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.