Stop the Cycle – Perpetuation

I feel like I’ve been away for so long! Sort of like I’m rediscovering electricity and all the useful e-lec-tronic-al type stuff that goes with it. Internet included. I’ve been almost anxious having anything to do with getting on-line and connecting to anyone and anything.  It’s felt safer to curl up on my couch, away from all media and people, and hide in my books. I’m not even connecting with my previous patterns and structure. I need my routines but everything is just a hair off. Arg. Plus I’ve been majorly, majorly swamped at work so everything feels overwhelming and disconnected to me right now, but in a super busy and productive way.  Anyways…..
Now that we know what each of the different maladaptive Schemas are we can begin to recognize how they are displayed. Perpetuation of a schema is everything someone does that keeps that schema going. All the thoughts, all the feelings, all the behaviors that keep you stuck in a rut and reinforce these things that ultimately you really want to heal from. Threes. We’re going in groups of threes today.
Three primary mechanisms that perpetuate these schemas:
1. Cognitive distortions: An individual misperceives situations in such a manner that the schema is reinforced, accentuating information that confirms the schema and minimizes or denies information that contradicts the schemas.  Essentially the emotions connected to a specific schema are blocked.
2. Self-Defeating Life Patterns: Unconsciously a person may select and remain in situations and relationships that trigger and perpetuate a schema while avoiding relationships that are likely to heal it instead.
                “Destructive thought they might be, schemas provide patients with feelings of security and predictability. Patients resist giving up schemas because the schemas are central to their sense of identity. It is disrupting to give up a schema. The whole world tilts. In this light, resistance to therapy is a form of self-preservation, an attempt to hold onto a sense of control and inner coherence.”
3. Coping Styles …. Which we’ll get into next. Maladaptive coping styles and responses develop early to help a person adapt, to not experience the level of intensity or overwhelming emotions that these schemas represent. In this way a person behaviors are not part of the schema, but they are a part of the coping response.    The schema itself is the thing that motivates the need to cope and the behavior that results from it.
What’s more, everyone uses different coping styles for different situations. Different people will use different coping styles for the same situations. Hell, over time, the same person may eventually come to use different coping styles for a situation they’ve been in before but learned to adapt accordingly. The schema itself is not changing, but the means of coping and the behaviors might change.
“Almost all patients who have characterological disorders repeat negative patterns from their childhoods in self-defeating ways. Chronically and pervasively, they engage in thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and means of relation that perpetuate their schemas.”
Hence, schema healing is the ultimate goal. This involves diminishing; the intensity of memories connected to maladaptive schemas, the emotional charge, the strength of the sensations that are felt, and the maladaptive cognitions. Not only that, but it also involves behavior change.  Once you learn to recognize the maladaptive methods that you’re utilizing, you begin to replace these with more adaptive patterns of behavior.
While we all may cope differently there are three basic responses to any kind of threat: Fight, Flight, or Freeze. Or in this case: Overcompensation, Avoidance, Surrender…..

And the Medication-Go-Round Continues: Pristiq

Hello Everyone! Well I survived the Hurricane. Not unexpected. The storm wasn’t really so bad. I woke up with half a tree in front of my front door and we were without power for 3 days but generally speaking we were well prepared. Mostly the whole thing was just very, very inconvenient. I know a lot of people in our area still don’t have power so we’re fortunate in that ours is turned on already. Personally I think if we’re going to have major weather events they should at least occur during the work week so it doesn’t screw with my time off but that’s just me. Oh well. Back to the real world!
I’m apparently starting a new drug. I’ve been off the Abilify and medication free for about a month now. On the anger punching side my mood swings have actually been alright but I’ve been swinging pretty low from my depression on the other side. As soon as I stopped taking the Abilify I felt my energy jump right back up to where it usually is and I’m actively functional again. Even really getting back into the swing of my exercise routine! I went and saw Psychiatrist on Thursday. I hadn’t planned on going back on medication but like so many things in my life I made a split second decision. Sitting there I was afraid that I would lose something if I didn’t try something new. Maybe the approval of my psych. Idk. Logically I know I started going to my psych because I hate always feeling like this, but everything we’ve tried so far has only been a detriment so I’m incredibly weary of new things. Especially anti-psychotics.
Mood stabilizers aren’t really what I need since they only seem to “stabilize” my good moods and not my depression. I find that to be rather unfair. This time we’re just going to try and treat my depression with something totally new. Pristiq. Pristiq/Desvenlafaxine is in a class of medications called selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). It works by increasing the amounts of serotonin and norepinephrine, natural substances in the brain that help maintain mental balance.
I have a question. Who the hell names these thing? Seriously?
She allayed my usual concerns and said there has been no reported weight gain or sexual side effects (I don’t really believe this) and the norepinephrine aspect actually gives people a motivational boost so I shouldn’t have any fatigue either. Yay! So what side effects might there be?
Constipation
         loss of appetite  <—– We can hope
         dry mouth
– dizziness
– extreme tiredness <—– Hmmm, watching out for this
– unusual dreams <—— Probably my favorite aspect of anti-depressants
– yawning
– sweating
-uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
– pain, burning, numbness, or tingling in part of the body
– enlarged pupils (black circles in the centers of the eyes)
– blurred vision
– changes in sexual deesire or ability
– difficulty urniating
And the more serious CALL YOUR DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY ones:
–         rash
– hives
– swelling
– difficult breathing
– fast heartbeat
– cough
– chest pain
– fever
– coma (loss of consciousness for a period of time) <—- Seriously?!?
– seizures
– hallucinations (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist)
– fever, sweating, confusion, fast or irregular heartbeat, and severe muscle stiffness
– unusual bleeding or bruising
– nosebleeds
– small red or purple dots on the skin
– nausea
– vomiting
– diarrhea
– headache
– difficulty concentrating
– memory problems
– confusion
– weakness
– problems with coordination
– increased falls
– fainting
Seriously. This is all very ridiculous. The list isn’t as long as for the Abilify but there’s still a hell of a lot to look out for. She did say headaches and nausea were typical for the first week or two. That should be fun.
While I’m at it I’m going to quit smoking. Not that I smoke much at all but still, I’m determined. It’s an  ugly, awful habit. I really hate it but I get addicted to habits and repetitive motions and patterns easily so it’s hard for me to give up things once I’ve established them somewhere in my life. Drinking too. I need to stop entirely. I’ve been drinking more and more lately from all the stress I’ve been dealing with and this just isn’t healthy. In the past I’ve tried to just focus on fixing one thing at a time but that doesn’t seem to work so well, so this time I’m going to throw all in and see if I can’t fix it all at once. Here goes nothing.   
I’ll keep you updated.

 

Hurricane

In full on hurricane preparation mode currently. I may or may not have electricity/interwebs for the next few days as the storm is beginning to hit us. It won’t be too bad until late tonight/early tomorrow but in case I don’t post for a few days…. blame Irene, not the fact that I’ve been so preoccupied I can barely focus on typing.

Cheers!

Make Up of Your Mind – Part 3

The last set of schemas comes in Domain V!  I decided to spend a day on just this domain because I identify a lot here.
Domain V – Overvigilance and Inhibition: Excessive emphasis on suppressing one’s spontaneous feelings, impulses, and choices or on meeting rigid, internalized rules and expectations about performance and ethical behavior, often at the expense of happiness, self-expression, relaxation, close relationships, or health.  Typical family origin is grim, demanding, and sometimes punitive: performance, duty, perfectionism, following rules, hiding emotions, and avoiding mistakes predominate over pleasure, joy, and relaxation. There is usually an undercurrent of pessimism and worry that things could fall apart if one fails to be vigilant and careful at all times.
15.) Negativity/Pessimism – A pervasive, lifelong focus on the negative aspects of life (pain, death, loss, disappointment, conflict, guilt, resentment, unsolved problems, potential mistakes, betrayal, things that could go wrong, etc.) while minimizing or neglecting the positive or optimistic aspects. Usually includes an exaggerated expectation – in a wide range of work, financial, or interpersonal situations – that things will eventually go seriously wrong or that aspects of one’s life that seem to be going well will ultimately fall apart. Usually involves an inordinate fear of making mistakes that might lead to financial collapse, loss, humiliation, or being trapped in a bad situation. Because they exaggerate potential negative outcomes, these individuals are frequently characterized by chronic worry, vigilance, complaining, or indecision.
Chronic worry and indecision. About everything. It’s so difficult to hold onto the good when the potential for bad is so overshadowing. I feel overwhelmed just thinking about how pervasive this is especially when I consider work or friendships. Pain, death, loss, disappointment, conflict, guilt, resentment, unsolved problems, potential mistakes, betrayal, things that could go wrong, etc…. my mind ruminates, creates scenarios, makes things up that have never happened, that will probably never happen and it’s always, always negative. Even the things I think about that could turn out well for me are laced with negative means in order to get there. It’s funny because outwardly I don’t show this way of thinking. I can only imagine that if I did no one would want to be around me so I hide it all, bottle it up below the surface, but it’s there. Oh yes, it’s there.
16.) Emotional Inhibition – The excessive inhibition of spontaneous action, feeling, or communication, usually to avoid disapproval by others, feelings of shame, or losing control of one’s impulses. The most common areas of inhibition involve:
            a. inhibition of anger and aggression
            b. inhibition of positive impulses (joy, affection, sexual excitement, play)
            c. difficulty expressing vulnerability or communicating freely about one’s feelings, needs , etc.
            d. excessive emphasis on rationality while disregarding emotions.
All of these. I bottle and I bottle and I bottle. Eventually this causes me to explode in one way or another but I can’t bring myself to express how I feel. I don’t feel like I deserve or have any right to feel the way I do most days. If I do show how I feel I might be impinging on someone else and I don’t know how they’ll react or if they’ll see it as ok. I turn inwards instead of out. I detest the idea of seeming vulnerable. In my real life outside of the blogosphere I mask myself in the rational. Outwardly I dismiss any emotional situation and speak about things logically while below the surface I may be writhing and seething in a turbulent sea of emotion. Even if I were to want to express these things I don’t know how, not without crumbling complete and that’s something I can’t let anyone see.  
17.) Unrelenting Standards/Hypercriticalness – The underlying belief that one must strive to meet very high internalized standards of behavior and performance, usually to avoid criticism. Typically results in feelings of pressure or difficulty slowing down and in hypercriticalness toward oneself and others. Must involve significant impairment in pleasure, relaxation, health, self-esteem, sense of accomplishment, or satisfying relationships.
            Unrelenting standards typically present as:
a.       Perfectionism – inordinate attention to detail, or an underestimate of how good one’s own performance is relative to the norm.
b.      Rigid rules and “shoulds” in many areas of life, including unrealistically high moral, ethical, cultural, or religious precepts.
c.       Preoccupation with time and efficiency, the need to accomplish more.
This is something Therapist has been trying to work with me on. I dissolve myself into a puddle of anxiety and stress when I cannot meet the goals and standards that I’ve set out to accomplish. Regardless of the pressure I deal with in other aspects of my life, if I can’t meet ALL the things I believe I should be able to do I beat myself up mentally. That I’m not currently beating myself up physically is a step in a positive direction at least.
18.) Punitivenss – The belief that people should be harshly punished for making mistakes. Involves the tendency to be angry, intolerant, punative, and impatient with those people (including oneself) who do not meet one’s expectations or standards. Usually includes difficulty forgiving mistakes in oneself or others because of a reluctance to consider extenuating circumstances, allow for human imperfection, or empathize with feelings.
I am generally punitive towards myself. I am much, much more tolerant of the mistakes that others make. The standards I set for myself and for others are two entirely different things. Something someone else does wrong I can easily shrug off or understand, but if I were to make the same mistake I feel an intense need to punish myself for not meeting my own standards. Angry, intolerant and impatient with myself. Though when I am in an increasingly volatile relationship this does begin to creep in as well. Once I feel mistreated or taken advantage of, all the rules go to hell and there’s no predicting how I will feel or act towards someone else.
As you can see, there are a great many ways the mind learns to cope in a maladaptive manner. It’s even more involved than just this though since there are various ways that each of these schemas presents, not just the basic outline that I’ve given so far. We’ll get there! The goal of schema therapy is to recognize which maladaptive schemas affect a person and work to change these negative coping mechanisms to healthier, more productive ones. Once you recognize and can see the problem at the core, that’s when it becomes possible to really get a handle on it in order to change it.

Make Up of Your Mind – Part 2

There are two remaining domains and their associated schemas left to delve into. I’m just going to do one today and then the other tomorrow. So without further ado….
Domain IV – Other-Directedness: An excessive focus on the desires, feelings, and responses or others, at the expense of one’s own needs in order to gain love and approval, maintain one’s sense of connection, or avoid retaliation. Usually involves suppression and lack of awareness regarding one’s own anger and natural inclinations. Typical family origin is based on conditional acceptance: Children must suppress important aspects of themselves in order to gain love, attention, and approval. In many such families, the parents’ emotional needs and desires – or social acceptance and status – are valued more than the unique needs and feelings of each child.
12.) Subjugation – Excessive surrendering of control to others because one feels coerced – submitting in order to avoid anger, retaliation, or abandonment. The two major forms of subjugation are:
            a. Subjugation of needs: Suppression of one’s preferences, decisions, and desires.
            b. Subjugation of emotions: Suppression of emotions, especially anger.
This usually involves the perception that one’s own desires, opinions, and feelings are not valid or important to others. Frequently presents as excessive compliance, combined with hypersensitivity to feeling trapped. Generally leads to a buildup of anger, manifested in maladaptive symptoms (ex. Passive-aggressive behavior, uncontrolled outbursts of temper, psychosomatic symptoms, withdrawal of affection, “acting out”, substance abuse).
I felt both a Subjugation of needs and a Subjugation of emotions almost constantly when I was with Evil-Ex. This is not so much a by-product of my Borderline Personality Disorder so much as a natural response to the abuse that I was living with. So it wasn’t that I simply perceived it as being so, I was actually being told that it was so. That’s a fundamental difference. However that these feelings have stuck with me so long after is a result of the development of some of this schema type. Again, this occurred later in my life though so it’s not as pervasive as many others.
13.) Self-Sacrifice – Excessive focus on voluntarily meeting the needs of others in daily situations at the expense of one’s own gratification. The most common reasons are: to prevent causing pain to others; to avoid guilt from feeling selfish; or to maintain the connection with others perceived as needy. Often results from an acute sensitivity to the pain of others. Sometimes leads to a sense that one’s own needs are not being adequately met and to resentment of those who are taken care of. This overlaps with concepts of codependency.
I fall to this frequently. For me there is an acute sense of avoiding guilt from feeling selfish and to maintain a connection to others. If I don’t do things for other people, do things to take care of other people, they won’t need to have me around. So for me this co-mingles with Abandonment. After a while though that resentment does build up because I feel like I give so much but do not receive nearly the same in return.
14.) Approval-Seeking/Recognition-Seeking – Here there is an excessive emphasis on gaining approval, recognition, or attention from other people or on fitting in at the expense of developing a secure and true sense of self. One’s sense of esteem is dependent primarily on the reactions of others rather than on one’s own natural inclinations. Sometimes includes an overemphasis on status, appearance, social acceptance, money, or achievement as means of gaining approval, admiration, or attention (not primarily for power or control). Frequently results in major life decisions that are inauthentic or unsatisfying or in hypersensitivity to rejection.
This is not so much my issue. Soon I’ll talk about the 3 ways that each of these schemas can present: Surrender, Avoidance, and Overcompensation. I overcompensate in this area and actively work to do things that people might disapprove of in order to push people away before they can get to close to me, judge me, and leave me.

Make up of Your Mind – Part 1

Alright, now that we’ve gotten the background out of the way let’s take a look at what each of the schemas actually is. We’ll do this in two parts because there are a lot.
Domain I – Disconnection and Rejection: The expectation that one’s needs for security, safety, stability, nurturance, empathy, sharing of feelings, acceptance, and respect will not be met in a predictable manner.
1.)    Abandonment/Instability Schema – This schema is the perceived instability or unreliability of one’s connection to significant others. Patients with this schema have the sense that important people in their life will not continue to be there because they are emotionally unpredictable, they are only present erratically, they will die, or they will leave the patient for someone better. It involves the sense that significant others will not be able to continue providing emotional support, connection, strength, or practical protection because they are emotionally unstable and unpredictable, unreliable, or present only erratically; because they will die imminently; or because they will abandon the individual in favor of someone better.
2.)    Mistrust/Abuse Schema – The expectation that others will hurt, abuse, humiliate, cheat, lie, manipulate, or take advantage. Usually involves the perception that the harm is intentional or the result of unjustified and extreme negligence. May include the sense that one always ends up being cheated relative to others or “getting the short end of the stick.”
3.)    Emotional Deprivation – The expectation that one’s desire for a normal degree of emotional support will not be adequately met by others. The three major forms of deprivation are:
1.      Deprivation of Nurturance: Absence of attention, affection, warmth, or companionship.
2.      Deprivation of Empathy: Absence of understanding, listening, self-disclosure or mutual sharing of feelings from others.
3.      Deprivation of Protection: Absence of strength, direction, or guidance from others.
4.)    Defectiveness/Shame – The feeling that one is defective, bad, unwanted, inferior, or invalid in important respects or that one would be unlovable to significant others if exposed. May involve hypersensitivity to criticism, rejection, and blame; self-consciousness, comparisons, and insecurity around others; or a sense of shame regarding one’s perceived flaws. These flaws may be private (selfishness, angry impulses, unacceptable sexual desires) or public (undesirable physical appearance, social awkwardness).
5.)    Social Isolation/Alienation – The feeling that one is isolated for the rest of the world, different from other people, and/or not part of or like they belong to any group or community.
I feel all of these in various degrees. The most prominent for me are definitely Abandonment/Instability, Defectiveness/Shame and Social Isolation/Alienation. Defectiveness/Shame has wrapped itself around me like a wet blanket, clinging to my skin my entire life. Abandonment/Instability and Social Isolation/Alienation I am so familiar with that I may have resigned myself to them. If Defectiveness/Shame is the wet blanket clinging to my skin, these are what actually compose my skin. These are the vital organs that my blood pumps through. Emotional Deprivation…. I don’t believe I have any right to deserve or expect any of these things. I can actually see where and how people do give these to me, but it’s as if I’m watching them give them to someone else. Thinking about being able to accept these things feels foreign to me like I wouldn’t know how to accept them even if I wasn’t deprived of them. The Mistrust/Abuse Schema is a lesser schema for me. Remember I mentioned that schemas can prevent to various degrees. The ones that ingrain themselves earliest in life tend to be the stronger, more pervasive schemas, while the ones that occur later in life or not so entrenched. This is one of those for me. I’ve dealt with more than my fair share of abuse, but this came later in my life. Some days I believe that because I’m so unavailable on most other levels that any abuse I’ve taken I can almost shrug off. I expect it to happen, but since I do expect it, I don’t allow myself to open fully to it and it therefore can’t affect me or I don’t hold on to it like I might have.  
Domain II –  Impaired Autonomy and Performance: Expectations about oneself and the environment that interfere with one’s perceived ability to separate, survive, function independently, or perform successfully.  
6.)    Dependence/Incompetence – Belief that one is unable to handle one’s everyday responsibilities in a competent manner, without considerable help from others (ex. Take care of oneself, solve daily problems, exercise good judgment, tackle new tasks, make good decisions). Often presents as helplessness.
7.)    Vulnerability to Harm or Illness – Exaggerated fear that imminent catastrophe will strike at any time and that one will be unable to prevent it. Fear focus on one or more of the follow:
a.       Medical Catastrophes like heart attacks or AIDS
b.      Emotional catastrophes like going crazy
c.       External catastrophes like elevators collapsing, victimization by criminals, airplane crashes, earthquakes.
8.)    Enmeshment/Undeveloped Self – Excessive emotional involvement and closeness with one or more significant others (often parents) at the expense of full individuation or normal social development. Often involves the belief that at least one of the enmeshed individuals cannot survive or be happy without the constant support of the other. May also include feelings of being smothered by or fused with others or insufficient individual identity. Often experienced as a feeling of emptiness and foundering, having no direction, or in extreme cases questioning one’s existence.
9.)    Failure – The belief that one has failed, will inevitably fail, or is fundamentally inadequate relative to one’s peers in areas of achievement (school, career, sports, etc.). Often involves beliefs that one is stupid, inept, untalented, lower in status, less successful than others, and so forth.
Failure. Despite all my achievements and actual, physical proof to the contrary I cannot shake this sense of failure. Nothing is ever good enough. I am never good enough. So I push myself continually onwards, being harder and harder on myself. Vulnerability to Harm is something I recognize more when I’m very stressed out. Airplanes, car crashes, driving myself insane create an almost paralyzing anxiety. Enmeshment is especially true when I’m in a volatile relationship. The world feels like it might end and all hope of happiness hinges on it. I’m actually what most people consider counter-dependent though. I couldn’t ask for help, I wouldn’t even know how to ask for help, if my life depended on it. I feel like even more of a failure if I seem to be in any way helpless.  So hey, where one schema takes over it prevents the creation of others.
Domain III – Impaired Limits: Deficiency in internal limits, responsibility to others, or long-term goal orientation. Leads to difficulty respecting the rights of others, cooperating with others, making commitments, or setting and meeting realistic personal goals.
10.)                        Entitlement/Grandiosity – The belief that one is superior to other people; entitled to special rights and privileges; or not bound by the rules of reciprocity that guide normal social interaction. Often involves insistence that one should be able to do or have whatever one wants, regardless of what is realistic, what others consider reasonable, or the cost to others; or an exaggerated focus on superiority in order to achieve power or control (not primarily for attention or approval). Sometimes includes excessive competitiveness toward or domination of others: asserting one’s power, forcing one’s point of view, or controlling the behavior of others in line with one’s own desires without empathy or concern for others’ needs or feelings.
11.)                        Insufficient Self-Control/Self-Discipline – Pervasive difficulty or refusal to exercise sufficient self-control and frustration tolerance to achieve one’s personal goals or to restrain the excessive expression of one’s emotions and impulses. In its milder form, the patient presents with an exaggerated emphasis on discomfort avoidance: avoiding pain, conflict, confrontation, responsibility, or over exertion at the expense of personal fulfillment, commitment, or integrity.
Of all the Domains this is where I am least affected. I’m probably the opposite of Entitled and Grandiose and I’ve had self-control and discipline beat into my brain since I was very young. Though I do recognize the milder form of discomfort avoidance in myself readily. I love nothing more than to lock myself in my little worlds of escapism to take my mind away from the realities that surround me. Nothing can touch me when I’m lost in the illusion of a good book or so preoccupied with creating an elaborate meal.
So involved. So complex. And this is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

Quotes from the Borderline

“I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.”
— Umberto Eco

….Monday’s are so hard sometimes

By Haven Posted in quote

Domain by Domain

What a hectic week. I’m having such a hard time focusing and getting back into the swing of things and work has just been one major pile up after another, but I’m getting there. Today I wanted to give a quick overview of each of the 5 Domains then I can start really getting into the meat of what each schema inside those domains looks like. So let’s break it down.
Domain I: Disconnection and Rejection – Patients with schemas in this domain or unable to form secure, satisfying attachments to others. They believe that their needs for stability, safety, nurturance, love, and belonging will not be met. These people are often the most damaged. Traumatic childhoods are common, though as mentioned, this is not always the case. As adults they tend to rush headlong from one self-destructive relationship to another or avoid close relationships altogether.
Domain II: Impaired Autonomy and Performance – Autonomy is the ability to separate from one’s family and to function independently in a way comparable to others of their age. They have expectations of themselves and the world that interferes with their ability to differentiate themselves from parent figures and function independently.  Often this is a result of being overprotected and having everything done for them, or on the extreme opposite end, being hardly cared for at all. The persons self-confidence was undermined and there was a failure to reinforce achievements outside of the home. As a result these people are not able to forge their own identities and create their own lives; they can’t set personal goals or master necessary life skills. It’s as if they remain children well into their adult years.
Domain III: Impaired Limits – People with schemas in this domain have not developed adequate internal limits in regard to reciprocity or self-discipline. It may be difficult or impossible for them to respect the rights of others, to cooperate, keep commitments, or meet long term goals. This is often seen where someone has grown up in an overly permissive and indulgent household. As a result patients with this schema tend to be selfish, spoiled, irresponsible, or narcissistic. From a young age these people may have not been required to follow rules that seemed to apply to everyone else, had everything revolve around their own world and didn’t have to develop self-control. As adults this leads to impulsivity because they may lack the ability to restrain themselves or delay gratification for the long term benefit of future goals.
Domain IV: Other-Directedness – Here we find an excessive emphasis on meeting the needs of others rather than the needs of the individual. This is done in order to gain approval, maintain emotional connection and avoid retaliation. When it comes to other people, the focus tends to be almost exclusively on the responses of the other person rather than meeting their own needs, and often this kind of person will lack awareness of their own anger or preferences. Rather than being internally directed, they follow the desires of others without even thinking.
Domain V: Overvigilance and Inhibition Patients in this domain suppress their spontaneous feelings and impulses. They often strive to meet rigid, internalized rules about their own performance at the expense of happiness, self-expression, relaxation, close relationships, or good health. The Typical origin is a childhood that was grim, repressed, and strict and in which self-control and self-denial predominated over spontaneity and pleasure. There is often a sense of pessimism and worry. A fearfulness that their lives could fall apart if they fail to be alert and careful at all times.
Personally, I fall into 1 and 5 predominantly with a little 4 thrown in. The more I read the more I feel like I can pull my personality problems off of a menu; I’ll take a number 3, a number 2 and an order of 5 on the side. ::smiles:: In a way it’s very reassuring, knowing that what I’m struggling with has been well researched and there’s potentially some explanation. There might not be a paper packed prescription to fix it but it’s not just all scrambling in the dark trying to feel around until some monster jumps out of the closet.

Where do schemas originate?

This brings us right back to that basic Nature vs. Nurture argument; early life experiences and emotional temperament.
Toxic experiences early in life tend to create the strongest early maladaptive schemas. That’s not to say that some don’t develop later in life, they certainly do, they just don’t tend to be as pervasive.
There are four types of early life experiences that contribute to the development of schemas.
1.)    Toxic frustration of needs. This happens when a child experiences to too little of a good thing and acquires schemas through deficits in the early environment. What’s missing is something important such as stability, understanding, or love. These are the Emotional Deprivation or Abandonment schemas.
2.)    The second type revolves around traumatization or victimization.  Here is when a child is harmed or victimized and develops schemas such as Mistrust/Abuse, Defectiveness/Shame, or Vulnerability to Harm.
3.)    Too much of a good thing. This is when a parent provides too much of something that, in moderation, is healthy for a child. The child is rarely mistreated but this is where Dependence/Incompetence or Entitlement/Grandiosity come into play. Every need is indulged and core emotional needs for autonomy or realistic limits are not met.
4.)    Selective internalization or identification with significant others. Here a child will selectively identify with and internalize the parent’s thoughts, feelings, experiences, and behaviors.
Temperament partly determines whether an individual identifies with and internalizes the characteristics of those significant to them. Every person has a unique and distinct personality or temperament from birth. Different temperaments selectively expose children to different life circumstances. Likewise, extremely favorable or aversive environment can override emotional temperament to a significant degree as well. A safe, loving environment might make even a shy child quite friendly while an early environment of rejection can make a sociable child very withdrawn. In the same way an extreme emotional temperament can override an ordinary environment and create pathologies without apparent justification. It’s a mix, exclusive to each individual person or child.
So what are the Schemas? There are 18 of them. Each of which are grouped into 5 broader categories called schema domains.
Disconnection and Rejection
1.      Abandonment/Instability
2.      Mistrust/Abuse
3.      Emotional Deprivation
4.      Defectiveness/Shame
5.      Social Isolation/Alienation
Impaired Autonomy and Performance
6.      Dependence/Incompetence
7.      Vulnerability to Harm or Illness
8.      Enmeshment/Undeveloped Self
9.      Failure
Impaired Limits
10.  Entitlement/Grandiosity
11.  Insufficient Self-Control/Self-Discipline
Other-Directedness
12.  Subjugation
13.  Self-Sacrifice
14.  Approval-Seeking/Recognition-Seeking
Over vigilance and Inhibition
15.  Negativity/Pessimism
16.  Emotional Inhibition
17.  Unrelenting Standards/Hypercriticalness
18.  Punitveness
Tomorrow I’ll elaborate on why/how each schema fits into its particular domain and from there we’ll jump into exactly what each schema entails.
I’m taking things slow for the moment. Mostly because I’m having an extremely difficult time readjusting to my daily routines. Sometimes I forget how important my self-imposed structure is. My daily routines make it easier for me to get through each day. I know what I need to do, when I need to do it, and I know what follows. I can slip into an auto pilot mode and just get going. Once that has been shifted and upheaved, it feels a little like trying to trudge through molasses. My brain and my body just want to fight going in any direction at all. I get stuck. The prospect of the next thing is scary. What comes beyond that is worse, unknown. Knowing what comes next is reassuring. It helps me move past the moment I’m in so I don’t cling to the comfort that is right now.

Regularly Scheduled Program…

And we’re back!

I’m back from my vacation and let me tell you, it was, time off.  It was both a complete escape from reality and not what I needed at the same time. I shopped, danced (though not as much as I’d expected), drank, acquired a stalker and accomplished nothing artistically. I actually came home a little early and just hid from the world, which was what I needed. Perhaps more on that later. Getting back to the real world has been one of the hardest things. I’ve almost completely avoided the internet and submerged myself in books and escapism. Now, however, it’s time to get back to my schedule and put a bit more structure back in my life.
I just wanted to say hi, and I’m back, and I’ll have another post up later this morning/afternoon.
::waves:: Hope everyone’s week has treated them well!