Weekend: Mental Health Moment

By LINDA J. STOCKTON
EDITOR’S NOTE: Second of three columns.
Last week, I explained what a personality disorder is. Today I want to elaborate on them by sharing information from an expert, Gregory Lester.
The paranoid personality disorder’s exclusive trait is suspiciousness.
Without supporting facts, this personality disorder interprets the motives of others as vindictive. He has a long-standing pattern of mistrusting people and being angry at the world so he typically seeks revenge. His most important deficiency is trust.
Schizoid personality disorder is known for indifference. This has a restricted range of emotional expression with others, which contributes to relational detachment. He does not make allies nor show loyalty to anyone or anything, so he tends to be a loner. His deficiency is attachment.
Schizotypal personality disorder stands out for the trait of eccentricity or behaving oddly, something about which he may take pride. He has severe discomfort with, and little capacity for, close relationships, in part due to perceptual distortions. His deficiency is the ability to fit in or conform to social norms.
Antisocial personality disorder makes the headlines. It is exploitive, disregarding and even violating the rights of others. He has no regard for right/wrong and uses others for his own ends. His deficiency is honor or integrity.
Borderline personality disorder is unpredictable and his mood, as well as self-image, is unstable. He has a pattern of loving, then hating, then loving, then hating. His deficit is consistency and proportionality.
If you have noticed a person with extreme expressiveness, excessive emotionality and attention-seeking, you are witnessing traits of histrionic personality disorder. He has no sense of propriety and his deficiency is shame.
Narcissistic personality disorder exaggerates his own importance and needs admiration. He can be arrogant and demeaning and he lacks empathy. He thinks others exist to serve him. He is deficient in equality.
The exclusive trait of avoidant personality disorder is timidity. It is socially inhibited, feels inadequate and is hypersensitive to negative evaluation. He has trouble bouncing back from minor upsets so his deficiency is resilience.
Dependent personality disorder has an excessive need to be taken care of. He is submissive, clingy and fears separation. His exclusive trait is submissiveness and his deficiency is independence and thinking for himself.
Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder is preoccupied with orderliness, perfectionism, and mental and interpersonal control at the expense of flexibility, openness, efficiency and relationships. His exclusive trait is rigidity and his deficiency is flexibility.
Next week, I’ll share more on what causes personality disorders as well as how they are treated.
Stockton is a professional clinical counselor and owner of Inner Peace Counseling, Findlay. If you have a mental health question, please write to: Mental Health Moment, The Courier, P.O. Box 609, Findlay, OH 45839.

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