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Personality and socialization


devils daughter
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Several weeks ago another member mentioned “socialization” in another thread. It had been awhile since I had heard that word and it got me to thinking about it.

There is probably pretty good agreement that personality is formed by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Similarly with the – let’s call them “limited” – personalities of folks with personality disorders.

The dsm 5 definition of personality disorder will focus on the deficits in interpersonal relationships and a sense of identity. The attachment theory of Ainsworth and Bowlby and Kohut’s theory of the self seem to provide a good explanation of how personality disorders develop. With those theories a possible way to “cure” personality disorders seems also to be suggested.

About 8 or 9 years ago I decided that what I needed, with my personality structure having fallen apart, was social habilitation. Not re-habilitation, because parts of me had been cut off and hidden away, or so it seemed. They were stuck as they were when I was a child and had never gotten used to being in the social world at all.

I wanted a place where I could go and let my demons out and have them socially contained in an environment where I wouldn’t embarrass myself or hurt the people I loved. I wanted the demons to have the sharp edges worn down. I could not do that myself – by myself, for myself. I knew that the demons weren’t socially acceptable, and I could keep them out of the world most of the time. But I couldn’t stand living like I was. If I was going to continue to live then I was going to have to find a way to let those parts be in the world, too.

None of the treatment centers that I saw on the internet seemed to offer that. They were expensive, my insurance probably wouldn’t cover it, and I would have to leave my cats. So I stuck with my support group and different therapists and two separate intensive outpatient treatments at a respected local psychiatric hospital.

As I have talked about in other threads it took me a long time to find a therapist who could actually help me. Now I am getting integrated it has been very helpful to have this website, where I can “be” myself and not worry so much about the social consequences. If I feel embarassed it is not so all-encompassing and destabilizing as it would be in "real life".

But I still wonder about the demon exorcism and socialization treatment idea. Does that make sense to anybody else?

Edited by devil's daughter
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DD I think that attatchment in itself is somewhat of a disorder. It is counter productive to our conscious intentions.

We associate responsibility with attatchment but they are not the same thing. You can fit in to a group and be responsible for your interactions within the group. You can even feel love for and from the group without truly being attatched. Attatchment induces a sense of ownership and control where there is none. Society is symbiotic. As long as we live and let live and "Harm None," there will be peace. However when we are attatched to that society or anthing for that matter, we lose our Self.

Life is not what happens around us it is what happens inside us. I know my POV sounds very spiritual but I am spiritual. The spirituality is a condition or aspect of the being that is me, not a definition of the whole. I am merely a condition or aspect of society and not a definition of the whole.

A beach is still a beach if you remove a single grain of sand. The beach is not attatched to the sand nor the sand the beach. Yet the beach is sand and the sand (at the waters edge) is beach.

We base our self worth on a dated system of applied value and this is what causes our attatchment. A grain of sand isn't worth much and no one thinks much about it. But wouldn't we notice if they were ALL gone? I may not be the red bean in a bag of limas but without my contribution, and yours, and Irmas, and medlems, and maligns there would be no bag of beans.

Conscious attatchment=loss of freedom:mad: Responsibility to ones self and to others for the good of the whole=inner peace:)

Does that make sense?

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DD-regarding PD (thinking) and your demons... Could anyone imagine how to love if they had never felt love? The answer is obviously no. Nor could you build an engine without all the parts, and even having the parts you have to put them together correctly or the engine won't work, and what good is an engine that runs nothing, and if it runs something what purpose does it serve?

Our (society's) idea (and attatchment to the idea) of what a mother should be is almost omnipotent. A Mother is someone who cares for us and teaches us and loves us and supports and encourages us. If she is not those things then do we perceive her as unmotherly? Is she a bad Mother, a bad person? If she is all of those things then we try to be those things for her. We try to be what she perceives our potential to be, and when we perceive that we are not, we are bad? I am spiritual but I do not behave like Ghandi, Buddha, Mother Teresa, because I am not those people and because the sum of my parts is human. My neighbors have heard me yell. They may have even heard me speak profanities. But, they have also seen me sign to our deaf neighbor, hug my son, comfort their children, and help the 91 y/o up the street to pick up piles of leaves. At any time if they chose to base their opinion of me on a single action then it would be hit or miss. If they chose not to like me or associate with me because of one of my actions then they would be denying themselves the intricacies that make up who I am as opposed to the things that I do. If I do not appreciate that judgement from them then why would I judge myself that way?

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Thanks for the feedback, frazzled.

What I was talking about attachment theory, it’s a theory about how infants are attached to their mothers before they before they have a sense of individual self. So, yes, in an adult it is somewhat of a disorder. According to the theory, if the infant’s caregiver or caregivers are not able to be emotionally attuned to their infants needs, then the needs go unmet and the infant does not learn to meet those needs him- or herself. I think that kind of summarizes it.

So if the person grows up with that kind of unmet need, then that can lead to personality disorders, according to Kohut.

The question for me is – what to do to help that?

When I went to the psychiatric hospital for anorexia when I was 15 the only treatment was psychoanalysis, still largely influenced by Freud. Freud thought that personality disorders – then known as character disorders – were not treatable by psychoanalysis but that’s all folks had so that’s what they did.

I think and feel like I’m finally getting better. The breakdown has been awful but maybe it got some things unstuck that needed to be unstuck.

I’m an adult and I’m responsible for my behavior but the way I had of being responsible was mostly OCPD. Focus on what I was supposed to do, figure out the right thing to do and do it, and anything that didn’t fit in with that I just chopped off, suppressed, whatever. It became very depressing as well as impossible.

Now we have the new psychology theories that I mentioned. With them, maybe there can be some new treatment approaches that “cure” personality disorders, like cancer is now often treatable.

I just want the treatments to be fast-tracked so that other people don’t have go through so many unhelpful “therapies” before they get to something that works for them. From my support group and other friends I know there are lots of folks my age who just gave up.

My own internal view is that people with PD's CAN GET BETTER. Just not entirely on our own. The concept of socialization may be useful here. We have the personalities that we have but we didn’t get them entirely on our own either.

I wrote this in response to your first reply. I'll think about mothering and add some more later about that.

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In our development we become our own first child. The Mothering statement sort of speaks to that.

Could anyone imagine how to love if they had never felt love? The answer is obviously no.

But you have a mind and free will (as an adult) there is an ingredient missing. An ingredient you cannot identify and have no access to, it seems impossible to figure out. It is not. I have suffered OCD codependent personality and severely low self-esteem. Becoming a Mother helped me to visualize (in the physical world) the Mother I needed to be to me by recognizing my children's individuality and needs I was able to identify my own and thereby discovered what it took (the ingredient) to heal those parts of myself. It was not an overnight process and it was/is not always in full force but it is in me. I know that you have it in you as I have read your other posts and your blogs. The advice you give in your own warm caring wisdom is awesome and insightful...into the hearts and needs of others. I know if you try you can apply that same unconditional, non-judgemental guidance to those "limited" parts of yourself to help make them whole and accepting of the whole just as you have helped and accepted me and so many others here.

You are loved in here (your real name here) DD(((((hugs)))))

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Thanks, frazzled. You wrote:

But you have a mind and free will (as an adult) there is an ingredient missing. An ingredient you cannot identify and have no access to, it seems impossible to figure out.

Your intuition/empathy is accurate about that. But what is not accurate is that what came to you when you became a mother did not come to me. Perhaps in part it’s because the parenting literature that was out there when I became a mother was not as good as what you had. But we are all individuals. Some things are possible to some that are not to others. Or at least not it the same way.

There is a great deal of sadness in me about my experience and abilities as a mother. But my mother didn’t have the ability either and probably neither did her mother.

My current therapist has been able to be empathically attuned to me. And I’ve been compulsive in my thinking and reading about this so that my rational mind was prepared for a change, too. That is, I’ve done what I could, used what abilities I did have.

Nothing can really prepare you for a change that happens in your inner experience of yourself and the world. So one of the things that I hoped to do when I came onto Mental Heath Net was to have an open record of what was possible for me and how it came to be. And maybe that would help other folks with mental health issues.

Oddly enough, I have felt “seen” here in some of the feedback that I have gotten – by you here now and once by Malign. That is part of what Kohut says that a child needs, for someone or some people to recognize their individuality.

After being seen and some other things – which I also got from my therapist for 18 months before I came here – I have felt the need for for a "social playpen". Some place where we may do things that are not always kind or right and find out the consequences with hurting ourselves or others. For some other people, maybe they need a place where they can find out that connecting with people has value that feeling grandiose doesn’t. Etc.

So probably it’s still a remnant of the PD hanging around, but I want that all to happen for everybody. Today!!

I really appreciate your feedback and conversation about this topic. Actually, this is how it came to be, too. "Personality" from me and "socialization" from you!

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May the road rise to meet you and the wind be always at your back (on your journey to "Self").

One more thought...There is a great deal of sadness in me about my experience and abilities as a mother. But my mother didn’t have the ability either and probably neither did her mother.

Perhaps forgiveness would be worth further examination. Your Mom, her Mom, and Yourself.

Good Luck and Take Care

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