Vulnerable Narcissism: The Less Obvious Narcissist


The easiest starting point to understand vulnerable narcissism is the origin of the term “Narcissist”. The word “Narcissist” finds its origin in Greek Mythology. In short, the myth tells us of how Narcissus bent over a pool of water to have a drink but was suddenly awestruck by the beauty of his own reflection

He fell so in love with his reflection and its pure perfection, that he did not drink water for fear of disrupting or damaging his perfect image. Some say he drowned in that pool, others say he died of thirst. Narcissus’ obsession with himself and his own beauty was his downfall. Enter the Narcissist. 

What is a Narcissistic Behavior?

Most people have met at least one modern day narcissist. You know, that holier-than-thou, god’s gift to women (or men) person who is the bee’s knees and cat’s pajamas all rolled into one. 

Not all narcissists are created equal. Narcissism boils down to a specific set of traits and narcissistic tendencies. These traits manifest themselves in varying degrees and produce different types of narcissists. Narcissistic behavior involves an inflated self-image and lack of empathy. Narcissists see themselves as more intelligent, better looking, more important. They have a sense of entitlement to admiration and constant praise than the lowly commoners that surround them.

Are Narcissists Born or Made?

Studies have shown that there is a strong genetic component to narcissism, but they haven’t been able to pinpoint a specific gene. Psychologists often trace narcissism back to early childhood trauma.

Narcissistic traits have more than doubled in last 50 yearsIt started when the focus of society was suddenly aimed at individual success and self-improvement and empowerment. Think about how today, every kid gets a trophy. Children are being raised with less emphasis on humility, and a greater emphasis on their being the best. There is a fine line between raising a child to be confident and empowered and raising a child to feel entitled.

Social Media’s Role in Promoting Narcissism

Social media has come under scrutiny in the last few years for “creating narcissists”. This is not true. Social media does not create narcissists, but it does feed them. Cyberpsychology behaviorists agree that social media gives narcissists the ideal platform to gain the recognition and admiration they feel they deserve. There truly is something to the selfie being more appropriately called the “Narcissisty”. High social self-esteem is everything to a narcissist!

What is Vulnerable Narcissism? 

There are 2 true forms of narcissism. There is the obvious, difficult to miss, grandiose narcissist. Then there is the vulnerable narcissist or the narcissist-vulnerable subtype. You can know one for years without ever picking up on their narcissistic tendencies. Vulnerable narcissists, (also called covert narcissists) fly under the radar. They have a high self-esteem but seem quiet and reserved. 

A vulnerable narcissist is perfect, but the world is out to get them. Try as they might, they never get the attention they want. So, they manipulate the people around them to get it.

Vulnerable Narcissist Traits 

The most prominent of vulnerable narcissism traits is a constant victimization mentality. They are always the victim, and always require sympathetic attention. 

They are emotionally draining to be around. Mostly because of how sensitive they are on top of being emotionally demanding. Their mission in life is to get the people around them to see them as the perfect creatures they are.

Vulnerable narcissists are quite prone to developing depression. The life they live does not meet the fantasy of the life they feel entitled to. 

There is an infuriating misconception among people who don’t understand personality disorders or mental illness, that people hurt themselves (or threaten to do so) because they are seeking attentionSo, this needs to be said and understood with great caution: Vulnerable narcissists are one of the few people who to make threats of self-harm in order to get attention. They rarely follow through with it.

Vulnerable narcissists mostly appear introverted and calm. But emotional regulation can still be difficult for the confusing self-esteem issues they have

The first line of narcissistic defenses includes being passive aggressive and shutting people out to punish themThey will always play the victim card because they will always see themselves as the victim. Regardless of the circumstances.

What is Grandiose Narcissism? 

Grandiose narcissism is the most obvious of the types of narcissism. With their outward charm and confidence overcompensating for their internal insecurities and vulnerability. 

Unlike vulnerable narcissists, grandiose narcissists are all about extroversion. They are dominant, and always in pursuit of power and status. Think about lawyers and doctors, or even politicians who pursue power in order to help and empower others. Narcissists aren’t wired that way. It’s all about them!

What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

There are varying degrees of narcissism. Most people with narcissistic traits manage to live relatively normal lives. This is not true for people diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). People with this extreme or pathological narcissism don’t do well in any setting. There is no place in society where someone with NPD will thrive. 

In a nutshell, people with NPD all share these traits: 

  • Grandiose view of oneself
  • Problems with empathy
  • Sense of entitlement
  • Need for attention and admiration

Having narcissistic traits does not imply that someone has a personality disorder or borderline personality traits. There are many interindividual differences. The disorder is only diagnosed in people whose narcissistic traits and tendencies take over people’s lives

How to Deal with a Vulnerable Narcissist 

The way to approach a narcissist depends on the type of narcissist you are dealing with. People with vulnerable or grandiose narcissistic traits can often improve. The problem is, that the stronger the manifestation of the traits, the harder it is for that person to change. 

Set Healthy Boundaries

The best way of dealing with any narcissist is to set healthy boundaries. Sometimes they are unavoidable because we are related to them, or we work with or for them. In all cases, you need to distance yourself from the person in mind, physically, as well as, emotionally.

Try to be rational when dealing with them. When you view the narcissist from a safe distance, it is easier to identify their irrational behavior. Keep that safe buffer zone around you. They will quickly lose interest in hurting or manipulating you. 

If you have a narcissistic partner, you need to consider walking away. They have an unlimited narcissistic supply of toxic behavior. You can’t blame them for not being considerate towards your feelings, because they don’t have the capacity for empathy. You will always be stuck in a non-linear relationship.

Vulnerable Narcissism: Bottom Line 

Narcissists are not bad people. Some narcissists are incredible business assets or charming entertainers that are fun to be around for brief periods. However, when you identify a narcissist, set healthy boundaries to protect yourself from their hurtful and manipulative grasp.


The Different Types of Liars and How to Deal with Them

Regardless of who you are, it is impossible to not come across a person who lies. There are many different types of liars. Lies can be insignificant “white lies” or serious, hurtful, bold-faced lies. Regardless of the different types of liars, lying is one of the most common things that injure relationships.

Determining if someone has lied is as simple as checking facts, but there are other ways. For example, reading a person’s body language, sentence structure, or paying close attention to the difference between intonations of a statement will tell you if a person is lying.

So, this begs the question… Why do people lie? Some people dwell in self-preservation whereas others are habitual liars. Regardless of the reason, there are different psychological reasons for why people tell lies.

What is Lying?

It may be a bit of an understatement to say that lying is the art of deception; however, sometimes there are ways of telling the truth that might be untruthful at the end of the interaction. When a person lies, there is a level of self-protection they are working towards. These are often the moments when a person’s true character becomes apparent.

For example, a person who tells the truth even though it “protects” them to lie is a person with high character. Lying often comes with an embedded paradox: If you tell the truth, you may be guaranteed a worse outcome than if you lie. But, if you lie and are caught, then the outcome may be worse than the truth.

But, what if you can get away with it?

Lie Definition

The definition of a lie is “an intentionally false statement.” There’s a lot to unpack there. Of course, there are different degrees of lying or types of lies people tell. For example, claiming to have the ability to play a twelve-string guitar is much more benign of a lie than claiming to be a messenger of Allah delivering peace and blessings.

Sadly, for the person claiming to be a holy prophet, that particular lie can cause distress to more people than claiming to play a speciality guitar. There are also many studies in classical logic and non-classical logics on lying. Ultimately, lying comes back to the initial definition: an intentionally false statement.

Embellish Definition

Embellishment is a bit different than lying. There is still intentional falsification, but embellishment often comes with an element of truth.

For example, if someone likes to fish but they are in the company of people who are against fishing, then he or she may claim to be a “capture and release” fisherman—or woman. If he or she sometimes releases the catch, then there is truth to it; however, there are shades to the truth. If someone only releases fish that they are not allowed to catch, then yes, they do “capture and release” but haven’t told the whole story.

Embellishments can be a bit difficult to follow and pose a bit of an ethical conundrum. A big giveaway of whether someone is an avid embellisher is often in their stories. Their stories usually contain self-referential sentences.

Another method in which the embellisher works their art is by using the liar paradox. By saying that nothing they say is true, everything they say is true. That said, if you notice someone embellishes, the simple way to get at the truth is to understand that it’s usually the least impressive part of the tale.

Different Types of Liars

Not all liars are the same, there are different types of lying personalities or disorders. For some, compulsive lying could be symptomatic of a personality disorder. For example, those who speak in self-referential sentences may not be embellishers, but rather might be suffering from narcissistic personality disorder.

There are pathetic liars, which involve people using lies to elicit a pathos response. However, the different types of liars include pathological liars, compulsive liars, and the sociopath. There are also occasional liars. These people who lie on occasion usually tell “white lies” that are essentially meaningless.

Pathological Liars

Pathological liars are people who lie as their response to any stimuli. These people are “good liars” because they practice constant lying and making up stories so often that it becomes difficult to detect their falsehoods.

The proper name for a pathological liar is pseudologia fantastica. Most pathological liars will avoid eye contact; instead, they will fix their gaze upon you. For these types of liars, pathological lying is a defense mechanism. Lying is a way to avoid something severe in their lives, such as abuse. It is a way to extricate themselves from a bad situation. Of course, these aren’t excuses for lying but it can be helpful to understand why some people lie.

Furthermore, if you catch a pathological liar spinning his or her web, it’s important to call them on it but do so in a non-aggressive fashion.

Compulsive Liars

Compulsive liars lie for many different reasons. Unlike the pathological liar, compulsive liars are easier to figure out. Their stories don’t usually have a ring of truth to them. They also display obvious lying behaviors, such as breaking out into a sweat, avoiding eye contact, rambling or tripping over their words.

Some types of compulsive liar personality disorder are the habitual liar and the narcissistic liar. Habitual liars are people who lie all the time. In fact, lying has become a habit.

Narcissistic liars are people usually dealing with a narcissistic personality disorder. These are people who usually make up grand stories about themselves, are prone to embellishment, and generally, make themselves out to be the conquering hero in all situations. Most of their stories are unbelievable or seem a bit far-fetched.

Sociopath Definition

Sociopathic liars can be difficult to deal with. Sociopaths lack empathy and do not care if their lies negatively impact or harm others. Sociopathic liars can be narcissistic, but this isn’t always the case. Sociopathic liars are master manipulators. They will tell you a story to get you to do what they want. Being the “target” for a sociopath likely feels awkward because it conflicts with a person’s sense of right and wrong. However, a sociopathic liar will continue to get you to see things their way until you given in to doing what they want.

Again, sociopaths do not feel empathy. So, if you tell a sociopath that you aren’t comfortable with something, the sociopath likely won’t care but will act as if they do.

How to Deal with Liars

There are several ways to deal with liars. Although it can be incredibly difficult, the best approach is to avoid reacting with anger or aggressively. In most cases, the liar is expecting this reaction and will use it as a diversion. Avoid going along with their version of events that is likely false. The key to dealing with liars is to politely but firmly confront them with the truth.

If you discover that someone has told a “white lie”, and the lie itself is so minuscule that it doesn’t merit confrontation, then it’s probably best to let it go.

Lying is admittedly a complex issue. The key to addressing liars is to understand the different types of liars. All in all, the best thing you can do is to remain confident in the truth. Sticking to the facts is the best way to deal with liars.


12 Laws of Karma & How They Can Impact Your Life


The concept of karma has been a topic of philosophical conversation for centuries. Specifically, the consequences of good karma and bad karma have been explained by many of the world’s foremost thinkers, including the Dalai Lama.

However, karma is not as simple as modern television and self-help books make it out to be. There are applications for karma and karmic thought. Understanding the lessons of karmic justice can help you in your personal and professional life. The best way to understand karma is to first learn the 12 laws of karma.

Definitions of Karma

What is karma? The simple definition of “karma” is it is the Sanskrit word for “action.” Karma is an active process. There are several Western models helpful to understanding this paragon of Eastern philosophy. First, understand Newton’s laws of motion: Every action has an equal but opposite reaction.

For those more familiar with Christian tradition, the Golden Rule may also be a rough outline of what is karma in Christianity. Karmic energy is found individually in thoughts, desires, a conscious decision, and many other simple activities. Karma is also found in patterns of behavior. Regardless of the philosophical application of karmic laws of the universe, control of an individual’s karma is directly in the jurisdiction of that person.

Karma in Buddhism

Karma is a central tenet of Buddhism. One of the more important topics includes karma and reincarnation. The simplest energy is karmic. The endless cycle of reincarnation is dictated by one’s karma over a lifetime.

Though they may seem like polar opposites, the Buddhist concept of mindfulness and the Western concept of prayer are similar. Mindfulness is what happens during meditation. Meditation is the time an individual takes to reflect on his or her own karma. Getting accustomed to shutting out the world and leaving thoughts behind to focus on more metaphysical concepts requires practice. However, it is also an opportunity for you to manifest your desires and rid yourself of negative energy.

Part of the difference between Western philosophy and Buddhism is the view of the person in general. For example, in regards to Christianity, an individual is a sinner and is always trying to get right with God. When compared with Buddhism, people are divine beings.

All forms of life deserve divine love, and that love manifests with understanding one’s place in the universe. This is accomplished during meditation, but also during daily activities. Everything a person does—positive or negative—has karma attached. Ultimately, this karma determines if when reincarnated one goes to a higher level or if they remain where they are.

The 12 Laws of Karma

Understanding karma is to understand how actions reflect spiritual values that create strong women and men. The Western idea of karma being retribution for doing something wrong is only a part of the story. Karma reflects in each character trait and is a direct result of how an individual pursues universal truth.

Intentions do matter as well. Understanding karma can help a person to change bad habits. This alone is an act of loving kindness that, at least in the Buddhist tradition, has a positive impact on future lives.

The 12 laws of karma serve as a guide to how each personal contribution to the world you make – whether positive or negative – can affect you and those around you.

The Great Law of Karma

The first law of karma is the great law, which states, “as you sow, so shall you reap.”

For example, if you are a true friend, then you will have plenty of true friends in return. The bottom line with the Great Law is that you get what you put in. This is why many in the West see karma as a “what goes around comes around” idea.

The Law of Creation

You must be an active participant in life; you can’t simply glide by and expect things to fall into place. This law dispels wishful thinking and implores those seeking to build good karma to put good out into the universe.

The Law of Humility

In order to change something about yourself, you must accept something. In fact, this principle is the first of the 12 steps for Alcoholics Anonymous. “My name is X and I am an alcoholic.” According to AA, you can’t change your trajectory unless you are willing to confront uncomfortable truths about your behavior.

In less specific circumstances, true joy cannot be experienced until there is acceptance of what prevents you from seeking true joy or truth.

The Law of Growth

Many people wonder why history repeats itself and lay the blame externally. This law states that the people and places you inhabit are entirely of your choosing. We are responsible for changing ourselves. We cannot expect circumstances to change for us.

This law promotes being active in the adjudication of your life, and by challenging yourself to grow.

The Law of Responsibility

A universal truth is that we mirror what is around us, and what is around us mirrors what and who we are. So, if your life is lack luster, then you are not shining!

Being responsible means taking ownership of where you are, where you want to be, and what you will do to get there. Similar to the Law of Growth, you can’t expect things to change around you; rather, you have to be an instrument of the change, as Gandhi famously implored.

The Law of Connection

This law showcases how the universe is a patchwork of interconnected energy. Simply put, you must take care of the smallest tasks so that other things may fall into place.

Think about things in your life that you wish to accomplish. Conquer the small tasks first. Then, you may find the universe opening up to your ambitions.

The Law of Focus

This law will upset all the multitaskers out there… One can only focus on one thing at a time. This is important because a divided mind is more susceptible to negative thoughts. Mindfulness and meditation are big parts of the Buddhist tradition because they improve focus.

So, if you focus on being a higher spiritual being, then negative thoughts of greed and selfishness will fall by the wayside.

The Law of Giving and Hospitality

This might not seem appropriately titled, but it is… For example, if you claim to be a true friend, then at some point in your life you will be called upon to demonstrate this particular character trait. This is where theory meets practice. Ultimately, when you claim a truth, this is where you demonstrate the truth and find out exactly who you are.

The Law of the Here and Now

Buddhism doesn’t focus on the afterlife in the same way Christianity does. One of the main Buddhist teachings is that Nirvana exists here on Earth in impermanent moments. This law discourages looking backwards or looking forwards. It encourages us to exist and appreciate where we are now.

Once you are centered on where you are in the present moment, only then can you decide where you want to go, and take the necessary steps to get there.

The Law of Change

Simply put, history repeats itself until we take control of our lives and institute the changes we seek to make.

The Law of Patience and Reward

You can’t expect great rewards without having to toil at first. A person is encouraged to “embrace the grind” and enjoy the time working towards a goal with the knowledge that the goal will arrive, but it will arrive at a time and place of its choosing. Hard work always pays off.

The Law of Significance and Inspiration

You get what you put into something. The key here is energy and loving contributions. The whole can’t be great unless the contributions come from a place of love and altruism.

This law functions on a spiritual level but there are material applications as well. When the material applications don’t necessarily match expectations, then the spiritual part fills the gaps.

12 Laws of Karma – Getting the Most Out of Your Life

Being mindful of where you are and where you want to be is critical. Applying these laws to your life will be nothing less than a net positive. Whether you seek to be more Buddhist in your application or fit the laws of your life, good things will come either way.

Understanding the laws of karma or the 12 principles of karma will help you get the most out of your life. No, the rewards may not necessarily be material—but they will be great.


How To Read People Like the FBI


Knowing how to read people can have a significant impact on just about every aspect of our lives. The technological era we’re in might have us thinking that our communication is peaking. We send countless texts and emails every day. But it’s safe to say that we are getting worse at reading people in a face to face context. We have never been more disconnected from the people we interact with. Because of that, we are missing out on a world of opportunities. 

An MIT study showed that the outcome of a negotiation can be predicted by reading or interpreting the body language of participants. Words themselves only account for an estimated 7% of communication. So when you start paying attention to other aspects of communication such as body language and tone, you start gaining advantageous ground

Why Knowing How to Read People is Important

Being able to read people can have massive benefits. It is about so much more than playing Sherlock Holmes or Patrick from The Mentalist. It is not about mind reading. It is about observing the person you are speaking to and adjusting the way you communicate with them. 

In every context of life, we deal with a myriad of personality types, and we need to recognize them to tap into their strengthsFor example, if you observe that an employee has low self-esteem or lacks self-confidence, you would adjust your tone to accommodate their insecurities in a motivational way. Being loud and boisterous won’t be a very efficient way of dealing with them. If you are dealing with an extrovert, being solemn and serious won’t be the most efficient way of getting through to them.

People have never been more disconnected from nature or each other than they are today. We hardly make eye-contact with the person handing us our coffee over the counter. The power of observation and reading people is therefore not only an essential tool for effective communication. It is a tool that promotes connection with our fellow human beings.

How to Read People 

The ability to read people has so much more to do with how to read people’s body language and non-verbal communication than words alone. Anyone has the ability to read people. They just need to know what to look for. Things like a person’s appearance, posture, physical movements, gestures, the tone of voice, facial expressions and willingness to make eye contact during conversations are all things to observe when reading people.

You don’t have to be able to know how to read people’s mind to understand the personality of the person you are speaking to. You just need to pay attention to specific details. There is a myth floating around the internet that you can read someone 55% by body language, 38% by their voice (tone, pitch, volume) and 7% from the words they say. This study was aimed at reading someone on a first impression basis. Basically, to assess whether you like or dislike someone. 

You need to consider context, personality, and the potential that someone might be trying to deceive you by manipulating the communication.

Some people are open books and wear their hearts on their sleeves. Others are harder to read. If you spend enough time honing your observational skill, you should be able to read just about anyone!

FBI Meaning

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has reading people down to a T and profiling people’s personalities. They have developed skills and techniques to read peopleCriminal profilers are trained to assess every aspect of communication with people to see whether they are telling the truth. They look for patterns and abnormalities in the behavior of suspects. If you are trying to become more observant of people and want to be good at reading others, there are a couple of useful techniques used by the FBI that can guide you in the right direction.

Psychology Tricks to Read People 

You might not be able to read a person’s innermost thoughts and feelings, but chances are, by being observant, you can read their body language. A person’s eyes are also often very communicative if you know what to look for. There a few psychology tricks that can help you learn how to read people. There are a lot of self-help books on the topic. Such as Reading People by Jo Ellan Dimitrius, that delve into the details of reading people. 

Here are a few tricks or the trade to get you started:

Be Objective

You have to go at it without any prejudice or bias. There is absolutely no point in “objectively” trying to understand someone if you have already put them in a stereotype box. You need to peel away all the layers of preconception so that you can see further than a mere first impression.

Observe Non-verbal Cues

Your approach to reading people should be a combination of being guided by your emotional intelligence, intuition and observing the physical movements and behavior of a person.

People tend to lean their body towards what they like and lean away from makes them uncomfortable or angry. The same goes for the direction their toes are pointed at. If they are aiming their body and feet directly at you, it is most likely a sign that they are comfortable and open to communicating with you.

Is the person hiding their hands? Are they biting their nails or picking at their cuticles? These could be signs that the person feels nervous or anxious. This is very common in people who feel uncomfortable or under pressure.

Other signs of tension can be seen in someone’s facial expressions. Jaw clenching, teeth grinding and pursed lips might show that they are upset and are trying to hold back what they truly want to say

What is their posture telling you? It is easy to pick up on confidence (or the lack thereof) by looking at the way someone carries themselves. If they cower or slouch, it is a sign that they may have a low self-esteem. There is a clear line between a posture that exudes confidence, and the over the top swagger that goes with an inflated ego

Establish a baseline

Most people have some or other behavioral quirks. Sometimes these patterns of behavior are habitual. Such as clearing their throat, scratching their head, looking at the floor or stroking their necks. You need to read what that person’s “normal” behavior is. That is your baseline. It would be a mistake to overanalyze that someone is nervous or lying to you because you saw them bite their nails. If they are common nail biters, then this mannerism should be part of their “normal” behavior and you need to look elsewhere for signs of what is going on in their mind.

Look for Custers

Once you have established a baseline for the person you are speaking to, look for clusters of behavior that fall outside of that baseline. Is there an inconsistency between their normal behavior and their physical gestures? 

Phoneme awareness can also help point out a baseline inconsistency. A phoneme is a basic element of phonetic speech. If someone is very nervous or is lying, they may raise or lower their pitch when using certain words. They may overemphasize words as an overcompensation in order to manipulate you to believe them.

The loudest voice in the room is not always the strongest. The stronger someone’s voice is, the more likely it is that they are confident and comfortable and also being honest. Unless you are dealing with a manipulative person with a personality disorder. Psychopaths and Sociopaths are often difficult to read because people can’t see past their thick layer of charm.

Consider Context

Yes, crossed arms might be a sign that someone is closing themselves off, that they are not comfortable or happy. But have you considered that it might be cold in the room, or that there are no armrests for them to rest their arms on? Being observant requires you broaden your field of focus, and to not fixate on one tell-tale sign. 

Be Aware of Your Intuition

Trust your gut. Open yourself up to their vibe try to make sense of the feelings and emotions a person evokes in you. Natural instinct has gotten humanity pretty far, so your instinct is invaluable. It’s not about trying to see the color of their aura. It is about assessing how your body and mind react to their presence each time you meet them.

How to Read People: Bottom Line 

Reading people is not only about protecting ourselves from potential liars and frauds. The aim is not to train yourself to become a criminal profiler. The aim is to build your observation skills so that you can make sound decisions. Understanding the people we are working or interacting with can help our decision-making process a lot easier when it comes to trusting people.


Enmeshment: How To Unmesh From Your Dysfunctional Family


Enmeshment is a concept that’s often quite difficult to explain. But, in general, enmeshment is a family dynamic disorder, where members of a family may not have a set of boundaries established. As such, members of an enmeshed family are often treated as equals. For instance, a child may be seen as an adult, or an adult may be seen as a child.

Enmeshment often involves factors such as a narcissistic mother, an inappropriate or unhealthy mother-daughter relationship, emotional incest, and parental alienation. Adult children who set boundaries are often considered scapegoats by their enmeshed family. This often leads to the rise of further mental health concerns such as alcoholism, eating disorders, drug abuse, and depression.

In this article, we’ll cover, the basics of understanding what enmeshment is, and what you can do if you believe you have an enmeshed family.

Enmeshment Definition 

During the 1970s, a therapist by the name of Salvador Minuchen introduced the concept of enmeshment and enmeshed families. The meaning of enmeshment is the theory and practice where two or more individuals do not establish personal boundaries. So, without personal boundaries family members tend to lose their sense of individuality. Therefore, people in an enmeshed relationship or family enmeshment, may often codependent on each other.

Now, you might be wondering—how is this bad? Doesn’t this form healthy relationships? Well, not necessarily. You see, family enmeshment often means that the parent-child relationship is strengthened, but in an unhealthy manner.

For example, a child in an enmeshed family learns to share their emotions with all members of their family. At the same time, the child learns to associate their parent’s feelings as emotions of their own. One such instance can be depicted as a child who shares a close bond with their parental figure. If a child feels guilty or depressed, their parent may display these same emotions.

Conversely, if a parent was to display a specific set of emotions, then the child has to also express these same emotions. Now, enmeshment relationship should not be confused with having a strong relationship with your child. This is because enmeshment places a child in an emotional restriction. And as children grow, they will not be able to separate their feelings from the feelings of those close to them.

Signs of Enmeshment 

The common signs of enmeshment in families often involves putting a child in an adult role.  As such, a child is brought up with the idea that the need to always cater to their parent’s wishes.  Signs of enmeshment in families can include:

  • Parental alienation syndrome: Where the parent may alienate their child from the outside world.
  • Emotional enmeshment: This is where the parent may treat their young child as an adult or a friend. The parent may share inappropriate thoughts, and feelings with their child—this is commonly referred to as emotional incest.
  • Narcissistic personality disorder:Often witnessed as a narcissistic mother, this sign of enmeshment or enmeshed relationships in families tends to affect the mother-daughter relationship the most. Generally, a narcissistic mother is aware of how to control her families behavior, thoughts, and feelings. However, this form of narcissism may appear as the mother’s compassion. But, if a mother becomes overly involved in a child or even in her adult child’s personal life, this is a sign of a narcissistic parent.
  • Codependency: This is often referred to as a relationship where a person (child) is controlled and manipulated by their parent such as mother-daughter codependency. Codependency is not specific to an enmeshed family, it can be seen in any type of relationship.

Common Symptoms of Enmeshment

Other common symptoms of an enmeshed family, can involve:

  • You feel the need to keep to yourself and keep your personal feelings to yourself.
  • Your parents want you to make them proud, exceeding a realistic expectation.
  • You are not allowed to, or feel like you cannot, disagree with your family members.
  • Your parent may have told you and continues to tell you very personal information. For example, a parent may share their personal dating life with their young child.
  • If you have siblings, then one child receives more attention than the other.
  • Your parent may treat you as their best friend.
  • You feel as though there is no privacy in the house.
  • If you are a young child, then you feel the need to take care of your adult parent.
  • Your parent is overly involved in your personal affairs. For example, mothers overly involved in their teenage daughters’ personal life.


What to do if You Have an Enmeshed Family 

Enmeshment in families is something that occurs over time. Often, it may take several years for members of the family to realize that they are entangled in an enmeshment…

So, what do you do if you know you’re in an enmeshed family? Well, the answer is not as simple as one might think.
First, it’s important to understand that a child who grows up in an enmeshed family may be shamed if they are the person who is seeking to find their individuality.

These family members who rebel against their parents may either become the scapegoat of their family or maybe guilt tripped by family members. Thus, this can lead to further mental illnesses such as depression, eating disorders, and even drug abuse. So, the first step in treating an enmeshed family is to consider your personal emotional well-being by seeing a licensed mental health professional.

The second step when dealing with an enmeshed family is to consider structural family therapy. Often, your therapist may conduct weekly family therapy sessions that will help all family members understand how their lifestyle may be contributing to a dysfunctional family.  Family therapy and family system therapy will help all members of the family cope with their behavioral and mental concerns.

Enmeshment: Bottom Line 

Enmeshment is a pathological condition where a family has not established personal boundaries and roles. In doing so, children of an enmeshed family are raised as equals and may face emotional incest, parental alienation, and codependency. Many children in an enmeshed family may struggle with their self-identity, empathy, and understanding their own personal thoughts.

So, a child facing enmeshment may either try to get out of their family by finding their individuality or they may too display narcissistic behavior in the future. If you believe you are in an enmeshed family or are the victim of an enmeshed family, then it is important that you first seek help for yourself.  Talk to your local therapist, psychologist, or school counselor for guidance on this problem.


Existential Depression: Learn About the Mental Health Condition Affecting the Gifted & Talented


What are existential depression and existential anxiety? How do you know if it could affect someone you love?

Existential depression is a form of depression that affects millions of people worldwide. It is a type of depression that often taps into philosophy, by questioning concepts like, human free-will, life after death, and the purpose of life. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about existential depression, and how it can be treated.

What Is Existential Depression

It’s inevitable for the human mind to seek a deeper understanding of a human life—it’s ultimate purpose and it’s ultimate reasoning for existence. We strive to gain a better understanding of these philosophical thinking, we may undoubtedly hit that bump in the road.

Yes, this bump in the road is existential depression—that is the thought process which causes a person to ponder upon the clichè ‘what is the meaning of life’ debate. But, what exactly could the meaning of life have to do with depression?

Existential depression is a type of depression that is commonly seen in gifted people and gifted children. It is a mental illness that causes people to search for life’s meaning. Psychiatrist Irvin Yalom explains that there are 4 causes to this kind of depression, and they are:

  • Death
  • Freedom
  • Isolation
  • Meaningless

What is Existentialism

Often philosophers find existentialism very difficult to define—as, it is subjective and a spiritual meaning. However, in philosophy, it is a theory that loosely discusses topics such as:

  • life’s meaning
  • what is human free will

To put simply, existentialism, states “You have a purpose, but you choose your own purpose when you’re born. However, all the actions and purpose chosen are irrelevant, because the universe is infinite.”

This leads to many philosophers and in fact, many great minds, realizing that there is no reason for an individuals existence, there is no predetermined path or purpose one must follow. But, it is human nature to seek a “purpose in life”, and so humans may force themselves to create their own purpose and morality to live by. This concept leads to many people asking “is there such thing as human free will?” as we are the victims and prisoners of our own minds.

What is Depression

Depression is the chronic feeling of sadness, emptiness, and hopelessness an individual may experience. There are many kinds of depression a person may face, this includes:

Often people with clinical depression may lose interest in activities they may have once enjoyed. Additionally, clinical depression is often associated with symptoms like:

  • Loss of energy
  • Guilt
  • An inability to concentrate
  • A person may sleep a lot more or a lot less than normal
  • Changes in weight
  • Hopelessness

Depression is generally diagnosed by a mental health professional such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or counselor. Additionally, your mental health professional may also suggest that you get a full physical and blood test done, in order to rule out the possibility of metabolic disorders.

Existential Crisis Definition

The meaning of existential crisis is a moment in time where an individual comes to the realization that nothing we do in our short life matters. Because we are but a small fragment of the Universe and we ultimately are not put into this world for a purpose. So, an existential crisis is the point in time where an individual begins to question “the meaning of life”.

What is Existential Anxiety 

Existential Anxiety is associated with existential depression. Existential anxiety simply refers to a psychiatric disorder whereby a person may experience an overwhelming sense of fear and uneasiness, in a given situation. The general symptoms of anxiety is subjective to the individual, but may include:

  • increased heart rate
  • increased respiration
  • a feeling of weakness
  • Panic attacks
  • Loss of control
  • Heaviness
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Fear
  • Stomachaches
  • Vomiting

Signs of Existential Depression 

Psychiatrist Irvin Yalom states that a person with existential depression may experience either one or all of these symptoms which includes:

  • Feelings of Meaninglessness
  • Death Anxiety
  • Freedom Anxiety
  • Existential Isolation

Feelings of Meaninglessness 

Have you ever asked yourself “What is the meaning of life? Why do I exist? Do we have a purpose in life?” Well, if you’ve ever asked yourself these existential questions, then without a doubt you’re experiencing the feelings of meaninglessness.

A feeling of meaninglessness can be quite difficult to explain. And, this is because there is no generic definition of this term—as, it is a feeling and is therefore subjective to the person experiencing it.

To feel meaninglessness can imply that a person has lost motivation in the things they once enjoyed. But why? Because at the end of the day, the human life is short, and once a human greets death, then everything they ever did during their life will no longer cease to exist.  As we previously mentioned, humans strive to seek a purpose for their life. It is this constant fight for a personal identity, goals, values, and morals, that lead to a feeling of distress and meaningless.

A person who has come to realize the irrelevance of searching for the meaning of life faces distress because of they are not able to conform to the structures and mindsets that society places on humans.

Death Anxiety

Yalom states that “the fear of death plays a major role in our internal experience.” By this, he implies that at some level of consciousness and even unconsciousness, every human being is aware of their impending fate—death. Death is a fear all humans have because it makes us face our ultimate end.

According to Yalom, death anxiety often involves the fear that is generated when people ask 3 questions:

  1. Is there a life after death, and if so, then what comes after death?
  2. The anxiety and fear of experiencing the event of dying.
  3. Questioning our human existence, that is—no longer existing in the Universe.

Freedom Anxiety and Assumption of Responsibilities

As I mentioned, humans are prisoners of their own minds. This is because humans have a desire to give their lives a purpose. Humans construct morals, values, laws, and societal structure. But, in the end, every human being will greet death, and everything they have ever done will cease to ever exist. This is what existential freedom refers to—the ability to live without a purpose, without a social or physical construct.

Existential Isolation

According to Yalom, a person with existential depression may face existential isolation. And, the feeling of isolation is often placed in 3 classes:

  1. Interpersonal Isolation: Where an individual feels lonely and may feel isolated from society.
  2. Intrapersonal Isolation:  An intrapersonal isolation is a lot more difficult to explain. It is almost an isolation that occurs when gifted individual struggles with his/her own thoughts, feelings,  and desires. So, people with intrapersonal isolation often experience self-doubt and may lack trust in themselves.
  3. Existential Isolation: This form of isolation refers to the feeling a person may have because their thoughts are so unique, different, from the rest of what society deems as the norm. For example, a person born and raised in a particular religion may someday face existential isolation. This can occur if that individual begins to question concepts such as human free-will, and life as meaningless. As such, they may feel withdrawn from their “Religion, family, or society”.

Treating Existential Depression 

Unfortunately, existential depression cannot be “cured”, but it can be managed. This is because existential depression is a psychological, spiritual thought process. And so cannot change the way you think, but you can find ways to cope. So, if you believe you have someone you love who is facing existential depression, then the best method of treatment is psychotherapy.

What Is Existential Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is commonly referred to as talk therapy amongst mental health professionals. Therefore, existential psychotherapy often involves psychiatrists and counselors helping people explore themselves through philosophy. Existential therapists have trained in the art of understanding existential questions and will help individuals face their fears, anxieties, and depression.

Existential Depression: Bottom Line 

Gifted individuals and intelligent people are at most risk of facing existential depression! It is a very difficult topic to explain because it is often subjective to the person experiencing it. The famous show Rick and Morty is perhaps the best example that demonstrates existential depression.

The bottom line is that Rick—the main character, is dubbed “the most intelligent man in the Universe”. Throughout the series, he discusses various aspects of human existence, the purpose of one’s life, and death. Though he acknowledges much of his thought processes, it becomes obvious throughout the show that Rick begins to face:

  • existential aloneness
  • loss of self-identity
  • intellectual overexcitability

Existential depression is a type of depression that’s quite commonly seen in gifted adults. It is a form of depression that occurs when a person begins to question the reality of their lives, their purpose, free-will, and their insignificance.



Avoidant Attachment: A Brief Introduction

What is Attachment Theory

Attachment theory describes the ways we form bonds and relationships with other people. Our attachment style develops mostly when we are children. We form attachments through the interaction and attention we receive from the key people in our early years. These are usually our parents or our primary caregivers. It is not limited to just what happens when we are kids though. The effects of relationships and partners we have as we mature also shape and influence our attachment styles. Basically, how we experience and contribute to closeness and intimacy with others.

Secure vs. Insecure Attachment

If we have caregivers who are responsive to our needs as infants, we tend to form secure attachments and relationships. This happens when interaction is attentive, confident and takes care of our needs. The majority of people fall into this secure attachments relationship category! Insecure attachment occurs if our caregivers, parents, or attachment figures are inconsistent. Or if they have difficulties managing our behavior, we may develop insecure attachment styles and patterns. We may unconsciously start to create defensive behavior that is unhealthy. This happens, even at a very young age. We try to protect ourselves emotionally from any fear or anxiousness around not receiving the attention we need.

It is important to note there are many factors that influence people’s attachment styles. It is a complex process influenced by everyday and significant events. Trauma, and other individual and environmental conditions also affect attachment. Beware of using attachment as a blame game towards those who raised you! Serious cases of neglect or abuse aside, of course. Human beings are creatures of habit. Your parents and caregivers upbringing will have influenced their parenting styles. Parenting advice, such as how to manage the tantrums of kids during their “terrible twos”, also changes over time. Parenting and caregiving practices can also vary between different social groups. Not to mention the stressors of learning how to look after and respond to a young child or children in life. It is not easy.

There are a few categories within attachment theory. One of these is an avoidant attachment style.

What is Avoidant Attachment

The avoidant attachment style usually occurs in an infant who may have had a caregiver who was absent emotionally or physically. They may have withdrawn or been unavailable when the child needed help and support. The child then develops avoidant attachment traits who become self-reliant and independent. This is to avoid any possible feelings of rejection from an emotionally distant caregiver. They learn to stay quiet on any issues or upsets they may be facing and/or find a way to deal with things themselves rather than seeking help from others.

As an adult, if you display avoidant detachment behavior, you have learned to create ways to separate yourself from any possible fear. Or you may avoid close situations and intimacy to prevent the risks of loss or emotional hurt. Some examples of how you may do this are:

  • You may push other people away if they start to get too close. This is like a push-pull dynamic. You think you want someone around, so you pull him or her in. But then, when they are with you, you push them away. Others, especially partners, think you give mixed signals and may tell you so.
  • You may be big on boundaries. You may create physical and emotional space from others on a regular basis and avoid too much closeness or intimacy. You may not like discussing your emotions at all or allowing your friends or partners to know when you are upset.
  • You may be very independent and self-reliant, believing that you do not need others to achieve what you want in life. You may reinforce your independence with internal dialogue like “I don’t need anyone else”.
  • You may choose relationships or romantic partners that you know are not really a good match. Or they may be obviously unlikely to last any significant distance or depth. These may be very short-term, sexual relationships. Or casual flings with people who you know are also unable to commit. People with insecure attachment styles often form relationships with others with insecure styles.
  • You may find reasons why a relationship is not going to work or look for fault where there is none. You may be very critical of yourself and others in your interactions.
  • You may idealize what “perfect” romantic relationships and intimacy are. Or you may have unrealistic expectations of what a relationship or partnership should be.
  • After you finish a relationship, you may spend an extended period analyzing what happened. Then not coming up with any answers, or not acknowledging what contributed to the breakup.
  • You may think you want commitment and intimacy with people or your partner. Yet you run for the hills at any serious signs of this in your close relationships.
  • It is as if you unconsciously self-sabotage in your relationships with others and your partners.

Attachment patterns do tend to be something that is initially established when we are young. There are many factors that can affect parental and caregiving styles, attachment, and the bonds formed. This does not mean they are set in stone. We can consciously try to make healthy changes to our attachment patterns. This is particularly so as adults in relationships and partnerships with others.

There are also subtypes within avoidant attachment patterns. These incorporate aspects of the other main attachment styles.


Someone with a dismissive-avoidant attachment style will tend to disregard emotions and feelings. These may be their own and others. They may be emotionally distant from other people. They may give the impression they do not care if they, or the person they are interacting with or in a relationship with, is anxious or upset.


Anyone who is fearful avoidant may be your stereotypical love avoidant commitment freak! They dread the very idea of committing to anyone else. They may find themselves in a pattern of never getting past any casual or informal relationships. They may shy away from serious long-term commitment, closeness, or intimate relationships. Fearful-avoidant attachment styles usually develop because of fear in a person. They may be scared of repeating or reliving emotional or physical pain.


Someone with anxious-avoidant attachment is likely to overthink their interactions and relationships with others. This is also known as anxious-preoccupied attachment. They may feel they need to analyze every situation. They may be overly preoccupied with their relationships. They may create situations to get attention if they become anxious and feel ignored. Then when they do receive the attention they seek, they avoid any confrontation.

Other Types of Attachment Styles

There are four main categories of recognized attachment styles. The terms differ slightly depending on the schools of thought. Most are based around the early attachment theorist, John Bowlby. There are three categories of insecure attachments styles — avoidant, anxious and disorganized. The other is the secure attachment style.

Secure Attachment

With secure attachment, an infant learns through experience that their caregivers understand and meet their needs and emotions. They develop trust that their caregiver will respond to what they need when they need it. They feel safe and protected at all times. They will often use the caregiver as a base or anchor to further explore and grow. They are happy to come back to the caregiver to seek reassurance that everything is ok. A healthy balance of independence and dependence on others as partners in life is developed.

Anxious Attachment

Anxious attachment is also known as anxious-ambivalent attachment. This attachment style may develop when a caregiver’s attention is inconsistent and unpredictable. Sometimes the caregiver may be nurturing and responsive. Other times, they may be insensitive, invasive, or unavailable. Children may develop confusion, insecurity, and distrust of what to expect. Those with anxious attachment styles tend to be clingy and dependent on their partner. They continually hope and strive to get the attention they need. They may become worried and preoccupied with small details.

Disorganized Attachment

Disorganized, or fearful attachment styles, may develop from abusive or traumatic interaction with caregivers. Young children rely on their caregivers for their needs. They may sense a caregiver’s behavior is scary or threatening but there are no alternatives available. This can be fear of both emotional and physical discomfort. Those with disorganized attachment have often learned to disassociate and detach from their feelings in relation to other people or their partner.

Avoidant Attachment: Bottom Line

Everyone has difficulties and gets anxious from time to time from navigating the nuances of relationships. Any style of attachment is just one part of the many facets of who we are. Avoidant attachment styles do however indicate insecurities and ways of protecting yourself that are not necessarily healthy for you and others around you. Attachment disorders, including avoidant personality disorder, can result from insecurities around attachment. If you, your partner, or any of people you are in any kind of relationship with show an avoidant attachment style, seek help today.

Adult attachment styles may have been reactive patterns initially formed as children, but you can work on changing your attachment style at any time. Learning anything requires patience and time. Someone with an avoidant behavioral style can transition to a secure attachment style through cognitive behavioral therapy. Observing and learning from securely attached people who can function as working models can help. You also need time to internalize that your own emotional needs are worthy of support.


Aspergers in Adults: Symptoms & Treatments

What is Aspergers Syndrome

Aspergers Syndrome (AS) is a condition that affects people’s ability to interact socially and communicate with others. The name is from the pediatrician who first identified it in the 1940s, Hans Asperger. Aspergers in adults and children refers to a range of different behaviors and symptoms that can affect some areas of life and not others.  It first presents and develops early in childhood. There is a range of symptoms, but some main characteristics that people with Asperger Syndrome may have.  They may have a limited capacity to socialize.  They may have a tendency to focus intensely on special interests, and ritualized or repetitive behavior patterns,

Developmental Disorder

Asperger’s is a pervasive developmental disorder (PDD). That is one that starts at birth or during infancy. Developmental differences are usually picked up as kids are expected to meet “normal” milestones. These may be in use of language, movement, and behavior. A formal diagnosis of Asperger’s is often not made until children are older or young adults. Then a fuller range of symptoms can be considered.

Symptoms of Aspergers in Children

For children with Asperger’s, they may speak very little or late. They also may speak in lengthy sentences at an early age. Children with Asperger’s may seem very serious, and remote. They may not like making eye contact. They may play by themselves rather than playing games with other children. Additionally, they may have difficulties using their fine motor skills, such as holding a crayon. They may seem uncoordinated, awkward, and clumsy. Their emotions may be from one extreme to the other. They may seem flat and unaffected. Or they may seem emotional, have tantrums and difficulties with anxiety.

The exact causes of Asperger Syndrome have not been fully determined. It is understood that it results from a multi-faceted mix of genetic, neurological, and psycho-social factors. So it may be a combination of family genes, own biological chemistry, and experiences as children that all come into play.

From the mid-1990s until 2013, Asperger’s Syndrome was a separate disorder under the autism spectrum. This changed in the latest Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). It is now considered a range of symptoms within the wider Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Aspergers in Adults

Asperger’s Syndrome and any ASD conditions in adults can vary in severity and the forms it takes. Someone with Aspergers is not likely to be towards the end of the autism spectrum where someone uses little verbal communication. People with Asperger’s tend to display characteristics of high-functioning autism. Their ability to speak and use language is fine. Although their expressions and ways of speaking may differ a little from others. High functioning means that while their symptoms may affect some areas of their life, in other areas they may excel.

By the time people who have Asperger Syndrome have reached adulthood, they have may have learned to mask or manage their symptoms to a certain extent. Many adults with Aspergers have successful jobs and function across society. Many adults diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome do not receive the diagnosis when they are children. However, they may have received other mental health diagnoses such as obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, ADHD and so on.

If not diagnosed when a child, sometimes, adults with Asperger’s syndrome symptoms feel relief if they self-identify as Asperger’s or receive this diagnosis. It can give them a name and explanation about why they may feel different from others in some areas. Others may not, particularly with the current classification falling within the wider ASD diagnosis. Either way, understanding the characteristics of Asperger’s syndrome can go a long way for both the individual and those in their lives trying to gain a better understanding.

Aspergers Symptoms in Adults

To make a diagnosis of Aspergers or ASD, medical professionals consider many variables and symptoms. A doctor or psychologist will look at the combination of symptoms in a person, and also whether they have any co-existing health conditions. With this information, they are able to rule out any other mental health issues. Some of the wide range of symptoms of Aspergers in adults includes:

  • Monologues: When you are speaking with a person with Asperger’s, it may seem like a strange situation. Oftentimes, conversations are one-sided. They can often only focus on one topic of conversation. Any attempts by another person to steer the conversation to another topic, or get a word in, may be difficult. They may also speak in a monotone.
  • Intellectualization: Individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome tend to be thinkers. They collect and process facts in a reasoned way to make sense of things. They tend to think about things in a rational or black and white way. They usually like to play by the rules and follow routines. They will usually speak their mind.
  • Lack of Empathy: People with Asperger Syndrome can find it hard to understand other people’s thoughts, feelings, and emotions. They may also miss verbal and body language cues from that other person that indicate when others are upset. They may also misinterpret other what other people are feeling and saying if it isn’t presented to them in a direct and factual way.
  • Single Focused: A person with Asperger’s Syndrome may be intently focused on one topic as a hobby or their career. They will often explore every detail of a particular interest, sometimes to the point of being obsessive.
  • Lack of Short-Term Working Memory: Individuals with Asperger’s may not have good short-term working memory. This type of memory affects things like trying to multi-task. If they are distracted or need to switch between tasks, they may not remember where there were up to when they swap back. This means they may have to start again on the first task.
  • Sensory Sensitivity: Adults with Asperger Syndrome may be super sensitive to loud noises or certain tones. They may also be sensitive to very bright lights or certain smells. They can find the feeling of clothing on their skin unpleasant, especially synthetic or heavily textured fabrics.
  • Physicality: They may have difficulties with fine and/or gross motor skills. With fine motor skills, this can involve problems with writing legibly and neatly. They may find it hard to manipulate small objects such as tying shoelaces. They may seem physically uncoordinated, clumsy, or lose their balance easily.
  • Non-verbal Communication: People with Asperger Syndrome may use unusual facial expressions. This can range from avoiding eye contact with other people altogether. Or staring and gazing intently without looking away. They may have limited or inappropriate facial expressions in different social contexts. They may not recognize that they should adopt or change their expression in some situations.
  • Repetition: Individuals may have repetitive behavior, especially if they are concentrating on a task, stressed, or anxious. Repetitive body movements can include rocking back and forth, hand clapping, or toe-tapping. Or, like someone with the obsessive-compulsive disorder, they may also feel the need for order and repetition of objects in their environment. They may organize items around themselves into straight lines, by color, alphabet, or repetitive patterns.
  • Social Skills: Because adults with Asperger’s disorder can have difficulty understanding emotions in themselves and emotions of other people, they may not have good social skills. This can result in isolation and a preference to engage in solitary type activities. They do not necessarily shun social contact with other people. However, they may avoid interaction with groups of people in social situations. This also affects interpersonal relationships. They can have difficulties making close friends and forming romantic relationships.
  • Anxiety and/or Depression: Anxiety and depression in people with Asperger’s can be a part of the condition. Either can be caused by the experience of living with Asperger’s. For example, someone may become anxious and frustrated if they are unable to concentrate on a task due to being in a noisy environment. Additionally, social isolation can result in depression.

Treatment of Aspergers in Adults

Receiving a diagnosis or identifying as Asperger’s can open the door to treatment and help with learning ways to manage symptoms if needed. Treatment from health professionals that specialize in working with Asperger Syndrome in adults may include:

  • Telephone and face to face support
  • Social activities
  • Support groups

A therapist working with someone with Asperger Syndrome is likely to spend time helping the person understand his or her particular strengths and weaknesses in a non-judgmental way. They may help with strategies to help with social interaction and developing close friendships and relationships with others. A health professional may be able to teach someone with Asperger’s how they can apply their ability and skills in reasoning in situations that make them frustrated or anxious.

There is no medication or drug specifically to treat Asperger’s Syndrome. However, a medical professional is also likely to consider and evaluate the symptoms of any co-existing conditions. They may consider whether any depression and anxiety would benefit from treatment with medications in the short or long-term.

Aspergers in Adults: Bottom Line

The bottom line is that Aspergers in adults is something that will affect an individual throughout their life. However, it does not have to be debilitating. People with ASD or Asperger’s Syndrome do find ways to focus on their strengths and build careers that suit who they are, form relationships, and have families. Strategies and skills can be encouraged to manage symptoms of Aspergers in adults and support individuals, families, and communities.






INFP Careers: How To Pick The Best One For You


When you are starting your career, understanding the strengths of your personality type is a good start. The same stands if you are thinking about changing career paths. One of the popular personality tests used by employers and careers advisors is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The Myers-Brigg test looks at how you behave. It also evaluates how you prefer to make decisions and your preferences for interacting and communicating with others. The test identifies 16 personality types such as INTJ Personality. Knowing your own type indicator can help with making career choices. If you identify as an INFP, stay tuned for the best careers for an INFP!

What is INFP Personality Type

INFP personality types are usually about making the world a better place. What does INFP stand for? The letters in each of the 16 MBTI types relate to the four types of behaviors and traits you score highest in. An INFP personality is one that scores highly in Introversion, Intuition, Thinking, and Perception.

If you are an INFP personality type, you are among the ninth most common personality type. Slightly more women than men tend to be INFP personality, but the balance is fairly equal. Ironically, this is just how an INFP personality just likes all things in life to be. The characteristics of the INFP indicators are:

  • Introversion: As a personality trait, an INFP person feels more energized when they are alone or with a few close people. They are not comfortable being the center of attention in a large group or crowd. Introverts may outwardly seem quiet, reserved, and introverted, but they are often deep thinkers.
  • Intuition: The intuitive personality trait in an INFP presents as being able to see and reflect on possibilities and look to the future. They have an understanding of the bigger picture. They see how everything else fits for people as individuals and within a system and where to adjust if needed.
  • Feeling: INFP people value the social impact and implications of any decision. They will tend to go with and place a lot of value on personal or “gut” introverted feelings when making decisions. They will usually always consider other people’s points of view.
  • Perception: INFP people are very open to possibilities and new information. This personality type is flexible and if they feel they need to, they will consider and explore different options. They are very aware of non-verbal cues.

INFP Personality Traits

Some of the personality traits and strengths and weaknesses of INFP personality types are:

  • Values-Driven: Core personal values and beliefs are the drivers for INFP people. They seek meaning in situations and their personal and professional relationships. They prefer working for or towards achieving something that means something helps people or a situation than for a profit driven organization.
  • Empathy: INFPs have an innate ability to understand what is going on with and for other people. They are able to put themselves in the shoes of another person, so to speak, in order to find ways to help and support them. They are gentle, sensitive, and caring.
  • Curiosity: This personality type likes to understand who they are, and how everyone fits in the world. They like to explore all their options in life and have the independence and freedom to do so.
  • Individuality: INFPs need to be able to express and present themselves as individuals. They like to be original and do not necessarily feel the need to conform to the norm. They are accepting and encouraging of difference and individuality in others too. They tend to be non-judgmental and able to understand different perspectives and points of view.
  • Creativity: INFPs are creative and like to express themselves creatively and passionately. They often have a way with words, and an ability to write beautifully. They can also be very artistic and musical.
  • Cooperative: INFPs like to keep the peace and have a hands-on approach to working with others. Although they prefer working autonomously or with a small group of people, they are flexible and supportive of others in a team.
  • Relationships: INFPs like to have equality in all types of relationships. They communicate well with others and will usually adapt their style to whom they are interacting with. They can be quiet and reserved with people they do not know well, but are open to other people and take time to listen to others.


Within the each of the Myers Briggs personality types, subsequent researchers suggest there are two possible subtypes that underpin our overall identity. These are Assertive (A) and Turbulent (T).

  • People with Assertive subtypes lean towards being confident and self-assured. They tend to live more “in the moment”. While they are less resistant to stress, they may not focus too much on how they can improve past outcomes.
  • Those with Turbulent subtypes tend to be driven by success, but self-conscious and reflective. They are more susceptible to stress but will reflect on ways to achieve results and make improvements.

What Job is Right For Me? INFP Careers List

Are you looking for INFP careers? INFPs often change their careers as they explore who they are and what fits them best. It means a great deal to INFPs to find something they are passionate about and love. So, their job search and decision-making process can take time and exploration. Because they are often driving to contributing to a better future for humanity, they often enjoy working within the human service-oriented careers or creative arts. For those with an inferior function, they may prefer to work behind the scenes rather than on the front line. The types of careers or jobs for INFP personality include:

  • Human Services: INFPs suit roles in the human services such as counselors, therapists, and social workers of all types. This includes these the mental health sector, or the wider community. Their ability to listen and show empathy, together with a desire to help others and improve lives and social conditions are a good match for this type of work.
  • Education: Teaching roles at any stage of the lifespan can be a good fit for the INFP person and their ability to communicate with others. This includes right from early childhood, to elementary and high school, to tertiary and university level education. Their ability to understand others can also suit working in special education.
  • Creative Arts: The creative streak in INFPs means they often do well in many of the creative arts. This may include working as graphic designers and artists, musicians, or writers. Or using their analytical and writing skills as critics in these areas.
  • Sciences: Within the scientific fields, INFPs enjoy disciplines that investigate and ultimately look for ways to understand and improve the world. Bachelor’s degrees, Master’s Degrees, and INFP majors include disciplines such as anthropology, sociology, geography, archaeology, and veterinary or biological sciences can be attractive.

INFP Careers to Avoid

We all, of course, bring many personality traits to different careers and occupations that we do. Even so, there are some careers for INFPs that are usually best to avoid. INFPs are best to avoid any organization or job role that is solely profit or sales driven, they really need to have meaning in their work activities. As people who like to express their individuality and uniqueness and appreciate the same in others, they do not feel comfortable in hierarchical institutions where people hold power over others. Their individualistic streak does not go well in bureaucratic environments or the police or military.

Final Thoughts

Finding a role where you can shine and utilize your natural strengths is going to be fulfilling for any Myers-Briggs personality type. INFP types thrive in jobs where they can contribute to caring for and helping others in some way. It can take this personality type time to find the right type of work that matches their values. They need their own independence and autonomy. However, they are idealists. They can apply their creative problem-solving skills when working with other people so everyone else can strive to be their best also.


Catatonic Schizophrenia: Symptoms and Treatment

What is Catatonic Schizophrenia?

Catatonic schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder. Characterized by a person’s physical movements, it has been one of the subtypes of schizophrenia. However, not all people diagnosed with schizophrenia may display catatonic symptoms. Catatonic schizophrenia’ affects a person’s physical movement in particular. This can be to the extent that they cannot move at all. Or, they may have limited repetitive movements. Or their movement may seem excited and over exaggerated. It is a chronic, lifelong condition, but a manageable and treatable one.

Schizophrenia Definition

Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness. It distorts and affects all aspects of the way a person functions. For someone diagnosed with schizophrenia, how they think and process information can be very disorganized. Emotions may be erratic, and their behavior may seem odd to other people. They experience psychotic symptoms. It can affect a person’s ability to understand what is real

They may have visual and auditory hallucinations, hearing and seeing things that others do not. They may be delusional and paranoid. They may believe that other people are persecuting them, or out to get them. That everything around them is a conspiracy. They may withdraw away from others because of these beliefs. They may neglect their personal self-care and fail to maintain personal hygiene and nutrition. People with schizophrenia are often unable to recognize when they are unwell.

It unknown what the exact cause of schizophrenia is. However, it considered both a neurological and psychological condition. Causes of schizophrenia may be a combination of genetics, family history, and environmental situations. Most diagnoses of schizophrenia are in adults. Symptoms do not usually become apparent until early adulthood. However, there are cases of the onset of schizophrenia in younger children.

Catatonic Definition

The term catatonic describes a type of movement and overall mobility. Catatonia can range from being completely immobile to excessive. Someone experiencing catatonia may seem dazed and in a stupor. They may be unresponsive, unable to speak, and unaware of anything going on around them. Their muscles may be rigid and they may be completely immobile. Or, they may have limited slow movement and a lack of awareness of their surroundings. With excited catatonia, someone’s movements and speech may be manic, excited and repetitive.

It is important to note that catatonic type symptoms affect a range of health conditions. These include other mental health issues such as clinical depression, bipolar disorder, and catatonic syndrome. People can also experience catatonic behavior and symptoms in reaction to different types of drugs and excessive alcohol consumption. Medical conditions such as brain lesions and anti-NMDAR encephalitis can also result in catatonic symptoms. Treatment of catatonia can also use similar methods.

Symptoms of Catatonic Schizophrenia

It is important that diagnosis of any type of schizophrenia is undertaken by a qualified health professional. They will consider the catatonic symptoms in combination with other schizophrenic traits. The common symptoms or negative symptoms of catatonic schizophrenia include:


The symptoms of catatonic stupor are very low to zero physical activity and movement. A person may stay in one position for hours. They may be verbally unresponsive and unable to make eye contact. Someone with catatonic stupor may be very rigid or seem as if they are in a trance. They may not seem to hear or understand anything spoken to them. They may be completely mute and unable to speak, or only be able to give very limited verbal responses.


Symptoms of catatonic excitement are excitability and manic/agitated movements. The movement may be repetitive such as walking back and forth, in circles or other patterns. Arm and leg movements may be odd. A person may have outbursts of speech, often loudly. They may repeat the same word or phrases over, and over again.


The posture of someone with catatonic schizophrenia may be unusual and awkward whether they are sitting, lying or standing. They may be able to hold different positions that seem to defy gravity. They may stay in rigid or uncomfortable positions for long periods. Facial expressions may be unusual or grimaced.

Waxy Flexibility

This term refers to when someone else can move a catatonic person into other positions. Once moved, they will usually remain in a new position and not revert to their previous posture or movements. The term relates to the person being flexible enough to be moved, but to the person moving them they feel like wax.


Someone experiencing catatonic schizophrenia may mimic the speech and/or physical movements and mannerisms of others. This is involuntary. Called echolalia, the mirroring of someone’s speech is also found in other disorders. Single words, phrases, or the tail end of sentences are repeated and said back to the other person as they say them. Mirroring or mimicking someone’s physical movements is known as echopraxia.

Other Types of Schizophrenia

To diagnose mental disorders, including schizophrenia, clinicians usually use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). The American Psychiatric Association (APA) publishes the DSM. Under the current edition, the DSM-5, there are no subtypes. The previous subtypes are symptoms of an overall diagnosis of schizophrenia.

Many health professionals may refer to one of the subtypes referred to in previous editions of the DSM. Diagnosis of a subtype depends on the predominant symptoms present at the time of diagnosis. The symptoms are in combination with other signs of schizophrenia. Aside from catatonic schizophrenia, the other subtypes have included:

Paranoid Schizophrenia: As the name implies, the predominant symptom in someone who diagnosed this subtype is paranoia. Someone with paranoid schizophrenia is likely to have delusions and a distorted sense of reality. They are likely to experience visual and auditory hallucinations. They may believe things to be true, even if faced with evidence to show they are not.

Disorganized or hebephrenic schizophrenia: This subtype has predominant symptoms of disorganized thinking, speech, and behavior. A person with this diagnosis may have difficulty with speaking coherently and finding words to say phrases that make sense. They may have difficulty coping with basic tasks such as dressing, eating, and bathing. They may seem to have flat emotional responses or react inappropriately such as laughing during a serious situation.

Undifferentiated Schizophrenia: This is when a patient has presented a range of schizophrenic symptoms. However, none are more predominant than the others are. They may experience a range of schizophrenic symptoms including disorganized speech, thinking, behavior, catatonia, and delusions.

Residual Schizophrenia: If a person has a diagnosis of residual schizophrenia, they have reduced symptoms. They have recovered from significant symptoms they have displayed during a schizophrenic episode.

Other psychotic disorders can present with similar symptoms to schizophrenia. These include schizoaffective disorder, schizophreniform disorder, and substance-induced psychotic disorder. Symptoms and treatment methods can also overlap with overlap with associated disorders.

Catatonic Schizophrenia Diagnosis and Treatment

Because of the complexity of symptoms, it is important for a health professional to make a formal diagnosis of schizophrenia and treatment methods. They will consider both positive and negative symptoms. Positive symptoms are those not normally seen in healthy people. These include symptoms such as hallucinations, unusual physical movements, delusions and dysfunctional thinking. Negative symptoms are those that can be present in others under certain conditions. These include showing a lack of emotion, ability to speak, and withdrawal from everyday activities.


Diagnosis can take time. There is not one simple test used to make a diagnosis of catatonic schizophrenia in patients. A clinician is likely to begin first with ruling out any other medical or psychological conditions with similar symptoms. They will likely use different medical tests and criteria from the DSM and the Bush-Francis Catatonia Rating Scale.


Health professionals use a range of treatment methods to manage catatonic schizophrenia. Medication is usually the primary method of treatment of catatonic schizophrenia. Other methods utilized include ways to help patients with social skills and take care of other areas of their health.

Medication: Benzodiazepines are often the first-line treatment method with catatonic schizophrenia. They are fast acting so relieve symptoms quickly. Other medications may include antipsychotics and atypical antipsychotics, barbiturates, and antidepressants.

With any medication’s prescribed for schizophrenia, there’s a risk of dependency. A health professional will usually closely monitor patients dosage, effectiveness, and duration. Patients are also monitored for neuroleptic malignant syndrome in reaction to antipsychotic drugs.

Hospitalization: Sometimes people are admitted to hospital as patients for diagnosis and initial treatment, particularly if a patient has neglected their nutrition and hygiene or there are issues around personal safety. Hospitalization can also mean physicians can closely monitor the effectiveness of treatment options.

Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy, combined with medications, can help patients. With this treatment, they learn and implement ways to cope with the schizophrenia disorder and any stress that may trigger episodes or symptoms. This treatment can also help patients to understand the impact of thought processes, responses, and behavior when they are unwell.

Electro-Convulsive Therapy (ECT): ECT, or shock treatment, may help severe or extreme cases of catatonic schizophrenia. However, it is controversial, and not usually considered unless other treatment methods have failed.

To Sum Up

Schizophrenia is a serious and chronic condition, but it is one that can be treated and managed. If you think you are at risk or might know someone who is at risk or experiencing symptoms, seek guidance from a health professional. A person experiencing psychosis or symptoms of schizophrenia is usually unaware of the severity of their symptoms. Similarly, if they have already received a diagnosis of schizophrenia but have not been taking their medication they may not be aware of how unwell they have become. It is often up to family and friends to assist the person get the help needed. Going therapy for schizophrenia is a good way to start in helping a person with catatonic schizophrenia.