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Re: HAPPYFLOWER!! Please understand!!

Posted by Jost on June 28, 2006, at 23:58:29

In reply to HAPPYFLOWER!! Please understand!! llrrrpp, posted by sleepygirl on June 28, 2006, at 22:09:08

> I have to say this because you seem so upset and I don't want it to be so!!...
> Please understand that the personality disorder "label" is a controversial one! a lot of people don't realize how much so! I would guess that that's what people are reacting to as opposed to you personally.
> It is difficult to separate the "humanity" from the symptoms...if that at all makes sense?? so consequently the personality disorder diagnoses are difficult to hear sometimes......
> not because the symptoms aren't true, but because of the stigma that is felt to go along with them - it is a truly complicated issue which I do not hope to clarify here

This is so true. There's tremendous controversy about PDs, not only theoretically, but in individual cases. When you read the literature more widely, happyflower, you'll realize that these categories are used idiosyncratically by the Ts and Pdocs who do use them-- Moreover, many Ts don't find them useful at all. There's a lot of writing about the way these categories, esp, Borderline PD, or Narcissistic PD, or Anti-social PD, can tend to be used when a T is uncomfortable with a P, or doesn't know how to help, and finds it disturbing.

I wanted to write about this because these names or supposed dxs can be destructive and undermining to people who are being diagnosed-- and if there are those lurking who feel hurt or condemned by having been labeled in that way, I'd want to emphasize that these aren't stable, or even terribly meaningful names.

The reason textbooks talk about them, and cite studies and so forth is because they're giving students a language, and explaining the terrain-- and doing it as if it's literally true, instead of more-- a rather imprecise--although perhaps not entirely wrong-- and subjective way of trying to contain things that are hard to contain--trying to give shape to shifting and not-well-understood ways of being.

No one truly knows if anyone's difficulties can be overcome, because that depends on human aspirations, strengths, and growth, and also the vicissitudes of who anyone becomes involved with, and how life treats them, over time. None of which can be known, or diagnosed or measured.

It's great that happyflower is learning a lot about a complex field, and it's understandable that she is struck by the intrigue and explanatory power of these systems. The limitations of this explanatory power, and the darker side of their use and meaning hasn't become visible yet to her, it seems.

I'm sorry she's been hurt by the discussion. I'm sure she didn't mean any harm by it. I'm also sorry that Dinah and others have been hurt.




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