Personal Conduct disorder
As mentioned earlier, people with a Personal conduct disorder (Bullying) can cause a significant amount of psychological harm onto their unsuspecting targets. This disorder often starts early in their childhood and is learned from parents. At school this role-play is frequently played out in a tyrannical behaviour, bullying weaker pupils. Later on in life this behaviour often continues. The target is ‘buttered up’ with niceties, e.g. having sex very early in the relationship. This nice behaviour goes on for some time until the victim shows his first signs of resistance, objection, or different opinion, and the floodgates of abuse begin to open. These people want to win at all costs. They will see strength as a weakness and they will exploit this. For example, the man wants to develop a more loving relationship with his remarks” I would do anything to make this relationship work”. She recognises his degree of eagerness (as if he is hooked on her). Instead of responding to his intentions with love and decency, she will use his intention to blackmail him, to have more power and control over him. She will change the power-balance to her favour. She is convinced he is totally hooked on her sexuality or on her children or on her money.
By the time the man realises that she is unwilling to collaborate, he is often already psychological damaged (and directly addicted on a high adrenalin in his body, created by fear) his self-esteem eroded.
Due to the sad fact that abuse took place in their childhood, it is often difficult for them to change. Although attempts can be made to raise their awareness of the effect it has on you and on them. Point out the consequences in a calm and non-threatening manner.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)
-Me against you- mentality-
The Narcissus of the Greek mythology drowned in a lake as he looked at his reflection on the water’s surface, because he fell in love with his own good looks. People of this disorder want to be admired by others. The cause of this lies in their own doubt in their self-value. Often they feel superior to others, find it difficult to feel or have empathy for others and connect their self-value on achievements and fantasies. When a partner is pointing out their weakness, they often respond with great anger and unwillingness to communicate the issue further. Their self-centeredness and puffed up confidence, overestimation of their own abilities cannot handle any kind of criticism or ‘reality-check’ by the partner, especially when the partner expresses any kind of authority or importance. They seem to be more knowledgeable then you, know your personality better then you yourself. They would say, “If I would be you, I would…”or “I realise you had bad lovers, because of your low income / or low position at work”.
The partner of a person who suffers from NPD can clearly feel the lack of empathy that is portrayed by them. Decent caring people would talk differently, more emotionally. With the help of assertiveness training they could increase they own self-value, however, often, a break-down in communication is the result and a permanent break-up might be inevitable. The partner, who is in partnership, can use an unemotional but supportive approach.
Here are some other typical symptoms:
A person with this disorder will often react harshly to a partner’s sense of humour. He/ she becomes angry or insulting to the partner, who dares to laugh, in order to regain the power-imbalance he/ she have created to his/ her favour.
Promises that are false;
Pushes the partner emotionally when he/she is suffering with grief or issues;
Very unsupportive in times of need;
Sabotaging love-partners through stealing;
Disinterested in sex (cannot form close sexual togetherness);
Gross lack of empathy for other;
Working long hours (as there is nothing else in their lives)
Borderline Personality Disorder
People who suffer from this disorder fluctuate between neuroses and psychoses. They often experienced in the childhood sexual abuse, neglect, and abandonment. The partner will observe clear signs of an unstable self-image, eg. they appear lazy, vulgar, sexual provocative and unfinished. Their crippling fear of abandonment can resort to self-mutilation, such as cutting, if they fear of rejection increases. Mood swings and irritability are common characteristics. An establishment of friendship is difficult as they are frequently angry. They can be very nice to a possible partner or friend, lifting their skills and abilities into the heavens, while next day they might tears them to psychological shreds. Thus individuals with BPD are emotional, very difficult to handle and demanding to be with. Their major risk is suicide, especially when substance abuse takes place. Fortunately BPD seems to become more stable as they grow older into their 40’s, 50’s and beyond.
Here are some typical symptoms:
Often twist and use words you said against you;
Often have violent outburst of anger and rage;
Lie, control, and manipulate;
View the partner as all good and all bad;
Frequent mood swings that change from minute to minute;
Fell abandoned by the slightest opportunity;
Tendency to neglect loved one, such as children;
Require a constant need for attention, love, and time
Paranoid personality disorders
If you have a friend who is unwilling to trust you and is hard to work with, then it can be a sign of PPD. They appear suspicious of you and often respond in a hostile manner. Jealousy is also a good indication, especially in martial situations. They repeatedly suspect unfaithfulness of the partner behind their backs and express it loudly. As their stress-level increases so does their inability to cope and function rationally. In frequent cases, their stress is evoked by thoughts that other people will harm and exploit them. For example, simple remarks by a close friend can be misunderstood as a malicious attempt to attack them. Thus, in the counter-attempt of their friend to regain respect, the individual with PPD constantly holds grudges. The origin stems from the childhood were abuse, time and again, sadistic abuse, took place. The child learned to be mistrustful of the parent and through the callous upbringing was forced to stay independent, not asking for help.
A non-emotional approach will be of advantage and explain how they make you feel.
Here are some typical symptoms:
Excessive suspicious or feeling of distrust;
Unable to collaborate with others;
Show hostile tendencies towards those who oppose opinions
May express grandiose opinion about their own abilities;
Might harbour fanatic views on particular group of people;
Shy not away from legal disputes
Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder
This disorder is quite distinct. This individual loves rules, schedules, order, and organisation. Cleanliness and perfectionism is also high on their list of priority. It seems that pleasure and leisure time are less importance, as no one can be impressed with this. Therefore, they do not spend a lot of money, but rather keep their old clothes. Their stubborn and rigid traits make it difficult to establish some flexibility in the relationship. For example changing the furniture arrangement in the house can be a trigger to raise their stress level. Moreover, they involve themselves in an unyielding procedure of activity, for instance, there must never be two doors open at once or the order of their office desk must always be the same. Any form of imperfection is not tolerated.
In their childhood, emotional warmth was missing and great detail to attention was demanded. Ignoring these details would result in the child’s punishment. In order to avoid criticism the child learned to be perfect.
Here are some symptoms:
Inflexibility, preoccupation with detail, perfectionism and inability to delegate work may gravely obstruct with the individual’s ability to complete a given task. The person experiences work-related difficulties when confronted with new situations that demand flexibility and compromise.
Let say you have met a woman who wears excessive make-up and a bright coloured dress, which she will change several times a day. Her large amounts of jewellery are very noticeable. When she speaks her thoughts race away with her, and her speech becomes hyper (excessive-) verbal-she just needs to talk. When you elaborate on her euphoric plans or thoughts, she gets irritable that you try to thwart her ideas; maybe, because she showed an extensive interest in sex, or maybe you doubted her abilities of her inflated self-esteem. You will also notice her inability to remain quiet and sit still. Moreover, you will notice that she probably does not need a lot of sleep to function. Pleasurable activities are also high on her agenda that could let to destructive and painful consequences, e.g. sexual recklessness. She could suffer from BPD.
You could ask yourself a few questions whether she is showing signs of delusions, or whether her irritability is ’normal’ or excessive or you could ask her when it was the last time she got some good sleep? Is she in touch with reality?
Individual with bipolar disorder display a cycle of mood swings, which run from depressive mood or euphoria (mania, extreme enthusiasm) as they follow each other. These cycles can range from weeks to years, however so called rapid cycles can have four to five episodes per year. BPD is often inherited, although the environmental and social circumstances do play a role in developing the disorder.
For example, you have met a woman and together you are going on a weekend trip. You will notice that she is very preoccupied with work. Most likely, she will take her work, her notes, her facsimile with her, and she will ask the hotel manger, if they have email or telephone connections. Leisure times like a turn off to her. She will receive praise and recognition through work or success. Still on the other hand, her excessive work can be an escape from passivity. Being passive can evoke a fear that is threatening. Workaholic is an addiction.
You could make her aware of your feelings.
People with ADHD
(Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)
A client told me that his girlfriend, whom he just met, is suffering from ADHD. She told him that if he wants to keep her, he has to pay attention to her all the time.
That is not ADHD.
People with ADHD find it difficult to concentrate, and pay attention to detail. Moreover, they display symptoms of forgetfulness, or they cannot sit still. You will observe their impulsiveness to answer questions or engage in dangerous activities. Due to their lack of concentration, their academic or school achievements are not developed. Often homework or work is difficult to maintain as they become easily distracted from outside stimuli. ADHD is more common in boys than in girls.
A man sits at a bar and sees a stunningly sexy woman at the bar-table. He cannot keep his eyes of her. Would he consider that she is promiscuous?
Of course not. He cannot imagine that this stunning beautiful woman might think of herself as unlovable. He is unaware of her (possible) deep-seated insecurity, which constantly questions if a man is interested in her body / sexuality, or whether he likes her as a person.
Promiscuous women find it difficult to form deep relationships. They seem insecure about their sexuality and their lovability. They desire to attract a man through their sexy body, but once they have achieved this, the fear kicks in of being rejected by their new male-lover. Consequently, the male-lover is left all confused, and also very often vulnerable to self-blame or self-criticism.
Therefore, beauty and sexuality alone does not guarantee a successful relationship, in which love is normally felt and expressed. Love-partners who feel they are not valued as a person will soon terminate their relationship. Therefore people who lack in beauty or lack in skills of exciting sexuality, can still establish meaningful relationship, if they possess high self-esteem and good self-acceptance. Unfortunately people, who only use sexual fantasies, will divorce sex from love.
Separation Anxiety Disorder
Separation Anxiety Disorder can develop when young children become separated from their loved ones or from home without appropriate support. They believe that harm will come to them or, in many cases, their mother. These young children demand special attention when alone, especially at night. The thought of separation will even produce night-mares.
Children will grow up into adults and although many adults don’t believe anymore that monsters and kidnappers are hiding in the cupboard, the sense of being alone or being separated can still make them feel unloved, abandoned, and yet evoke uncomfortable insecurities, e.g. a clinging effect, e.g. “please don’t go; please don’t leave me.” Easily exploited by people with a personality disorder.