What Are Personality Disorders?

Discussion in 'Braaaaiiiinnnns...' started by BadBoy, Sep 27, 2015.

  1. BadBoy

    BadBoy Member


    And no, I understand the example. I was talking more in general. Is it possible for that "no everyone else is wrong" reaction to change, or for the sense of self to become detached from the maladaptive behaviors? Does that make them "cured" or not have that PD anymore?
  2. ectoBiologist

    ectoBiologist I'm a wise guy

    Well I keep reading things where people believe personality disorders to be inherent of someone's personality make-up and that it's fairly unchangeable when maybe it isn't. But I don't know, because I've been told that untreated PTSD can look like BPD and that's definitely what was going on with me... so maybe I never had BPD? I have no idea anymore...
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  3. spockandawe

    spockandawe soft and woolen and writhing with curiosity

    I don't know if I'd say that something being an inherent part of your personality means it's unchangeable, necessarily. Or that it means you can't learn to recognize that it's hurting you and needs to change. This is going to sound weird, probably, but I'm going to be self-centered and talk about myself quick. So when I hit college, in retrospect, I was painfully inmature for my age. It's hard to judge yourself after the fact, but mmmaybe like highschool freshman levels of immature? I got along fine and made friends and such for a few months, and it gradually dawned on me how horrible I was at adulting and humaning compared to everyone else, and long story short I had a big ol' autistic shutdown/meltdown, a massive fight with my best friend, and isolated myself for a few months trying to figure out what the fuck was wrong with me and rework myself into something more acceptable.

    And I'm pretty sure I succeeded. If I could go back in time, I think I'd probably do it again, because I'd been SO self-centered and demanding and needy and all that, and I still am, but now it's at actually acceptable levels. I'm honestly shocked anyone wanted me around before then. But also, I have a lot of trouble remembering who I used to be. I don't FEEL like the same person, necessarily. It's hard to define personality in a precise way, but it feels like I jettisoned huge portions of my personality when I did this. I brute-forced a lot of quote-unquote natural behaviors in a more socially acceptable direction and retrained myself to think of other people differently, all that stuff. I don't know how well I'm explaining this, because on the whole I'm glad I did it, but it was awful and I don't go back and think about it often. However, comma. I'm pretty positive I've got BPD, in the absence of any clear external abuse or lack of support or invalidation. Honestly, I'm pretty sure the only real explanation is that I abused myself into a personality disorder :/

    So I can definitely look at the bpd-ish things about me and see exactly why I'm acting in a certain way and see how natural it is, and also see how it's just hurting me. I'm super nonconfrontational, because what if I tell a friend that X thing made me uncomfortable and they think I'm being too needy/demanding/controlling and they never talk to me again and HATE ME FOREVER. So I never assert myself, and I'm sulky and resentful because I'm unhappy about something and it isn't changing, but also I'm positive (without any real reason) that this friend will dump me as soon as I give them an excuse. I can definitely see how I got to that point and trace my steps. And I still do it, even years after recognizing it as a problem, because in the moment it always makes sense. I could talk about this all in relation to me for ages, but my brain is telling me to be less self-centered now, so if anyone's curious I'm happy to talk more, but I'll be quiet now :P

    And so while these things feel like a natural part of who you are and it's HARD to change something like that, I don't think it's impossible. I did it at first in college, in admittedly an unhealthy way that's probably caused exciting new problems for me. And I've gotten better on the bpd things since then. I can just track how often I've had explosive blowups with my friends, and it's a lot less than it used to be. I've gotten the knack of derailing myself when I start to split, and it's all very slow, but I'm gradually training myself out of a lot of unhealthy behaviors. Again, personality is hard to define, but in the context of PDs I'm familiar with, it feels like the key side of things might be a person's instinctive reaction to stimulus, and I think improvements there are definitely possible (especially with something like expert-driven cbt/dbt), even if things maybe can't be repaired entirely. My experience with PDs is limited for sure, but that's just what I've seen.
  4. BadBoy

    BadBoy Member

    I think that's part of what I was getting at, actually. There was a point in time where I felt that all of my Cluster B symptoms were an inherant part of me I could never change, but now I'm seeking professional help to learn to change them. I don't think that makes me not have a personality disorder or not need the help and support of someone who does, and I'm frustrated by the idea that in order to be that and need that help I have to hold a belief that's not only so obviously false to me but dangerous long term.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2015
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