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  1. #1
    Senior Member tinkerbell's Avatar
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    Default Mental Illness and NT's

    Hi

    I'm not having a go at anyone just bring the subject up because I think it's worth a discussion of it's own...

    I've noticed that periodically other types seem to think that NT's are mentally ill - usually because they are different to themselves... Sometime this seems to leave NT's questionning themselve and trying to identify with mental health symptoms...

    Can we get this right out... Mental Illness is the same as physical illenss - it has proper clinical feature and presentations. It requires a qualified professional to diagnose (which usually takes several weeks of observation and therapy ....in the case of mental health).

    There is a MASSive range of what healthy is... A stubbed toe doesn't mean you have broken it, it requires an exray or other diagnostic to be termed broken...

    With mental health there are set ranges of normal - often requiring multiple symptoms to be excessive to build an unhealthy/ill individual.

    If you sat through leactures on mental illnesses - most people would suffer from eveything, because HEALTHY people suffer from the symptoms. Having an odd degree of paranoia is normal, feeling paranoid all the time to the point where it prevents you from living your life - verges on mentally ill... but there would be other presenting factors.

    It seems a very glib thing for other types who are diffrent to point the finger at NT's and say because they are different you are mentally ill. Almost all of them would have no professional qualifications while make such an accusation.

    NT's live quite a lot of time in their heads... are not nessesarily the life and soul of parties and like to have quiet time... they like to think outside boxes - roads less travelled. Because they live in their heads they will consider what you are accusing them off and potentailly talk themselves into having problems...

    Diagnosing someone elses mental health problem is roughtly about as insulting as them calling you a peodophle in a public space... perhaps in your work place... thats they type of level of how much those accusation impact the NT (and yes I'm probably bigging it up to make the point).

    An example of a clinical depression... The person begins to feel blue... they begin to want to do a lot less in terms of their day to day activities... their mood slowly declines to a point where they have suicidal thought (and possibly attempts) there mood may slowly decline where they can't get out of bed and hit a stupor... they may decline further to the point where they wont even get up to go to the bathroom... there mood may then improve to the point where they get out of bed... there mood improved to the point where they have the energy to possibly commit suicide again (yes it's a bell curve)... and so on until they hit the point of better mental health.. They may well self harm at the two points around suidice periods... in that time thy may put thier hand through windows, cut themselves, go swimming in ice cold lakes etc etc basically self harm...

    IF you had a friend, collegue, loved one with a headache - you are unlikely to say it's an intercranial bleed... you may suggest paracetamol or equivelent.. if they continue to have headaches you may even suggest they go to the docotor... but still not suggesting some major illness because you are not qualified.

    Be careful of chucking around terms you've had only limited experience off. A classic term around here is NPD... trust me you can really tell if someone has NPD and you can really tell very easily if someone has been a victim of NPD... It's not just people being anti social and selfish... it is a proper clinical condition..

    Ok I'm ranting... I'm sorry but NT's seem to be the brunt of other types and it bugs me how flippant people are with very heavey conditions....

    Your thoughts please....
    Last edited by tinkerbell; 09-04-2009 at 03:53 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member SerengetiBetty's Avatar
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    Oh yeah I've received my fair share of are you on drugs or do you have XYZ mental disorder in my day, mainly from my family who are primarily ISxJ. But of course I would be the considered the rude on when I compared their personalities to mine and diagnosed them as mentally retarded and depressed.

    NTs are easy to pick on, but luckily for me my male cousins taught me how to fight, so I make a scrappy target

  3. #3
    Senior Member tinkerbell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SerengetiBetty View Post
    Oh yeah I've received my fair share of are you on drugs or do you have XYZ mental disorder in my day, mainly from my family who are primarily ISxJ. But of course I would be the considered the rude on when I compared their personalities to mine and diagnosed them as mentally retarded and depressed.

    NTs are easy to pick on, but luckily for me my male cousins taught me how to fight, so I make a scrappy target

    Fair play to you LOL...

    So many people are trying to FIX NT's... the same people have thier own social issues which they fail to see.

    The sweeping diagnosis really bugs me...

  4. #4
    Senior Member tinkerbell's Avatar
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    Marmalade...
    I mentioned yesterday I would talk to you about personality disorders...

    I worked for 10 years as a nurse for people with mental handicap... which often had psychiatric issues associated (although had a heavier leaning on CBT). I also did module of psychiatry during my training - etc. etc... so I've a far bit of experience but it's a long while ago.

    I'm sensitive about the whole casually labelling of people as being ill because 1. marginal types are when healthy very different from the main stream... (not just an NT issue)... and 2. it's disrespectful (arrogant/nasty) to people who are mentally ill to belittle their illnesses into parlour diagnostic games... pin the tail on the loony.. It burns me... (and almost always it's the person who is saying the other person is a problem that has some issues around being a saviours or there abouts)... Rant over..nearly...

    "Mental illness is often not taken as seriously as physiological illness even though it is very common and can be very debilitating. It is often viewed as moodiness, craziness or a weakness when it is in fact a genuine illness that can be caused by physiological factors. People have as much control over developing a mental illness as they do over catching a cold. Like physical illness, mental illness needs treatment and is not something that someone can just will to go away."

    the above was not for your benefit...

    Anyway yesterday we were talking about Borderline Personality disorder, and you saying that some NPD sufferers fell within the condition (we chatted about clinical features/diagnostic criteria - and I am so with you on the criteria out not to be inclusive of gender - which will give a truer picture of incidence)... ANYWAYs...

    http://www.bpdworld.org/demo-category/106-facts

    Personality disorders | Mind

    Personality disorders are incredibly difficult to treat, and there are varying view on weather or not they are curable or not... typically the bulk of what I've read indicate that incurable - bit of a generalisation - but on the whole some of the symptoms are treated but the underlying factors are untreatable.....

    I've had experience of a bloke (actually two) who had NPD. At the time I met him, his wife had left him and sold the house within a month of the separation (so no reconciliations expected). He was at the time going through emotional pain that was worse than the physical pain experienced by dying peoples pain I'd witnesses while nursing (they had pain relief so not a totally fair comparison). A typical NPD's worst nightmare is that people would leave them... and she had done just that... lock stock and barrel (which in hindsight was probably wise beyond words). He eventually underwent psychotherapy (which is why I believe he was diagnosed - but he had classic symptoms)... The therapist gave him a rough prognosis of requiring 10 years of therapy (he did had major issues) - I better add this is the UK, although she was a private practitioner - they don't tend to be over treating people in the same was as they might in the US.

    Anyways he went to his therapy and was given a variety of different CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy) activities to do. He was attempting to get in touch with his rage... He didn't express his rage previously as he feared people would reject him (he was such a J type).

    (for people who are planning on treating their colleagues to unprofessional DIY therapy in order to play out their therapist fantasy - CBT is a clinical treatment and ought to be respected in the same way as medicating)

    He had some of the classic behavioural issues, compartmentalising people, disempowering people etc etc... at the back of it all he had an appalling relationship with his father (which was not sexual abuse but emotionally abusive - his father felt he wasn't his child. His mother had clinical depression in his childhood and he was an air force child - so very disjoined relationships with people).... Many bit of NPD were not AS obvious..

    At the same time as I knew him I was working with another guy... who I believe probably had the same thing although not diagnosed (the entitlement, rages, disassociation).... I more recently came into contact with him and there was an incident which pretty much confirmed to me he almost certainly suffered... the big difference with this guy was he seemed to be suffering from post traumatic stress.... (which I think is important)

    OK going to post this and will continue...

  5. #5
    Your time is gonna come. Oom's Avatar
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    It's easy to trick yourself into believing that you have a personality disorder when you don't know about anything other than the main causes of the disorders.

    I remember reading about them a few months back and thinking, "I could be about half of these."

    It is interesting that some of these disorders are even disorders at all. Being avoidant of people isn't that much of a disorder, it just happens to be what you've grown into.

  6. #6
    Senior Member tinkerbell's Avatar
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    Ok the second bloke was within my working sphere again recently and there ad been an incident a while ago where I clocked that there was something odd about his responses to a situation... This is based on my nursing experience so I’m not casually saying abnormal....

    Anyway I spent a long time reading up on NPD – all over the web and a few psyc books etc. Pretty much saying there isn’t really treatment.... we can pop you on happy clappy pills but really this condition isn’t going to change.

    I’ve come across the victims (and been a victim myself) of an NPD sufferer and it’s no flippant relationship to have survived... A friend (who’s last relationship was in my mind quite clearly NPD sufferer) recently said “it’s like his real self is locked inside a bird cadge and it’s so nice” but it’s cadge up and you just can’t get too it. If only the doors would open... which is similar to so many victims.... it’s the whole veneer of I’m the perfect man for a while and then this hideously damaged person... both being lies of course... You can realty tell the difference between a g/f who is pain because her man has treated her badly and a victim of an NPD sufferer – the representation is different and the destruction and devastation is in a totally different universe.

    There was only one exception to my research – a web page from Oz.... a wife who was a victim, and her story of how she managed to change his behaviours through really hard work on a day to day bases....

    Narcissism - Support
    (its a bit nauseous in places)

    Its a bit of a lone voice in the wilderness, she took a very rational approach to the problem and her approach fitted with my nursing experience of dealing with VERY disturbed individuals (who are a lot worse than any condition were are talking about here).

    In nursing when caring for people with very disturbed behaviours – a lot of CBT was used, lots of boundaries etc. But the main this was to separate behaviour from the person. You’re a good person but your behaviour is unacceptable. I worked with a spectrum of abilities from people who would head bang, non verbal, etc etc through to people you could rationalise with and get them to be accountable for themselves. A lot of the treatments used were setting boundaries and having consequences....

    The Ozzy lass was doing exactly this – she was self taught, and learning through trial and error to an extent. What was interesting is that she learned many of the practices I had been using in nursing without any training of direction and she was applying it her husband.

    First off she set boundaries about abuse... and had him arrested and charged and prosecuted for domestic violence. Establishing links with people outside the relationship which her husband respected and ensured that they new he had a problem (she is careful not to rant). Kicking the people who were encouraging the abuse out of their lives and keeping them out. Challenging fantasy behaviours, showing her strength to the family. All the while she is reassuring him that she is not going to leave him or kick him out for good, but when he is not behaving well she kicked him out. Working on her own self esteem and developing coping mechanics which disempowered him. Rejecting promises of things being better tomorrow – rewarding good behaviour not talk.

    Ultimately this woman separated the emotional person with the behaviours... nurtured the emotional side and managing his behaviour ruthlessly while working on empowering herself. She owns that she mothered him for a good while, in order to help establish and maintain attachment and as he got better she needed to do this less.

    Of course this could be a load of old rubbish, she may be an internet scammer etc... but it rings too true for me...

    Continued....

  7. #7
    Senior Member tinkerbell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oom View Post
    It's easy to trick yourself into believing that you have a personality disorder when you don't know about anything other than the main causes of the disorders.

    I remember reading about them a few months back and thinking, "I could be about half of these."

    It is interesting that some of these disorders are even disorders at all. Being avoidant of people isn't that much of a disorder, it just happens to be what you've grown into.
    yes exactly, huge difference between an illness and a normal personality trait....

    Beleive me there is a huge difference between an NPD sufferer and an arogant, nasty self absorbed person... Niether are pleasant, the second may make you want to scream, the first is likely to make you want to visit victim support...

  8. #8
    Senior Member tinkerbell's Avatar
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    Having read this (and all the other stuff)... it struck me how little we are taught to protect our self esteems.... I see self esteem as being the emotional health shielded against the world. It equates to the physical bodies skin....

    If you imagine cutting your arm – it hurts, blood cells fill, it clots etc etc... the skin is red and argy around the wound, it is hotter etc. If you run your finger along your arm to be closer eventually it meets the tender part of the wound and then the painful part.

    With physical health your body can’t remember pain... you know conceptually to cut or burn yourself hurts... but usually you can’t re create the pain in your head. So there isn’t repeated physical pain.

    With emotional health this is different. I read a hippy/Buddhist/new age book on silent power – which had an interesting concept about emotional self which is cooky but interesting. The concept was that the emotions are ethereal and live outside the physical body – like an aura (or cloud). When you walk into a room you can gauge peoples emotional state without anyone saying anything – because the cloud is external... its why emotional distress can be communicated and contagious between people without much dialogue... If you hang out with depressed people often your mood is lowered. (as a side note there is an esoteric belief that if you fully submerge your body in water that this refreshes your aura – which may be related to the practice of baptism – but I digress).

    The major differences between the physical and emotional self is that the emotional self is invisible, so can be damaged without being seen by the person, or outer world, and that you have memory of emotional pain. You can recreate the feeling of having been abandoned or hurt... Which physically you can not do.

    The relationship between the physical and emotional is powerful. Emotions drive a huge amount of physical problems... eating disorders (over and under weight), headaches, stress (causing heart problems), GI upsets (ulcers, IBS etc), sleeplessness (which impacts skin) etc etc.. as well as things like depression, low mental dexterity etc... These are typically symptoms of emotional problems. You can have a GI upset because you’ve got a bug OR because you’re so anxious that your GI tract is absorbing that negativity. Clearly the flip is you can get emotional about physical problems (which seems to happen a lot less f the time I think).

    As kids we are taught to look after our physical bodies... wash them, cutting nails, hair, etc etc... most of us know what to do if our bodies get damaged – to an extent. We are not taught to look after our emotional selves.

    The equivalent to the skin/physical bodies HEALTHY defence mechanism is the self esteem... The emotional health’s defence mechanism is self esteem. I see self esteem like this....

    A tall tumbler glass filled with fluid... It’s made up of three components (within the glass). Self derived self esteem is one liquid.... this is gained through feeling good about yourself, valuing the things you do, things you feel good about (no showcases involved). The second component is externally sources self esteem – that which you see from other people, approval, them telling you your great etc And the final component is air... by that I mean the bit of the glass that is empty.

    The healthy self esteem is made up of 65-75% self derived (the proportions are guesses), the rest is made up of externally sources self esteem. There is no air... you have an intact self esteem.

    There are variations on unhealthy...

    1. The glass has an air gap = lacking sufficient quantities of self esteem
    2. The glass has too much self derived = arrogant, self opinionated twits... up to total egoists
    3. The glass had too much externally sources = ranging from low confidence to NPD
    4. The whole glass is too small – which means there are more extreme defensive/attack behaviours (see below)

    I’ll come back to this...

    When the physical bodies defences stop working – the body starts doing unusual things, sometimes to the point of auto immune conditions etc... this is when the defences are over stretched. Basically the body becomes unwell, is treated medically etc...

    When the Self esteem stops working – the person gets aggressive, defensive, vindictive etc... extreme attack mechanics... (triggered more with type 1, 3 and 4 esteem issues).

    FYI I’m making terms up to communicate my thoughts, they don’t necessarily stack up in professional health.

    Anyway having done all this research and particularly the NPD link to the “cure” site – if you trawl through her treatment path...

    She manages behaviour
    She manages relationship practicalities including outing the cause of the issue
    She manages her support net
    And finally she works on his self esteem issue – which I think lies at the heart of NPD and BPD

    TBC

  9. #9
    Senior Member tinkerbell's Avatar
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    NPD and BPD have some relationship to post traumatic stress (as you could expect given the types of etiology)..

    PTS has as part of it’s clinical features something called a state of hyper vigilance – where the person is overly aware of possible threat (rape victims often suffer from this). The horizon scanning for potential danger is overly acute.

    When the emotional health’s defence mechanisms fail the person does a variety of extreme defence mechanics... some of these are unconscious/semi conscious (atomic and parasympathetic responses such as fight or flight etc). (again some of the reason I was getting snotty with peoples surprise at ENTPs getting snotty about being “attacked” by them). Weather controlled or uncontrolled these bad boys kick in once the self esteem is overwhelmed.

    So treatment is to work with the person on building up a positive self derived self esteem and managing the response to over reaction of hyper vigilant states.

    The second chap I mentioned had from what I could see a very externally sources self esteem. I spent a lot of times responded to questions about “how did you think that went” to turning it around “how did you think that went”. We got chatting one day about new years resolutions and I’d said I was really proud that I’d managed to get myself out of the habit of wearing training shoes to work... his response was something along the lines of “well that’s not that difficult is it”. Which got me thinking that perhaps there is a need to teach people how to generate positively derived self esteem...

    Lack of or zero self derived self esteem seems to be the root of what is going on for NPD sufferers...

    That therapists spend so much time managing the behavioural issues, hyper vigilance and doing the psychoanalysis on the cause that the root problem of SE seems to be poorly addresses.

    IF the SE issue was rebalanced both type 4 and type 3 SE issues (and probably type 1), would improve remarkably, this then lowers the need for the extreme defence mechanics.

    Building positive health to fix and illness is how eastern medicine works (western medicine is focused on symptom management and solving the problem), the eastern theory is that you body is designed to fight off illness, if the body is feeling well then you’re in the best possible shape to battle.

    Hence if treatment focused on building the self esteem up to the point the destructive emo health were not needed would likely be far simpler than cutting through CBT, psyco therapy etc etc....

    Ok sorry it’s been such a long post, I don’t typically like long scripts but I felt it needs background of where thinking had come from....

    OK I'm DONE.

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