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Psychology of personality. Different types of personality disorders. One of the most common asked questions by people nowadays is “What is psychology? ” Misconceptions created by popular media as well as the diverse careers paths of those holding psychology degrees have contributed this confusion. There are a lot of different definitions of psychology but the most seen is that: psychology is both an applied and academic field that studies the human mind and behavior. Research in psychology seeks to understand and explain thought, emotion and behavior.

Applications of psychology include mental health treatment, performance enhancement, self-help, ergonomics and many other areas affecting. Psychology evolved out of both philosophy and biology. Such discussions of the two subjects date as far back as the early Greek thinkers such as Aristotle and Socrates. The word psychology is derived from the Greek word psyche, meaning ‘soul’ or ‘mind. ‘ There are different branches of psychology. One of those is psychology of personality which studies people’s personalities and different types of personality disorders.

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In psychology, personality refers to the pattern of thoughts, feelings and behaviors, consistently exhibited by an individual over a long period of time, that strongly influences the way that individual perceives the world and himself. Personality is a complex combination of traits and characteristics that determines our expectations, self-perceptions, values and attitudes, and predicts our reactions to people, problems and stress. Personality is not just who we are, it is also how we are.

Diversity of personality is what makes people unique. However, sometimes personality can manifest itself in inappropriate and destructive ways what we call personality disorders. Personality Disorders are mental illnesses that share several unique qualities. They contain symptoms that are enduring and play a major role in most, if not all, aspects of the person’s life. While many disorders vacillate in terms of symptom presence and intensity, personality disorders typically remain relatively constant.

November 15 2011, Retrieved from: http://allpsych. com/disorders/personality/index. html). There are ten recognized disorders grouped into three categories: odd, eccentric behavior; dramatic, erratic behavior; anxious, inhibited behavior. In “The New Personality Self Portrait: Why you Think, Work, Love and Act the Way you Do” the author briefly and well describes the first cluster of personality disorders which deals with odd, eccentric behavior. Under this category we learn about paranoid, schizoid and schizotypal personality disorders.

The author explains each type and refers to different examples. Paranoid personality disorder is characterized by a distrust of others and a constant suspicion that people around you have sinister motives. People with this disorder tend to have excessive trust in their own knowledge and abilities and usually avoid close relationships. They search for hidden meanings in everything and read hostile intentions into the actions of others. They are quick to challenge the loyalties of friends and loved ones and often appear cold and distant.

They usually shift blame to other people and tend to carry long grudges. Another disorder described are people with schizoid personality disorder avoid relationships and do not show much emotion. Unlike avoidants, schizoids genuinely prefer to be alone and do not secretly wish for popularity. They tend to seek jobs that require little social contact. Their social skills are often weak and they do not show a need for attention or acceptance. They are perceived by others as humorless and distant and often are termed “loners. In “Party of One: The Loner’s Manifesto” by Anneli Rufus, the author describes: “Self-reliant, each loner swims alone through a social world—a world of teams, troops and groups—that scorns and misunderstands those who stand apart. Loners know better than anyone how to entertain themselves—and how to contemplate and to create. They have a knack for imagination, concentration, inner discipline, and invention—a talent for not being bored. ” (page 21). Last in the cluster A of personality disorders is schizotypal personality disorder described in “Schizotypal Personality” by Adrian Raine, Todd Lencz, Sarnoff A.

Mednick who believe that schizotypal personality disorder represents mild schizophrenia. The disorder is characterized by odd forms of thinking and perceiving, and individuals with this disorder often seek isolation from others. They sometimes believe to have extra sensory ability or that unrelated events relate to them in some important way. They generally engage in eccentric behavior and have difficulty concentrating for long periods of time. Their speech is often over elaborate and difficult to follow. As said above there are three clusters with personality disorders.

The second cluster called also cluster B deals with antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder. The definition given on the antisocial personality disorder says that a common misconception is that antisocial personality disorder refers to people who have poor social skills. The opposite is often the case. Instead, antisocial personality disorder is characterized by a lack of conscience. People with this disorder are prone to criminal behavior, believing that their victims are weak and deserving of being taken advantage of. Antisocials” tend to lie and steal. Often, they are careless with money and take action without thinking about consequences. They are often aggressive and are much more concerned with their own needs than the needs of others. “Get Me Out of Here : My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder” characterize borderline personality disorder by mood instability and poor self-image. People with this disorder are prone to constant mood swings and bouts of anger. Often, they will take their anger out on themselves, causing injury to their own body.

Suicidal threats and actions are not uncommon. Borderlines think in very black and white terms and often form intense, conflict-ridden relationships. They are quick to anger when their expectations are not met. It also gives an example of 29-year old accountant, wife, and mother of young children who overcome the problem. Third disorder under the cluster B is a histrionic personality disorder. People with histrionic personality disorder are constant attention seekers. They exaggerate their achievements, expecting others to recognize them as being superior.

They tend to be choosy about picking friends, since they believe that not just anyone is worthy of being their friend. Narcissists tend to make good first impressions, yet have difficulty maintaining long-lasting relationships. They are generally uninterested in the feelings of others and may take advantage of them. These behavior patterns are characterized by excitability, emotional instability, overreactivity and self-dramatization. These personalities are also immature, self-centered, often vain, and usually dependant on others. Livesley W. J. (1995). The DSM-IV personality disorders. New York. : The Guilford Press.

The last cluster has to do with disorders such as: avoidant, dependent and obsessive-compulsive. First Avoidant Personality Disorder is described in The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (American Psychiatric Association, 1994, pp. 664-665) as a pervasive pattern of social inhibition, feelings of inadequacy, and hypersensitivity to negative evaluation, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts. Person with this disorder avoids occupational activities that involve significant interpersonal contact, because of fears of criticism, disapproval, or rejection.

Also is unwilling to get involved with people unless certain of being liked and views self as socially inept, personally unappealing, or inferior to others. Second disorder under this cluster characterized by a need to be taken care of. People with this disorder tend to cling to people and fear losing them. They may become suicidal when a break-up is imminent. They tend to let others make important decisions for them and often jump from relationship to relationship. Dependents often remain in abusive relationships. Over-sensitivity to disapproval is common.

Dependents often feel helpless and depressed. Persons with Dependent Personality disorder are docile, passive, and nonassertive. They exert a great deal of energy to please others, are self-sacrificing, and constantly attempt to elicit the approval of others. They are reluctant to express disagreement with others, and are often willing to go to abnormal lengths to win the approval of those on whom they rely. They are easily influenced and can be taken advantage of easily. This is often displayed as helplessness, even for completion of seemingly simple tasks.

Perry Ch. (n. d. ), Dependent Personality Disorder. Retrieved November 15,2011 from: http://www. health. am/psy/dependent-personality-disorder/ ) In “Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: A Survival Guide for Family and Friends “ by Bruce Hyman and Cherry Pedrick R. N. obsessive-compulsive disorder is characterized by obsessions and/or compulsions that are time-consuming, distressing and interfere with normal routines, relationships with others, or daily functioning. People with obsessive-compulsive personality disorder are overly focused on orderliness and perfection.

Their need to do everything “right” often interferes with their productivity. They tend to get caught up in the details and miss the bigger picture. They set unreasonably high standards for themselves and others, and tend to be very critical of others when they do not live up to these high standards. They avoid working in teams, believing others to be too careless or incompetent. They avoid making decisions because they fear making mistakes and are rarely generous with their time or money. They often have difficulty expressing emotions.

The concept of personality refers to the set of relatively stable and characteristic behaviors that individuals display in perceiving and responding to the environment, along with a particular way of thinking about themselves. These patterns of behavior and self-perception are called personality traits. They are manifested in a variety of social interactions in day-to-day living, and their diversity is extensive. When these traits become exaggerated, inflexible, and maladaptive, they begin to impair social functioning and can cause subjective distress.

Different constellations of maladaptive traits are clinically diagnosed as personality disorders. Frequently, individuals identified as having a personality disorder do not see themselves as others see them, do not recognize the annoyance their behavior engenders in those around them, and hence do not seek to change their behaviors unless there are significant social repercussions. The origins of personality disorders are not well understood, but they clearly can be thought of as reflecting the contributions of genetic, constitutional, environmental sociocultural and maturational factors.

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