Internet Mental Health

PARANOID PERSONALITY DISORDER


WARNING:

Both Vladimir Putin and President Trump have Antisocial, Narcissistic, Paranoid, and Histrionic Personality Disorders. The leaked Fusion GPS-Steele Russia-Trump dossier alleges a bizarre relationship between Putin and President Trump. These two men are the only two people on earth who could single-handedly start a nuclear World War III and thus annihilate all life on our planet. Our survival will depend upon whether love, brotherhood, and peace can overcome hate, nationalism, and war. This is incredible - two men with serious mental illnesses will now decide whether we all live or die








Expanded Quality of Life Scale For Paranoid Personality Disorder

Internet Mental Health Quality of Life Scale

Big 5 Factors Of Mental Illness And Code For This Disorder
(The "6th Big Factor" of Mental Health, "Physical Health", Is Coded Normal or Green)

  • Individuals with Paranoid Personality are chronically suspicious, angry and hostile, and may show disturbed thinking.

  • Grew up feeling suspicious, victimized, and bearing grudges.

  • Not due to a medical or substance use disorder.

Prediction

    Can last for years or be lifelong

Problems

Occupational-Economic Problems:

  • Causes significant impairment in academic, occupational and/or social functioning

  • Works poorly with others (highly critical of others, yet hypersensitive to criticism of self))

Critical, Quarrelsome (Antagonism):

    Suspiciousness:

  • Suspects, without sufficient basis, that others are exploiting, harming, or deceiving her

  • Is preoccupied with unjustified doubts about the loyalty or trustworthiness of her friends or associates

  • Is reluctant to confide in others because of her unwarranted fear that the information will be used maliciously against her

  • Reads hidden demeaning or threatening meanings into benign remarks or events

  • Perceives attacks on her character or reputation that are not apparent to others and is quick to react angrily or to counterattack

  • Has recurrent suspicions, without justification, regarding fidelity of her spouse or sexual partner

    Lack of Forgiveness:

  • Persistently bears grudges, i.e., is unforgiving of insults, injuries, or slights



Explanation Of Terms And Symbols

Internet Mental Health Quality of Life Scale


SAPAS Personality Screening Test

Individuals with this disorder would answer "Yes" to the red questions:

      In general, do you have difficulty making and keeping friends?
      Would you normally describe yourself as a loner?
      In general, do you trust other people? (No)
      Do you normally lose your temper easily?
      Are you normally an impulsive sort of person?
      Are you normally a worrier?
      In general, do you depend on others a lot?
      In general, are you a perfectionist?

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Click Here For Free Diagnosis

Limitations of Self-Diagnosis

Self-diagnosis of this disorder is often inaccurate. Accurate diagnosis of this disorder requires assessment by a qualified practitioner trained in psychiatric diagnosis and evidence-based treatment.

However, if no such professional is available, our free computerized diagnosis is usually accurate when completed by an informant who knows the patient well. Computerized diagnosis is less accurate when done by patients (because they often lack insight).

Example Of Our Computer Generated Diagnostic Assessment of President Donald Trump (and Vladimir Putin)

Paranoid Personality Disorder 301.0

This diagnosis is based on the following findings:

  • Suspiciousness or paranoid ideation (still present)

  • Has unjustified doubts about the loyalty or trustworthiness of friends or associates (still present)

  • Reads hidden, demeaning, or threatening meanings into benign remarks or events (still present)

  • Persistently bears grudges (i.e., is unforgiving of insults, injuries, or slights) (still present)

  • Is quick to counterattack and react with anger to misperceived insults (still present)

  • This disorder did not exclusively occur during the course of a psychotic mental disorder

  • This disorder is not due to the direct physiological effects of a general medical condition

Treatment Goals:

  • Goal: be more trusting of others.
    If this problem persists: He will continue to assume that other people will exploit, harm, or deceive him, even when there is no evidence to support these suspicions. He will continue to feel that he has been deeply hurt by another person even when there is no evidence for this.

  • Goal: stop questioning friends' loyalty.
    If this problem persists: He will continue to be preoccupied with unjustified doubts about the loyalty or trustworthiness of his friends and associates, and continue to minutely scrutinize their behavior for evidence of betrayal or hostile intentions.

  • Goal: stop reading hidden, demeaning, or threatening meanings into benign events.
    If this problem persists: He will continue to misread honest mistakes made by others as deliberate attempts to harm him. He may also continue to misinterpret compliments as criticisms of him. Likewise, he may view an offer of help as a criticism that he is not doing well enough on his own.

  • Goal: be more forgiving of others.
    If this problem persists: He will continue to bear grudges and be unwilling to forgive the slights that he thinks he has received. Minor slights will continue to arouse major hostility.

  • Goal: don't react with anger to perceived insults.
    If this problem persists: He will continue to be quick to counterattack and react with anger to perceived insults.


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Paranoid Personality Disorder F60.0 - ICD10 Description, World Health Organization

Paranoid personality disorder is characterized by excessive sensitivity to setbacks, unforgiveness of insults; suspiciousness and a tendency to distort experience by misconstruing the neutral or friendly actions of others as hostile or contemptuous; recurrent suspicions, without justification, regarding the sexual fidelity of the spouse or sexual partner; and a combative and tenacious sense of personal rights. There may be excessive self-importance, and there is often excessive self-reference.

ICD-10 International Personality Disorder Examination Screening Questions

  • I don't react well when someone offends me.

  • Most people are fair and honest with me (False).

  • I've held grudges against people for years.

  • People often make fun of me behind my back.

  • I fight for my rights even when it annoys people.

  • I think my spouse (or lover) may be unfaithful to me.

  • I'm convinced there's a conspiracy behind many things in the world.

ICD-10 Diagnostic Criteria (For Research)

A. The general criteria of personality disorder must be met:

  • Evidence that the individual's characteristic and enduring patterns of inner experience and behavior deviate markedly as a whole from the culturally expected and accepted range (or 'norm').

  • The deviation must manifest itself pervasively as behavior that is inflexible, maladaptive, or otherwise dysfunctional across a broad range of personal and social situations (i.e. not being limited to one specific 'triggering' stimulus or situation).

  • There is personal distress, or adverse impact on the social environment, or both, clearly attributable to the behavior.

  • There must be evidence that the deviation is stable and of long duration, having its onset in late childhood or adolescence.

  • The deviation cannot be explained as a manifestation or consequence of other adult mental disorders.

  • Organic brain disease, injury, or dysfunction must be excluded as possible cause of the deviation.

B. At least four of the following must be present: (I have inserted Donald Trump's quotes and behaviors so that others might be better informed as to what to expect from President Trump.)

  • Excessive sensitivity to setbacks and rebuffs:
      (E.g., "If someone tries to push me around, I push back as hard as I can so that they never try that again.")

      Donald Trump quotes: "For many years I've said that if someone screws you, screw them back. When somebody hurts you, just go after them as viciously and as violently as you can." [How to Get Rich, 2004)] ... "When you have an enemy, you have to f--- them, and spend your whole life f------ them, and when you have a friend, you love them, and nobody exists in the middle." [New York Magazine 9 November 1992] ... "But when somebody tries to sucker punch me, when they're after my ass, I push back a hell of a lot harder than I was pushed in the first place. If somebody tries to push me around, he's going to pay a price. Those people don't come back for seconds. I don't like being pushed around or taken advantage of." [Playboy, March 1990]

  • Tendency to bear grudges persistently, e.g. unforgiveness of insults, injuries or slights.
      (E.g., "I've held grudges against people for years.")

      Donald Trump quotes: "When you have an enemy, you have to f--- them, and spend your whole life f------ them, and when you have a friend, you love them, and nobody exists in the middle." [New York Magazine 9 November 1992] ... "I'd like to wish all of my friends--and even my many enemies--a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year." Twitter - 24 Dec 2013 ... "To EVERYONE, including all haters and losers, HAPPY NEW YEAR. Work hard, be smart and always remember, WINNING TAKES CARE OF EVERYTHING!" Twitter - 31 Dec 2014 ... "Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don't know what to do. Love!" Twitter - 31 Dec 2016 [Business Insider 31 December 2016]

  • Suspiciousness and a pervasive tendency to distort experience by misconstruing the neutral or friendly actions of others as hostile or contemptuous.
      (E.g., "I don't believe most people are fair and honest with me.")

      Donald Trump quotes: "People are too trusting. I'm a very untrusting guy." [Playboy, March 1990] ... "The world is a horrible place. Lions kill for food, but people kill for sport. People try to kill you mentally, especially if you are on top. We all have friends that want everything we have. They want our money, our business, house, car, wife and dog. Those are our friends. Our enemies are even worse! You have to protect yourself in life." [Trump's book: "Think Big And Kick Ass" 2007] ... "The world is a mess. The world is as angry as it gets. ... The world is a total mess. The world is a total mess." [ABC News January 25 2017 ABC video] "

  • A combative and tenacious sense of personal rights out of keeping with the actual situation.
      (E.g., "I fight for my rights even when it annoys people.")

      Donald Trump behavior: "An analysis by USA Today published in June 2016 found that over the previous three decades, Trump and his businesses have been involved in 3,500 legal cases in U.S. federal courts and state court, an unprecedented number for a U.S. presidential candidate. Of the 3,500 suits, Trump or one of his companies were plaintiffs in 1,900; defendants in 1,450; and bankruptcy, third party, or other in 150." [Wikipedia] "The legal actions provide clues to the leadership style the billionaire businessman would bring to bear as commander in chief. He sometimes responds to even small disputes with overwhelming legal force. He doesn’t hesitate to deploy his wealth and legal firepower against adversaries with limited resources, such as homeowners. He sometimes refuses to pay real estate brokers, lawyers and other vendors. As he campaigns, Trump often touts his skills as a negotiator. The analysis shows that lawsuits are one of his primary negotiating tools. He turns to litigation to distance himself from failing projects that relied on the Trump brand to secure investments. As USA TODAY previously reported, he also uses the legal system to haggle over his property tax bills. His companies have been involved in more than 100 tax disputes, and the New York State Department of Finance has obtained liens on Trump properties for unpaid tax bills at least three dozen times." [ USA Today] "Hundreds allege Donald Trump doesn’t pay his bills" [ USA Today] "Trump, companies accused of mistreating women in at least 20 lawsuits" [ USA Today] "More than 100 lawsuits, disputes over taxes tied to Trump and his companies" [ USA Today] "Donald Trump: Three decades 4,095 lawsuits" [ USA Today] "Trump casino empire dogged by bad bets in Atlantic City" [ USA Today] "Dive into Donald Trump's thousands of lawsuits" [ USA Today]

  • Recurrent suspicions, without justification, regarding sexual fidelity of spouse or sexual partner.
      (E.g., "I think my spouse (or lover) is unfaithful to me.")

  • Persistent self-referential attitude, associated particularly with excessive self-importance.
      (E.g., "People often make fun of me behind my back.")

      Donald Trump quotes: "'I'm the king of Palm Beach,' Trump told the journalist Timothy O'Brien for his 2005 book, TrumpNation. Celebrities and rich people 'all come over' to Mar-a-Lago, Trump's exclusive Palm Beach estate. 'They all eat, they all love me, they all kiss my ass. And then they all leave and say, 'Isn't he horrible.' But I'm the king.'" [The Atlantic June 2016] "I know more about ISIS than the generals do." [The Washington Post November 13, 2015]

  • Preoccupation with unsubstantiated "conspiratorial" explanations of events around the subject or in the world at large.
      (E.g., "I'm convinced there is a conspiracy behind many things that happen in the world.")

      Donald Trump quotes: "Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on." [Trump website 7 December 2015] ... "What can be simpler or more accurately stated? The Mexican Government is forcing their most unwanted people into the United States. They are, in many cases, criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc." [Business Insider 6 July 2015] ... "The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive." [Twitter, Nov. 6, 2012]

Comment by Phillip Long MD (psychiatrist and editor):

It is my psychiatric opinion that both President Trump and Valdimir Putin have severe Narcissistic, Paranoid and Dissocial [Antisocial] Personality Disorders.

President Trump displays other behaviors that suggest a diagnosis of Histrionic Personality Disorder based on his:

  • Continuous longing for appreciation, need to be the center of attention, suggestibility, and inappropriate sexual behavior

It is very common for individuals with personality disorders to have more than one personality disorder since these disorders are highly interrelated.

Note: Since cocaine use can mimick or aggravate many of the features of Narcissistic and Paranoid Personality Disorders; a diagnosis of Cocaine Use Disorder should be assessed whenever a diagnosis of Narcissistic or Paranoid Personality Disorder is made.

The Trump Presidency: John Oliver


Psychiatric Predicament


It's A Wonder We're Still Alive


The Man Who Saved The World


The world barely avoided being annihilated in 1983. On 26 September 1983, the nuclear early warning system of the Soviet Union erroneously reported an incoming attack against Russia by American intercontinental missiles. Russia has a "launch on warning" policy whereby it launches its missiles against America on the first warning of an incoming American missile attack.

Fortunately this missile attack warning was correctly identified as a false alarm by Stanislav Petrov, lieutenant colonel of the Soviet Air Defence Forces. Petrov's decision to disregard the erroneous radar warnings is credited with having prevented a retaliatory nuclear attack on the United States and its NATO allies that could have resulted in large-scale nuclear war.

Stanislav Petrov had the courage to disobey his military orders (to "launch on warning") because of his personal knowledge and convictions. He knew that launching a large-scale nuclear war would annihilate humanity, and he knew that the Russian early warning system could not be trusted.

The 2 Men Who Could End The World


America and Russia possess 93% of the world's nuclear weapons. Thus Valdimir Putin and President Trump are the only two people on earth who could single-handedly start a nuclear World War III and thus annihilate all life on our planet. Why is the mental health of Vladimir Putin or President Trump important? The world's survival is now in Putin's corrupt and Trump's incompetent hands.

The problem now is that the leaders of Russia and America have severe personality flaws that make them incapable of appreciating the enormity of harm that they may cause.

Both Vladimir Putin and President Trump have Antisocial, Narcissistic, and Paranoid Personality Disorders.

Why is the mental health of Vladimir Putin or President Trump important? The world's survival is now in Putin's corrupt and Trump's incompetent hands..

Thus the world's fate is now in the hands of two leaders who have the following severe personality flaws:

Antisocial Personality Disorder

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

  • Arrogance:
    Being boastful or excessively proud; offensive display of superiority or self-importance.

  • Manipulation:
    Exploiting, conning, or taking unfair advantage of others.

  • Callousness:
    Lack of guilt or remorse about causing others harm; indifference to the suffering of others.

  • Attention-Seeking:
    Trying to be the center of attention; being overly dramatic or flamboyant.

Paranoid Personality Disorder

  • Suspiciousness:
    Suspecting, without sufficient basis, that others are harming or deceiving him.

  • Bearing grudges:
    Blaming others; seeking revenge

  • Being Hot-Headed:
    Easily angered; quick to take offense; unable to take criticism, blame or rejection.

Psychiatric Prediction

War


Given President Trump's personality disorders, I predict that he will impulsively soon start a war with North Korea. President Trump will start this war in order to deflect attention from calls for his impeachment. There are no military solutions to today's complicated international problems. The risk of this war increases the closer President Trump is to impeachment.

Should President Trump attack North Korea; millions in North and South Korea would die. Also, there is a real risk that North Korea could retaliate by shipping a hidden nuclear bomb as normal cargo by sea to America, and explode the nuclear bomb once the freighter reached the US port. There is no defense against this freighter cargo type of nuclear attack. Worse still, it would not even be clear which nation/group sent the nuclear bomb. So if America starts a war against North Korea, all bets are off.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's "Fifth Estate" aired an excellent analysis of President Trump's modus operandi. Thus the question is whether President Trump will be the strong savior of America, or whether he will be a tyrant that will tear America apart.


Tony Schwartz wrote "The Art of the Deal" for Donald Trump, and spent 18 months in Donald Trump's office observing him in order to write this Donald Trump biography. In 2016, immediately before the presidential election, Tony Schwartz gave a scathing lecture entitled "The Truth About Trump" at Oxford University. Every American who voted for President Trump should watch this Oxford lecture video.

Jan. 29, 2017: Alexandre Bissonnette, a white, 27-year-old, French-Canadian male far right extremist shot 25 Muslims in the back while they were at prayer in their mosque in Quebec City, Canada. Six were killed, 5 were hospitalized in critical condition, and the other wounded required only brief hospitalization. All of Canada mourned this barbaric act of senseless hatred against Muslims. Canadians are now asking how can the flood of far right anti-Muslim hatred coming into Canada from other countries be stopped? Take a good look at where the far right anti-Muslim hatred is taking us. [Racism can be untaught: How getting beat up taught a new Canadian not to be racist]

P.S. In the past 2 years, Canada has accepted more than 40,000 Syrian refugees. Not one of these Syrian refugees has attempted a terrorist attack in Canada or America.
A Counterargument To President Trump's Xenophobia:
(Interview with Jack Ma, a Chinese businessman worth US$ 35 billion) "In the past 30 years, America has had 13 wars spending US$ 14.2 trillion. What if they spent a fraction of that money building up [America's] infrastructure, and helping white collar and blue collar workers? ... You are supposed to spend money on your own people. The money has gone to Wall Street. And what happened? In 2008, the financial crisis wiped out US$ 19.2 trillion in USA alone, and destroyed 34 million jobs globally. What if that money wasn't spent on Wall Street? What if that money was spent on middle America and the rest of the United States developing the industry there? So it's not the other countries stealing jobs from America, it is your strategy [over-spending on war and on Wall Street]. You did not distribute your money in the proper way."


Paranoid Personality Disorder - Diagnostic Criteria, American Psychiatric Association

An individual diagnosed with paranoid personality disorder needs to show at least 4 of the following criteria:

  • Suspects, without sufficient basis, that others are exploiting, harming, or deceiving him or her.

  • Is preoccupied with unjustified doubts about the loyalty or trustworthiness of friends or associates.

  • Is reluctant to confide in others because of unwarranted fear that the information will be used maliciously against him or her.

  • Reads hidden demeaning or threatening meanings into benign remarks or events.

  • Persistently bears grudges, i.e., is unforgiving of insults, injuries, or slights.

  • Perceives attacks on his or her character or reputation that are not apparent to others and is quick to react angrily or to counterattack.

  • Has recurrent suspicions, without justification, regarding fidelity of spouse or sexual partner.

  • This enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior must deviate markedly from the expectations of the individual's culture.

  • This enduring pattern is inflexible and pervasive across a broad range of personal and social situations.

  • This enduring pattern leads to clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

  • Empirically Derived Taxonomy for Personality Diagnosis: Paranoid Personality Disorder

    (This section uses an alternative classification system to that of the American Psychiatric Association)

    These individuals:

    • Are chronically suspicious, expecting that others will harm, deceive, conspire against, or betray them.

    • Blame others for their own failures or shortcomings, and believe their problems are caused by external factors. Rather than recognizing their own role in interpersonal conflicts, they tend to feel misunderstood, mistreated, or victimized.

    • Are angry or hostile and prone to rage episodes.

    • See their own unacceptable feelings or impulses in other people instead of in themselves (i.e., "projection"). Thus they misattribute their hostility to other people.

    • Are controlling, oppositional, contrary, or quick to disagree, and to hold grudges. They often get into power struggles.

    • Tend to be self-righteous or moralistic, and often elicit dislike or animosity in others. They often lack close friendships and relationships.

    • May become irrational when strong emotions are stirred up, to the point of seeming delusional. They may “catastrophize,” seeing problems as disastrous or unsolvable.


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    Diagnostic Features

    Individuals with Paranoid Personality Disorder grow up having excessive distrust and suspiciousness. The core feature of this disorder is detachment (suspiciousness). This disorder is only diagnosed if: (1) it begins no later than early adulthood, (2) these behaviors occur at home, work, and in the community, and (3) these behaviors lead to clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. This disorder should not be diagnosed if its symptoms occur exclusively during the course of a Psychotic Disorder, or if it is attributable to Substance Use Disorder another medical condition.

    Individuals with Paranoid Personality Disorder falsely believe that they are being victimized by others. They are highly critical of others, yet hypersensitive to criticism of themselves. They bear grudges and are unwilling to forgive the insults that they think they have received. Minor slights arouse major hostility, and the hostile feelings persist for a long time. Their combative and suspicious nature may elicit a hostile response in others, which then serves to confirm their original expectations. They may be pathologically jealous.

    Like all personality disorders, Paranoid Personality Disorder is a deeply ingrained and enduring behavior pattern, manifesting as an inflexible response to a broad range of personal and social situations. This behavior represents an extreme or significant deviation from the way in which the average individual in a given culture relates to others. This behavior pattern tends to be stable.

    Course

    Paranoid Personality Disorder may be first apparent in childhood and adolescence with solitariness, poor peer relationships, social anxiety, underachievement in school, hypersensitivity, and peculiar thoughts and language. These children may appear to be odd or eccentric and attract teasing. The course of this disorder is chronic.

    Complications

    Individuals with Paranoid Personality Disorder are generally difficult to get along with and often have problems with close relationships because of their excessive suspiciousness and hostility. They usually are unable to collaborate well with others at work. They may have a need to have a high degree of control over those around them. They are reluctant to confide in or become close to others because they fear that the information they share will be used against them. They may be litigious and frequently become involved in legal disputes.

    Their combative and suspicious nature may elicit a hostile response in others, which then serves to confirm their original expectations. They are often rigid, and critical of others, although they have great difficulty accepting criticism themselves. They may exhibit thinly hidden, unrealistic grandiose fantasies, are often attuned to issues of power and rank, and tend to develop negative stereotypes of others, particularly those from population groups distinct from their own. More severely affected individuals with Paranoid Personality Disorder may be perceived by others as fanatics and form tightly knit cults or groups with others who share their paranoid beliefs.

    Comorbidity

    Some other disorders frequently occur with this disorder:

      Non-Personality Disorders

              Schizophrenia Spectrum and Other Psychotic Disorders:
        • This disorder may be a premorbid antecendent of a psychotic disorder. In response to stress, individuals with this disorder may experience very brief psychotic episodes (lasting minutes to hours). If the psychotic episode lasts longer, this disorder may actually develop into delusional disorder or schizophrenia.
              Depressive Disorders:
        • Major depressive disorder
              Anxiety Disorders:
        • Agoraphobia
              Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders:
        • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
              Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders:
        • Alcohol and other substance use disorder frequently occur

      Personality Disorders

              Negative Emotion Cluster:
        • Avoidant personality disorder
              Detachment Cluster:
        • Schizoid and schizotypal personality disorders
          Note: Paranoid, schizoid, and schizotypal personality disorders are all closely related since they all share the same core feature of detachment. If an individual has one of these detached personality disorders, they are very likely to have another.
              Antagonism Cluster:
        • Narcissistic, borderline personality disorders

    Associated Laboratory Findings

    No laboratory test has been found to be diagnostic of this disorder.

    Prevalence

    The prevalence of Paranoid Personality Disorder is 2.3%-4.4% of the general population. It occurs more commonly in males.

    Outcome

    Paranoid Personality Disorder is chronic.

    Familial Pattern

    Paranoid Personality Disorder is more common among first-degree biological relatives of those with Schizophrenia and Delusional Disorder, Persecutory Type.

    Controlled Clinical Trials Of Therapy

    Click here for a list of all the controlled clinical trials of therapy for this disorder.

    Psychotherapy

    The effectiveness of psychotherapy for Paranoid Personality Disorder is unknown because there are no randomized controlled trials of therapy. Individuals with this disorder seldom voluntarily present for treatment. Most therapists believe that Paranoid Personality Disorder is very difficult to treat.

    Pharmacotherapy

    There are currently no medications approved by the FDA to treat this disorder. Vitamins and dietary supplements are ineffective for all Personality Disorders.

    A Dangerous Cult


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    Rating Scales

    Which Behavioral Dimensions Are Involved?

    Research has shown that there are 5 major dimensions (the "Big 5 Factors") of personality disorders and other mental disorders. There are two free online personality tests that assess your personality in terms of the "Big 5" dimensions of personality.

    This website uses these 5 major dimensions of human behavior to describe all mental disorders. (This website adds one more dimension, "Physical Health", but our discussion will focus on the first 5 major dimensions.)

    These 5 major dimensions of human behavior seem to represent 5 major dimensions whereby our early ancestors chose their hunting companions or spouse. To maximize their chance for survival, our ancestors wanted companions who were agreeable, conscientious, intelligent, enthusiastic, and calm.

    Which Dimensions of Human Behavior are Impaired in Paranoid Personality Disorder?

    THE POSITIVE SIDE OF THE "BIG 5" PERSONALITY DIMENSIONS THE NEGATIVE SIDE OF THE "BIG 5" PERSONALITY DIMENSIONS DESCRIPTION (Where red = this disorder)
    Agreeableness Antagonism       Sympathetic, Kind vs. Critical, Quarrelsome
    Conscientiousness Disinhibition       Industrious, Orderly vs. Distractible, Disorganized
    Openness/Intellect Low Openness/Intellect       Open-Minded, Creative vs. Closed-Minded, Uncreative
    Sociability (Extraversion) Detachment       Enthusiastic, Assertive vs. Reserved, Quiet
    Emotional Stability Negative Emotion       Calm, Emotionally Stable vs. Anxious/Depressed, Emotionally Unstable

    The 5 Major Dimensions of Mental Illness

    Our website uses the "Big 5 Factors" of personality as major dimensions of mental illness. Each of these 5 dimensions has a healthy side and an unhealthy side. The Big 5 Factors are: Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Openness/Intellect, Sociability (Extraversion), and Emotional Stability. Our website adds an additional factor, Physical Health. However, our discussion will primarily focus on the traditional "Big 5 Factors".



    The Following Pictures Are of The International Space Station

    AGREEABLENESS VS. ANTAGONISM
    .
    Agreeableness (Sympathetic, Kind)
    .
    Description: Agreeableness is synonymous with compassion and politeness. Compassion reflects empathy, sympathy, and caring for others. Politeness reflects respect for others’ needs and desires and a tendency to refrain from aggression. Agreeable people are interested in others, and they make people feel comfortable. The Agreeableness dimension measures the behaviors that are central to the concept of LOVE and JUSTICE.
    Descriptors: Compassionate, polite, warm, friendly, helpful, unselfish, generous, modest.
    Language Characteristics: Pleasure talk, agreement, compliments, empathy, few personal attacks, few commands or global rejections, many self-references, few negations, few swear words, few threats, many insight words.
    Research: Higher scores on Agreeableness are associated with deeper relationships. *MRI research found that Agreeableness was associated with increased volume in regions that process information about the intentions and mental states of other individuals.
    "I am helpful and unselfish with others."
    "I have a forgiving nature."
    "I am generally trusting."
    "I am considerate and kind to almost everyone."
    "I like to cooperate with others."
    "I don't find fault with others."
    "I don't start quarrels with others."
    "I am not cold and aloof."
    "I am not rude to others."
    "I feel other's emotions."
    "I inquire about others' well-being."
    "I sympathize with others' feelings."
    "I take an interest in other people's lives."
    "I like to do things for others."
    "I respect authority."
    "I hate to seem pushy."
    "I avoid imposing my will on others."
    "I rarely put people under pressure."
    .
    Antagonism (Critical, Quarrelsome)
    .
    Description: Antagonism is synonymous with competition and aggression. Antagonistic people are self-interested, and do not see others positively.
    Descriptors: Manipulative, deceitful, grandiose, callous, disrespectful, unfriendly, suspicious, uncooperative, malicious.
    Language Characteristics: Problem talk, dissatisfaction, little empathy, many personal attacks, many commands or global rejections, few self-references, many negations, many swear words, many threats, little politeness, few insight words.
    .
    * Callousness:
    "It's no big deal if I hurt other people's feelings."
    "Being rude and unfriendly is just a part of who I am."
    "I often get into physical fights."
    "I enjoy making people in control look stupid."
    "I am not interested in other people's problems."
    "I can't be bothered with other's needs."
    "I am indifferent to the feelings of others."
    "I don't have a soft side."
    "I take no time for others."
    .
    * Deceitfulness:
    "I don't hesitate to cheat if it gets me ahead."
    "Lying comes easily to me."
    "I use people to get what I want."
    "People don't realize that I'm flattering them to get something."
    .
    * Manipulativeness:
    "I use people to get what I want."
    "It is easy for me to take advantage of others."
    "I'm good at conning people."
    "I am out for my own personal gain."
    .
    * Grandiosity:
    "I'm better than almost everyone else."
    "I often have to deal with people who are less important than me."
    "To be honest, I'm just more important than other people."
    "I deserve special treatment."
    .
    * Suspiciousness:
    "It seems like I'm always getting a “raw deal” from others."
    "I suspect that even my so-called 'friends' betray me a lot."
    "Others would take advantage of me if they could."
    "Plenty of people are out to get me."
    "I'm always on my guard for someone trying to trick or harm me."
    .
    * Hostility:
    "I am easily angered."
    "I get irritated easily by all sorts of things."
    "I am usually pretty hostile."
    "I always make sure I get back at people who wrong me."
    "I resent being told what to do, even by people in charge."
    "I insult people."
    "I seek conflict."
    "I love a good fight."
    .
    ("Agreeableness vs. Antagonism" modified from "PID-5" by Kreuger RF, Derringer J, Markon KE, Watson D, Skodol AE and Between facets and domains: 10 aspects of the Big Five)
    *MRI Research: Testing predictions from personality neuroscience. Brain structure and the big five.




    CONSCIENTIOUSNESS VS. DISINHIBITION
    .
    Conscientiousness (Industrious, Orderly)
    .
    Description: Conscientiousness is synonymous with being industrious and orderly. Conscientiousness is related to the control of one’s impulses, resulting in careful, self-disciplined, and success driven people. The Conscientiousness dimension measures the behaviors that are central to the concept of SELF-CONTROL.
    Descriptors: Industrious, self-disciplined, rule-abiding, organized
    Language Characteristics: Many positive emotion words (e.g. happy, good), few negative emotion words (e.g. hate, bad), more perspective, careful to check that information is conveyed correctly, straight to the point, formal, few negations, few swear words, few references to friends, few disfluencies or filler words, many insight words, not impulsive.
    Research: Higher scores on Conscientiousness predict greater success in school and at work. *MRI research found that Conscientiousness was associated with increased volume in the lateral prefrontal cortex, a region involved in planning and the voluntary control of behavior.
    "I do a thorough job. I want everything to be 'just right'. I want every detail taken care of."
    "I am careful."
    "I am a reliable hard-worker."
    "I am organized. I follow a schedule and always know what I am doing."
    "I like order. I keep things tidy."
    "I see that rules are observed."
    "I do things efficiently. I get things done quickly."
    "I carry out my plans and finish what I start."
    "I am not easily distracted."
    .
    Rigid Perfectionism (Excessive Conscientiousness)
    .
    "Even though it drives other people crazy, I insist on absolute perfection in everything I do."
    "I simply won't put up with things being out of their proper places."
    "People complain about my need to have everything all arranged."
    "People tell me that I focus too much on minor details."
    "I have a strict way of doing things."
    "I postpone decisions."
    .
    Disinhibition (Distractible, Disorganized)
    .
    Description: Disinhibition is synonymous with being distractible, impulsive and disorganized.
    Descriptors: Distractible, impulsive, irresponsible, disorganised, unreliable, careless, forgetful
    Language Characteristics: Few positive emotion words, many negative emotion words, less perspective, less careful, more vague, informal, many negations, many swear words, many references to friends (e.g. pal, buddy), many disfluencies or filler words, few insight words, impulsive.
    .
    * Irresponsibility:
    "I've skipped town to avoid responsibilities."
    "I just skip appointments or meetings if I'm not in the mood."
    "I'm often pretty careless with my own and others' things."
    "Others see me as irresponsible."
    "I make promises that I don't really intend to keep."
    "I often forget to pay my bills."
    .
    * Impulsivity:
    "I usually do things on impulse without thinking about what might happen as a result."
    "Even though I know better, I can't stop making rash decisions."
    "I feel like I act totally on impulse."
    "I'm not good at planning ahead."
    .
    * Distractibility:
    "I can't focus on things for very long."
    "I am easily distracted."
    "I have trouble pursuing specific goals even for short periods of time."
    "I can't achieve goals because other things capture my attention."
    "I often make mistakes because I don't pay close attention."
    "I waste my time ."
    "I find it difficult to get down to work."
    "I mess things up."
    "I don't put my mind on the task at hand."
    .
    * Reckless Risk Taking:
    "I like to take risks."
    "I have no limits when it comes to doing dangerous things."
    "People would describe me as reckless."
    "I don't think about getting hurt when I'm doing things that might be dangerous."
    .
    * Hyperactivity:
    "I move excessively (e.g., can't sit still; restless; always on the go)."
    "I'm starting lots more projects than usual or doing more risky things than usual."
    .
    * Over-Talkativeness:
    "I talk excessively (e.g., I butt into conversations; I complete people's sentences)."
    "Often I talk constantly and cannot be interrupted."
    .
    * Elation:
    "I feel much more happy, cheerful, or self-confident than usual."
    "I'm sleeping a lot less than usual, but I still have a lot of energy."
    .
    ("Conscientiousness vs. Disinhibition" modified from "PID-5" by Kreuger RF, Derringer J, Markon KE, Watson D, Skodol AE and Between facets and domains: 10 aspects of the Big Five)
    *MRI Research: Testing predictions from personality neuroscience. Brain structure and the big five.




    OPENNESS/INTELLECT vs. LOW OPENNESS/INTELLECT
    .
    Openness/Intellect (Open-Minded, Creative)
    .
    Description: Openness/Intellect (or "Openness To Experience") is synonymous with being open-minded and creative. People that are open to experience are usually creative, sophisticated, intellectual, curious and interested in art. The Openness/Intellect dimension measures the behaviors that are central to the concept of WISDOM. Open-minded people ask "why?", are willing to challenge something that doesn't seem right, to listen to other people's opinions, and to be ever-ready to accept new truths, if the evidence is there.
    Descriptors: Receptive to new ideas, curious, imaginative, creative, unconventional
    Language Characteristics: Many positive emotion words (e.g. happy, good), high meaning elaboration, more perspective, politeness, few self-references, complex sentence constructions, few causation words, many inclusive words (e.g. with, and), few third person pronouns, many tentative words (e.g. maybe, guess), many insight words (e.g. think, see), few filler words and within-utterance pauses, stronger uncommon verbs.
    Research: Higher scores on Openness/Intellect are associated with greater creativity and general intelligence. *MRI research found that Openness/Intellect did not have any significant correlation with the volume of any localized brain structure.
    Relationship To General Intelligence: Research has shown that Openness/Intellect can be separated into 2 factors: Openness and Intellect. Intellect was independently associated with general intelligence (g) and with verbal and nonverbal intelligence about equally. Openness was independently associated only with verbal intelligence.
    Example: This video shows how we see what we want to see. What we pay attention to (or what we believe about the world) blinds us to reality. (Exit YouTube after first video.)
    "I am original, and come up with new ideas."
    "I am curious about many different things."
    "I am quick to understand things."
    "I can handle a lot of information."
    "I like to solve complex problems."
    "I have a rich vocabulary."
    "I think quickly and formulate ideas clearly."
    "I enjoy the beauty of nature."
    "I believe in the importance of art."
    "I love to reflect on things."
    "I get deeply immersed in music."
    "I see beauty in things that others might not notice."
    "I need a creative outlet."
    .
    Closed To Experience (Closed-Minded, Uncreative)
    .
    Description: Low Openness/Intellect (or "Closed To Experience") is synonymous with being closed-minded and uncreative. Low Openness/Intellect is associated with narrow-mindedness, unimaginativeness and ignorance.
    Descriptors: Narrow-minded, conservative, ignorant, simple
    Language Characteristics: Few positive emotion words, low meaning elaboration, less perspective, less politeness, few positive emotion words, many self-references, simple sentence construction, many causation words (e.g. because, hence), many third person pronouns, few tentative words, few insight words, many filler words and within-utterance pauses, milder verbs.
    .
    "I prefer work that is routine."
    "I have difficulty understanding abstract ideas."
    "I think slowly."
    "People find it hard to follow my logic or understand my thoughts."
    "I avoid philosophical discussions."
    "I avoid difficult reading material."
    "People find it hard to follow my logic or understand my thoughts."
    "I have few artistic interests."
    "I seldom notice the emotional aspects of paintings and pictures."
    "I do not like poetry."
    "I seldom get lost in thought."
    "I seldom daydream."
    .
    Cognitive Impairment
    .
    * Memory Impairment:
    "I have difficulty learning new things, or remembering things that happened a few days ago."
    "I often forget a conversation I had the day before."
    "I often forget to take my medications, or to keep my appointments."
    .
    .
    * Impaired Reasoning:
    "My judgment or ability to solve problems isn't good."
    "I have difficulty understanding abstract ideas."
    "I think slowly."
    "People find it hard to follow my logic or understand my thoughts."
    .
    Psychoticism
    .
    Description: Psychoticism is the state of being psychotic or of being predisposed to develop psychosis.
    Descriptors: Unusual beliefs and experiences, eccentricity, perceptual dysregulation.
    .
    * Eccentricity:
    "I often have thoughts that make sense to me but that other people say are strange."
    "Others seem to think I'm quite odd or unusual."
    "My thoughts are strange and unpredictable."
    "My thoughts often don’t make sense to others."
    "Other people seem to think my behavior is weird."
    "I have several habits that others find eccentric or strange."
    "My thoughts often go off in odd or unusual directions."
    .
    * Unusual Beliefs and Experiences:
    "I often have unusual experiences, such as sensing the presence of someone who isn't actually there."
    "I've had some really weird experiences that are very difficult to explain."
    "I have seen things that weren’t really there."
    "I have some unusual abilities, like sometimes knowing exactly what someone is thinking."
    "I sometimes have heard things that others couldn’t hear."
    "Sometimes I can influence other people just by sending my thoughts to them."
    "I often see unusual connections between things that most people miss."
    .
    * Perceptual Dysregulation:
    "Things around me often feel unreal, or more real than usual."
    "Sometimes I get this weird feeling that parts of my body feel like they're dead or not really me."
    "It's weird, but sometimes ordinary objects seem to be a different shape than usual."
    "Sometimes I feel 'controlled' by thoughts that belong to someone else."
    "Sometimes I think someone else is removing thoughts from my head."
    "I have periods in which I feel disconnected from the world or from myself."
    "I can have trouble telling the difference between dreams and waking life."
    "I often 'zone out' and then suddenly come to and realize that a lot of time has passed."
    "Sometimes when I look at a familiar object, it's somehow like I'm seeing it for the first time."
    "People often talk about me doing things I don't remember at all."
    "I often can't control what I think about."
    "I often see vivid dream-like images when I’m falling asleep or waking up."
    .
    ("OPENNESS TO EXPERIENCE vs. BEING CLOSED TO EXPERIENCE" modified from "PID-5" by Kreuger RF, Derringer J, Markon KE, Watson D, Skodol AE and Between facets and domains: 10 aspects of the Big Five)
    *MRI Research: Testing predictions from personality neuroscience. Brain structure and the big five.




    SOCIABILITY (EXTRAVERSION) vs. DETACHMENT
    .
    Sociability (Enthusiastic, Assertive)
    .
    Description: Sociability (Extraversion) is synonymous with being enthusiastic and assertive. Assertiveness encompasses traits relating to leadership, dominance, and drive. Enthusiasm encompasses both outgoing friendliness or sociability and the tendency to experience and express positive emotion. Extraverts tend to engage in social interaction; they are enthusiastic, risk-taking, talkative and assertive. The Sociability (Extraversion) dimension measures the behaviors that are central to the concept of SOCIABILITY and LEADERSHIP.
    Descriptors: Enthusiastic, assertive, gregarious, reward-seeking, talkative.
    Language Characteristics: Many topics, higher verbal output, think out loud, pleasure talk, agreement, compliment, positive emotion words, sympathetic, concerned about hearer (but not empathetic), simple constructions, few unfilled pauses, few negations, few tentative words, informal language, many swear words, exaggeration (e.g. really), many words related to humans (e.g. man, pal), poor vocabulary.
    Research: Higher scores on Sociability (extraversion) are associated with greater happiness and broader social connections. *MRI research found that Sociability (extraversion) was associated with increased volume of medial orbitofrontal cortex, a region involved in processing reward information.
    "I'm talkative"
    "I'm not reserved."
    "I'm full of energy."
    "I generate a lot of enthusiasm."
    "I'm not quiet."
    "I have an assertive personality."
    "I'm not shy or inhibited."
    "I am outgoing and sociable."
    "I make friends easily."
    "I warm up quickly to others."
    "I show my feelings when I'm happy."
    "I have a lot of fun."
    "I laugh a lot."
    "I take charge."
    "I have a strong personality."
    "I know how to captivate people."
    "I see myself as a good leader."
    "I can talk others into doing things."
    "I am the first to act."
    .
    Attention Seeking (Excessive Sociability)
    .
    "I like to draw attention to myself."
    "I crave attention."
    "I do things to make sure people notice me."
    "I do things so that people just have to admire me."
    "My behavior is often bold and grabs peoples' attention."
    .
    Detachment (Reserved, Quiet)
    .
    Description: Detachment is synonymous with being reserved and quiet.
    Descriptors: Withdrawn, anhedonic (pleasureless), intimacy avoiding, reserved, quiet, shy, passive, solitary, moody
    Language Characteristics: Single topic, doesn't think out loud, problem talk, dissatisfaction, negative emotion words, not sympathetic, elaborated sentence constructions, many unfilled pauses, formal language, many negations, many tentative words (e.g. maybe, guess), few swear words, little exaggeration, few words related to humans, rich vocabulary.
    .
    * Social Withdrawal:
    "I don’t like to get too close to people."
    "I don't deal with people unless I have to."
    "I'm not interested in making friends."
    "I don’t like spending time with others."
    "I say as little as possible when dealing with people."
    "I keep to myself."
    "I am hard to get to know."
    "I reveal little about myself."
    "I do not have an assertive personality."
    "I lack the talent for influencing people."
    "I wait for others to lead the way."
    "I hold back my opinions."
    .
    * Intimacy Avoidance:
    "I steer clear of romantic relationships."
    "I prefer to keep romance out of my life."
    "I prefer being alone to having a close romantic partner."
    "I'm just not very interested in having sexual relationships."
    "II break off relationships if they start to get close."
    .
    * Anhedonia (Lack of Pleasure):
    "I often feel like nothing I do really matters."
    "I almost never enjoy life."
    "Nothing seems to make me feel good."
    "Nothing seems to interest me very much."
    "I almost never feel happy about my day-to-day activities."
    "I rarely get enthusiastic about anything."
    "I don't get as much pleasure out of things as others seem to."
    .
    * Restricted Emotions:
    "I don't show emotions strongly."
    "I don't get emotional."
    "I never show emotions to others."
    "I don't have very long-lasting emotional reactions to things."
    "People tell me it's difficult to know what I'm feeling."
    "I am not a very enthusiastic person."
    .
    ("Sociability vs. Detachment" modified from "PID-5" by Kreuger RF, Derringer J, Markon KE, Watson D, Skodol AE and Between facets and domains: 10 aspects of the Big Five)
    *MRI Research: Testing predictions from personality neuroscience. Brain structure and the big five.




    EMOTIONAL STABILITY VS. NEGATIVE EMOTION
    .
    Emotional Stability (Calm, Emotionally Stable)
    .
    Description: Emotional Stability is synonymous with being calm and emotionally stable. The Emotional Stability dimension measures the behaviors that are central to the concept of COURAGE and CONFIDENCE.
    Descriptors: Calm, even-tempered, peaceful, confident
    Language Characteristics: Pleasure talk, agreement, compliment, low verbal productivity, few repetitions, neutral content, calm, few self-references, many short silent pauses, few long silent pauses, many tentative words, few aquiescence, little exaggeration, less frustration, low concreteness.
    "I am relaxed, and I handle stress well."
    "I am emotionally stable, and not easily upset."
    "I remain calm in tense situations."
    "I rarely get irritated."
    "I keep my emotions under control."
    "I rarely lose my composure."
    "I am not easily annoyed."
    "I seldom feel blue."
    "I feel comfortable with myself."
    "I rarely feel depressed."
    "I am not embarrassed easily."
    .
    Negative Emotion (Anxious/Depressed, Emotionally Unstable)
    .
    Description: Degree to which people experience persistent anxiety or depression and are easily upset. (This could be thought of as high threat sensitivity or low stress tolerance.)
    Descriptors: Emotionally unstable, anxious, separation-insecure, depressed, self-conscious, oversensitive, vulnerable.
    Language Characteristics: Problem talk, dissatisfaction, high verbal productivity, many repetitions, polarised content, stressed, many self-references, few short silent pauses, many long silent pauses, few tentative words, more aquiescence, many self references, exaggeration, frustration, high concreteness.
    Research: Lower scores on Emotional Stability are associated with unhappiness, dysfunctional relationships, and mental health problems. *MRI research found that Low Emotional Stability (= Negative Emotion or Neuroticism) was associated with increased volume of brain regions associated with threat, punishment, and negative emotions.
    .
    * Emotional Instability:
    "I get emotional easily, often for very little reason."
    "I get emotional over every little thing."
    "My emotions are unpredictable."
    "I never know where my emotions will go from moment to moment."
    "I am a highly emotional person."
    "I have much stronger emotional reactions than almost everyone else."
    "My emotions sometimes change for no good reason."
    "I get angry easily."
    "I get upset easily."
    "I change my mood a lot."
    "I am a person whose moods go up and down easily."
    "I get easily agitated."
    "I can be stirred up easily."
    .
    * Anxiety:
    "I worry about almost everything."
    "I'm always fearful or on edge about bad things that might happen."
    "I always expect the worst to happen."
    "I am a very anxious person."
    "I get very nervous when I think about the future."
    "I often worry that something bad will happen due to mistakes I made in the past."
    "I am filled with doubts about things."
    "I feel threatened easily."
    "I am afraid of many things."
    .
    * Separation Insecurity:
    "I fear being alone in life more than anything else."
    "I can't stand being left alone, even for a few hours."
    "I’d rather be in a bad relationship than be alone."
    "I'll do just about anything to keep someone from abandoning me."
    "I dread being without someone to love me."
    .
    * Submissiveness:
    "I usually do what others think I should do."
    "I do what other people tell me to do."
    "I change what I do depending on what others want."
    .
    * Perseveration:
    "I get stuck on one way of doing things, even when it's clear it won't work."
    "I get stuck on things a lot."
    "It is hard for me to shift from one activity to another."
    "I get fixated on certain things and can’t stop."
    "I feel compelled to go on with things even when it makes little sense to do so."
    "I keep approaching things the same way, even when it isn’t working."
    .
    * Depressed Mood:
    "I have no worth as a person."
    "Everything seems pointless to me."
    "I often feel like a failure."
    "The world would be better off if I were dead."
    "The future looks really hopeless to me."
    "I often feel just miserable."
    "I'm very dissatisfied with myself."
    "I often feel like nothing I do really matters."
    "I know I'll commit suicide sooner or later."
    "I talk about suicide a lot."
    "I feel guilty much of the time."
    "I'm so ashamed by how I've let people down in lots of little ways."
    "I am easily discouraged."
    "I become overwhelmed by events."
    .
    ("Emotional Stability vs. Negative Emotion" modified from "PID-5" by Kreuger RF, Derringer J, Markon KE, Watson D, Skodol AE and Between facets and domains: 10 aspects of the Big Five)
    *MRI Research: Testing predictions from personality neuroscience. Brain structure and the big five.


    The Blueprint For Virtue Is Built Into Your DNA

    More than 2,300 years ago, the ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle (384–322 BC), said: "What is the essence of life? To serve others and to do good." Aristotle taught that "doing good" was synonymous with living a life of virtue. He believed these virtues were in keeping with the laws of nature.

    Aristotle and other ancient Greek philosophers believed that the main virtues were justice, self-control/moderation, wisdom, sociability, courage, and physical health.

    Psychological research now has shown that these virtues do predict success and good health. It can be argued that these virtues represent basic evolutionary principles that are evident at every level of our existence: physiological, psychological, and social.

    DNA, The Basis of Life

    First let's examine the chemical basis of life - the DNA molecule.



    • The DNA molecule is the foundation of all life on earth. DNA is a double helix molecule that is like a spiral ladder with rungs. Each rung on this ladder consists of 2 base pairs; altogether there are 4 bases used by DNA. These four bases are abbreviated A, T, C, and G. These 4 bases form the "4 letter chemical code" in DNA which stores all the chemical information necessary for life.

    • The DNA molecule's spiral ladder has millions of rungs (base pairs). Part of DNA's chemical code is read by messenger RNA (which takes it out of the cell nucleus to the nearby ribosomes who use this code to create proteins). All the DNA chemical code in our 46 chromosomes is estimated to be about 3.2 billion base pairs long.

    • Proteins are built as chains of amino acids, which then fold into unique three-dimensional shapes that have different functions. Proteins compose structural and motor elements in the cell, and they serve as the catalysts for virtually every biochemical reaction that occurs in living things.

    DNA Replication



    • The mutual attraction between opposite bases (G-C and A-T) allows for DNA replication, since the DNA molecule can divide lengthwise into two halves. Then each half can attract the necessary opposite bases to create a complementary new strand of DNA.

    • This chemical replication only works because of the mutual attraction between opposite base pairs.

    Virtues Manifested at The Physiological, Psychological, and Social Levels

    • Justice:

      • Physiological Level:

        Evolutionary principle of adaptation (living in harmony):

        In evolution, it is not the smartest or strongest organism that survives; it is the most adaptable. An organism must be able to flourish in harmony with its environment.


        For example, all the cells in a healthy body grow in harmony. Cancer represents the harmful breakdown in these harmonious cellular relationships. Cancer results from mutated DNA that is self-destructive because it causes uncontrollable growth which kills the organism and itself.

        Evolutionary principle of extinction:

        Nearly all species that ever lived are now extinct. They did not survive the sudden climate changes that caused mass extinctions of nearly all life on earth. Fortunately, a few species did survive these mass extinctions.


        There have been five mass extinction events in Earth's history. In the worst one, 250 million years ago, 96 percent of marine species and 70 percent of land species died off. Humans almost went extinct 60,000 years ago when only approximately 1,000 humans survived a global drought. Nowadays, many scientists are predicting that we're on track for a sixth mass extinction due to human destruction of the environment. This human-caused mass extinction of life on earth is the greatest injustice that humanity has ever created.

      • Psychological Level:

        Social harmony breaks down when individuals act unjustly. Their injustice consists of unfair and harmful violation of the rights of others.

        Injustice is more than just being deceitful (e.g., lying, stealing, cheating). Justice requires that we neither harm nor allow harm to others and our environment. Thus justice ensures social harmony and our living in harmony with our environment.

      • Social Level:

        Social injustice occurs when one group unfairly harms another.

        Injustice occurs when groups or nations unfairly and harmfully violate the rights of others. Once there is a breakdown in morality and rule of law, it is just a matter of time until the group or nation degenerates into corruption and a violent struggle for power.

    • Moderation:

      • Physiological Level:

        Evolutionary principle of homeostasis:

        Life involves constant change, and all organisms evolve ways to moderate these changes to maintain their stability (i.e., homeostasis). The goal of this homeostasis is to maintain optimal conditions for life (i.e., to avoid deficiency or excess).


        For example, DNA is self-controlling; it moderates its functioning by turning itself on or off depending upon its environment. Thus, by moderating its own functioning, DNA can better survive environmental change. However, there is a limit to how much change organisms can withstand (e.g., a fish out of water).

      • Psychological Level:

        Self-control and moderation in all things is the core feature of conscientiousness.

        Conscientious individuals have good homeostatic control of their behavior - it is neither excessively inhibited nor disinhibited. They are careful, responsible, hard-working, cautious, focused, and organized. In contrast, individuals lacking conscientiousness are careless, irresponsible, sporadically employed/unemployed, impulsive, easily distracted, and disorganized.

      • Social Level:

        When a social group or nation loses its self-discipline and moderation, it becomes more politically polarized and divided.

        The more politically polarized and divided the group or nation becomes, the more likely it is to fragment and fail.

    • Wisdom:

      • Physiological Level:

        Evolutionary principle of experimentation and evaluation:

        Evolution creates better adapted organisms by using mutation and natural selection.


        The sugar-phosphate backbone of DNA preserves the specific order of the rungs on the DNA ladder. Chance mutation causes deletion (or multiplication) of these rungs. Sometimes the rung of one DNA molecule breaks off and attaches itself to another DNA molecule. Natural selection then determines if the mutated DNA survives better than the original DNA. If so, this mutated DNA creates a more adaptable organism. Without this constant experimentation and evaluation (mutation and natural selection), evolution would stop.

        Evolutionary principle of replication:

        Evolution uses the scientific experimental method to discover the truth.


        Evolution is constantly experimenting - comparing the adaptive success of new DNA mutations against the success of their original DNA. As in science, evolution requires that the findings of its experiments be repeatedly replicated. This requirement for repeated replication of success eliminates unstable mutant DNA which can't successfully replicate its initial adaptive success.

        Evolutionary principle of information sharing:

        Organisms survive because they genetically share adaptive information from one generation to the next.


        For example, all the information needed to create an elephant is coded in its 56 chromosomes. This also includes all the elephant's instinctual behaviors. That's an incredible amount of adaptive information passed by DNA from one generation to the next.

        Evolutionary principle of contingency plans:

        In evolution, most of the information stored in DNA is contingency plans.


        Only a tiny amount of the information stored in DNA's base pairs tells how to make proteins. Far more of the information stored in DNA determines when and where these proteins are to be produced. Thus, DNA stores more information on contingency plans for "when" and "where" to do a task (e.g., produce protein) than it stores information on "how" to do it.

        Evolutionary principle of using a standardized language to record adaptive information:

        Every living cell stores all of the adaptive information that evolution has taught it by using the same "4 letter chemical code" (4 base pairs repeated billions of times) in its DNA.


        Without this universal, standardized language to store information, evolution could not pass on adaptive information within the body or between generations.

        Evolutionary principle that life is a game of chance:

        Evolution is not guided by any plan; the direction it takes is determined solely by chance events.


        For example, our hominid lineage diverged from the ape lineage 7 to 8 million years ago. There were 21 hominid species - and 20 became extinct. Thus evolution tried 21 different experiments in creating hominids, and all proved to be evolutionary dead-ends - except our species, Homo sapiens. Our species has existed for about 100,000 years, and now we could be on the verge of extinction due to nuclear war or climate change.


      • Psychological Level:

        Humans are rational animals that evolution has given the ability to reason and learn. Wise, open-minded individuals that ask "why?" consistently outperform close-minded individuals that never question "why?". The hallmark of open-minded individuals is their curiosity and willingness to logically experiment and make mistakes in order to learn.

        Throughout human history, open-minded, inventive, quick learning individuals prospered better than close-minded, uncreative, and slow learning individuals. Open-minded individuals are more likely to gather relevant information and create contingency plans before they act.

        Wise individuals that keep a record of their progress (in diaries, business records, etc.) outperform those individuals that don't keep such records.

        Such records allow individuals to look back over the years to analyze their successes and failures. Otherwise, without these backup records, individuals must rely on their notoriously faulty memories. The most efficient record keeping involves using: (1) standardized language to avoid confusion, and (2) mathematically quantified data.

      • Social Level:

        War is the greatest threat to civilization and the accumulation of knowledge.

        History's Dark Ages occur when wars cause a collapse of civilization. The worst Dark Age occurred at the end of the Bronze Age around 1200 BC. For 40-50 years, war destroyed all the ancient Mediterranean civilizations (except Egypt's, which came close to collapsing). Almost every significant city in the eastern Mediterranean world was destroyed. These cultures (except Egypt) lost their literacy, political organization, and ability to build cities or conduct international trade. Their people barely survived and were forced to return to simple, small village life.

    • Sociability:

      • Physiological Level:

        Evolutionary principle of communal sharing:

        Those organisms which communally share adaptive information survive better than solitary organisms.


        The genetic sharing of DNA during sexual reproduction increases genetic diversity, which speeds up evolution. Even single-celled organisms, like bacteria, survive better in communal groups (where they can exchange their DNA), rather than surviving as solitary organisms.

      • Psychological Level:

        Humans are social beings that perform better working in groups. Compared to solitary individuals, socially outgoing individuals are more likely to acquire adaptive information from others.

        Also, compared to solitary individuals, socially outgoing individuals belong to more social networks; hence are more likely to receive social support in times of need.

      • Social Level:

        Social groups and nations that freely share adaptive information are the most likely to succeed.

        These nations democratically support freedom of speech and of the press, universal education, social equality, social mobility, and social mixing of their members. This social sharing and mixing strengthens the social cohesiveness of these groups and improves their quality of life.

    • Courage:

      • Physiological Level:

        Evolutionary principle of resiliency:

        The DNA molecule is extremely stable.


        During evolution, natural disasters have caused repeated near-total mass extinctions of all life on earth; yet life has always recovered. Now DNA life forms have spread to virtually every corner of our planet, and humans have spread to every continent.

      • Psychological Level:

        Courage involves remaining calm and emotionally stable in the face of adversity.

        Courage doesn't mean rushing headlong into danger. There is a natural "fight (anger), flight (fear), freeze (depression), or fantasize (delusion)" coping response to adversity. The courageous person will assess the situation, and take the appropriate "fight/flight/freeze/fantasize" response that best solves the problem. There is no one response that is always right. Individuals must remain calm and emotionally stable while facing adversity - otherwise strong emotion can severely impair their problem-solving ability.

      • Social Level:

        Leaders must instill courage in their followers in order to maintain morale.

        Once a group loses its courage, and its morale is broken, it quickly becomes dysfunctional.

    • Physical Health:

      • Physiological Level:

        Evolutionary principle that all that matters is survival:

        Evolution selects for traits that help organisms survive, but doesn’t necessarily find optimal solutions.


        The goal of evolution is to create living organisms - even if they aren't perfect. Thus, evolution has produced many types of organisms - some are in a gray area between living and nonliving (e.g., viruses), the majority are single-celled (e.g., bacteria), and a few are multicellular (e.g., most animals and plants). It is an error to believe that the sole purpose of evolution is to create more complex or intelligent organisms. In terms of global biomass, single-celled organisms far outweigh multicellular organisms. So, in that sense, evolution has favored single-celled, unintelligent organisms.

      • Psychological Level:

        Our physical vices are the leading cause of disability and death.

        The modern vices of cigarette smoking, alcohol and drug abuse, sedentary lifestyle, obesity, and unsafe sex are the leading causes of physical disability and death. There is no virtue in any behavior that physically harms the body. Evolution doesn't care if we are beautiful, strong, intelligent, or happy. Evolution only cares if we can flourish by living in harmony with others and our environment.

      • Social Level:

        Leading global risks:

        The leading global risks for mortality in the world are high blood pressure (responsible for 13% of deaths globally), tobacco use (9%), high blood glucose (6%), physical inactivity (6%), and overweight and obesity (5%).

        The leading global risks for burden of disease as measured in disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) are underweight (6% of global DALYs) and unsafe sex (5%), followed by alcohol use (5%) and unsafe water, sanitation, and hygiene (4%).

        Globally, it appears that "modernization" increases addiction, sedentary lifestyle, obesity, unsafe sex, environmental destruction, and disastrous climate change. Thus, our modern civilization may severely impair our future evolution, or lead to our own extinction.


    The "Big 5 Factors" of Personality as Shown In Dogs

    The same "Big 5 Factors" of personality found in humans can be found in dogs. This makes sense because dogs, like humans, are a social species.



    AGREEABLENESS VS. ANTAGONISM
    .
    Agreeableness ("Friend")
    .
    Dog is friendly towards unfamiliar people.
    Dog is friendly towards other dogs.
    When off leash, dog comes immediately when called.
    Dog willingly shares toys with other dogs.
    Dog leaves food or objects alone when told to do so.
    .
    Antagonism ("Foe")
    .
    Dog is dominant over other dogs.
    Dog is assertive with other dogs (e.g., if in a home with other dogs, when greeting).
    Dog behaves aggressively towards unfamiliar people.
    Dog shows aggression when nervous or fearful.
    Dog aggressively guards coveted items (e.g., stolen item, treats, food bowl).
    Dog is quick to sneak out through open doors, gates.

    CONSCIENTIOUSNESS VS. DISINHIBITION
    .
    Conscientiousness ("Self-Controlled")
    .
    Dog works at tasks (e.g., getting treats out of a dispenser, shredding toys) until entirely finished.
    Dog works hard all day herding or pulling a sleigh (if a "working dog" on the farm or in the snow). *
    Dog is curious.
    .
    Disinhibition ("Disinhibited")
    .
    Dog is boisterous.
    Dog seeks constant activity.
    Dog is very excitable around other dogs.

    OPENNESS/INTELLECT vs. LOW OPENNESS/INTELLECT
    .
    Open To Experience ("Open-Minded")
    .
    Dog is able to focus on a task in a distracting situation (e.g., loud or busy places, around other dogs).
    .
    Closed To Experience ("Closed-Minded")
    .
    Dog is slow to respond to corrections.
    Dog ignores commands.
    Dog is slow to learn new tricks or tasks.

    SOCIABILITY (EXTRAVERSION) vs. DETACHMENT
    .
    Sociability ("Approach")
    .
    Dog is attention seeking (e.g., nuzzling, pawing or jumping up on family members looking for attention and physical contact).*
    Dog seeks companionship from people.
    Dog is affectionate.
    .
    Detachment ("Avoidance")
    .
    Dog is aloof.
    Dog gets bored in play quickly.
    Dog is lethargic.

    EMOTIONAL STABILITY VS. NEGATIVE EMOTION
    .
    Emotional Stability ("Safety")
    .
    Dog tends to be calm.
    Dog is relaxed when greeting people.
    Dog is confident.
    Dog adapts easily to new situations and environments.
    .
    Negative Emotion ("Danger")
    .
    Dog is anxious.
    Dog is shy.
    Dog behaves fearfully towards unfamiliar people.
    Dog exhibits fearful behaviors when restrained.
    Dog avoids other dogs.
    Dog behaves fearfully towards other dogs.
    Dog behaves submissively (e.g., rolls over, avoids eye contact, licks lips) when greeting other dogs.
    .
    Modified from Jones, A. C. (2009). Development and validation of a dog personality questionnaire. Ph.D. Thesis. University of Texas, Austin.

    * New items added by Phillip W. Long MD

    Notice the Personality Differences Between Dogs and Humans

    Dogs and humans are strikingly similar on 4 of the "Big 5 Factors" of personality. However, dogs and humans are quite different on the "Conscientiousness" factor - because the canine brain isn't designed to organize work projects. That's why dogs don't build dog houses.

    Two of the "Big 5 Factors" of dog personality are clearly a function of dogs being a social species that forms social hierarchies: (1) the "Agreeableness" factor describes "friend vs. foe" behaviors, and (2) the "Sociability" factor describes "approach vs. avoidance" behaviors.

    The "Openness to Experience" describes the ability to learn from experience. The "Emotional Stability" factor describes "safety vs. danger" behaviors.

    The Brain and the "Big-5 Factors" of Human and Dog Personality

    It could be that the "Big-5 Factors" of personality represent some extremely basic brain functions. For example, when a young man approaches a young woman, she must: (1) decide whether he is friend or foe ["Agreeableness"], (2) decide if this represents safety or danger ["Emotional Stability"], (3) decide whether to approach or avoid him ["Sociability"], (4) decide whether to be self-controlled or disinhibited ["Conscientiousness"], and (5) learn from this experience ["Openness to Experience"].

    The "Big 5" Dimensions of Personality and Personality Disorders

    The following diagram shows the relationship between the "Big 5" dimensions of personality and personality disorders. This diagram is based on the research of Sam Gosling, Jason Rentfrow, and Bill Swann, Gerard Saucier, Colin G. DeYoung, and Douglas Samuel and Thomas Widiger.


    Enlarge Image


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    Personality Disorders Scoring Low On Agreeableness

    In personality testing, individuals with Paranoid Personality Disorder often have a low Agreeableness test score.


    Enlarge Image


    Low Agreeableness scores are also seen in individuals with Narcissistic, Antisocial and Paranoid Personality Disorders. Another name for "low Agreeableness" is "Antagonism".

    Cleopatra Seducing Caesar and Mark Antony


    In the Antagonism (low agreeableness) cluster (of Narcissistic + Paranoid + Antisocial/Psychopathic Personality Disorders), the males tend to be like Caesar and have more antisocial/psychopathic behaviors; whereas the females tend to be like Cleopatra and have more narcissistic behaviors.The core feature of this cluster of personality disorders is lack of empathy. These individuals seem to be unconcerned about how their actions harm or upset others.

    Agreeableness vs. Antagonism

    AGREEABLENESS ANTAGONISM
    Trust Suspiciousness
    Having trusting relationships with significant others (e.g., family, friends, coworkers, employer) Suspecting, without sufficient basis, that others are exploiting, harming, or deceiving him or her
    Forgiveness Bearing Grudges
    Forgiving other peoples’ mistakes; not bearing grudges or seeking revenge Blaming others; not forgiving someone’s mistake; seeking revenge
    Being Cool-Headed Being Hotheaded
    Not easily angered or quick to take offense; can calmly take criticism, blame or rejection Easily angered; quick to take offense; can’t take criticism, blame or rejection
    Humility Arrogance
    Being humble (not arrogant, boastful or excessively proud) Being boastful or excessively proud; offensive display of superiority or self-importance
    Cooperation And Generosity Manipulation And Greed
    Cooperating with others and doing a fair share of the work; unselfishly helping others Exploiting, conning or otherwise taking unfair advantage of others; selfish lack of generosity
    Appreciation Callousness
    Showing gratefulness, thankfulness, kindness, empathy, compassion, affection, or love Lack of guilt or remorse about causing others harm; indifference to the suffering of others
    Respect Aggression or Hatred
    Treating all people with respect and dignity; being polite; respecting people’s rights and freedoms Humiliating, intimidating or hurting others; showing defiance, contempt, hate or jealousy
    Honesty Dishonesty
    Not lying, stealing or cheating Lying, stealing, cheating
    Respect For The Law Disrespect For The Law
    Respect for normal law-abiding behavior Disrespect for normal law-abiding behavior
    Nonviolence Physical Violence
    No physical violence towards others Physical violence towards others (e.g., physical assault or property damage)

    Tyrants Have A Dangerous Combination of Personality Disorders



    All of history's worst tyrants had the same combination of Narcissistic + Borderline + Paranoid + Psychopathic (Antisocial) Personality Disorders.

    Social Skills That Are Lacking In History's Worst Dictators

    PERSONALITY DISORDER LACKING LACKING LACKING
    Paranoid Personality Trust (had suspiciousness) Forgiveness (had bearing grudges) Being Cool-Headed (had being hot-headed)
    Narcissistic Personality Humility (had arrogance) Cooperation or generosity (had being manipulative or greedy) Kindness (had callousness)
    Antisocial/Psychopathic Personality Respect (had disrespect) Responsibility (had irresponsibility) Honesty (had dishonesty)

    The Rise of a Tyrant

    In the beginning, the tyrant's followers believe that the tyrant's narcissism represents a confident, "strong man" who would lead their nation to greatness. The tyrant uses his own paranoia to mobilize his followers' fears and anger toward "the enemy". A tyrant will say and do whatever he has to in order to gain power. Once the tyrant gains power, it becomes obvious that all the tyrant ever cared about was his own fame, fortune and power. Once entrenched in power, the tyrant's deadly psychopathic (antisocial) traits become more apparent. First, the tyrant centralizes all political, military and economic power around himself and his cronies. Then the tyrant solidifies his power by imprisoning or killing all those that oppose him.

    Thus narcissistic-paranoid-psychopathic individuals should never be allowed to gain political power because of the great danger that they will become tyrants.




    Dictators have a total disregard for the casaulties they cause in war. To them, war is just a chess game, and soldiers are just pawns to be sacrificed. For example, during the Napoleonic Wars, Napoleon had 3 million troops, of which 1.7 million were killed. The following movies depict how Napoleon sacrificed his troops for his own personal glory and wealth.



    Waterloo (full movie)


    Napoleon (full movie)


    This second, full-length movie about Napoleon gives a better depiction of his personality. Note especially how, like all dictators, Napoleon would be diagnosed as having Narcissistic Personality Disorder using the following diagnostic criteria:

    An individual diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder needs to show at least 5 of the following criteria:

    • Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements).
      Napoleon didn't have to invade Russia. By 1812, Napoleon had conquered all of Europe except Russia. He could have stopped there, but decided to attack Russia solely to add to his conquests and to increase his glory.

    • Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.
      Napoleon was consumed by his unlimited ambition to conquer all of Europe.

    • Believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions).
      Although of lowly birth, Napoleon always aspired to be a king and live in aristocratic splendor, associating only with European aristocracy.

    • Requires excessive admiration.
      Napoleon went to extremes to stiffle the free press and to constantly release propaganda that lionized him and his accomplishments.

    • Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations.
      Napoleon sacrificed the lives of 1.7 million of his soldiers so that he could pursue his grandiose dream of conquering Europe.

    • Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends.
      Napoleon repeatedly exploited his wives and lovers for his own advantage.

    • Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.
      Napoleon attacked Russia with 680,000 of his soldiers; yet only 22,000 survived this defeat. Nevertheless, Napoleon returned to Paris and tried to portray this collosal defeat as only a temporary retreat. He later raised another army and callously led them to be slaughtered at the battle of Waterloo. To Napoleon, his soldiers were just replaceable pawns in a military game of chess.

    • Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her.
      Napoleon was constantly comparing his glory to that of other European kings.

    • Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes.
      Napoleon insisted on living like an European monarch, surrounded by the finest that money could buy. He showed no compassion for the poor.

    Were it not for the blind obedience of their followers, dictators could never continue their endless quest for fame, fortune and power.
    The story of Adolf Hitler will always be a testament to how extremely dangerous a leader with Paranoid + Narcissistic + Psychopathic Personality Disorder can be. The following documentary movie is an excellent summary of the senseless slaughter of millions caused by Adolf Hitler.

    Adolf Hitler (1 hour documentary)


    Hate-filled, Hitler-like individuals with Paranoid + Narcissistic + Psychopathic Personality Disorder must be stopped before they ever assume power.



    How They March Us To War



    The Philippines just elected a tyrant as their new president, Rodrigo Duterte. He said he has personally killed 1,700 criminals, and promises to kill 100,000 criminals in his first 6 months as President. After being elected, he said that he would give a medal to anyone who kills a drug dealer or addict.

    He has also promised that he would kill journalists - "Just because you're a journalist you are not exempted from assassination, if you're a son of a bitch." He even called the Catholic Bishops who criticized him "sons of whores".

    This Philippine tyrant was duly elected - just like Hitler was in Germany. Like Hitler, this new Philippine tyrant wants to immediately rewrite his nation's constitution.

    Just as he promised, in his first three months in office, the new Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte orchestrated the killing of more than 3,000 people. Most of the deaths were caused by police and government-sanctioned death squads.

    Philippino police now immediately execute suspected drug traffickers and addicts on the street without a trial. The Philippine President invites citizens to do likewise. Now Philippinos can freely kill their enemies as long as they claim their enemy is a drug trafficker or addict.

    In a democracy, tyrants get elected by promising to make their nation great again by restoring "law and order" (e.g., Hitler, Philippine President Duterte). The irony is that, once in power, the tyrant unleashes a rule of terror and bloodshed.

    The tragedy unfolding in the Philippines stands as a warning to not elect a leader that has the personality profile of a tyrant - namely the combination of narcissistic, paranoid and psychopathic personality disorders.

    Duterte has now accused his political enemies of having links to the drug trade. Apparently Duterte wants to have show trials which will find his political enemies guilty, so that he can have them executed. Tyrants always kill their political enemies, and Duterte is no different.

    A Good Life (Agreeableness)

    How does one live a good life?

    One approach to answering this question is to study the behavior of individuals who live troubled lives. Could the opposite of their maladaptive personality traits define how to live a good life?

    Research has shown that academic, vocational, economic, marital and social failure - plus crime - correlate highly to individuals having Antagonism (i.e., low scores on the Agreeableness personality dimension). The personality disorders that have the lowest scores on the Agreeableness personality dimension are the Paranoid, Narcissistic and Antisocial Personality Disorders.

    Could the opposite of the personality traits seen in Paranoid, Narcissistic, and Antisocial Personality Disorder be a clue as to how to live a good life? If so, the right side of the following table would define a good life. (This table uses DSM-5 diagnostic criteria.)


      Paranoid Personality Disorder The Opposite Of Paranoid Personality Disorder
      Antagonism, Suspiciousness: Altruism, Trust:
      Suspects, without sufficient basis, that others are exploiting, harming, or deceiving her Does not suspect, without sufficient basis, that others are exploiting, harming, or deceiving him or her
      Is preoccupied with unjustified doubts about the loyalty or trustworthiness of friends or associates Is not preoccupied with unjustified doubts about the loyalty or trustworthiness of her friends or associates
      Is reluctant to confide in others because of unwarranted fear that the information will be used maliciously against him or her Confides in others without unwarranted fear that the information will be used maliciously against her
      Reads hidden demeaning or threatening meanings into benign remarks or events Does not read hidden demeaning or threatening meanings into benign remarks or events
      Has recurrent suspicions, without justification, regarding fidelity of spouse or sexual partner Does not doubt, without justification, the fidelity of her spouse or sexual partner
      Perceives attacks on his or her character or reputation that are not apparent to others and is quick to react angrily or to counterattack Does not perceive attacks on her character or reputation that are not apparent to others
      Lack Of Forgiveness: Forgiveness:
      Persistently bears grudges, i.e., is unforgiving of insults, injuries, or slights Does not bear grudges, i.e., is forgiving of insults, injuries, or slights
      Narcissistic Personality Disorder The Opposite Of Narcissistic Personality Disorder
      False Sense Of Superiority: Humility:
      Has a grandiose sense of self-importance Doesn't exaggerate own achievements and talents
      Is preoccupied with grandiose fantasies Has realistic goals (e.g., isn't preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love)
      Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes Doesn't show arrogant, haughty behavior or attitudes
      Feels special or high-status and wants to associate with only other high-status people Doesn't believe that she is so "special" and unique that she can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
      Requires excessive admiration Doesn't require excessive admiration
      Has a sense of entitlement Doesn't unreasonably expect especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with her expectations
      Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of her Isn't envious of others or believe that others are envious of her
      Callousness: Caring:
      Lacks empathy Shows empathy (e.g., respects the feelings and needs of others)
      Is interpersonally exploitative Doesn't exploit others (e.g., doesn't take advantage of others to achieve her own ends)
      Antisocial Personality Disorder The Opposite Of Antisocial Personality Disorder
      Violence: Nonviolence:
      Irritable and aggressive Good anger control
      Law-Breaking: Law-Abiding:
      Breaks the law Law-abiding
      Lacks remorse Feels remorse when appropriate
      Lies, uses aliases, or cons others Honest
      Irresponsible at work or with money Responsible at work and with money
      Impulsivity: Caution:
      Impulsive or fails to plan ahead Cautious; plans ahead
      Reckless disregard for the safety of herself or others Careful regard for the safety of herself and others

    A Bad Life (Antagonism)

    How does one live a bad life?

    The following table summarizes the personality traits of individuals scoring high on Antagonism - i.e., individuals with Paranoid, Narcissistic, Antisocial and Borderline Personality Disorder. Individuals with one or more of these four personality disorders account for most of the harm done to society. (This table uses ICD-10 diagnostic criteria.)

      The Most Socially Disruptive Personality Traits Examples
      Narcissistic Personality Traits:
      Egocentricity "I am an extraordinary person." ... "Modesty doesn't become me."
      Self-indulgence "I will never be satisfied until I get all that I deserve."
      Continuous longing for appreciation "It's very important to me to stand out, and have my achievements recognized."
      Lack of consideration for others "I really don’t care if I make other people suffer."
      Excessive sensitivity to setbacks and rebuffs "I don't react well when someone offends me."
      Persistent manipulative behavior "I find it easy to manipulate people."
      Paranoid Personality Traits:
      Excessive sensitivity to setbacks and rebuffs "I don't react well when someone offends me."
      Tendency to bear grudges persistently, e.g. unforgiveness of insults, injuries or slights "I've held grudges against people for years."
      Suspiciousness and a pervasive tendency to distort experience by misconstruing the neutral or friendly actions of others as hostile or contemptuous "I don't believe most people are fair and honest with me."
      A combative and tenacious sense of personal rights out of keeping with the actual situation "I fight for my rights even when it annoys people."
      Recurrent suspicions, without justification, regarding sexual fidelity of spouse or sexual partner "I think my spouse (or lover) is unfaithful to me."
      Persistent self-referential attitude, associated particularly with excessive self-importance "People often make fun of me behind my back."
      Preoccupation with unsubstantiated "conspiratorial" explanations of events around the subject or in the world at large "I'm convinced there is a conspiracy behind many things that happen in the world."
      Antisocial Personality Traits:
      Callous unconcern for the feelings of others "I will lie to or con someone if it serves my purpose."
      Gross and persistent attitude of irresponsibility and disregard for social norms, rules, and obligations "At times I have refused to hold a job, even when I was expected to."
      Incapacity to maintain enduring relationships, though having no difficulty to establish them "I haven't had close relationships that have lasted a long time."
      Very low tolerance to frustration and a low threshold for discharge of aggression, including violence "I lose my temper and get into physical fights."
      Incapacity to experience guilt, or to profit from adverse experience, particularly punishment "I don't usually feel bad when I hurt or mistreat someone."
      Marked proneness to blame others, or to offer plausible rationalizations for the behavior bringing the subject into conflict with society "Other people have made it hard for me to stay out of trouble."

    Primate Evolution

    There appears to be three different ways in which primates have evolved socially:
    • The chimpanzees have evolved to be socially antagonistic, competitive, callous, and manipulative. Chimpanzees are the only primates (apart from humans) that wage organized war. Thus chimpanzee social behavior most closely mirrors the antagonistic behavior of the antisocial-narcissistic-borderline-histrionic cluster of personality disorders.

    • In contrast, the bonobos have evolved to be socially anxious, peaceful, cooperative, and loving. Thus bonobo social behavior most closely mirrors the negative emotion (anxious) behavior of the avoidant-dependent cluster of personality disorders.

    • Another separate evolutionary path was followed by the orangutans. They evolved to become solitary hermits. Thus orangutan social behavior most closely mirrors the detached behavior of the paranoid-schizoid-schizotypal cluster of personality disorders.

    Parental Behaviors Which Increase The Risk Of Developing A Personality Disorder

    Research has shown that genetic, environmental, and prenatal factors all play important roles in the development of personality disorder. Research has also shown that low parental affection and harsh parenting increase the risk of a child later developing a personality disorder.

    "Low affection" was defined as: low parental affection, low parental time spent with the child, poor parental communication with the child, poor home maintenance, low educational aspirations for the child, poor parental supervision, low paternal assistance to the child's mother, and poor paternal role fulfillment. "Harsh parenting" was defined as: harsh punishment, inconsistent maternal enforcement of rules, frequent loud arguments between the parents, difficulty controlling anger toward the child, possessiveness, use of guilt to control the child, and verbal abuse.

    Setting Goals In Therapy

      Questions To Ask When Setting Goals

      In The Past Week:
      • WHO: was your problem?

      • EVENT: what did he/she do?

      • RESPONSE: how did you respond to that event?

      • OUTCOME: did your response help?

      • TRIGGER: what did you do that could have triggered this problem?

      • GOAL: what life skill(s) do you have to work on? (from checklist)

      Example Of Setting Goals In Interviewing A Person With Paranoid Personality Disorder

      In The Past Week:
      • WHO: was your problem?
        "My friend."

      • EVENT: what did he/she do?
        "My friend hasn't called me in weeks. I think she's mad at me."

      • RESPONSE: how did you respond to that event?
        "I decided that, if she didn't call me, I wouldn't call her."

      • OUTCOME: did your response help?
        "No. she still hasn't called."

      • TRIGGER: what did you do that could have triggered this problem?
        "We had an argument, and she said some things that really hurt me. Ever since then I stopped calling her."

      • GOAL: what life skill(s) do you have to work on? (from checklist)
        "I want to work on: (1) Forgiveness ("forgiving other peoples' mistakes; not bearing grudges or seeking revenge"), and (2) Sociability ("being friendly; interested in social contacts and activities")."

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    Treatment Guidelines

    Treatment


    Back to top



    Self-Help Resources

    Improving Positive Behavior

    Philosophers for the past 2,500 years have taught that it is very beneficial to start the day with goal-setting, and end the day with a brief review.

    This habit of planning the day in the morning, then assessing these plans in the evening has been shown to increase health and happiness. There is an additional benefit from doing a weekly review of your life satisfaction.

    Note: When each of the following videos finishes; you must exit YouTube (by manually closing the window) in order to return to this webpage.



    Planning My Day (5-Minute Meditation Video)



    Reviewing My Day Or Week (5-Minute Meditation Video)



    Life Satisfaction Scale (Video)



    Healthy Social Behaviors Scale (Video)



    Mental Health Scale (Video)

    Why We All Need to Practice Emotional First Aid



    The Philosophy Of Stoicism (5 minute video)

    Stoicism 101 (52 minute video)



    The Roman emperor and Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius ruled from 161 to 180 A.D.

    Inspirational Videos

    • His Holiness Pope Francis is one of the few world leaders that champions universal love, brotherhood, and peace (TED talk)

      Life Is About Interactions (His Holiness Pope Francis)

      Quite a few years of life have strengthened my conviction that each and everyone's existence is deeply tied to that of others: life is not time merely passing by, life is about interactions.

      As I meet, or lend an ear to those who are sick, to the migrants who face terrible hardships in search of a brighter future, to prison inmates who carry a hell of pain inside their hearts, and to those, many of them young, who cannot find a job, I often find myself wondering: "Why them and not me?" I, myself, was born in a family of migrants; my father, my grandparents, like many other Italians, left for Argentina and met the fate of those who are left with nothing. I could have very well ended up among today's "discarded" people. And that's why I always ask myself, deep in my heart: "Why them and not me?"

      First and foremost, I would love it if this meeting could help to remind us that we all need each other, none of us is an island, an autonomous and independent "I," separated from the other, and we can only build the future by standing together, including everyone. We don’t think about it often, but everything is connected, and we need to restore our connections to a healthy state. Even the harsh judgment I hold in my heart against my brother or my sister, the open wound that was never cured, the offense that was never forgiven, the rancor that is only going to hurt me, are all instances of a fight that I carry within me, a flare deep in my heart that needs to be extinguished before it goes up in flames, leaving only ashes behind.

      Many of us, nowadays, seem to believe that a happy future is something impossible to achieve. While such concerns must be taken very seriously, they are not invincible. They can be overcome when we don't lock our door to the outside world. Happiness can only be discovered as a gift of harmony between the whole and each single component. Even science – and you know it better than I do – points to an understanding of reality as a place where every element connects and interacts with everything else.

      Social Inclusion (Solidarity)

      And this brings me to my second message. How wonderful would it be if the growth of scientific and technological innovation would come along with more equality and social inclusion. How wonderful would it be, while we discover faraway planets, to rediscover the needs of the brothers and sisters orbiting around us. How wonderful would it be if solidarity, this beautiful and, at times, inconvenient word, were not simply reduced to social work, and became, instead, the default attitude in political, economic and scientific choices, as well as in the relationships among individuals, peoples and countries. Only by educating people to a true solidarity will we be able to overcome the "culture of waste," which doesn't concern only food and goods but, first and foremost, the people who are cast aside by our techno-economic systems which, without even realizing it, are now putting products at their core, instead of people.

      Solidarity is a term that many wish to erase from the dictionary. Solidarity, however, is not an automatic mechanism. It cannot be programmed or controlled. It is a free response born from the heart of each and everyone. Yes, a free response! When one realizes that life, even in the middle of so many contradictions, is a gift, that love is the source and the meaning of life, how can they withhold their urge to do good to another fellow being? In order to do good, we need memory, we need courage and we need creativity. Good intentions and conventional formulas, so often used to appease our conscience, are not enough. Let us help each other, all together, to remember that the other is not a statistic or a number. The other has a face. The "you" is always a real presence, a person to take care of.

      Compassion

      There is a parable Jesus told to help us understand the difference between those who'd rather not be bothered and those who take care of the other. I am sure you have heard it before. It is the Parable of the Good Samaritan. When Jesus was asked: "Who is my neighbor?" - namely, "Who should I take care of?" - he told this story, the story of a man who had been assaulted, robbed, beaten and abandoned along a dirt road. Upon seeing him, a priest and a Levite, two very influential people of the time, walked past him without stopping to help. After a while, a Samaritan, a very much despised ethnicity at the time, walked by. Seeing the injured man lying on the ground, he did not ignore him as if he weren't even there. Instead, he felt compassion for this man, which compelled him to act in a very concrete manner. He poured oil and wine on the wounds of the helpless man, brought him to a hostel and paid out of his pocket for him to be assisted.

      The story of the Good Samaritan is the story of today’s humanity. People's paths are riddled with suffering, as everything is centered around money, and things, instead of people. And often there is this habit, by people who call themselves "respectable," of not taking care of the others, thus leaving behind thousands of human beings, or entire populations, on the side of the road. Fortunately, there are also those who are creating a new world by taking care of the other, even out of their own pockets. Mother Teresa actually said: "One cannot love, unless it is at their own expense." We have so much to do, and we must do it together. But how can we do that with all the evil we breathe every day? Thank God, no system can nullify our desire to open up to the good, to compassion and to our capacity to react against evil, all of which stem from deep within our hearts. Now you might tell me, "Sure, these are beautiful words, but I am not the Good Samaritan, nor Mother Teresa of Calcutta." On the contrary: we are precious, each and every one of us. Each and every one of us is irreplaceable in the eyes of God. Through the darkness of today's conflicts, each and every one of us can become a bright candle, a reminder that light will overcome darkness, and never the other way around.

      Hope

      To Christians, the future does have a name, and its name is Hope. Feeling hopeful does not mean to be optimistically naïve and ignore the tragedy humanity is facing. Hope is the virtue of a heart that doesn't lock itself into darkness, that doesn't dwell on the past, does not simply get by in the present, but is able to see a tomorrow. Hope is the door that opens onto the future. Hope is a humble, hidden seed of life that, with time, will develop into a large tree. It is like some invisible yeast that allows the whole dough to grow, that brings flavor to all aspects of life. And it can do so much, because a tiny flicker of light that feeds on hope is enough to shatter the shield of darkness. A single individual is enough for hope to exist, and that individual can be you. And then there will be another "you," and another "you," and it turns into an "us." And so, does hope begin when we have an "us?" No. Hope began with one "you." When there is an "us," there begins a revolution.

      Tenderness

      The third message I would like to share today is, indeed, about revolution: the revolution of tenderness. And what is tenderness? It is the love that comes close and becomes real. It is a movement that starts from our heart and reaches the eyes, the ears and the hands. Tenderness means to use our eyes to see the other, our ears to hear the other, to listen to the children, the poor, those who are afraid of the future. To listen also to the silent cry of our common home, of our sick and polluted earth. Tenderness means to use our hands and our heart to comfort the other, to take care of those in need.

      Tenderness is the language of the young children, of those who need the other. A child’s love for mom and dad grows through their touch, their gaze, their voice, their tenderness. I like when I hear parents talk to their babies, adapting to the little child, sharing the same level of communication. This is tenderness: being on the same level as the other. God himself descended into Jesus to be on our level. This is the same path the Good Samaritan took. This is the path that Jesus himself took. He lowered himself, he lived his entire human existence practicing the real, concrete language of love. Yes, tenderness is the path of choice for the strongest, most courageous men and women. Tenderness is not weakness; it is fortitude. It is the path of solidarity, the path of humility. Please, allow me to say it loud and clear: the more powerful you are, the more your actions will have an impact on people, the more responsible you are to act humbly. If you don’t, your power will ruin you, and you will ruin the other. There is a saying in Argentina: "Power is like drinking gin on an empty stomach." You feel dizzy, you get drunk, you lose your balance, and you will end up hurting yourself and those around you, if you don’t connect your power with humility and tenderness. Through humility and concrete love, on the other hand, power – the highest, the strongest one – becomes a service, a force for good.

      The future of humankind isn't exclusively in the hands of politicians, of great leaders, of big companies. Yes, they do hold an enormous responsibility. But the future is, most of all, in the hands of those people who recognize the other as a "you" and themselves as part of an "us." We all need each other. And so, please, think of me as well with tenderness, so that I can fulfill the task I have been given for the good of the other, of each and every one, of all of you, of all of us.

    • The Surgeon General’s prescription of happiness (TEDMED talk)

      The Surgeon General’s prescription of happiness (Dr. Vivek Murthy)

      Happiness Increases Health

      If there was a factor in your life that could reduce your risk of having a heart attack or stroke, that could increase your chances of living longer, that would make your children less likely to engage in crime or use drugs, and that would even increase your success in losing weight, what would that factor be?

      It turns out, it would be happiness.

      By happiness, I don't mean the feeling that comes from indulgence or hedonism, I mean the long-term emotional well-being that comes from fulfillment, purpose, connectedness and love.

      Happiness affects us on a biological level. Happy people have lower levels of cortisol, a key stess hormone. They have more favorable heart rates and blood pressures. They have stronger immune systems, and they have lower levels of inflammatory markers, like c-reactive protein which has been linked to coronary heart disease.

      It turns out, even when you control for smoking, physical activity and other health behaviors, happy people live longer. There's something about happiness that seems to be protective.

      Now I want to be clear. White happiness is an important factor in improving health, it's certainly not the only one. We know that good nutrition, exercise, and sleep are essential tools for preventing illness. Whether we are living with depression or with diabetes, treatment is essential too. Yet among all these factors for improving health, happiness stands out as a largely untapped and unrecognized resource that has the potential to transform health for individuals and for communities...

      (As a physician) the most common condition I treated was unhappiness. It stems from isolation, from lack of meaning, and from a loss of self-worth... (People) are constantly surrounded by news stories and narratives that only remind them time and time again of all the things they have to be worried about. All this unhappiness is important because unhappiness is a risk factor for illness.

      You may ask yourself does happiness really lead to better health? Isn't it the other way around? Doesn't happiness result from good health and favourable circumstances? We may sometimes think, I'll be happy if only I lose 15 more pounds, or if I get a better job, or if I make just a little more money. But the truth is happiness if far more driven by how we process life events than by the events themselves.

      So if happiness is protective, the key question is, can we create it. The answer is yes, and the way we do that is surprisingly simple, and it largely costs nothing.

      Gratitude

      The research tells us that gratitude exercises, meditation, physical exercise, and social connectedness are just a few of the tools we can use to increase happiness. Take gratitude for example, one study participants and randomized them to three different groups. In one group, the gratitude group, participants were asked to write down five things they were grateful for. In the second group, the hassle group, the participants were asked to write down 5 things that hassled them. In the third group, they were asked to write down five things that happened without a positive or negative slant.

      Now at the end of ten weeks, it turns out the participants in the gratitude group experience a greater level of optimism, and they had a more positive view of their life. But they also exercise by 1.5 hours more on average per week. They also slept better, and they had fewer physical symptoms like pain, nausea, and headaches.

      The simple practice of gratitude had the power to increase their happiness and to change their health behavior and their health outcomes.

      Meditation

      Perhaps one of the most powerful examples of cultivating happiness comes from Visitacion Valley Middle School in San Francisco, California. [Editor: The current academic performance at this school is very low (in the 20th percentile - hence 80% of other middle school students do better than this school's students). Thus this finding doesn't support the Surgeon General's claims that meditation training dramatically improved the school's academic performance.]

      Some years ago, Visitation was struggling. They were struggling with low test scores, with high suspension rates, and with so much community violence that they had to hire a full time grief counselor at the school. They tried all kinds of things to help. They started after-school programs, sports programs, peer counseling programs, but all without much luck.

      Then one day they decided to take a leap of faith. What if, they asked themselves, we use meditation as a tool to reduce stress and increase happiness for our students? So they created two 15-minute quiet time meditation sessions during each school day. They taught the teachers and the students how to meditate. They taught the administrators how to meditate as well.

      Within a year, something incredible happened. Suspension rates dropped by 45%. Teacher absenteeism dropped by 30%. Test scores and grade point averages rose markedly. The students reported they were less anxious and they were sleeping better.

      The self-reported happiness scores of the students went from one of the lower scores in San Francisco to the highest score in the entire district. As one student put it, "our school went from being a place of anger, sadness, and fear, to a place where we could be happy"....

      The Visitacion Valley Middle School model is being replicated at other schools now with comparable results. What is so striking about these tools for increasing happiness, meditation, gratitude, social connection, and exercise, is that they are simple and accessible.

      We have become accustomed to thinking that complex problems require complex solutions. But that's not always the case. Sometimes simple solutions can enable us to take on some of our most intractable problems. That's what happiness can do when it comes to health.

      Creating Happiness In The Lives Of Others

      If you think about it, all of us have the power to create happiness in our lives. But we also have the power to create happiness in the lives of others. If you need proof of this, I'd ask you to join me in a short exercise I learned from the legendary Mr. Rogers (host of a children's show).

      Close your eyes for 10 seconds with me and think about the people who have brought kindness, understanding, and joy into your life over the years - the people you remember that helped you to be happy. [audience pauses 10 seconds to do this]

      I remembered my wife Alice, my mother, my father, my sister. They have brought happiness, joy, and health into my life for so many years. Each of us has the power to touch other people's lives. Sometimes it's just a simple gesture or a kind word.

      Imagine if happiness and emotional well-being were prioritized in our schools as much as test scores and grades. Imagine if cultivating happiness was a priority in our workplaces. Imagine if our policymakers understood emotional well-being to be the fuel that enables us to be healthy, productive, and strong.

      So as we grapple with the challenges of how to create a healthier, stronger world, let us remember that happiness is a powerful tool for health. Let us remember that we can create happiness in our lives, and in the lives of the people around us. Let us call ourselves and each to action to ensure that emotional well-being is part of our policies, part of our institutions, and part of our way of life.

      If we do this, we will create a world that is full of joy, a world that is full of health, the world that our children deserve.

    • 10 ways to have a better conversation (TED talk)

      Ten ways to have a better conversation (Celeste Headlee)

      We've all had really great conversations. We've had them before. We know what it's like. The kind of conversation where you walk away feeling engaged and inspired, or where you feel like you've made a real connection or you've been perfectly understood. There is no reason why most of your interactions can't be like that.

      So I have 10 basic rules. I'm going to walk you through all of them, but honestly, if you just choose one of them and master it, you'll already enjoy better conversations.

      Number one: Don't multitask.

      And I don't mean just set down your cell phone or your tablet or your car keys or whatever is in your hand. I mean, be present. Be in that moment. Don't think about your argument you had with your boss. Don't think about what you're going to have for dinner. If you want to get out of the conversation, get out of the conversation, but don't be half in it and half out of it.

      Number two: Don't pontificate.

      If you want to state your opinion without any opportunity for response or argument or pushback or growth, write a blog.

      Now, there's a really good reason why I don't allow pundits on my show: Because they're really boring. If they're conservative, they're going to hate Obama and food stamps and abortion. If they're liberal, they're going to hate big banks and oil corporations and Dick Cheney. Totally predictable. And you don't want to be like that.

      You need to enter every conversation assuming that you have something to learn. The famed therapist M. Scott Peck said that true listening requires a setting aside of oneself. And sometimes that means setting aside your personal opinion. He said that sensing this acceptance, the speaker will become less and less vulnerable and more and more likely to open up the inner recesses of his or her mind to the listener. Again, assume that you have something to learn.

      Bill Nye: "Everyone you will ever meet knows something that you don't." I put it this way: Everybody is an expert in something.

      Number three: Use open-ended questions.

      In this case, take a cue from journalists. Start your questions with who, what, when, where, why or how. If you put in a complicated question, you're going to get a simple answer out. If I ask you, "Were you terrified?" you're going to respond to the most powerful word in that sentence, which is "terrified," and the answer is "Yes, I was" or "No, I wasn't." "Were you angry?" "Yes, I was very angry." Let them describe it. They're the ones that know. Try asking them things like, "What was that like?" "How did that feel?" Because then they might have to stop for a moment and think about it, and you're going to get a much more interesting response.

      Number four: Go with the flow.

      That means thoughts will come into your mind and you need to let them go out of your mind. We've heard interviews often in which a guest is talking for several minutes and then the host comes back in and asks a question which seems like it comes out of nowhere, or it's already been answered. That means the host probably stopped listening two minutes ago because he thought of this really clever question, and he was just bound and determined to say that. And we do the exact same thing. We're sitting there having a conversation with someone, and then we remember that time that we met Hugh Jackman in a coffee shop.

      And we stop listening. Stories and ideas are going to come to you. You need to let them come and let them go.

      Number five: If you don't know, say that you don't know.

      Now, people on the radio, especially on NPR, are much more aware that they're going on the record, and so they're more careful about what they claim to be an expert in and what they claim to know for sure. Do that. Err on the side of caution. Talk should not be cheap.

      Number six: Don't equate your experience with theirs.

      If they're talking about having lost a family member, don't start talking about the time you lost a family member. If they're talking about the trouble they're having at work, don't tell them about how much you hate your job. It's not the same. It is never the same. All experiences are individual. And, more importantly, it is not about you. You don't need to take that moment to prove how amazing you are or how much you've suffered. Somebody asked Stephen Hawking once what his IQ was, and he said, "I have no idea. People who brag about their IQs are losers."

      Conversations are not a promotional opportunity.

      Number seven: Try not to repeat yourself.

      It's condescending, and it's really boring, and we tend to do it a lot. Especially in work conversations or in conversations with our kids, we have a point to make, so we just keep rephrasing it over and over. Don't do that.

      Number eight: Stay out of the weeds.

      Frankly, people don't care about the years, the names, the dates, all those details that you're struggling to come up with in your mind. They don't care. What they care about is you. They care about what you're like, what you have in common. So forget the details. Leave them out.

      Number nine: Listen.

      I cannot tell you how many really important people have said that listening is perhaps the most, the number one most important skill that you could develop. Buddha said, and I'm paraphrasing, "If your mouth is open, you're not learning." And Calvin Coolidge said, "No man ever listened his way out of a job."

      Why do we not listen to each other? Number one, we'd rather talk. When I'm talking, I'm in control. I don't have to hear anything I'm not interested in. I'm the center of attention. I can bolster my own identity. But there's another reason: We get distracted. The average person talks at about 225 word per minute, but we can listen at up to 500 words per minute. So our minds are filling in those other 275 words. And look, I know, it takes effort and energy to actually pay attention to someone, but if you can't do that, you're not in a conversation. You're just two people shouting out barely related sentences in the same place.

      You have to listen to one another. Stephen Covey said it very beautifully. He said, "Most of us don't listen with the intent to understand. We listen with the intent to reply."

      Number 10: Be brief.

      "A good conversation is like a miniskirt; short enough to retain interest, but long enough to cover the subject." -- My Sister

      All of this boils down to the same basic concept, and it is this one: Be interested in other people.

    • What keeps us happy and healthy as we go through life? (TED talk)

    • An Example Of Mindfulness Meditation (10 minute video)

      In the 5th century BCE, Buddha spent 6 years of his life mastering mindfulness meditation. He then decided to look beyond meditation. Buddha concluded that simply emptying the mind of thought is calming, but otherwise it accomplishes little - since "You return to the same world". Instead, Buddha taught that we should change our world by seeking enlightenment through practicing compassion, and living a calm, peaceful, happy life.

    • Fulfilling trauma's hidden promise (TEDMED talk)

    • What makes life worth living in the face of death (TEDMED talk)

    • 100 People: A World Portrait (TEDMED talk)

    • Mindfulness Training: A simple way to break a bad habit (TEDMED talk)

    • If we can’t cure the patient, can the community do it? (TEDMED talk)

    • What if "it's the environment, stupid"? (TEDMED talk)

    • Medical miracle on Everest (TED talk)

      What makes this story so inspirational is that it is a story of heroism and self-sacrifice. How one climber could have survived, but instead died while trying to help his friend. How another climber knew that he was freezing to death, but chose to spend his final moments phoning his pregnant wife to say goodbye. How two climbers who were already in safety chose to climb back up Everest to rescue others. How one climber who was left for dead spent 36 hours covered by snow, then decided that he would not die this way, and actually made it down Everest to safety. This story illustrates just how noble people can be when they face death.

    • Secrets of Centenarians (NHK Documentary)

      Excellent scientific study on the factors that allow people to live past 100

    Physical Exercise: Vital For Self-Help




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    • The best summary on bad research is given by Laura Arnold in this TEDx lecture. If you read nothing else about research, you owe it to yourself to watch this short video - it is excellent!

    • The power of asking "what if?"

    • The active placebo effect: 2300 years ago, the Greek Stoic philosophers taught that it is not the objective event, but our subjective judgment about the event, that determines our behavior. The active placebo effect bears witness to this ancient wisdom.

    • Criteria For High Quality Research Studies

    • It is troubling that a recent study found that two-thirds of important psychological research studies couldn't be replicated. High quality research must meet the following criteria:

      • Randomized Controlled Trial:
        Ask: Was the trial randomized? Was the randomization procedure described and was it appropriate? The best research design is to have research subjects randomly assigned to an experimental or control group. It is essential that confounding factors be controlled for by having a control group or comparator condition (no intervention, placebo, care as usual etc.).

      • Representative Sample:
        Ask: Do the research subjects represent a normal cross-section of the population being studied? Many psychological research studies using university students are flawed because their subjects are not representative of the normal population since they are all W.E.I.R.D. (White, Educated, Intelligent, Rich, and living in a Democracy).

      • Single Blind Trial:
        Ask: Was the treatment allocation concealed? It is essential that the research subjects are kept "blind" as to whether they are in the experimental or control group (in order to control for any placebo effects).

      • Double Blind Trial (Better Than Single Blind Trial):
        Ask: Were blind outcome assessments conducted? In a double blind study, neither the research subjects nor the outcome assessors know if the research subject is in the experimental or control group. This controls for both the placebo effect and assessor bias.

      • Baseline Comparability:
        Ask: Were groups similar at baseline on prognostic indicators? The experimental and control groups must be shown to be comparable at the beginning of the study.

      • Confounding Factors:
        Ask: Were there factors, that weren't controlled for, that could have seriously distorted the study's results? For example, research studies on the effectiveness of mindfulness cognitive therapy in preventing depressive relapse forgot to control for whether the research subjects were also simultaneously receiving antidepressant medication or other psychological treatments for depression.

      • Intervention Integrity:
        Ask: Was the research study protocal strictly followed? The research subjects must be shown to be compliant (e.g., taking their pills, attending therapy) and the therapists must be shown to be reliably delivering the intervention (e.g., staying on the research protocol).

      • Statistical analysis:
        Ask: Was a statistical power calculation described? The study should discuss its statistical power analysis; that is whether the study size is large enough to statistically detect a difference between the experimental and control group (should it occur) and usually this requires at least 50 research subjects in the study.

        Ask: Are the results both statistically significant and clinically significant? The results should be both statistically significant (with a p-value <0.05) and clinically significant using some measure of Effect Size such as Standardized Mean Difference (e.g., Cohen's d >= 0.33). The summary statistics should report what percentage of the total variance of the dependent variable (e.g., outcome) can be explained by the independent variable (e.g., intervention). In clinical studies, the study should report the number needed to treat for an additional beneficial outcome (NNTB), and the number needed to treat for an additional harmful outcome (NNTH).

          Number Needed To Benefit (NNTB): This is defined as the number of patients that need to be treated for one of them to benefit compared with a control in a clinical trial. (It is defined as the inverse of the absolute risk reduction.) Note: Statistically, the NNTB depends on which control group is used for comparison - e.g., active treatment vs. placebo treatment, or active treatment vs. no treatment.

          Number Needed To Harm (NNTH): This is defined as the number of patients that need to be treated for one of them to be harmed compared with a control in a clinical trial. (It is defined as the inverse of the absolute increase in risk of harm.)

          Tomlinson found “an NNTB of 5 or less was probably associated with a meaningful health benefit,” while “an NNTB of 15 or more was quite certain to be associated with at most a small net health benefit.”

        Ask: Does the researcher accept full responsibility for the study's statistical analysis? The researcher should not just hand over the study's raw data to a corporation (that may have $1,000 million invested in the study) to do the statistical analysis.

      • Completeness of follow-up data:
        Ask: Was the number of withdrawals or dropouts in each group mentioned, and were reasons given for these withdrawals or dropouts? Less than 20% of the research subjects should drop out of the study. The intervention effect should persist over an adequate length of time.

      • Handling of missing data:
        Ask: Was the statistical analysis conducted on the intention-to-treat sample? There must be use of intention-to-treat analysis (as opposed to a completers-only analysis). In this way, all of the research subjects that started the study are included in the final statistical analysis. A completers-only analysis would disregard those research subjects that dropped out.

      • Replication of Findings:
        Ask: Can other researchers replicate this study's results? The research study's methodology should be clearly described so that the study can be easily replicated. The researcher's raw data should be available to other researchers to review (in order to detect errors or fraud).

      • Fraud:
        Ask: Is there a suspicion of fraud? In a research study, examine the independent and dependent variables that are always measured as a positive whole number (e.g., a variable measured on a 5-point Likert-type scale ranging from "1 = definitely false to 5 = definitely true" etc.). For each of these variables, look at their sample size (n), mean (M) and standard deviation (SD) before they undergo statistical analysis. There is a high suspicion of fraud in a study's statistics:

        • If the M is mathematically impossible (online calculator): This is one of the easiest ways to mathematically detect fraud. The mean (M) is defined as "the sum (Sum) of the values of each observation divided by the total number (n) of observations". So: M = Sum/n. Thus: (Sum) = (M) multiplied by (n). We know that, if a variable is always measured as a positive whole number, the sum of these observations always has to be a whole number. For these variables to test for fraud: calculate (M) multiplied by (n). This calculates the Sum which MUST be a positive whole number. If the calculated Sum isn't a positive whole number; the reported mean (M) is mathematically impossible - thus the researcher either cooked the data or made a mistake. A recent study of 260 research papers published in highly reputable psychological journals found that 1 in 2 of these research papers reported at least one impossible value, and 1 in 5 of these research papers reported multiple impossible values. When the authors of the 21 worst offending research papers were asked for their raw data (so that its reliability could be checked) - 57% angrily refused. Yet such release of raw data to other researchers is required by most scientific journals. (Here is an example of a research paper filled with mathematically impossible means.)

        • If the SD is mathematically impossible (online calculator): When researchers fraudulently "cook" their data, they may accidently give their data a mean and standard deviation that is mathematically impossible for a (normally distributed) strictly positive variable (because the "cooked" M and SD would mathematically require the strictly positive variable's range of data to include negative numbers). For a normally distributed sample of size of 25-70, this occurs when the SD is greater than one-half of the M; for a sample size of 70+, this occurs when the SD is greater than one-third of the M [using these formulas].

        • If the SD/M is very small (i.e., the variable's standard deviation is very small compared to the mean suggesting data smoothing).

        • If the SD's are almost identical (i.e., the variables have different means but almost identical standard deviations).

        • If the 4th digit of the values of the variables aren't uniformly distributed - since each should occur 10% of the time (Benford's Law).

        • If the researcher is legally prevented from publishing negative findings about a drug or therapy because that would violate the "nondisclosure of trade secrets" clause in the research contract (i.e., it is a "trade secret" that the drug or therapy is ineffective - hence this can not be "disclosed"). Approximately half of all registered clinical trials fail to publish their results.

        • If the researcher refuses to release his raw data to fellow researchers (so that they can check its validity). In order to be published in most scientific journals, a researcher must promise to share his raw data with fellow researchers. Thus a researcher's refusal to do so is almost a sure indicator of fraud.

        • If the research study's data contradicts the study's own conclusions - surprisingly, this often occurs.

    • Calling Bullshit In The Age of Big Data - "Bullshit is language, statistical figures, data graphics, and other forms of presentation intended to persuade by impressing and overwhelming a reader or listener, with a blatant disregard for truth and logical coherence." Reading the syllabus of this university course should be required reading for every student of mental health. This syllabus is absolutely fantastic!

    • Statistical Methods in Psychology Journals: Guidelines and Explanations - American Psychologist 1999

    • Not All Scientific Studies Are Created Equal - video

    • The efficacy of psychological, educational, and behavioral treatment

    • Estimating the reproducibility of psychological science

    • Psychologists grapple with validity of research

    • Industry sponsorship and research outcome (Review) - Cochrane Library

    • 'We've been deceived': Many clinical trial results are never published - (text and video)

    • Junk science misleading doctors and researchers

    • Junk science under spotlight after controversial firm buys Canadian journals

    • Medicine with a side of mysticism: Top hospitals promote unproven therapies - Are some doctors becoming modern witchdoctors?

    • When Evidence Says No, But Doctors Say Yes


    • Cochrane Collaboration - the best evidence-based, standardized reviews available

    Research Topics

    Paranoid Personality Disorder - Latest Research (2016-2017)


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