Mental illness that masquerades as normal
Mental disorder (mental disorder, mental illness, mental illness; in some authoritative sources, in particular in ICD-10, it is claimed that these are not completely synonyms) - in a broad sense, the state of the psyche is different from normal, healthy. There is a more particular meaning of the term in areas such as jurisprudence, psychiatry, and psychology. Mental disorders should not be taken as manifesting negative aspects of personality or character traits.
Often we attribute extravagant acts to the character of a person. But what if there is more to it? Prominent American psychotherapists Aaron Beck and Arthur Freeman in the book “Cognitive Therapy of Personality Disorders” revealed the secrets of human temperament.
The editors of shram.kiev.ua carefully studied the work of these scientists and prepared for you a guide to 10 character traits that can bring a lot of problems to their owners if you do not keep them under control.
In this category, you can safely write down everyone who wants to relax more and work less. Of course, this is an ordinary human desire, but some of us often go too far. For example, if an employee of the company issued several sick leave during the year, took a couple of vacations and countless days off, and at the same time managed to be late, the psychologist would have given him an antisocial personality disorder .
True, for this it is necessary that the following symptoms are also observed:
- frequent lies that are not motivated by anything;
- the desire to live at the expense of others;
- frequent dismissal without further plans for employment, that is, "going nowhere";
- misappropriation of money for other purposes (I was going to buy food, but bought a new toy for the console)
Time management and rewards will help fight antisociality. It’s enough to write down what kind of present you can make for a particular achievement (for example, live a couple of days according to your plan), and adhere to the schedule for at least a month to make a habit. Even with such violations, psychologists recommend the exercise “Review of Elections”: a problem is written in writing, possible solutions to it and advantages / disadvantages of each are determined. This will help make decisions rationally.
Encouraged shyness over time can develop into total alienation and unwillingness to establish connections with the outside world. People who are on the verge of a mental disorder cease to feel strong emotions and try to limit themselves in any contacts, and therefore often choose remote work or other activity that is not connected with communication in any way.
Hypertrophic introversion leads to schizoid personality disorder , which has the following symptoms:
- indifference to criticism and praise;
- the absence of close friends or the presence of only one friend;
- the tendency to dream often and unrealistically;
- excessive sensitivity, which is impossible or scary to express to others.
There are many ways to prevent the development of the disease. One of the most effective is group activity. Any group will do: drawing, learning a foreign language, yoga or Pilates.
To combat increasing misanthropy, you should use a simple life hack: instead of the phrase “I don’t like people,” say “I don’t like this thing” (character trait, clothing, appearance, habit, or something else). Such an approach will make it possible to form a new attitude: in people, in addition to the bad, there is something good.
Rebels who do not want to obey the rules in society fall into this category. Everything is expressed in putting off the necessary actions for some time. Launched procrastination may well lead to a passive-aggressive personality disorder , which often entails chronic depression.
A little rebellion in a school or university is a completely natural phenomenon, and it is not necessary to look for the sources of the disease in it. The following symptoms can indicate that procrastination is entering a new phase of development:
- irritability in response to requests to do something not particularly pleasant, but common for most people (for example, wash dishes, clean up after a cat or take out garbage);
- very slow pace and poor quality;
- resentment of useful advice from others on how to make work faster and better;
- unjustified vicious criticism of people who are vested with power.
The complexity of prevention lies in the fact that a person usually believes that he is not guilty of anything. Here the exercise “Review of Elections” already described by us is perfect. A social game is also recommended in which you need to put yourself in the place of other people in order to understand their feelings. Such therapy will stop the progress of procrastination and make the person more sensitive to others.
4. Impulsivity and temper
A person who does not try to take control of anger runs the risk of earning a borderline personality disorder . One of the typical manifestations of an approaching disease is a sharp and unmotivated change of opinion to a radically opposite one. Say, today you think that fried scrambled eggs have a terrible effect on your stomach, and you hate it, and the day after tomorrow cook it with rapture for breakfast.
Of course, just impulsiveness does not threaten anything. Although it’s worth considering if you have found, along with short temper, the following symptoms:
- fickle friendships and romantic relationships;
- frequent thoughtless spending of money (gathered for a coffee maker, and bought a second TV);
- careless driving on the verge of accidents;
- a change of mood for no apparent reason and a feeling of chronic boredom.
Excellent prevention - anger management courses and various self-identity training. Self-control with encouragement will be helpful. For example, if you gathered for an ill-fated coffee maker, buy it (without having to bring a half-store with you), and as a reward get a thing that you have long dreamed about.
People subject to self-flagellation can easily be called ostriches: at every opportunity, they hide their heads in the sand, trying to hide from problems. In psychology, this is called avoidance personality disorder . In advanced cases, panic attacks, depression and sleep disturbances appear.
Self-criticism in small doses is useful because it pushes us to develop, but in large doses it is frankly dangerous for the mental state. You can sound an alarm if the following is observed:
- strong and instant resentment of criticism or disapproval;
- avoidance of new contacts, reaching the point of absurdity (for example, refusal to increase, if it requires communication with new people);
- exaggeration of potential difficulties, physical dangers or the risk of ordinary actions;
- restraining oneself in communication with people for fear of saying something wrong.
The effective exercise in this case is the refutation of false predictions. You need to write down your assumptions about any action that needs to be performed. For example: “If I go to an unfamiliar store late in the evening, they will surely rob me,” and then perform this action and record the result. Subsequently, when doubts and negative forebodings arise, it is enough just to open a notebook with notes to make sure that nothing bad will happen.
Each of us is a little paranoid, and that's normal. But some people, in their suspicions, go beyond all conceivable boundaries: hack into pages on social networks, listen to telephone conversations and even hire a private detective. A person whose doubts push such desperate actions may be suffering from a paranoid personality disorder . This violation is accompanied by the following symptoms:
- unreasonable distrust of the partner;
- the search for hidden meanings in the ordinary actions of people (for example, a neighbor deliberately slams the door to annoy you);
- the tendency to consider all but oneself guilty;
- lack of a sense of humor, inability to see the funny in everyday situations.
A great way to deal with chronic distrust is to make a list of people you know and put pluses in front of their name every time they meet expectations in some way (for example, you were afraid that the guy at the corporate party would forget about your existence, and he paid attention to you all evening ) When the next time there is any suspicion, it will be enough to look at the number of pluses, and distrust will disappear.
Dependence on loved ones is a hallmark of all mammals and, of course, humans. Relying on others is perfectly normal, but excessive attachment is defined in medicine as a dependent personality disorder . The trait behind which there is a real mental disorder is considered great difficulty or inability to make decisions without the approval of an authoritative person.
In addition, the following symptoms accompany the disease:
- consent with others, even if they are not right;
- discomfort in loneliness and the desire to do anything, just not to be alone;
- committing unpleasant or degrading actions in order to please;
- baseless obsessive thoughts that all people around are traitors.
Excessive emotionality and sensitivity can be a symptom of a histrionic personality disorder , which in the world is called simply hysteria. The desire to attract attention is natural for a person, until he turns into outbursts of anger and seizures. A distinctive feature is a very emotional speech and at the same time the absence of details in it. For example, to the question “What does your mother look like?” The answer will be something like this: “She was very good.”
Other signs of the disorder:
- the constant search for support, approval and praise of an authoritative person;
- the inability to focus on one thing for a long time;
- superficial, rapidly replacing emotions;
- intolerance to procrastination with a constant desire to do something.
One great way to resist hysteria is through a timer. You need to set the timer for half an hour or an hour and all this time to do only one thing. With the apparent ease of the exercise, it will not be so simple to perform: it is very difficult for emotional people to sit still. And it’s also difficult for them to set goals, because they usually dream of something beautiful, but vague, so a concrete solution will be to set specific goals: achieve a raise in 2 months, learn how to cook risotto for the New Year, etc.
Desperate perfectionism is a direct path to obsessive-compulsive personality disorder . The development of the disease is usually due to the fact that society values qualities such as attention to detail, self-discipline, emotional control, reliability, emphasized courtesy, and people are very addicted. Then these wonderful properties turn into a real catastrophe: emotional blockage, dogmatism, psychological inflexibility.
Perfectionists should be alarmed when they discover the following trends:
- unwillingness to waste time on oneself for fear of becoming unproductive;
- refusal to throw away unnecessary things with the thought “useful for something”;
- pathological fear of making a mistake;
- the desire to do work for others because of the thought that no one else can do it just as well.
Perfectionists find it difficult to sit still because their being requires immediate action, and therefore psychologists recommend everyday meditation. Any form is suitable - from massage to listening to music with my eyes closed. To consolidate success, it is useful to record how many things were done on days without relaxation and on days when it was. This will convince the perfectionist that resting productivity is not a hindrance.
10. Overpriced self-esteem
Overpriced self-esteem is much better than self-flagellation, although here there are limits. Having felt the charm of self-awareness as an intelligent, handsome and generally the best person, you will not fall into a real narcissistic personality disorder for long.
And from there it’s a stone's throw to depression, feelings of inferiority and other “charms” that people who think they are Napoleons suffer from:
- latent or overt anger in response to any criticism;
- using people to achieve their own goals;
- the expectation of a special relationship to oneself (for example, everyone should skip such a person in the queue, and why - he himself does not know)
- intense envy and constant dreams of unthinkable wealth.
The main problem of the daffodil is the mismatch between expectations and reality, and hence the side effects: a sense of worthlessness, a frequent change of mood, fear of getting into an awkward position. One of the exercises to combat the disorder is to lower the bar of desires to a real reach. Say, instead of buying a luxury car, you can buy shoes in the nearest shoe store.
Tell us, have you ever encountered a situation when some character trait prevented you or your friends from living normally?