For example, say your boss is a real jerk who’s always giving you a hard time, and all you can think is “Hey, this guy’s a jerk.” But if you understand he has traits of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, you start to see certain small interactions with him as part of a larger pattern of psychopathology, which can help you realize not to take stuff he says or does so personally, because he has a different way of interacting with the world than you. We are currently on version IV (so DSM-IV), although version V is in the works and supposedly will reframe how we diagnose personality disorders.
So the following is accurate as of now, but may change when the new version of the Manual comes out.
Countertransference is how a therapist or psychiatrist feels toward a patient, but more broadly can be used to describe how anyone feels toward anyone else. So before you go out and start gleefully diagnosing all sorts of people with the above personality disorders, keep in mind a couple of things.
One, it’s a tough thing for psychiatrists to get right, and we train for years to be able to accurately diagnose people with mental disorders.
You know that friend you have who’s emotionally needy and clingy one minute, and then pushing you away the next?
They’re so afraid of being abandoned that they lash out at others as a way to protect themselves from feeling hurt. It’s much more common in women, but men can have it too.They “split,” meaning they put people in categories of all good and all bad. It’s hard to miss someone with Histrionic Personality Disorder.She’s usually female, loud, dramatic and attention seeking.Who’s afraid you’ll leave them but then leaves you first?Who crumples into a pile of tears at a moment’s notice and cuts as a way to cope with emotional pain?