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August 24, 2006

New Disorder: Progressive Personality Disorder

Filed under: Diverse — limewoody @ 7:45 am

Progressive Personality Disorder

The following is based on a very perceptive post by someone named John Moore, which I found through a link to a link on Dr. Sanity’s grand rounds of the psychosphere today.

It looks as if it were hastily composed in a manic burst of inspiration, but it’s so good, and so accurate, that it deserves wider dissemination. I’ve taken the liberty of cleaning it up, editing it a bit, adding a few things here and there, and putting it in the format of the DSM. However, most of the credit is due its perceptive author, the above-referenced John Moore.

I’ve also taken the additional liberty of altering the name of the condition, from his “Cognitive Disorder of Progressives” to “Progressive Personality Disorder.” This is because Moore’s nomenclature implies that this is an Axis I condition, generally meaning a short-term change in functioning, such as a time-limited anxiety or depressive disorder. Axis I conditions usually involve temporary states rather than permanent traits.

On the other hand, Axis II is primarily reserved for the Personality Disorders, which are much more difficult to treat, as they involve enduring patterns of maladaptive thought, behavior or emotion that lead to either significant functional impairment or subjective distress–for example, Paranoid, Narcissistic, or Borderline Personality Disorders. When a person suffers from a personality disorder, much of their condition involves acting out in the world rather than harboring internal “neurotic” conflict within oneself.

As often as not, the person with a personality disorder causes as much or more pain and difficulty for those around them than they do for themselves. It is fair to say that most people with a personality disorder don’t ever recognize that they have one. When they come in for treatment, it is usually for some ancillary problem that is caused by the personality disorder, such as difficulty forming stable relationships, identity disturbance, poor self esteem, impulsivity, sexual identity confusion, chronic dissatisfaction, etc. Ultimately their problem does not revolve around the “content” of their mind so much as its very structure. Typically, an individual with a personality disorder has damaged psychological structure as a result of early childhood experience. And the damaged structure typically takes the form of inability to auto-regulate in one or more areas, such as emotion, self-esteem, impulse control, mood, or identity.

Personality disorders virtually always involve others as an intrinsic part of the condition. Therefore, politics is often an ideal forum for anyone with a personality disorder. In the field of politics, such individuals are given sanction to act out various conflicts in an entirely insight-free way. Politics truly is a sort of show business for the unattractive–the psychologically unattractive.

If you want to get a feel for this Personality Disorder, just try dipping into dailykos or huffingandpissed.

******

DSM-IV 301.95 PROGRESSIVE PERSONALITY DISORDER

A. A pervasive pattern of progressive political thought and action, rooted in discredited leftist beliefs, beginning in early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by at least five of the following:

1. Utopian thinking – A delusional belief that there exist simple, linear, side effect-free solutions to all social problems. (Note to clinician: please differentiate between wishful thinking and psychotic delusions of grandeur.)

2. Anthroplastic ideation – The delusion that behavioral conditioning performed by the government or some other collective will cure all behavioral and social problems. Implicit in this delusion is the idea that human beings are infinitely malleable and subject to behavioral manipulation leading to perfect control and predictability. Free will and personal conscience are devalued or denigrated.

3. Anti-theistic rebellion – An emotional antagonism to the Judeo-Christian tradition, rooted in an abnormal persistence of adolescent rebellion (may also be related to the need to avoid counter-arguments that would question utopian, anthroplastic ideation). This behavior ranges from a mere antagonism to Christianity to a hatred of all forms of religion. (Generally the more Western a religion is, the more it is despised. Thus, these patients may openly accept more primitive pantheistic, pagan, or animist belief systems, such as wicca or “new age” philosophies.)

4. Naturist delusion – The belief that mankind is evil and nature is benign. The incidence of this symptom is inversely related to practical knowledge and experience of nature. Collective self-hatred is a feature in this area. Typical thinking includes the paranoid belief that mankind is a cancer on earth and that the planet (subjectively felt as a feeling being) will “retaliate.” The naturist delusion includes considerable cognitive dissonance, since the typical Progressive Personality is a believer in evolution, which has resulted in untold suffering and cruelty in the natural arena, mitigated only by mankind’s presence.

5. Environmental spasm – Chaotic, unreasonable, or incoherent episodes of manic activity on behalf of the environment or “mother nature.” The delusional nature of this activity is evidenced by the misanthropic attacks on all works of man, and also by the manic focus on visible or totemic biological objects of little actual worth. The patient is typically obsessed only with cute or cuddly creatures, often a displacement of the nurturing urge (which is not infrequently unfulfilled due to abortion).

6. Control obsession – The tendency to strive for excessive control over others through government intrusion. A projection of the unconscious oral envy into anonymous others, which, when “fed,” is subjectively experienced as “compassion” for them.

7. Racist/feminist hypocrisy – Passionate advocating of government-enforced discrimination based on sex or race, while aggressively proclaiming opposition to policies which are “racist” or “sexist.”

8. Overemotional perception – Excessive concern with how a social action “looks” or “feels,” to the exclusion of actual effects in the real world, in particular, any effects beyond the immediate. Resistance to, and denial of, objective evidence proving the adverse consequences of progressive policy. Superficial cognition about most matters of significant import, as the progressive personality relies on the “feel” of issues rather than truly understanding them.

9. Sexual dysfunction – Significant anxiety about sexual matters, manifested as:

a. Obsession with sexual and gender roles.

b. Passionate celebration of nontraditional sex roles and preferences.

c. The compulsion to define individuals by their “sexual preference” and to design social policy as if all individuals share the obsession.

d. An inordinate interest in preserving inappropriate, lewd, or antisocial forms of sexual expression.

e. Fascination with immature or deviant expressions of sexuality; reduction of human sexuality to animal sexuality.

UPDATE:

I’m sure readers will be able to think of additional diagnostic criteria for the Progressive Personality Disorder. Here are a few obvious ones:

“Unwillingness to defend country when attacked or threatened. Allied with inability to name or recognize evil. General devaluation of the masculine virtues.”

“The fervent belief that all cultures are beautiful except one’s own.”

“Obsession with conformity of thought within a racially diverse population.”

Also the qualifier: “Individual must be at least 18 years of age to qualify for the diagnosis of Progressive Personality Disorder, as many of the criteria are age-appropriate for adolescents.”

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