1. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Name of psychiatric condition

    Discussion in 'Research' started by jannert, Dec 29, 2014.

    Does any expert on the forum know if there is a name for a condition that causes a person to constantly dump people from their life, on the slightest pretext? People who can't keep friends, who refuse to speak to relatives who disagree with them on even minor things? To the extent that this person is left pretty much on their own, certainly by the end of their life.

    To be specific ...this would be a person whose FIRST reaction to any sort of conflict or disagreement is to decide to permanently blank the 'offender.' And this snowballs until they have virtually no friends or contacts left?
     
  2. Charisma
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    Charisma Transposon Contributor

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    Possibly narcissistic personality disorder. I believe someone I know has this condition; he has deluded himself into believing that he is absolutely right, and by that I mean absolutely right--almost like claiming being God. He claims he doesn't need anybody, he'd starve than eat someone else's food. He is unhappy with anyone he's met, whether he knows him well or not--he cannot recall anyone in a positive light because if anyone disagreed with him, he labeled them as pathetic, useless people. He has no intimate friends, his wife and children wait for the day they can just ditch him. Perhaps read up more about it, it's more complex than that and has more defining features. Best part: many people explain it to be a result of extreme insecurity and extremely low self-confidence, which makes them want to prove how awesome they are.

    You can also distort OCD or OCPD to suit your needs. Maybe intolerance of arguments, and while that is very vague and OCD is usually much more specific, I'm sure you can think of an ingenious way to use that. OCPD may just result in an extremely stubborn person who cannot stand dissent.

    Can't think of anything else as relevant right now, hope you find the disorder of your needs. :)
     
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  3. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    It's a personality disorder but the specific diagnosis depends on the cluster of symptoms and a single symptom is not diagnostic.

    Some narcissists can indeed exhibit this symptom. But symptoms of personality disorders overlap.

    I don't think OCD is a good fit.

    There is some helpful information in summary form here.
     
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  4. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    Hmm... Borderline Personality Disorder can cause 'blanking' at the merest suggestion of slight whether that perception is faulty or not... it's something I've battled hard with for most of my life, as it runs co-morbid with my Bi Polar. (When one is affecting me more profoundly, I sometimes get some respite from the other, so I consider myself lucky in that respect and can look at one set of symptoms in a more emotionally detached way while experiencing the other.) The blanking happens when the sufferer is confronted with situations that are grey in nature, when Borderline sufferers tend to see everything in shades of black and white. It might not exactly fit the bill but I think the fact that self-identity issues play a big part is interesting. And as a certain scene involving a mirror touches on this, I'm very curious to see where you are going with it. :D

    Oh, and it's also worth mentioning, the sudden bursts of pure rage that lead to the blanking can have the appearance of coming from nowhere. Would make for a rather emotionally raw, unstable character.
     
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  5. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I was actually on my way down here to suggest borderline. But regular bipolar can do that as well. I present exhibit A, my string of broken relationships.
     
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  6. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    @Jack Asher Tell me about it Jack, and I'll up the anti with the relationship I have with my parents as Exhibit B. Thank goodness for friends that have actually bothered to do their homework and realise it's not my bloody fault, or I would feel very much alone in the actual (as opposed to virtual) world. (They are forgiving types, and know even when I'm screaming in their faces that it's only because I love them.) Even Jannert, when we met up did everything right to make sure I didn't feel under pressure, and even gave me a get out clause just in case I needed to run for the hills. :friend:
     
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  7. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    HEY, thanks everybody. Just curious about this. I've had two people in my life who do/did this kind of thing. Both people had grandiose ideas of the rightness of their views, but instead of attempting to persuade others that their views were right, they just dumped anybody who didn't agree with them. Immediately. With no chance of comeback. To the extent that they couldn't even recognise when people were agreeing with them, and the form of the agreement became the reason for dumping. The dumpee always 'said the wrong thing,' shocking, disappointing and upsetting the dumper, who felt totally righteous in doing so.

    Both of these people ended up totally alone ...and by totally alone, I mean no friends, no relatives who were allowed 'in' and nobody at all, basically. One of these people shut herself away and died alone. The other person who is still alive, keeps moving constantly, to different cities, different countries, always hoping that the next place they land will be free of all potential disagree-ers, and will be totally in synch with whatever she wants to happen at all times. When this fails, she discards everybody and moves on.

    I find this urge to blank friends and relatives difficult to understand. Not so much understand, as deal with. How do you deal with somebody who refuses to deal with you? Do you give up? Do you keep trying? If you don't immediately 'give in' to their viewpoint, they dump you. If you pretend to give in to their viewpoint to save the peace, you find yourself smiling like a hypocrite, groveling and whining for affection like a dog, and KNOWING the false peace isn't going to last. URkkk.

    I have an idea of using this disorder/trait in a character (no, @obsidian_cicatrix, not THAT character!) but would like to know more.
     
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  8. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Thanks, @Ginger
    The summary bits were very helpful. I'll pursue "splitting," "narcissism" and "grandiose narcissim" ...all of which seem pertinent to the disorder I'm seeing symptoms of with these particular people.

    Just found this on Wikipedia, which rather sums it up...

     
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  9. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Hey, Jack - I don't think these people I'm dealing with (have dealt with) are bi-polar. I've got friends AND relations who are bi-polar, and while they can be a challenge to deal with, their behaviour comes and goes and does not take this form. They're just upset and either hyper or depressed, and it swings back and forth. It's easy to deal with them as friends, actually. You just give them their space, let them know you're available always, don't pester them but keep an eye on them and make sure they're okay. Give them permission to be however they're going to be on a given day, and accept that things can change rather suddenly. In fact, these folks are very very dear to me and good friends and relatives.

    The people I'm referring to in my OP are the kind who decide out of the blue that you haven't measured up—usually after they've taken and twisted something you've said out of all proportion and recognition—and that's you gone from their lives forever. You are on their shit list. Permanently. And their list is huge and growing. Everybody eventually ends up on it. They demand perfect telepathic understanding from you, and give you none in return. If you try to reason with them, or try to explain that they've picked your meaning up wrongly, they go ballistic and pull up all the drawbridges. You find yourself going ...why do I bother? I don't need this....
     
  10. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    There are several decent vids on Youtube where BPD sufferers explain what it feels like. One of the biggest triggers for the blanking behaviour, can be mild disagreements that suddenly escalate. BPD sufferers are often compared to burn victims. There is an innate sensitivity there, and as many have extremely low feelings of self-worth or self esteem, even a minor criticism can cut to the bone. You know I've been unstable of late, that's down to job hunting, and getting rejected, something BPD sufferers find hard to cope with, so what some of us do, is strike the first blow by purposely pushing the detractor away because we can't stand to think they think ill of us, when we think so little of ourselves already.

    Another thing to consider is that most people think of classic BPD... the acting out variety. I'm the opposite...well, most of the time. I internalise the pain, hid myself from it, but what can happen then is I start to disassociate. When I do feel the full force of the acting-out variety, I'm very aware, after the fact, that my behaviour has come across as narcissistic, when if fact, very much the opposite is true. BPD sufferers are a self-fulfilling prophecy. They destroy the very thing they most want, and that is to be loved and accepted.

    I really wanna ask who, as I have already considered who you might be talking about. Can't though, even if you were willing to tell me, I don't want to spoil myself. ;)
     
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  11. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    Jan... problem with personality disorder diagnosis is that there tends to be a lot of overlapping and co-morbidity between disorders, so what appears to be narcissism from an external POV may actually not be what the sufferer is experiencing. That assumption comes about through filtering through ones own lens, and may in fact fall way short of the mark.
     
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  12. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Oh, sorry, didn't mean to be mysterious. It's a character you haven't met yet, from my second book! She's formidable.
     
  13. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Oh, yes. I totally agree. I am just looking for different kinds of symptoms and an angle I can use to create this character, from a writer's point of view. This character has a lot of clout, financially, and people have to grovel to stay in her good graces. She's very easily offended, and can take umbrage at the slightest sign of disagreement. So she has lots of people tiptoeing around her, being careful not to offend her. Which, of course, is ultimately impossible. One character (again, somebody you haven't met, but who will play a large role) is put in an impossible situation by this woman.
     
  14. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    Hmmm... a narcissist sounds like they would be a better fit in that case, especially if you have no need to explain why they behave the way they do. I don't know if you remember a while back, I was concerned that we might have had a member with full-blown Narcissistic Personality Disorder. In fact, I was so concerned about other members reactions to him and the potential damage that might be done, I felt I had to contact the mods just to make sure things wouldn't be allowed to escalate.

    Of course, your character might just be a disagreeable bitch rather than a basket case. ;)
     
  15. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Well, that was my original idea. But I'm now heading towards the personality disorder end of the spectrum. It's always better for a story when a total bitch has some reason for being so. One with which readers may 'eventually' empathise. I have a cunning plan...

    This is where it's useful to use a person or persons you actually know as a basis for a character. While the written characters will come out being different, of course, it helps to know how this kind of personality actually works in real life.
     
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  16. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    Ohh... I like the sound of your brain simmering. ;)
     
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  17. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I wish my internet connection would simmer. It's gone on and off about 18 times during the past hour, making it a tad difficult to follow this thread. GRRRR....
     
  18. Charisma
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    Charisma Transposon Contributor

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    While narcissistic personality disorder does seem like a good fit, I'd just say that OCPD could equally be responsible. OCD is about specific obsessive thoughts and compulsive behavior, true, but OCPD is a predisposition to an extreme lifestyle with little room for flexibility. And it doesn't just have to be about orderliness, cleanliness or the typical ideas we associate with it; it can be a complete intolerance for dissent. Almost like an autistic child, except someone who is able to communicate their intolerance for dissent by dumping others. For them, life is a closed system, and any change, of the smallest degree, is catastrophic and must be eliminated. I pursue this because you have put quite the emphasis on their outright rejection of any idea except their own, and no desire to revise their statement, it seems so stubborn it could be OCPD. Think Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory (maybe you're not familiar with it, but oh well)--he considers as little as changing his dinner choice on a Monday as chaotic. Though, he's closer to being autistic because of other reasons, but you catch my drift.

    Like @obsidian_cicatrix said, personality disorders do not have a fine distinction and can be comorbid with each other, and with non-personality psychopathologies, like obsidian is comorbid for a personality disorder and a mood disorder (no offense, I'm only trying to illustrate). This person/character might be comorbid for NPD and OCPD, NPD and HPD (though the latter adds features you did not tell us, so there's that), hell I'd take a leap and say she may have Asperger's and NPD. You should definitely read them up, especially the DSM and fine tune the nature of psychopathology accordingly.

    I've given up, in my case. My only desire is to independent enough not to need this person anymore, because I can't attach myself to a person who is beyond reprieve. Anyhow, what you describe is a classic dilemma--the same issue exists with hypochondriacs. Do you agree with every disease they claim to have, or do you tell them their telling fibs, only to drive them out? Neither is a solution.

    And it's important to know that personality disorders are hard to work with for therapists too, because it's a part of who they are, hence the name. How do you "cure" my personality? I'm not saying it's impossible, and it's always a continuum on which their behaviors occur, but it is difficult. The only thing I can say is that you should understand that this is, for the most part, involuntary.

    Even if you refuse the insanity plea, just remember that narcissists are always trying to impress themselves for the same reason as bullies--they are so insecure that they cannot find anything good about themselves. They truly feel unloved and unimportant. Their attitude is a means to feel important--but truth is, and you must know this, putting others down or telling others how awesome you are never truly makes you feel loved and important. If you're empty inside, no amount of narcissism can save you. And people with OCPD usually have been unloved as children, possibly abused; they may have very authoritarian parents. Their means of exerting an impossible amount of control in their surrounding is a means of attaining perfection, thinking, "If I'm perfect, I will finally be worthy of love." Sadly, they usually aren't. With that in mind, I think it becomes easier to forgive them, though I can't say you can definitely change them.
     
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  19. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    @Charisma No offense taken. I find the whole concept of taking time to explore the character's psyche a very interesting one. Jan did similarly with another of her characters and created the ultimate bad boy. (Swoon!) ;)
     
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  20. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Thank you so much for taking the time to respond in such depth. It's very interesting to think about.

    One of the people I mentioned started out by blanking her own father permanently from her life. His crime? He dared to remarry, several years after the death of her mother—against her express wishes. She was married herself and 27 years old when her mother died of a heart attack—so this was not a childhood trauma. Her father's second marriage was to a woman he'd met AFTER her mother's death. So no suggestion of hanky panky either. Her father remained married to this 'other woman' for more than 30 years, until his own death, but this person never spoke to her father again.

    As years went on, this person just started blanking more and more people for more and more insignificant 'offenses' until she had eventually removed everybody from her life. So it was progressive, and I don't think related to any childhood trauma or feelings of inferiority. She seemed to have been supported fully during her early years and always spoke glowingly about her childhood. (Of course that could have been wishful thinking.) Her brother and other relatives were normal, and didn't have any other views of her childhood, and all got on fine with this 'other woman.' So I'm not sure where this came from.

    The other person, who is still alive, is not somebody I know as well as I knew the first person. She may have had issues from her childhood relating to feeling inferior or not appreciated. Hard to tell.

    You're right. Knowing about these things makes me feel more compassionate — but as you say, still bewildered as to how to deal with it. In both cases I've refused to be bullied into false agreement—and have consequently been blanked. I tried to be reasonable when things blew up, said it was fine to 'agree to disagree' but that wasn't enough. Nothing other than unquestioning capitulation, followed by years of remorseful and appeasing behavior, would do. I'm not willing to do that to my life any more ...so, sorry ...no.
     
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  21. Charisma
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    Charisma Transposon Contributor

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    You're very welcome. :)

    Personality disorders are usually detectable once adulthood commences, and though I did note they are molded by childhood incidents, they definitely have a biological component (which is why it's so hard to change it; like we say for antisocial personality disorder, which we were discussing in another thread). So I wouldn't write her off as not having this disorder, and perhaps events in her adulthood acting as triggers. We usually don't form our identity until late teenage or early adulthood, and maybe that's when her opinion of "how things should be" finally became clear to her, and her disorder starting to take hold.

    Also, I'd add, I knew a person who was diagnosed with schizophrenia only two years after the marriage, and was definitely off even when he married. His family claims they had faced no such issues with him, and note here, unmarried men live with their family till they marry in Pakistan, so they had intimate knowledge of him. But, schizophrenia is usually not so sudden and random, out of the blue. The better explanation is that they knew him so well, they had begun to think of his idiosyncrasies and a part of who he was, and not necessarily an abnormality. Secondly, the wife of this diagnosed NPD I referred to earlier didn't realize until 32 years into their marriage, that she was married to a "madman"; she recalls now that he had been a selfish, self-loving and generally distasteful creature from the start, but she just thought he had quirks and would act reasonable when needed. I don't know how long you have known this person, but it is possible her odd behavior was written off as various other features, and it wasn't until she was viewed in the frame of a responsible adult woman, that she looked out to be an intolerant fighter.

    It's hard, most definitely, and I for one do not justify being a relationship which only exists in my head. It's different with Alzheimer's or even schizophrenia--usually, normal, happy people, leave your grasp. The person you loved is trapped in a world and even with all their aberrations, you might still love them, and for that love you may stick it out. A girl once came to my father (a doctor), she was just twenty, and had topped her class the previous year. Her parents said she had left home a night before, and had walked the entire night, until they found her. She claims to have been eliminating demonic beings and establishing the word of God. I was crushed--I was twenty-one that time, and thought of succumbing to schizophrenia pained me. But perhaps, it would've pained her parents more so.
     

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