Friday, February 18, 2011

THE RELATIONSHIPS OF PEOPLE WITH PERSONALITY DISORDERS (PART III)

[Continued from PART II]


The cluster of anxious/fearful personality disorder comprises of avoidant personality disorder, dependent personality disorder, and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.

People with avoidant personality disorder (APD) shy away from other people because they are afraid of being criticized or embarrassed, or worry that they will appear foolish. They have a very low self-esteem and a strong fear of rejection. They are so sensitive to criticism that they often misinterpret innocent comments as negative or critical. They feel inadequate, which makes them inhibited in social situations. They believe that they are so unappealing that they think no one would want to know them or be friends with them.

People with APD usually tend to avoid relationships. Because they are so uncomfortable around people, they usually have very few or no close friends other than someone in their immediate family. They will usually refuse to be in a relationship unless they are sure that the other person will like and accept them. They are usually distant and restrained in romantic relationships because they are afraid of being made fun of or ashamed if they reveal too much about themselves. Avoidant personalities typically feel depressed and angry at themselves because of their social failure.

Dependent personality disorder (DPD) mainly characterizes dependence on others. They are fearful or incapable of making their own decisions. They doubt their ability to take care of themselves, which makes extremely submissive. They face a lot of difficulty in making day to day decisions and even expressing their own opinion.

People with DPD have an extreme fear of abandonment. They have an extreme need for support and care from others and because of that they are willing to compromise their own interests in order to avoid being alone. Because of being incapable of taking care of themselves, people with DPD will remain in unpleasant situations rather than live alone. Often they will find themselves trapped in emotionally and physically abusive relationships, because of the fear of being alone. They will even tolerate infidelity of their spouse, because they feel that if they will protest then their spouse will leave them. They are even willing to do unpleasant things in order to stay in relationship and not get abandoned.

The main features of obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) are excessive preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism, and control. Their perfectionism often prevents them from finishing projects, because they are never satisfied by their work. They are considered workaholics and rarely take vacations. However, their perfectionism leads them to a lot of trouble at work, which prevents them from making proper decisions. They often have problems prioritizing and end up missing deadlines. They tend to be very thrifty and thingy. They are also often highly deferential to authority and morals.

People with OCPD do not acknowledge others’ opinions and always feel that everything must be done according to them. They are very critical of themselves and others. Friends and family members often find them rigid, stubborn, and difficult. They make challenging spouses because they are rarely spontaneous or able to relax. They might end up with a series of divorces and are often depressed and lonely.

It is very obvious that people with personality disorders have relationships that are not at all satisfying. Some are aloof and live like loners, some are extremely demanding and needy, while others can be very difficult and at times violent. Their tumultuous relationships further adds to their troubles and misery.

Personality disorders are highly generalized. It affects almost every aspect of the life of people with these disorders. They are also long standing and the behavior patterns associated with it are quite consistent.

This makes people with personality disorders not to see their conditions as a problem. They feel that this is the way that they are. When others have difficulties with them, they do not see it as their fault. They, in fact, feel that others’ are not being able to understand them. This is why they feel that they do not need any kind of treatment.

Personality disorders are also accompanied by other problems, such as mood disorders and substance abuse, which are known as comorbid disorders. Due to this, people with personality disorders are, many a times, misdiagnosed.

It becomes very difficult to identify the main causes of distress of people with personality disorders. They are, usually, treated for problems that are lesser in degree and importance, while their main problems remain unresolved.


[PART I]

16 comments:

The Panorama said...

Interestin insights. I have often wondered something. I know a few people who have split personality disorders. They often say something very hurtful but later they swear they didn't. Is it because there are two of them? They do thing also that they deny vehemently they didn't do. They are so covincing that one ends up wondering if maybe they are actually right.

Or is it a vry clever act? It is so confusing for those around this person. can you throw some light on this?

Good post!

Saif said...

Well, Dissociative Identity Disorder (the new name for split personality) actually does exist. People with dissociative identity disorder go through a lot of trauma during their childhood and growing up years and that's why they end up having different personalities (at times many). The other personality (or personalities) is developed within the unconscious mind of the person. And yes, one personality is not at all aware of the activities of the other. So, it's very true that an individual may not at all know what his/her other personality has said.

Usually, if there are two personalities then one is more dominant compared to the other.

Also, dissociative identity disorder is not a personality disorder. It is something that is very different and comes under dissociative disorders.

... and thanks for liking this post :)

angelairvin said...

Well, even though you didn't cover it in your post, I was married to someone with Adult ADHD, and it was very hard to make things work.

Thanks for such a well written article.

Saif said...

@ angelairvin
Thanks for appreciating my article. I didn't mention about ADHD because it does not come under the category of personality disorders. Yes, unless you are an expert or you are someone who has had a lot of experience in dealing with people with psychological problems (including ADHD), it can become difficult to make things work out.

shah wharton said...

Please consider joining our weekly linky over at http://wordsinsync.blogspot.com/ called Monday Madness today - It's in support of bloggers who are involved in mental health/illness. I'd like it to grow steadily, to tackle stigma and enable awareness and support

Shah. X

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eternalvow7 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
eternalvow7 said...

I think that one of the better solutions on this matter is still counseling . There might be cases of misdiagnosis, but, talking this out to the professional is indeed a positive way to handle such.

Ally London said...

Reading this article, you almost describe most people's fear of commitment, I mean even though not everyone has personality disorder, there are at least a lot of them who fear rejection very strongly.

lorah end said...

Very intriguing topic. Though we'd never know for sure because the human psyche is vast and unmeasurable.

Rebecca Williams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Saif said...

@ eternalvow7
Rather than counseling, the term would be using the psychiatric interview. There are also specific psychological tests that help in proper diagnosis and screening out the comorbid disorders.



@ Ally London
Yes you're right that people who do not have any disorder can also have a strong fear of rejection. But, in case of personality disorders this fear of rejection interferes with every aspect of their life, they can't function properly when it comes to day-to-day activities. This does not happen with people who don't have any disorder.

Saif said...

@ Iorah end
Well, its difficult but its not impossible. There are proper psychological techniques that do help in developing a better understanding.



@ Rebecca Williams
Actually, for people who have personality disorders it becomes easier because they have a set pattern of behaviors in terms of relationships. This set pattern helps in making identification of relationship problems easier compared to individuals who don't have a disorder.

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