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Is there a mental condition that makes people unconditionally gullible?

Is there a mental condition that makes people unconditionally gullible?



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The last several years in my country there has been a string of fraud that involves people, claiming to be police, asking citizens to contribute large sums of money to aid "police investigation".

The cases persist even though news about it is all over the place, leading me to presume that the whole operation might be targeting people that suffer from a specific mental condition.

When I was a child, there was this kid that you could trick literally any number times in a row, the same thing, in a sequence, just seconds apart, and it would fall for it each and every time. This memory leads me to presume that there is indeed such a condition, and that the aforementioned fraud operation targets people with that condition, so I was wondering if this kind of behavior is studied and documented.

EDIT: The answers so far focus on trust, which is understandable, since I did say "gullible", and it is an omission of my own that I didn't mention it in the initial post, but in many of those cases there is also an element of intimidation immediately prior to the request to "help catch the criminals", which probably plays a significant psychological role too, slightly expanding the context beyond just "unconditional unfounded trust".


Some neurodegenerative diseases cause extreme gullibility, in particular Alzheimer

Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the scientists were able to determine which parts of the brain govern a person's ability to identify sarcasm and lies. The images revealed the associations between the deteriorations of particular parts of the brain and the inability to detect insincere speech.

“These patients cannot detect lies,” said UCSF neuropsychologist Dr. Katherine Rankin, a member of the UCSF Memory and Aging Center and the senior author of the study. “This fact can help them be diagnosed earlier.”

The frontal lobes are strongly associated with complex, higher-order human thinking; thus being unable to detect a lie is only one of several ways the disease may manifest itself. Early symptoms may include any number of differences in behavior, including acting out in socially inappropriate ways or experiencing fundamental shifts in beliefs - changing political views or religions, for example.

As such brain-damage related phenomena, sometimes accidental or neurodevelopmental versions are found, but they are usually rarer.

Regarding the latter, Greenspan et al. (2001) have proposed that gullibiltiy be considered a defining characteristic of mental retardation, but their proposal is not mainstream:

Recent efforts to redefine mental retardation (MR) have been based on the belief that invented scientific criteria, e.g., IQ and adaptive behavior, are insufficient to diagnose a disorder which over the centuries was diagnosed on the basis of intuitive prototypes (Greenspan, 1997). In this chapter, we argue that a central aspect of the MR prototype which has been largely overlooked in recent conceptualizations is a tendency toward unusual credulity and gullibility. In our view, it is credulity and gullibility, as much or more than deficiencies in daily living skills, which cause people with MR (and, for that matter, other forms of cognitive impairment) to be viewed as "disabled" and, perhaps, in need of protections such as conservatorship arrangements.

Their evidence (in that paper) is mostly in form of case report series rather than more systematic. A more systematic study was conducted by Sofronoff et al. (2011) on children with Asperger syndrome (AS). This choice of subjects had the advantage that IQ effects could be separated from social intelligence. Sofronoff et al. had devised a "Social Vulnerability Questionnaire" (fairly PC name) some 4 years prior, and it turned out they could even distinguish between gullibility and credulity using their instrument, a distinction inspired from Greenspan's ideas:

Constructs related to deficits in social intelligence are credulity and gullibility. Greenspan, Loughlin and Black (2001) defined credulity as 'a tendency to believe something, usually a highly questionable statement or claim, despite scanty evidence' (p. 102) and gullibility as 'a vulnerability to being tricked or manipulated' (p. 102). The authors stated that the two constructs are very closely related in that the presence of credulity invariably leads to a gullible outcome and that, while a tendency to be trusting may generally be a good and stable attribute, survival in the social world requires an ability to discriminate those occasional situations where compliance or agreement may result in an adverse outcome. The authors state that low social intelligence and specifically high credulity and gullibility may lie at the heart of poor social outcomes for children and adults with AS (Greenspan et al., 2001).

Table 1 shows the items and their factor loadings after rotation. The two factors relate to getting tricked into things or bullied (factor one) and believing others' statements to their own detriment (factor two). A Pearson's correlation revealed the two factors were moderately correlated with one another, r = .519, suggesting that while related they are different enough to be two distinct factors.

However despite this statistical feat, the number of Asperger's children who were outright identified as gullible as fairly low, around 11% of the sample; credulity was more widespread at 23%.

Given that the SVS questionnaire invited examples from the respondents (parents) in order to substantiate their Likert scale choices, the authors could illustrate with some snippets:

Other areas that were mentioned by more than 10% of parents included credulity or deception:'believes everything other kids say, even if it's wrong' and 'has watched TV and insisted that we buy something because the salesmen said “you must buy this”'; [… ] and gullibility 'today J threw a girl's hat on the school roof because another child told him to' and 'told to jump in the school fish pond'.

A 2018 paper by Seward et al. was rather skeptical of Sofronoff et al.'s claim of two clear factors in children; they could not replicate the finding using a different questionnaire:

Specifically, the first factor (gullibility) contained victimisation items and the second factor contained both credulity and gullibility items. Consequently, these findings raise doubt as to whether the two-factor conceptualisation of social vulnerability described by Greenspan et al. (2001) is applicable to children.

The two-factor conceptualisation of social vulnerability (i.e., credulity and gullibility) proposed by Greenspan et al. (2001) did not emerge in the current study, even when a two-factor solution was forced, despite having items clearly representing both credulity and gullibility and a large sample with considerable variability. Rather, our results indicate that credulity and gullibility are part of the same factor, suggesting that the theoretical conceptualisation of social vulnerability described by Greenspan et al. (2001) is not applicable to children. It is possible that, for children, social vulnerability is a unitary construct, and that as individuals develop, the construct becomes more complex and delineates into two factors (credulity and gullibility) as seen in older adults (Pinsker et al., 2011). Further research conducted across the lifespan will be required to determine if this is in fact the case.

However Seward et al. did find something else of interest (again proposed by Greenspan) namely that gullibility/credulity wasn't the same thing as general weakness in social skill altogether:

Furthermore, the weak negative relationship between parent reports of social vulnerability and prosocial behaviour indicates that being socially vulnerable is not simply having a lack of social skills, providing support for discriminant validity. This is consistent with Greenspan et al. (2001) who suggested that poor social skills are likely to contribute to (but are not the same thing as) being deceived or cheated


Regarding William's syndrome; the actual systematic research on this looks somewhat limited to me. Wikipedia does indeed claim that they are unusually trusting… but what the actual papers citedy say is…

Dykens & Rosner:

Interest in other were seen as well in the Help Others domain, with both the Williams and Prader-Willi groups showing "strong desires to help others" and being "very happy when others do well". The Williams syndrome group, however was singularly high in the item "feels terrible when others are hurt".

Udwin et al.

overanxious to please and constantly seeking reassurance of satisfactory progress (34%)

Einfeldad et al. don't actually have any findings of their own in this respect, but cite Gosh an Pankau for

higher levels of indiscriminate friendliness

One can presumably manipulate people with Williams by playing this card… I guess this qualifies as gullible to some degree, although perhaps not as credulity. All the papers cited in Wikipedia on this are pretty old (all predate Greenspan's 2001) so maybe it's a matter of terminology. Greenspan et al. offer some commentary:

Reis (1998), in a study of young adult women with Williams syndrome--a chromosomal disorder associated with mild or borderline MR--- found that virtually 100% of them had been sexually abused by male peers or workers. Dykens (1998), confirming this finding, has attributed it to the extreme need to please which is an aspect of the Williams syndrome behavioral phenotype. While such affective and motivational factors undoubtedly are very important (see the multidimensional model depicted in Fig. 1), it should not be assumed that social-cognitive factors, such as credulity, are irrelevant. There is considerable research (Dykens & Hodapp, 1998; Rourke, 1995) suggesting that social deficits in people with various syndromes are typically more significant than their academic deficits. Furthermore, the tendency to think of social competence primarily in terms of agreeableness may blind observers to the very real social intelligence deficits of individuals (such as most people with Williams syndrome) who are extremely affable and verbally facile.


And about the news stories… scamming the average person by phone is easy enough without access to health records and the like. The Bulgarian cases reminded me of the Taiwanese located in Spain or even Kenya scamming mainland Chinese with a scheme in which a caller pretend to be police asking for help.

For contrast, Greenspan in his 2009 book has a vignette of someone with Williams syndrome… and it's much more extreme… most people can't be convinced to leave their home and sleep under a bridge:

Larry's need for support [from a neighborhood association] stemmed from his extreme gullibility, and the threat that this posed on numerous occasions to his wellbeing. Specifically, Larry-who lived alone-was very lonely, and he tended to befriend homeless people living on the street. He would give them keys so that they could use his bathroom or sleep in his apartment, would agree to give them money (when he barely had enough to make it through the month), and was even persuaded, until someone intervened, to run off to live under the boardwalk at Coney Island with one of his homeless friends. Aside from the costs to Larry (such as having his meager possessions repeatedly ripped off ), the presence of these strangers in the building-many of them with criminal backgrounds or severe mental illness-was very upsetting to Larry's neighbors, who feared both physical damage to the building (e.g., a shower left running in Larry's apartment caused major water damage) and for their own safety. Thus, the decision by Larry's neighbors to create a “circle of friends” was motivated not only out of affection for him but also because they saw it as an alternative to his eviction (which had been considered at one time) and as a way to protect themselves and Larry from his own gullibility, a gullibility that reflected his cognitive limitations as well as his strong social neediness.

On the other hand, older people are apparently more susceptible to scams:

“When emotionally aroused, either excited or frustrated, older adults may be more susceptible to being victimized by scammers than are younger individuals,” says Ian H. Gotlib, professor of psychology and author of a new report from the Center on Longevity at Stanford University.

This gives a much simpler way for scammers to profile their targets.

Studies show that the elderly - individuals aged 60 and over - are targeted more frequently by financial fraud and scams than other age groups. A recent MetLife Study of Elder and Financial Abuse found that in 2010, $2.9 billion (yes, that's billion with a B) was stolen from the elderly through financial fraud, scams, and exploitation. Additionally, research conducted by the Federal Trade Commission found that 80% of telemarketing scam victims are over the age of 60.


Worldbuilding may have beaten you to this: https://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/a/99881/15591

Williams Syndrome is not, strictly-speaking a purely mental condition. It is "caused by a genetic abnormality" and commonly leads to problems "with teeth, heart problems, especially supravalvular aortic stenosis, and periods of high blood calcium".

But, Williams Syndrome does lead to incredible levels of gullibility. People suffering from the condition are easy to mislead and trick, due to their universal friendliness (even to total strangers). An example from one of the WB-cited stories was that WS people are known to over-draft their bank accounts buying lunch for their coworkers.

In your specific case, it would be easy to tell if WS were involved, since it is associated with a very distinct set of facial features.


Let’s stop thinking that loving unconditionally requires our whole life.

Pouring out so much for them and not expecting anything in return is a good means of showing we truly love them, but at the same time we should save something for ourselves. Let’s not compromise our own needs as an individual. Let’s not exhaust everything because how can we further give when we lose resources? How can we make things work when everything goes awry after we have failed to make time for taking care of our own well-being? How can we achieve the dreams we build with the person we love when we never took time to lay foundations for our own? How can we say we can never leave them when we have left ourselves in the first place? It’s just a cycle. We give what we have and so it’s better to save up. Unconditional love shouldn’t teach us to lose ourselves, it rather teaches us to build a strong, complete life as a foundation of good relationships in other aspects.


Contents

People with HPD are usually high-functioning, both socially and professionally. They usually have good social skills, despite tending to use them to manipulate others into making them the center of attention. [4] HPD may also affect a person's social and romantic relationships, as well as their ability to cope with losses or failures. They may seek treatment for clinical depression when romantic (or other close personal) relationships end. [5] [ citation needed ]

Individuals with HPD often fail to see their own personal situation realistically, instead dramatizing and exaggerating their difficulties. They may go through frequent job changes, as they become easily bored and may prefer withdrawing from frustration (instead of facing it). Because they tend to crave novelty and excitement, they may place themselves in risky situations. All of these factors may lead to greater risk of developing clinical depression. [6]

Additional characteristics may include:

    behavior
  • Constant seeking of reassurance or approval
  • Excessive sensitivity to criticism or disapproval of own personality and unwillingness to change, viewing any change as a threat
  • Inappropriately seductive appearance or behavior of a sexual nature
  • Using factitious somatic symptoms (of physical illness) or psychological disorders to garner attention
  • Craving attention
  • Low tolerance for frustration or delayed gratification
  • Rapidly shifting emotional states that may appear superficial or exaggerated to others
  • Tendency to believe that relationships are more intimate than they actually are
  • Making rash decisions [4]
  • Blaming personal failures or disappointments on others
  • Being easily influenced by others, especially those who treat them approvingly
  • Being overly dramatic and emotional [6]
  • Influenced by the suggestions of others [7]

Some people with histrionic traits or personality disorder change their seduction technique into a more maternal or paternal style as they age. [8]

Mnemonic Edit

A mnemonic that can be used to remember the characteristics of histrionic personality disorder is shortened as "PRAISE ME": [9] [10]

  • Provocative (or seductive) behavior
  • Relationships are considered more intimate than they actually are
  • Attention-seeking
  • Influenced easily by others or circumstances
  • Speech (style) wants to impress lacks detail
  • Emotional lability shallowness
  • Make-up physical appearance is used to draw attention to self
  • Exaggerated emotions theatrical

Little research has been done to find evidence of what causes histrionic personality disorder. Although direct causes are inconclusive, various theories and studies suggest multiple possible causes, of a neurochemical, genetic, psychoanalytic, or environmental nature. Traits such as extravagance, vanity, and seductiveness of hysteria have similar qualities to women diagnosed with HPD. [11] HPD symptoms typically do not fully develop until the age of 15, while the onset of treatment only occurs, on average, at approximately 40 years of age. [12] [13]

Neurochemical/physiological Edit

Studies have shown that there is a strong correlation between the function of neurotransmitters and the Cluster B personality disorders such as HPD. Individuals diagnosed with HPD have highly responsive noradrenergic systems which is responsible for the synthesis, storage, and release of the neurotransmitter, norepinephrine. High levels of norepinephrine leads to anxiety-proneness, dependency, and high sociability. [14]

Genetic Edit

Twin studies have aided in breaking down the genetic vs. environment debate. A twin study conducted by the Department of Psychology at Oslo University attempted to establish a correlation between genetic and Cluster B personality disorders. With a test sample of 221 twins, 92 monozygotic and 129 dizygotic, researchers interviewed the subjects using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R Personality Disorders (SCID-II) and concluded that there was a correlation of 0.67 that histrionic personality disorder is hereditary. [15]

Psychoanalytic theory Edit

Though criticised as being unsupported by scientific evidence, psychoanalytic theories incriminate authoritarian or distant attitudes by one (mainly the mother) or both parents, along with conditional love based on expectations the child can never fully meet. [3] Using psychoanalysis, Freud believed that lustfulness was a projection of the patient's lack of ability to love unconditionally and develop cognitively to maturity, and that such patients were overall emotionally shallow. [16] He believed the reason for being unable to love could have resulted from a traumatic experience, such as the death of a close relative during childhood or divorce of one's parents, which gave the wrong impression of committed relationships. Exposure to one or multiple traumatic occurrences of a close friend or family member's leaving (via abandonment or mortality) would make the person unable to form true and affectionate attachments towards other people. [17]

HPD and antisocial personality disorder Edit

Another theory suggests a possible relationship between histrionic personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder. Research has found 2/3 of patients diagnosed with histrionic personality disorder also meet criteria similar to those of the antisocial personality disorder, [11] which suggests both disorders based towards sex-type expressions may have the same underlying cause. Women are hypersexualized in the media consistently, ingraining thoughts that the only way women are to get attention is by exploiting themselves, and when seductiveness isn't enough, theatrics are the next step in achieving attention. [18] Men can just as well be flirtatious towards multiple women / men yet feel no empathy or sense of compassion towards them. [11] They may also become the center of attention by exhibiting the "Don Juan" macho figure as a role-play. [18]

Some family history studies have found that histrionic personality disorder, as well as borderline and antisocial personality disorders, tend to run in families, but it is unclear if this is due to genetic or environmental factors. [19] Both examples suggest that predisposition could be a factor as to why certain people are diagnosed with histrionic personality disorder, however little is known about whether or not the disorder is influenced by any biological compound or is genetically inheritable. [19] Little research has been conducted to determine the biological sources, if any, of this disorder.

The person's appearance, behavior and history, along with a psychological evaluation, are usually sufficient to establish a diagnosis. There is no test to confirm this diagnosis. Because the criteria are subjective, some people may be wrongly diagnosed. [20]

DSM 5 Edit

The current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM 5, defines histrionic personality disorder (in Cluster B) as: [2]

  • is uncomfortable in situations in which he or she is not the center of attention
  • interaction with others is often characterized by inappropriate sexually seductive or provocative behavior
  • displays rapidly shifting and shallow expression of emotions
  • consistently uses physical appearance to draw attention to self
  • has a style of speech that is excessively impressionistic and lacking in detail
  • shows self-dramatization, theatricality, and exaggerated expression of emotion
  • is suggestible, i.e., easily influenced by others or circumstances
  • considers relationships to be more intimate than they actually are

The DSM 5 requires that a diagnosis for any specific personality disorder also satisfies a set of general personality disorder criteria.

ICD-10 Edit

The World Health Organization's ICD-10 lists histrionic personality disorder as: [21]

  • shallow and labile affectivity,
  • self-dramatization,
  • theatricality,
  • exaggerated expression of emotions,
  • suggestibility,
  • egocentricity,
  • self-indulgence,
  • lack of consideration for others,
  • easily hurt feelings, and
  • continuous seeking for appreciation, excitement and attention.

It is a requirement of ICD-10 that a diagnosis of any specific personality disorder also satisfies a set of general personality disorder criteria.

Comorbidity Edit

Millon's subtypes Edit

Theodore Millon identified six subtypes of histrionic personality disorder. Any individual histrionic may exhibit none or one of the following: [24]

Subtype Description Personality Traits
Appeasing histrionic Including dependent and compulsive features Seeks to placate, mend, patch up, smooth over troubles knack for settling differences, moderating tempers by yielding, compromising, conceding sacrifices self for commendation fruitlessly placates the unplacatable.
Vivacious histrionic The seductiveness of the histrionic mixed with the energy typical of hypomania. Some narcissistic features can also be present Vigorous, charming, bubbly, brisk, spirited, flippant, impulsive seeks momentary cheerfulness and playful adventures animated, energetic, ebullient.
Tempestuous histrionic Including negativistic features Impulsive, out of control moody complaints, sulking precipitous emotion, stormy, impassioned, easily wrought-up, periodically inflamed, turbulent.
Disingenuous histrionic Including antisocial features Underhanded, double-dealing, scheming, contriving, plotting, crafty, false-hearted egocentric, insincere, deceitful, calculating, guileful.
Theatrical histrionic Variant of “pure” pattern Affected, mannered, put-on postures are striking, eyecatching, graphic markets self-appearance is synthesized, stagy simulates desirable/dramatic poses.
Infantile histrionic Including borderline features Labile, high-strung, volatile emotions childlike hysteria and nascent pouting demanding, overwrought fastens and clutches to another is excessively attached, hangs on, stays fused to and clinging.

Treatment is often prompted by depression associated with dissolved romantic relationships. Medication does little to affect the personality disorder, but may be helpful with symptoms such as depression. The only successful method studied and proven to succeed is to fully break contact with their lovers in order to gain a sense of stability and independence once again. [20] [ failed verification ] Treatment for HPD itself involves psychotherapy, including cognitive therapy. [3]

Interviews and self-report methods Edit

In general clinical practice with assessment of personality disorders, one form of interview is the most popular an unstructured interview. [25] The actual preferred method is a semi-structured interview but there is reluctance to use this type of interview because they can seem impractical or superficial. [25] The reason that a semi-structured interview is preferred over an unstructured interview is that semi-structured interviews tend to be more objective, systematic, replicable, and comprehensive. [25] Unstructured interviews, despite their popularity, tend to have problems with unreliability and are susceptible to errors leading to false assumptions of the client. [25]

One of the single most successful methods for assessing personality disorders by researchers of normal personality functioning is the self-report inventory following up with a semi-structured interview. [25] There are some disadvantages with the self-report inventory method that with histrionic personality disorder there is a distortion in character, self-presentation, and self-image. [25] This cannot be assessed simply by asking most clients if they match the criteria for the disorder. [25] Most projective testing depend less on the ability or willingness of the person to provide an accurate description of the self, but there is currently limited empirical evidence on projective testing to assess histrionic personality disorder. [25]

Functional analytic psychotherapy Edit

Another way to treat histrionic personality disorder after identification is through functional analytic psychotherapy. [26] The job of a Functional Analytic Psychotherapist is to identify the interpersonal problems with the patient as they happen in session or out of session. [26] Initial goals of functional analytic psychotherapy are set by the therapist and include behaviors that fit the client's needs for improvement. [26] Functional analytic psychotherapy differs from the traditional psychotherapy due to the fact that the therapist directly addresses the patterns of behavior as they occur in-session. [26]

The in-session behaviors of the patient or client are considered to be examples of their patterns of poor interpersonal communication and to adjust their neurotic defenses. [26] To do this, the therapist must act on the client's behavior as it happens in real time and give feedback on how the client's behavior is affecting their relationship during therapy. [26] The therapist also helps the client with histrionic personality disorder by denoting behaviors that happen outside of treatment these behaviors are termed "Outside Problems" and "Outside Improvements". [26] This allows the therapist to assist in problems and improvements outside of session and to verbally support the client and condition optimal patterns of behavior". [26] This then can reflect on how they are advancing in-session and outside of session by generalizing their behaviors over time for changes or improvement". [26]

Coding client and therapist behaviors Edit

This is called coding client and therapist behavior. [26] In these sessions there is a certain set of dialogue or script that can be forced by the therapist for the client to give insight on their behaviors and reasoning". [26] Here is an example from" [26] the conversation is hypothetical. T = therapist C = Client This coded dialogue can be transcribed as:

  • ECRB – Evoking clinically relevant behavior
    • T: Tell me how you feel coming in here today (CRB2) C: Well, to be honest, I was nervous. Sometimes I feel worried about how things will go, but I am really glad I am here.
    • C: Whatever, you always say that. (becomes quiet). I don’t know what I am doing talking so much.
    • T: Now you seem to be withdrawing from me. That makes it hard for me to give you what you might need from me right now. What do you think you want from me as we are talking right now?”.
    • T: That’s great. I am glad you’re here, too. I look forward to talking to you. [26]

    Functional ideographic assessment template Edit

    Another example of treatment besides coding is functional ideographic assessment template. [26] The functional ideographic assessment template, also known as FIAT, was used as a way to generalize the clinical processes of functional analytic psychotherapy. [26] The template was made by a combined effort of therapists and can be used to represent the behaviors that are a focus for this treatment. [26] Using the FIAT therapists can create a common language to get stable and accurate communication results through functional analytic psychotherapy at the ease of the client as well as the therapist. [26]

    The survey data from the National epidemiological survey from 2001–2002 suggests a prevalence of HPD of 1.84 percent. [27] [ medical citation needed ] Major character traits may be inherited, while other traits may be due to a combination of genetics and environment, including childhood experiences. [8] This personality is seen more often in women than in men. [28] Approximately 65% of HPD diagnoses are women while 35% are men. In Marcie Kaplan's A Women's View of DSM-III, she argues that women are overdiagnosed due to potential biases and expresses that even healthy women are often automatically diagnosed with HPD. [29]

    Many symptoms representing HPD in the DSM are exaggerations of traditional feminine behaviors. In a peer and self-review study, it showed that femininity was correlated with histrionic, dependent and narcissistic personality disorders. [30] Although two thirds of HPD diagnoses are female, there have been a few exceptions. [31] Whether or not the rate will be significantly higher than the rate of women within a particular clinical setting depends upon many factors that are mostly independent of the differential sex prevalence for HPD. [32] Those with HPD are more likely to look for multiple people for attention, which leads to marital problems due to jealousy and lack of trust from the other party. This makes them more likely to become divorced or separated once married. [33] With few studies done to find direct causations between HPD and culture, cultural and social aspects play a role in inhibiting and exhibiting HPD behaviors.

    Histrionic personality disorder stems from Etruscan histrio which means "an actor". Hysteria can be described as an exaggerated or uncontrollable emotion that people, especially in groups, experience. Beliefs about hysteria have varied throughout time. It wasn’t until Sigmund Freud who studied histrionic personality disorder in a psychological manner. [34] “The roots of histrionic personality can be traced to cases of hysterical neurosis described by Freud.” [16] He developed the psychoanalytic theory in the late 19th century and the results from his development led to split concepts of hysteria. One concept labeled as hysterical neurosis (also known as conversion disorder) [35] and the other concept labeled as hysterical character (currently known as histrionic personality disorder). [34] These two concepts must not be confused with each other, as they are two separate and different ideas. [16]

    Histrionic personality disorder is also known as hysterical personality. Hysterical personality has evolved in the past 400 years [36] and it first appeared in the DSM II (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 2nd edition) under the name hysterical personality disorder. The name we know today as histrionic personality disorder is due to the name change in DSM III, third edition. Renaming hysterical personality to histrionic personality disorder is believed to be because of possible negative connotations to the roots of hysteria, such as intense sexual expressions, demon possessions, etc. [37]

    Histrionic personality disorder has gone through many changes. From hysteria, to hysterical character, to hysterical personality disorder, to what it is listed as in the most current DSM, DSM-5. [ clarification needed ] "Hysteria is one of the oldest documented medical disorders.” [34] Hysteria dates back to both ancient Greek and Egyptian writings. [34] Most of the writings related hysteria and women together, similar to today where the epidemiology of histrionic personality disorder is generally more prevalent in women and also frequently diagnosed in women. [25]

    Ancient times Edit

    • Ancient Egypt – first description of the mental disorder, hysteria, dates back to 1900 BC in Ancient Egypt. Biological issues, such as the uterus movement in the female body, were seen as the cause of hysteria. Traditional symptoms and descriptions of hysteria can be found in the Ebers Papyrus, the oldest medical document. [38]
    • Ancient Greece – Similar to ancient Egyptians, the ancient Greeks saw hysteria being related to the uterus. Hippocrates (5th century BC) is the first to use the term hysteria. Hippocrates believed hysteria was a disease that lies in the movement of uterus (from the Greek ὑστέρα hystera "uterus"). Hippocrates’s theory was that since a woman’s body is cold and wet compared to a man’s body which is warm and dry, the uterus is prone to illness, especially if deprived from sex. He saw sex as the cleansing of the body so that being overemotional was due to sex deprivation. [38]
    • According to History Channel's Ancients Behaving Badly, Cleopatra and Nero had histrionic personality disorder. [39]

    Middle Ages Edit

    • The Trotula – a group of three texts from the 12th century—discusses women’s diseases and disorders as understood during this time period, including hysteria. Trota of Salerno, a female medical practitioner from 12th-century Italy, is an authoritative figure behind one of the texts of the Trotula. (Authoritative in that it is her treatments and theories that are presented in the text). Some people believe Trota's teachings resonated with those of Hippocrates. [38]

    Renaissance Edit

    • The uterus was still the explanation of hysteria, the concept of women being inferior to men was still present, and hysteria was still the symbol for femininity. [38]

    Modern age Edit

      (17th century) introduces a new concept of hysteria. Thomas Willis believed that the causes of hysteria was not linked to the uterus of the female, but to the brain and nervous system. [38]
  • Hysteria was consequence of social conflicts during the Salem witch trials. [38]
  • Witchcraft and sorcery was later considered absurd during the Age of Enlightenment in the late 17th century and 18th century. Hysteria starts to form in a more scientific way, especially neurologically. New ideas formed during this time and one of them was that if hysteria is connected to the brain, men could possess it too, not just women. [38] (18th century) treated patients suffering from hysteria with his method called mesmerism, or animal magnetism. [38] (19th century) studied effects of hypnosis in hysteria. Charcot states that hysteria is a neurological disorder and that it is actually very common in men. [38]
  • Contemporary age Edit

      's work with Josef Breuer, Studies on Hysteria, contributes to a psychoanalytic theory of hysteria.
    • Freud believed that hysteria was caused by a lack of libidinal evolution. [38]

    Social implications Edit

    The prevalence of histrionic personality disorder in women is apparent and urges a re-evaluation of cultural notions of normal emotional behaviour. The diagnostic approach classifies histrionic personality disorder behaviour as “excessive”, considering it in reference to a social understanding of normal emotionality. [40]


    The psychology of Qanon: Why do seemingly sane people believe bizarre conspiracy theories?

    A secret civil war is going on — or at least, it is in the minds of some U.S. citizens. At recent Trump rallies, people have been observed publicly expressing support for “Q”: An anonymous person or group that claims to have access to top-level security information about a secret cabal of corrupt elites, intellectuals, left-wing politicians and celebrities conspiring to exploit and even enslave people. President Donald Trump, apparently, is one of the few people willing and able to fight this secret conspiracy, often referred to as “Qanon."

    If it sounds crazy, that’s because it is. The mostly right-wing conspiracy theory makes a series of mind-blowing allegations that include Democrat-run centers for pedophiles and Satanic cults. The theory first appeared on various online message boards like “8Chan,” where followers shared “bread crumbs” — clues — about the dark and powerful forces that supposedly run their country.

    The theories are so wild at this point that some conspiracy-friendly members of the far right are pushing back on them and even banning them from popular online forums. We don't know which person or persons originated the theory (yet), or what their motivations may have been. What we do know is that the theory is spreading. And generally speaking, why.

    It would be tempting to dismiss those who believe such bizarre ideas as mentally ill. But in reality, conspiracy beliefs such as Qanon are neither pathological nor novel.

    It would be tempting to dismiss those who believe such bizarre ideas as mentally ill. But in reality, conspiracy beliefs such as Qanon are neither pathological nor novel. Putting aside the fact that some conspiracy theories turn out to be true (e.g., Watergate is arguably an example of a real conspiracy), even fact-free conspiracy theories can be followed by people who otherwise behave relatively normally.

    Widespread support for conspiracy theories is also not simply a symptom of our modern digital society. In the dark ages, witch hunts were based on the belief that young women gathered in the woods to conspire with the devil, and many traditional societies still accuse enemy tribes of sorcery to harm or control them. The fear that evil forces conspire to hurt good people is deeply rooted in the human psyche.

    I have studied the psychological motivators of conspiracy beliefs for many years. Based on my research, I believe there are three main reasons why people believe in theories like Qanon. First, accepting one conspiracy theory as true makes it much easier to believe in other theories. Studies from the mid-1990s found that the single best predictor of conspiracy thinking is the belief in a different conspiracy theory.

    In a recent study conducted by myself, Karen Douglas and Clara De Inocencio, we further investigated why this could be the case. Our conclusion? Conspiracy theories reinforce a belief that nothing in the world happens through coincidence. This refusal to recognize the role of chance leads people to develop a worldview in which hostile and secret conspiracies permeate all layers of society.

    Feelings of anxiety and uncertainty also help fuel conspiracy theories. Such emotions function as a psychological warning signal, leading people to try and make sense of societal events that frighten them. This helps to explain the widespread (and ongoing) speculation that followed impactful events such as 9/11 or the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Together with Nils Jostmann and Michele Acker, we found that feelings of uncertainty, coupled with the feeling that your life is not fully in your control anymore, increases conspiracy thinking. Studies by others researchers confirm that emotions reflecting uncertainty — such as fear or worry — can increase conspiracy beliefs.

    Ironically, however, conspiracy theories do little to reduce these negative feelings. On the contrary, conspiracy theories only exacerbate feelings of anxiety, laying the foundations for further theorizing.

    Feelings of anxiety and uncertainty also help fuel conspiracy theories. Such emotions function as a psychological warning signal, leading people to try and make sense of societal events that frighten them.

    Human brains are hard-wired to protect their own group against competing groups, and therefore more easily attribute the actions of competing groups to conspiracies. One of our most recent studies found members of ethnic minority groups facing actual discrimination by a majority group are relatively susceptible to conspiracies: "Feelings of deprivation lead marginalized minority members to perceive the social and political system as rigged, stimulating belief in both identity‐relevant and irrelevant conspiracy theories."

    Not surprisingly, political communities operate in much the same way. Studies by a group of political scientists revealed that Republicans are more likely to believe governmental conspiracy theories when a Democrat is president, while Democrats are more likely to believe governmental conspiracy theories when a Republican is president. Qanon is a more extreme example of a fairly consistent pattern: It has flourished among members of the fringe political right, and it selectively portrays prominent liberal figures as exceptionally immoral and dangerous.


    The Flawed Psychology of Forcing People to Hit “Rock Bottom”

    Authored by Brooke M Feldman, MSW

    While teaching a class on eminent psychologist Abraham Maslow’s human hierarchy of needs theory to aspiring behavioral health professionals, a student raised her hand to ask me the following question:

    “Is this where the idea of people struggling with addiction having to hit “rock bottom” comes from?”

    This insightful student was looking up on the screen at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs pyramid and referring to the all-too-common thinking surrounding people living with addiction. Nearly all of us have heard the notion somewhere along the way that people living with addiction must hit a proverbial “rock bottom” before being “willing” to change their addictive behavior. Nearly none of us have escaped being socially indoctrinated into the idea that in order to best support somebody living with addiction, we must move out of the way to allow for their inevitable fall to “rock bottom.” We have been told that to do otherwise would mean “enabling” the person to continue on with their addiction. Sadly, this thinking has been a poisonous source of tremendous unnecessary harms, the most tragic of which continues to be countless preventable deaths.

    As the inquisitive student and remainder of the class looked up at the largely projected pyramid of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, all present could visually see that at the bottom of the pyramid lie basic physiological needs being met such as food, shelter, rest, etc. Closely following the bottom of the pyramid on the second level is basic psychological needs being met such as feeling safe, secure, etc. To that end, the student’s question and what she was getting at could be rephrased as:

    “Is Maslow’s theory where the idea comes from that people struggling with addiction have to go without food, shelter, rest, safety, security, etc. in order to want to get better?”

    I had just taught the class how the task of reaching the highest level of human need that Maslow called self-actualization, or achieving one’s full potential, was contingent on the majority of other needs in the pyramid being met. We had just reviewed how each level of the pyramid builds off of the last and had just discussed how it is nearly impossible to move up the pyramid if the needs below are not being met. We had just spent some time talking about how Maslow’s theory would be relevant in their work as behavioral health professionals, how this theory could serve as a critical key for how to best meet people where they are at.

    And so, here we were, with the question at hand essentially being did the idea of people living with addiction have to go without having their basic needs met in order to reach living up to their potential come from Maslow’s theory?

    I asked the class to look at the pyramid and tell me what they thought the answer was, and furthermore, what they thought would bring people struggling with addiction closer to reaching their full potential.

    And right there up on the screen, the answer sat plain as day.

    According to Maslow, “rock bottom” is the furthest place one can be when it comes to having their necessary needs met to reach their full potential.

    Instead, if we are looking for what brings somebody closer to achieving self-actualization, closer to wellness, closer to reaching their full potential, we see that it is thru having the psychological needs of belonging, love and esteem being met that people move closer to that place.

    Maslow tells us that in addition to having our basic needs met, it is a sense of security, safety, connectedness, community, acceptance, intimate relationships, being able to give and receive love, etc. which bring people closer to reaching their full potential.

    Maslow has in fact long told us that having the needs met of self-worth, a sense of purpose, achieving goals, feeling good about oneself, having a sense of accomplishment, etc. are what brings people closer to self-actualization than “rock bottom” ever could.

    And so, back to the student’s initial question.

    “Is this (Maslow’s theory) where the idea of people struggling with addiction having to hit “rock bottom” comes from?”

    The answer to that question is that it would only be if somebody did not understand Maslow’s theory on the hierarchy of human needs that they could ever believe in the idea of people having to “hit rock bottom” in order to get better.

    Moreover and perhaps more importantly than the answer to that question, the larger lesson this inquiry brought was a deeper understanding of what Maslow tried to tell us way back in 1943.

    The key to supporting people living with addiction in reaching their full potential is the exact opposite of “letting them hit rock bottom.”

    The key is instead to move the bottom of that pyramid of human needs up so that the needs which are known to bring people closer to reaching their full potential are being met.

    It means to foster social connectedness rather than to force isolation.

    It means to practice acceptance rather than intolerance.

    It means to fan self-worth rather than to fuel shame.

    It means to love rather than to disdain.

    Ultimately, there is really no good psychology behind the idea of forcing people into “hitting rock bottom.”

    There is however plenty of good psychology behind what brings people closer to wellness and full potential. It is long past time that the ways in which we view and treat addiction line up less with opinion, personal moral belief and socially transmitted misinformation and instead more with what science tells us about human behavior and social development. Interestingly, it seems that it is in the science where we find the compassion, empathy, and understanding that society is still too often lacking.

    This article was originally published on medium.com and has been republished with permission from the author.

    Don’t Wait for Rock Bottom – SMART Recovery Can Help

    If you want to address any addiction or harmful habit, SMART Recovery can help. Click here to learn more about how SMART Recovery helps individuals with addiction. And, if you’re ready to get started, search for a meeting near you and/or join our online community where we have daily online meetings and 24࡭ message boards and chat rooms.

    If you’re a family member or friend of someone with addiction, SMART Recovery can help you, too. SMART Recovery Family & Friends is a science-based, respectful, and empowering alternative to the harsh approach to “letting them hit bottom”. Our methods are based on the tools of SMART Recovery and CRAFT (Community Reinforcement And Family Training) and are congruent with the thoughts shared in this article.


    Borderline Personality Disorder Quotes

    &ldquoThe Queen is controlling, the Witch is sadistic, the Hermit is fearful, and the Waif is helpless.

    And each requires a different approach. Don't let the Queen get the upper hand be wary even of accepting gifts because it engenders expectations. Don't internalize the Hermit's fears or become limited by them. Don't allow yourself to be alone with the Witch maintain distance for your own emotional and physical safety. And with the Waif, don't get pulled into her crises and sense of victimization. Pay attention to your own tendencies to want to rescue her, which just feeds the dynamic.&rdquo
    ― Christine Ann Lawson, Understanding the Borderline Mother

    &ldquoGoodReads: Do people still ask you about your mental health?

    Susanna Kaysen: Well, they used to a lot. "Are you still crazy?" was how people put it. And I would say, "Yes, but I'm older, so I'm more used to it." It's familiar. You've been there, you've done that, and it's gone away. I think the fact that you can feel like it's the end of the world and you're going to kill yourself and yet there's some part of you that says "this has happened before." And by the time you get to the point where you can say "this has happened 137 times before," it's better than saying "this has happened four times before." So as you get older, there's a little ironist or cynic or somebody inside you who says, "Yeah, uh-huh. Right, OK, I've heard that, I've heard that.&rdquo
    ― Susanna Kaysen

    &ldquoSadly, psychiatric training still includes far too little on the very serious psychiatric sequelae of childhood trauma, especially CSA [child sexual abuse]. There is inadequate recognition within mental health services of the prevalence and importance of Dissociative Disorders, sufferers of which are frequently misdiagnosed as Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), or, in the cases of DID, schizophrenia.

    This is to some extent understandable as some of the features of DID appear superficially to mimic those of schizophrenia and/or Borderline Personality Disorder.&rdquo
    ― Joan Coleman, Attachment, Trauma and Multiplicity: Working with Dissociative Identity Disorder

    &ldquoThe case of a patient with dissociative identity disorder follows:

    Cindy, a 24-year-old woman, was transferred to the psychiatry service to facilitate community placement. Over the years, she had received many different diagnoses, including schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, schizoaffective disorder, and bipolar disorder. Dissociative identity disorder was her current diagnosis.

    Cindy had been well until 3 years before admission, when she developed depression, "voices," multiple somatic complaints, periods of amnesia, and wrist cutting. Her family and friends considered her a pathological liar because she would do or say things that she would later deny. Chronic depression and recurrent suicidal behavior led to frequent hospitalizations. Cindy had trials of antipsychotics, antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and anxiolytics, all without benefit. Her condition continued to worsen.

    Cindy was a petite, neatly groomed woman who cooperated well with the treatment team. She reported having nine distinct alters that ranged in age from 2 to 48 years two were masculine. Cindy’s main concern was her inability to control the switches among her alters, which made her feel out of control. She reported having been sexually abused by her father as a child and described visual hallucinations of him threatening her with a knife. We were unable to confirm the history of sexual abuse but thought it likely, based on what we knew of her chaotic early home life.

    Nursing staff observed several episodes in which Cindy switched to a troublesome alter. Her voice would change in inflection and tone, becoming childlike as ]oy, an 8-year-old alter, took control. Arrangements were made for individual psychotherapy and Cindy was discharged.

    At a follow-up 3 years later, Cindy still had many alters but was functioning better, had fewer switches, and lived independently. She continued to see a therapist weekly and hoped to one day integrate her many alters.&rdquo
    ― Donald W. Black, Introductory Textbook of Psychiatry


    You Can Experience Negative Emotions At The Same Time

    Unconditional love does not mean that you feel warmth and affection towards your beloved at all times you are human after all.

    You can be angry at them, frustrated with them, and hurt by them while still loving them.

    Having arguments does not diminish the love that comes truly free of conditions.

    Just as the waves atop an ocean do not impact the depths below, the natural highs and lows of a relationship cannot penetrate deep enough to affect the underlying feeling.


    Treatments

    Psychodynamic therapy

    HPD, like other personality disorders, may require several years of therapy and may affect individuals throughout their lives. Some professionals believe that psychoanalytic therapy is a treatment of choice for HPD because it assists patients to become aware of their own feelings. Long-term psychodynamic therapy needs to target the underlying conflicts of individuals with HPD and to assist patients in decreasing their emotional reactivity. Therapists work with thematic dream material related to intimacy and recall. Individuals with HPD may have difficulty recalling because of their tendency to repress material.

    Cognitive-behavioral therapy

    Cognitive therapy is a treatment directed at reducing the dysfunctional thoughts of individuals with HPD. Such thoughts include themes about not being able to take care of oneself. Cognitive therapy for HPD focuses on a shift from global, suggestible thinking to a more methodical, systematic, and structured focus on problems. Cognitive-behavioral training in relaxation for an individual with HPD emphasizes challenging automatic thoughts about inferiority and not being able to handle one's life. Cognitive-behavioral therapy teaches individuals with HPD to identify automatic thoughts, to work on impulsive behavior, and to develop better problem-solving skills. Behavioral therapists employ assertiveness training to assist individuals with HPD to learn to cope using their own resources. Behavioral therapists use response cost to decrease the excessively dramatic behaviors of these individuals. Response cost is a behavioral technique that involves removing a stimulus from an individual's environment so that the response that directly precedes the removal is weakened. Behavioral therapy for HPD includes techniques such as modeling and behavioral rehearsal to teach patients about the effect of their theatrical behavior on others in a work setting.

    Group therapy

    Group therapy is suggested to assist individuals with HPD to work on interpersonal relationships. Psychodrama techniques or group role play can assist individuals with HPD to practice problems at work and to learn to decrease the display of excessively dramatic behaviors. Using role-playing, individuals with HPD can explore interpersonal relationships and outcomes to understand better the process associated with different scenarios. Group therapists need to monitor the group because individuals with HPD tend to take over and dominate others.

    Family therapy

    To teach assertion rather than avoidance of conflict, family therapists need to direct individuals with HPD to speak directly to other family members. Family therapy can support family members to meet their own needs without supporting the histrionic behavior of the individual with HPD who uses dramatic crises to keep the family closely connected. Family therapists employ behavioral contracts to support assertive behaviors rather than temper tantrums.

    Medications

    Pharmacotherapy is not a treatment of choice for individuals with HPD unless HPD occurs with another disorder. For example, if HPD occurs with depression, antidepressants may be prescribed. Medication needs to be monitored for abuse.

    Alternative therapies

    Meditation has been used to assist extroverted patients with HPD to relax and to focus on their own inner feelings. Some therapists employ hypnosis to assist individuals with HPD to relax when they experience a fast heart rate or palpitations during an expression of excessively dramatic, emotional, and excitable behavior.


    1. Excess self-blame.

    It is typical of a dysfunctional family to be run by adults who display contrasting personalities – one being passive and dependent and the other being aggressive and individualistic and self-engrossed. In this utter perplexity, the child struggles to make sense of their own set of experiences and events unfolding around them.

    The aggressive adult oppresses and dominates while the passive one is too apprehensive and submissive to protest.

    At a sub-conscious level, a child has to depend unconditionally on their primary caregivers to survive. It is an evolutionary reflex.

    So, at a conscious level, when caregivers fail to fulfill their responsibility towards the child, the child is left to believe that the fault resides in him/her and reasons out to himself about the lack of consistent availability of good parenting – he/she assumes that he/she isn’t worth the care and nurturance.

    They remain so stressed, scared, and constricted before their emotionally inconsistent parents that they are left with no other choice but to blame themselves for every disagreement between their parents, for the emotional and physical neglect inflicted by them. Because these children are simply unable to play an adult role and take care of their parents, they often feel inadequate and guilty (1)

    Now broaden the picture, and you’ll see how we end up carrying these early attitudes into our adulthood, especially if we aren’t initially aware of them.

    Feeling dejected and persecuted and in turn, experiencing hurt and pain, becomes the norm.


    Life's Extremes: Pathological Liar vs. Straight Shooter

    Lying — like it or not — is a part of everyday life. Most of us will bend the truth every now and then, with even the most honest person telling the occasional "white lie" to avoid hurting someone else's feelings.

    Yet some people, called pathological liars, utter untruths constantly and for no clear reason. Their behavior confounds scientists and oftentimes themselves.

    "Pathological liars have a pattern of frequent, repeated and excessive lies or lying behavior for which there is no apparent benefit or gain for the liar," said Charles Dike, clinical professor of psychiatry at Yale University and medical director of the Whiting Forensic Division of Connecticut Valley Hospital.

    On the opposite end of the spectrum are those rare individuals who might be described as "pathological truth-tellers." These people forego socially convenient and appropriate fibs to speak the unvarnished, upsetting truth.

    Intriguingly, this "lying handicap" is a common feature of the developmental disorder high-functioning autism and Asperger's Syndrome.

    "People with Asperger's have a tendency to be very blunt and direct — they can be honest to a fault," said Tony Attwood, professor of psychology at Minds & Hearts, an Asperger's and autism clinic in Brisbane, Australia

    Psychology and neuroscience have provided clues as to why some people lie up a storm while others have difficulty dissembling or detecting it in others. These contrasting extremes can help us learn about the default human mode of lying on a daily basis to avoid insult, get out of trouble or exploit others.

    "If you define lying as 'statements intended to deceive,' then yes we all do lie, every day," said Dike.

    In psychiatric circles, pathological lying goes by the fancy name pseudologia fantastica, though it is not yet recognized as a distinct disorder.

    What puzzles most about a pathological liar's behavior, Dike said, is that it is counterproductive. Dropping flagrant whoppers can cause trouble in jobs, relationships and even with the law through self-incriminations. [10 Most Destructive Human Behaviors]

    Stranger still, the lies can be blatantly see-through in their bogusness. "Not only is there no benefit to the lies, but the lies most of the time are easily disprovable," said Dike.

    Dike offers an example of a coworker declaring he has a flight later that day. The co-worker is not trying to shirk a meeting, however. As the day goes on and the coworker remains in the office, he adds to the lie by announcing that the flight was cancelled. The pattern of falsities then continues. "The next day, there is some new story," said Dike.

    Anecdotally, many of us will recognize this sort of behavior, though at present there are no good statistics for the prevalence of pathological lying. "What's clear," Dike said, "is that it's not uncommon."

    A mind for facts

    While acting in this manner makes no sense to most of us, it is essentially impossible for people with Asperger's. Patients have expressed to Attwood puzzlement at why ordinary people lie with such frequency.

    To boot, people with Asperger's have trouble detecting falsity in words and actions. "They often think other people are as honest as they are, which leaves them vulnerable and gullible," said Attwoord.

    Asperger's is characterized by impairment in social interactions and restricted interests. (A well-known television character who manifests much of the behavioral profile of someone with Asperger's is Dr. Sheldon Cooper on "The Big Bang Theory.") Attwood noted that these individuals have an "allegiance to the truth, rather than people's feelings."

    Key to proper socialization and its subtleties is "theory of mind," the ability to attribute mental states to other individuals. "Theory of mind is determining what others are thinking, feeling or believe," said Attwood.

    Asperger's patients tend to have a poorly developed theory of mind, which presents them with great difficulty in empathizing with others. More positively, this trait makes it tough to construct deceitful ruses, and those with Asperger's who do learn how to lie often do so badly, said Attwood.

    Brain scans using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) have revealed a basis for this deficit. In Asperger's patients and autistics, there is less activity in parts of the "social brain," such as the prefrontal cortex. "In Asperger's,that area is dysfunctional," said Attwood. "Areas of the prefrontal cortex that should light up don&rsquot in fMRI."

    Natural born liars

    To an extent, it would seem then that humans are wired to trick their fellows. In our closest primate relatives, who also have sophisticated social structures in which they live, deception is rife. Chimpanzees for example will purposefully mislead troop members away from a tasty food source and then return later to gobble it solo.

    Researchers have discovered that the more conniving a primate species, the bigger its brain. (It therefore makes sense that with our giant brains, humans are veritable founts of hogwash.) The faculties of memory and abstraction needed to mince language and appearance so as to deceive require a lot of brainpower, researchers have learned. [10 Things You Didn't Know About the Brain]

    Interestingly, brain scans have revealed that the prefrontal cortexes in frequent liars are built differently from those in a typical brain. A 2005 study showed that liars had 22 percent more "white matter" than average, as well as about 14 percent less "gray matter." The former acts like wiring in the brain, while gray matter cells in this region play a role in impulse control.

    "If you have more white matter, you are more able to manipulate information and words," said Dike. "You can weave thoughts in ways others probably can't."

    Dike, who was not involved in the 2005 study, pointed out that it was conducted on criminals and people with antisocial behaviors who lie with purpose, unlike pathological liars. Indeed, the motivation behind pathological liars' duplicity remains another big mystery.

    Researchers speculate that pathological liars experience some sort of psychological excitement from fooling others. "There has to be some sort of internal satisfaction that makes them go on with this behavior, but no one knows for sure," said Dike.

    For lying, as many of us will attest, is never its own reward.

    Follow LiveScience for the latest in science news and discoveries on Twitter @livescienceand on Facebook.


    Borderline Personality Disorder Quotes

    &ldquoThe Queen is controlling, the Witch is sadistic, the Hermit is fearful, and the Waif is helpless.

    And each requires a different approach. Don't let the Queen get the upper hand be wary even of accepting gifts because it engenders expectations. Don't internalize the Hermit's fears or become limited by them. Don't allow yourself to be alone with the Witch maintain distance for your own emotional and physical safety. And with the Waif, don't get pulled into her crises and sense of victimization. Pay attention to your own tendencies to want to rescue her, which just feeds the dynamic.&rdquo
    ― Christine Ann Lawson, Understanding the Borderline Mother

    &ldquoGoodReads: Do people still ask you about your mental health?

    Susanna Kaysen: Well, they used to a lot. "Are you still crazy?" was how people put it. And I would say, "Yes, but I'm older, so I'm more used to it." It's familiar. You've been there, you've done that, and it's gone away. I think the fact that you can feel like it's the end of the world and you're going to kill yourself and yet there's some part of you that says "this has happened before." And by the time you get to the point where you can say "this has happened 137 times before," it's better than saying "this has happened four times before." So as you get older, there's a little ironist or cynic or somebody inside you who says, "Yeah, uh-huh. Right, OK, I've heard that, I've heard that.&rdquo
    ― Susanna Kaysen

    &ldquoSadly, psychiatric training still includes far too little on the very serious psychiatric sequelae of childhood trauma, especially CSA [child sexual abuse]. There is inadequate recognition within mental health services of the prevalence and importance of Dissociative Disorders, sufferers of which are frequently misdiagnosed as Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), or, in the cases of DID, schizophrenia.

    This is to some extent understandable as some of the features of DID appear superficially to mimic those of schizophrenia and/or Borderline Personality Disorder.&rdquo
    ― Joan Coleman, Attachment, Trauma and Multiplicity: Working with Dissociative Identity Disorder

    &ldquoThe case of a patient with dissociative identity disorder follows:

    Cindy, a 24-year-old woman, was transferred to the psychiatry service to facilitate community placement. Over the years, she had received many different diagnoses, including schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, schizoaffective disorder, and bipolar disorder. Dissociative identity disorder was her current diagnosis.

    Cindy had been well until 3 years before admission, when she developed depression, "voices," multiple somatic complaints, periods of amnesia, and wrist cutting. Her family and friends considered her a pathological liar because she would do or say things that she would later deny. Chronic depression and recurrent suicidal behavior led to frequent hospitalizations. Cindy had trials of antipsychotics, antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and anxiolytics, all without benefit. Her condition continued to worsen.

    Cindy was a petite, neatly groomed woman who cooperated well with the treatment team. She reported having nine distinct alters that ranged in age from 2 to 48 years two were masculine. Cindy’s main concern was her inability to control the switches among her alters, which made her feel out of control. She reported having been sexually abused by her father as a child and described visual hallucinations of him threatening her with a knife. We were unable to confirm the history of sexual abuse but thought it likely, based on what we knew of her chaotic early home life.

    Nursing staff observed several episodes in which Cindy switched to a troublesome alter. Her voice would change in inflection and tone, becoming childlike as ]oy, an 8-year-old alter, took control. Arrangements were made for individual psychotherapy and Cindy was discharged.

    At a follow-up 3 years later, Cindy still had many alters but was functioning better, had fewer switches, and lived independently. She continued to see a therapist weekly and hoped to one day integrate her many alters.&rdquo
    ― Donald W. Black, Introductory Textbook of Psychiatry


    Let’s stop thinking that loving unconditionally requires our whole life.

    Pouring out so much for them and not expecting anything in return is a good means of showing we truly love them, but at the same time we should save something for ourselves. Let’s not compromise our own needs as an individual. Let’s not exhaust everything because how can we further give when we lose resources? How can we make things work when everything goes awry after we have failed to make time for taking care of our own well-being? How can we achieve the dreams we build with the person we love when we never took time to lay foundations for our own? How can we say we can never leave them when we have left ourselves in the first place? It’s just a cycle. We give what we have and so it’s better to save up. Unconditional love shouldn’t teach us to lose ourselves, it rather teaches us to build a strong, complete life as a foundation of good relationships in other aspects.


    Contents

    People with HPD are usually high-functioning, both socially and professionally. They usually have good social skills, despite tending to use them to manipulate others into making them the center of attention. [4] HPD may also affect a person's social and romantic relationships, as well as their ability to cope with losses or failures. They may seek treatment for clinical depression when romantic (or other close personal) relationships end. [5] [ citation needed ]

    Individuals with HPD often fail to see their own personal situation realistically, instead dramatizing and exaggerating their difficulties. They may go through frequent job changes, as they become easily bored and may prefer withdrawing from frustration (instead of facing it). Because they tend to crave novelty and excitement, they may place themselves in risky situations. All of these factors may lead to greater risk of developing clinical depression. [6]

    Additional characteristics may include:

      behavior
    • Constant seeking of reassurance or approval
    • Excessive sensitivity to criticism or disapproval of own personality and unwillingness to change, viewing any change as a threat
    • Inappropriately seductive appearance or behavior of a sexual nature
    • Using factitious somatic symptoms (of physical illness) or psychological disorders to garner attention
    • Craving attention
    • Low tolerance for frustration or delayed gratification
    • Rapidly shifting emotional states that may appear superficial or exaggerated to others
    • Tendency to believe that relationships are more intimate than they actually are
    • Making rash decisions [4]
    • Blaming personal failures or disappointments on others
    • Being easily influenced by others, especially those who treat them approvingly
    • Being overly dramatic and emotional [6]
    • Influenced by the suggestions of others [7]

    Some people with histrionic traits or personality disorder change their seduction technique into a more maternal or paternal style as they age. [8]

    Mnemonic Edit

    A mnemonic that can be used to remember the characteristics of histrionic personality disorder is shortened as "PRAISE ME": [9] [10]

    • Provocative (or seductive) behavior
    • Relationships are considered more intimate than they actually are
    • Attention-seeking
    • Influenced easily by others or circumstances
    • Speech (style) wants to impress lacks detail
    • Emotional lability shallowness
    • Make-up physical appearance is used to draw attention to self
    • Exaggerated emotions theatrical

    Little research has been done to find evidence of what causes histrionic personality disorder. Although direct causes are inconclusive, various theories and studies suggest multiple possible causes, of a neurochemical, genetic, psychoanalytic, or environmental nature. Traits such as extravagance, vanity, and seductiveness of hysteria have similar qualities to women diagnosed with HPD. [11] HPD symptoms typically do not fully develop until the age of 15, while the onset of treatment only occurs, on average, at approximately 40 years of age. [12] [13]

    Neurochemical/physiological Edit

    Studies have shown that there is a strong correlation between the function of neurotransmitters and the Cluster B personality disorders such as HPD. Individuals diagnosed with HPD have highly responsive noradrenergic systems which is responsible for the synthesis, storage, and release of the neurotransmitter, norepinephrine. High levels of norepinephrine leads to anxiety-proneness, dependency, and high sociability. [14]

    Genetic Edit

    Twin studies have aided in breaking down the genetic vs. environment debate. A twin study conducted by the Department of Psychology at Oslo University attempted to establish a correlation between genetic and Cluster B personality disorders. With a test sample of 221 twins, 92 monozygotic and 129 dizygotic, researchers interviewed the subjects using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R Personality Disorders (SCID-II) and concluded that there was a correlation of 0.67 that histrionic personality disorder is hereditary. [15]

    Psychoanalytic theory Edit

    Though criticised as being unsupported by scientific evidence, psychoanalytic theories incriminate authoritarian or distant attitudes by one (mainly the mother) or both parents, along with conditional love based on expectations the child can never fully meet. [3] Using psychoanalysis, Freud believed that lustfulness was a projection of the patient's lack of ability to love unconditionally and develop cognitively to maturity, and that such patients were overall emotionally shallow. [16] He believed the reason for being unable to love could have resulted from a traumatic experience, such as the death of a close relative during childhood or divorce of one's parents, which gave the wrong impression of committed relationships. Exposure to one or multiple traumatic occurrences of a close friend or family member's leaving (via abandonment or mortality) would make the person unable to form true and affectionate attachments towards other people. [17]

    HPD and antisocial personality disorder Edit

    Another theory suggests a possible relationship between histrionic personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder. Research has found 2/3 of patients diagnosed with histrionic personality disorder also meet criteria similar to those of the antisocial personality disorder, [11] which suggests both disorders based towards sex-type expressions may have the same underlying cause. Women are hypersexualized in the media consistently, ingraining thoughts that the only way women are to get attention is by exploiting themselves, and when seductiveness isn't enough, theatrics are the next step in achieving attention. [18] Men can just as well be flirtatious towards multiple women / men yet feel no empathy or sense of compassion towards them. [11] They may also become the center of attention by exhibiting the "Don Juan" macho figure as a role-play. [18]

    Some family history studies have found that histrionic personality disorder, as well as borderline and antisocial personality disorders, tend to run in families, but it is unclear if this is due to genetic or environmental factors. [19] Both examples suggest that predisposition could be a factor as to why certain people are diagnosed with histrionic personality disorder, however little is known about whether or not the disorder is influenced by any biological compound or is genetically inheritable. [19] Little research has been conducted to determine the biological sources, if any, of this disorder.

    The person's appearance, behavior and history, along with a psychological evaluation, are usually sufficient to establish a diagnosis. There is no test to confirm this diagnosis. Because the criteria are subjective, some people may be wrongly diagnosed. [20]

    DSM 5 Edit

    The current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM 5, defines histrionic personality disorder (in Cluster B) as: [2]

    • is uncomfortable in situations in which he or she is not the center of attention
    • interaction with others is often characterized by inappropriate sexually seductive or provocative behavior
    • displays rapidly shifting and shallow expression of emotions
    • consistently uses physical appearance to draw attention to self
    • has a style of speech that is excessively impressionistic and lacking in detail
    • shows self-dramatization, theatricality, and exaggerated expression of emotion
    • is suggestible, i.e., easily influenced by others or circumstances
    • considers relationships to be more intimate than they actually are

    The DSM 5 requires that a diagnosis for any specific personality disorder also satisfies a set of general personality disorder criteria.

    ICD-10 Edit

    The World Health Organization's ICD-10 lists histrionic personality disorder as: [21]

    • shallow and labile affectivity,
    • self-dramatization,
    • theatricality,
    • exaggerated expression of emotions,
    • suggestibility,
    • egocentricity,
    • self-indulgence,
    • lack of consideration for others,
    • easily hurt feelings, and
    • continuous seeking for appreciation, excitement and attention.

    It is a requirement of ICD-10 that a diagnosis of any specific personality disorder also satisfies a set of general personality disorder criteria.

    Comorbidity Edit

    Millon's subtypes Edit

    Theodore Millon identified six subtypes of histrionic personality disorder. Any individual histrionic may exhibit none or one of the following: [24]

    Subtype Description Personality Traits
    Appeasing histrionic Including dependent and compulsive features Seeks to placate, mend, patch up, smooth over troubles knack for settling differences, moderating tempers by yielding, compromising, conceding sacrifices self for commendation fruitlessly placates the unplacatable.
    Vivacious histrionic The seductiveness of the histrionic mixed with the energy typical of hypomania. Some narcissistic features can also be present Vigorous, charming, bubbly, brisk, spirited, flippant, impulsive seeks momentary cheerfulness and playful adventures animated, energetic, ebullient.
    Tempestuous histrionic Including negativistic features Impulsive, out of control moody complaints, sulking precipitous emotion, stormy, impassioned, easily wrought-up, periodically inflamed, turbulent.
    Disingenuous histrionic Including antisocial features Underhanded, double-dealing, scheming, contriving, plotting, crafty, false-hearted egocentric, insincere, deceitful, calculating, guileful.
    Theatrical histrionic Variant of “pure” pattern Affected, mannered, put-on postures are striking, eyecatching, graphic markets self-appearance is synthesized, stagy simulates desirable/dramatic poses.
    Infantile histrionic Including borderline features Labile, high-strung, volatile emotions childlike hysteria and nascent pouting demanding, overwrought fastens and clutches to another is excessively attached, hangs on, stays fused to and clinging.

    Treatment is often prompted by depression associated with dissolved romantic relationships. Medication does little to affect the personality disorder, but may be helpful with symptoms such as depression. The only successful method studied and proven to succeed is to fully break contact with their lovers in order to gain a sense of stability and independence once again. [20] [ failed verification ] Treatment for HPD itself involves psychotherapy, including cognitive therapy. [3]

    Interviews and self-report methods Edit

    In general clinical practice with assessment of personality disorders, one form of interview is the most popular an unstructured interview. [25] The actual preferred method is a semi-structured interview but there is reluctance to use this type of interview because they can seem impractical or superficial. [25] The reason that a semi-structured interview is preferred over an unstructured interview is that semi-structured interviews tend to be more objective, systematic, replicable, and comprehensive. [25] Unstructured interviews, despite their popularity, tend to have problems with unreliability and are susceptible to errors leading to false assumptions of the client. [25]

    One of the single most successful methods for assessing personality disorders by researchers of normal personality functioning is the self-report inventory following up with a semi-structured interview. [25] There are some disadvantages with the self-report inventory method that with histrionic personality disorder there is a distortion in character, self-presentation, and self-image. [25] This cannot be assessed simply by asking most clients if they match the criteria for the disorder. [25] Most projective testing depend less on the ability or willingness of the person to provide an accurate description of the self, but there is currently limited empirical evidence on projective testing to assess histrionic personality disorder. [25]

    Functional analytic psychotherapy Edit

    Another way to treat histrionic personality disorder after identification is through functional analytic psychotherapy. [26] The job of a Functional Analytic Psychotherapist is to identify the interpersonal problems with the patient as they happen in session or out of session. [26] Initial goals of functional analytic psychotherapy are set by the therapist and include behaviors that fit the client's needs for improvement. [26] Functional analytic psychotherapy differs from the traditional psychotherapy due to the fact that the therapist directly addresses the patterns of behavior as they occur in-session. [26]

    The in-session behaviors of the patient or client are considered to be examples of their patterns of poor interpersonal communication and to adjust their neurotic defenses. [26] To do this, the therapist must act on the client's behavior as it happens in real time and give feedback on how the client's behavior is affecting their relationship during therapy. [26] The therapist also helps the client with histrionic personality disorder by denoting behaviors that happen outside of treatment these behaviors are termed "Outside Problems" and "Outside Improvements". [26] This allows the therapist to assist in problems and improvements outside of session and to verbally support the client and condition optimal patterns of behavior". [26] This then can reflect on how they are advancing in-session and outside of session by generalizing their behaviors over time for changes or improvement". [26]

    Coding client and therapist behaviors Edit

    This is called coding client and therapist behavior. [26] In these sessions there is a certain set of dialogue or script that can be forced by the therapist for the client to give insight on their behaviors and reasoning". [26] Here is an example from" [26] the conversation is hypothetical. T = therapist C = Client This coded dialogue can be transcribed as:

    • ECRB – Evoking clinically relevant behavior
      • T: Tell me how you feel coming in here today (CRB2) C: Well, to be honest, I was nervous. Sometimes I feel worried about how things will go, but I am really glad I am here.
      • C: Whatever, you always say that. (becomes quiet). I don’t know what I am doing talking so much.
      • T: Now you seem to be withdrawing from me. That makes it hard for me to give you what you might need from me right now. What do you think you want from me as we are talking right now?”.
      • T: That’s great. I am glad you’re here, too. I look forward to talking to you. [26]

      Functional ideographic assessment template Edit

      Another example of treatment besides coding is functional ideographic assessment template. [26] The functional ideographic assessment template, also known as FIAT, was used as a way to generalize the clinical processes of functional analytic psychotherapy. [26] The template was made by a combined effort of therapists and can be used to represent the behaviors that are a focus for this treatment. [26] Using the FIAT therapists can create a common language to get stable and accurate communication results through functional analytic psychotherapy at the ease of the client as well as the therapist. [26]

      The survey data from the National epidemiological survey from 2001–2002 suggests a prevalence of HPD of 1.84 percent. [27] [ medical citation needed ] Major character traits may be inherited, while other traits may be due to a combination of genetics and environment, including childhood experiences. [8] This personality is seen more often in women than in men. [28] Approximately 65% of HPD diagnoses are women while 35% are men. In Marcie Kaplan's A Women's View of DSM-III, she argues that women are overdiagnosed due to potential biases and expresses that even healthy women are often automatically diagnosed with HPD. [29]

      Many symptoms representing HPD in the DSM are exaggerations of traditional feminine behaviors. In a peer and self-review study, it showed that femininity was correlated with histrionic, dependent and narcissistic personality disorders. [30] Although two thirds of HPD diagnoses are female, there have been a few exceptions. [31] Whether or not the rate will be significantly higher than the rate of women within a particular clinical setting depends upon many factors that are mostly independent of the differential sex prevalence for HPD. [32] Those with HPD are more likely to look for multiple people for attention, which leads to marital problems due to jealousy and lack of trust from the other party. This makes them more likely to become divorced or separated once married. [33] With few studies done to find direct causations between HPD and culture, cultural and social aspects play a role in inhibiting and exhibiting HPD behaviors.

      Histrionic personality disorder stems from Etruscan histrio which means "an actor". Hysteria can be described as an exaggerated or uncontrollable emotion that people, especially in groups, experience. Beliefs about hysteria have varied throughout time. It wasn’t until Sigmund Freud who studied histrionic personality disorder in a psychological manner. [34] “The roots of histrionic personality can be traced to cases of hysterical neurosis described by Freud.” [16] He developed the psychoanalytic theory in the late 19th century and the results from his development led to split concepts of hysteria. One concept labeled as hysterical neurosis (also known as conversion disorder) [35] and the other concept labeled as hysterical character (currently known as histrionic personality disorder). [34] These two concepts must not be confused with each other, as they are two separate and different ideas. [16]

      Histrionic personality disorder is also known as hysterical personality. Hysterical personality has evolved in the past 400 years [36] and it first appeared in the DSM II (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 2nd edition) under the name hysterical personality disorder. The name we know today as histrionic personality disorder is due to the name change in DSM III, third edition. Renaming hysterical personality to histrionic personality disorder is believed to be because of possible negative connotations to the roots of hysteria, such as intense sexual expressions, demon possessions, etc. [37]

      Histrionic personality disorder has gone through many changes. From hysteria, to hysterical character, to hysterical personality disorder, to what it is listed as in the most current DSM, DSM-5. [ clarification needed ] "Hysteria is one of the oldest documented medical disorders.” [34] Hysteria dates back to both ancient Greek and Egyptian writings. [34] Most of the writings related hysteria and women together, similar to today where the epidemiology of histrionic personality disorder is generally more prevalent in women and also frequently diagnosed in women. [25]

      Ancient times Edit

      • Ancient Egypt – first description of the mental disorder, hysteria, dates back to 1900 BC in Ancient Egypt. Biological issues, such as the uterus movement in the female body, were seen as the cause of hysteria. Traditional symptoms and descriptions of hysteria can be found in the Ebers Papyrus, the oldest medical document. [38]
      • Ancient Greece – Similar to ancient Egyptians, the ancient Greeks saw hysteria being related to the uterus. Hippocrates (5th century BC) is the first to use the term hysteria. Hippocrates believed hysteria was a disease that lies in the movement of uterus (from the Greek ὑστέρα hystera "uterus"). Hippocrates’s theory was that since a woman’s body is cold and wet compared to a man’s body which is warm and dry, the uterus is prone to illness, especially if deprived from sex. He saw sex as the cleansing of the body so that being overemotional was due to sex deprivation. [38]
      • According to History Channel's Ancients Behaving Badly, Cleopatra and Nero had histrionic personality disorder. [39]

      Middle Ages Edit

      • The Trotula – a group of three texts from the 12th century—discusses women’s diseases and disorders as understood during this time period, including hysteria. Trota of Salerno, a female medical practitioner from 12th-century Italy, is an authoritative figure behind one of the texts of the Trotula. (Authoritative in that it is her treatments and theories that are presented in the text). Some people believe Trota's teachings resonated with those of Hippocrates. [38]

      Renaissance Edit

      • The uterus was still the explanation of hysteria, the concept of women being inferior to men was still present, and hysteria was still the symbol for femininity. [38]

      Modern age Edit

        (17th century) introduces a new concept of hysteria. Thomas Willis believed that the causes of hysteria was not linked to the uterus of the female, but to the brain and nervous system. [38]
    • Hysteria was consequence of social conflicts during the Salem witch trials. [38]
    • Witchcraft and sorcery was later considered absurd during the Age of Enlightenment in the late 17th century and 18th century. Hysteria starts to form in a more scientific way, especially neurologically. New ideas formed during this time and one of them was that if hysteria is connected to the brain, men could possess it too, not just women. [38] (18th century) treated patients suffering from hysteria with his method called mesmerism, or animal magnetism. [38] (19th century) studied effects of hypnosis in hysteria. Charcot states that hysteria is a neurological disorder and that it is actually very common in men. [38]
    • Contemporary age Edit

        's work with Josef Breuer, Studies on Hysteria, contributes to a psychoanalytic theory of hysteria.
      • Freud believed that hysteria was caused by a lack of libidinal evolution. [38]

      Social implications Edit

      The prevalence of histrionic personality disorder in women is apparent and urges a re-evaluation of cultural notions of normal emotional behaviour. The diagnostic approach classifies histrionic personality disorder behaviour as “excessive”, considering it in reference to a social understanding of normal emotionality. [40]


      The psychology of Qanon: Why do seemingly sane people believe bizarre conspiracy theories?

      A secret civil war is going on — or at least, it is in the minds of some U.S. citizens. At recent Trump rallies, people have been observed publicly expressing support for “Q”: An anonymous person or group that claims to have access to top-level security information about a secret cabal of corrupt elites, intellectuals, left-wing politicians and celebrities conspiring to exploit and even enslave people. President Donald Trump, apparently, is one of the few people willing and able to fight this secret conspiracy, often referred to as “Qanon."

      If it sounds crazy, that’s because it is. The mostly right-wing conspiracy theory makes a series of mind-blowing allegations that include Democrat-run centers for pedophiles and Satanic cults. The theory first appeared on various online message boards like “8Chan,” where followers shared “bread crumbs” — clues — about the dark and powerful forces that supposedly run their country.

      The theories are so wild at this point that some conspiracy-friendly members of the far right are pushing back on them and even banning them from popular online forums. We don't know which person or persons originated the theory (yet), or what their motivations may have been. What we do know is that the theory is spreading. And generally speaking, why.

      It would be tempting to dismiss those who believe such bizarre ideas as mentally ill. But in reality, conspiracy beliefs such as Qanon are neither pathological nor novel.

      It would be tempting to dismiss those who believe such bizarre ideas as mentally ill. But in reality, conspiracy beliefs such as Qanon are neither pathological nor novel. Putting aside the fact that some conspiracy theories turn out to be true (e.g., Watergate is arguably an example of a real conspiracy), even fact-free conspiracy theories can be followed by people who otherwise behave relatively normally.

      Widespread support for conspiracy theories is also not simply a symptom of our modern digital society. In the dark ages, witch hunts were based on the belief that young women gathered in the woods to conspire with the devil, and many traditional societies still accuse enemy tribes of sorcery to harm or control them. The fear that evil forces conspire to hurt good people is deeply rooted in the human psyche.

      I have studied the psychological motivators of conspiracy beliefs for many years. Based on my research, I believe there are three main reasons why people believe in theories like Qanon. First, accepting one conspiracy theory as true makes it much easier to believe in other theories. Studies from the mid-1990s found that the single best predictor of conspiracy thinking is the belief in a different conspiracy theory.

      In a recent study conducted by myself, Karen Douglas and Clara De Inocencio, we further investigated why this could be the case. Our conclusion? Conspiracy theories reinforce a belief that nothing in the world happens through coincidence. This refusal to recognize the role of chance leads people to develop a worldview in which hostile and secret conspiracies permeate all layers of society.

      Feelings of anxiety and uncertainty also help fuel conspiracy theories. Such emotions function as a psychological warning signal, leading people to try and make sense of societal events that frighten them. This helps to explain the widespread (and ongoing) speculation that followed impactful events such as 9/11 or the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Together with Nils Jostmann and Michele Acker, we found that feelings of uncertainty, coupled with the feeling that your life is not fully in your control anymore, increases conspiracy thinking. Studies by others researchers confirm that emotions reflecting uncertainty — such as fear or worry — can increase conspiracy beliefs.

      Ironically, however, conspiracy theories do little to reduce these negative feelings. On the contrary, conspiracy theories only exacerbate feelings of anxiety, laying the foundations for further theorizing.

      Feelings of anxiety and uncertainty also help fuel conspiracy theories. Such emotions function as a psychological warning signal, leading people to try and make sense of societal events that frighten them.

      Human brains are hard-wired to protect their own group against competing groups, and therefore more easily attribute the actions of competing groups to conspiracies. One of our most recent studies found members of ethnic minority groups facing actual discrimination by a majority group are relatively susceptible to conspiracies: "Feelings of deprivation lead marginalized minority members to perceive the social and political system as rigged, stimulating belief in both identity‐relevant and irrelevant conspiracy theories."

      Not surprisingly, political communities operate in much the same way. Studies by a group of political scientists revealed that Republicans are more likely to believe governmental conspiracy theories when a Democrat is president, while Democrats are more likely to believe governmental conspiracy theories when a Republican is president. Qanon is a more extreme example of a fairly consistent pattern: It has flourished among members of the fringe political right, and it selectively portrays prominent liberal figures as exceptionally immoral and dangerous.


      You Can Experience Negative Emotions At The Same Time

      Unconditional love does not mean that you feel warmth and affection towards your beloved at all times you are human after all.

      You can be angry at them, frustrated with them, and hurt by them while still loving them.

      Having arguments does not diminish the love that comes truly free of conditions.

      Just as the waves atop an ocean do not impact the depths below, the natural highs and lows of a relationship cannot penetrate deep enough to affect the underlying feeling.


      Life's Extremes: Pathological Liar vs. Straight Shooter

      Lying — like it or not — is a part of everyday life. Most of us will bend the truth every now and then, with even the most honest person telling the occasional "white lie" to avoid hurting someone else's feelings.

      Yet some people, called pathological liars, utter untruths constantly and for no clear reason. Their behavior confounds scientists and oftentimes themselves.

      "Pathological liars have a pattern of frequent, repeated and excessive lies or lying behavior for which there is no apparent benefit or gain for the liar," said Charles Dike, clinical professor of psychiatry at Yale University and medical director of the Whiting Forensic Division of Connecticut Valley Hospital.

      On the opposite end of the spectrum are those rare individuals who might be described as "pathological truth-tellers." These people forego socially convenient and appropriate fibs to speak the unvarnished, upsetting truth.

      Intriguingly, this "lying handicap" is a common feature of the developmental disorder high-functioning autism and Asperger's Syndrome.

      "People with Asperger's have a tendency to be very blunt and direct — they can be honest to a fault," said Tony Attwood, professor of psychology at Minds & Hearts, an Asperger's and autism clinic in Brisbane, Australia

      Psychology and neuroscience have provided clues as to why some people lie up a storm while others have difficulty dissembling or detecting it in others. These contrasting extremes can help us learn about the default human mode of lying on a daily basis to avoid insult, get out of trouble or exploit others.

      "If you define lying as 'statements intended to deceive,' then yes we all do lie, every day," said Dike.

      In psychiatric circles, pathological lying goes by the fancy name pseudologia fantastica, though it is not yet recognized as a distinct disorder.

      What puzzles most about a pathological liar's behavior, Dike said, is that it is counterproductive. Dropping flagrant whoppers can cause trouble in jobs, relationships and even with the law through self-incriminations. [10 Most Destructive Human Behaviors]

      Stranger still, the lies can be blatantly see-through in their bogusness. "Not only is there no benefit to the lies, but the lies most of the time are easily disprovable," said Dike.

      Dike offers an example of a coworker declaring he has a flight later that day. The co-worker is not trying to shirk a meeting, however. As the day goes on and the coworker remains in the office, he adds to the lie by announcing that the flight was cancelled. The pattern of falsities then continues. "The next day, there is some new story," said Dike.

      Anecdotally, many of us will recognize this sort of behavior, though at present there are no good statistics for the prevalence of pathological lying. "What's clear," Dike said, "is that it's not uncommon."

      A mind for facts

      While acting in this manner makes no sense to most of us, it is essentially impossible for people with Asperger's. Patients have expressed to Attwood puzzlement at why ordinary people lie with such frequency.

      To boot, people with Asperger's have trouble detecting falsity in words and actions. "They often think other people are as honest as they are, which leaves them vulnerable and gullible," said Attwoord.

      Asperger's is characterized by impairment in social interactions and restricted interests. (A well-known television character who manifests much of the behavioral profile of someone with Asperger's is Dr. Sheldon Cooper on "The Big Bang Theory.") Attwood noted that these individuals have an "allegiance to the truth, rather than people's feelings."

      Key to proper socialization and its subtleties is "theory of mind," the ability to attribute mental states to other individuals. "Theory of mind is determining what others are thinking, feeling or believe," said Attwood.

      Asperger's patients tend to have a poorly developed theory of mind, which presents them with great difficulty in empathizing with others. More positively, this trait makes it tough to construct deceitful ruses, and those with Asperger's who do learn how to lie often do so badly, said Attwood.

      Brain scans using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) have revealed a basis for this deficit. In Asperger's patients and autistics, there is less activity in parts of the "social brain," such as the prefrontal cortex. "In Asperger's,that area is dysfunctional," said Attwood. "Areas of the prefrontal cortex that should light up don&rsquot in fMRI."

      Natural born liars

      To an extent, it would seem then that humans are wired to trick their fellows. In our closest primate relatives, who also have sophisticated social structures in which they live, deception is rife. Chimpanzees for example will purposefully mislead troop members away from a tasty food source and then return later to gobble it solo.

      Researchers have discovered that the more conniving a primate species, the bigger its brain. (It therefore makes sense that with our giant brains, humans are veritable founts of hogwash.) The faculties of memory and abstraction needed to mince language and appearance so as to deceive require a lot of brainpower, researchers have learned. [10 Things You Didn't Know About the Brain]

      Interestingly, brain scans have revealed that the prefrontal cortexes in frequent liars are built differently from those in a typical brain. A 2005 study showed that liars had 22 percent more "white matter" than average, as well as about 14 percent less "gray matter." The former acts like wiring in the brain, while gray matter cells in this region play a role in impulse control.

      "If you have more white matter, you are more able to manipulate information and words," said Dike. "You can weave thoughts in ways others probably can't."

      Dike, who was not involved in the 2005 study, pointed out that it was conducted on criminals and people with antisocial behaviors who lie with purpose, unlike pathological liars. Indeed, the motivation behind pathological liars' duplicity remains another big mystery.

      Researchers speculate that pathological liars experience some sort of psychological excitement from fooling others. "There has to be some sort of internal satisfaction that makes them go on with this behavior, but no one knows for sure," said Dike.

      For lying, as many of us will attest, is never its own reward.

      Follow LiveScience for the latest in science news and discoveries on Twitter @livescienceand on Facebook.


      Treatments

      Psychodynamic therapy

      HPD, like other personality disorders, may require several years of therapy and may affect individuals throughout their lives. Some professionals believe that psychoanalytic therapy is a treatment of choice for HPD because it assists patients to become aware of their own feelings. Long-term psychodynamic therapy needs to target the underlying conflicts of individuals with HPD and to assist patients in decreasing their emotional reactivity. Therapists work with thematic dream material related to intimacy and recall. Individuals with HPD may have difficulty recalling because of their tendency to repress material.

      Cognitive-behavioral therapy

      Cognitive therapy is a treatment directed at reducing the dysfunctional thoughts of individuals with HPD. Such thoughts include themes about not being able to take care of oneself. Cognitive therapy for HPD focuses on a shift from global, suggestible thinking to a more methodical, systematic, and structured focus on problems. Cognitive-behavioral training in relaxation for an individual with HPD emphasizes challenging automatic thoughts about inferiority and not being able to handle one's life. Cognitive-behavioral therapy teaches individuals with HPD to identify automatic thoughts, to work on impulsive behavior, and to develop better problem-solving skills. Behavioral therapists employ assertiveness training to assist individuals with HPD to learn to cope using their own resources. Behavioral therapists use response cost to decrease the excessively dramatic behaviors of these individuals. Response cost is a behavioral technique that involves removing a stimulus from an individual's environment so that the response that directly precedes the removal is weakened. Behavioral therapy for HPD includes techniques such as modeling and behavioral rehearsal to teach patients about the effect of their theatrical behavior on others in a work setting.

      Group therapy

      Group therapy is suggested to assist individuals with HPD to work on interpersonal relationships. Psychodrama techniques or group role play can assist individuals with HPD to practice problems at work and to learn to decrease the display of excessively dramatic behaviors. Using role-playing, individuals with HPD can explore interpersonal relationships and outcomes to understand better the process associated with different scenarios. Group therapists need to monitor the group because individuals with HPD tend to take over and dominate others.

      Family therapy

      To teach assertion rather than avoidance of conflict, family therapists need to direct individuals with HPD to speak directly to other family members. Family therapy can support family members to meet their own needs without supporting the histrionic behavior of the individual with HPD who uses dramatic crises to keep the family closely connected. Family therapists employ behavioral contracts to support assertive behaviors rather than temper tantrums.

      Medications

      Pharmacotherapy is not a treatment of choice for individuals with HPD unless HPD occurs with another disorder. For example, if HPD occurs with depression, antidepressants may be prescribed. Medication needs to be monitored for abuse.

      Alternative therapies

      Meditation has been used to assist extroverted patients with HPD to relax and to focus on their own inner feelings. Some therapists employ hypnosis to assist individuals with HPD to relax when they experience a fast heart rate or palpitations during an expression of excessively dramatic, emotional, and excitable behavior.


      1. Excess self-blame.

      It is typical of a dysfunctional family to be run by adults who display contrasting personalities – one being passive and dependent and the other being aggressive and individualistic and self-engrossed. In this utter perplexity, the child struggles to make sense of their own set of experiences and events unfolding around them.

      The aggressive adult oppresses and dominates while the passive one is too apprehensive and submissive to protest.

      At a sub-conscious level, a child has to depend unconditionally on their primary caregivers to survive. It is an evolutionary reflex.

      So, at a conscious level, when caregivers fail to fulfill their responsibility towards the child, the child is left to believe that the fault resides in him/her and reasons out to himself about the lack of consistent availability of good parenting – he/she assumes that he/she isn’t worth the care and nurturance.

      They remain so stressed, scared, and constricted before their emotionally inconsistent parents that they are left with no other choice but to blame themselves for every disagreement between their parents, for the emotional and physical neglect inflicted by them. Because these children are simply unable to play an adult role and take care of their parents, they often feel inadequate and guilty (1)

      Now broaden the picture, and you’ll see how we end up carrying these early attitudes into our adulthood, especially if we aren’t initially aware of them.

      Feeling dejected and persecuted and in turn, experiencing hurt and pain, becomes the norm.


      The Flawed Psychology of Forcing People to Hit “Rock Bottom”

      Authored by Brooke M Feldman, MSW

      While teaching a class on eminent psychologist Abraham Maslow’s human hierarchy of needs theory to aspiring behavioral health professionals, a student raised her hand to ask me the following question:

      “Is this where the idea of people struggling with addiction having to hit “rock bottom” comes from?”

      This insightful student was looking up on the screen at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs pyramid and referring to the all-too-common thinking surrounding people living with addiction. Nearly all of us have heard the notion somewhere along the way that people living with addiction must hit a proverbial “rock bottom” before being “willing” to change their addictive behavior. Nearly none of us have escaped being socially indoctrinated into the idea that in order to best support somebody living with addiction, we must move out of the way to allow for their inevitable fall to “rock bottom.” We have been told that to do otherwise would mean “enabling” the person to continue on with their addiction. Sadly, this thinking has been a poisonous source of tremendous unnecessary harms, the most tragic of which continues to be countless preventable deaths.

      As the inquisitive student and remainder of the class looked up at the largely projected pyramid of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, all present could visually see that at the bottom of the pyramid lie basic physiological needs being met such as food, shelter, rest, etc. Closely following the bottom of the pyramid on the second level is basic psychological needs being met such as feeling safe, secure, etc. To that end, the student’s question and what she was getting at could be rephrased as:

      “Is Maslow’s theory where the idea comes from that people struggling with addiction have to go without food, shelter, rest, safety, security, etc. in order to want to get better?”

      I had just taught the class how the task of reaching the highest level of human need that Maslow called self-actualization, or achieving one’s full potential, was contingent on the majority of other needs in the pyramid being met. We had just reviewed how each level of the pyramid builds off of the last and had just discussed how it is nearly impossible to move up the pyramid if the needs below are not being met. We had just spent some time talking about how Maslow’s theory would be relevant in their work as behavioral health professionals, how this theory could serve as a critical key for how to best meet people where they are at.

      And so, here we were, with the question at hand essentially being did the idea of people living with addiction have to go without having their basic needs met in order to reach living up to their potential come from Maslow’s theory?

      I asked the class to look at the pyramid and tell me what they thought the answer was, and furthermore, what they thought would bring people struggling with addiction closer to reaching their full potential.

      And right there up on the screen, the answer sat plain as day.

      According to Maslow, “rock bottom” is the furthest place one can be when it comes to having their necessary needs met to reach their full potential.

      Instead, if we are looking for what brings somebody closer to achieving self-actualization, closer to wellness, closer to reaching their full potential, we see that it is thru having the psychological needs of belonging, love and esteem being met that people move closer to that place.

      Maslow tells us that in addition to having our basic needs met, it is a sense of security, safety, connectedness, community, acceptance, intimate relationships, being able to give and receive love, etc. which bring people closer to reaching their full potential.

      Maslow has in fact long told us that having the needs met of self-worth, a sense of purpose, achieving goals, feeling good about oneself, having a sense of accomplishment, etc. are what brings people closer to self-actualization than “rock bottom” ever could.

      And so, back to the student’s initial question.

      “Is this (Maslow’s theory) where the idea of people struggling with addiction having to hit “rock bottom” comes from?”

      The answer to that question is that it would only be if somebody did not understand Maslow’s theory on the hierarchy of human needs that they could ever believe in the idea of people having to “hit rock bottom” in order to get better.

      Moreover and perhaps more importantly than the answer to that question, the larger lesson this inquiry brought was a deeper understanding of what Maslow tried to tell us way back in 1943.

      The key to supporting people living with addiction in reaching their full potential is the exact opposite of “letting them hit rock bottom.”

      The key is instead to move the bottom of that pyramid of human needs up so that the needs which are known to bring people closer to reaching their full potential are being met.

      It means to foster social connectedness rather than to force isolation.

      It means to practice acceptance rather than intolerance.

      It means to fan self-worth rather than to fuel shame.

      It means to love rather than to disdain.

      Ultimately, there is really no good psychology behind the idea of forcing people into “hitting rock bottom.”

      There is however plenty of good psychology behind what brings people closer to wellness and full potential. It is long past time that the ways in which we view and treat addiction line up less with opinion, personal moral belief and socially transmitted misinformation and instead more with what science tells us about human behavior and social development. Interestingly, it seems that it is in the science where we find the compassion, empathy, and understanding that society is still too often lacking.

      This article was originally published on medium.com and has been republished with permission from the author.

      Don’t Wait for Rock Bottom – SMART Recovery Can Help

      If you want to address any addiction or harmful habit, SMART Recovery can help. Click here to learn more about how SMART Recovery helps individuals with addiction. And, if you’re ready to get started, search for a meeting near you and/or join our online community where we have daily online meetings and 24࡭ message boards and chat rooms.

      If you’re a family member or friend of someone with addiction, SMART Recovery can help you, too. SMART Recovery Family & Friends is a science-based, respectful, and empowering alternative to the harsh approach to “letting them hit bottom”. Our methods are based on the tools of SMART Recovery and CRAFT (Community Reinforcement And Family Training) and are congruent with the thoughts shared in this article.