To Therapy Or Not To Therapy…

Updated: Feb 5

I’ve had my fair share of experience with therapy. Folks have their opinions about the purpose and the type of people that need therapy. Essentially, therapy is for those who need to know more about themselves and why they react a certain way to stimuli. It’s helpful to the extent of liberating. All people are the sum of their experience(s) so it helps to understand that we are all okay in our way. Some need medication and some simply need a road map. It’s what we do with it that matters.

I was fortunate to enter a study on personality disorders. In fact, I did three (3) of them. Seriously, I only participated because there was stimulation involved [money] and I know my diagnosis anyway. A doctorate degree needed funding so I needed creative ways to make money that were legal. See, prior to these, therapy helped me understand my lack of sympathy and empathy or approach to life. “Family” would insinuate that something was “wrong” with me. It was—I was surrounded by people that insist that I follow values that were not programmed in me to understand. It wasn’t until my twenties that therapy helped me put the pieces together and grow past losers that felt something was seriously disturbing happening in my brain. Who knew it was my environment…


While I’m considered highly functional with psychopathic tendencies, it doesn’t mean I can’t live a quality life. Notice I didn’t say normal. I always tell my real family that if I was normal, I’d kill myself.


After the initial study, I was called back for (2) more. Table 1 provides what the researchers observed regarding my personality.

Table 1

Personality Disorder Test Results: Rajah E. Smart SI# E0012****

What does all this mean? Well, my primary psychopathy was higher than 91.11% of people who participated in this study, which was a total of 32 people. The bottom gray score is the average of the participants, while the top score is my level. According to this, my primary psychopathy is the affective aspects of psychopathy, a lack of empathy for other people, and tolerance for antisocial orientations. I was told that if I wasn’t in therapy that I should seek a professional. I always was an overachiever.


My point is simply to understand that help is okay. Some may not know they are depressed or that their brain doesn’t fit into the “normal” package that people try to place you. Childhood and my current thinking patterns are directly correlated to my personality disorder. It doesn’t mean that my childhood was terrible-- it merely means I coped, and the development during this period trained my personality and behavior. Don’t let people force you to be something that you’re not or allow them to make you feel less than you are—understand YOU and live a quality life. If people love you, they already know where you come from. What I’ve learned is people want to place you in their box without knowing your context. If they don’t take the time to listen or already form an opinion, drop them. We are sometimes our harshest critics. We, for damn sure, don’t need others to make us worse. I’m aware that people may view me a certain kind of way but I don’t care. I’ve embraced my “disorder” and have used it to my advantage. Be proud of yourself because folks can’t talk down to you when you stand above them. That’s if folks' opinions matter to you. I’m lucky enough not to have that issue.


Definitions


Paranoid - individuals generally tends to interpret the actions of others as threatening; preoccupied with suspiciousness/paranoia.


Schizoid - individuals generally detached from social relationships and shows a narrow range of emotional expression in various social settings; emotional zombies who stopped feeling due to trauma(s).


Schizotypal - the individual is uncomfortable in close relationships, has thought or perceptual distortions, and peculiarities of behavior; preoccupied with seeing themselves and/or the world as strange/odd.


Antisocial - individual shows a pervasive disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others; Preoccupied with disdain/contempt for others and often a need for control/power over others.


Borderline - the individual shows a generalized pattern of instability in interpersonal relationships, self-image, and observable emotions, and significant impulsiveness.


Histrionic - individuals often display excessive emotionality and attention-seeking in various contexts and are often perceived as shallow and self-centered.


Narcissistic - individual has a lack of empathy that begins by early adulthood and is present in various situations. These individuals are very demanding in their relationships.


Avoidant - the core issue is an inability to resolve their codependent need for connection with their codependent fear of rejection and/or discomfort/anxiety around others.


Dependent - the individual shows an extreme need to be taken care of that leads to fears of separation and passive and clinging behavior.


Obsessive-Compulsive - the individual is preoccupied with orderliness, perfectionism, and control at the expense of flexibility, openness, and efficiency.

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