Sick PerSonality: an introduction
• Sick personalities are those in which there is a breakdown in
the personality structure that results in poor personal and
• Scientist regard such person as “disturbed” or “disordered”.
The layman says that he is “peculiar” or “nutty”.
• A “Normal Personality” may not be a “Healthy Personality”.
WHo iS a Sick PerSon ?
• Characteristics of a sick person –:
– Short and frequent temper disorder
– Transitory Lying
– Frequent Headaches.
– Other psychological diseases.
cauSeS oF Sick PerSonality
• PHySical cauSeS
• A temporary upset in normal state of body ,
due to a headache or a digestive disturbance,
may lead to a temporary pattern of
• A persistent illness often affects the person’s
characteristic pattern of adjustment to life.
• Brain disorder or diseases may
cause personality disorder.
• The fundamental psychological cause of
personality sickness is inner conflicts which
stems from self dissatisfaction.
• The person is unhappy about himself and
dislikes himself to the point where he
becomes self rejectent.
• Self rejection shows itself also in distrust of
one’s own attitudes and feelings.
cateGorieS oF Sick PerSonality
• There are two major categories :
– “Forms of behavior that are satisfying to the
person but are socially unacceptable.”
–“Forms of behavior that are socially acceptable but
are not satisfying to the person who engages in
Socially unaccePtaBle BeHaVior
• Some behavior are disapproved by members
of the social group because they are annoying,
boring or harmful to others.
• They satisfy some need or desire of person
engaged in it which is not satisfied by pattern
of behavior that are socially approved.
• Example: A person drives satisfaction from
blaming others for his shortcomings.
Socially accePtaBle BeHaVior
• The behavior patterns which are socially acceptable
but which do not satisfy the needs and desire of the
person who engages in them.
• Only when the person’s needs and desires are
satisfied by his characteristic pattern of adjusting to
life and only when this pattern is socially acceptable
can he be regarded as psychologically healthy.
• Example: An introvert person may force himself to
play a “Social Hero” role but it may not satisfy his
danGer SiGnalS oF PerSonality SickneSS
• Some Danger Signals of Personality Sickness
– Anti-Social Behavior
• A person is judged as “immature” if his
performance in some area of behavior falls
below the standard set by his peers.
• Example: A child who is slower than his age
mates in learning to speak in sentences and
who continues to use baby talk long after the
other children of his age are speaking well.
• Regression is an attempt, either consciously or unconsciously,
to return to an earlier stage of development in which the
person felt happier and more secure.
• It signifies that he lacks confidence in his ability to cope up
with the situation in which he finds himself.
• Example: Many young children who are jealous of new sibling
attempt to return to the helplessness of an earlier age in the
hope of regaining the sense of emotional security and the
confidence they formerly enjoyed.
• Cruel person take pleasure in inflicting pain on other people
and on animal.
• When the target of their cruelty cries in pain, this intensifies
their pleasure and makes them feel that they are in charge of
• Cruelty may arise in childhood from feeling of inadequacy
which children feel experience from because of their inferior
size and strength.
• Behavior is anti-social if it is hostile or damaging, either
physically or psychological, to the welfare of members of social
• Only if it is conscious can it be regarded as a danger signal.
• Example: If a person intentionally parks his car in front of
another person’s garage so that person cannot back his car.
• A defense mechanism is a constellation of
related ideas by means of which a person
maintains, enhances, and defends himself.
• In spite of satisfaction defense mechanism
provide, the satisfaction is only temporary; it
does not actually correct the problem.
coMMon ForMS oF deFenSe MecHaniSM
• PROJECTION: In Projection, the person tries to
explain or excuse behavior that falls short of
his and others’ expectations by thrusting the
blame onto something or someone else.
• DISPLACEMENT: In Displacement, the person
directs his resentments, stemming from
feelings of inadequacy or inferiority, against a
person or situation which is unrelated to the
origin of his resentments.
• COMPENSATION: It is an ego defense which
reduces the person’s feeling of self rejection in
two ways: first, by doing something in which
he can achieve success and secondly, diverting
attention of people from activity in which he
• REPRESSION: The person forgets either
consciously or unconsciously, those things
which remind him of his adequacies.
coPinG uP WitH SickneSS
• Proper diagnosis to discover the cause of
• Creating awareness in person about his/her
• Fundamental cure is change in “SELF
CONCEPT” not in drugs.
• Change in environment and Psychological
treatments are more helpful.
• Society acceptance in curing the person.
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