ERIC Number: ED344132
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Nov-22
Personality Disorders (and Their Relation to Syndromal Disorders).
Beck, Aaron T.
Personality disorders and their syndromal disorders may be considered in terms of their distal, phylogenetic origins, and their structures and functions. From an evolutionary standpoint, the syndromal disorders such as anxiety and depression may be viewed as preprogrammed reactions to a perceived threat or a perceived depletion of the individual's resources. In contrast, the perception of a substantial depletion of resources by loss of status and power leads to a demobilization, a shutdown of the power of the systems in the form of depression. The stable components of personality draw on the inherited phylogenetic strategies to meet the demands and problems of everyday life. These strategies are designed to fulfill the evolutionary goals of adaptive fitness; specifically, survival and procreation. Personality disorders may arise when there is skewed distribution of the adaptive strategies in the genetic endowment or when adverse circumstances impinge on the individual producing hypertrophy of some strategies and atrophy of others. For clarification of the dysfunctionality of the strategies in the personality disorder, it is important to examine the role of cognitive, affective, and motivational structures. Interaction of the genetic endowment with the environmental influences leads to beliefs of being helpless or unlovable. The two self-concepts working independently or collectively lead to hypersensitivity to certain problems and to the formation or reinforcement of strategies to compensate for the depreciated self-concept. (Author/LLL)
Publication Type: Reports - General; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy (25th, New York, NY, November 21-24, 1991).