borderline can be down to the borderline 'testing' the other person. As in - You say you love me but I have trouble believing that. So will you still love me if I do this. And what if I show you some of what I'm really feeling. What if I show you what an awful person I really am. Will you still love me then. - It takes a lot of hard work on the part of the borderline's partner to prove their love. And it's a continuous struggle, especially if the borderline is off their meds.

Bluerose
01-28-11, 09:15 AM
Um when do we get to use people of note as examples?

I know that even a skilled professional wouldn't retroactively diagnose a person they've not met, but some of us (me) like concrete examples and have a hard time keeping tract of carefully worded theoreticals.

I pick Ed "box full o' vulvas" Gein.



Hereís my take on this. And I have spoken with four different psychiatrists and one consulting Psychologist over the last three years. In the past not enough was known and misdiagnoses happened a lot. Plus there was the stigma factor making these things difficult to talk about. And no net to go do your own research. However today, I find psych docís no longer jump in with a diagnoses. They, in my experience, try to avoid labels. I could be wrong but they seem to be more conscientious, listening and offering suggestions of books and websites where more information can be gained.

I admit when discussing these things on a forum, it helps to have a specific diagnoses. But we shouldnít become the diagnoses - it is simply a part of who we are. Like a rather serious illness perhaps, where we should take care of ourselves and gather all the information we can in order to understand it and cope with it better.

Bluerose
01-28-11, 09:31 AM
Who said “Give me a child until he’s seven and I’ll give you the man.” Apart from Hitler, who used it for his youth movement.

Parents get so defensive when personality development before the age of three is discussed but they shouldn’t. Actual ‘people who shouldn’t be parents’ aside, we can only work with the information we have. My parents were beaten and no doubt their parents were beaten, it was the norm around the forties and fifties growing up in Glasgow. I grew up in the sixties and seventies and I was beaten but not as much as my parents were. I myself never hit my children, seeing and realising a pattern, a circle that needed to be broken.
Communication is the answer. And yes it is possible to communicate rules and boundaries to a two year old. Kids copy us. If we go around yelling at them and other people we shouldn’t be surprised if our kids do it too. We teach more by example - they do what we DO rather than what we SAY.

As mentioned before it is difficult to change our personality but not imposable. With more and more information becoming available to us it is possible for shouters and fighters to have a serious attitude adjustment concerning the care and the upbringing of their children.

Sorry, went off on a bit of a tangent. It’s a subject that is very close to my heart.

Sandy4957
01-28-11, 01:32 PM
I believe a 'stormy' relationship with a borderline can be down to the borderline 'testing' the other person. As in - You say you love me but I have trouble believing that. So will you still love me if I do this. And what if I show you some of what I'm really feeling. What if I show you what an awful person I really am. Will you still love me then. - It takes a lot of hard work on the part of the borderline's partner to prove their love. And it's a continuous struggle, especially if the borderline is off their meds.

Wow, Bluerose, that sounds DEAD ON to me!

Trooper Keith
01-28-11, 01:53 PM
When describing personality, we map it along two axes: personality type (e.g., paranoid, schizoid, depressive) and developmental level (e.g., neurotic, borderline, psychotic). The personality disorders are maladaptive and extreme conditions of the personality type. The DSM-IV recognizes many personality disorders that correspond to personality types - one of the more evident demonstrations of the psychoanalytic tradition in modern psychiatry.

The severity of a personality disorder is based on the degree of maladaptation that the personality type causes. Personality disorders are rare, while everyone can be mapped by personality (albeit sometimes very complexly). Personality disorders tend to manifest more on theprimtive side of things, in the borderline and psychotic levels of development, though some personality disorders (such as obsessive compulsive personality disorder) are neurotic by definition.

It is important to note that the development of personality is based on the persistence of defenses that were originally functional for the child. That is, a schizoid person who uses fantasy as a defense learned to do so as a child, when it was the best defense to deal with the particular stressors being defended against. It is only because these defenses remain and are no longer functional that there is a problem. For many people, the defenses continue to work, and so cause no problems. These people would not qualify for having a personality disorder, regardless of whether or not they have narcissistic or psychopathic personalities, for example.

I will not be discussing the primary symptoms of the personality disorders in DSM-IV, because they are available in links at the top of this subforum. I will make a brief note on the DSM, however. The DSM maintains the personality disorders from the psychoanalytic tradition, but sterilized them in DSM-III by removing the theoretical underpinnings from the discussion. Because of this, DSM-III presented symptoms without presenting knowledge. At the time, anyone who might be using the DSM, however, had enough psychoanalytic training to know the theory behind the disorders regardless of whether or not it was in the book. DSM-IV continued this tradition of keeping the theory out of the book, instead including large amounts of empirical data based on research of the personality disorders as defined in DSM-III. For this reason, DSM-IV's definitions of personality disorder are two generations removed from the theory that fostered them, a grave mistake as it leaves questions as to what causes the disorders, and so how to treat them. I will be using the descriptions of the disorders based on the theories that fostered them, and not based on DSM-IV definitions, for this writing, however, you will find that the symptoms I describe will line up with those in the DSM, and this will give you a better working knowledge in the application of the DSM.

I will describe the personality disorders listed at the top of this forum, as well as some others that are proposed for inclusion in DSM-V.

Schizotypal, schizoid, and avoidant personality disorders are based in the primary use of withdrawal into fantasy as a defense. Schizoid personalities respond to stress by retreating into their fantasy worlds, and are often eccentric loners. These three disorders are grouped together under the label schizoid, because they all utilize the same defense. DSM-IV split them up in order to speak to their severity. In the neurotic-to-healthy level, these individuals are functional and generally serve as artists or creative types, due to their healthy connection to their fantasy worlds. They lack personal skills, however, and their eccentricity, combined with their easy flight into fantasy, leaves them disconnected from others.

In the more extreme forms of schizoid personality, on the borderline or psychotic levels, we find schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is essentially a schizoid personality on the psychotic level, where the individual's flight into fantasy is marked by poor reality testing and an inability to differentiate fantasy from reality.

The development of schizoid personality is mainly unknown, it would seem as if the pathogenesis is primarily a simple maintenance of infantile defenses into adulthood.

Paranoid personalities are described based on their use of the ego defense of projection. Paranoid individuals take their anxiety-provoking thoughts and feelings and ascribe them to others. This is especially true of the manifestation of aggressive energy or persecutory designs. These individuals project their fears outward onto others. So, a paranoid individual who is afraid of being persecuted will project persecutory suspicions onto others, in a way of reducing anxiety by taking the emotions and putting them elsewhere.

Psychotically organized individuals will have bizarre and delusional projections onto the world, because their ability to test reality is insufficient to check and verify that perhaps Satan worshipping terrorists from Uzbekistan are not actually poisoning the drinking water supplies. Neurotic individuals may be aware that their fears of others are irrational, but lack the capacity to stop them without therapy.

Paranoia develops when the child has been humiliated and made to feel powerless time and time again throughout early growth. These children have no sense of initiative, and have not resolved the initiative vs. guilt developmental stage as demonstrated by Erikson. Another predictor of paranoid organization is the presence of anxiety in the primary caregiver.

Obsessive compulsive personalities are almost by definition neurotic, because they rely on the ego defense of isolation. These individuals shove all of their emotions aside, relying on intellectualization, moralization, and rationalization to explain away the world. Those on the compulsive side employ the defense of undoing, taking action in order to reduce the senseof guilt that anything that is done is bad or wrong.

Obsessive and compulsive personalities are formed when caregivers set high standards and expect early results. These individuals are locked in the anal stage of development, their autonomy is stifled. These types come from extremely controlling families. This was much more typical of previous generations, and these types come in waves, as society moves towards stricter parenting and then away from it.

Narcissistic personalities utilize the defenses idealization and devaluation. They come in two types, the depressive-dejected type, and the grandiose type with whom we are mainly familiar. The narcissist sets an ideal image of him or herself. Those that delude themselves that they are in fact perfect and meet those standards characterize the grandiose type of narcissist, those who do not feel intense shame that they do not live up to their standards, forming the depressive type. Narcissists also devalue those around them, because they hold everyone to impossibly high standards of perfection, they see others as imperfect and inferior, except those regarded as self-objects, who give a sense of identity, purpose, and meaning to the narcissist. Because of his or her necessary reliance on self-objects, narcissists have an impaired ability to love.

A grandiose narcissist's pathology primarily stems from issues with self-esteem. The common prevailing thought is that narcissists become such because they have been targets of narcissists in childhood - held to impossibly high standards not because of a controlling parent but because they were a self-object of another narcissist, an appendage to the narcissist and part of his or her own grandiose delusions.



I will finish writing on the others in the next few days.

Trooper Keith
01-28-11, 01:55 PM
I believe a 'stormy' relationship with a borderline can be down to the borderline 'testing' the other person. As in - You say you love me but I have trouble believing that. So will you still love me if I do this. And what if I show you some of what I'm really feeling. What if I show you what an awful person I really am. Will you still love me then. - It takes a lot of hard work on the part of the borderline's partner to prove their love. And it's a continuous struggle, especially if the borderline is off their meds.

The tragicomic outcome of this is that when the individual does prove their love, the borderline becomes terrified of being engulfed, losing his or her self in the other person. They then sabotage the relationship for fear of being consumed.

Bluerose
01-28-11, 01:55 PM
Hi! Sandy, It was me, too. Latest diagnoses DID but I had a few others through the years. Thank god I was married to one of the nicest guys I have ever known for twenty years before we agreed to divorce. He stuck around and saw me through the worst of it. And boy did I test him. It was fifteen years before the realisation hit me of what I had put him through and the guilt almost killed me. He was a soldier and we had both been through a lot, we were exhausted, it was time to let go. I love him for everything he did for me and I will always love him. I'm here to enjoy my kids and my grandkids thanks to that man.

Bluerose
01-28-11, 02:18 PM
The tragicomic outcome of this is that when the individual does prove their love, the borderline becomes terrified of being engulfed, losing his or her self in the other person. They then sabotage the relationship for fear of being consumed.


I think I can go along with that. Speaking personally, I often felt that while my husband was trying to help me, he was also trying to take over my life. I often accused him of smothering me.

daveddd
01-28-11, 02:31 PM
the narcissistic depression correlation is interesting to me


in this book i read awhile ago (psychoanalytical ) the author chalks up agitated depression
and narcissism as one in the same


bottom right , starting at 2nd paragraph under depression for anyone interested


http://books.google.com/books?id=jO7TZen2qKoC&pg=PA52&dq=agitated+depression+narcissism&hl=en&ei=YAlDTeG-KsT48Aa23_CTAg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CEkQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q&f=false

Bluerose
01-28-11, 02:33 PM
KMiller,

Thanks for all that useful, descriptive information. I find it helpful in putting a finger on just what I have experienced personally but may not have had the words to describe it. Thank you.

daveddd
01-28-11, 03:00 PM
i know you mentioned adhd and personality type in another thread

this may sound silly

i used to wonder if adhd was just a general blanket for focus issues, impulsiveness and tension/hyperactivity noted in most PDs what i tend to see as adhd subtypes --------------------

schizoid groups (creative , gift, types)

narcissist (agitated depression types , mood shifts with items of interest low self esteem)

borderlines(impulsiveness more mood liable )

ocpd(ones with comorbid anxiety/ocd)

psychopaths (noted a high amount of hyperactive and impulsive children with CDs go on to be psychopaths )


plus adhd usually becomes relevant about the same time as you say the personality types become ingrained

i just found it weird so many people can be born with the same neurological differences

plus so many substance abuse issues


but science has proved me wrong :D

daveddd
01-28-11, 03:27 PM
or maybe the other way around


children with attention difficulties may lack the attention and ability to move past whatever they need to , in order to develop a healthy personality

daveddd
01-28-11, 03:36 PM
pet scans of psychopaths show abnormalities in the prefrontal cortex(executive function ) and amygdala (mood liability )

http://books.google.com/books?id=fKtB09fm_AgC&pg=PA271&dq=pet+scans+of+a+psychopath&hl=en&ei=EBpDTZm9MoS8lQfX_OwU&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CDsQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=pet%20scans%20of%20a%20psychopath&f=false

Fortune
01-28-11, 03:44 PM
Yeah, I think we'll find that personality disorders equate to some neurological differences, despite being characterized as strictly "personality" and somehow separate from neurology. This doesn't mean they're not personality issues, and of course neuroplasticity, etc.

Sandy4957
01-28-11, 04:32 PM
Very interesting! For this reason, DSM-IV's definitions of personality disorder are two generations removed from the theory that fostered them, a grave mistake as it leaves questions as to what causes the disorders, and so how to treat them.

Bluerose, you're a pretty striking example of what one CAN accomplish. I'm always amazed by you. Wish my mother could reach 1/2 your level of peace with herself...

HOOOOOooooooweeeeee!

Obsessive compulsive personalities are almost by definition neurotic, because they rely on the ego defense of isolation. These individuals shove all of their emotions aside, relying on intellectualization, moralization, and rationalization to explain away the world. Those on the compulsive side employ the defense of undoing, taking action in order to reduce the senseof guilt that anything that is done is bad or wrong.

Obsessive and compulsive personalities are formed when caregivers set high standards and expect early results. These individuals are locked in the anal stage of development, their autonomy is stifled. These types come from extremely controlling families. This was much more typical of previous generations, and these types come in waves, as society moves towards stricter parenting and then away from it.

Guilty as charged!!!! :o:o

Very interesting, Keith. Thanks for all of this. :)

Bluerose
01-29-11, 12:46 AM
Thanks, Sandy. Itís been a long hard road but Iím here to tell the tale. :)

daveddd
01-29-11, 07:40 PM
Totally. There must be a smidge of shameful entertainment value that I gain from it to string my interest along - but mainly it's so tragic. I can't imagine a worse hell than what "CB" afflicted folks experience - particularly borderline. It calls on the best part of good people to fix it - an you just don't want to accept that it's unsolvable (incurable). It's almost maddening to think about. Emotionally, it doesn't compute.

What scholars do you think are the best writers on the subject?

i posted a half a** article about schema therapy in another thread because i was in a hurry

here is one showing hope for BPD

http://books.google.com/books?id=lfJ0jO180DQC&printsec=frontcover&dq=borderline+personality+disorder&hl=en&ei=sKRETYOvAcXflgeSv5gH&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=9&ved=0CFoQ6AEwCDgK#v=onepage&q&f=false

JOHNCG
02-11-11, 12:14 AM
Yeah, I think we'll find that personality disorders equate to some neurological differences, despite being characterized as strictly "personality" and somehow separate from neurology. This doesn't mean they're not personality issues, and of course neuroplasticity, etc.

Yes, that is Albert Ellis' take on Personality Disorders; that is, that they (Personality Disorders) are always partly innate; that all of them have a biological component. If they don't, then, he says, they do not qualify as legitimate Personality Disorders.

I agree, I think a Personality Disorder is necessarily a result (in part) of atypical brain biology, such as limbic dysfunction in Borderline Personality Disorder or abnormalitites in the functioning of the amygdala and, for example, orbitofrontal cortex , and so on, in antisocial/psychopathic personality disorders. Personality Disorders, according to Ellis, cannot come into existence as a result of psychosocial (etiological) factors alone. Some personality theorists , for example, still claim that Borderline PD can be explained purely in terms of object relations theory. Ellis would say, here, that no amount of childhood sexual abuse is sufficient to cause Borderline PD in its own right; there must also be accompanying neural dysfunction (Limbic system abnormalities, for ex) for Borderline PD (proper) to come into being.

You are right, I think, that increasingly Personality Disorders, like those to be listed in DSM V, will ,in future ,be understood as biologically- based; and future treatment will be increasingly pharmacological /neurogenetic.

Bluerose
02-11-11, 12:51 AM
Speaking on a personal note and in layman’s terms, I think I can go along with that. I’m the oldest of five and I’m the only one of us who really struggled. I asked a psych-doc about this; about how the others seemed to have faired better than I did. The only answer he had was that everyone reacts differently to trauma.

Personally, I believe I struggled as I did because I was perhaps over-sensitive to everything. And I can accept that this may well be due to a brain dysfunction as well as the trauma. I seemed to be only able to take so much and then it was like my brain shutdown - it could only deal with so much at a time. I liken it to a computer that crashes when too much is going on at once. I learned, over a long period of time, to relax and go with the flow allowing myself to cope with what I could and simply make a note to deal with the rest later. Not sure if that made sense. Hope it did.

Fortune
02-11-11, 12:53 AM
It made sense to me.

Trooper Keith
02-11-11, 12:57 AM
The brain is a very malleable thing, especially during the young ages that object relations speaks to. While the evidence that there are neurological differences is not debatable, I'm not ready to make a statement about causality.

JOHNCG
02-11-11, 07:32 AM
i know you mentioned adhd and personality type in another thread

this may sound silly

i used to wonder if adhd was just a general blanket for focus issues, impulsiveness and tension/hyperactivity noted in most PDs what i tend to see as adhd subtypes --------------------

schizoid groups (creative , gift, types)

narcissist (agitated depression types , mood shifts with items of interest low self esteem)

borderlines(impulsiveness more mood liable )

ocpd(ones with comorbid anxiety/ocd)

psychopaths (noted a high amount of hyperactive and impulsive children with CDs go on to be psychopaths )


plus adhd usually becomes relevant about the same time as you say the personality types become ingrained

i just found it weird so many people can be born with the same neurological differences

plus so many substance abuse issues


but science has proved me wrong :D

Going back say 30 years or so, when researchers (scientists, psychologists, etc) first began to collect data about adult ADHD they discovered that a lot of adults with ADHD also had problems with 1.Antisocial Personality Disorder and 2. Alcohol abuse

The latest research done by Barkley and Co (in 2008) shows the same thing; i.e. that there is a high incidence of Antisocial Personality Disorder and Alcoholism among adults with ADHD. He also found that there was an increased incidence of Borderline PD, Paranoid PD and Passive-Aggressive PD in ADULT ADHDers.

I think that these aremainly neurologically based. That the antisocial Personality disorder, for example, comes from ADHD-related damage to Frontal lobe brain structures like the the orbitofrontal cortex, amygdala (and other adhd affected regions in the PFC).

The problems with alcohol (and substance abuse in general) that many adults with adhd have looks like they are due to problems with dopamine metabolism in brain regions like the nucleus accumbrens and the dopaminergic nerve fibtres in the meslimbic pathway that ennervate it and so on.

In the future, I think, we will be able to classify Personality Disorder in purely neuroanatomical terms. Stuff lke drive/psychodynamic Theory, Object Relations theory, Kerberg and co's theorising, and so on will be thrown in the historical rubbish bin (where a lot of it belongs in my opinion).

PS: Yes, its a worry isn't how many youngsters with ADHD and early-onset conduct disorder go on to become fully-fledged psychopaths, there are quite a lot of them, according to Russell Barkley. Enough even, it seems, for the new DSM V to be said to be considering a new subtype of ADHD called "ADHD (Agressive)" for which you could read "ADHD (psychopathic)".

The fact is a LOT of adult ADHDer are incarerated psychopaths; it's food for thought, isn't it??!!

Blueranne
02-11-11, 12:37 PM
The hope that I have is the knowledge and continued research will empower parents of children with ADHD to treat it and truly appreciate it's significance. That is what will make a difference!

Overly simple? Maybe but, true. :-)