Personality Disorders: Living with Drama, a four-part series
This week, we'll explore the human personality, specifically focusing on the differences between what is considered "normal" personalities and those referred to as personality disorders.
A "normal" personality can be characterized as a stable set of traits, behaviors, and feelings that are both consistent over time and across different situations. We all have unique ways of thinking, feeling, behaving, and relating to others, which create our personality.
In contrast, personality disorders manifest when these traits become inflexible, maladaptive and significantly impair a person's relationship with themselves and others. A personality disorder isn't simply an amplified and dysfunctional version of a personality trait but a complex and often debilitating view of oneself and the world.
An excellent way to understand personality disorders is by considering what my friend and colleague Dr. Keith Witt calls the "drama triangle." A drama triangle manifests when individuals shift between the roles of victim, persecutor, and rescuer. While we may all fall into these roles occasionally, individuals with personality disorders present these roles frequently and consistently.
As we journey through this week's essays, we'll delve deeper into specific personality disorders such as Avoidant, Borderline, Narcissistic, and Obsessive-Compulsive. In addition, we'll explore if and how individuals with personality disorders can change, the role of therapy, and how you can interact effectively with someone with a personality disorder.
I encourage you to reflect on these ideas. How do you see personality traits showing up in your life and in those around you? Do you recognize the roles of the drama triangle in your interactions?
Join me on this exploration as we endeavor to deepen our understanding and empathy toward those struggling with personality disorders.
Wishing you abundant health, happiness, and prosperity,