Making Sense of Madness: Personality Disorders and Mass Formation Delusions

Dr. Keith Witt Cognitive, Defenses, Intrapersonal, Perspectives, Psychology, Video, Witt & Wisdom: Live with Dr. Keith

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Dr. Keith and Corey explore an Integral understanding of personality disorders, and how they fit into the mass formation distortions that currently seem to be happening all around us in our culture.

According to Keith, personality disorders are characterized by people being distressed by the consequences of their problems — social disapproval, depression, anxiety, frustration with others, or chronic failure — rather than the cause of their problems — pervasive and enduring aspects of their personalities where they only have one way to be, and that way produces drama instead of solving problems.

Examples are:

Narcissism: Feeding your image at expense of the self and objectifying others for gratification.

Paranoia: Chronic suspicion of the people around us, sometimes even our own friends and family.

Borderline personality disorder: Erratic and unstable cycles of love/hate

Anti-social personality disorder: Refusal to honor agreements, often accompanied by constant manipulation of people in our lives.

Mass formation delusions — defined as “an entire group, an entire population, all at the same time losing their rational faculties, being unable to think, acting as a herd” — create similar states among groups of people, supported by cultures that continually reinforce these sorts of personality distortions (“owning the libs”, supporting the leader right or wrong, etc.). In both cases, respectful and non-violent speech seem to be the most effective remedies in the long run — but it can be a very long run.

Watch as Corey and Keith talk about the four quadrant factors that promote and perpetuate these sorts of dysfunctions — runaway coping mechanisms in the UL, neurological and physiological chemistry in the UR, cultural patterns and persuasions in the LL, and technological pressures and pathologies in the LR. All together, this four quadrant breakdown offers us a much fuller understanding of these challenges, and how to better navigate them in our daily lives.


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Dr. Keith Witt

About Keith Witt

Dr. Keith Witt is a Licensed Psychologist, teacher, and author who has lived and worked in Santa Barbara, CA. for over forty years. Dr. Witt is also the founder of The School of Love.

Corey deVos

About Corey deVos

Corey W. deVos is Editor-in-Chief of Integral Life, as well as Managing Editor of KenWilber.com. He has worked for Integral Institute/Integal Life since Spring of 2003, and has been a student of integral theory and practice since 1996. Corey is also a professional woodworker, and many of his artworks can be found in his VisionLogix art gallery.