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Re: personality disorders. violette

Posted by Free on September 2, 2010, at 3:01:44

In reply to Re: personality disorders, posted by violette on September 1, 2010, at 13:27:41

Violette,

This post really resonates with me, and it could not have come at a better time. Your analysis clarifies my fundamental issues and gives me much needed insights into my recent losses. Being inside my head too often has made it difficult to see through the painful fragmentations, so, thank you for indirectly helping me get through a very tough day. Your post will be my agenda for therapy next week.

I enjoy your frank, no-nonsense style by the way. :)

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> Hi Phillipa,
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> Middle age can be relative, but there are some commonalities of things associated with middle age which are the obvious.... Why a person would crash is something unique to each person and can likely be determined in therapy. But there are some reoccuring scenerios I've read about:
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> People sometimes hold an idealized image of themself..when something happens, it can cause a person's reality to no longer 'match' how they viewed themself...this is sort of a 'midlife crisis'. This can happen when someone starts to age and loses looks, energy, etc. People often get divorced at this age. Someone left by a spouse starts to think about what they are now lacking-where before, they did not see it. This breaks the idealized image and a person gets depression. Sometimes it can be overcome (much like losses in general), but if not, there were probably ongoing emotional problems, and the relationship filled a void within that person. The void is now wide open, unfilled, and in the person's cognitive awareness....before it was unconscious. Major depression.
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> Same with work. A person middle aged would have a higher probability of being an experienced worker...and an experienced person in their career who views themself as a hard worker, dedicated employee, intelligent, maybe workaholic in their career-gets passed up for the promotion. They start to question themself, seeing things they are lacking, where before, it was masked. Again, the job filled a void in a person's self esteem. The void was there all along, but the person sort of merged their identiy a bit with work to escape painful emotions associated with low self-esteem.
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> Losses affect most people in all different ways. But it's important to determine if the loss triggered ongoing, but unconscious, issues or is 'normal' grieving. There is no right/wrong way to grieve, but if the loss was integrated into your identity, depending upon the extent you used whatever filled a void, or how deep the void is, you can have a mental breakdown because now your maladaptive coping mechanism is gone...
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> Empty nest scenerio:
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> Someone with codependent traits spent much of their life taking care of others, tending to others' needs while unconsciously denying their own needs as it can be very painful to acknowledge unmet emotional needs if they surfaced in awareness...so taking care of others can fill a void. When the kids move out, they no longer have that role to mask emotional pain and begin to feel empty, useless...If there's enough emotional health to begin with, a person will adapt and overcome those feelings in healthy ways. If there were ongoing emotional problems, a person will either stay in that state or decline if emotional issues are still ignored....
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> A 'nervous breakdown' can be related to the above, where a person's reality they created is shattered, and they fragment. Another way to illustrate 'keeping it together' until middle age is using defense mechanisms and internal confict. I've talked about this alot, so I'll just mention that it sucks up alot of mental energy to defend against emotions; eventually the brain gets tired and people start to get concentration or memory problems, lack of motivation, dysthmia and other symptoms.
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> Internal conflict is basically defending against emotions that have no outlet because you disavow them at the same time (in all sorts of ways). For the empty next scenerio, the lack of getting one's own needs met is trying to surface-unackowledged and unfulfilled dependency needs-while your mind has been trying to prevent those emotions from surfacing for years. Before, it was easier to focus on others' needs (children). Now, it's more difficult to contain those emotions, because the 'outlet' is gone. Those emotions, such as dependency needs, if not discharged, try harder to surface-the internal conflict gets stronger. In other words, your mind is fighting itself...It can be exhausting.
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> Hope that helps. Just my take on it. :)

 

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