Mental Health DON’Ts…. (Part 1a)

live well 

is the best revenge!


SITE: 10 Things (physically) Healthy People do differently

SOURCE: Composite of many lists. Based on Amy Morin’s book “13 things Mentally Strong people Don’t Do.” Her 3-pronged approach to developing mental strength is about controlling our thoughts, emotions & behaviors (T.E.A.).

NOTE: Keep in mind that these “Don’ts” are the domain of our  WIC (Damaged Child) & PP  (Introject) therefore characteristics of our damage – which can be corrected. In order to be Mentally/Emotionally healthy we need to develop the Healthy Adult and Loving Parent (the UNIT).
Understanding the reality of our early experiences helps us accept that we can’t ‘Just do it’ or ‘Just let go’. All of Recovery is a process.
ALSO, some of these issues may be more deeply ingrained in us than others & will therefore take longer to heal. Some will never go away, but can be diminished greatly, and we can learn to manage them whenever they surface.

EMHP Don’t Let their Emotions Control them
ACoAs are learn, directly & indirectly, to deny & ignore any emotion the family / school / religion disapproves of. In some families it’s anger, in others it’s sadness & the need to be comforted….. This left us with the Toxic Rule “Don’t feel”. Our individual personalities cope with this injunction by either suppressing most or all emotion & being “all head”, or by consumed by our accumulated pain to the point of being overly-dramatic about anything that is upsetting, either too scared or too angry. This tells us that “If it’s hysterical, it’s historical”.
In either extreme we are being ruled by the WIC not knowing any other way of dealing with this Toxic Rule. In order to be an Emotionally & Mentally Healthy Person the UNIT must be in charge.E. Intelligence

EMHP can tolerate discomfort because they hold less old pain & because they know how to comfort themselves when distressed. They can identify & accept their emotions, know how to process them & chose how to act, so that they’re not controlled by them.
The way we perceive a situation has a tremendous power to either help or harm us. Since our emotions are largely generated by what we’re thinking (see post: T.E.A. & Anxiety) we can modify the reactions to our emotions by correction any CDs we may have. Overcoming challenges starts with seeing things objectively, rather than reacting from childhood damage. (ACoA Laundry List)

EMHP Don’t Try to be Happy all the Time
One of the coping mechanisms for ACoA is the try to be ‘UP’ or ‘positive’ all the time. This usually applies to the Hero (Toxic Role) or the “Good girl/boy” false persona. This is as unrealistic as being miserable all the time. It’s just another way to deny having a wide range of emotions. For every ACoA, happy/sadno matter our style, our underlying emotion is fear/terror. So we need to feel safe before we can truly be happy.

No one is happy all the time. Feeling peaceful & content – a day at a time – does not mean we have no complaints, dislikes or distress. EMHP don’t try to avoid painful emotions but incorporate them in an effort to be whole, to honor their True Self. They know that happiness, victory & fulfillment are a wonderful, valuable part of life, but not the whole story.

EMHP Don’t Live in the Past
ACoAs who are still ruled by the WIC & their PP think, feel & act as if they are still 5, 10 & 15 yrs old – still living in their dysfunctional family. Most of the time our reactions to present day events – positive, negative or neutral – are the same as when we were kids, because we project our family on to all current relationships.

EMHP avoid wasting mental energy in past disappointments OR in fantasies of the ‘good old days’. They’ve carefully evaluated both the distresses & the valuable experiences of their early years, so now they can invest most of their energy in creating the best possible present & future. Being present allows us to see things as they really are. EMHP tend to have a mindful, attentive way of engaging with the world.

As unhealed adults, ACoAs repeat the life-patterns set out for us by our family & other sources, which caused us to take many wrong turns – in the form of repeated harmful relationships, self-harm, deprivations….. While our history contributes to out over-all makeup, we are NOT our in the present

EMHP learn from their ‘mistakes’ & correct distorted thinking, so avoid repeating harmful patterns. This may include making amends to others (8th & 9th Steps) & forgiving themselves for ignorant or stubborn adherence to their Toxic Rules, so they no longer have to obsess about what happened in the past. EMHP know this takes time & they have the patience & perseverance to always be moving forward, no matter how slowly. One 12-Step slogan says: “Look back but don’t stare”. Some benefits from thinking about the past can be: identifying the lessons, considering facts not just emotions, & looking at PPT from a new perspective.

EMHP Don’t Violate / Sacrifice their Personal Values
Each of us have more than one value system – what we were taught by our family, by our religion, our early social environment, & what we develop in ourselves (from our Core Truth). Some of these may overlap, some may not. The problem for ACoAs is that we are either not allowed to find out what we truly believe, or more often have been so brainwashed by our toxic upbringing that we’re not allowed to live according to our personal beliefs even if we know what they are. (Core Values lists)

EMHP have figured out what they consider important – even essential to their identity – for themselves & in relation to the rest of the world. A value is a belief, a mission, or a philosophy that is meaningful but not always conscious – as many are taken for granted. They know that their personal Core Values are not automatically the same as that of other people or institutions, & they don’t try to impose them on others.

They do NOT value the impossible, like perfectionism, eternal human love, fairness…. They know everyone falls short sometimes, so they get back on the horse when they don’t live up to their ideals, & are also patient & forgiving to others then they also fall short. (MORE….)

NEXT: EMHP – Part 1b


Psychological DISORDERS (Part 6)

what’s real any more!

PREVIOUS: Disorders 5c

SITE: 12 types of psychosis


Psychosis is a severe mental illness caused by a combination of inherited genes, & things a person experiences or is exposed to in life (traumatic birth, poison, diseases of the nervous system such as epilepsy & Parkinson’s, syphilis, drug use, severe social changes/ traumatic events…..)

It’s a group of extreme disorders expressed in abnormal thinking & perception – a gradual inability to distinguish oneself from one’s surroundings, ie. losing touch with reality. Psychological defenses become overloaded by stress & the sufferer breaks down, making it hard to separate ones thoughts & experiences from what’s going on outside. The most common form is Schizophrenia. (See site above)

Psychosis may or may not be a part of other mental illnesses as well, such as Bipolar, post-partum depression (about 1 in every 1,000 mothers, within a few weeks after giving birth), suddenly after a major stress, when using or withdrawing from drugs….

People in the grip of psychotic disorders experience themselves & the world very differently from psychopaths & sociopaths, who are usually very grounded in reality, understand what they’re doing & the consequences of their actions, but just don’t care.
EXP: A psychopath or a sociopath might kill someone’s dog because he/she wants to cause emotional trauma to the owner
• A psychotic might kill the dog because he/she thought it was robot sent to take over the world

While it’s not so easy for a person with a psychotic disorder to recognizing their own symptoms, they are acutely aware of experiencing pain & fear, which may cause the person to hurt themselves or others. This mental illness affects 3 out of every 100 people (1% of the population), can be a one-time ‘break’, episodic or long-term, most likely diagnosed in young adults.
Main symptoms:

Disordered thinking
Delusions – fixed beliefs & ideas that are usually false, including religious or persecutory delusion, or a false belief of superiority.  EXP: convinced someone’s plotting against them, that the TV is sending secret messages, seeing a ‘spiritual’ entity, being watched by the police because of the way cars are parked outside the house…..

Thoughts are confused, blurred or difficult to express, can seem to speed up or slow down, or belief that thoughts aren’t their own. There’s difficulty concentrating, following a conversation, memory loss or amnesia
Speech  will often be jumbled or slurred, rapid & frenzied

Suspiciousness – being worried or even scared of everyone they know, including family & friends. They feel uneasy without knowing why
Superstition – believing in the unreal, includes: confusion about dreams, thinking that others can read your mind, frequently experiencing déjà vu, thinking that small events have a meaningful connection between them, & often coming up with far-fetched theories about why things happen

Disordered behavior
Social impairment – isolated, trouble with social situations, not conforming to behavioral standards or responding correctly to social cues
Reactions can be infantile, prone to insults & swearing. They can forget self-care, such personal hygiene & housework, be disoriented,
Physical – disorganized or compulsive behavior, repetitive movements, self-harm, slowness in activity, or lack of restraint

Exaggerated /unreal experiences
Hallucinations – false perceptions, affecting the 5 senses, experienced more intensely that is realistic/true, or hearing, seeing, feeling something that’s not there) which can cause fear & paranoia
EXP: Interpreting everyday sounds as having new or special meaning, hearing something louder than actual, shadows are seen as human figures…..

Hypochondria the irrational/exaggerated fear of having or getting a disease or illness, causing health-related anxiety, & will constantly looking for symptoms & for things that might affect their health.

Mood changes
Emotions – A general discontent, loss of interest or pleasure in activities, tendency to be irritable & aggressive, or lack of normal emotional responses. It includes anger, anxiety, apathy, feeling detached from self, & inappropriate emotional responses such as being easily agitated when talked to
Shifts in mood can occur often, throughout the day, in 2 phases: a manic period (high), feeling happy & energized. It’s followed by low mood, feeling sad & dull, with loss of appetite or difficulty sleeping. Psychotics tend to be irritable & aggressive, & may be easily agitated when talked to.


Psychological DISORDERS (Part 5c)

I know what to look for!

PREVIOUS: Personality Disorders (Part 1)

SITE: “How to deal with a PS
* “Grey rocking – if you can’t go No-Contact” (re. NPDs)
* “Grey rock method of dealing with a Psychopath”

ORIGINPsychopathy is generally considered a combination of genetic & chemical imbalances. Scans of PS brain show the section responsible for impulse control & emotions (compassion & remorse) is not developed.  So they lack the proper neurological framework to develop a sense of ethics and morality.

PSs are born with cortical under-arousal, with temperamental characteristics such as impulsiveness & fearlessness, leading to a lot of risky activities.
Also, t
hey don’t ‘get’ (internalize) social standards of behavior, making it impossible to act appropriately. They’re just as likely to hurt their family & friends as they are strangers
IMP: PSs are not ‘insane’, as in losing touch with reality like in psychosis

These people are not capable of empathy. They have no genuine feelings of love, concern, or even ‘like’ – for anyone. To feel these things one needs to be able to connect emotionally, which they can’t. Others have no meaning to PSs other than for their personal gain. So they have no conscience to stop them from doing horrendous things to others.

• “The LIE  (the more elaborate, the better) is the primary weapon used to snare their victims, & the inner justification for their right to cause harm. (like Bernie Madoff)

To a PS, lying is as easy as breathing, since they have no physiological reaction to thinking or expressing lies (blushing, heart racing, sweating). When caught, they just create more ‘stories’. They can be Narcissist, Victim, Con-artist or Professional (political, religious, absolute)” (MORE….)
For extensive characteristics, read posts Red Flags from PSs

FROM ‘Ms No world Order’ website: “They can be found in every culture, races & socio-economic levels. They thrive in a collective environment, & are common at the top of most power structures – corporate, government & religious.

Psychopaths are manipulative & can easily gain people’s trust because they’ve learned to mimic emotion, & so appear “normal” to the unwary. They’re often educated & hold steady jobs. Some are so good at faking & conning that they can have families & other long-term relationships without those around them ever suspecting their true nature. (Dexter)

These are the people we most associate with aggressive, perverted, criminal, or amoral behavior, without empathy or remorse. They’re angry & deeply abnormal (unhealthy), who need to have control over others & cannot nor want to sense other people’s emotions. They get a high off of their anti-social actions.(MORE….)

1. Distempered PS
Primary:  violent predators, don’t respond to punishment
Secondary: risk-takers, are violent, but fear getting caught
2. Charismatic PS
Primary : can live the ‘big lie’
Secondary :  can tell the ‘small lie’& live with it

Abrasive – like to be different, can’t be trusted, will insult… to win an argument, always proud when they come out on top. They have no remorse – even for the greatest cruelty
Explosive – immediate & frequent access to their rage – taking it out on whoever is available. They can erupt unpredictably, & are savage when loosing control, taking down a victim before the person knows what just happened.

Malignant – driven by paranoia, but changing their beliefs & pt of view depending on how much they ‘like’ someone. Unlike other PSs, their methods are ineffective & backfire on themselves. They’re been the victim of terrible abuse from others & so are terrified of everyone, which generates elaborate horrendous revenge fantasies, which they obsess over but don’t do

• Malevolent
– cold-blooded & ruthless, paranoid &/or sadistic, they’re much more controlled than the Explosives. They’re convinced that the purpose of tender emotions in others (love, kindness, sympathy…. ) are only used to manipulate the PS, so they fear/hate those, & refuse to feel them.
They love power & get off on mistreating others. If they don’t get what they want they’ll react with arrogance, contempt & cruelty, & so includes many murderers & serial killers.

Tyrannical – cool & cunning & inherently violent, they’re turned on by the vulnerability of others. They’ll only target people to prey on who they sense will capitulate, & avoid resisters. Their victims must totally submit or join the PS as the weaker ‘partner’, delighting in the other’s humiliation & intimidation. They relish the suffering of others, often taking a token to relive the abusive experience.
Modified FROM Quantumcast – video

NEXT: Personality Disorders (Part 3)

Psychological DISORDERS (Part 5b)

from the ones who don’t care

PREVIOUS: Disorders #5a

SITEs: “Confessions of a Sociopath…..

• When a Christian meets a Sociopath
(excellent info for anyone spiritually oriented, no matter of what ‘faith’)



• impulsive, irresponsible, sexually promiscuous
• easily bored & needs constant stimulation
• can easily manipulate good-hearted but unwary people into
feeling sorry for them / worried & afraid / guilty / confused / ‘crazy’
• takes advantage of kindness & empathy, never apologizes
• gives the impression everyone (you) owe them

• fun, entertaining, super polite when meeting people
• an excellent story-teller, presenting self as the hero with high standards
• is a user, taking a lot from & gives back very little
• never takes responsibility, but turns the blame back on others
• lacks realistic long-term goals, always scheming but usually failing 
• has several short-term relationships or marriages
AND:  Sometimes you suspect they don’t really care about you!
SITEs: “S. def & signs” // “4 Phrases S. use to kill your confidence

(S) EMOTIONS (cont.)
• They can be afraid – which leads some to isolate themselves
• They’re volatile – prone to emotional outbursts, including fits of rage 
• They can feel some caring & guilt, but over all, those emotions are not strong enough to prevent them being overpowered by the S’s impulsivity & erratic behavior

• Many writers say that Ss can’t make emotional connections at all, & this is true to some extent, but is usually when Ss& PSs are lumped together. It’s true that Ss have no regard for society in general, & won’t feel guilty when harming a stranger or breaking the law in any form.

However, some Ss can become attached & develop loyalty to a like-minded person or group (mentor, gang, parent they’re symbiotic with – no matter how abusive….), so the S. may feel remorse if they do something to hurt those special ones.

Sociopaths’ disturbing traits may have been visible from childhood in acts of cruelty to animals, property or people. They make up about 4% of the world’s population – people who ruin lives, causing extreme emotional trauma – simply because they don’t care. They disrupt relationships, create financial & emotional crises. At worst they perpetrate vandalism, theft, rape or murder.

Sociopaths know exactly what they’re doing & know the difference between right & wrongtechnically – but can’t judge the morality of a situation because their inner ‘compass’ is skewed. They’re social predators who exploit just about everyone they deal with, altho most of them never kill anyone. They have no heart, no conscience & no remorse. Even tho’ their attitude toward others is not necessarily malicious, the outcome of they behavior is, since they treat people as objects.

The very clever ones make great con-men & women, able to act sincere in a way that can fool others into believing they have the same values. Instead,  they’re conniving, deceitful, often pathological liars, despite seeming to be trustworthy & sincere. Without empathy, they take no responsibility for their actions, & can easily turn the tables, accusing the other person for causing their misery, without guilt or shame.

They are great actors who can mimic emotion & empathy, masters at superficial pleasantness & manipulation – but instinctively ruling by fear, whether at home or at work. This is why they can be so successful in their career – it helps to look the part while not really caring about other people’s feelings. Alternating between charming & terrorizing others makes it hard for family or work staff to point out their abusiveness & stand up to them. It’s theorized that the top of the corporate food chain has a higher than average number of sociopathy than the general population. (MORE…..)

Since sociopaths (& psychopaths) are absolutely sure there’s nothing wrong with them, they are not ‘curable’ – so it’s a waste of time to try. The only option in dealing with them is to insist on limits to their actions, OR just staying out of their away.
SITEs: “How to beat a S. at their own dating game
• “6 things to know about dating a sociopath”
5 Things Ps & Narc. do in conversation 


NEXT: Disorders #5c

Psychological DISORDERS (Part 5a)

are mentally & emotionally dangerous

PREVIOUS: Personality Disorders (Part 4b)

POSTs on Emotional Immaturity 

SITEs: “8 Diversion tactics used by NPDs, PSs & Ss to manipulate you into silence”
• “One in 25 of you is a sociopath”

Sociopathy  – a pervasive & persistent disregard for morals, social norms, and the rights and feelings of others

Psychopathy – characterized by amoral & antisocial behavior, extreme egocentricity, the inability to love, failing to learn from experience….. 

These are both antisocial PDs, at the far end of the spectrum. he FBI identifies them both as sensation-seeking, with predatory behavior, a lack of remorse & the need for control or power over others. There is some debate as to whether they’re fundamentally different or just different in degree of mental illness. While there are overlaps, & psychiatrists often considering them as the same, criminologists treat them differently because of  their outward behavior.

Some Ss & PSs will seem cold, indifferent & mysterious, but not all – because they’re can be very skilled at social camouflage. Around the average, unaware ‘normal’ they can hide in plain sight, like being the perfect neighbor or partner. But it’s all a con job, using fake charm to achieve whatever their goal happens to be in each situation.

• begin to show up around age 15, & may start with cruelty to animals
• can be charming, despite being unable to empathize with others
• don’t feel guilt or remorse
• convincingly seem to show fear or disgust, but lack both
• can have intense emotional outbursts, or be violent
• are completely self-serving & don’t care about putting themselves or others at risk
• disregard laws, social mores, conventions & the rights of others
• some can be treated with medication, & sociopaths perhaps with therapy
(Artwork by Chato Stewart)

Lisa E. Scott’s article “Narcissist or Sociopath? What’s the Difference?”  suggests that Narcissists are a subset of Sociopaths. The following distinction can be useful, altho too simplistic:
“Narcissists see others as a means to validate their existence. The less validating you are, the less useful you are to them.
Sociopaths see others as entertainment. The less entertaining you are, the less useful you are to them.”

NOTE: If someone complains about being abused by a PS or S, they’re not likely to be believed because those types seem to be so friendly – even helpful! HOWEVER – Superficial pleasantness is one of the top criteria for both disorders. Often these anti-social predators will appear nicer, more honest & more interesting than the person they’re abusing!

Shannon Thomas (Salt Lake City therapist) says: “Narcissist, Sociopaths & Psychopaths are notorious for picking targets that initially boost their ego. It could be someone’s appearance, age, intellect, career success, family & friends….
Once the target is hooked, the toxic person sets out to tear down the exact qualities that attracted them to their victim in the first place. It’s entertainment for the abuser to destroy an originally healthy & happy person.”

NOTE: However – co-dep ACoAs make the best targets. Without a strong sense of identity (“I don’t know who I am”), we will look to anyone who initially makes a fuss over us, guides & helps us (controlling) & makes us feel needed. But without Recovery we’re just sitting ducks, manipulated & then thrown away. So we feel abandonment devastation & think: “See I knew I was defective!” ✳️ See how she’s sitting forward & he’s not?!


ORIGIN: Sociopathy can either be congenital (inborn emotional deficiency), or from brain injury or lesions. But most often it’s developed – from a combination of family tree inheritance, the child’s personality makeup, & either very low or very high intelligence. These under-pin negative social factors: a severely destructive early family life, poverty, lack of education, direct exposure to violence to self & others, delinquent peers…..

Continual abuse & neglect harm neurological growth in children, affecting the autonomic nervous system, which results in long-term physical & psychological damage. (MORE..“….abuses scar the brain….)
— S. can be caused by years of  childhood trauma, as well as parental addictions, dissociation, narcissism, …. OR
— S. can be caused by damage in the form of parental over-protection, over-indulgence, lack of boundaries, emotional unavailability….. (More in #5b)

NEXT: Disorders #5b

Psychological DISORDERS (Part 4c)


I have to crack thru my walls

PREVIOUS: Disorders #4a



The Five Factor Model (FFM) groups human characteristics into:
1. Conscientiousness – re. dependability
2. Neuroticism – re. emotional stability
3. Agreeableness – re. sociability
4. Extroversion – re. hi levels of positive emotions
5. Openness – re. Intellect   (MORE…. includes extensive assessments)

SIDEBAR: A study of 468 young adults at risk for becoming alcoholics used a questionnaire based on the FFM.  It was designed to correlate: risk for alcoholism, alcohol-use disorder, & alcoholism subtyping . Some results:

• Familial risk for alcoholism was positively associated with openness, and negatively associated with agreeableness & conscientiousness.

• Alcohol use disorders were positively associated with neuroticism, and negatively associated with agreeableness & conscientiousness.

With the exceptions of family alcoholism, & a dual diagnosis with Antisocial PD • all the alcoholic subtypes examined related to at least one of the 5 FFM.

E.M.Jellinek’s (1960) 5 SUBTYPES of alcoholism :
ALPHA : Based in mental & emotional problems, it’s drinking to drive away depression, stress, or anxiety
BETA: almost daily heavy drinkers, leading to various physical & psychological symptoms
GAMMA: sudden cravings for alcohol after 1 or 2 episode of ‘social drinking’, becomes continual drinking, drunkenness & full-fledged alcoholism
DELTA: the habit of drinking small amounts throughout the day, without ever really getting drunk. Like Gamma, but with inability to abstain, instead of loss of control
EPSILON: ‘periodic’ – drinking at regular intervals until they pass out completely – called dipsomania, but being sober more often than drunk

ALSO: 5 types of alcoholics, re. ‘Progressive Symptoms

Research has shown that environmental, genetic, pre-natal factors, as well as unhealthy parenting (no affection + harshness) all contribute to developing PDs

Re. the FFM the extreme reverse of the characteristics identify PATHOLOGY:
1. DIS-INHIBITION (negative of conscientiousness):
Distractible / Impulsive /Irresponsible /Rigid perfectionism / Risk taking 

2. NEGATIVE AFFECT (negative of emotional stability):
Anxious / Emotionally over-reactive w/ mood swings & persistent taking or movement / Hostile / Submissive / Separation anxiety

3. ANTAGONISM (negative of agreeableness):
Attention seeking / Callous / Deceitful / Grandiose / Hostile / Manipulative

4. DETACHMENT (negative of extroversion):
Avoiding intimacy / Depressed – long term / Lack of enjoyment / Limited emotional range / Suspicion-paranoia / Withdrawal

5. PSYCHOTISM (negative of mental lucidity):
Eccentricity / Unusual-unrealistic beliefs & experiences
PDs  are the result of combining continual abuse & neglect in childhood, with the hardening of defenses developed as protection. The type of disorder formed will depend on the interaction between each person’s native personality (including inherited qualities) ➕ the severity of the early abuse ➕ the broader environment that determines a person’s life & growth options.

In the present – staying entrenched in defenses means the walls of the castle are high, the gate is up & the alligators are in the moat. This makes it very unlikely you can take in another point of view – which is all that matters to you – (such as aBR), to keep everyone from adding to your vast pile of insecurities.
Where are your INNER archers & guys with the vats of boiling oil? 

NEGATIVE Toxic Beliefs lock us inside our armor, keeping us from being flexible in our thinking or adaptable in our actions. They lead to a defensive stance in life, as a dysfunctional way of protecting ourselves.
The following list is similar to the one in Part 4a, but here it’s referring to core statements which are each type’s defense (7 out of the 10 PDs, including defensive statements, as well as healing goals for each)

AVOIDER: “I don’t want to be hurt, ever, because I can’t bear it”
BORDERLINE: “No one is allowed to leave me, no matter how much I mistreat them”
DEPENDENT: “Please take care of me”

HYSTERICAL: “Please pay attention to me
NARCISSIST: “Please help me achieve success because I’m special”
OCD : “I act right & the world would be a better place if everyone else did too
PARANOID: “It’s important to keep myself safe – people are not trustworthy & the world is dangerous”  (MORE – scroll down .) 

►Each PD can use one or more Defense Mechanisms to maintain their False Self pattern.
EXP: Narcissistic & Anti-social PDs share minor image-distorting defenses – such as Omnipotence or Devaluation – while NPD also uses Splitting of self-images, & A-S PD uses disavowal defenses like Denial.
— Borderline PD is strongly associated with major image-distorting defenses, mainly Splitting of self & other’s images, as well as the hysterical level defenses of Dissociation &

 NEXT: Disorders 5a

Psychological DISORDERS (Part 4b)

is such hard work!

PREVIOUS: Disorders #4a

SITE: ‘Somatization’ & Psych terms used as swear words

HUMOR: 35 Undiagnosed Medical Conditions of Disney Characters


PDs describe categories of ‘damage’ in adults who have long-standing problems establishing deep, meaningful, positive relationships with others. These people often show unusual, rigid or extreme patterns of thought, emotional reactivity, &/or impulsive behavior that consistently lead to problems for them & others

People with this mental/emotional dysfunction have a wounded core identity.
= At one extreme – some PD people assume they’re invulnerable & have a right to feel superior. They are insulated in their carefully built shell of defenses – and flatly deny having a wounded core

= However, most feel wrong, bad, not right, empty or simply ‘Not OK’ – in their basic sense of Self. The brain uses Self-concept as a guide for interpreting the world. How dysfunctional such people are depends on how intensely they act in self-defeating ways

Their sense of badness has a physical quality about it – it’s in their very bones or cells. They say they’ve always felt this way, that there was never a time where they felt OK, & they truly believe it. (C. ego state Post)

Transactional Analysis theory explains this sense of badness as coming from their WIC’s child parts (C1 or C0) – the most vulnerable aspects of personality. So their sense of badness is ego syntonic – meaning that it ‘makes sense’ to them on a gut level, with no inner conflict, as there are with neurotics. So the damage started very early, likely at birth (Co).

Using the Gestalt technique, if we visualize putting the Adult & Parents aspects of someone in 2 opposite chairs, & imagine the Inner Child between them, we ask “How do you feel about your IC?” Most people will have a fairly positive reaction. Instead, many PDs will say they hate their child – that it’s ugly, dirty, disgusting, full of needs ….. expressing the person’s ingrained sense of worthlessness (typical of many ACoAs!).

💚SIDEBAR: There is now a “Grand Unified Theory” of psychology (GUT) the relationship between psychology & neuroscience …..which clearly defines the field, & how the field relates to other disciplines (like biology & sociology)….
The 4 parts that make up GUT are:
1) the Tree of Knowledge System // 2) the Justification Hypothesis
3) the Influence Matrix  // 4) Behavioral Investment Theory (MORE….)  

Relational INFLUENCE Matrix
The Influence Matrix (IM) maps the dimensions on which people represent themselves in relationship to others.
It grew out of the Behavioral Investment Theory of social motivational & emotional processes, which is based on Attachment Theory. 

The Matrix makes 2 main points:
a. Humans are motivated by the need to be loved, admired & respected
b. They are equally driven by the need to avoid loss – being rejected, criticized or ostracized
(Freud’s Pleasure-Pain principal)

The green ovals on the BLACK axis suggests that people have a mental/ emotional picture of how valuable different types of relationships are, & tend to approach or avoid them accordingly.
💗EXP: Having ‘HI relational value’ can come from accomplishing 
something really hard that other people admire or love you for

✥ Personality Disorder Star (these 2 CHARTS)
Karen Horney’s 3 main NEEDS – ways of relating to others – exactly parallel the IM dimensions (above): Power is used to move against, Love for moving toward & Freedom for moving away. This means that there are separate pathways to deciding relational value

HOWEVER – People with PDs consistently act in ways that reduce the relational value of themselves & others – making their behavior patterns self-defeating, which cause everyone so much distress
EXP: PDs are grouped by the direction of MOVING –
• Against = Narcissistic – being hyper-competitive, constantly needing to demonstrate superiority over others (Steve Jobs)
• Away = Schizoid – a fundamental detachment, with a lack of emotional connection & responsiveness to others
• Toward = Dependent – desperately fearing abandonment, submitting to the will of others to avoid rejection, creating a need to caretake others

 The star shows how certain PDs are the opposites of other negative personality characteristics.
Cluster A people are extreme on the Freedom dimension of relating
Cluster B people are mainly selfish, competitive, manipulative & controlling
Cluster C people (especially Avoidant & Dependent PDs) are deeply concerned with affiliation – come here or go away – at any cost

Note that only 6 out of the 10 PDs are represented. The others tend to be combinations.
EXP: Borderlines (BPD) fluctuate between strong displays of dependency/ neediness followed by extreme displays of reactive hostility – described in”I hate you, don’t leave me” by Kreitman & Straus. They are less rigid than most PDs, with a weak or fragmented identity, & strong needs for all 3 (power, love & freedom), covering up a basically insecure Self (LO relational value).

NEXT: Personality Disorders (Part 4c)