1. gerzon
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    gerzon New Member

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    a group of people with personality disoders

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by gerzon, Mar 17, 2013.

    Just recently had an idea,
    how about making a group of characters, and each of them has personality disorders and are being ostracized by their own neighbors and schoolmates ?
    (they r all college students)

    Oh and the protagonist's disorder is agoraphobia or an avoidant personality disorder.. and has a depth perception that "God is evil"
    and the heroine has a borderline personality.... and has a depth perception that God doesn't exist"

    If you search on google about the avoidant and borderline personalities.. you might have gotten the main idea already.

    And the development?
    To make it original, their personality disorder will not subside, however, they learned that in order to live with no regrets or suicidal attempts, the two must adjoin to each, benefitting each other.

    And how?
    The protagonist is being taught to step outside to a world of many people, the heroine will be helping him.

    While the heroine will receive mental benefits such as "there are people worse than me.."
    (she's referring to the protagonist as the person worse than her)...
    and that her sufferings are not her fault.. but it was the fault of God.. for he is "evil"..

    WILL THIS BE GOOD?
     
  2. iolair
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    iolair Active Member

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    'A group of people with personality disorders' - I call it a 'family' ;)

    Anyway, your idea interests me, whether it 'works' will depend on the details and how you tell the story. It certainly could work.
     
  3. gerzon
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    gerzon New Member

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    @ iolair

    Thanks,

    I'll go post the 1st chpter in the work shop once i am able to...

    This idea just stroke me when a pschology professor taught us about personality disorders....
     
  4. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just do your research first. The last thing readers need is another author getting his/her psychology screwed up.
     
  5. gerzon
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    gerzon New Member

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    I know what you mean,
    and I appreciated your concern :-D

    well,i know very well what a person with a borderline and avoidant personality is...

    so the nxt thing i need to do some research are the personalities of other characters such as someone with antisocial behaviour, serious melancholy and extreme low self esteem personalities.
     
  6. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    That is the million dollar question!

    I take it - you haven't seen One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

    No one can answer your question - so far it is just an idea. The answer lies in the, quality of the writing and writer - only the finished product will answer your question - so what are you waiting for, do your research and make a start and see how it goes. Good Luck!
     
  7. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Since you're using Google to research your characters, maybe you also found the DSM IV?
     
  8. Phoenix Hikari
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    Phoenix Hikari Contributing Member

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    Hmmm, I think it is a brilliant idea IF done well. I'm not trying to put you down, but this is hard. It is hard enough to write about people with simple daily problems, how hard would it be to get into the heads of psychological people?
    Think about it, would you be able to write it so the reader doesn't get frustrated with the 'What the hell?' because your characters are so involved in their anti-socialism that they make the reader miserable? You don't want to make the reader feel confusion effecting his normal life just from reading your story.
    So analyse the plot line, make sure that you don't overdo their emotional problems that you start to make the reader a psychological person as well.

    The message is also important, if you say your message in the story would be the conclusion of 'God is EVIL', then would that bring positive thinking to the reader? Many might not even want to touch your book, many might end up thinking, after finishing the story, 'What the...? This author just made me stop believing.' It's hard for me to explain this but well:

    Recently I have been thinking of writing a story/novella about a girl who loses her marbles when her mother dies, she stops believing and starts to push people away from her, she is admitted into an asylum and thinks her family have convinced the doctors that she's crazy. The story should end with her making a note of revenge.
    I thought about my ending and it sounded totally wrong. Why should i make the reader think that when they lose a loved one then they should let go of life. Now instead my ending is going to show her accepting the accident and moving on to make her mother proud, or whatever.

    My point is, don't make your final message a bad one. Make it something that rings, that gives hope and make people think of life and its possibilities. I am not saying you got the whole thing wrong. But usually this happens when the MCs are negative or are people who have mental disabilities.

    Just my 2... 10 cents. ^^
     
  9. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hopefully when/if you write this, you'll only use "loses her marbles", "asylum", and "crazy" in dialogue by people who don't know any better.
     
  10. Phoenix Hikari
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    Phoenix Hikari Contributing Member

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    I don't understand?
     
  11. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    They're not called 'asylums' any more, and the other two terms are offensive when directed at people with mental illnesses. It's why research is important.
     
  12. GingerCoffee
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    Of course if your setting was in an earlier era ...
     
  13. gerzon
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    gerzon New Member

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    Thanks for the advice :-D
    I still only have 3 chapters on this novel (4500 words in MS word) ....
    but i have already predicted what the ending should be...

    what if it should be like this.

    Uhm, the protagonist tries to make the heroine believe in God. Although not in a religious sense
    But then the heroine refuses to believe.
    "God is pefect isn't he? Then why did he created a world that is even far from half perfection?" Why am i always left behind?"

    The heroine has an extreme borderline personality ( suicidal and self injury) due to his past, and can never believe that there is a God who will save her, and therefore started blaming herself for the death of his parents, uncle and even her foster parents.

    The protagonist then proclaimed that her misery isn't her fault.. and that God exist.. BUT NOT AS A PERFECT BEING...Not as a god that was usually been described in some holy scriptures...

    And so the heroine started an idea, that she should help God in defeating evil since God is not all might and powerful...

    Yes, the idea is fu**ing crazy

    Is "God is not a perfect being" a better perception than "God is evil" ?
     
  14. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Granted. ;)
     
  15. Eric242
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    Eric242 Member

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    ^ This

    I can't stress this enough. Be sure to read up on the disorders you want to portray. And if you get a chance, talk to someone who works in the field about it.

    I think it is also important to consider your protagonist's 'support group'. Does he have family/friends that provide him with the essentials so he never has to leave the house at all? Or do they try and get him out in the world despite his condition? How is it that he managed to get out enough to become a college student?

    About borderline personality disorders... They are rarely actually suicidal (suicide is unfortunately common, but it is usually an accident). The root of the disorder is the attention they crave and what they do to themselves is one way to get that attention.

    Just some thoughts. Good luck with your story.
     
  16. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    It could work, but you should bear a few things in mind:

    1. Personality disorders aren't diagnosed before a certain age, mid twenties most often. Shouldn't diagnose it before a personality has matured.
    2. Nobody has only one personality disorder, usually it's a combination with one or two dominant traits plus a mental illness such as depression and possible substance abuse. People with PDs are very tormented by their life experience and commonly self-medicate with drugs, alcohol and even self-harm.
    3. BPD (borderline) is extremely destructive, and they have a tendency to mess things up, sabotage themselves. Without this aspect it is not a BPD.
    4. Personality disorders are for all intents and purposes incurable. People mature in their 40s and PD is no longer so intense. But before that, it's what defines their life.

    I have worked with many people with personality disorders and one thing is for sure, relating to them can be frustrating because it is really hard to help them. They come back again and again having made the same mistakes, and they tend to blame others, and have very little insight into their own issues.
    If you don't know anyone with a PD, I'd recommend that you leave out the "personality disorder" altogether. Use the characteristics of the PD to create characters, but leave diagnosis out of it ( unless you know from practice what you are talking about). That way you can have all the conflict you like, without the risk of writing something contrived or unrealistic. Over 30% of patients in general practice have some form of personality disorder, so it is very common and people with it would be reading your book.
     
  17. Eric242
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    Eric242 Member

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    This isn't really the case from my experience. Certain disorders such as schizophrenia don't appear until about this time, or usually later, but many disorders can develop in younger patients. Otherwise the children's ward wouldn't be so full.


    Yes to all of this. Often true.
     
  18. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    @ Eric: I worked in mental health for a long time and personality disorders are not diagnosed before early adulthood. There is a very good reason for that, which you can read about when you research this topic.
    If I were you, I'd start with a DSM and perhaps a psychiatric textbook of some sort (Kaplan and Saddock are very readable).
     
  19. 33percent
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    33percent Member

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    You people are thinking too much into this. Personilty is mainly based off experinces they encounter and choices they make. Some people just dont want to follow the social norm or agenda. Some pd people thrive on disorder chaos because social order is too dull and boring. Look at our lives its pretty much boring slave work living clocklife. That is why people love watching movies or reading books helps them escape reality. So people who dont follow in line with social norms have pd? people in power have pd or the ones who change events. Our society loves labeling people with this and that. People can only change themselves Anakin skywalker(darth vader) had bdp which is a great examlple.
     
  20. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    We're not talking about personality quirks. We're talking about personality disorders. Not wanting to follow the social norm is a quirk; not being able to (or able to only with great difficulty) is a personality disorder.
     
  21. 33percent
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    33percent Member

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    Obviously I was talking about personality disorders. I even gave a examlple of a fictional one. We are talking about writing about fictional charcters who have pd. Yes what you call quirks is considered as a disorder as well.
     
  22. Phoenix Hikari
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    Phoenix Hikari Contributing Member

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    Actually there is some truth in this. I know from personal experience someone whose thoughts were considered weird and was called mentally unstable.‚Äč the reason for that was because they simply needed a bit of time in the hospital because of pressure but then, because i knew them so well, I could see that nothing the doctors considered abnormal was true about them. They were just being themselves and slightly different from others.
     
  23. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    If a writer wants to center a book around "personality disorders" (as a recognised medical term which would attract readers on its own) it would help to know something about it, unless the writer wants to be heavily criticised by the critics and the readers. Obviously anyone can do whatever they want, and mine is just an opinion.
    I wouldn't say Anakin Skywalker is a "great example" of bpd at all. He was antisocial pd to start with, then had this accident which gave him traits which would, without the injury, be borderline. But in the context of injury, it's not interpreted that way. He tried to make amends in his middle age, which is typical for men like him. But it's a space opera, what's even remotely realistic about that? Angelina Jolie's character in "Girl, Interrupted" is a much better and more obvious example.

    ^This
     
  24. Nee
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    Nee Contributing Member

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    Schizophrenia is NOT a personality disorder.

    That's small fry in comparison. I have seen hundreds of case histories of the worst of the worst of these types of personalities. I have spoken at length with a number of of these offenders. I have personally known several people with extreme forms of PDs.

    A group of people with varying forms of PD is an unstable construct, and will fall apart rapidly--which may make for a good story; though not one that'd end well.

    People with PDs usually are found hanging round the edges of friend groups: or in the worse cases they infiltrate them. Those ones are pretenders. They "try on" different ways of being; and when they get bored--and they get bored easily--they move on: many times leaving in their wake ruined friendships and empty bank accounts--if not dead bodies.

    Think of ol' Hannibal:
     
  25. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    So the whole field of pediatric psychiatry should close up shop?


    Curious where you are getting your facts from? I respect the experience you've had (as you note below) but your conclusions lack the broader knowledge of the entire field.


    I'm pretty sure that people can write successful characters without knowing any of them personally.
     

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