Saturday, May 22, 2010

Personality Disorders

I don't know why but I just feel like reading more on personality disorders, and write about it here. So, please bear with me. Hahah....

I met a lot of new people and sometimes I have a feeling some of these people might have some personality disorder.
And sometimes I doubt if they are the abnormal ones or is it me?

Personality disorders are defined as "an enduring pattern of inner experience and behaviour that deviates markedly from the expectations of the culture of the individual who exhibits it".
Blerghh.. I know, the definition is "too English". I need to read it a lot of times before I understand what it's trying to say. In other words, if you're behaving out of the expectation of your own people, then you have a personality disorder. Hah...that's easier. Well, this is the definition given by American Psychiatry Assc (APA). You can choose not to believe. I'd prefer not to stick to this one definition. Prophet Muhammad SAW acted out of the expectations of the culture of his people at that time. His uncles accused him of crazy for saying there's only one God and when he asked his people to stop praying to the idols, they even tried to kill him! So yeah, just because there is the "American" word in front, don't believe it w/out judgement. Let me remind you, they're almost always wrong. =P

Some of the classified personality disorders are:
1. Histrionic Personality Disorder
2. Narcissistic Personality Disorder
3. Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder
4. Antisocial Personality Disorder

Histrionic Personality Disorders

Individuals with histrionic personality disorder exhibit excessive emotionalism. They tend to regard things in an emotional manner, and they are attention seekers.

They are uncomfortable or feel unappreciated when they are not the centre of attention.

They may constantly seek for approval or attention, striking self-centredness or sexual seductiveness in inappropriate situations.
They may be lively and dramatic and initially charm new acquaintances by their enthusiasm, apparent openness or flirtatiousness. They use physical appearance to draw attention to themselves. Their emotional expression may be shallow and change rapidly while their style of speech is excessively impressionistic but lacking in detail.

They may do well with jobs that require imagination and creativity but will do poorly in tasks that demand logical or analytical thinking. This disorder occurs more frequently in women.

They might be provocative or seductive.
They consider relationships more intimate than they are.
They are influenced easily.
They can be successful socially and professionally.
They usually have good social skills but tend to use these skills to manipulate other people and become the centre of attention.
They lack genuine empathy.
They often fail to see their own personal situation realistically, but tends to dramatise and exaggerate their difficulties.
They are excessively sensitive to criticism and disapproval.
They blame their failure or disappointment to others.

Narcissistic Personality disorder

Narcissistic people are frequently perfectionists and need to be the centre of attention, receiving affection and admiration, and controlling the situation.

He may create crises that return the focus of attention to him. And he always feel that the world owes him, regardless of whether he makes a contribution.
They make react to criticism with anger, shame or humiliation.
They take advantage to reach their goals.< They exaggerate their importance They exaggerate their achievements and talents. They have unrealistic fantasies about success, power, beauty, intelligence or romance. They have unreasonable expectation of how they want people to treat them. They requires constant attention and positive reinforcement from others. They are easily jealous. They lack empathy and always disregard the feeling of others. They pursue many selfish goals. Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD)

People with OCPD are preoccupied with details, rules, lists, order, organisation and schedules.

They are very rigid and inflexible in their beliefs; showing perfectionism, excessive focus on being productive with time; being very conscientious; having inflexible morality, hoarding items that may no longer have value; and very reluctant to trust work assignment or task to someone else for fear that their standards will not be met.

Some of them are obsessive of cleanliness but some will neglect cleanliness to finish the "more important" priorities. As an example, Z may have a quite messy and unorganised home because he needs to score good grades or finish a project. But once he finished other activities, he will start becoming very obsessive of cleanliness.

Personal and social relationship are usually seriously strained because they want to be in charge and believe only them know what's right.
They may spend considerable time putting everything in precisely the right place in precisely the right manner.
They may be anxious about potential harm in their lives and will response by hoarding money. They may minimise their daily expenses and seen as stingy by other people.

For them, actions and beliefs are either completely right or absolutely wrong.
They usually have negative outlook on life with underlying depression. They may even consider suicide when depression becomes serious.

Sometimes frustation may lead them to show overly anger or even violence.
When anxious or excited, the may grimace or make noises or do impulsive and unpredictable things.

Antisocial Personality Disorder

There may be:

- Persistent lying or stealing
- Apparent lack of remorse or empathy for others.
- Cruelty to animals
- Poor behavioral controls
- expression of irritability, annoyance, impatience, threats, aggression and verbal abuse; there will be inadequate control of anger and temper.
- Repeated difficulties with the law
- Tendency to violate the boundaries and rights of others.
- Substance abuse
- Aggresive and violent, and is prone to getting involved in fights.
- Inability to tolerate boredom
- Diregard for safety.
- Lack of stability in job and human life
- Superficial wit and charm
-Recklessness, compulsive

This disorder will only be diagnosed in patients more than 18 years old.
The severity may vary, and the more harmful and dangerous behaviors are referred as sociopathic or psychopathic

They may seem charming but are likely to be irritable, aggressive and irresponsible. They may even attempt suicide.
They are very manipulative thus, it's difficult to differentiate whether what they say about themselves is true or not.



I can only write about 4 personality disorders.
There are a lot more but I cant afford the time to read and write about it.

I think there are a lot of these symptoms present in me.
But a lot do not too.
Any of these symptoms fit you?
I see a lot of these symptoms in the people around me.
But I don't think there is a category where any of them fit perfectly in.

It's amazing that we always try see things in people.
We (or perhaps just me) always try to analyse people, see what kind of person he or she is, whether he or she is trustworthy, whether he or she has only superficial kindness, or whether he or she has hidden agenda.
But most of the time, we failed to see what's in ourselves.
If we have any hidden agenda, if we possess only superficial kindness and beauty, or we are actually trustworthy.

Some of the people I know always emphasise on certain points but, they themselves failed to live up to that points.
Some of them tried to plant thoughts in people's minds about them, but when investigated, they are not actually like that.
Some will tell other people what kind of people he or she is, without realising that that is only an imagination of the kind of people he or she wants to be, not what he or she really is.

Some people I know, are very good to people in general.
But towards the people who love them, or they love, they didn't treat them as nice.
Weird huh?

And me here, talking about the people around me.
Hahah.. I wonder if someone will come to me one day, and say "Akmar, I think you're a narcissist (or histrionic, or obsessively compulsive)!" right on my face.


Saturday 22nd May 2010


  1. Akmar.

    Well done for yet another interesting post. Glad you don't fall for the mind-games; whereby stars fill peoples eyes when the word American (or British) preceeds something. Infact one is probably better off having a degree of caution when those preceeding words are present LOL.

    It seems like you are showing an interest in the mental health. Here's a series of documentaries by Adam Curtis that will (hopefully) will make you think and reflect on psychiatry (plus it's abuse) and the modern world that came from that via Freud's nephew Edward Bernays. Each video lasts about one hour. Although they hopefully wont be 'too English' (LOL, I understood exactly what you meant) you might need to rewind once in a while to grasp one or two of the newly presented issues.

    The Century Of The Self - Part 1 of 4

    The Century of the self 2 of 4

    The Century of the Self 3 of 4

    The Century of the Self 3 of 4

    "Some will tell other people what kind of people he or she is, without realising that that is only an imagination of the kind of people he or she wants to be, not what he or she really is." - Excellent observation. We can ask what is the origin of this? It could, for example, stem from the fact our imaginations are one of our most powerful attributes, hence out imagination of ourselves is way higher than what we actually are. There are a number of other sources too such as social conditioning - as the videos above will perhaps show. Your example of the prophet Muhammad(saw) is superb. Galileo is another example. The church was pretty corrupt at the time he was advocating his conclusions from his observations but the church at the time held the 'authority' to decree who was mad/dangerous/a blasphemer and who wasn't. An sadly people ended up using the story of Galileo to lose their 'faith' despite the fact Galileo's work was actually a correction to the deviated church. Well, I won't bore you anymore.

    I hope you do stick with the documentary series above.

  2. Thank you.
    I didn't actually expect a "really something to think about" comment on this post, I was ranting more than talking facts.

    So, thank you again for introducing me yet another interesting topic. =)
    And yes, people tend to be vry influenced when there is the word "American" or "British" in front. Most of the definitions given in the the lectures i attended are given by them. I wonder if other scientists or doctors do not do their work in defining "personality disorder" for example, or just the word "american" makes them the authority in psychiatry.

    There are even some advertisements, "the No. 1 brand in the US!". And i was like, "So?".
    Being no.1 in the US doesnt make them the best and suitable to be used in Malaysia.

    Ok, I'll try to watch the videos. Maybe one in a day or two, as one of them takes approximately 1 hour. =)

  3. "the No. 1 brand in the US!". And i was like, "So?". LOLOLOL

    It's not coincidental that they use the qualification "American" "British" or "European". So glad you are aware of these things :)