Here is presented another group of personality disorders. These are examples of the guarded personalities which developed defence mechanism protecting their inner self from the “evil” World. Unfortunately, these defence mechanisms seal the personality in its damaged child form, preventing it from ever being healed and mature.
* Please note, that this is not intended to be a complete description of the disorders, but a simple explanation of the causes, based on Integration theory. For better understanding you may also read these posts: From a child to a (un)happy adult and When childhood went awry – personality disorders.
Schizoid Personality Disorder
- Subconscious level: Schizoids learned in childhood that the World is a scary, predatory creature that only wants to use and enslave them. Schizoids therefore isolate completely from the World, shutting themselves in their highly guarder small planet. The personality structures are still there, but well hidden under thick cover.
- Conscious level: Lack of interest in contact with other people, highly diminished level of relational emotions. They prefer to be alone in their own private imaginary world, they cannot feel connected with real people but may do with the imaginary ones.
Histrionic Personality Disorder
- Subconscious level: Histrionics incorporated simple defense mechanism – denial. They pretend everything is ok: they were not rejected, they are part of the world. As it’s obviously no true, they need constant external reinforcement for their false beliefs.
- Conscious level: Need for constant attention from other people. They will use any means to attract attention from others because it fuels their false believe of being integrated. As in case of all personality disorders, they are not able to feel deep emotional connections or to feel deep emotions. To sustain their defense mechanism, they will pretend that it’s otherwise, that they feel strongly and their relationships are deep. It may lead to exaggerated and strange, artificial emotional expression.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder
- Subconscious level: Narcissists were deceived. They met all the conditions that World (parents) put on them – but still were rejected. So they came to the conclusion that they are better and the World is defective. They became the new better world and it is the external World that should integrate with them. The integration is therefore reversed. To sustain this belief, a defence mechanism is built covering their inner vulnerable self like an umbrella, distorting the reality to match this conviction. They are still prone to rejection, but it’s also reversed: the refusal of others to integrate with them is the new rejection.
- Conscious level: They feel superiority over other people. However, they need them to constantly validate their special status. They regard others either as a threat to their self image or as potential „believers”. Failing of others to acknowledge their superiority or even overtly denying it can be well tolerated because of defense mechanism, unless it becomes too overwhelming and evident.
2 thoughts on “Schizoid, Histrionic and Narcissistic personality disorders”
I’m basically leaving an addendum just for notification’s sake: But how do you distinguish a regular child’s imagination to a Schizoid behavior, saying that socializing such (at length) is abnormal after all? Also, am I already getting the major underlying theme could be Loneliness (due to trauma/forced rejection, et cetera); while I feel such issues had not yet been discovered nor therefore discussed as it’s necessary. While it’s also my opinion that the current society one lives in to the phenomenons it creates has an intrinsic link to such mental health &/ deterioration. Why do you think that is?
Hello again Star 🙂
Children WANT to fantasize and this is complementary mechanism to real socialization, the daydreaming diminish over time when interpersonal bonds with real people become richer and more mature. Schizoids MUST fantasize, this is substitute defense mechanism due to internal dread of connection with real people. The fantasizing do not diminish and is not replaced by real socialization. The lack of internal connection with other people can express itself in Schizoids in severe negative phenomenons like dissociation.
Loneliness is universal theme across almost all Personality Disorders sufferers. It is caused by their inability to have meaningful interpersonal relationships. Being among people do not help them, because on emotional level their relations with others are shallow and/or immature.
The Personality Disorders have their roots in the early childhood, mostly as a combination of genetic predispositions and insecure attachment with their caregivers. Unfortunately modern society weakens family bonds and makes families smaller (big multigenerational families living together are more and more scarce), marriages are weaker and colder, and divorce ratio surge. All this phenomenons affects negatively the quality and quantity of healthy connections the children have with adults.
But there are also good aspects: the knowledge about importance of the parental love to children is now much more widespread. Not everything was good in the old days: there were many superstitious harmful methods of child upbringing – they are now reduced due to better society education level.
The society is changing in such fast pace that I cannot even guess what will be the ultimate outcome. I hope that society as a whole have intrinsic auto-modulating capability and will always bring itself to balance.
LikeLiked by 1 person