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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

When my Psychiatrist applied to the state of California on my behalf for SSI disability assitance back in the early 1970s my diagnosis was: "CHARACTER DISORDER-Depressive Type; with a tendency to become psychotic under stress".

Now if I am not mistaken the term "Depressive type" is in reference to a certain developmental stage in early childhood in the structuring of the "ego" which involves ones sense of self rather than, lets say, "depressive" as referrring to one who has feeelings of sadness, hopelessness etc.

Today of course one rarely hears the term Character in regards to mental disorders as the AMA and other medical organizations have replaced Character with Personality. Which no doubt they feel is more in keeping with the "value neutral" ideal of science.

But for all practical purposes I believe Character disorder and Personality disorder are basically pretty much synonomous with one another in that they both refer to types of mental problems which have their origin in deficiencies in the developmental process of "ego formation" of early childhood rather than say in mental problems which are the result of psychic conflicts, or biologogical abnormalities.

Personally I feel that there is something missing from my sense of being a "self", like some important foundational component is absent, something that (developmentally speaking) should have been set in place and simply never was. Its abscence weakening my Will to bear up under lifes pressures.

And just like a continuous concrete foundation provides a firm resting place upon which to build a house,similarly an "ego", with all its developmental parts in place, provides the secure basis from which to build and develope a sense of being an autonomous "self" in existence.

When I look at my DP/DR experiences from the perspective of the foundational model, I see that I have continuously tried to build a "self" upon an insubstantial foundation, and sometimes the foundation collapses in places and my sense of "being a real self" begins to deconstruct, (depersonalize) and I seek out the basis or the root or the foundation from which my sense of a psychological self has grown and find important parts are missing, and in their place I find that horrifying emptinesss many of us are so aware of.

Well anyway just another day in the life. Glad i found this site.

Sincerely
John
 
G

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Hi all,

When my Psychiatrist applied to the state of California on my behalf for SSI disability assitance back in the early 1970s my diagnosis was: "CHARACTER DISORDER-Depressive Type; with a tendency to become psychotic under stress".

Now if I am not mistaken the term "Depressive type" is in reference to a certain developmental stage in early childhood in the structuring of the "ego" which involves ones sense of self rather than, lets say, "depressive" as referrring to one who has feeelings of sadness, hopelessness etc.

Today of course one rarely hears the term Character in regards to mental disorders as the AMA and other medical organizations have replaced Character with Personality. Which no doubt they feel is more in keeping with the "value neutral" ideal of science.

But for all practical purposes I believe Character disorder and Personality disorder are basically pretty much synonomous with one another in that they both refer to types of mental problems which have their origin in deficiencies in the developmental process of "ego formation" of early childhood rather than say in mental problems which are the result of psychic conflicts, or biologogical abnormalities.

Personally I feel that there is something missing from my sense of being a "self", like some important foundational component is absent, something that (developmentally speaking) should have been set in place and simply never was. Its abscence weakening my Will to bear up under lifes pressures.

And just like a continuous concrete foundation provides a firm resting place upon which to build a house,similarly an "ego", with all its developmental parts in place, provides the secure basis from which to build and develope a sense of being an autonomous "self" in existence.

When I look at my DP/DR experiences from the perspective of the foundational model, I see that I have continuously tried to build a "self" upon an insubstantial foundation, and sometimes the foundation collapses in places and my sense of "being a real self" begins to deconstruct, (depersonalize) and I seek out the basis or the root or the foundation from which my sense of a psychological self has grown and find important parts are missing, and in their place I find that horrifying emptinesss many of us are so aware of.

Well anyway just another day in the life. Glad i found this site.

Sincerely
John
 
G

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You're quite knowledgable. Impressive.

Yep, character disorders and personality disorders are essentially the same thing. Mostly they're used by analytic-oriented psychiatrists, and if there is a difference between the two terms, it would depend on the school/theory of the person talking about it.

For SOME disorders, the character disorder might imply a "worse" condition than if they used the term "personality" disorder. A narcissistic character disorder can be severe in terms of the person's lack of conscience, might make them impossible to treat and bordering on psychopathic.

But that is not the same as your term "Depressive Character" You've got the gist of it well understood. The only somewhat important part you left out is the tendency of someone with a Depressive Character Disorder to have enormous trouble expressing/channeling their anger/aggression OUTward. They tend to internalize all their aggressive instincts, sort of "turning it back on the self."

My HUNCH, and I do not know you at all, but my hunch is that if you had a Depressive Character Disorder with tendency towards psychotic states, then your dp might be connected to that aggression that sort of "killed" self - as if you are turning so much rage inward that you are aiming (unconsciously) towards self-annihilation.

Treatment wouldn't involve making you YELL at other people, lol...this is not about turning your anger on anyone else either...but might involve helping you to FEEL the anger AT someone, or something, rather than taking it all back in and then having nowhere to go with it but self-destruction.

Peace,
Janine
 
G

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You're quite knowledgable. Impressive.

Yep, character disorders and personality disorders are essentially the same thing. Mostly they're used by analytic-oriented psychiatrists, and if there is a difference between the two terms, it would depend on the school/theory of the person talking about it.

For SOME disorders, the character disorder might imply a "worse" condition than if they used the term "personality" disorder. A narcissistic character disorder can be severe in terms of the person's lack of conscience, might make them impossible to treat and bordering on psychopathic.

But that is not the same as your term "Depressive Character" You've got the gist of it well understood. The only somewhat important part you left out is the tendency of someone with a Depressive Character Disorder to have enormous trouble expressing/channeling their anger/aggression OUTward. They tend to internalize all their aggressive instincts, sort of "turning it back on the self."

My HUNCH, and I do not know you at all, but my hunch is that if you had a Depressive Character Disorder with tendency towards psychotic states, then your dp might be connected to that aggression that sort of "killed" self - as if you are turning so much rage inward that you are aiming (unconsciously) towards self-annihilation.

Treatment wouldn't involve making you YELL at other people, lol...this is not about turning your anger on anyone else either...but might involve helping you to FEEL the anger AT someone, or something, rather than taking it all back in and then having nowhere to go with it but self-destruction.

Peace,
Janine
 
G

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you Janine for your thoughtful reply.

I don't really know all that much about this stuff, but I once had a therapist for awhile who was an "object relation theorist" and i gained some insights into my own condition from reading a book by Harry Guntrip entitled "Schizoid Phenomena , Object Relations, and The Self."

The book published in the early seventies is no doubt dated. But it contains some of the classical ideas of "object relations" luminaries such as Melanie Klein, D.W. Winnicott, W.R.D. Fairbarin, H. Hartman etc. all deal with object relations theory and the developmental formation of a self or "ego" during our early years. When I first read the book, so much of it, even the terminology, seemed to fit me so well it was almost as if I understood it intuitively.

On a certain level it was both very disturbing reading, yet somehow reassuring. If that makes any sense.

Years ago when I was in the state hospital many psychiatric students past through there and as part of their training were required to interview various patients and formulate some sort of diagnosis/prognosis about them. Because of my DP/DR I was a popular choice in as much as it was difficult to assign me a particular diagnosis. The admitting doctors diagnosis was "Schizophrenia/undifferentiated". But at that time (mid sixties) that diagnosis was generally given to anyone about whom the admitting doctor was uncertain.

Anyway I enjoyed the attention I recieved when being interviewed and was more than willing to participate.

You say:

"My HUNCH, and I do not know you at all, but my hunch is that if you had a Depressive Character Disorder with tendency towards psychotic states, then your dp might be connected to that aggression that sort of "killed" self - as if you are turning so much rage inward that you are aiming (unconsciously) towards self-annihilation."

There is a lot of truth in that "hunch". I have always had a hard time expressing my anger without feeling incredibly guilty. Even when I know through reasoning that the cause of my anger is just, I will still often experience a deep sense of melancholy and want to apologise.

One of the psych students who interviewed me years ago told me that I had an overly dominant "super ego" and a weak vulnerable "ego" which was continuously under attack by the super ego. i think that the DP might be the result of my sense of self trying to flee from this self persecution. I mean that may be one of the causes for the symptoms but I believe there are others as well.

Most of my DP symptoms are disruptions or disturbances of my "kinaesthetic" sense of body boundaries, i.e. sensations that my legs are "melting into the sidewalk", or that when I enter a room part of me is still outside, maybe that is what is meant by "going to pieces?" It is a horrifying feeling and with the passing of these many years, although I still have these DP feelings under certain circumstances, like in wide open spaces, for the most part I am able to work around them.

In the past I feel my DP has reached psychotic proportions but I blame this in large part on the neuroleptic drugs I was intially forced to take when admitted to the hospital. Thorazine in particular.

I am a feeling a little concerned about my involvement at this site at this time because of all the discussions dealing with these feelings of DP, I mean I have been thinking about it alot since i found this site. There is little to nothing in regards to mental health services in my area except for private practice but I recieve barely enough to survive on my SSI monthly support so paying for therapy is out of the question for me. My doctor ( a general practician) says the most I can hope is for my medication to keep me within a certain comfort range. I understand that this is generally the case with Character/Personality disorders when there is a tendency toward psychosis. It seems that in the past that there was much more help available for the mentally ill.

I am not afraid to use the word "psychotic" for as one of my best therapists (a Jungian) years ago explained to me the average person will often on a daily basis slip in and out of psychotic states unknowingly. It is often only when there is pain accompanying these "altered states" that we become aware of them. I have found that there is a direct correlation between my DP symptoms and the degree to which I give them attention. But it is incredibly difficult not to notice when the boundaries of your body begin to shift into the surrounding environment.

Well I think I might be starting to ramble a bit. There is so much I would like to say, things i could say to give others encouragement, but I am not a professinal writer or used to trying to organize my thoughts through a certain arrangement of words on a page or monitor screen. I will say this though that my life is certainly better now than it was when i first began having DP experinces. Perhaps simply the passing of time, in and of itself, has a sort of healing effect.

Good bye for now
Sincerely John
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you Janine for your thoughtful reply.

I don't really know all that much about this stuff, but I once had a therapist for awhile who was an "object relation theorist" and i gained some insights into my own condition from reading a book by Harry Guntrip entitled "Schizoid Phenomena , Object Relations, and The Self."

The book published in the early seventies is no doubt dated. But it contains some of the classical ideas of "object relations" luminaries such as Melanie Klein, D.W. Winnicott, W.R.D. Fairbarin, H. Hartman etc. all deal with object relations theory and the developmental formation of a self or "ego" during our early years. When I first read the book, so much of it, even the terminology, seemed to fit me so well it was almost as if I understood it intuitively.

On a certain level it was both very disturbing reading, yet somehow reassuring. If that makes any sense.

Years ago when I was in the state hospital many psychiatric students past through there and as part of their training were required to interview various patients and formulate some sort of diagnosis/prognosis about them. Because of my DP/DR I was a popular choice in as much as it was difficult to assign me a particular diagnosis. The admitting doctors diagnosis was "Schizophrenia/undifferentiated". But at that time (mid sixties) that diagnosis was generally given to anyone about whom the admitting doctor was uncertain.

Anyway I enjoyed the attention I recieved when being interviewed and was more than willing to participate.

You say:

"My HUNCH, and I do not know you at all, but my hunch is that if you had a Depressive Character Disorder with tendency towards psychotic states, then your dp might be connected to that aggression that sort of "killed" self - as if you are turning so much rage inward that you are aiming (unconsciously) towards self-annihilation."

There is a lot of truth in that "hunch". I have always had a hard time expressing my anger without feeling incredibly guilty. Even when I know through reasoning that the cause of my anger is just, I will still often experience a deep sense of melancholy and want to apologise.

One of the psych students who interviewed me years ago told me that I had an overly dominant "super ego" and a weak vulnerable "ego" which was continuously under attack by the super ego. i think that the DP might be the result of my sense of self trying to flee from this self persecution. I mean that may be one of the causes for the symptoms but I believe there are others as well.

Most of my DP symptoms are disruptions or disturbances of my "kinaesthetic" sense of body boundaries, i.e. sensations that my legs are "melting into the sidewalk", or that when I enter a room part of me is still outside, maybe that is what is meant by "going to pieces?" It is a horrifying feeling and with the passing of these many years, although I still have these DP feelings under certain circumstances, like in wide open spaces, for the most part I am able to work around them.

In the past I feel my DP has reached psychotic proportions but I blame this in large part on the neuroleptic drugs I was intially forced to take when admitted to the hospital. Thorazine in particular.

I am a feeling a little concerned about my involvement at this site at this time because of all the discussions dealing with these feelings of DP, I mean I have been thinking about it alot since i found this site. There is little to nothing in regards to mental health services in my area except for private practice but I recieve barely enough to survive on my SSI monthly support so paying for therapy is out of the question for me. My doctor ( a general practician) says the most I can hope is for my medication to keep me within a certain comfort range. I understand that this is generally the case with Character/Personality disorders when there is a tendency toward psychosis. It seems that in the past that there was much more help available for the mentally ill.

I am not afraid to use the word "psychotic" for as one of my best therapists (a Jungian) years ago explained to me the average person will often on a daily basis slip in and out of psychotic states unknowingly. It is often only when there is pain accompanying these "altered states" that we become aware of them. I have found that there is a direct correlation between my DP symptoms and the degree to which I give them attention. But it is incredibly difficult not to notice when the boundaries of your body begin to shift into the surrounding environment.

Well I think I might be starting to ramble a bit. There is so much I would like to say, things i could say to give others encouragement, but I am not a professinal writer or used to trying to organize my thoughts through a certain arrangement of words on a page or monitor screen. I will say this though that my life is certainly better now than it was when i first began having DP experinces. Perhaps simply the passing of time, in and of itself, has a sort of healing effect.

Good bye for now
Sincerely John
 
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