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Sorry Virginia


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Not everyones brain works the same way. I think we take this for granted. When we say things like "No that dress doesn't make you look fat." We have Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and the tooth fairy and as harmless as they seem to us people who are wired differently perceive this as "It is okay to lie." We make rules and then we make rules about exceptions to the first rules. How is anyone supposed to keep it straight? Who gets to say this is the rule but under these circumstances it is okay to break it and if you break it under any other circumstances you are a bad person?

What is a personality disorder? We all have different personalities. Who's to say what is a disorder? I think it is more a question of being neural typical or not. I think we need to be more accomidating to one another and mind our own actions so that our influence may be a positive one.:)

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There's a great reply to the question "What is a personality disorder?" on this website. Here's a link:


A lot of the problem, I think, has to do with the stigma associated with someone having (or other people thinking that someone has) a personality disorder. Some people with personality disorders are insufferable to others. But many people with personality disorders themselves suffer quite a lot.

Here's an analogy: Everybody has a digestive system and every digestive system is different. But when someone has a stomach bug, for instance, there is no stigma associated with saying they have an intestinal disorder.

What if they throw up right in front of you, though? You wouldn't want to be around them, would you? Or what if their intestinal pain was so intense that they could no longer stand and fell to the ground and moaned? And then . . . what if it wasn't a temporary condition, like a stomach bug, that was causing the disorder but a chronic condition of the person's digestive system?

The problem with the notion of personality disorder, I think, is that our personalities, more so than our digestive systems, affect other people's social evaluations of us.

That, in my view, is why a first step is dealing with a personality disorder is to overcome the negative social evaluation of the person who has it. A second step, I think, would be for everyone, including the person with the personality disorder, not to expect too much while the person -- or personality -- is in the process of change.

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Labels actually help us to deal with things. You wouldn't drink from a bottle marked poison. Peoples personalities aren't poison but some fit better than others. 2 sociopaths would likely not get along but a sociopath and a codependent would get along just fine. I don't think that labelling is so great for people who think it means that something is wrong with them but I do think it helps the kinder people of the world to make accomidations and perhaps teach others to better allow the labelled person to fit comfortably.

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Mental patient.


Shit (this one was from my ex-wife; anyone surprised?)



These are all labels that do, or have, been applied to me at one time or another. In the sense that they described how someone saw me at some point in time, I've been each one of these.

I will deny strenuously, however, that any of the labels have ever been me.

A label results from viewing the world using analysis, which literally means breaking down into pieces. It's a way of abstracting information, of grouping things together, of discarding all information except the one piece you want to focus on.

Analysis has benefits; it is the fundamental process involved in all modern scientific thought. In psychology, it is the process which allows professionals to match certain less-successful patterns of behavior with treatments that are particularly well-suited to change them.

But it also has drawbacks. The result of any abstraction when applied to a person is the discarding of part of what makes that person unique. In fact, that is the goal of abstraction, to group people together by saying that they're more alike than different. But it's often overlooked what is lost: the unique appreciation for that one person's existence, feelings, and experience.

So, I would take the original question:

Who gets to say this is the rule but under these circumstances it is okay to break it and if you break it under any other circumstances you are a bad person?

and break it into two parts.

"Who gets to say this is the rule but under these circumstances it is okay to break it?" Each and every one of us. That's what being human is.

"Who gets to say ... if you break it under any other circumstances you are a bad person?" No one. There are no "bad people".

The designation of "personality disorder" as applied by a professional does not carry any implication of badness. Instead, it is intended to describe behavior that the person themselves, or those around them, feels is harmful to them in their social interactions. Its value, if it has any, is in guiding that person and their caregivers towards a healthier, more rewarding interaction.

So ultimately I agree with you, frazzled, that the point is to guide our own actions to be positive. But I would tend to include as positive the attempt to see each person as uniquely themselves. Including, and perhaps especially, ourselves.

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Gee golly-whiz, Frazzled! I think you just really helped me a lot.

I have a lot of the characterisics of an aspie. My late husband did, too. We got along great together. We worked and participated in our church. We had acquaintances but neither of us had what might be called good friends, besides each other. We didn't hang out with other people very much. We had our books and our hobbies. That worked for us.

Our children are probably neuro-typical, though. I don't know how to "help" them at this point in their lives; both are in their 30's. Probably they don't need my help; they seem to be doing OK.

So maybe I just need to focus on my aspie self, my aspie activities. It helps a lot to know that there are kinder, neuro-typical folks who are not arrogant and fixated on social status. Your social skills are much appreciated!

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