Sunday, June 02, 2013

Personality Disorders and Psychological Type (MBTI)

Many of us are 'on the spectrum' for some kind of 'personality disorder'; if you know your Myers-Briggs personality type (test here) you may recognise some pathological traits in yourself.

As an INTP I recognise a personal connection both with Schizoid personality disorder and the Asperger's syndrome spectrum (though I wouldn't say I'm clinical).

The following text is reprinted from here: a list of the symptoms of the ten most common personality disorders can be found here.
"Each type's dark side is occasionally manifested in personality disorders. Personality disorders, of which there are ten main types, consist of a series of symptoms which make it difficult to get along smoothly with others and adapt to society. Behaviours of those with such disorders are frequently irritating to people around them. When you learn about the 16 MBTI types it should make sense that some types are more prone to certain personality disorders than other types. Keep in mind that these are hypotheses and not based on any actual data.

Those who are paranoid generally believe that everyone is trying to harm them. This notion causes hostility, emotional detachment, and distrust of others. Such aversive behaviors are likely to be found in Introverted Thinkers. IxTx types are the most detached and wary; taken to the extreme, paranoia takes hold of their minds. [ISTJ, ISTP, INTJ, INTP].

Schizoid personality disorder is somewhat similar to the previous one. It entails a lack of willingness to engage in social interaction and emotional expression. Again, sounds like a fitting disorder for an IxTx. They appear indifferent to the outside world. But not only are they indifferent, they are unable to pick up on social cues. ISTxs, who are more observant than their iNtuitive counterparts, are often able to read nonverbal behavior. That leaves the schizoids with INTx. Schizoids resembles those with Asperger's syndrome, which contains mainly INTxs. [INTJ, INTP].

Next we'll talk about schizotypical people. There's only one type in particular that this personality disorder would affect. First of all, they have quite odd behavior, dress, beliefs, and perceptions. Combined with indifference to others, discomfort in close relationships, and stunted emotional expression, we're already at INTx. J or P? Well, schizotypical people often succumb to magical thinking, and they believe that symbolic messages are hidden just for them. This pattern of thought reflects Introverted iNtuition. [INTJ].

Antisocial personality disorder is the tendency to disregard safety, behave violently, break the law, and violate others' rights. Antisocial people have a general disregard for others, and they tend to lie and steal. This is clear xSTP behavior.  [ESTP, ISTP].

People who have borderline personality disorder are fundamentally different from what we have discussed so far. Instead of withdrawing sharply, they are often overly expressive. They fear being alone (E), have unstable moods and volatile relationships (F), and tend to be risky and impulsive (SP). This would suggest ESFP, but borderline people also exhibit suicidal behavior, an INFP trait. I suppose we can overlook this discrepancy, however, since those who are flawed in such a way may naturally consider suicide. [ESFP].

Histrionic personality disorder is like the one above. People with this disorder are excessively emotional and sensitive to what others say (F), constantly seeking attention (E), and concerned with their physical appearance (S). It follows that a histrionic person is more often than not an ESFx. [ESFJ, ESFP].

Narcissistic personality disorder is a condition in which one believes that they are superior to everyone else. They fantasize and exaggerate their abilities and self-worth (N), expect constant praise from others (E), and are insensitive to others' emotions (T). In reality, you'll probably find that the most arrogant people out there are ENTxs. [ENTJ, ENTP].

Those with avoidant personality disorder are much the opposite of the previous one. Their extreme shyness, timidity, and sensitivity combined with their social isolation and feelings of inadequacy indicates some variation of IxFx.   [ISFJ, ISFP, INFJ, INFP].

Next is dependent personality disorder, which, like schizotypical and borderline, mostly affects a single type. People with this condition behave submissively towards others, show a desire to be taken care of, tolerate abusive treatment, and feel the need to start a new relationship when one has ended. This closely resembles the negative part of the ISFJ profile.  [ISFJ].

Lastly, we'll take a look at obsessive compulsive personality disorder. These individuals are overly concerned with rules and orderliness, strive for perfectionism, are highly inflexible, and have a strong desire to be in control of situations. This description just screams xSTJ.  [ESTJ, ISTJ].

Types that may have a personality disorder:
INTJ (3), INTP (2), ISTP (2), ISTJ (2), ESFP (2), ISFJ (2), ESTP (1), ESFJ (1), ESTJ (1), ENTJ (1), ENTP (1), ISFP (1), INFJ (1), INFP (1)

Types not associated with a disorder: ENFJ, ENFP
As you can see, INTJ comes on top as being the type most likely to suffer from a personality disorder. And for some reason, neither of the Extraverted Idealists are particularly prone to any of the ten.

This, of course, raises some questions worth contemplating - what is it about the INTJ's thinking that makes them this way? What is so special about the ENFxs that they get to avoid these conditions?"