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.