Personality Disorders

Someone told me I should watch the new series, “House of Cards” which became available on Netflix.  I actually watched a couple of episodes.  This series is about people in political power.  

Here’s what I came out thinking:  there is a huge portion of people in power who suffer from one or more personality disorders.  I haven’t quite figured out why they are in power.

Below is one personality disorder from the DSM manual (used by psychiatrists for diagnosis). I think it pretty well fits the type of people we have in power today.  And also quite a lot of America too.

And, I have to wonder, why do people get so fascinated watching this stuff?  Do they secretly want the power, and to step on all those below them? 

I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t watch much TV at all.  I always enjoy the old Star Trek series and of course Star Gate.  But, those programs represent such a dim view of life all over the Universe.  There is the premise that all life almost everywhere (except for a few episodes of StarGate, SG1) is dominated by greed, power madness and a lack of respect for life.  What a sad thought!  I think what keeps me going is that perhaps there is better, somewhere…..

But, think about it.  Doesn’t that description below sound like a lot of our politicians?


Antisocial Personality Disorder

DSM-IV Criteria

DSM-5 Criteria – Revised April 2012

A. There is a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others occurring since age 15 years, as indicated by three (or more) of the following: having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another.

  1. Failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest.

  2. Deceitfulness, as indicated by repeated lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure.

  3. Impulsivity or failure to plan ahead.

  4. Irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults.

  5. Reckless disregard for safety of self or others.

  6. Consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations.

  7. Lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing.

The essential features of a personality disorder are impairments in personality (self and interpersonal) functioning and the presence of pathological personality traits. To diagnose antisocial personality disorder, the following criteria must be met:

A. Significant impairments in personality functioning manifest by:

  1. Impairments in self functioning (a or b):

    a.Identity: Ego-centrism; self-esteem derived from personal gain, power, or pleasure.

    b.Self-direction: Goal-setting based on personal gratification; absence of prosocial internal standards associated with failure to conform to lawful or culturally normative ethical behavior.


  2. Impairments in interpersonal functioning (a or b):

    a.Empathy: Lack of concern for feelings, needs, or suffering of others; lack of remorse after hurting or mistreating another.

    b.Intimacy: Incapacity for mutually intimate relationships, as exploitation is a primary means of relating to others, including by deceit and coercion; use of dominance or intimidation to control others.

© 2012 American Psychiatric Association. All Rights Reserved. See Terms & Conditions of Use for more information.

DSM-IV and DSM-5 Criteria for the Personality Disorders

  1. The individual is at least age 18 years.

  2. There is evidence of Conduct Disorder with onset before age 15 years.

  3. The occurrence of antisocial behavior is not exclusively during the course of Schizophrenia or a Manic Episode.

B. Pathological personality traits in the following domains:

  1. Antagonism, characterized by:

    a.Manipulativeness: Frequent use of subterfuge to influence or control others; use of seduction, charm, glibness, or ingratiation to achieve one„s ends.

    b.Deceitfulness: Dishonesty and fraudulence; misrepresentation of self; embellishment or fabrication when relating events.

    c. Callousness: Lack of concern for feelings or problems of others; lack of guilt or remorse about the negative or harmful effects of one„s actions on others; aggression; sadism.

    d. Hostility: Persistent or frequent angry feelings; anger or irritability in response to minor slights and insults; mean, nasty, or vengeful behavior.


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