Personality Disorder or Coping Mechanisms

What is a Personality Disorder?

How everyone one of us perceives the world, our thoughts, attitudes, feelings and responses are all part of our personality.

Personality Disorders are generally defined as a distinguishable set of characteristics, patterns and behaviours that constitute our character or individuality.  The signs are a deeply ingrained and rigid pattern of thinking and behaviour in certain situations.  In some cases the responses can be very detrimental and even harmful to the person with the disorder and/or people they are in contact with. Personality disorders can often lead to anxiety and depression as well as fears and phobias. Those that take medication usually experience side effects which can be incredibly unpleasant.

Why I Am Not a Fan of Labelling 

I have clients visit me and on their consent form explains that they have this or that personality disorder.   What concerns me is what they believe about a personality disorder.  For many it may be “this disorder defines me”. I am concerned that they form unhealthy beliefs about their ‘disorder’ such as “I have this for life” or”I can’t be normal” (whatever ‘normal’ is) or “I am broken”.

The labelling is, for the medical fraternity, a way of defining, separating and medicating but in most cases I see the behaviour as a coping mechanism. We all have coping mechanisms, although they are generally so unconscious that we don’t give them a second thought or in some cases we laugh them off as they are not particularly detrimental to the quality of my life. Many of our coping mechanisms are put down to personality quirks.  Where is the line drawn between a personality disorder and a quirky personality trait?

By understanding someone, their background, their belief system, their support mechanisms, it is possible to help them develop more healthy behaviour.  This is why I look at many Personality Disorders as coping mechanisms.

Amazing People

I see amazing people week in week out in my studio who have gone through challenging situations, even horrendous situations.  These are people who often feel weak, messed up and useless.  Yet what I see is someone that has been through hell and is still here and breathing.  I have respect for them and their journey and even greater respect for the fact that they have sought help.

One of the first things I explain to those that come in saying they have a Personality Disorder is that these are just coping mechanisms, this is how they have coped with those situations given the knowledge and resources they had available and well done for that and I mean ….well done….you are amazing and now your life is going to get better.

I don’t need to analyse them, I need to understand them and their life experiences, their childhood, the people that brought them up, their schooling, their traumas and believe me when I understand what has gone them to this point, I admire them.  Part of what I do is help people see life from another perspective.

Are Some of Us More Likely To Have Personality Disorders?

I do believe that some people are more vulnerable to personality disorders based on their genetic make-up but only in the same way that some are more prone to diabetes or thyroid issues.  Genes can be turned on or off and in many cases do not have to be a life sentence but your beliefs about your genes could be unhelpful if you expect to be more prone to a health issue, whether that is a physical or mental health issue.

In my opinion, the vast majority of personality issues lay with the situations that person has found themselves in and how they have dealt with those situations.  In particular if someone has had a traumatic childhood then they could be more prone to mental health issues.  Dealing with stress later in life can also bring on mental or physical health issues.

We can only deal with situations with the knowledge and resources we have at the time.  When we are in the phase of stress, often it is as if many of our resources shut down as we go into fight or flight mode and the less known freeze response.

How To Overcome Mental Health Issues

This is not necessarily a magic wand fix but given commitment, many mental health issues can be improved or overcome.  Those traumas need to be resolved on a subconscious level.  In a more relaxed and detached state, having the knowledge and resources you wish you had available / needed at the time.  I use techniques such as Hypnotherapy, Emotional Freedom Technique (tapping) and Matrix Reimprinting as well as Heart Focussed Healing and Colour to release traumas and bring in the balance.

Going Forward

If you would like to find out more about how I can help you or you in any area of life, health and well-being please get in touch.

About Ann

ANN BOWDITCH is a member and trainer registered on the General Hypnotherapy Register and has run her own private practice in Guernsey for 6 years. She is also a practitioner of a number of therapies including EFT, EmoTrance, META Health, NES Health, Matrix Reimprinting, Colour Mirrors. Ann is also a RMTi Consultant – the only one in the Channel islands. She uses her skills to help people overcome many issues including depression, health, stress, weight loss, cravings, addictions, anxiety, insomnia, bullying and confidence issues.  Ann works in a unique way often by combining therapies tailoring sessions specifically for the individual.

If you wish to find out how Ann can help you please contact her here.

Ann Bowditch GQHP, GHR Reg., META-P
Dip (Hyp) Hypnotherapy
EFT (AAMET Certified) & Matrix Reimprinting Practitioner
Meta-Health & Colour Mirrors Practitioner
RMTi Consultant, NES Health Practitioner
PSTEC Level 1-A (Advanced PSTEC)

Tel: 07781 111186

Ann Bowditch is a Member & Trainer registered on the General Hypnotherapy Register