Impulsivity and personality disorders

According to Santayana,(29 humans can be described as beings 'constitutionally inclined to resist impulses and to take long-term perspectives'. On the basis of this principle, two types of psychiatric disorders can be considered: those characterized by excessive impulsivity, and those characterized by excessive control of impulses. Behaviours leading to sociopathy and to the commission of certain types of offence belong to the first category. The term 'impulsive madness' was used in German literature. Jaspers(29) published an article on impulsive madness, referring it to homesickness and uprooting.

The balance between social and individual norms is related to the origin of mental disorders. Durkheim (39 introduced the concept of anomia when describing a particular form of suicide in individuals who perceive that their own norms and values are no longer relevant and that their relation to the community is weak or non-existent. However, the opposite may also occur. Kraus(31> coined the term hypernomia for premorbid personality traits of depressive patients, which consist in an exaggerated form of adaptation to social norms. This personality type is the converse of the impulsive madness that can be characterized as hyponomic.

We have proposed the term dysnomic for obsessive patients who show a distorted adaptation to social norms.(32 33) For example, patients with obsessions and compulsions related to cleanliness usually appear to be extremely dirty because of their fear of contamination and their unrealistic compulsions, which are based more on 'magic' control than on efficient behaviour oriented towards concrete goals.

The common link in the psychopathology of obsessive-compulsive disorders and the group of impulsive disorders experienced by the impulsivists(34) is poor control of the impulses, in the sense that novel interior or exterior experiences are not converted into adequate behavioural patterns. Rather, obsessives abandon actions uncompleted and impulsivists behave in a disorganized manner (acting out). In both cases, 'the insignificant substitutes the significant'. (35> From a neurobiological point of view, there are serotonergic deficits in both cases, although of different types. The function of serotonin is to modulate the impulse to act.

Break Free From Passive Aggression

Break Free From Passive Aggression

This guide is meant to be of use for anyone who is keen on developing a better understanding of PAB, to help/support concerned people to discover various methods for helping others, also, to serve passive aggressive people as a tool for self-help.

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