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What is a personality disorder? Glad you asked!
In essence, it is a mental disorder where instead of the problem being your brain setup, mood, disconnection from reality, or pointless habits, you simply behave in a way that makes adjusting to life difficult. Lots of people do this, so it's important to recognize that everybody has these traits to one degree or another. They're called personality styles when they don't cause problems.
Note that personality is sometimes considered the psychological immune system. Indeed those with personality traits like behaviors that are often antagonistic towards others, tendency to take things too personally, are more likely to show mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse. Such disorders are often the reason why someone with a personality disorder would seek treatment in the first place.
Any behavior can be justified depending on what situation you're put in. It's believed these people act the way they do because as a child they were overexposed to situations where the behavior had survival value, reinforcing it. So they never learned to shift gears when the situation calls for it. Genetics usually only ensures that the childhood environment doesn't have a blank canvas to work on but sometimes people literally were born that way. If you really want a better grasp of these disorders then it helps to get a basic grasp of evolution and the process of natural selection. Thinking about how this behavior would be useful in a hunter-gather, low tech society tends to help too.
Things to keep in Mind
The comorbidity of these disorders leads to confusion. Looking at a personality as a story and each disorder as a different genre that can overlap with each other can help to understand it better. Keep in mind that even if somebody meets the criteria for one personality disorder they can still meet the criteria for a personality style of one of the other disorders. If two of the disorders look like they'll cause similar behavior the underlying reasons for the behavior in each is different.
No two people with the same mental disorder act exactly the same and just because a behavior is reported to be common in a mental disorder it doesn't mean everyone who has the disorder will behave that way. Hollywood Psych and So You Want To/Develop Character Personality  are useful to keep in mind.
Also, although the specific personality disorders list traits, a personalty disorder is more defined by the inability to get along with others than specific personality traits.
To clarify, when most people encounter a situation they know to experiment with different things (some things they're reluctant to try and some things not so much) until they find something that works for them and everybody involved. People with personality disorders will keep doing the same thing regardless of results. While it can be a trying experience to be around people with these disorders, keep in mind that Real Life people suffer from these disorders. But laymen should abstain from "diagnosing" real people and the diagnosing of fictional people done here is to be considered tongue in cheek. No Real Life Examples, Please unless professionally diagnosed.
Paranoid Personality Disorder
Most of us know not to be offended when we see the Alpha Bitch, Jerk Jock, or Big Man on Campus walking down the street. Not so with these people. They're suspicious of everybody's motives and don't know who to trust. Those afflicted undergo immense emotional torment from failing to form close bonds with people. Their ability to appreciate the aesthetic value of something, such as the quiet and tranquility of a day at the park, is reduced or nonexistent because they're busy examining every minor detail for nonexistent proof that others are trying to sabotage them.
People who were repeatedly backstabbed, or have a Humans Are Bastards perspective, can also be prone to this.
Like the narcissist they see themselves as the victim and have difficulty in recognizing their role in the discomfort of others. The difference being narcissists want the company of other people, when they bring praise, and actively attract people to themselves. Paranoids don't like the company of other people because those people will more than likely take what little this unfair life decided to give the paranoid person. The way in which they cause discomfort is also different. With narcissists people would rather spend their time and energy doing others things such as getting to solution of the problem. With paranoids people tire of the accusations and wish they'd be more of a team player.
Some studies suggest the paranoid personality disorder is part of the schizophrenic spectrum and some suggest PPD has connections to delusional disorder but not schizophrenia. Like delusional disorder someone with paranoid personality disorder can be a high functioning case of The Schizophrenia Conspiracy. Cult leaders have a good chance of having paranoid personality disorder or grandiose delusional disorder instead of schizophrenia.
When this personality disorder does lead to some good things, see Properly Paranoid.
- Rorschach from Watchmen.
- Lt. Cmdr. Queeg from The Caine Mutiny
- The Dark Angels from Warhammer 40000
- Sam from Superego
This person is basically It's All About Me personified. These people expect to be treated like a God in your life, despite the fact that they don't really do anything and possibly make things worse. Be very careful when calling these people out on it though. They've been known to use emotional manipulation to boost their enormous ego.
A healthy sense of narcissism helps us withstand criticism, insults, and spring back from periods of self-doubt and detrimental anxiety (especially the ones the paranoid, avoidant and dependent are likely to suffer). Which it does by telling us to ignore our own faults and the consequences of our actions. Pathological narcissism on the other hand is when a persons need for admiration and special treatment gets so extreme that it gets in the way of them forming bonds with others. Too much narcissism causes people to procrastinate, become lazy, refuse to admit they made a mistake, become incapable of putting themselves in other people's shoes, turn into a Know-Nothing Know-It-All, or become a victim of Pride. People who display constant, excessive narcissism are said to have narcissistic personality disorder.
There is some controversy as to what type of childhood narcissists had. Some researches believe that narcissists where overvalued by their parents, while others think that they had a rather dismal childhood.
People in a manic mood will also show a greatly inflated sense of self-esteem. However, a person in a manic mood will also have a lot of energy and will have an elevated mood, whereas a narcissist will be in a chronic state of depression. Also, a manic mood is by definition a state different from a persons normal mood, and the person will eventually return to an even mood, or possibly a depressed mood where self-esteem will come down.
Premodern concepts include the ancient Greek Hubris which meant excessive pride leading to or simply occurring before a fall. The contemporary view of narcissists is they're annoyingly unable to see this dynamic repeating itself in their lives.
Examples from various media
- Asuka from Neon Genesis Evangelion
- Light Yagami of Death Note.
- Father from Fullmetal Alchemist. Hohenheim identifies the entire conspiracy to become God as a massive overcompensation for Homunculus' original form, when he was perpetually trapped inside a flask and forced to serve the King of Xerxes. This is also true to a lesser extent for Pride, although he mainly serves as The Dragon for Father.
- Dante from the 2003 anime version.
- Leonard Testarossa from Full Metal Panic.
- Paptimus Scirocco from Zeta Gundam.
- Madara Uchiha from Naruto.
- Scourge the Hedgehog (aka Evil Sonic) from Archie's Sonic the Hedgehog does not merely have Sonic's large ego, but cranks it Up to Eleven with a desire for power and respect (or fear; both are fine), and a solid belief that the world owes him a favour just for gracing it with his existance.
- Adrian Veidt from Watchmen.
- Tony Stark
- Doctor Doom
- Lex Luthor
- Suzanne Stone Maretto from To Die For
- Charles Foster Kane
- Norma Desmond from Sunset Boulevard
- Daniel Plainview from There Will Be Blood.
- Abigail Williams from The Crucible.
- Catherine Tramell from Basic Instinct.
- Waldo Lydecker from Laura.
- Scar from The Lion King.
- The Evil Queen of "Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs".
- Peter Pan
- The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.
- Lord Voldemort from Harry Potter. It would actually be easier to count the personality disorders Voldemort doesn't have.
- The depiction of Albrecht von Wallenstein in Friedrich Schiller's Wallenstein trilogy.
- Gregory House from House
- Michael from The Office
- The Master from Doctor Who.
- Dr. Cox from Scrubs is the greatest doctor of them all, a diagnosing machine, this fabulous thing. Too bad his personal life is in shambles. The show has also delivered An Aesop when showing how a little bit of confidence is not necessarily a bad thing and goes a long way towards making their patients feeling at ease.
- Lex and Lionel Luthor from Smallville.
Religion and Mythology
- Satan in the versions where he becomes jealous of God and rebels against him.
- Azula from Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Dependent Personality Disorder
Having its origins as a pathetic variation of moral insanity this disorder causes people to be afraid of doing anything on their own out of fear of failure and always wanting someone there to hold their hand. When on their own either through freezing up or lack of training these people are completely useless. When their emotional crutch is with them they might gain some competency but they are still no where close to reaching their full potential. Under a certain age this is to be expected so it's a requirement that you must be eighteen years or older to be diagnosed.
Both the dependent and narcissist want others to take care of their needs but the dependent is able to realize others have needs too. However, the dependent can be become overly submissive, with dependents frequently clinging to abusers.
Adaptive variations merely derive huge satisfaction from working as a team. They feel out of their element when having to go it alone but they can stand on their own if they have to.
The Yandere archetype is sometimes an example of this trope: the female character is so utterly dependent upon the love of her obsession that she is willing to threaten and kill in order to win or keep their boyfriend.
Examples from various media
- Misa Amane of Death Note.
- Wrath from the 2003 anime version of Fullmetal Alchemist. The lack of affection he receives eventually drives him insane, and leads him to believe that Sloth is his mother, to whom he literally fuses himself together so he will never be abandoned.
- In her own arc, Shion Sozonaki from Higurashi no Naku Koro ni.
- Dorothy Vallens from Blue Velvet
- Bertie Wooster of Jeeves and Wooster
- Buster from Arrested Development
- Helen Bixby from Superego.
Borderline Personality Disorder
Basically mother nature decides defenses against mood disorders aren't that important for survival. Indeed, suffers of this disorder often show chronic depression and anxiety disorders. Often times this disorder will be diagnosed after someone threatens or attempts suicide.
There has been talk about renaming this disorder to emotionally unstable personality disorder because it provides a better description of what's going on. The name borderline stems from when patients were thought to be borderline schizophrenic. As psychiatrists found out more about schizophrenia they came to realize that only a portion of borderline patients suffered from bouts of psychosis. So psychiatrists switched their focus to the unstable moods and lack of a stable self image most borderlines seem to possess. Nowadays there is evidence to suggest it has connections to bipolar disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, and dissociation instead.
The life of a borderline can often be described as chaotic. They often report feeling empty or bored. This often relived by interpersonal relationships. Note that these can become unstable due to black and white thinking and their quickly shifting moods. They also have difficulty making and maintaining long term plans for the future. Even with an understanding of what's going on this disorder places a huge strain on relationships.
Their moods can be described as mercurial. They can go from happy in the morning to suicidal by lunch time. The pattern of unstable emotions can become so extreme that the borderline will seek immediate relief from these feelings no matter what the consequences are. This includes, use of addictive drugs, Self -Harm, reckless spending, dangerous sex, and disordered eating (anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating are common). However Borderlines have a tendency towards depression, frequently describing feelings of emptiness, or brokenness. The vast majority of Borderlines also meet the criteria of Major Depressive Disorder.
Borderlines often report a history of childhood trauma. Prospective studies (those that interview people before the disorder starts) have shown that abuse does correlate to the development of BPD, but is not necessary for it's development. Some conceptualize the disorder as trauma based, calling it Complex PTSD.
Despite popular culture's depiction of the disorder (we're looking at you, Fatal Attraction), those with BPD are much more prone to be violent towards themselves than others. Though they are terrified of abandonment and will take dramatic actions to avoid it, they're more likely to do so by threatening or attempting Self -Harm or suicide rather than taking an If I Can't Have You approach. (Note: Despite Self -Harm being listed in the criteria for BPD, Self -Harm is not necessarily indicative of BPD.) It is estimated that 1 in 10 people diagnosed with this disorder will die at their own hands. Risk factors for completed suicide include previous suicide attempts (even if they seem manipulative), severe depression, substance abuse, and recent rejection. Any threats of suicide should be taken seriously.
Examples from various media
- Teru Mikami of Death Note.
- Lust from the 2003 anime version of Fullmetal Alchemist.
- Misato from Neon Genesis Evangelion
- Misaki from Welcome to The NHK
- Shinn Asuka from Gundam Seed Destiny
- Sayaka in Puella Magi Madoka Magica has a black and white worldview, fears abandonment, breaks down under pressure easily, is prone to violent outbursts when frustrated, and quickly becomes suicidal. When she finds out she can never be with Kyousuke, she snaps completely.
- Harvey Dent/Two-Face from Batman, although varying based on the interpretation, usually has at least five symptoms (personality disassociation, black-and-white splitting, mood swings, alternating between extreme idealization and devaluation, and frequent outbursts of inappropriate anger), which is enough for a diagnosis.
- Alex Forest from Fatal Attraction
- Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader has been theorized to have this disorder. Psychiatry Research (Vol. 185) also had a paper about him, proposing that lessons learned from the movie's portrayal of him, and demographic responses, could be used for public education.
- Barbara Covett from Notes On a Scandal.
- Erika in The Piano Teacher
- Norman Spencer from What Lies Beneath.
- Eli Sunday from There Will Be Blood.
- Nina Sayers and her mother Erica and Beth McIntyre from Black Swan.
- The book Girl, Interrupted is based on its author's stay in a mental institution after being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.
- Ms. Havisham from Great Expectations.
- Harry Potter.
- Lydia of Peter Moore's Caught In The Act.
- The entire cast of Eastenders.
- Morgana Pendragon from Merlin.
- Kara Thrace of Battlestar Galactica.
- Lana Lang from Smallville.
- Vhailor from Planescape: Torment.
- Pinkie Pie from My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic. In 1x25 episode Party of One, she has a mental breakdown over the irrational conclusion that her friends abandoned her and don't love her anymore. Her mood instantly pops back to her normal self when she realizes this is wrong.
- Meg Griffin of Family Guy.
Same as the narcissist except they won't take it personally if you kick them out. The only reason they'll stay in somebody's life is because that person is gullible and there's no need to reinvent the wheel. When in doubt narcissists want others to take care of their needs and wants. Antisocials will take what they need or want. They have a reputation for rationalizing acts most would consider dog kicking, in the processing shaming their accuser for standing up for themselves.
Humans on average lean towards conservatism due to biological urges that make it as natural as breathing or having sex. People with antisocial personality disorder don't have these urges or they exist in diminished capacity. So if you want these individuals to be prosocial the behavior will have to be learned which becomes harder to teach as the antisocial individual grows older.
Antisocial behavior is theorized to be nature's defense against leaders who don't have our best interests in mind, Obstructive Bureaucrats, and other situations where the disadvantages of being part of a group outweigh the benefits. When someone has a habit of obviously violating other people's right and uses this as an excuse, they are said to have antisocial personality disorder. People with an antisocial style are action and adventure seekers or artists and scientists who have no qualms of violating established rules or disproving widely held theories. Precursors include Theophastrus's The Unscrupulous Man, Philippe Pinel's moral insanity, psychopathy, and sociopathy. The latter two of which some professionals believe we were a bit hasty in tossing the labels aside.
Like the paranoid they see everybody else as always out to get them. The difference is the paranoid has a set of standards they abide by. Paranoids are nice people trying to survive in a world where everybody else is a sadistic psychopath. Antisocials are sadistic psychopaths trying to survive in a world where everybody else is a sadistic psychopath.
Despite the popular image of the antisocial as always a criminal, the antisocial can be contrasted against most criminals, who will usually take precautions against getting caught.
Also sometimes known as the Psychopathic or Sociopathic Personality.
Examples from various media
- Beyond Birthday of Death Note.
- Solf J. Kimblee from Fullmetal Alchemist.
- Deidara and Orochimaru from Naruto.
omnipath: appears to be a word coined by Alan Moore. I couldn't find it in the Oxford English Dictionary but it could be a
combination of two words the Latin omnis meaning 'all' and the Greek pathos meaning "suffering'.
I asked Paul McFedries who runs the wordspy website about omnipath and his reply was as follows :
My guess is that, in this case, the author is trying to let us know that the character is a psychopath, a sociopath, and
whatever other -path you can think of that implies deviancy, a twisted\ mind, and extreme antisocial behaviour.
- The late Heath Ledger's portrayal of The Joker in The Dark Knight Saga.
- Lisa in Girl, Interrupted is diagnosed with this disorder.
- Alex from A Clockwork Orange.
- Norman Stansfield from The Professional.
- Hannibal Lector from Silence of the Lambs.
- Patrick Bateman from American Psycho.
- Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street.
- Palpatine from Star Wars.
- Jenner from The Secret of NIMH.
- Castor Troy from Face/Off.
- Hans Gruber from Die Hard and his brother, Simon from Die Hard With a Vengeance.
- Hans Landa from Inglourious Basterds.
- Lord Voldemort from Harry Potter.
- Sherlock Holmes has 2 villains who had all the opportunities to become to have great honest careers. James Moriarty was a well respected college professor. Sebastian Moran was considered an honorable soldier. In both cases, they where influenced by a genetic disorder to take up a dishonest lifestyle, perhaps Antisocial Personality Disorder.
"There are some trees, Watson, which grow to a certain height, and then suddenly develop some unsightly eccentricity. You will see it often in humans. I have a theory that the individual represents in his development the whole procession of his ancestors, and that such a sudden turn to good or evil stands for some strong influence which came into the line of his pedigree. The person becomes, as it were, the epitome of the history of his own family." --The Adventure of the Empty House: Sherlock Holmes
- Ellsworth Toohey from The Fountainhead shows a compulsive need for destruction, superficial charm, manipulative behaviour, sadistic tendencies and a need for control in all of his relationships.
- Heathcliffe from Wuthering Heights.
- Sylar of Heroes
- The Janitor from Scrubs is a habitual liar who thinks tripping someone and breaking their neck is hilarious.
- Arrested Development provides a few interesting characters:
- Lack of responsibility - frequently truant from school, finding others to do her homework
- Consummate Liar - Effortlessly pretends to be a film executive.
- Theft from the banana stand, within which there is always money
- All of the above plus she is super entitled
- Insincerity - starts many "causes" based on whatever she perceives to be an issue at that point and shows shallow love for her daughter
- Egocentricity - is more bothered by the fact that her husband doesn't find her attractive than the fact that her marriage is a sham.
- What needs to be said?
- Louis from Superego.
- Eric Cartman from South Park.
- Discord from My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic.
- Fire Lord Ozai from Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Histrionic Personality Disorder
An evolution of the Victorian era concept of the Hysterical Woman, people with this disorder aren't looking for material wealth but they want attention and have developed an effective means of acquiring it. Don't worry. Your life will we be back to normal before you realize it. Being a Ditz or Really Gets Around isn't a requirement for this disorder.
Despite popular conception people with this disorder aren't always promiscuous, though they often are; it's more about compulsive attention seeking and dramatic behavior, and a conception of self worth rooted in the approval of others.
People with this disorder are highly emotional, charming, energetic, manipulative, seductive, impulsive, erratic, and demanding, and are often gullible, have low tolerance for frustration, and are overly concerned with their appearance. A lot of people with this disorder lead successful careers where they're a valuable member of their company. The problem with this disorder is those afflicted have difficulty sustaining romantic relationships and personal friendships because of their stormy nature and perceived insincerity. Interestingly, this is the only personality disorder directly connected with physical appearance - HPD is more prevalent among individuals with above-average looks.
Dependents and histrionics are after the advantages of being part of a group. While dependents sit around and hope someone comes along, histrionics are go getters.
Actually read the description and don't list people simply because they're a Fetish Fuel Station Attendant, Good Bad Girl, or Ethical Slut. Also men can have this disorder. It's just that most people with an official diagnosis (as opposed to going undetected) are female. The less severe the disorder becomes the more they sincerely gravitate towards Manic Pixie Dream Girl and/or When She Smiles.
Examples from various media
- Kanon Nakagawa from The World God Only Knows dislikes people who don't show interest in her and only became an idol singer because she felt people weren't paying enough attention to her.
- Jessica Rabbit from Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
- external link is Not Safe for Work
- Austin Powers from Austin Powers. YEAH BABY!
- Scarlett O'Hara from Gone with the Wind
- Blanche DuBois from A Streetcar Named Desire has a phobia of growing old and becoming unattractive to men
- Amber Sweet from Repo the Genetic Opera.
- Stephen Colbert from the The Colbert Report and in-character appearances in other media. Runs on applause.
- Sonic the Hedgehog; it has been debated as to whether he fights evil for the rush, or for the attention. While this doesn't mean he wouldn't fight it anyway, he certainly has been shown to bask in the attention and recognition he gets from being the hero quite extravagantly.
- Ava from Superego.
- Ask That Guy With The Glasses is a mix of this and Narcissist, as he has a compulsion to fuck anything with or without a hole in it, bemoans that he has no ability to call anyone back, and creams his pants while looking at himself.
These people are very anal-retentive about making sure everything is perfect. While there are situations where it's justified your average persons motivations can only hold out for so long. People with Obsessive-compulsive pd have a hard time grasping that or their anxiety is too overwhelming to take other people's feelings into consideration.
They normally have enough mental stability to stick to their plans better than people with obsessive-compulsive disorder, who can't seem to make it past the washing hands step. Obsessive-compulsive disorder is an anxiety disorder where the person afflicted feels they have to repeat pointless tasks to make anxiety go away. Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder is a personality disorder where the person sees nothing wrong with their unrealistic goal for perfection.
This behavior can be found in watered down and comedic forms all over the media but they usually don't portray the full ramifications of what it's like to have obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. Particularly the sadistic joy they take in emotionally abusing those who fail to meet their standards for performance.
Examples from various media
- Roy Walker from Matchstick Men.
- Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter is a good example of how sadistic and puritanical these people can be.
- Sauron from The Lord of the Rings is described as having "loved order and coordination" which led to his desire to rule Middle-Earth.
- Alan from Two and A Half Men gets like this sometimes until Charlie reminds Alan whose house it is.
- Felix Unger from The Odd Couple.
- Monica Gellar from Friends
- Percy from Superego.
- Mr. Herriman from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends.
- Rabbit from Winnie the Pooh.
- Twilight Sparkle from My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic. She has a mental breakdown over it in 2x03 episode Lesson Zero. Rarity shows aspects of this disorder as well, but rarely seems negatively affected by it.
Avoidant Personality Disorder
Racked with self doubt, low self esteem, and social anxiety, they're basically a Shrinking Violet turned Up to Eleven, or at least a more severe form of it. They can sometimes be so withdrawn that they look like Schizoids on the outside, the difference being that Avoidants desperately want to be with people but are too afraid to, while true Schizoids couldn't care less.
Avoidants have been known to employ paranoid and passive-aggressive defenses but there are a sizable majority of avoidants that don't. Narcissists with avoidant traits have a little more insight into their condition than most narcissists but whereas the pure avoidant buckles under social pressure and retreats into a fantasy world the narcissist will get drunk off his fantasies and keep plowing forward.
On the schizophrenic spectrum avoidant personality disorder is seen as a less severe form of the positive symptoms of schizophrenia and the schizoid personality disorder is seen as a less severe form of the negative symptoms of schizophrenia.
See also Hikikomori.
Examples from various media
- Shinji from Neon Genesis Evangelion
- Gendoas well. He puts on a callous Anti-social facade because he felt he didn't deserve Shinji's love, and so drove him away. He also desperately wanted to see Yui again.
- Satou from Welcome to The NHK
- Kei Kusanagi from Please Teacher falls more towards an avoidant style but his fictional illness is an exaggerated form of something avoidants can go through if forced into a social setting and they can't escape to solitude.
- Near from Death Note.
- The shy librarian Shiori Shiomiya from The World God Only Knows.
- Cherry from Superego.
- Fluttershy from My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic.
- Hanako Ikezawa from Katawa Shoujo.
Schizoid Personality Disorder
Very hard to distinguish from background scenery yet somehow manages to be very abrasive. Severe cases of this disorder resemble catatonic and autistic states. If they have depersonalization disorder they won't be freaked out by it. This disorder rarely shows up in the media though many characters would meet the criteria if they were less ambitious, weren't secretly shy, or weren't spiced up with the Rule of Cool. Less severe cases are hard to differentiate from the avoidant. The main difference is avoidants are afraid of not being good enough and schizoids simply lack the motivation.
On one end the avoidant and schizoid personality disorders blend into healthy levels of introversion and on the other end they blend into the schizotypal personality disorder. All three personality disorders are part of the schizophrenic spectrum.
There are many questions as to the validity of this disorder. People with this disorder, are perfectly happy being loners, show very little distress, and therefore rarely seek treatment.
See also: Extreme Doormat.
Examples from various media
- Rei from Neon Genesis Evangelion
- A trait of the Rei Ayanami Expy as well.
- Although uncharacteristically abrasive rather than shy, Haruhi Suzumiya shows five of the symptoms of this: neither has nor desires (1) close or (2) sexual relationships, (3) takes pleasure in few activities, (4) emotional detachment, and (5) indifference to praise or criticism. Another of the symptoms--lacking close friends or confidants--was true until she started opening up to Kyon later in the series.
- The eponymous Lain Iwakura from Serial Experiments Lain.
- The doorknob from Alice in Wonderland.
- Sherlock Holmes - shows little interest in confiding in others or romantic relations despite showing perfect social skills, and is indifferent to praise, usually allowing all of the credit to go to whichever police officer Sherlock happens to be working with. His brother Mycroft also shows many characteristics of this personality disorder, including joining a club whos main rule prohibits talking to each other, showing extreme anhedonia manifested by little interest in much, even though his skills are probably superior to those of Sherlock.
- Severus Snape - Shows little concern or interest in romantic or personal relationships. Is always seen reading, when not teaching, instead of talking with others. Seems to not express interest in anything that doesn't have anything to do with his interests, studying, or whatever his mind is on or what he precives as important. In the words of Alan Rickman 'He is very concentrated...lives a solitary life. Does not have much of a social life' He also has a massive intellect, knows it, and most likely views others beneath him or of just little to no interest. He never yells and is very quiet.
Schizotypal Personality Disorder
"Poor fellow. Has very interesting behavior. I've been asking the doc what's wrong with him for years now but he keeps saying he's fine."
These people are the borderline schizophrenics. Like the borderline they lack a stable sense of self. If someone mentions easter they immediately think the Easter Bunny's right ear, something else more specific than the average person would think of, or something only loosely affiliated with easter. Symbols must travel down long and twisted corridors before reaching something the rest of us would find relevant, possibly not even making it anywhere at all. Borderlines have no sense of self because they're at the mercy of the ebbs and flows of their emotions which destroy any attempt at consistency.
Their speech pattern exhibits a Continuity Lock Out with reality through the use of Vagueness Is Coming, Rule of Symbolism, and Mana. This is believed to reflect a similar Magic Realism style perception of the world.
Variations exist where schizotypal eccentricities can be explained by avoidant nervousness or schizoid emptiness.
Examples from various media
- Juliet from Superego.
- Rin Tezuka from Katawa Shoujo has a mild case of this.
Passive Aggressive Personality Disorder
NOTE: This disorder has been removed from the DSM and is no longer considered a valid diagnosis.
People who are afraid to tell you they have a problem with you but don't want to come across as selfish. The result is instead of the two of you talking through your problems the passive aggressive let's one annoyance after another pile up. While the fear of retaliation keeps the passive aggressive from directly stating their opinion, they will try to find small things that can easily be gotten away with but still cause annoyance to their target. Bothering by the Book is a well documented(though not the only) method of doing this, giving the passive aggressive the appearance of the obsessive compulsive at the times. However if you look closely you'll see this behavior isn't consistent.
This being antagonistic one moment but acting as if nothing happened the next can resemble the idealization and devaluation of the borderline but this resemblance is only superficial. Passive aggressive are simply afraid to come out and say what's bugging them and borderlines have an instability extending to many levels of their psych. Passive aggressive personality disorder also doesn't imply self harming and impulsive behavior.
Sadistic Personality Disorder
NOTE: This disorder has been removed from the DSM and is no longer considered a valid diagnosis.
These people like to dominate others and take joy from inflicting harm on them. Unlike the Anti-Social Personality where violence may be carried out For the Evulz, during a crime, or other ill defined reasons, a person with a sadistic personality uses violence for the purpose of dominating and humiliating their victim. Similar to the Narcissist, these individuals are afraid of appearing weak or out of control. Their behavior extends beyond merely being callous, with those around them often being subjected to harsh punishment for straying out of line. Unlike the Narcissistic and Borderline Personalities, violence is not merely an outlet for anger, but an acceptable method for controlling others.
Interestingly in Real Life this disorder comes closer than the antisocial personality disorder to what people think of when they hear psychopath(sadistic serial killer). It's still not an exact match though.
Compare and contrast Combat Sadomasochist, The Fighting Narcissist, Psycho for Hire, Ax Crazy, and Faux Affably Evil. Others like hiding behind positions of authority, using emotional abuse instead of violence, and lean more towards Drill Sergeant Nasty or a big brother type of person. While others still are shy people with low confidence similar to the avoidant except they secretly desire to make their tormentors(real or imagined) squirm in pain and when feeling bold enough see nothing wrong with the occasional Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
(NOTE: This disorder has nothing to do with individuals who may engage in sadistic sexual practices with a CONSENTING sexual partner.)
Examples from various media
- In Yu Yu Hakusho, during the Dark Tournament finals, various lines of dialogue and their fighting styles show how sadistic Karasu, elder Toguro, and Sakyou are.
- Agito from Air Gear enjoys carving his road into the bodies of other storm riders.
- Envy from Fullmetal Alchemist is particularly proud of starting the Isval War, and takes sadistic pleasure in telling Mustang about his murder of Hughes, and the anger that erupts on his face.
- The 2003 anime version of Envy shows Borderline traits like inconsistent gender identity, explosive anger, and anger over his/her abandonment by Hohenheim.
- Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street is the most well known slasher with this kind of personality.
- Bellatrix Lestrange from Harry Potter - particularly fond of torturing people until they go insane
- Jordan Sulivan from Scrubs enjoys ruining other relationships, and emasculating her ex-husband. Although she is rarely violent, she uses manipulation to enforce her rules.
- Airachnid of Transformers Prime. Enjoys inflicting physical and emotional trauma on helpless victims, loves bringing up the things you'd rather forget she did. Eager to grab at power, especially if it means stabbing someone in the back.
Everything and the kitchen sink
Works that involve a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits will sometimes intentionally have every character written with a personality disorder in mind (with some amazing skill to compensate for their emotional-social deficiencies).
Examples from various media
- Most of the odd characters in Death Note show symptoms of personality disorders, though sometimes it's less clear and more of an Ambiguous Disorder.
- The homunculi from Fullmetal Alchemist are stated to be personifications of the Seven Deadly Sins, though some of their personalities have enough depth to be closer to severely disordered people.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion. The show is an intentional Deconstruction of the implications of having exceptional child soldiers pilot Giant Mecha. At first, the pilots seem to be just rather quirky, but the depth of their problems is revealed over the course of the series.
- Lost is known for its ridiculous amount of fantastic and Sci-Fi elements resulting in Mind Screw, but the crux of the series is the well-fleshed characters and their issues interacting with each other and the strange environment.
- Superego is about a group of people trapped inside a hospital, each with a tattoo on their hands of a number which corresponds to their personality disorder as listed in the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). So far, every character is totally archetypal of their respective disorder.
- My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic. Four of the main ponies have problems clearly analogous to personality disorders, although it's lessened because it's a show meant for kids. "All the ponies in this town are CRAZY!"
- ↑ if you're designing a character with a personality disorder most of that stuff still applies