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What is eccentricity and when does it turn into a mental disorder
What is eccentricity and when does it turn into a mental disorder

Perhaps there is a disease behind the defiant behavior.

What is eccentricity and when does it turn into a mental disorder
What is eccentricity and when does it turn into a mental disorder

What is eccentricity

According to the Big Explanatory Dictionary of the Russian Language, eccentricity is strange, defiantly unusual behavior. It can be expressed in deliberately bright clothes that do not correspond to the moment. Or in non-standard habits related to communication with other people. For example, an eccentric person speaks too loudly or manneredly, does it in poetry, openly classifies interlocutors according to their own invented types ("You are a gentle kitty, and he is a watchdog!").

In the mass understanding, an eccentric person is an extraordinary, outstanding personality. It is no coincidence that this behavior is often associated with talented and even brilliant people. For example, there are legends about the eccentricity of Salvador Dali. Or Albert Einstein. Or, say, Winston Churchill.

In general, being eccentric, “not like everyone else,” even fashionable. But there is a limit beyond which bizarre behavior turns from a way of expressing itself to an unhealthy phenomenon.

When eccentricity becomes a mental disorder

Eccentric personality disorder is included in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10). But it is not described in sufficient detail.

However, there is a whole class of much more studied eccentric disorders - the so-called cluster A. It includes three types of disorders, characterized by pronounced weirdness in behavior:

  1. Paranoid.
  2. Schizoid.
  3. Schizotypal.

With the first disease, anxiety, suspicion, rancor are usually manifested, and with the second - isolation, emotional coldness. Demonstrative freakiness of behavior or appearance is inherent only in schizotypal disorder.

Experts from the American research organization Mayo Clinic list 10 signs of this disorder. Five of them are sufficient to suspect a personality disorder:

  1. Defiant behavior that is out of the ordinary.
  2. Unusual appearance. Clothes can be dirty, and their elements can fundamentally not be combined with each other.
  3. A peculiar manner of speaking, which is difficult to miss during a conversation. For example, the voice may be too high or the person may be singing words.
  4. Belief in personal supernatural abilities. For example, the patient sincerely believes that he can read the thoughts of others. Or communicate with the spirits of the dead. Or predict the future based on the sound of the wind and the movement of the stars.
  5. Experiencing unusual sensations. The person can tell that he feels the presence of someone who is actually very far away. Or supposedly he physically senses the approach of danger.
  6. Failure to adequately assess what is happening. Even minor events can be given great importance.
  7. Suspiciousness, constant doubts about the good intentions of others.
  8. Excessive and persistent social anxiety. The patient does not accept evaluations from other people, because he believes that they cannot understand him.
  9. Failure to establish a lasting and trusting relationship with someone. Friends are usually only among the immediate family.
  10. Inappropriate reactions, coldness in communication. A person may not express emotions at all or react inadequately to what is happening. For example, laugh when they usually cry.

What are the Causes of Eccentric Personality Disorder

Most often, the disorder manifests itself during adolescence or early adulthood. Where it comes from, doctors do not know exactly. It is assumed that genetics, individual characteristics of the brain, the environment, and habits learned in childhood play a role.

What to do if you suspect eccentric personality disorder

This mental breakdown can be corrected with psychotherapy or medication - for example, antidepressants.

The difficulty lies in the fact that "eccentrics", as a rule, do not consider their behavior to be corrected and are often not ready to turn to a psychotherapist. In this case, relatives or caring acquaintances are especially important. Their task is still to convince to consult a specialist.

The easiest way looks like this. A person with eccentric personality disorder regularly experiences frustration with people, anxiety attacks, and even depression. It is at such moments that you should take him by the hand and lead him to talk to a psychotherapist. The specialist will be able to establish the disorder based on the conversation and the symptoms that will be described. And then he will recommend a person therapy options that will help improve the condition.

By the way, one of the elements of psychocorrection is family and friendly support. A person with an eccentric disorder finds it easier to live when they feel loved and appreciated, supported when they fail, and celebrated their successes.