Wednesday, May 4, 2016

compulsive vs. inhibited personality.

The problem with personality disorder classifications is that they seem to register the super compulsive or super inhibited personality at every level of psychosexual development.

The compulsive is compulsive about thinking (i.e. obsessional about details), about time management, about his particular way of dealing with things, about work, etc.

I'm sure that such a compulsive patient might exist out there, but I get patients that have one or two such traits and not all of them. By having discrete levels of superego development that relate to different parental imagos, I feel like I've helped to clarify Freud's use of the 'dictatorial thou shalt' of the ego ideal and the tensions that exist between the ego ideal and the ego.

Surely a compulsive trait is a symptom, and the regular proto ego ideal tension is competiveness. The high ego ideal means one takes, for example, pride in his work and wants to be seen as competent, if not the most competent worker at his job. The compulsive trait at the phallic stage, with the object of one's profession, is to have to compulsively work, which is different.

The perfection of the parental imago becomes the standard of the dictatorial thou shalt. One must becomes one's father here.

Of course this is on the subject egoistic libidinal position, but we know that compulsive traits for the object egoist exist too. Compulsive cleaning or tidiness, compulsive work (as Arachne and her weaving), and other forms are in evidence here too. Again, the formula of living up to the perfection of the parental imago underlies this too.

I use inhibited personality for the altruistic pole, because there is confusion in old psychoanalytic terminology. Phobic personality was sometimes used but it brings up actual phobias too. Masochism was used too, but, along with, anti-exhibitionistic and other egoistically derived ideas, altruism is a wholly negative phenomenon. Reaction formations of hate to love and anti-exhibitionism as curtailed exhibitionistic impulses do exist. However, one can't universalize them. This is the big, big error in classic psychoanalytic theory (and in much of it that followed): universal development.

So, for now, inhibited is a simple, common language way to point out that just as someone wasn't always compulsive, and it was an event that occurred later in their life, in which the superego was no longer in harmony with the ego, so too, do people become more inhibited.

Just as the deep object (or imago) of perfection becomes the model for the compulsive in egoism. The deep object of death becomes the model for the inhibited person in altruism. The fear of the inhibited person to say no, to ask for a raise, to make a fair amount of money from a transaction, to be seen or heard, to share their opinion, etc. means that they approximate death. While another person could look at the situation they are inhibited in and see that they only want what is fair, they feel like it is presumptuous or conceit to ask. Thus, for them to not assert themselves for what is fair, means that they feel they don't exist in this way, to not exist means to be dead for all practical purposes.

This is also the case with the object altruist. A lot of what is under avoidant personality disorder is in the object altruistic libidinal position, and the person can have major inhibition under the idea of being seen as weird, inappropriate, boring, or unacceptable in some way. Both the altruistic positions can be said to fear rejection if they act against the inhibitions, but there are different attitudes in evidence between the two. Similarly, the compulsive work of Arachne is more towards beauty, then the compulsive work of a subject egoist may evidence.

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