Personality Disorders and Diagnosis

No two people are alike and for those of us in the people business, we try to quickly ascertain particular personality traits to give us a better understanding of how best to relate to a particular individual. I am not particularly fond of labels, but have always been fascinated by the four basic personality types and use my, “What kind of cat are you?” framework as a lighthearted tool.

Personality traits such as how a person sees and interacts with their life and others seem to fall into basic categories and most people are a combination of one or more of these temperaments.

Beyond particular personality traits, there are personality disorders which are considered undesirable and could cause problems in the life of someone struggling with a dysfunctional personality trait or negatively affect the life (or lives) of others.

Diagnosing personality disorders is really a very complex method which should be left to the licensed professionals specializing in this type of work. It is an ever-evolving science of psychotherapy which changes moment to moment and year to year as we accumulate data and as we as human beings amidst societal environments continue to evolve. It is a continual moving target.

Currently, the trend suggests there are ten basic prototypes used in the diagnosis of personality disorders. Even so, even with a correct diagnosis it is common for any two people with the same diagnosis to express their particular personality disorder completely differently. Again, this is because even though we all share some of the same basic temperament traits, we are all so uniquely separated by individual life experiences and influences which give us our astounding uniqueness.

That being said, the process of diagnosis is more likened to art than science due to the complexities and variances of each subject. At the moment there exists no scientific testing equipment that can be used to adequately diagnose a particular person (and I think that is a good thing) but the scientific community would like to embrace a scanning technology which could adequately report which people are likely to not have compassion or feelings, are likely to break the law, be manipulative and predatory, overly frightened or highly dependent on the system or others.

Not being an exacting science regulated to a series of yes or no criteria, we’re all just doing the best we can with what we have, and just as each subject is completely individual, so is each evaluator, which skews the process of diagnosis even further as data is scrutinized and perceived to arrive at an adequate conclusion.

As we continue to diagnose and categorize personality disorders, it causes concern about how these diagnoses will be handled in the future, because history depicts society as having a propensity to punish or banish people who express particular brands of individuality. I am not convinced this is a good thing.

In my work, I have found myself working with people and their issues among the Antisocial Personality Disorder spectrum, particularly those who have a propensity for being predatory or involved in criminal activity. In the past, these individuals were labeled as “psychopaths” which is the term that I use to categorize them, when working with their victims.

While these methods of categorization helps me communicate, deal with and integrate with this particular group of individuals, I struggle with the idea of reducing human beings to their simplest form(s) and see potential pitfalls in such activity.

Even you could be easily diagnosed with a particular personality disorder, which could be problematic.

For instance, you could be diagnosed as being a Paranoid, Schizoid or possess a Schizotypal Personality Disorder if you’re a loner, suspicious, assert that you have certain “rights,” ruminate over injustices; believe in magic, UFOs and government conspiracies.

You could receive a diagnosis of Antisocial, Borderline, Histrionic or Narcissistic Personality Disorder if you lack empathy or compassion, are self-confident, aggressive, manipulative or feel as though you are above the law. This spectrum also includes those who might be attractive, sexual, suicidal, emotionally unstable and/or selfish in nature.

Then there are the Avoidant, Dependent, and Anankastic Personality Disorders which include individuals who are self-conscious, shy, subservient, are apt to display anxiety, fear of abandonment and may (or may not) have been a victim of sexual abuse. This group also harbors obsessive statisticians and workaholics who may lack a sense of humor and are likely to see things as black-or-white or good-or-bad.

What do you think?

What Kind of Cat Are You?

The Success Catechism

Enjoy 9 lives of fun-filled happiness, health, financial freedom and loving feline-ness by embracing your inner-cat.

Which kind of cat are you cat personalities purr sonality

Connect with your purr-fect message, mission and purpose to maximize your cat-tribution to the world.

Find out what kind of cat you Are

Are you a

happy catHappy Cat

The happy cat is also known as the life of the party cat. Happy cats are gregarious fun-loving, interactive cats likely lifting the spirits of and encouraging other cats to lighten up and not take cat-life so seriously. These charismatic cats are highly creative out-of-the-box thinkers that can adapt to any environmental setting finding it easy to blend in. They are less likely to finish what they started, as they don’t like to be burdened with details that are mundane or not enjoyable.

Happy cats are naturally expressive emotionally and non-assertive

Happy cats make good performers, promoters, composers, salespeople, actors, masters of ceremonies, politicians and clergy. Happy cats can make good health care workers with their excellent bedside manner.

Some well-known happy cats include Robin Williams, Elvis Presley, Elizabeth Taylor, “Magic” Johnson, Madonna, Ernest Hemingway, Mel Brooks, Barbra Streisand, Clint Eastwood and Michael Jordan

scaredy catScaredy Cat

While the scaredy cat might appear to be more introverted or timid (don’t let their timid exterior fool you, underneath is a fierce and courageous defender and protector) than other cats, this cat is likely to put the needs of other cats above their own, willing to sacrifice their own needs, wants or desires, for a sense of doing the right thing for the right reason to the benefit of someone else or the community at large. The scaredy cat is prone to suspicion, very analytical, often attempts to reduce shades of gray into black and white and can be somewhat of a perfectionist.

Scaredy cats make great artists, musicians, philosophers, educators, scientists, engineers, inspectors and theologians. Due to their attention to detail, scaredy cats are proficient (trade and artistic) craftspeople.

Not very adept at communicating emotionally with other cats and non-assertive

Some well-known scaredy cats include Marilyn Monroe, Michael J. Fox, John Travolta, Ernest Hemingway, Vincent Van Gogh, Beethoven, Warren Buffet, J. P. Morgan, Princess Diana and Mother Teresa.

cool catCool Cat

Cool cats are mild-mannered introspective felines that are the helpers that take up the care giving and nurturing of the larger population of cats. They are the respected leaders of the gentler persuasion who enjoy their private time at home and are prolific researchers and readers. Cool cats, while they maintain a variety of interests are experts in relaxation techniques and form long-lasting relationships with other cats. Excellent at “duck and cover.”

Cool cats are well suited for careers in counseling, healing arts, institutional administration, statistician, civil service, military and local government. Cool cats are good educators for primary education as well as high school and college educators.

Cool cats are naturally expressive emotionally and more apt to be assertive

Some well-known cool cats include Keanu Reeves, Audrey Hepburn, J.K. Rowling, Johnny Depp, Issac Asimov, Ayn Rand, Walt Disney, Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak and Nikola Tesla.

battle catBattle Cat

The alpha cat, most comfortable running the show. The battle cat is more egocentric and adept at leading with authority, though maintaining a, “My way or the highway,” form of management. These are ambitious cats and foster productive work environments. Battle cats are capable of maintaining high levels of energy and passion over long periods of time, being quite relentless. Following a battle (figuratively) the battle cat will likely be the last cat standing.

Battle cats will find themselves most comfortable in professions such as inventor, architect, supervisor, contractor, entrepreneur and military (or paramilitary) leadership. Since battle cats are often less concerned with being restricted by morals may make good dictators or gangsters.

Not very adept at communicating emotionally with other cats and very assertive

Some well-known battle cats include Oprah Winfrey, Tom Cruise, Jane Fonda, Shirley MacLaine, Alec Baldwin, Dr. Phil, Nancy Grace, Margaret Thatcher, Donald Trump and Judge Judy.

Your Catalyst

The most successful teams and organizations are made up of a wide-reaching cat-a-list or catalog representing of all kinds of cats. Knowing what kind of cat you are will help you to find other cats to support you on the way to massive effectiveness and having the life you always dreamed of.

Many cats are a cross-breed of two or more cat-types, and that’s okay, though you probably will find that you have one cat-type that is dominant.

Don’t try to be all the cats at once (battle cats often do this out of frustration, saying something like, “Aw, just forget it; I’ll do it myself!”). You will find your journey more enjoyable being the kind of cat that you are, and making partnerships with other cats who have the tendencies that do not come naturally to you.

Don’t let your nine lives end in cat-tastrophy.

Embrace your inner cat and start putting yourself in situations where your true cat purr-sonality shine through in all its cataclysmic glory.

Don’t wait another minute, take action meow!