The 3 "C's" Rule - The 3 "C's" rule is a mantra for abuse victims that says: "I didn't cause it, I can't cure it and I can't control it."
The 5 Stages of Grief - The 5 Stages of Grief - Denial, Bargaining, Anger, Depression and Acceptance - were first introduced by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross to describe a process which many people go through when dealing with a significant tragedy or loss.
The 51% Rule - The 51% Rule says that we need to consider our own needs just a little more than those of others in order to be able to help them effectively.
The 50% Rule - The 50% Rule says that we are responsible for 50% of the things that happen in any relationship we share with a person who suffers from a personality disorder.
Abuse Amnesia - Abuse Amnesia is a form of cognitive suppression where an abuse victim has trouble remembering episodes where their boundaries have been violated.
Abusive Cycle - This is the name for the ongoing rotation between destructive and constructive behavior which is typical of many dysfunctional relationships and families.
AC - See Adult Children
Acting In - Acting In behavior refers to a subset of personality disorder traits that are more self-destructive than outwardly-destructive.
Acting Out - Acting Out behavior refers to a subset of personality disorder traits that are more outwardly-destructive than self-destructive.
Adult Children - An adult child is a term commonly used to describe any grown adult who was exposed to emotional, physical or sexual abuse as a child.
AFCH - Adult Family Care Home. A private home owned by an individual licensed by the state to provide supervision to mentally disabled adults.
ALF - Assisted Living Facility - A type of state-run group care home.
Alienation - The act of cutting off or interfering with an individual's relationships with others.
"Always" and "Never" Statements - "Always" and "Never" Statements are declarations containing the words "always" or "never". They are commonly used but rarely true.
Amateur Diagnosis - An Amateur Diagnosis is when a non-qualified individual confronts someone whom they suspect suffers from a personality-disorder and shares this belief with them, usually in the hope that this revelation will help to improve the relationship or the situation.
Amygdala - The Amygdala is a small region of the brain which plays a key role in emotional regulation, emotional memory and responses to emotional stimuli.
Anankastic Personality Disorder - Alternate name for Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD).
Anger (PD) - People who suffer from personality disorders often feel a sense of unresolved anger and a heightened or exaggerated perception that they have been wronged, invalidated, neglected or abused.
Anger (Non-PD) - Anger is what you feel when you don't get what you think you deserve. Non-PD's often feel a sense of anger over past abuses, an uncertain future outlook, unequal burden-sharing and persistent denial of their personal needs.
Anger Management - Anger Management is a term that describes a broad array of approaches that are on offer to assist an individual in reducing the intensity of their angry feelings or to control their outward expressions of anger.
APA (2) - American Psychological Association
ASPD - Antisocial personality disorder.
Autophobia - Self-Loathing.
AVPD - Avoidant Personality Disorder.
Axis - The American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) formerly used a 5-axis system to categorize clinical psychology. Personality disorders were included in Axis II. The five DSM axes were:
- Axis I: Major mental disorders, clinical disorders, developmental disorders and learning disabilities.
- Axis II: Underlying pervasive or personality conditions & mental retardation.
- Axis III: Medical conditions contributing to the disorder.
- Axis IV: Psychosocial and environmental factors contributing to the disorder.
- Axis V: Global Assessment of Functioning on a scale from 0 to 100.
Baiting - A provocative act used to solicit an angry, aggressive or emotional response from another individual.
Belittling, Condescending and Patronizing - This kind of speech is a passive-aggressive approach to giving someone a verbal put-down while maintaining a facade of reasonableness or friendliness.
BF - Boyfriend
BIL – Brother In Law
Bio-Mom – Biological Mother
Bio-Dad – Biological Father
Bipolar Disorder – A Mood Disorder, characterized by cycles of manic and depressed behaviors, normally lasting several months.
Bipolar I Disorder – A Mood Disorder, characterized by cycles of Manic Episodes or Mixed Episodes often alternating with Major Depressive Episodes.
Bipolar II Disorder – A Mood Disorder, characterized by cycles of Major Depressive Episodes, often alternating with HypoManic Episodes.
Blaming - The practice of identifying a person or people responsible for creating a problem, rather than identifying ways of dealing with the problem.
BM – Biological Mother
Borderline - Having, or exhibiting the characteristics of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).
Borderline Personality Disorder - A mental illness which afflicts an estimated 2% of the population.
Boundaries - Boundaries are guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates to identify for themselves what are reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave around them and how they will respond when someone steps outside those limits.
BP (1) - A person who has Borderline Personality Disorder or who appears to exhibit some of its symptoms.
BP (2) - A person who has Bi-Polar Disorder or who appears to exhibit some of its symptoms.
BPBF - Borderline Personality Boyfriend
BPD - Borderline Personality Disorder.
BPGF - Borderline Personality Girlfriend
BPH - Borderline Personality Husband
BPSO - Borderline Personality Significant Other
BPW - Borderline Personality Wife.
Bullying - Any systematic action of hurting a person from a position of relative physical, social, economic or emotional strength.
Bunny Boiling - Bunny Boiling is a reference to an iconic scene in the movie "Fatal Attraction" in which the main character Alex, who suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder, kills the family's pet rabbit and boils it on the stove. Bunny Boiling has become a popular reference to how people sometimes exhibit their rage by behaving destructively towards symbolic, important or treasured possessions or representations of those whom they wish to hurt, control or intimidate.
Bupropion - a type of antidepressant medication. Common brand names for Bupropion include Wellbutrin or Zyban.
Catastrophizing - The habit of automatically assuming a "worst case scenario" and inappropriately characterizing minor or moderate problems or issues as catastrophic events.
CBT - Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
CE - See Custody Evaluation
Chaos Manufacture - Unnecessarily creating or maintaining an environment of risk, destruction, confusion or mess.
Cheating - Sharing a romantic or intimate relationship with somebody when you are already committed to a monogamous relationship with someone else.
Child Abduction - Child Abduction is a serious, yet common occurrence when people who suffer from personality disorders become involved in a custody dispute. Approximately 82% of more than 200,000 child abductions every year are perpetrated by family members.
Choices - See Making Choices.
Chosen Relationships are marriages, partnerships or romantic relationships with someone who suffers from a personality disorder. They are called "Chosen" since they are relationships which a person chooses (or at one time chose) to participate in.
Chronic Broken Promises - Repeatedly making and then breaking commitments and promises is a common trait among people who suffer from personality disorders.
Circular Conversations - Arguments which go on almost endlessly, repeating the same patterns with no resolution.
Clarity - See Moments of Clarity.
Clean Up Rule - The Clean Up Rule says that everybody gets to clean up their own messes. It is a principal that encourages us to take responsibility for dealing with our own messes and leave other people to clean up theirs.
Cluster A Personality Disorder – The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Categorizes Personality Disorders into 3 Clusters. Cluster A (odd or eccentric disorders) includes Paranoid personality disorder, Schizoid personality disorder & Schizotypal personality disorder.
Cluster B Personality Disorder – The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Categorizes Personality Disorders into 3 Clusters. Cluster B (dramatic, emotional, or erratic disorders) includes Antisocial personality disorder, Borderline personality disorder, Histrionic personality disorder & Narcissistic personality disorder.
Cluster C Personality Disorder – The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Categorizes Personality Disorders into 3 Clusters. Cluster C (anxious or fearful disorders) includes Avoidant personality disorder, Dependent personality disorder & Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.
Codependency - A Codependency is a relationship in which an otherwise mentally-healthy person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected by an addiction or mental illness.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy - Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a structured form of therapy based on the belief that thoughts - not outside circumstances - control our feelings and behaviors and that our feelings and behaviors are consequently under our own control.
Cognitive Dissonance - A psychological term for the discomfort that most people feel when they encounter information which contradicts their existing set of beliefs or values. People who suffer from personality disorders often experience cognitive dissonance when they are confronted with evidence that their actions have hurt others or have contradicted their stated morals.
Comorbidity - Comorbidity is a psychological term used to describe the occurrence of more than one diagnosis in a single patient. Comorbidity is common in the diagnosis of psychological disorders.
Comparing - See Ranking.
Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD)- Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a psychological injury that results from prolonged exposure to social or interpersonal trauma, disempowerment, captivity or entrapment, with lack or loss of a viable escape route for the victim.
Compulsive Lying - Compulsive Lying is a term used to describe lying frequently out of habit, without much regard for the consequences to others and without having an obvious motive to lie. A compulsive liar is someone who habitually lies.
Condescend - See Belittling.
Confirmation Bias - The tendency to pay more attention to things which reinforce your beliefs than to things which contradict them.
"Control-Me" Syndrome - This describes a tendency which some people have to foster relationships with people who have a controlling narcissistic, antisocial or "acting-out" nature.
Conscience – See Lack of Conscience.
Co-parenting - Co-parenting (or Coparenting) means sharing physical or legal custody of a child when you are separated or divorced.
Cortisol – Cortisol is a hormone that is secreted by the adrenal glands and converts protein into energy. In people with personality disorders, chronic stress can cause high levels of cortisol to be released.
Court Gender Bias - Because of Court Gender Bias, in the US, a biological mother is 7 times more likely to be awarded full custody of a child than a biological father.
Cruelty to Animals - Acts of Cruelty to Animals have been statistically discovered to occur more often in people who suffer from personality disorders than in the general population.
CPS - Children's Protective Services - Government agency in several US States which investigates and acts upon reports of child abuse.
C-PTSD - Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Crazy-Making - See Gaslighting
Cum hoc ergo propter hoc - "Cum hoc ergo propter hoc" is Latin for "with this, therefore because of this" or, in other words "A and B happen at the same time, therefore A must be causing B to happen". The "cum hoc ergo propter hoc" fallacy is a common mistake in the diagnosis and treatment of medical and psychological conditions.
Custody Evaluation - A Custody Evaluation is a procedure ordered by a court in a custody case in which a professional is appointed to recommend to the judge which custody arrangement is in the best interest of the minor children.
Cyberpath – A Cyberpath is an online predator or psychopath who uses the internet to recruit, stalk, abuse or or exploit their victims. Click Here for More Info On Psychopaths and Antisocial Personality Disorder.
Cyclothymia – A "mild" form of Bipolar Disorder, characterized by cycles of hypomanic symptoms and numerous periods with depressive symptoms that do not meet criteria for a Major Depressive Episode.
DBT - Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
DARVO - Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim and Offender. See Link in shrink4men.com
DCF - Department of Children and Families - Government agency in several US States which investigates and acts upon reports of child abuse.
DD - Dear Daughter
DEAR - Describe, Express (what you want), Assert (the benefit) and Reinforce (the benefit). - The DEAR acronym was developed by pioneering BPD Researcher Dr. Marsha Linehan as an effective way to ask for something you want.
Denial - Believing or imagining that some painful or traumatic circumstance, event or memory does not exist or did not happen.
Denial of Autonomy - Denial of autonomy is a component of objectification where a person is denied the right to make decisions for themselves.
Denial of Subjectivity - Denial of subjectivity describes a condition where a person is treated as if there is no need to show concern for their feelings.
Dependency - An inappropriate and chronic reliance by an adult individual on another individual for their health, subsistence, decision making or personal and emotional well-being.
Dependent Personality Disorder (DPD) - a mental illness which results in submissive and clinging behavior, a fear of separation and an inappropriate reliance on others.
Depersonalization - A form of dissociation in which a person feels as though they are not real, that they are disconnected from themselves, and are somewhat distant or detached from what is happening to them. This maladaptive strategy is used to when abuse sufferers face overwhelming trauma they cannot escape from (as in childhood abuse).
Depression (PD) - People who suffer from personality disorders are often also diagnosed with symptoms of depression.
Depression (Non-PD) - Depression is when you feel sadder than your circumstances dictate, for longer than your circumstances last, but still can't seem to break out of it.
Derealization - A form of dissociation in which a person feels as though the world around them is not real, that they are in a dreamlike state and detached from their feelings. This maladaptive strategy is used when abuse sufferers face overwhelming trauma they cannot escape from (as in childhood abuse).
DH - Dear Husband
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy - Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is a psychosocial treatment developed for patients with borderline personality disorder which combines intensive individual and group therapy.
Dissociation- A psychological term used to describe a mental departure from reality.
Domestic Theft - Consuming or taking control of a resource or asset belonging to (or shared with) a family member, partner or spouse without first obtaining their approval.
Dishrag Dad - A Dishrag Dad is a father who lacks appropriate boundaries, thus enabling a mother with a personality disorder to abuse him and the children.
Dopamine - dopamine acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain. Increased levels of the neurotransmitters - serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine - has been found to reduce depression. This is the basis for most modern antidepressant medications.
DPD - Dependent Personality Disorder.
Drama Major - see Hysteria.
Drama Queen - see Hysteria.
DS - Dear Son
DSM - Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders- The American Psychiatric Association's published criteria for mental disorders. Currently in it's 4th revision (DSM-IV) with an additional Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR). The 5th Revision DSM-V is scheduled for release in 2013.
DSS - Department of Social Services - Government agency in several US States which investigates and acts upon reports of child abuse.
DW - Dear Wife
Dysfunctional - Unhealthy, characterized by abuse or conflict, as in a dysfunctional family or dysfunctional relationship.
Dysthymia- is a psychological term for prolonged depression, generally lasting 2 or more years.
EDD - Emotional Dysregulation Disorder. An alternate name for Borderline Personality Disorder.
EMDR - Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a psychological technique sometimes used in the treatment of post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Emotional Abuse - Any pattern of behavior directed at one individual by another which promotes in them a destructive sense of Fear, Obligation or Guilt (FOG).
Emotional Blackmail - A system of threats and punishments used in an attempt to control someone’s behaviors.
Emotional Dysregulation Disorder - Alternate name for Borderline Personality Disorder.
Emotional Elevator - See Riding The Emotional Elevator.
EIRD - Emotion-Impulse Regulation Disorder. Alternate name for Borderline Personality Disorder.
EID - Emotion Intensity Disorder. Alternate name for Borderline Personality Disorder.
Emotional Intelligence - Emotional Intelligence is the ability to recognize and regulate one's own emotions and to demonstrate empathy and social skill in dealing with the emotions of others.
Emotional Regulation Disorder (ERD) - Alternate name for Borderline Personality Disorder.
Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD) - Alternate name for Borderline Personality Disorder.
Emotion-Impulse Regulation Disorder (EIRD) - Alternate name for Borderline Personality Disorder.
Emotion Intensity Disorder (EID) - Alternate name for Borderline Personality Disorder.
Emptiness - See Feelings of Emptiness.
Enabler - A person who habitually attempts to placate another by sacrificing their own or other family members needs in a misguided attempt to keep the peace.
Enabling - Enabling is a pattern of behavior, often adopted by abuse victims, which seeks to avoid confrontation and conflict by absorbing the abuse without challenging it or setting boundaries. The perpetrator of the abuse is thus "enabled" to continue their pattern of behavior.
En-Bro - A brother who acts as an enabler towards a disordered family member.
En-Dad - A father who acts as an enabler in a family.
Engulfment - An unhealthy and overwhelming level of attention and dependency on another person, which comes from imagining or believing one exists only within the context of that relationship.
En-Mom - A mother who acts as an enabler in the family.
En-Sis - A sister who acts as an enabler in the family.
ERD - Emotional Regulation Disorder.
ETOH - Alcohol (Shorthand form of Ethanol, or Ethyl Alcohol)
EUPD - Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder - Another name for Borderline Personality Disorder.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) - a psychological technique sometimes used in the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
False Accusations - Patterns of unwarranted or exaggerated criticism directed towards someone else.
Family of Choice (FOC) – The family a person chooses to be with.
Family of Origin (FOO) – The family that a person was born or raised in.
Favoritism - Favoritism is the practice of systematically giving positive, preferential treatment to one child, subordinate or associate among a family or group of peers.
Fear of Abandonment - An irrational belief that one is imminent danger of being personally rejected, discarded or replaced.
Feelings Create Facts - See Dissociation.
Feelings of Emptiness - An acute, chronic sense that daily life has little worth or significance, leading to an impulsive appetite for strong physical sensations and dramatic relationship experiences.
FIL – Father In Law
Finding an Attorney - Finding an attorney who knows how to handle cases involving people who suffer from personality disorders is crucial. This article explores some of the things you should consider if you are looking for an attorney.
Fix-It Syndrome - Fix-It Syndrome is when a non-personality-disordered individual frequently puts themselves in the position of a caretaker who is responsible for compensating for their personality-disordered loved-one's behaviors, cleaning up any messes created by their actions and fixing any problems arising from their mental health issues.
Fleas - When a non-personality-disordered individual (Non-PD) begins imitating or emulating some of the disordered behavior of a loved one or family member with a personality disorder this is sometimes referred to as "getting fleas".
Flying Monkeys - An iconic scene from The Wizard of Oz when the Wicked Witch sends a troupe of Flying Monkeys in pursuit of Dorothy. The term Flying Monkeys has evolved to represent any proxy recruited by an abusive person to assist them in controlling their victim.
FOG - Fear, Obligation & Guilt - The acronym FOG, for Fear, Obligation and Guilt, was first coined by Susan Forward & Donna Frazier in Emotional Blackmail and describes feelings that a person often has when in a relationship with someone who suffers from a personality disorder. Our website, Out of the FOG, is named after this acronym.
FOO - Family of Origin – The family that a person was born or raised in.
Frivolous Litigation - The use of unmerited legal proceedings to hurt, harass or gain an economic advantage over an individual or organization.
Fungibility - Fungibility describes a condition where one person is treated as if they are dispensable or can be traded or discarded by another person.
GAD - Generalized Anxiety Disorder- An Axis I Anxiety Disorder described in the American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic & Statistical Manual (DSM)
GAL - See Guardian ad litem
Gaslighting - The practice of brainwashing or convincing a mentally healthy individual that they are going insane or that their understanding of reality is mistaken or false. The term “Gaslighting” is based on the 1944 MGM movie “Gaslight”.
GF - Girlfriend
Gray Rock - An approach to avoiding domestic conflict by trying to be as unremarkable as possible.
Grooming - Grooming is the predatory act of maneuvering another individual into a position that makes them more isolated, dependent, likely to trust, and more vulnerable to abusive behavior.
Guardian ad litem - A Guardian ad litem is a professional (often an attorney or social worker) appointed by a court to represent a child's interests in a legal proceeding or custody dispute. The Latin term ad litem literally means "for the trial" or "for the proceeding"
H - Husband
Harassment - Any sustained or chronic pattern of unwelcome behavior by one individual towards another.
Hermit - One of the four BPD types (Hermit, Waif, Queen Witch) as defined in Christine Ann Lawson's book "Understanding the Borderline Mother". The Hermit describes the mother who withdraws from the world from fear of being hurt.
High-Functioning - A High-Functioning Personality-Disordered Individual is one who is able to conceal their dysfunctional behavior in certain public settings and maintain a positive public or professional profile while exposing their negative traits to family members behind closed doors.
Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD) - Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD) is a mental illness which is characterized by a pattern of excessively dramatic, emotional, over-reactive or attention-seeking behavior, an excessive need for approval or inappropriate seductiveness. The term "Histrionic" comes from the Latin for "actor".
Histrionic Sabotage - Histrionic Sabotage is any action designed to hurt or damage the interests of another person or group for the purpose of drawing attention to oneself or to earn a reputation.
Hoarding - Accumulating items to an extent that it becomes detrimental to quality of lifestyle, comfort, security or hygiene.
Holiday Triggers - Mood Swings in Personality-Disordered individuals are often triggered or amplified by emotional events such as family holidays, significant anniversaries and events which trigger emotional memories.
Hoovers & Hoovering - A Hoover is a metaphor taken from the popular brand of vacuum cleaners, to describe how an abuse victim trying to assert their own rights by leaving or limiting contact in a dysfunctional relationship, gets “sucked back in” when the perpetrator temporarily exhibits improved or desirable behavior.
Hostile Aggressive Parenting - Hostile Aggressive Parenting (HAP), also known as Parental Alienation, is a term which is used to describe the process of one divorced parent inappropriately influencing a child into thinking that the other parent is bad, evil or worthless.
HPD - Histrionic Personality Disorder.
Hypomanic Episode - A distinct period of persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood, lasting throughout at least 4 days, that is clearly different from the usual non-depressed mood, common in Bipolar II Disorder.
Hysteria - An inappropriate over-reaction to bad news or disappointments, which diverts attention away from the real problem and towards the person who is having the reaction.
IC - Individual Counseling.
ICD - International Classification of Diseases - World Health Organization (WHO) system for classifying physical and mental disorders of which ICD-10 is the most recent (1992).
Ideation - Ideation is a psychological term meaning thoughts and ideas. Most commonly used in the context of Suicidal Ideation.
Identity Disturbance - A psychological term used to describe a distorted or inconsistent self-view
IL's - In-laws
IMO - In My Opinion
IMHO - In My Humble Opinion
Imposed Isolation - When abuse results in a person becoming isolated from their support network, including friends and family.
Impulsiveness - The tendency to act or speak based on current feelings rather than logical reasoning.
Impulsive Personality Disorder (IPD) - Alternate name for Borderline Personality Disorder as defined by the Chinese Society of Psychiatry's CCMD.
Inertness - An assumption of Inertness is an aspect of Objectification when a person is treated as if they lack the capacity to act for themselves.
Infantilization - Treating a child as if they are much younger than their actual age.
Instrumentality - Instrumentality is an aspect of Objectification where a person is treated like a tool for another's own purposes.
Intermittent Reinforcement - Intermittent Reinforcement is when rules, rewards or personal boundaries are handed out or enforced inconsistently and occasionally. This usually encourages another person to keep pushing until they get what they want from you without changing their own behavior.
Intimidation - Any form of veiled, hidden, indirect or non-verbal threat.
Invalidation - The creation or promotion of an environment which encourages an individual to believe that their thoughts, beliefs, values or physical presence are inferior, flawed, problematic or worthless.
Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) - Intimate Partner Violence is any kind of physical, emotional or verbal abuse perpetrated by one domestic partner on another.
IPD - Impulsive Personality Disorder - Alternate name for Borderline Personality Disorder.
IPDE - International Personality Disorder Examination - The IPDE is a standardized interview of 537 questions used for screening of candidates for personality disorders. The IPDE uses the DSM-IV-TR and ICD-10 criteria and includes a 77 question true/false pre-screener evaluation.
Isolation - See Imposed Isolation.
JADE - Justify, Argue, Defend, Explain. To avoid circular conversations, don't Justify, Argue, Defend, or Explain.
Jealousy - See Fear of Abandonment.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is an 1886 book written by Robert Louis Stevenson which has been adapted into numerous movies and stage productions. The story portrays the mild-mannered Doctor Henry Jekyll, who unleashes his monstrous alternate identity, Edward Hyde, by taking a chemical potion.
Journaling - a technique of writing down whatever thoughts and feelings come to mind on a topic without taking a break, stopping to think or slowing down to correct spelling & punctuation.
Kansas - "The Wizard of Oz" is a 1944 movie starring Judy Garland which is sometimes used as a metaphor to describe the disconnect between the dissociated reality of the personality-disordered individual (Oz) and the real world experienced by the Non-PD (Kansas). The metaphor is based on the iconic phrase: "Toto - I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more".
L - Lawyer (an Attorney) - See Finding An Attorney.
Labeling - See Name Calling.
Lack of Conscience - Individuals who suffer from Personality Disorders are often preoccupied with their own agendas, sometimes to the exclusion of the needs and concerns of others. This is sometimes interpreted by others as a lack of moral conscience.
Lack of Object Constancy - An inability to remember that people or objects are consistent, trustworthy and reliable, especially when they are out of your immediate field of vision.
LC – Limited Contact – Curtailing most forms of non-essential correspondence, communication and personal contact with a disordered loved one or family member for one’s own protection.
Learned Helplessness- Learned helplessness is when a person begins to believe that they have no control over a situation, even when they do.
Leaving Checklist - The Leaving Checklist is a list of things to prepare and things to consider before, during and after separating from a person who suffers from a personality disorder.
Lies, Liars, Lying – There are several distinct kinds of Lying including White Lying, Selfish Lying, Compulsive Lying, Dissociative Lying and Pathological Lying.
Limited Contact – Curtailing most forms of non-essential correspondence, communication and personal contact with a disordered loved one or family member for one’s own protection.
Lightbulb Moment - A Lightbulb Moment is the description many non-personality-disordered individuals use when they first discover the existence of personality disorders. For the first time, they have discovered a plausible explanation for the strange and frightening behaviors of a loved-one or family member who suffers from a personality disorder and learn that their situation is not uncommon. It is as if a light were just turned on.
Lose-Lose Scenarios - No-Win and Lose-Lose Scenarios are situations commonly created by people who suffer from personality disorders where they present two bad options to someone close to them and pressure them into choosing between the two. This usually leaves the non-personality-disordered person with a "damned if you do and damned if you don't" feeling.
Low-Functioning - A Low-Functioning Personality-Disordered Individual is one who is unable to conceal their dysfunctional behavior from public view or maintain a positive public or professional profile.
Low Self-Esteem - A common name for a negatively-distorted self-view which is inconsistent with reality.
Major Depressive Episode - A distinct period of depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure lasting 2 weeks or more, common among people who suffer from Bipolar Disorder.
Make Good Choices - Although it may seem like an obvious statement to make, it is important to devote our energy to making good choices, which we can control, and spend less energy worrying about circumstances, which we can't control.
Magical Thinking - Looking for supernatural connections between external events and one’s own thoughts, words and actions.
Manic Episode - A distinct period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood, lasting at least 1 week, common among people who suffer from Bipolar Disorder.
Manipulation - The practice of steering an individual into a desired behavior for the purpose of achieving a hidden personal goal.
MAOI - Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor - a category of strong antidepressant medications, normally reserved for severe cases because of their associated side effects.
Masking - Covering up one's own natural outward appearance, mannerisms and speech in dramatic and inconsistent ways depending on the situation.
MBP - Munchausen By Proxy Syndrome.
MBPS - Munchausen By Proxy Syndrome.
MC (1) - Marriage Counseling.
MC (2) - Medium Chill.
Medications - While no medications are known to cure personality disorders, a number of pharmaceutical medications are commonly prescribed to mitigate symptoms.
Medium Chill - A technique used to disengage oneself from another person's drama when direct contact is unavoidable.
Messes - See Clean Up Rule.
MHP - Mental Health Professional
MHW - Mental Health Ward
MIL - Mother In Law
Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) - a psychological test commonly performed in custody evaluations to evaluate the psychological characteristics of the divorcing parents.
Mirroring - Imitating or copying another person's characteristics, behaviors or traits.
Mixed Episode - For people who suffer from Bipolar Disorder, a period during which the criteria are met for both a Manic Episode and for a Major Depressive Episode.
MMPI - Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory - a psychological test commonly performed in custody evaluations to evaluate the psychological characteristics of the divorcing parents.
Mocking - See Targeted Humor.
Moments of Clarity - Spontaneous periods when a person with a Personality Disorder becomes more objective and tries to make amends.
Mood Swings - Unpredictable, rapid, dramatic emotional cycles which cannot be readily explained by changes in external circumstances.
MPD - Multiple Personality Disorder - old name for Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). MPD is no longer recognized as a Personality Disorder by the APA.
Multiple Personality Disorder - old name for Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). MPD is no longer recognized as a Personality Disorder by the APA.
Munchausen's and Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome - A disorder in which an individual repeatedly fakes or exaggerates medical symptoms in order to manipulate the attentions of medical professionals or caregivers.
My Stuff/Your Stuff - My Stuff/Your Stuff is a thought technique of reminding yourself to separate what is really your responsibility, your concern and under your control and what is a personality-disordered individual's responsibility, concern and under their control.
Name-Calling - Use of profane, derogatory or dehumanizing terminology to describe another individual or group.
NAMI - National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest organization for people with mental illness and their families.
Narcissism - A set of behaviors characterized by a pattern of grandiosity, self-centered focus, need for admiration, self-serving attitude and a lack of empathy or consideration for others.
Narcissist - A person who behaves with a pattern of selfishness, grandiosity, need for admiration, self-focus and a lack of empathy or consideration toward others. The name comes from the Greek Mythological Character Narcissus, who rejected love from others and fell in love with his own reflection in the water.
Narcissistic - Behavior characterized by a pattern of selfishness, grandiosity, need for admiration, self-focus and a lack of empathy or consideration toward others. The name comes from the Greek Mythological Character Narcissus, who rejected love from others and fell in love with his own reflection in the water.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder - A mental illness characterized by pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and a lack of empathy or consideration toward others.
Narcissistic Sabotage - Narcissistic Sabotage is any action designed to hurt, or damage the interests of another person or group for the purpose of making a direct, personal gain.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) - US organization for people with mental illness and their families. NAMI operates a website, help line, education programs, support groups & advocacy.
National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder (NEA-BPD) - Organization formed to raise public awareness, provide education, promote research and enhance the quality of life of those affected by BPD.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) - US Government-funded scientific organization dedicated to research focused on the understanding, treatment, and prevention of mental disorders and the promotion of mental health.
NEA-BPD - National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder. Organization formed to raise public awareness, provide education, promote research and enhance the quality of life of those affected by BPD.
Neglect - A passive form of abuse in which the physical or emotional needs of a dependent are disregarded or ignored by the person responsible for them.
NC - No Contact.
NIMH - National Institute of Mental Health - US Government-funded scientific organization dedicated to research focused on the understanding, treatment, and prevention of mental disorders and the promotion of mental health.
No Contact (NC) - Going "No Contact" means cutting off all forms of correspondence, communication and personal contact with a person who suffers from a personality disorder in order to protect yourself from recurring abuse.
Non - A Non (or Non-PD) is any person who has a family member, or is in a relationship with, a person who suffers from a personality disorder.
Non-BP - a person who cares about or is in a relationship with a person who suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).
Non-Non - a person who is in a relationship with a Non-Personality-Disordered Individual. Typically, a Non-Non is a person who moves in with or marries a divorced or separated Non and inherits some of the issues of dealing with their personality-disordered ex-spouse or parent.
Non-PD - A Non (or Non-PD) is any person who has a family member, or is in a relationship with, a person who suffers from a personality disorder.
Nook - A support site for Non-PD's which was a predecessor of this site. Closed in 2007.
Norepinephrine- norepinephrine acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain. Increased levels of the neurotransmitters - serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine - has been found to reduce depression. This is the basis for most modern antidepressant medications.
Normalizing - Normalizing is a tactic used to desensitize an individual to abusive, coercive or inappropriate behaviors. In essence, normalizing is the manipulation of another human being to get them to agree to, or accept something that is in conflict with the law, social norms or their own basic code of behavior.
"Not My Fault" Syndrome - The practice of avoiding personal responsibility for one's own words and actions.
No-Win Scenarios - When you are manipulated into choosing between two bad options
NPD - Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
Obedience - An academic study and movie which demonstrated that most people are prone to doing something they do not want to do, even something they would normally regard as "wrong", just because they are told to do it by an assertive or authoritative person.
Object Constancy - See Lack of Object Constancy.
Objectification - The practice of treating a person or a group of people like an object.
Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior - An inflexible adherence to arbitrary rules and systems, or an illogical adherence to cleanliness and orderly structure.
OCD - Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
OCPD - Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder.
OOTF - Out of the FOG - This support site.
OOTS - Out of the Storm, our sister site - dedicated to providing information and support to those who suffer from Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Out of the Storm - our sister site - dedicated to providing information and support to those who suffer from Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Over-Reacting - See Hysteria.
Ownership - Ownership describes an aspect of objectification where one person is treated as if they are owned by, or is a slave to, the other person.
Oz - "The Wizard of Oz" is a 1944 movie starring Judy Garland which is sometimes used as a metaphor to describe the disconnect between the dissociated reality of the personality-disordered individual (Oz) and the real world experienced by the Non-PD (Kansas). The metaphor is based on the iconic phrase: "Toto - I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more".
Painted Black – To be "split" - or temporarily regarded or accused by a person as being "all bad".
Painted White – To be "split" - or temporarily regarded by a person who is splitting as being "all good".
Parallel Parenting - Parallel Parenting is a form of parenting in which a divorced couple assume or are assigned specific parental duties while minimizing or eliminating contact with each other, thus minimizing exposure of the children to potential conflict.
Paranoid Personality Disorder (PPD) - a serious mental health condition in which the sufferer has a chronic mistrust of friends, strangers and authority figures.
Parental Alienation Syndrome - When a separated parent convinces their child that the other parent is bad, evil or worthless.
Parentification - A form of role reversal, in which a child is inappropriately given the role of meeting the emotional or physical needs of the parent or of the family’s other children.
PAS – Parental Alienation Syndrome.
Passive-Aggressive Behavior - Expressing negative feelings in an unassertive, passive way.
Pathology – A Pathology is a psychological term for an abnormal or unhealthy mental condition.
Pathological – Pathological is a psychological term meaning "abnormal" or "unhealthy".
Pathological Liar - See Pathological Lying
Pathological Lying - Persistent deception by an individual to serve their own interests and needs with little or no regard to the needs and concerns of others. A pathological liar is a person who habitually lies to serve their own needs.
Patronize - See Belittling.
Paxil -an SSRI antidepressant medication. SSRI's are the most commonly prescribed antidepressants.
PD - Personality Disorder.
PDAN - Personality Disorders Awareness Network - A non-profit organization dedicated to supporting projects that help children, families, and others understand and cope with Borderline Personality Disorder".
PDI - Personality-Disordered Individual - a person who suffers from a personality disorder.
PD-NOS - Personality Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified is a catch-all diagnosis in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic & Statistical Manual (DSM) for those who exhibit specific traits of personality disorders but who do not fit neatly into the other personality diagnoses.
PE - See Psychological Evaluation
Perfectionism - The maladaptive practice of holding oneself or others to an unrealistic, unattainable or unsustainable standard of organization, order, or accomplishment in one particular area of living, while sometimes neglecting common standards of organization, order or accomplishment in other areas of living.
Personal Safety - Personal Safety is a list of actions that are designed to keep situations from escalating and to make sure that Physical, Emotional and Verbal abuse is avoided or stopped at the first moment it begins to happen. It contains ideas on when to stop the conversation, when to leave the room and when to call the police.
Physical Abuse - Any form of voluntary behavior by one individual which inflicts pain, disease or discomfort on another, or deprives them of necessary health, nutrition and comfort.
Placebo Effect - The Placebo Effect is when a medical patient is given a "placebo" or fake medicine - one in which there is no ingredient known to have any effect on their stated medical condition, but the patient, believing that the medicine is real, starts to feel better or reports an improvement in their symptoms.
Playing the Victim - See Self Victimization.
Post hoc ergo propter hoc - The "Post hoc ergo propter hoc" fallacy is a common mistake in the diagnosis and treatment of medical and psychological conditions. "Post hoc ergo propter hoc" is Latin for "After this, therefore because of this" or in other words "If A happened then B happened, then A must have caused B to happen".
PPD - Paranoid personality disorder.
Projection - The act of attributing one's own feelings or traits to another person and imagining or believing that the other person has those same feelings or traits.
Provocation - See Baiting.
Professional Avoidance - Professional Avoidance of Individuals who suffer from Personality Disorders describes a common reluctance among mental health providers to diagnose or treat individuals whom they suspect may suffer from a personality disorder.
Proxy Recruitment - A way of controlling or abusing another person by manipulating other people into unwittingly backing “doing the dirty work”
Psychological Evaluation - A Psychological Evaluation is a procedure, typically carried out as part of a court proceeding, in which a mental health professional is appointed by the court to determine a diagnosis or label for a person's psychology, behavior or personality and to make recommendations which a judge can take into account when making a ruling.
PTSD - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Push-Pull - A chronic pattern of sabotaging and re-establishing closeness in a relationship without appropriate cause or reason.
Put Children First - Put Children First means making decisions based on "what is in the best interests of the children", regardless of the consequences for the parents and any other parties involved.
PUVAS - Pay attention, Understand, Validate, Assert, Shift/Share responsibility - The PUVAS Acronym was created by Paul Mason and Randi Kreger in the book:"Stop Walking on Eggshells" as a method of responding to rages or outbursts.
Queen - One of the four BPD types (Hermit, Waif, Queen Witch) as defined in Christine Ann Lawson's ground breaking book "Understanding the Borderline Mother". The Queen describes the mother who seeks ultimate control over others in the family.
Raging, Violence and Impulsive Aggression - Explosive verbal, physical or emotional elevations of a dispute. Rages threaten the security or safety of another individual and violate their personal boundaries.
Ranking and Comparing - Drawing unnecessary and inappropriate comparisons between individuals or groups.
RCE - Registered Custody Evaluator - a person appointed by the court in a custody case to recommend to the judge which custody arrangement is in the best interests of the children.
Recovery - Recovery is a term broadly used to describe proactive self-management & mitigation of symptoms by a personality-disordered individual.
Relationship Hyper Vigilance - Maintaining an unhealthy level of interest in the behaviors, comments, thoughts and interests of others.
Rescuer Syndrome - Rescuer Syndrome is when a non-personality-disordered individual assumes that their own strength, skill and knowledge are adequate to compensate for a personality-disordered individual's behavioral issues.
Ridicule - See Targeted Humor.
Riding the Emotional Elevator - Taking a fast track to different levels of emotional maturity.
RTC - Residential Treatment Center - a live-in therapy/behavior modification facility for adolescents. Some RTC's are lock-down facilities.
Rules of Relationships - Rules of Relationships are a series of ideas for non-personality-disordered individuals to consider when thinking about getting involved in romantic relationships.
Sabotage - The spontaneous disruption of calm or status quo in order to serve a personal interest, provoke a conflict or draw attention.
SAD - Seasonal Affective Disorder - A condition in which the sufferer becomes depressed during a particular season - usually winter. Common in extreme Northern & Southern Latitudes
Sandwiching - Sandwiching is surrounding a negative statement or criticism with two positive statements before and after.
Sarcasm - See Targeted Humor.
Scapegoating - Singling out one child, employee or member of a group of peers for unmerited negative treatment or blame.
Schizoid Personality Disorder (SPD) - Schizoid personality disorder manifests itself as a chronic lack of emotion, lack of interest in relationships with others and a lack of motivation or ambition.
Schizotypal Personality Disorder (STPD) - Schizotypal Personality Disorder is listed in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic & Statistical Manual as a Cluster A (odd or eccentric) Personality Disorder.
SCID-II - Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis II Personality Disorders - a standardized instrument for diagnoses of the 10 DSM-IV Axis II personality disorders, plus Depressive Personality Disorder, Passive-aggressive Personality Disorder, and "Personality Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified".
SD - Step Daughter
Selective Amnesia - See Selective Memory.
Selective Competence - Demonstrating different levels of intelligence, memory, resourcefulness, strength or competence depending on the situation or environment.
Selective Memory and Selective Amnesia - The use of memory, or a lack of memory, which is selective to the point of reinforcing a bias, belief or desired outcome.
Self-Aggrandizement - A pattern of pompous behavior, boasting, narcissism or competitiveness designed to create an appearance of superiority.
Self-Harm - Any form of deliberate, premeditated injury, such as cutting, poisoning or overdosing, inflicted on oneself.
Self-Loathing - An extreme hatred of one's own self, actions or one's ethnic or demographic background.
Self-Victimization - Casting oneself in the role of a victim.
Sense of Entitlement - An unrealistic, unmerited or inappropriate expectation of favorable living conditions and favorable treatment at the hands of others.
Serotonin - Serotonin acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain. Increased levels of the neurotransmitters - serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine - has been found to reduce depression. This is the basis for most modern antidepressant medications.
SET - Support, Empathy, Truth - System for communicating with people who suffer from BPD recommended in the book "I Hate You, Don't Leave Me" by Jerold Kriesman.
Sexual Allegations in Divorce (SAID) - Sexual Allegations In Divorce (SAID) is a common occurrence in disputed child custody cases in which one parent makes false or exaggerated claims about sexual abuse of a minor child at the hands of the other parent.
Sexual Objectification - Viewing another individual in terms of their sexual usefulness or attractiveness rather than pursuing or engaging in a quality interpersonal relationship with them.
SH - Self-Harm.
Shaming - The difference between blaming and shaming is that in blaming someone tells you that youdid something bad, in shaming someone tells you that you are something bad.
SI - Self-Injury
SIL - Sister In Law
Silent Treatment - A passive-aggressive form of emotional abuse in which displeasure, disapproval and contempt is exhibited through nonverbal gestures while maintaining verbal silence.
Situational Ethics - A philosophy which promotes the idea that, when dealing with a crisis, the end justifies the means and that a rigid interpretation of rules and laws can be set aside if a greater good or lesser evil is served by doing so.
Sleep Deprivation - The practice of routinely interrupting, impeding or restricting another person's sleep cycle.
Smear Campaign - A series of false accusations.
SNRI -Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor - a type of antidepressant. Commonly prescribed SNRI's include Effexor and Cymbalta.
SO - Significant Other
SPD - Schizoid Personality Disorder.
Splitting - The practice of regarding people and situations as either completely "good" or completely "bad".
Split Black - When a person is temporarily regarded as "all bad" they are referred to as "split black".
Split Personality - Common term used to describe people who exhibit Dissociation.
Split White - When a person is temporarily regarded as "all good" they are referred to as "split white".
SS - Step Son
SSRI - Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, are the most commonly prescribed antidepressants for people who suffer from personality disorders. Popular SSRI's include Celexa, Lexapro, Prozac, Paxil, & Zoloft.
Stalking - Any pervasive and unwelcome pattern of pursuing contact with another individual.
Stinkin' Thinkin' - The Ten Forms of Twisted Thinking - a popular list of common negative thought patterns from The Feeling Good Handbook, by David D. Burns, M.D.
Stockholm Syndrome - Stockholm Syndrome is when a hostage, kidnap victim or abuse victim develops a sense of loyalty or co-operation towards their captor or abuser, disregarding the abuse or the danger and protecting or sustaining the perpetrator.
STBX - Soon-To-Be-Ex
STBXH - Soon-To-Be-Ex Husband
STBXW - Soon-To-Be-Ex Wife
STBXBPH - Soon-To-Be-Ex Borderline Personality Husband
STBXBPW - Soon-To-Be-Ex Borderline Personality Wife
STPD - Schizotypal Personality Disorder.
Stunted Emotional Growth - A difficulty, reluctance or inability to learn from mistakes, work on self-improvement or develop more effective coping strategies.
Suicidal Ideation - Suicidal thoughts.
Support Forum - The Out of the FOG Support Forum is an online message board and support group where you can talk to others who are in a similar situation as yourself, learn and get help from others in our online community.
SWOE - Stop Walking on Eggshells a book by Paul Mason & Randi Kreger, 1998 New Harbinger Publications, Inc.
T - Therapy or Therapist.
Talking To Kids - How to talk to your children about the personality-disordered behaviors of other adults in the family.
Targeted Humor, Mocking and Sarcasm - Any sustained pattern of joking, sarcasm or mockery which is designed to reduce another individual’s reputation in their own eyes or in the eyes of others.
Testing - Repeatedly forcing another individual to demonstrate or prove their love or commitment to a relationship.
Therapy - Therapy is a term used to describe a wide variety of interactive programs offered by mental health professionals to mitigate personality disorder symptoms.
Thought Policing - Any process of trying to question, control, or unduly influence another person's thoughts or feelings.
Threats - Inappropriate, intentional warnings of destructive actions or consequences.
Time Out - A Time-Out is a decision to temporarily disengage from an argument, conversation, interpersonal situation or conflict.
Top 100 Traits - The Top 100 Traits is a list of behaviors you might encounter when you are living in a relationship with a person who suffers from a personality disorder. Each section includes examples, descriptions of what it feels like and good and bad ideas for coping with difficult or challenging behaviors.
Triangulation - Gaining an advantage over perceived rivals by manipulating them into conflicts with each other.
Tricyclics - a category of potent antidepressant medication, normally reserved for severe cases.
Triggering -Small, insignificant or minor actions, statements or events that produce a dramatic or inappropriate response.
Tunnel Vision - The habit or tendency to only see or focus on a single priority while neglecting or ignoring other important priorities.
U - Undiagnosed
uBP - Undiagnosed person who has Borderline Personality Disorder or who appears to exhibit some of its symptoms
uASPD - Undiagnosed person who has Antisocial Personality Disorder or who appears to exhibit some of its symptoms.
uBPD - Undiagnosed person who suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) or exhibits some of its symptoms.
uDPD - Undiagnosed person who suffers from Dependent Personality Disorder (DPD) or appears to exhibit some of its symptoms.
uHPD - Undiagnosed person who suffers from Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD) or exhibits some of its symptoms.
Unchosen - Unchosen's are people who are in a family relationship with a person who suffers from a personality disorder. They are called "unchosen" because they had no choice in entering into that relationship. Unchosen's include children, parents, siblings or relatives of a person who suffers from a personality disorder.
uNPD - Undiagnosed person who suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) or appears to exhibit some of its symptoms.
uPPD - Undiagnosed person who suffers from Paranoid Personality Disorder (PPD) or exhibits some of its symptoms.
uSTBXBPH - Undiagnosed Soon-To-Be-Ex Borderline Personality Husband.
uSTBXBPW - Undiagnosed Soon-To-Be-Ex Borderline Personality Wife
UTBM - "Understanding The Borderline Mother" - a popular book by author Christine Lawson.
Validation - Validation is the process of actively listening to a person as they describe their feelings, echoing back their stated emotions and responding that their feelings are their own property, are legitimate and have value.
Verbal Abuse - Any kind of repeated pattern of inappropriate, derogatory or threatening speech directed at one individual by another.
Violability - describes an aspect of Objectification where one person is treats another person harshly as though it is ok to hurt, or destroy them.
W - Wife
Waif - One of the four BPD types (Hermit, Waif, Queen Witch) as defined in Christine Ann Lawson's ground breaking book "Understanding the Borderline Mother". The Waif describes the mother who casts herself as a helpless victim.
Witch - One of the four BPD types (Hermit, Waif, Queen Witch) as defined in Christine Ann Lawson's ground breaking book "Understanding the Borderline Mother". The Witch describes the mother who takes pleasure in hurting others in the family.
Work on Yourself - Work on Yourself means taking your energy, time and focus off of the personality-disordered individual in your life and restoring a more healthy balance where you spend an appropriate amount of time on improving your own situation, regardless of what the person who suffers from the personality disorder does.
X - Abbreviation for Ex - as in ex-husband or ex-wife
XH - Ex-Husband
XW - Ex-Wife
XBF - Ex-Boyfriend
XGF - Ex-Girlfriend
Yippee - there are no personality disorder terms that start with a 'Y'
ZZZ - Snoring - what you should be doing if you read this entire glossary.