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Personality Disorders - Essay Example

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Personality Disorders

It is this special trait of living beings which sets them apart as a class having emotions, personality, behavior, etiquettes etc. Whenever something conflicting strikes the emotional behavior of the individual, the overall personality gets affected.
Once the personality disorder starts appearing in the individual and no cognizance is taken of the change in behavior, it gradually takes the shape of long term patterns, if there's no Personality disorders take the shape of long-term patterns, thus causing serious problems in relations at home and at work. Under normal circumstances, we as human beings often come across many stressful situations which results in tension like situations. As normal human beings we start taking such situations in our stride and try to come out with appropriate solutions, but a person with personality disorder finds the situation difficult to deal with. This often reflects in their relationship with people around them. Personality disorders as such do not come up suddenly like some other diseases, or due to malfunctioning of some body organs, but it is a gradual process. A major incident or accident can at times be a major reason for personality disorders, but in general such disorders start affecting the human behavior over a period of time.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) defines personality disorder as, "An enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that differs markedly from the expectations of the individual's culture, is pervasive and inflexible, has an onset in adolescence or early adulthood, is stable over time, and leads to distress or impairment" (Bienenfeld, 2008). This manual of APA considers personality disorders to be categorically distinct entities. Emotions can act as positive or negative stimulant for the personality of an individual. Dyck et al (2006) state that, 'human personality is a complex system, affected by positive emotional attractors (PEA) and negative emotional attractors (NEA)'. It is further stated that personality style is not determined by a single behavioral event; instead a pattern of behavior over a period of time indicates the personality of the human being. The personality traits form the basis of the five factor model (FFM) propounded by the APA. McCrae and Costa (1990) defined personality traits as, "dimensions of individual differences in tendencies to show consistent patterns of thoughts, feelings, and actions". The basis five dimensions of FFM are defined as N, E, O, A and C (Costa and Widiger, 2002);
i. Neuroticism (N): It refers to the chronic level of emotional adjustment and instability. If an individual is having high N, that signifies higher psychological distress. N includes the facet scales for anxiety, angry hostility, depression, self-consciousness, impulsivity, and vulnerability.
ii. Extraversion (E): It refers to the quantity and intensity of preferred interpersonal interactions, activity level, need for stimulation, and capacity for joy. A person with this trait is found to be sociable, active, talkative, person oriented, optimistic, fun loving, and affectionate. But on the other hand if a deficiency of this dimension ...Show more

Summary

William James defined emotion as "the bodily changes following directly the PERCEPTION of the exciting fact, and that our feeling of the same changes, as they occur" (Wagner, 2009). This theory states that one's mental state is not immediately induced by the other, that the bodily manifestations must first be interposed between, and that the more rational statement is that we feel sorry because we cry, angry because we strike, afraid because we tremble, and not that we cry, strike, or tremble, because we are sorry, angry, or fearful, as the case may be…
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Personality Disorders essay example
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