Support for Families coping and living with people with Personality Disorder ( PD)
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Personality disorder is a mental health condition that is just emerging as a field of study and intervention. Many reasons contribute to this silent relationship killer. While diagnosis itself is a challenge, just to imagine, the life of a constantly tormented kin can cause a shudder for those who have witnessed it.
PD Mithra is an attempt to bring together kin of such patients who are unable to understand or cope with the disorder their dear ones are going through and tend to become depressed and unproductive due to guilt tripping and lack of understanding.
We have a host of resources and access to professional experts who can help you to find inner peace and a space of thinking and acting in a way that will keep your sanity intact.
Please read on and write to us if you wish to become a part of our kinship group.
- This is a support group for the kin of individuals having Personality Disorder issues. The core team of PD Mithra comprises of those who have lived/worked with and managed PD afflicted family members refusing to accept their condition and seek therapy. We are a group of survivors of these toxic relationships living alongside, providing constant close connect or remote support.
Why this group?
In recent times more and more stories of survivors of abuse at the hands of persons with PD are being told. The impact on such survivors of several years of suppression, tolerance and self blame are being brought to light. It is commonly believed that people having PD are victims whereas more often than not they are the perpetrators of abuse on their close kin. PD is still in the grey area of human behavior. It is very confusing for loved ones to discern between genuine mental illness caused by neuro-chemical imbalances in the brain and the pure behavioral issues of those with PD, especially if they refuse to acknowledge the problem.
You are a PD survivor if someone close is abusing you mentally, emotionally, verbally or physically, may it be
- Colleague in the workplace
- Any other person significant in your life
Look out for signs of PD
- How do you know that they have a personality disorder?
- What do you do when you realise that he or she has a rigid and unhealthy pattern of thinking, functioning and behaving?
These are people who you have lived with for several years, who you never thought had a problem. Considering the oppressive state you have put up with for all these years, this new perspective can be quite a revelation for you and help you come out of toxic relationships.
A person with a personality disorder has trouble perceiving and relating to situations and people. This causes significant problems and limitations in relationships, social activities, work and school.
The listing below is not a diagnostic tool, but a broad guide for caring family members to understand the types and typical behavior patterns of their kin.
Cluster A personality disorders
Cluster A personality disorders are characterized by odd, eccentric thinking or behavior. They include paranoid personality disorder, schizoid personality disorder and schizotypal personality disorder.
Paranoid personality disorder - Pervasive distrust and suspicion of others and their motives - Unjustified belief that others are trying to harm or deceive you - Unjustified suspicion of the loyalty or trustworthiness of others - Hesitancy to confide in others due to unreasonable fear that others will use the information against you - Perception of innocent remarks or nonthreatening situations as personal insults or attacks - Angry or hostile reaction to perceived slights or insults - Tendency to hold grudges - Unjustified, recurrent suspicion that spouse or sexual partner is unfaithful
Schizoid personality disorder - Lack of interest in social or personal relationships, preferring to be alone - Limited range of emotional expression - Inability to take pleasure in most activities - Inability to pick up normal social cues - Appearance of being cold or indifferent to others - Little or no interest in having sex with another person
Schizotypal personality disorder - Peculiar dress, thinking, beliefs, speech or behavior - Odd perceptual experiences, such as hearing a voice whisper your name - Flat emotions or inappropriate emotional responses - Social anxiety and a lack of or discomfort with close relationships - Indifferent, inappropriate or suspicious response to others - "Magical thinking" - believing you can influence people and events with your thoughts - Belief that certain casual incidents or events have hidden messages meant only for you
Cluster B personality disorders
Cluster B personality disorders are characterized by dramatic, overly emotional or unpredictable thinking or behavior. They include antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder.
Antisocial personality disorder - Disregard for others' needs or feelings - Persistent lying, stealing, using aliases, conning others - Recurring problems with the law - Repeated violation of the rights of others - Aggressive, often violent behavior - Disregard for the safety of self or others - Impulsive behavior - Consistently irresponsible - Lack of remorse for behavior
Borderline personality disorder - Impulsive and risky behavior, such as having unsafe sex, gambling or binge eating - Unstable or fragile self-image - Unstable and intense relationships - Up and down moods, often as a reaction to interpersonal stress - Suicidal behavior or threats of self-injury - Intense fear of being alone or abandoned - Ongoing feelings of emptiness - Frequent, intense displays of anger - Stress-related paranoia that comes and goes
Histrionic personality disorder - Constantly seeking attention - Excessively emotional, dramatic or sexually provocative to gain attention - Speaks dramatically with strong opinions, but few facts or details to back them up - Easily influenced by others - Shallow, rapidly changing emotions - Excessive concern with physical appearance - Thinks relationships with others are closer than they really are
Narcissistic personality disorder - Belief that you're special and more important than others - Fantasies about power, success and attractiveness - Failure to recognize others' needs and feelings - Exaggeration of achievements or talents - Expectation of constant praise and admiration - Arrogance - Unreasonable expectations of favors and advantages, often taking advantage of others - Envy of others or belief that others envy you
Cluster C personality disorders
Cluster C personality disorders are characterized by anxious, fearful thinking or behavior. They include avoidant personality disorder, dependent personality disorder and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.
- Avoidant personality disorder
- Too sensitive to criticism or rejection
- Feeling inadequate, inferior or unattractive
- Avoidance of work activities that require interpersonal contact
- Socially inhibited, timid and isolated, avoiding new activities or meeting strangers
- Extreme shyness in social situations and personal relationships
- Fear of disapproval, embarrassment or ridicule.
- Dependent personality disorder
- Excessive dependence on others and feeling the need to be taken care of
- Submissive or clingy behavior toward others
- Fear of having to provide self-care or fend for yourself if left alone
- Lack of self-confidence, requiring excessive advice and reassurance from others to make even small decisions
- Difficulty starting or doing projects on your own due to lack of self-confidence
- Difficulty disagreeing with others, fearing disapproval
- Tolerance of poor or abusive treatment, even when other options are available
- Urgent need to start a new relationship when a close one has ended
- Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder
- Preoccupation with details, orderliness and rules
- Extreme perfectionism, resulting in dysfunction and distress when perfection is not achieved, such as feeling unable to finish a project because you don't meet your own strict standards
- Desire to be in control of people, tasks and situations, and inability to delegate tasks
- Neglect of friends and enjoyable activities because of excessive commitment to work or a project
- Inability to discard broken or worthless objects
- Rigid and stubborn
- Inflexible about morality, ethics or values
- Tight, miserly control over budgeting and spending money
Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder is not the same as obsessive-compulsive disorder, a type of anxiety disorder.
SUPPORT AND HELP
- PD Mithra seeks to provide counseling and coping strategies support for those in any kind of close relationship with PD members. We have planned a monthly meeting as well as email support plus a blog for sharing personal experiences.
- There are no guarantees on any successes, except that the mental health of the family members become stable and they are more productive and happy, as there is hope and understanding in this camaraderie and connection.
HOW ARE YOU COPING NOW?
The usual state of mind is that of sadness, anxiety, guilt tripping on one side, helpless anger and frustration coupled with periodic desolation at the other side.
If you have thought of seeking support, it is a huge sign of strength rather than taboo or a weakness.
The idea of empowering families with adequate information to be able to include, love and cherish these persons rather than exclude and make them redundant in your lives, is the plan of this effort.
Having said that, if there are irreparable states of victimization and the relationships have turned toxic or parasitic, we will support the members to decide on a safe future.
EDUCATING YOU WITH COPING STRATEGIES
Have you decided to share your story? You have taken the first step then, for it paves way for your future journey towards inner peace and a confident stride forward without guilt or shame.
We have in our panel, psychologists and senior citizen survivors who are willing to spend time with our group, to offer their listening ear as well as calming presence besides directing positive thinking to build our strength and move forward as enriched beings with a purpose.
BLOG (Personal and experiential stories of survival and coping strategies - can be included later on)
We will be hosting a monthly meet to interested families, who wish to know more and explore our support system. We do not have any membership fee as we are coming together as a voluntary body as of now.
Our address: B6/2, 11th cross street, (Near Post Office) Besant nagar, Chennai - 600090
Phone for messaging only: 9444606456.
Mode of meeting: Since this is for family members/friends/colleagues, we would first like to know your story. For the first few months we will have it as one on one for the first half hour and then one hour of sharing thoughts of coping and mutual support.
Date:: Tentatively 3rd Saturday of every month.