Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

The narcissistic behavior pattern is one of total intense self-love and adoration. Like in the Greek myth in which a boy named Narcissus fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water, these individuals are totally self-absorbed. These individuals exaggerate their own worth, talents, and accomplishments and they expect recognition for their wonderful superiority. They have strong fantasies of their own high success, genius, beauty or ideal love and they require great admiration from others as well as special treatment. This overblown sense of self-importance leads to arrogant and superior attitudes, a deep lack of empathy for the needs and feelings of others, and the expectation of special treatment and association with only superior people and institutions. These individuals are often jealous and exploitive of others and see them as being inferior to themselves.

A Representative Example

A lady complained that her date for a first (and last) evening talked only of himself, and never once asked her anything about herself. For much of the evening she indulged his selfish one-sided conversation. When she finally told him that he was rude and self-centered and apparently had little interest in who she was, he reacted with laughter and a hint of righteous indignation stating: "of course I talked about myself, I am the most interesting person that I have ever met!"

Possible Causes

Narcissistic personality disorder has traditionally been thought to be a very strong hand hard to penetrate defense against a terrible fear of inferiority. Some researchers think that these behavior patterns are reaction to cold and rejecting parents. The idea is that narcissistic defenses of dramatic self-love and over-confidence in their perfection helps these individuals to cope with feelings of worthlessness caused by a history of abuse, death of a parent, Parental divorce, or adoption.

A more contemporary theory is that Narcissistic behaviors are learned when children are treated with too much adoration and favor. From this perspective, children learn to overestimate their own "wonderfulness". This mechanism seems to be involved because first borns and only children are known to be more Narcissistic than are later children from larger families.

It is also suspected that a present breakdown in our culture may lead to children who are, and remain, impulsive, self-centered, and highly materialistic. From this perspective, we are in an age of selfishness or generational narcissism.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Antisocial Personality Disorder

This destructive personality disorder tends to emerge from childhood patterns of a disregard for the feelings and rights of others and for family, institutional, or social conventions,rules and laws. Childhood diagnoses for such behavior patterns are Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Conduct Disorder. These disorders are listed under Axis I in the DSM-IV. I have presented them here with Axis II disorders because I think it is important that you see the tendency of these childhood problems to evolve into similar but more fully developed adult behavior patterns. It does not always happen, but all too frequently these behavior patterns tend to develop through one or two other child and adolescent diagnoses into its fully mature manifestation known as Antisocial Personality Disorder. The developmental steps toward the fully mature personality disorder are as follows:

In Oppositional Defiant Disorder, children challenge adult rules and demands, argue with adults, have often have bad temper problems, lie and blame others for their troubles. These problems normally start before puberty at around eight years of age.

Conduct Disorder is a more severe pattern of problem behaviors in which the rights of others are frequently violated. These children often lie, cheat, damage property, and run away from school and/or home. They may often aggress against others and may even hurt animals for entertainment. Other illegal activities such a robbery, extortion, rape, and murder may also occur in extreme cases. Conduct disorder can start sometime before 10 years or in later adolescence.

When an individual reaches the age of 18 years and still shows the enough of the previously mentioned behavior patterns they will be diagnosed as antisocial personality disorder. Individuals showing these behavior patterns are also sometimes called "sociopaths" or "psychopaths"; the names may change--but the behaviors the same.

As adults, these people show a strong disregard for the rights of others and the rule of law. They appear to have failed to develop the ability to empathize with others and they do not suffer conscious pangs of consciousness if they hurt or kill others. They are impulsive, seek thrills, take risks, are unreliable, spend money foolishly, can be irritable and aggressive, and have trouble maintaining close relationships with anyone. The motto for this category of diagnosis may be "if I want it---I'll take it, if it feels good---I'll do it: lying, cheating, manipulating, and stealing is good fun."

A Representative Example

Not surprisingly, these individuals have problems with drug and alcohol addiction and are often sentenced to prison for criminal behavior. Charles Manson is often cited as someone who shows many of the features of antisocial personality disorder, as well as other psychological problems.

A thirty year old man sought help from a therapist because he claimed to be having problems with his wife and wished to leave her for his girlfriend, of over one year. He attended only several sessions and attempted to persuade the therapist that leaving his wife and four children for his girlfriend was the right thing for him to do.

He contended that his wife was unstable. When the therapist discussed his responsibilities to his wife and children, and his moral obligation to work on his problem (actually only his reported “problem”) he did not return. Predictably he did not pay the bill for his sessions.

It was apparent that he was seeking a psychologist to support him in an impending court battle with his wife. At the start of the first session, this individual, with unmistakable pride and pleasure, reeled off a report of the drugs he had taken (nearly all that we might think of), the fights, the high speed chases with the police, fires that he set, a car he blew up, a "knee capping" ("shoot the guy in the knee cap --it won't kill them but it will hurt like hell--and others won't mess with you anymore"), and a stint in prison. He seemed excited to tell the therapist what he called the "Sicilian Motto": "The sweetest form of forgiveness is revenge!" Yes, these and similar behavior patterns extended back into this man's childhood; and yes, the diagnosis was antisocial personality disorder.

As you may already surmised, his wife’s psychological problems were largely a result of living with him. She would eventually divorce him, but he would remain a very damaging factor in his children’s lives. If he would remain connected to him, which is doubtful, he would be a very bad model for them to imitate. If he deserted them, they would suffer feelings of abandonment for the rest of their lives. It is common for such divorcing personality disordered individuals to remain unreliably connected to their ex spouses and children to frustrate and torture their ex and to propagandize their children against her or him. They will frequently spend significant sums of money and time to hire lawyers to drain their meager funds with legal fees and make them miserable.

The above is a strong example of how behavioral contagion can damage others who are associated with someone who suffers from a serious personality disorder. Unfortunately, research strongly indicates that anti-social personality disorder has a significant heritability factor and so behavior patterns similar to those of the problem parent are more likely to show-up in the children as they mature.

Suspected Causes


Antisocial personality disorder is perhaps the best researched of all the personality disorders. There is strong evidence that tendencies to show antisocial personality disorder can be inherited. Many studies have demonstrated elevated correlations in antisocial behavior of within families.

While some of the similarities could be due to imitation factors, children adopted and raised by adoptive parents still show stronger correlations for antisocial behavior with their biological parents than with their adoptive parents.

There is evidence that individuals with antisocial tendencies have slower central nervous systems, lower levels of autonomic nervous system arousal and slower skin conductance than normal individuals. They crave excitement and are not much affected by punishing consequences for their inappropriate behavior. One of the earmarks such individuals is their failure to learn from their painful experiences.


Antisocial personality disordered individuals are very likely to have lived in families that experienced poverty, disorganization, discord, family violence, divorce, abuse and abandonment. Presumably as a result of this, antisocial individuals do not trust others and they lack the moral development and interpersonal empathy so important to normal social relationships.

It is also thought that antisocial parents may teach their children to behave in similar ways through their modeling these behavior patterns and children learning to imitate them. Furthermore, it is very possible that when children tantrum, argue, and become aggressive to parental instructions that parents may "give-in" and terminate their demands, thereby teaching the children to behave in these oppositional and coercive ways to authority figures.

It should also be noted that Children diagnosed with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder seem to at an increased risk of eventually being diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder.

It is likely that any, or all, of these factors could contribute to the development of antisocial personality disorder in any specific case.

If these behavior pattern emerge in your family, seek help early from an experienced psychologist. Protect yourselves from association with others who show antisocial tendencies and vote for representatives who will work to reduce the growth of these behavioral tendencies
within our population.

Dr. Tom, 3/27/10

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Schizotypal Personality Disorder

Schizotypal Personality Disorder

Schizotypal symptoms are truly odd. These individuals do not quite meet the requirements for a diagnosis of schizophrenia (a more serious disorder), but they show many milder similarities ---minus the verbal incoherence and complete loss of touch with reality as seen in active schizophrenia. Schizotypal symptoms include ideas of reference (the words of a popular song “are instructions for me to do something”), strange superstitions, the feeling that they can “read minds”, or that they can see the world through a "sixth sense" (seeing ghosts). These individuals think and talk in odd ways that are elaborate but vague and complicated; their thinking is paranoid in nature; they show inappropriate or flattened emotions; lack close friends outside of their immediate family; and they show excessive social anxiety and suspicions fears. People with this disorder are at risk for suicide attempts and to be hospitalized with other mental psychological problems.

A Representative Example

The mother brought her child for treatment because he was overly-interested in weapons, combat games, and always wanted to dress in black. The mother showed distinct features of schizotypal personality disorder in that she believed that she could communicate with her dead relatives when she was in a certain mental state. The state she described was that of being tired enough to go to sleep, yet not quit being sleep: but she also had to be in a high state of need or desire to communicate which in order to achieve success. Her mood while elaborately describing this process was high, almost giddy. At times she would become extremely serious and lower her voice to a whisper. The lady also said that she could detect "life forms" in a room without ever seeing them. She proceeded to describe times when she could feel them and later discovered a family pet sleeping behind a piece of furniture. She swore that she had seen the ghost of a former pet (a black puppy wearing a red collar under a table) and asked her therapist not to show skepticism about this event to her son.

Suspected Causes

Schizotypal personality disorder is thought to be associated with odd and confusing family communication styles and may also have a genetic basis. This personality disorder may have biological similarities to schizophrenia Increased levels of the neurotransmitter, dopamine, and enlarged brain ventricles as well as attentional deficits occur in both disorders. There is correlational evidence that relatives of depressed individuals are more likely to show schizotypal disorder. The reverse is also true.

Dr. Tom, 3/15/10

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Schizoid Personality Disorder: Treat Your Children Well.

Schizoid Personality Disorder: Treat Your Children Well.

Schizoid Personality Disorder

People who show these behavior patterns are detached from social relationships with others, including their family. They do not want, and do not enjoy, the company of others. They prefer to be alone and normally choose hobbies and vocational activities accordingly. They lack close friends, tend to be unaffected by praise or criticism, and appear cold, aloof, detached, and without emotions.

A Fictitious Example

A family was referred to a psychologist for therapy and parent training by the regional Welfare Department. The children were dirty and showed many other signs of neglect and abuse. The mother was of borderline-normal intelligence and lacked the skills, motivation, and knowledge to care for her children. The father was a cross country truck driver who spent vast amounts of time alone while working. During time-off, while at home, he seldom interacted with the members of his family except to handle the routine matters of cohabitation: vehicle and house repairs, finances, transportation, etc. He had no close friends and refused to attend various social functions. The father encountered the psychologist, and obtained a diagnosis, because of an agency referral of his family. As is typical, was not a bad person and he did not hate people, he was not interested in changing his ways and preferred to be left alone.

Suspected Causes

Schizoid personality disordered individuals frequently have suffered various kinds of neglect and/or physical abuse as well as rejection and various forms of hostility from others. For example this man’s own father was deserted by his mother during his first year. He was raised by his maternal grandparents who were cold, rejecting and abusive to him. He recounted being forced to eat strong tasting fish until it gaged him and caused him to vomit onto his plate at the table. He was then force to eat his vomit. He was made to stand outside in the cold for long periods because he upset his grandmother. When he failed to let the dog out on schedule, the dogs excrement was picked up by his grandmother and thrown in his face.

Most folks would understand why he might not wish to be close with other human beings. The only problem is that to create emotionally healthy children, one needs the ability to feel warmth and love for them and to also spend quality time with them.

Treat your children well.

Dr. Tom, 3/21/10

Monday, March 15, 2010

Population Psychological Problems Reciprocally Related To Cultural Decline

Population Psychological Problems Reciprocally Related To Cultural Decline

It is not a simple relationship, but one that swirls back upon itself. Psychological disorders cause cultural decline and they are produced by cultural decline. This synergistic causal whirlwind is taking America down.

Personality disorders are deeply ingrained inflexible and maladaptive “traits” or ways of behaving. My use of the word “behaving” includes ways of thinking (“I can’t take care of myself” or “I am such a looser”); and having emotions (often becoming frantically upset or unable to feel emotions); perceiving (“they are laughing at me” or “they are out to get me”). A few examples of the behaviors that may be shown by those who have personality disorders are habitual lying, breaking the law, acting superior to everyone else, being abusive to others. As you will soon see, there are many other examples of damaging and distressing ways in which people think, perceive, emote, and act.
Personality disorders usually start to show themselves in adolescence or young adulthood and they are highly resistant to change. Personality disorders normally persist a life-time.

When someone has a personality disorder these characteristic damaging personality patterns will show themselves across a wide variety of settings and social situations and they generally hurt the individuals ability to work, play, and have close relations with others. More importantly they hurt other people with whom the personality disordered individual interacts.

Naturally the examples of problem behavior patterns that I have provided (there are many more) are hurtful and crippling to the individual who shows them. But, everyone fails to appreciate the trauma experienced by others who’s lives are damaged and sometimes ruined by the actions of those with personality disorders. This tunnel vision which focuses only upon the self-defeating nature of the one with the personality disorder blinds us to costs to the socioculture of such individuals. The damage of personality disorders spreads from the troubled individual to others who come in contact with them (employers, friends, spouses, children, and other family members). In cases of criminal behavior, those damaged may be unsuspecting strangers who have not elected to associate with the disordered individual.

Do not forget that the damaging effects of a personality disorder are damaging to the many people who interact with the individual who has this psychological problem. The negative effects of these behaviors can be very contagious to others.

Dr. Tom 3/15/10

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Born Again American

“Born Again American“

You must open the following dedication to America. It is guaranteed to move and inspire you.

Thank you, dear brother Mark, for sending this my way. It is a profound and moving piece of work.


Dr. Tom

Friday, March 5, 2010

Repect For Mother

Respect For Mother

I can't count the times that I have heard mothers complain that their children do not respect them: that they sass them, call them names, refuse to follow their instructions and even assult them. The mothers then report that when their husband walks in,the children begin to behave like "angels".

Well what is going on in these households?

This all too common pattern of disrespect for mothers and respect for fathers could have numerous causes. The following is a list of some likely causes that easily come to mind:

1. The father has appropriately disciplined the children. He uses rewards for good behavior and moderate forms of punishment for persistent or dangerous bad behavior.

2. The father has over-used corporal punishment and the children are afraid of him.

3. The father has a violent temper and the children are afraid of him.

3. The mother is permissive and has not used methods identified in #1.

4. The mother does not think she is permissive because she yells, speaks harshly to her children often and frequently threatens them with dire consequences, but does not use the methods in #1. This means the mother is emotionally abusive and permissive at the same time.

4. The mother does not think she is permissive because she explains over and over why the children should not behave badly and why they should be good. This means the mother is indulgent and permissive at the same time.

5. The father is bigger, stronger, his voice is lower, he speaks more directly and he more often says what he means and means what he says. Also, he is less likely to back down from a confrontation with his children.

If you are a mother or a father, the best way to earn and keep the repect of your children is to earn it using cause # 1. Please note that mothers can also fit the bill with # 5.

Dr. Tom 3/13/10

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Another Dead Girl

Another Dead Girl

I woke up again to the news: Another dead girl, killed by a homicidal sexual predator. Over and over again our beautiful children and young women are sexually savaged and brutally killed. Why?!

In 1967, President Johnson appointed a commission on Obscenity and Pornography. In 1970, that commission reported that there was no evidence that exposure to explicit material led to antisocial behavior.

In 1973, the supreme court (Miller v. California) produced a ruling that made censorship of sexually explicit materials almost impossible.

In 1985, The Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography reviewed updated research of improved design, and published conclusions that contradicted the 1970 no harm report. It stated that the 1970’s report was “starkly obsolete”.

The ”newly identified” harmful effects of pornography were attributed to violent and degrading pornography. The primary mode of damage was considered to be through modeling and imitation. Modeling and imitation is a highly researched and profoundly powerful mode of psychological influence. This is another example of science proving the obvious, because this was a historically cultural-wide forgone conclusion, as well as the reason for America’s laws against pornography in the first place.

But it was too late. We had opened another of Pandora’s Boxes. The infrastructure of Hollywood, the exploding internet, and the billions of dollars to be made through the production and marketing of pornography promised untold riches to the naked puppets and the producers of the gateway drug to sexual mayhem in America and throughout the world.

So many fools bought the legal/governmental assertion that the 1st Amendment should protect florid and vivid ”anal escapades”, “money shots”, “golden showers”, “torrid teens”, and Sado/masochistic depictions that so excited the masses of adults and their children. The children whose sexual appetites and mental scripts for their actions have increasingly been shaped by the sexual depictions of the pornography industry.

Through all of this, our increasingly sex addicted population never perceived its revenue addicted government lusting for the new tax revenues that the legalized pornography would bring them.

A mutual masturbatory relationship made in hell that has created hell on earth.

To those who will criticize my take on the legalization of pornography. I am aware that there are multiple determinants of sex crimes and damaging sexual activities in our population. Say what you will. Nothing mitigates the damaging effects of legalized Porn.

The following is something that I wrote a long time ago, after one of my many professional encounters with the horrors of the pornification of America.


His aunt brought him to me thinking I might be able to help. The nine-year-old’s mother had drugged him and performed a variety of sex acts with him while her boyfriend video-taped their actions. They abandoned the child and would try to market the videotape.

I tried everything but he would not talk. His face was empty, as though his life had been ripped from deep within him. The child complied with his aunt’s requests to sit and to look at me, but he never spoke. There were no tears or fear, only emptiness.

The aunt told me that she was caring for the boy. She said that she would be moving from the area within the week and thought that a session with a psychologist would help.

The session did not help, nor would dozens of sessions have helped.

What will become of this child and the countless others like him?

It is likely that they, like those who damaged them, will spread their dark and silent eyes among the children in their lives.

The most destructive force of all: psychopathogenic contagion.

V.T. Mawhinney


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Reasoning With Young Children.

Reasoning With Young Children

Reason with your children whenever you can. Attempt to influence them by pointing out the good or bad effects that their behavior will have upon themselves and others.

You can do some reasoning even with very Young children. Explain to your two year old that she must not ride her tricycle into the street because a car might hit her. Tell her she must not play with knives because they are very sharp and will cut her; show her how easily a knife can cut something. Explain that throwing sand in the sandbox is bad because it may get into their eyes and hurt them.

Tell your child how her behavior will affect others. When you see that she is changing her ways, praise her for here good behaviors and being smart. Be certain to reason with your child while she is behaving appropriately. With this positive approach, you would reason with your child and praise her for riding her bike in the driveway or playing nicely in the sandbox.

Reasoning is very important, but combine it with praising good behavior for the best results.

Dr. Tom 3/2/2010