Do you know people who have difficulties relating to each other in a healthy way? It is possible that this is a disorder, but it is possible to change, if the person desires. In order to change, he needs to stop denying that he has a personality problem. Stopping denial is the first big step towards change. To stop denying is to admit the existence of the problem, and this, in turn, is basic to find a solution.
Many people present what we scientifically call a personality disorder, such as schizoaffective, schizotypal and others. They have an unhealthy ego above the limitations we all have in the way we are. For some authors, these people are individuals with an abnormal personality, without apparently showing brain injury. It is a way of being with a strong tendency to remain that way throughout life, and which compromises the performance of the person in their general relationships.
The personality disorder appears early in the person’s development, becoming deeply entrenched in him, making him develop strong personality traits. Those who suffer from this, present the exaggeration in some character traits that we all possess, only in a smaller dose. You may be prone to dramatization, jealousy, anxiety, melancholy, perfectionism. But it doesn’t have to dominate your life or your relationships.
In the individual with personality disorder, he is rigidly possessed by one of these characteristics, disturbing his relationship with himself and with other people, producing suffering for a long time, and perhaps for a lifetime if he does not seek help and if he does not strive to do something to improve his way of being.
If someone with a personality disorder makes an effort to analyze their unhealthy tendency to think, feel, and relate, it will make it possible to loosen the rigidity of their altered personality traits. This will reduce the suffering for the person and for those who live with him. You will learn to control your aggressive and explosive impulses, you will be able to discipline your distorted thoughts, you will be able to perceive your unhealthy beliefs about life situations and relationships, you will be able to reduce unhealthy jealousy that generates fights, you will be able to be more merciful with yourself and with others regarding expenses, among other changes.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines personality disorders this way: “These types of condition encompass permanent and deeply ingrained behavior patterns in the being, which manifest themselves as inflexible responses to a series of personal and social situations. They represent extreme or significant deviations from the way an average individual in a given culture perceives, thinks, feels, and particularly relates to others.”
Some steps for a person diagnosed with personality disorder to improve their mental health:
- Admit you have a problem.
- Decide to seek and accept help for a positive change.
- Understand and realize that there are distorted ways of thinking in your mind, based on erroneous beliefs developed in life; there is alteration of normal affective expression.
- Accept the mistakes in the current diet and correct them, because it helps to decrease anxiety and aggressiveness, emotional outburst, hostility, possible emotional coldness, which impair pleasant contact with people.
- Turn to spiritual help, such as meditation on biblical texts, prayer, socializing with friends who are spiritual people, committed to their religion and not extremists.
- Continue with specialized professional care.
We don’t need to get stuck in behaviors and habits acquired for many years. It is possible to change. Take a step in the right direction today!
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Dr. Cesar Vasconcellos de Souza is working as a psychiatrist and international speaker. He is author of 3 books, columnist of the health magazine “Vida e Saúde” for 25 years, and has a regular program on the “Novo Tempo” TV channel.