9 May 2010

Personality disorder


In a simplified way we call “personality” to the long-term pattern of predictable and consistent reactions. If we are “healthy” that pattern has a natural flexibility to adjust those reactions while learning with experiences, understanding that sometimes we shouldn’t react this or that way in specific contexts. But when this flexibility does not exist we can be facing a personality disorder. And there are a few of them. They usually are behaviors that are not socially expected in a certain context, and that repeat themselves over the years causing suffering for the one who has it and often to those around. Many times the person who has the personality disorder doesn’t realize and doesn’t recognize their rigid thinking and behavior, being very difficult to treat.
We all can recognize in ourselves some of the characteristics of those disorders, but it is only a disorder when very rigidly, and when it becomes distressful and maladaptatives. There are a few of them… paranoid, schizoid, antisocial, borderline, histrionic, narcissistic, avoidant, dependent, obsessive-compulsive… And there are also a few controversies about calling them disorders, about the distinction between them, once some share traits. But for us here what matters is to think a little bit about the behaviors and characteristics, other than to consider a “diagnosis”.

1 comment:

  1. Right. We should see this more as traits of personality and not really as personality disorders. We all share one trait or another and should not concern ourselves with psychopathological labels. Although a curiosity for how we are and function is only healthy. Socrates, the philosopher, used to say that a life not examined was not worth living.

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