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Personality Disorder Message Board

Personality Disorder Board Index

dear 12
The following is written in response to your first post, but it seems even more on topic after reading your second post. This is all opinion. I am an older person who has "been there, done that" and has a huge collection of worn out psychedelic tee shirts.

This is about general principles as I see it, not necessarily advice totally aimed at your issues. Please take what you need and leave the rest. It is opinion from someone who has made a hobby of looking at human character and behaviors. This site enjoins against claiming your professional credentials, but I think amateur credentials may be allowed. I am an armchair anthropologist. I love to look at human culture and behavior, to study it and to try to figure out why people behave as they do, especially when it is non-productive.

I did not see the rockstar signature this time. I just want to tell you that I have long term friendships with a number of 60's rock stars and understand the narcissism that is necessary to achieve this status. I am a 60's person, grown older and wiser. I hope that this statement helps you sort where I am coming from.

Here is my carfully thought out opinion on boundaries:

All the things I talked about in my previous post are about boundary violations. I am not ready to definitively define what a boundary violation is, because it is very personal. What one person will put up with is quite different than what another will put up with. Boundaries are about what you will, and will not, put up with.

Boundary violations typify the behaviors of people with escalated personality disorders. Personality disorders are not considered clinical conditions like schizophrenia or depression, so they are not Axis I disorders, they are Axis II disorders, along with Mental Retardation. Every other disorder in the DSM is under Axis I, with sometimes special reference to Axes III, &/or IV. Go figure.

Maybe the forces that put together that illustrious tome didn't want Personality Disorders to be all alone on their own axis, so they decided to put Mental Retardation there too, to keep them company. (As all too often happened in real life, - esp. in the past) The point here is that personality disorders are character problems, behavioral problems, not clinical conditions. They sure do complicate clinical conditions when they co-occur, though. (Now do NOT for a minute think that applies to the other Axis II disorder, Mental Retardation. Character and poor choices are entirely independent of mental retardation. People with MR show personality d/o’s at about the same rate as the rest of the population.)

Personality disorders often mellow with age. People mature. They make better choices. Personality disorders are also on a continuum. Every personality disorder is a high end manifestation of a normal “Type” at the low end. (see: “Personality Self Portrait” by Oldham & Morris, Bantam books, 1991.)

When bad behaviors are too escalated, it becomes a personality disorder.

Some aspects of P/DO’s can be treated with meds, but the only thing to do for the entire disorder is to make better choices. Therapy can help, but people tend to eventually grow up – if they are still on the planet. A severe personality disorder can be life and/or limb threatening when peaking. However having a personality disorder should never be an excuse for a bad behavior against self or others. No med can correct a bad behavior. No med, drug (Illegal or not), or ETOH is an excuse for bad behavior.

Let us look at Narcissism:
Narcissism is a healthy personality complex of traits underlying most successful people’s motivations - look at most movie stars, wrestlers, astronauts, rock stars, and good CEOs, great surgeons, astronauts, senaters, governers,even presidents.

It is only when ego or self love gets twisted through poor cognitive lenses (bad attitudes), or combined with negative acting out of any kind, callousness, for instance, that it begins to take on the coloration of a personality disorder.

Narcissism has been held by some to most likely be THE underlying Personality Disorder (pdo). This may well be true, because are not all PDo’s basically about ME?”. I believe Narcissistic PD/O) is way under-diagnosed. The most common diagnosis nowadays is Borderline P/DO. As a sweeping generalization, I would say every person with Borderline pdo could also qualify for Narcissistic pdo and more than a few for Histrionic, p/do and another batch for anti-social PDO.

Every single person I ever met with any kind of pdo disorder pushed or broke boundaries and rules – without exception. In fact when I meet people who break rules and push boundaries, I suspect a pdo. (I was a supervisor in a company and had a lot of employees under me.) Too often, having a pdo seems to excuse one from following the rules or at least to pick and choose which to follow - and from taking responsibility when caught cheating.

I see a core of behaviors that indicates PERSONALITY DISORDER! in big red letters. This is my personal check list. It is entirely based on opinion. When I see a person with some combination from each category, I know I am dealing with PDO stuff. Often it is hard to differentiate beyond that.

1. Poor boundaries and/or disregard of social conventions.
Will exploit others in numerous ways, or demand special treatment, a “flexing” of the rules, if not suspending them for the person. Manipulative behaviors. Set people at each other.

2. A pattern of avoiding responsibility and/or blaming. This can include responsibility for one’s thoughts, emotions and/or for the consequences of inappropriate actions. Includes all kinds of blaming behaviors. This can include not being responsible for ones’ anger, lies, bills, - on up to not being responsible for one’s children. This is big. It is easy to see.

3. Poor insight
Cannot see self in a realistic way, let alone see others realistically. Inappropriate lack of trust. Poor judgement. Often twists or misinterprets things to suit the inner scenario. Cannot accept negative feedback.

4. Emotionally immature.
Self centeredness, lack of empathy. Impulsive. Hissy fits. Major hissy fits. Blow ups at others, all forms of angry displays, verbal and physical. Sometimes active or passive abuse of self. Can take unacceptable risks from gambling to drunk driving to risky sex.

To summarize: Narcissism is a form of emotional immaturity that fails to recognize the point of view of others. It underlies every other personality disorder, all of which could be thought of as branching off of Narcissist pdo.

Please do not diagnose yourself with a PDO, unless the above comments ring absolutely true to you.

If you really have manic episodes, then get a psychiatrist. But many creative people have suffered under the leashing up of their emotions though meds, so be sure this is truly a life-saving intervention bfore you do it. Psychotropic meds are not just another high. They are serious and have serious side effects.

It is so much better to take responsibility for your youthful choices and use your memories for creativity rather than going mad.

If you are young and fooling around,with madness, move on. You do not have to be in total agony to be creative, only to be able to remember what it was like to be in agony.

My hypothesis; treating a nice woman well and having kids with her is the greatest boon to real creativity. Actually having to rise to providing room and board for your dependents is a tremendous stimulant for creativity - and a source of long life, wisdom, luck, and yes, even happiness.

I wish you the wisdom at an early age.

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