1. Philliggi

    Philliggi New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2018
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    4

    Anyone know much about mental health?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Philliggi, Aug 7, 2018.

    So a key part of my story is about one of my characters being mentally unstable. Here are his symptoms.

    Shows no care or emotion for others.
    Lies uncontrollably.
    Believes his own lies.
    Will stop at nothing to have things his way - selfish.

    In the book he never actually gets diagnosed, it's a post apocalyptic world with no doctors.

    My question is, how important is it the symptoms match realistically with a diagnosis in real life? Most of the symptoms above point to sociopathic tendencies, but not all of them fit perfectly.
    Could I just explain them away in a way that shows it's simply his own personality, or should I rewrite it so all symptoms fit the diagnosis, even though it's never diagnosed in the book?
     
  2. BayView

    BayView Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    9,755
    Likes Received:
    10,168
    I don't think it needs to match. Even in our world there are people who only have some of the symptoms of specific disorders, not all of them. Be true to your character, not true to the DSM.
     
    John Calligan and Jenissej like this.
  3. Philliggi

    Philliggi New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2018
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    4
    Does that still apply though when you have possibly overdone the symptoms rather than undertone them? I think I may have over loaded his disorder traits and made it a little out there
     
  4. BayView

    BayView Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    9,755
    Likes Received:
    10,168
    I only have the brief description you gave, but to me the only one that seems dodgy is "believes his own lies" - it essentially suggest he doesn't accept reality, which might make things tricky? But then I look at the White House, and... yeah, I think you're good.
     
    DK3654 and Spencer1990 like this.
  5. Philliggi

    Philliggi New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2018
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    4
    I'll try to give a more in depth description of what I mean by that. Basically, he sets up a scenario that makes all the other characters believe the impending disaster is likely, where in reality, he has set up a simulation that simply imitates disaster.
    Yet as time goes on he comes to believe the threat is real, and does everything he can to save himself from the none distant threat, even at the detriment of others.
     
  6. BayView

    BayView Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    9,755
    Likes Received:
    10,168
    Sound pretty extreme, but I don't think it's any wilder than some stuff I've read.

    It'll come down to execution, just like it always does. If you do it well - it'll be fine!
     
  7. John Calligan

    John Calligan Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2015
    Messages:
    787
    Likes Received:
    692
    Even the DSM lets you score people on different symptoms. You can be perfectly fine sitting still and still have ADHD, even in the DSM (I think).
     
    Alan Aspie and BayView like this.
  8. Drinkingcrane

    Drinkingcrane New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2018
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    18
    I have experience with symptoms of mental illness. The first thought that came to my mind when reading you discription was borderline personality disorder. If his personality traits ar fixed parts of his personality he has a personality disorder. Meaning he wil never chang Look up personality disorders , specifically borderline personality you will find a wealth of information to inspire you with your characters.
     
  9. Philliggi

    Philliggi New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2018
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    4
    I've already done a bit of research but it's a bit of mine field.

    After research I've tried to write him as a sociopath. What's bothering me though is in not entirely sure it's feasible for him to believe his own lies. I'm thinking this is a completely different disorder entirely, and that on it's own causes issues. Is it possible to suffer from two different disorders simultaneously?
     
  10. Zerotonin

    Zerotonin Serotonin machine broke Contest Administrator Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2018
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    1,085
    Location:
    Chicago
    This is pretty much me. I have diagnosed ADHD but have no trouble simply sitting still.

    As per the OP's question, it seems like he's got a few traits of sociopathy, as you've mentioned, but he also seems to suffer from symptoms of paranoid personality disorder. People with PPD tend to create delusions in their mind, practically from thin air, and then believe them wholeheartedly as undisputable fact.

    It's very possible for people to suffer from two different disorders at the same time. Anxiety and depression come hand-in-hand for a lot of people, despite the fact that they have almost the exact opposite effects on you. Anxiety urges on action, based on perceived stressors, while depression often forces you into inaction through a lack of energy and passion. This can cause a devastating effect in people where they feel the need to do something, but don't have the drive to do it, so the disorders feed off of each other, becoming worse over time.

    My source is the fact that I suffer from both, and it can be exhausting.
     
    John Calligan likes this.
  11. Philliggi

    Philliggi New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2018
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    4
    Thats actually a real good input thank you. I've not come across ppu in my research but definately something to look into.

    Thanks for all your input everyone it's been a massive help
     
  12. Dragon Turtle

    Dragon Turtle Deadlier Jerry

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2018
    Messages:
    445
    Likes Received:
    856
    My first thought was Narcissistic Personality Disorder, but I can also see Borderline.

    Mental illnesses and personality disorders are social constructs. As in, it's not like there's a physical stamp in your brain that means you have a certain disorder. Humans look at clusters of traits that tend to go together and assign a diagnosis to them. But nature has a lot more gray area. So, my vote goes with "no, it's not critical that he have a textbook disorder."
     
    BayView likes this.
  13. Carly Berg

    Carly Berg Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2015
    Messages:
    990
    Likes Received:
    1,035
    Late to the party here but I would just show him the way you've described him above. It's entirely possible for someone to have any mix of traits and nothing there looks to me like it would be unlikely to go together.
     

Share This Page