A question about Personality Disorders...

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i_wanna_blue
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29 Sep 2009, 12:22 pm

There is something which to this day still questions the validity of my psychological history. Up to now I am only officially diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder and Social Phobia (possible AvPD). But the question still persists in my mind. How can I be born with a PD? Because it really feels that way.

What I mean is, the fact that I had the symptoms from as early back in childhood, and from as far back as I can remember, it basically means I have never been without it (a PD). So what can explain the reasons behind this? Can one be born with a PD? And is it really possible to develop something (which will have a serious bearing on the rest of your life) during the ages of infancy, which you have absolutely no control over?

I don't know, but if that is so, it just seems kinda harsh. :cry:



am_suomi
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29 Sep 2009, 12:28 pm

I have been contemplating the same thing. Since the therapist/psych nurse mentioned AS to me, I have been wondering if I can remember when my social problems started. I remember feeling "different" and shy in kindergarten/grade 1, but preschool and earlier it is hard to remember. I think I was happy to play in my room with my toys for the most part. As for when problems developed, I would love to know, and if it was something that was always there or if there was some incident or incidents that started things off (e.g. social phobia type problems).

Today I am hiding in my office because I am "scared" of talking to everyone else.



whitetiger
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29 Sep 2009, 12:52 pm

Therapists and psychologists are very familiar with personality disorders. When I got my M.A. in psychology, I had an entire course in just personality disorders. Autism Spectrum Disorders were not taught. Most therapists and even doctors are not very familiar with them. My own psychiatrist admits she knows very little about them. So, when a person presents with a lifetime of social difficulty, a PD label is likely to be applied to them.


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TPE2
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29 Sep 2009, 8:54 pm

i_wanna_blue wrote:
But the question still persists in my mind. How can I be born with a PD? Because it really feels that way.

What I mean is, the fact that I had the symptoms from as early back in childhood, and from as far back as I can remember, it basically means I have never been without it (a PD). So what can explain the reasons behind this? Can one be born with a PD? And is it really possible to develop something (which will have a serious bearing on the rest of your life) during the ages of infancy, which you have absolutely no control over?


This is nothing more that the old "nature vs. nurture" debate.

A PD is a variant of personality with some traits so extrme that becomes pathological. Then, if we believe that our personlity is the fruit of our genes, these mean that you can have a PD from the birth. If we believe that our personality is the fruit of the environment, these mean that PD will develop with the time.

Probably this discussion will never be settled.



WoodenNickel
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30 Sep 2009, 7:31 pm

whitetiger wrote:
Therapists and psychologists are very familiar with personality disorders. When I got my M.A. in psychology, I had an entire course in just personality disorders. Autism Spectrum Disorders were not taught. Most therapists and even doctors are not very familiar with them. My own psychiatrist admits she knows very little about them. So, when a person presents with a lifetime of social difficulty, a PD label is likely to be applied to them.

This is why ASDs are so often misdiagnosed as PDs and other things.

Note to the OP: You cannot be born with a PD. They arise as a result of abusive disruptions to normal childhood development.


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TPE2
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01 Oct 2009, 4:00 am

WoodenNickel wrote:
You cannot be born with a PD. They arise as a result of abusive disruptions to normal childhood development.


There is any proof of that, or is simply freudian dogma ("childhood trauma")?



oppositedirection
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01 Oct 2009, 5:23 am

Personality disorders are (like all psychiatric/psychological classifications) a-theoretical. They are judgements that some behaviour is so extreme it is harmful. To say you were born with this merely means you've always acted in an abnormal way. It is no way implies that there is anything biological or psychological about you that implies you always had to act as you have and that you you always will act as you currently do. It remain agnostic about what causes personality, although even were you to believe personalities stem from genes personalities still interact with environment and hence nothing is predetermined. Personality disorder are really just remaining agnositic upon what degree genetic vs environmental vs potentially other factors have influenced the way you act.

To coherently link your thoughts with the concept of personality disorder, you couldn't really say you were born with a personality disorder, as personality disorders are not discrete entities, they are merely a label about how certain people act. Instead, you'd say you've always acted in a manner that fits which ever personality disorders fit you.


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01 Oct 2009, 11:43 am

Genetic predispositions that can lead to specific personality traits that are brought to extreme in personality disorders (shyness, risk taking, dependence) are said to occur in those with personality disorders. Think of it as a number of things coming toegther, as there's no genes labelled 'shyness' or 'boltness'. These traits are the result of a number of things coming together, genetic and environmental.

If a parent has a borderline personality disorder, the child might (or might not) have inherited traits that can (or won't) lead to some degree of emotional instability within or outside of the range of normality whereas another child might be born with some more emotional stability.

We're not all born the same or with the same predisposition, that's what I intend to say. Environmental factors usually influence these like any other personality trait of course, increase or decrease them. Someone may develop a personality disorder or display similar behaviour in early childhood without having been born with predispositions to the personality traits that occur in said personality disorder too.


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