SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
UNIT CODE: APS 100
UNIT NAME: INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOLOGY
STUDENT NAME: SYLVIA NJOKI ESILABA
TASK: WRITE A PAPER ON PERSONALITY DISORDERS.
LECTURER’S NAME: MRS. ESTHER MUTHOGA
A person’s character structure is a product of habitual attitudes, values and reaction towards human relationships. The foundation of this structure is often laid down early in life and extends over a long period of time. When this characteristic ways become exaggerated to a degree that they are inappropriate, it may be a sign of personality disorder. A personality disorder is a long – standing inflexible, maladaptive pattern of behaving and relating to others which usually begins in childhood. People with personality disorders tend to have problems in their social relationships and work and may experience personal distress as well. Among the more commonly found types of disorders or personality and character are the following; a) Antisocial Personality Disorder.
b) Obsessive-compulsive personality.
c) Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
d) Paranoid Personality Disorder.
e) Histrionic Personality Disorder.
f) Passive-aggressive Personality.
g) Explosive Personality Disorder.
h) Inadequate Personality Disorder.
1) Antisocial Personality Disorder.
Two teenage boys held a teacher down while a third poured gasoline over him and set him on fire. Fortunately, another teacher intervened in time for a rescue but the boys showed no remorse, did not consider it wrong and were disappointed that they had not actually murdered the teacher, whom they didn’t know. “Next time we will do it right,” said the ring-leader. Such people lack critical emotions like empathy; the ability to take another person’s perspective and guilt; the ability to feel remorse for immoral actions. They are totally without conscience. The inability to feel emotional arousal – empathy, guilt, fear of punishment, anxiety under stress – implies some abnormality in the central nervous system. Antisocial individuals do not respond to punishment that would affect other people, such as threat of physical harm or loss of approval. The psychiatric diagnostic manual (DSM – II), defines antisocial personalities as; ‘… Individuals who are basically unsocialized and whose behavior patterns bring them repeatedly into conflicts with society. They are incapable of significant loyalty to individuals, groups or social values. They are grossly selfish, callous, irresponsible, impulsive and unable to feel guilt or to learn from experience and punishment. Frustration tolerance is low. They tend to blame others or offer plausible rationalizations for their behavior (pg. 43)’
Many antisocial types are intelligent and may seem charming and very likeable at first. They are good conmen. People with this disorder lack the ability to love and feel loyalty and compassion towards others. They use charm, manipulation, intimidation and violence to control others and satisfy their own selfish needs.
2) Obsessive- compulsive Personality.
This person reveals an exaggerated sense of control over every element in his or her life. Control takes the form of ordering physical elements (neatly arranged closets), activities (schedules) or human relationships (insisting others to do it their way). Principles of duty, respect for authority, cleanliness and obedience, mark the obsessive-compulsive personality. It is difficult for others to feel comfortable around such people because they are never spontaneous and openly insist that others follow their standards. Freudians believe that this character disorder stems from repressed hostility towards parents. The child fears that this hostility will emerge and lead to...
References: a) PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE, 14TH edition by Zimbardo and Gerrig.
b) PSYCHOLOGY, 3rd edition by Carole Waide and Carol Tavris.
c) ESSENTIALS OF PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE, 10th edition by Zimbardo.
d) THE ESSENTIAL WORLD OF PSYCHOLOGY, by Samuel E. Wood and Ellen Green Wood.
e) PSYCHOLOGY, 2nd edition by Zimbardo Philip and Ann L Weber.
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