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Old 03-12-2016, 01:13 PM
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Default Your Ex Probably Doesn’t Have A Personality Disorder

Excellent Article: Your Ex Doesn't Have A Personality Disorder - The Toast

A lot of people come whipping into this forum claiming their ex-partner is BPD or a Narcissist. This article does an excellent job explaining why this is probably not the case. (Not considering that only 0.5-1% of the population has a NPD.)

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In the shadowy corners of the internet lives a subset of breakup listicles designed to help you diagnose your ex-partners’ psychopathology. Oh, you didn’t know this was a thing? It totally is a thing. According to several recent pieces on sites like the Huffington Post and Thought Catalog, almost everyone who ever dumped you had a personality disorder...
I always warn everyone that there is a lot of material and infographics out there on the internet that will lead people to "believe" that their ex-partner is personality disordered. This article breaks down why they probably don't have one...

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First, it’s actually fairly easy to find a personality disorder that fits any individual to some degree. This is because personality disorders are designed to describe extremes across a broad range of maladaptive interpersonal styles (Millon, 1999). Everyone has some traits or tendencies that align with a disordered interpersonal style because we’ve all got our own special quirks. When we are in a happy relationship with someone, these quirks are endearing at best and mildly frustrating at worst. When a relationship hits the skids, the trouble starts. Many classic theories of psychopathology acknowledge that stressful life event can heighten maladaptive traits for a period of time (Prochaska & Norcross, 2009). Breakups are typically stressful, therefore if you go through a breakup with someone it’s likely that their (and your) more challenging traits will magnify.
The explanation they offer for "confirmation bias" is one of the simplest and best I have ever read:

Quote:
Second, emotion impacts how we process and interpret information. There is a term to describe this called “confirmation bias” (Fiske, 2010). Confirmation bias means that how we attend to, interpret and remember information supports our preconceived beliefs. When we are faced with information that contradicts our beliefs, we experience discomfort. This discomfort is a powerful motivator to see what we already believe. This isn’t a conscious process, and in a way it’s protective of our cognitive resources. It takes time, energy, and effort to change our beliefs. The world runs much more smoothly when we all have the inherent tendency to see what we already believe. But sometimes a trade-off for cognitive simplicity is accuracy. This means that once we decide “this person is acting crazy,” we will actively work to make the “facts” fit our thoughts. So if you believe your ex must be a narcissistic jerk, it’s extremely easy to selectively remember all the information that supports your hypothesis.
Third point is straight to the point!

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Third. it’s easy to twist memories about how a person acted in a relationship to fit a personality disorder if you don’t think about two aspects that are crucial to the diagnosis a personality disorder; to what extent and to what degree symptoms are occurring.
And the article concludes nicely with this important reminder for anyone trying to label their ex-partner as personality disordered...

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The diagnostic labels that come from this process facilitate communication between researchers and practitioners, providing language to describe a common experience of suffering for a subset of individuals. But mental illness labels can also be used as a way to dismiss or degrade. It’s unnervingly easy to write someone off as not mattering in our society if they’re “crazy.” This is especially true with diagnosis that have extra stigma attached, like personality disorders. So sometimes I worry when I hear someone flippantly diagnosing their ex-partner as a sociopath, borderline or narcissistic. Those are powerful labels that mean so much more than what I think the person using them is trying to convey which I suspect might be; “this person behaved in a way I dislike, do not understand and it hurt me.”
Excellent food for thought...

Good Luck!
Tayken
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Old 03-12-2016, 03:18 PM
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Ha! My partner teases me because I told him my mother has BPD (its been diagnosed by a doc) and that my father is self centered and self absorbed. "Why do you feel the need to diagnose people?" Then he spent time with them both...
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Old 03-13-2016, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by rockscan View Post
Ha! My partner teases me because I told him my mother has BPD (its been diagnosed by a doc) and that my father is self centered and self absorbed. "Why do you feel the need to diagnose people?" Then he spent time with them both...
If your mother indeed was diagnosed BPD then this book may be of help to you.

Understanding the Borderline Mother: Helping Her Children Transcend the Intense, Unpredictable, and Volatile Relationship Paperback
by Christine Ann Lawson

Not only does it identify the archetypes of the borderline but, it also does a great deal in studying the other parent as well.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog...d-her-children

At the Edges of Reason. Book Review: Understanding the Borderline Mother
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Old 03-13-2016, 03:19 PM
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Yep I read that and another one on how to love someone who has BPD. It made a lot of sense while I was trying to understand why my mother hated me and said such horrible things about me. She still refuses treatment but it on mild antidepressants which help a bit.
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Old 03-13-2016, 03:29 PM
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When a relationship hits the skids, the trouble starts. Many classic theories of psychopathology acknowledge that stressful life event can heighten maladaptive traits for a period of time (Prochaska & Norcross, 2009).
So true. The "diathesis-stress model" illustrates how there are genetic predispositions (increased vulnerability) to many disorders. However, it's the "stress" part of the model that acts as the trigger for the maladaptive stuff Tayken is talking about. A divorce, family conflict, etc. Even if the environmental triggers don't serve as a catalyst for a disorder, it will distort and "confirm" your thoughts that may not hold much validity in the first place.

In my view there are far too many "blanket terms". Brittany Spears shaved her head she must be Bipolar. This child didn't look at me while I was speaking, quick get him some Ritalin he must be ADHD. My ex is good verbally and is upset with me...he must be a narcissist. Diagnosing people prematurely and without the proper knowledge and skil lsets to do so is happening more and more.

This is why many poster such as Tayken and I discourage bringing opinions of uncertified, unlicensed, ad hoc, counselor's who throw around these terms loosely .. providing inappropriate and false info to the patient. (Which unfortunately leaks in to court much of the time).

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Breakups are typically stressful, therefore if you go through a breakup with someone it’s likely that their (and your) more challenging traits will magnify.
Yes .. the good old "amygdala", the emotion center of the brain is surely quite active during breakups.

I used Tayken's caselaw on another one of his threads regarding this. I emphasized that "Her judgement is clouded by her subjective feelings about me and our relationship. My great parenting traits, loving/caring nature and involvement as a "good" father have been forgotten .. or overshadowed rather, shoved to the unconscious ..and emotions take over, often distorting the truth in many ways.

Good thread.

LF32
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:36 AM
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They say the likelihood of a good looking woman having a disorder is actually much higher that 1%.

I actually think that a lot of people are just rotten selfish disgusting people with some symptoms of personality disorders but they are so rotten and immoral you would think they are crazy.

Still not sure if my ex is just the most entitled selfish spoilt person I have come in contact with or just a child who had emotionally neglectful parents... and now she is a raving lunatic
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Old 03-14-2016, 05:39 PM
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I've been in court enough times to witness firsthand some more-than-borderline mental disorders ... involving certain lawyers!

As for my Ex, he's perfectly sane, real nice guy (when he's sober!!!)
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Old 03-14-2016, 05:54 PM
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It's also worth remembering that divorce is a time when all our assessments of other people tend to be extreme. The friends who stick by us (and tell us what we want to hear) are absolutely good and loyal. The ones who don't (or who tell us things we don't want to hear) are the enemy. The rebound boyfriend/girlfriend is the most wonderful, perfect love we could imagine. Etc, etc, etc. It'a hard to avoid seeing one's ex in such extreme terms as well, and pop psychology has given us labels to express those extreme feelings - NPD, BPD, sociopath, etc. In another century, we'd be convinced our exes were possessed by demons, because that would have been the go-to explanation for someone whose behaviour makes us angry.

In my fortunately limited experience with people who have real, diagnosed personality disorders, their life history is filled with red flags. They have very little or no contact with any members of their family of origin, they have no long-standing friendships that aren't based on exploitation, they can't hold jobs, their relationship history is one disaster after another (always the other person's fault) etc. Most exes don't fit this pattern. They often act like royal jerks around us, but can be functional in other spheres of life, as a parent, a friend, an employe.
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Old 03-14-2016, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janibel View Post
I've been in court enough times to witness firsthand some more-than-borderline mental disorders ... involving certain lawyers!

As for my Ex, he's perfectly sane, real nice guy (when he's sober!!!)
^^^ Ditto.
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