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What is a Personality Disorder?

C

Coolname

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Jun 3, 2019
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Hi

I know the DSM definitions of PDs. Do people here believe PD's are unchangeable elements of a person and it is purely about management or do you believe that personalities can be changed?

My question is prompted by a change in scientific thinking. It used to be thought that, once you reach adulthood, the brain is fully formed and that is who you are. More recently, it has been established that all elements of the brain remain 'plastic' (changable) throughout our lives. I am wondering if the whole notion of a set personality is faulty.
 
J

Jomp

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Personalities change over time, by adjusting behaviours to become habits. It's a natural part of life. Personalities don't change just because you want them to or someone tells you to.

PD's are always there, but they're not the sum-total of who you are. Most PD's are caused by a stunted development; some things that cause a person to have a well-balanced view of the world are missing when young or there are aspects of the brain that simply don't work the same way they do in others. This can't be changed.

That's not to say that a PD is an excuse. A PD exists alongside the person's personality; the way it affects one is not the same as the way it affects another.

Everything we do is a choice; we might not like the options, but we choose everything we do.

Some people in wheelchairs live a life of seclusion and misery, some win medals and climb mountains. How you react to what you are is down to choice.
 
S

Shlink

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I would think it would depend on what the specific underlying issue is, neuropsychologically, which i don't think is well understood enough yet to say. So I think things should be tried - and not just talking either because neural change can require embodied enacted change.

The latest DSM nearly scrapped all the PD categories and replaced them with just assessing a pattern of scores on generic descriptive traits (factors), that's the state of that science.
 
P

Purpleplum

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You could be predisposed but they can show themselves in times of trauma and sometimes due to hormonal changes in the body.
 
Slekiplisse

Slekiplisse

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I was told I had PD
I knew I had been misdiagnosed previously

I wasn’t easy but I cheered up

To me personally it tells me there is demarcation between the voices that hate you and the voices that live on your side

It’s helped me to see the voices as mine and which are well developed and which are less so

I spend a lot of time retraining them to understand my needs are level to theirs that my boundaries go as high as theirs

Sometimes I feel it my be one or other organ
After all organs do things that we cannot do and see the world their own way not mine but they don’t want to hurt me
It’s just a hunch I might be wrong eh...?

But it has taken up to three years to retrain angular relationships in my head but I’ll give it longer because after this much work persecuted as I am I also feel that when I’m alone I am with my best friend.

So much of our body and mind we don’t get... and perhaps that’s not purpose, perhaps it’s not right

What I have learned is that no matter how good friends we do become in time we’re still living parallel and separate lives.

Hope this helps
 
LittleMissNameless

LittleMissNameless

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Honestly I think PD's as a category in the DSM will disappear in the future.

Like Passive Aggressive PD, or Hysteria, etc
 
Prozac1984

Prozac1984

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Jan 19, 2021
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Brazil
Hi

I know the DSM definitions of PDs. Do people here believe PD's are unchangeable elements of a person and it is purely about management or do you believe that personalities can be changed?

My question is prompted by a change in scientific thinking. It used to be thought that, once you reach adulthood, the brain is fully formed and that is who you are. More recently, it has been established that all elements of the brain remain 'plastic' (changable) throughout our lives. I am wondering if the whole notion of a set personality is faulty.
Who you are is a combination of Intelect + Emotion.
A PD is a problem that afects the emotion site of who you are.
Unfortunately, emotion guides the thought... so if someone say "you look good" and in some way that makes you feel angry/uncomfortable, your intelect will reinterpret the situation as "maybe that coment was ironic".
Now, imagine living a whole life with this distorted view... that is a PD in a nutshell.
 
irwin

irwin

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Oct 14, 2020
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424
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Colorado, USA
Honestly I think PD's as a category in the DSM will disappear in the future.

Like Passive Aggressive PD, or Hysteria, etc
Yeah, I was surprised when I heard that there was a Passive Aggressive PD. It seems like that's just a type of behavior. Usually, those who define those things (in the DSM) only make it a disorder if there's a medication that can be prescribed to "cure" it, but mainly to enrich drug companies.

Personally, I've been passive aggressive at times when I was younger, but once I realized what I was doing, I stopped. It wasn't part of my personality. Maybe if you don't stop, it's a disorder. Or maybe if you can't stop and you do it regularly.
 
D

Dagoon

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Dec 27, 2020
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Np20
Hi

I know the DSM definitions of PDs. Do people here believe PD's are unchangeable elements of a person and it is purely about management or do you believe that personalities can be changed?

My question is prompted by a change in scientific thinking. It used to be thought that, once you reach adulthood, the brain is fully formed and that is who you are. More recently, it has been established that all elements of the brain remain 'plastic' (changable) throughout our lives. I am wondering if the whole notion of a set personality is faulty.
Mine adapts as I change one bad habit another forms. I just try to form more healthy habits. My youth was a nightmare. I was abused throughout my childhood and my mother had selective hearing and sight. She doesn't cope well with her adult children's emotions anymore then she did when we were children. Now I know more about pds I am able to substitute my coping mechanisms. Sometimes they are not healthy but less destructive then the original. So you do change. But how that change presents itself is up to you. You can either wallow in it. Which is OK. I do sometimes when the episodes are so close I haven't had time to rest between. Or if your OK within yourself read read read. Self help books etc may not work right at that moment. But if you can sit and read them. They will help when you have an episode.
 
C

Coolname

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Jun 3, 2019
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673
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Mine adapts as I change one bad habit another forms. I just try to form more healthy habits. My youth was a nightmare. I was abused throughout my childhood and my mother had selective hearing and sight. She doesn't cope well with her adult children's emotions anymore then she did when we were children. Now I know more about pds I am able to substitute my coping mechanisms. Sometimes they are not healthy but less destructive then the original. So you do change. But how that change presents itself is up to you. You can either wallow in it. Which is OK. I do sometimes when the episodes are so close I haven't had time to rest between. Or if your OK within yourself read read read. Self help books etc may not work right at that moment. But if you can sit and read them. They will help when you have an episode.
Thanks for your reply.
 
C

Coolname

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Joined
Jun 3, 2019
Messages
673
Location
UK
Yeah, I was surprised when I heard that there was a Passive Aggressive PD. It seems like that's just a type of behavior. Usually, those who define those things (in the DSM) only make it a disorder if there's a medication that can be prescribed to "cure" it, but mainly to enrich drug companies.

Personally, I've been passive aggressive at times when I was younger, but once I realized what I was doing, I stopped. It wasn't part of my personality. Maybe if you don't stop, it's a disorder. Or maybe if you can't stop and you do it regularly.
Thanks for your reply
 
Argon

Argon

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I actually liked the concept of personality disorders as an axis 2 condition and not an axis 1 mental illness. While personality can change over time it is a slow process. A person can do more harm that good when trying to change a personality, like someone getting too much cosmetic surgery. Think Michael Jackson. For example if a person has social anxiety that is resistant to treatment it's probably an underlying avoidant personality disorder that cannot be easily changed if it can be changed at all. In that case a person would be better off accepting his limitations and learning to live with them.
 
K

karl7

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 9, 2013
Messages
925
Hi

I know the DSM definitions of PDs. Do people here believe PD's are unchangeable elements of a person and it is purely about management or do you believe that personalities can be changed?

My question is prompted by a change in scientific thinking. It used to be thought that, once you reach adulthood, the brain is fully formed and that is who you are. More recently, it has been established that all elements of the brain remain 'plastic' (changable) throughout our lives. I am wondering if the whole notion of a set personality is faulty.
i think PD's form as an extreme of personality....they deviate away frpom the norm to an extreme degree and these perosnality cause problems for the person themselves as well as others
 
R

roboandrew

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Feb 23, 2021
Messages
11
Location
Saint Louis, MO
Personality disorders are indeed disorders, because the traits are extreme, pervasive, clearly connected, and cause harm to one's self or others. A few atypical harmful traits are not a disorder, but when thousands of people have the same kinds of symptoms, you group them together to figure out what's going on. That's what a diagnosis is: a way to know what treatment to give you; it's not a label used to quantify you. If your doctor is telling you that personality disorders don't exist, you need to stop seeing them and report them to the local medical board, because they could cause serious harm to their patients.

I have Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder. While I wasn't diagnosed till age 17, I did have warning flag traits as early as I can remember. I'm almost 34 now, and I've learned and grown a lot. For example, my morality and ethics used to be black-and-white, extreme, and unrealistic. I broke off friendships, relationships, and other opportunities for personal growth because nobody could meet my demands. It wasn't easy to change. It literally took years and years. But I've embraced grey-area-thinking now and it's incredibly fulfilling. I used to require people do things my way, but learning to let go of things, which is incredibly hard to say the least, has made me a calmer, warmer, more effective leader. As a teacher I used to mark every single error in an essay, but I always had this little voice telling me it wasn't right for some reason. Eventually I stopped taking off points, even though I still marked all the errors. Now I don't take off any points or call them errors: I circle a part, write a question or statement, and focus on one or two things a student can improve. If I hadn't been working at my OCPD, I wouldn't be able to be a teacher, and that's the only thing I've ever wanted to be.

Personalities tend not to change much over time. I know that from statistics and data, so I don't know exactly why that is or whether it's good or bad. I also know that personality disorders have a poor prognosis, but that's mostly due to the fact that they're ego-syntonic. If you've developed the self-awareness to accept that other people sometimes know you better than you do, you increase your chances of success dramatically. If you can accept that some of the things you believe are your genuine self actually aren't--then you can start to identify which things are causing you harm and which things are actually part of who you are. Moral extremism wasn't part of who I am, even though I believed it was and acted like it was.

People do beat personality disorders. Your job is to find out what things improve the prognosis and to try as many of those as possible. You'll need to be both realistic (this is some of the hardest work a person can do, and it will necessarily take several years) and hopeful. Hope doesn't mean "expecting good things to happen". In this case, hope is simply trusting that if you do end up becoming the person you know you are, this is how it happens. Personality disorders can be overcome at their root, not just at their expression.
 
Prozac1984

Prozac1984

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Joined
Jan 19, 2021
Messages
27
Location
Brazil
Personality disorders are indeed disorders, because the traits are extreme, pervasive, clearly connected, and cause harm to one's self or others. A few atypical harmful traits are not a disorder, but when thousands of people have the same kinds of symptoms, you group them together to figure out what's going on. That's what a diagnosis is: a way to know what treatment to give you; it's not a label used to quantify you. If your doctor is telling you that personality disorders don't exist, you need to stop seeing them and report them to the local medical board, because they could cause serious harm to their patients.

I have Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder. While I wasn't diagnosed till age 17, I did have warning flag traits as early as I can remember. I'm almost 34 now, and I've learned and grown a lot. For example, my morality and ethics used to be black-and-white, extreme, and unrealistic. I broke off friendships, relationships, and other opportunities for personal growth because nobody could meet my demands. It wasn't easy to change. It literally took years and years. But I've embraced grey-area-thinking now and it's incredibly fulfilling. I used to require people do things my way, but learning to let go of things, which is incredibly hard to say the least, has made me a calmer, warmer, more effective leader. As a teacher I used to mark every single error in an essay, but I always had this little voice telling me it wasn't right for some reason. Eventually I stopped taking off points, even though I still marked all the errors. Now I don't take off any points or call them errors: I circle a part, write a question or statement, and focus on one or two things a student can improve. If I hadn't been working at my OCPD, I wouldn't be able to be a teacher, and that's the only thing I've ever wanted to be.

Personalities tend not to change much over time. I know that from statistics and data, so I don't know exactly why that is or whether it's good or bad. I also know that personality disorders have a poor prognosis, but that's mostly due to the fact that they're ego-syntonic. If you've developed the self-awareness to accept that other people sometimes know you better than you do, you increase your chances of success dramatically. If you can accept that some of the things you believe are your genuine self actually aren't--then you can start to identify which things are causing you harm and which things are actually part of who you are. Moral extremism wasn't part of who I am, even though I believed it was and acted like it was.

People do beat personality disorders. Your job is to find out what things improve the prognosis and to try as many of those as possible. You'll need to be both realistic (this is some of the hardest work a person can do, and it will necessarily take several years) and hopeful. Hope doesn't mean "expecting good things to happen". In this case, hope is simply trusting that if you do end up becoming the person you know you are, this is how it happens. Personality disorders can be overcome at their root, not just at their expression.
Hi,

I also have ocpd, which treatment line are you doing?
 
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