Personality is the mirror through which your true image is visible. You may hide your traits and your behavior from the world, but how would you manage to pass the buck with yourself. Think about it! Your personality is the gateway through which your mode of behavior peeps through. Personality, on a contrary note, stems from a Greek term persona, which means mask. A mask that one manages to wear, hooding himself from the worldly sight and goes about doing his business. Manuscripts spell that the characters who had roles to comply with, in plays, wore a mask and performed in order to mimic behaviors and idiosyncrasies, that have served to be of great influence to the play poppers. To maintain one's personality and to be tagged as stable is what normalcy is all about. However, with the increasing effects of environmental erosion's, plummeting levels of trust in relationships and stress meters rising, we all have trouble at some point in time to maintain sanity. We all go through tough times and we have to cope with it. In unfortunate cases, there are some people who cannot emerge from their respective crises, and fall into pits of a personality disorder that changes their behavior pattern drastically.
Characteristics and Causes
There are specific characteristics that reflect a discrepancy in personality. A personality trait can develop into a personality disorder; however, this statement may not be tagged as a rule of thumb.
"Research claims that adolescents, who have behavioral or characteristic personality traits, may not necessarily develop troubles in coping with difficult moments or crises in life."
However, for some, the story is a somersaulted version of getting on with normalcy prevailing in life. People, who endure personality disorders are found to be rigid, as even after being told that they need to change their mode or pattern of behavior, they budge from the very fact they require to work on the way they function. They are open to fewer ideas, where acceptance of a contrary perspective is not appreciated. The major issue lies with acknowledgment of the problem they face. They find no trouble with their attitude and refuse to comply to any change suggested. It is due to this primal reason that they cannot make friends, or maintain a healthy relationship with their existing friends and acquaintances. Workplace scenario is no different, where they find it very difficult to cultivate a healthy, yet cordial relationship with colleagues. They, often, are misunderstood, especially by those, who do not interact with them often. Close associates may cooperate and understand the problem; however, unfortunately, similar treatment cannot be expected from the 'lesser-known' pals.
"The cause of these behavioral discrepancies is a subject eliciting much debate, inviting retort. The reason why personality disorders erupt may not be attributed to one single cause."
Negative sources and forces, such as abuse during childhood, or putting up with negligent parenting attitudes may result in a distorted self-image, thus inviting a shaded personality. A link has also been found between epileptic seizures and personality disturbances. Enduring seizures may negatively affect the individual's personality. Brain injuries or traumas are also said to play a part in posing a threat to the individual's personality. Narcissistic personality disorder and Bipolar disorders are said to have a strong foothold as post-traumatic conditions. Genetic factors also play a role in budding personality disorders.
Types of Personality Disorders
Different types of personality distortions transform the normal mode of life. They have the potential to disrupt the life that one leads and spell havoc for the individual. All those who reside under the same roof with the individual also have to bear the brunt, thereby going through immense stress and trauma. Personality-centered conundrums completely change the way the individual deals with life and his way of interacting with friends and acquaintances. As troubles escalate, appropriate physiological and psychological help needs to be provided. It is important to know the symptoms of different personality disorders in order to understand and recommend the line of treatment. They are classified into three clusters.
Paranoid personality disorder is characterized by an individual being emotionally cold. They constantly experience a mirage of distrust and discomfort when interacting with people. They also develop a tendency to be suspicious towards those whom they are possessive about, for instance their spouse. They get perturbed and get annoyed without any reason. They do carry a vengeance in their heart and are forever unforgiving. They are reclusive in nature and do not find it easy to make friends.
Schizoid personality disorder is an uncommon disorder, predominantly because of the fact, that it remains undiagnosed in those who have it. They are detached from the world, extremely introvert, and consciously refuse to form new relationships. They are not happy being at leisure and avoid indulging in activities or hobbies, even if they remotely interest them. They are in the habit to constantly avoid social interactions. They fail to feel close to anyone, one of the main reasons being, their distrust in intimacy and the fear to develop feelings. With a nature like this, they have dreams that are rich and absolutely normal.
When suffering from Schizotypal personality disorder, eccentric ways of conversing and dressing up are evident characteristics. They live in their own world and do not entertain anyone's intrusion in their personal space. They are also fond of talking to themselves. Reacting aggressively with fervor, over an issue when unexpected and not reacting at all on issues where some reaction is expected, is a symptom of this personality disorder. They are in an illusory world that helps them claim, that they possess supernatural powers and are able to predict the future and have very strong premonition powers.
Antisocial personality disorder is marked by a general disregard for the feelings and disrespect for the rights of other people. They also do not believe in following the set rules and regulations. They do not budge to lie to, or deceive others and show physical aggression. They are carefree, much more than one ought to be, and are not bothered about their personal safety, or for the safety of others.
They are on the borderline of psychosis and neurosis. It is a rare personality disorder symptom where an individual has unstable relationships. It occurs in women predominantly. They have mood swings that frequent them more than often, also affecting their behavior and self-esteem. Their behavior is unpredictable, making them prone to destructive relationships and actions that destroy them physically and psychologically.
In narcissistic personality disorder, an individual is self-consumed. They have an overtly inflated ego which tells them that they are the best and have no competitors to defeat them. They are self-obsessed. They have no regard for other people's feelings, gain pleasure in putting people down and making them feel that they should be sorry for their own existence. They are extremely sensitive to criticism and want to be the center of attention all the time. They cannot stand a situation where someone else is in the limelight.
This disorder is characterized by an individual, garnering a lot of self-importance. They exhibit a tendency to be extremely dramatic, have oscillating moods and are not interested in establishing a solid relationship with anyone.
An individual with a dependent personality disorder has a tendency to be taken care of. They want attention, however, they have an aversion to taking up responsibility for decision-making. They do not like to take up responsibility that involve them being answerable to anyone, not even to themselves. A person with this disorder is submissive. They would not mind continuing a relationship even if their partner is physically and mentally torturing them. They have the tendency to cling to anyone, whom they feel, would be capable to take care of them. Someone who shows a caring demeanor toward them, will be their ultimate support system. They have a fear of being left alone, or being abandoned or rejected. They are scared to make their own decisions, lest they are not agreed upon by someone who cares for them. They, thus have no opinion of their own. They would sway by the decision that their loved one takes for them. They are also aversive to taking up any kind of responsibility in fear that they would be unable to step up to the expectations of the one who cares for them.
People with Avoidant personality disorder are extremely scared of being rejected. They have a fear that they would be negatively judged by the society. They suffer from low self-esteem. They would want everyone to accept them, love them and display their affection toward them. When they do not find the affection coming their way, social withdrawal could be the result.
People with obsessive-compulsive personality disorder exhibit high levels of perfectionism. They scrutinize everything that catches their attention and have an eye for immense detail. They work patiently and with utmost concentration on the task at hand. They are extremely dependable. They cannot have peaceful moments devoted to themselves, as they are constantly on the steeplechase. They are known to stretch their limits, and work with thorough perfectionist values. They try to cramp up activities, more than they are capable to fulfill and attend to. They are often worried about committing mistakes or doing something wrong. They tend to feel anxious and worried, if they are faced with a situation that they have no control over. Obsessive-compulsive disorder and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, are two different psychological scenarios, so do not mix them up and add confusion to your understanding of the two.
When Is Help Required?
Studying and understanding the cluster and categories of personality disturbances that individuals endure, one may question the degree to which the intensity of these distortions be tolerated. Well, this is no rocket science; it is when the individual's daily functioning ability is punctured, with the condition progressing towards amputating the person's mental, physiological and psychological well-being, professional help must be essayed. Psychotherapy, behavior and cognitive therapy are some adopted methods to aid the individual and make him/her aware of the circumstances that others and they themselves need to face, due to their behavior. They are made conscious of the fact, that their behavior hampers their interpersonal relationships, inhibiting them to round up on a decision with their rigid perspectives on the daily issues of life.
These were the different types of personality disorders. An infringement of personality can disrupt and disintegrate the life of the one who endures it; however, the one who sees his loved one suffering is in no better stead.