I’ve written extensively about Personality Disorders, specifically Narcissism. I wondered why a Personality Disorder wasn’t classified as a Neurosis and why it is so hard to treat. I come to find that it revolves around responsibility, both conditions are disorders of responsibility, and represent opposite ways of viewing the world.
The neurotic assumes too much responsibility, while the person with the personality disorder not enough. When neurotics are in conflict with the world they automatically assume they are at fault. When addicts and others with personality disorders have a problem with the world they automatically assume that the world is at fault.
Neurotics respond more readily to psychotherapy because they assume responsibility for their difficulties. Those with personality disorders are much more difficult, if not impossible to work with because they don’t see themselves as the source of their problems. They see the world as being in need of change and fail to recognize the necessity for self-examination.
Neurotics because of their willingness to assume responsibility may make excellent parents if the neurosis is relatively mild. People with Personality Disorders make disastrous parents, often treating their children with vicious destructiveness, simply because they duck responsibility.
Parents with a Personality Disorder serve as role models of irresponsibility and almost invariably produce personality disordered or neurotic children. It is the parents themselves who visit their sins upon their children.
Inevitably these problems with responsibility extend into all aspects of life because no problem can be solved until an individual recognizes and accepts appropriate responsibility. As long as we unrealistically blame ourselves or others for our problems we will be unable to solve the basic problem of living, which is distinguishing what we are and what we are not responsible for.
As always, thanks for visiting. Dave