DSM-5 groups the 10 types of personality disorders into 3 clusters (A, B, and C), based on similar characteristics. However, the clinical usefulness of these clusters has not been established.
Cluster A is characterized by appearing odd or eccentric. It includes the following personality disorders with their distinguishing features:
Cluster B is characterized by appearing dramatic, emotional, or erratic. It includes the following personality disorders with their distinguishing features:
Antisocial: Social irresponsibility, disregard for others, deceitfulness, and manipulation of others for personal gain
Borderline: Intolerance of being alone and emotional dysregulation
Narcissistic: Underlying dysregulated, fragile self-esteem and overt grandiosity
Cluster C is characterized by appearing anxious or fearful. It includes the following personality disorders with their distinguishing features:
Avoidant: Avoidance of interpersonal contact due to rejection sensitivity
Dependent: Submissiveness and a need to be taken care of
Symptoms and Signs
According to DSM-5, personality disorders are primarily problems with
Self-identity problems may manifest as an unstable self-image (eg, people fluctuate between seeing themselves as kind or cruel) or as inconsistencies in values, goals, and appearance (eg, people are deeply religious while in church but profane and disrespectful elsewhere).
Interpersonal functioning problems typically manifest as failing to develop or sustain close relationships and/or being insensitive to others (eg, unable to empathize).
People with personality disorders often seem inconsistent, confusing, and frustrating to people around them (including clinicians). These people may have difficulty knowing the boundaries between themselves and others. Their self-esteem may be inappropriately high or low. They may have inconsistent, detached, overemotional, abusive, or irresponsible styles of parenting, which can lead to physical and mental problems in their spouse or children.
People with personality disorders may not recognize that they have problems.
Continue reading “Types of Personality Disorders”
Psychological projection is one of many defense mechanisms people engage in on a regular basis.
Other common defense mechanisms include:
Denial – Refusing to admit to yourself that something is real (e.g., not believing the doctor when she tells you some particularly bad news about your health).
Distortion – Changing the reality of a situation to suit your needs (e.g., thinking that your boyfriend cheated on you because he was scared of commitment).
Passive Aggression – Indirectly acting out your aggression (e.g., purposely parking in your co-worker’s parking spot as retribution for a previous dispute).
Repression – Covering up feelings or emotions instead of coming to terms with them (e.g., being unable to recall the details of a car crash you were involved in – the brain sometimes purposely “loses” these memories to help you cope).
Sublimination – Converting negative feelings into positive actions (e.g., cleaning the house whenever you are angry about something).
Dissociation – Substantially but temporarily changing your personality to avoid feeling emotion (e.g., trying to “keep yourself together” at a funeral for the benefit of others).
Defense mechanisms are not always unhealthy. In fact, some defense mechanisms are essential to coping with stressful events. For example, humor is an example of a positive defense mechanism that people employ to deal with stress in life. Using humor in a difficult situation allows you to get your feelings out into the open and also brings pleasure to others by making them laugh.
Continue reading “Psychological Projection: Dealing With Undesirable Emotions”
Reverse projection means even if you’re no longer in relationship with your abuser, you may still thing well of her rather than face the truth- she abused you. Being realistic will help you to accept that yes, you were abused, yes, things were bad & yes, you have been adversely affected by it all. Once you admit these things, & only then, can you begin to heal.
And if reverse projection helped you to accept responsibility for being abused, that will create plenty of problems in itself. It’s unhealthy to accept responsibility for being abused because you did nothing wrong! Doing so creates a root of toxic shame inside, & toxic shame creates so many problems. It destroys your self esteem, it sets you up to be abused by others, it makes you unable to accept help when you need it & more. You also are carrying the abuser’s shame when it’s not yours to carry. That shame needs to be laid square on the abuser, never on the victim. Whether or not the abuser carries her own shame is up to her, but it is never your responsibility to carry it! Continue reading “What Is Reverse Projection?”
I’m going to talk about what the narcissist is doing with projection, what it’s actually revealing to you, and how you can use that against them by understanding what their true motives are.
Essentially, all narcissists tell on themselves.
Projection is the process through which they reveal who they are and what they’re doing.
Through projection, they call you what they are. They accuse you of doing what they’re doing or planning on doing. They throw all the uncomfortable feelings onto you because they don’t want to deal with them. They throw their shame on you so they don’t have to deal with it. They make you feel guilty for who they are and what they’re doing because they’re unable to feel that guilt themselves.
So, essentially projection is an unconscious way of denying the existence of something inside oneself and attributing it to others, externalizing it.
This could be unacceptable or unwanted characteristic, flaws, thoughts, emotions, actions, feelings.
It’s a defense mechanism.
Anybody can do this. You can be projecting things onto people and not even realize it.
Continue reading “Projection (The Narcissists’ Weapon that Can Be Used Against Them)”
Projection is a defense mechanism commonly used by abusers, including people with narcissistic or borderline personality disorder and addicts. Basically, they say, “It’s not me, it’s you!” When we project, we are defending ourselves against unconscious impulses or traits, either positive or negative, that we’ve denied in ourselves. Instead we attribute them to others. Our thoughts or feelings about someone or something are too uncomfortable to acknowledge. In our mind we believe that the thought or emotion originates from that other person.
We might imagine, “She hates me,” when we actually hate her. We might think someone else is angry or judgmental, yet are unaware that we are. Similar to projection is externalization, in which we blame others for our problems rather than taking responsibility for our part in causing them. It makes us feel like a victim. Addicts often blame their drinking or drug use on their spouse or boss. Continue reading “Find out how to identify and confront projection and stop abuse.”
Has someone ever told you to stop projecting your feelings onto them? While projecting is often reserved for the world of psychology, there’s a good chance you’ve heard the term used in arguments and heated discussions when people feel attacked.
But what does projection actually mean in this sense? According to Karen R. Koenig, M.Ed, LCSW, projection refers to unconsciously taking unwanted emotions or traits you don’t like about yourself and attributing them to someone else.
A common example is a cheating spouse who suspects their partner is being unfaithful. Instead of acknowledging their own infidelity, they transfer, or project, this behavior onto their partner.
Why do some people project? And is there anything that can help someone to stop projecting? Read on to find out. Continue reading “It’s Not Me, It’s You: Projection Explained in Human Terms”
The phenomena of transference and projection, although solidly accepted in the analytical and psychodynamic schools of psychology in which they originated, are nevertheless complex and often misunderstood concepts. Yet some claim that projection is the single most important phenomenon in psychotherapy.
In this video, Richard Hill helps you understand what transference and projection are, how they develop in a therapeutic relationship, and what forms they tend to take, so that you can recognise them as they occur in your therapy rooms and in your life.
Transference is often related to anger and other relatively hostile emotions. People naturally want to avoid feelings of anger or hurt, so they get on the defensive when faced with an attack. Instead of being vulnerable and acknowledging feelings of pain and hurt feelings, some people instinctually turn the tables and launch a counter-attack. As Leon F. Seltzer, Ph.D., author and clinical psychologist, explains, “…a good deal of our anger is motivated by a desire not to experience guilt… [or] the distressing emotions of hurt and fear.” Transference can be implemented by an individual to distance himself or herself from such feelings.
Failure to acknowledge unwanted emotions can result in the use of potentially destructive defense mechanisms. Collateral damage can take the form of strained relationships and continued low self-esteem or anxiety related to insecurities propelling the defense mechanisms. Behavioral health professionals recommend that individuals examine the negative relationships in their lives to determine whether projection or transference might be at the root of the toxicity.
Projection, one main mechanism of paranoia, is also frequently a symptom of narcissistic and borderline personalities. A person with narcissistic traits who does not respect their partner may say to the partner, “You don’t respect me or see my true worth.” Some individuals with borderline personality may be afraid of losing the people they love and project this fear by frequently accusing friends or partners of planning to leave. However, individuals who project their feelings in this way do not necessarily have either of these conditions.
A person in therapy may be able to address these projections with the help of a qualified mental health professional. When a person can explore the reasons behind any projected feelings, it may be possible to prevent or reduce occurrences of this behavior in the future.
On the other hand, projection frequently functions as a psychological defense against painful internal states (“I am not the person feeling this; you are!”). When people project aspects of the self that are denied, unconscious, and hated and when they distort the object of projection in the process, projection can be felt as invalidating and destructive. At a social level, racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, and other malignant “othering” mindsets have been attributed at least partly to projection. There is research evidence, for example, that men with notably homophobic attitudes have higher-than-average same-sex arousal, of which they are unaware. Projection of disowned states of mind is also a central dynamic in paranoia as traditionally conceptualized. Paranoid states such as fears of persecution, irrational hatred of an individual or group, consuming jealousy in the absence of evidence of betrayal, and the conviction that a desired person desires oneself (i.e., erotomania, the psychology behind stalking) result from the projection of unconscious negative states of mind (e.g., hostility, envy, hatred, contempt, vanity, sadism, lust, greed, weakness, etc.). In other words, paranoia involves both the disowning of a personal tendency and the conviction that this tendency is “coming at” oneself from external sources.