Wednesday, April 29, 2009

DSM IV Axis II - The Church's Dirty Little Secret Part II

In this posting I wanted to just list the compre-hensive catalog of some of these disorders. I will pick a few, over the next few posts, and talk about how they might fit in to the local Evangelical congregation.

A couple of caveats first. As I've said before, a mental diagnoses is a matter of degree (and HUG alluded to in his comments). We each can have some of these traits at times. But at some point along that continuum it really does become a pathological mental illness.

I can say generally, the cause behind these disorders are the effects of the fall on humans. But a little more specifically, it always seems to come down to nature & nurture. For some, it is more of nature (genetics effecting the complex functioning of the brain) and for others there is more nurture (early childhood rearing).

The problem with the church, and why I do think they are naive, is that they discount the fields of psychiatry, seeing them has "humanist," and put all human behavior in simplistic, dualistic terms . . . good guys and bad guys. Sin, and fruits of the spirit. However, in some people evil and goodness are so mixed (at least in how they present themselves) that Christians don't know how to react. Promote them to not only pastor . . . but the head of the denomination . . . or expel them as troublemakers.

I really wish that we could have a Sunday school class about mental health (and mental illness). But even to suggest so (which I have before) will bring outrage in 90% of the Evangelical churches. You might get by with it in a more mainline, old-somewhat more liberal, denomination.

I welcome any comments or personal experiences. And, if you figure out that I am mentally ill . . . please don't tell me. I'm enjoying the illusion that I'm sane.

Cluster A (odd or eccentric disorders)

* Paranoid personality disorder: characterized by irrational suspicions and mistrust of others

* Schizoid personality disorder: lack of interest in social relationships, seeing no point in sharing time with others

* Schizotypal personality disorder: characterized by odd behavior or thinking

Cluster B (dramatic, emotional, or erratic disorders)

* Antisocial personality disorder: "pervasive disregard for the law and the rights of others."

* Borderline personality disorder: extreme "black and white" thinking, instability in relationships, self-image, identity and behavior

* Histrionic personality disorder: "pervasive attention-seeking behavior including inappropriate sexual seductiveness and shallow or exaggerated emotions"

* Narcissistic personality disorder: "a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and a lack of empathy"

Cluster C (anxious or fearful disorders)

* Avoidant personality disorder: social inhibition, feelings of inadequacy, extreme sensitivity to negative evaluation and avoidance of social interaction

* Dependent personality disorder: pervasive psychological dependence on other people.

* Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (not the same as obsessive-compulsive disorder): characterized by rigid conformity to rules, moral codes, and excessive orderliness


pennyyak said...

Whatever degree of diagnostic usefulness the DSM has (since it is all we have), whatever degree of hard science behind most of its categories (ahem, well...), and whatever degree of politicizing goes on with each revision (one can only guess), it is still a wonderful document descriptively and has some very on-target stuff in it. I was always reading myself into some category (wow, I'm sorta like that!), putting myself into new and thrilling disease categories. I have heard that medical doctors in training sometimes go through something like this. Anyway, I'm sure looking forward to whatever you are going to say, as you have this tendency toward insightful irreverence and relevance. And reverence, when its called for.

MJ said...

Pennyyak, I just started working on your edits of my manuscript. Once again thank you. Of course I agree with all of your suggestions.

My decision will come soon, if I attempt to publish it . . . or consider the writing of it as some type of personal therapy. I can send you a copy that's compatible with Open Office if you still want (like MS Word).

Back to your comment, isn't it strange how many of us self-diagnose mental illness, however, some of my patients (okay and friends) who are really mentally ill (especially with these Axis II disorders) they become extremely angry if you even suggest that. To them, they are the only sane people left in the world.