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 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.
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.
Abuse Amnesia - Abuse Amnesia is a form of denial in which a victim habitually "forgives and forgets" episodes of abuse when it would be more appropriate, and ultimately better for both parties, to hold them accountable for their own actions.
Abusive Cycle - This is the name for the ongoing rotation between destructive and constructive behavior which is typical of many dysfunctional relationships and families.
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.
Anger - 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 - 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.
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.
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.
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.
Chosen - Chosen's are people who are in a marriage, partnership, romantic relationship or friendship with a person who suffers from a personality disorder. They are called "chosen" because they made a choice to enter into that relationship. Chosen's include husbands, wives, partners, boyfriends, girlfriends, and friends of a person who suffers from a personality disorder.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 - Denial is the practice of 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 when 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.
Depression - When you feel sadder than you think you should, for longer than you think you should - but still can't seem to break out of it - that's depression. People who suffer from personality disorders are often also diagnosed with depression resulting from mistreatment at the hands of others, low self-worth and the results of their own poor choices.
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- Dissociation is 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.
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.
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- Dysthymia is a psychological term for prolonged depression, generally lasting 2 or more years.
Emotional Intelligence - Emotional Intelligence is the often-subconscious "gut feeling" process which forms opinions, makes decisions and reacts to situations based on feelings, instinct and the influence of pain & reward centers of the human brain rather than the facts.
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.
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".
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.
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”.
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.
GF - Girlfriend
Glossary - The Out of the FOG Personality Disorder Glossary contains contains a large list of definitions of terms related to personality disorders with links to more information.
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"
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 ground breaking 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.
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.
Journaling - Journaling is 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.
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.
Hyper Vigilance - Maintaining an unhealthy level of interest in the behaviors, comments, thoughts and interests of others.
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 excessive reaction to a threat, bad news or disappointment, which diverts attention away from the problem and towards the person who is having the reaction.
Inertness - An Assumption of Inertness describes 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 when a person is treated like a tool for another person'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.
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.
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.
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".
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 - A symptom of some personality disorders, Lack of Object Constancy is an inability to remember that people or objects are consistent, trustworthy and reliable, especially when they are out of your immediate field of vision. Object constancy is a developmental skill which most children do not develop until two or three years of age.
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.
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 Scenarios 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 term used to describe a group of negatively-distorted self-views which are 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 - Choices are the opportunities we have to change things for the better - or worse.
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 baiting an individual or group of individuals into a certain response or reaction pattern 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.
Moments of Clarity - Spontaneous, temporary periods when a person with a personality disorder is able to see beyond their own world view and can acknowledge and begin to make amends for their dysfunctional behavior.
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).
Munchausen's and Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome (MBPS) - Munchausen's Syndrome is a disorder in which an individual repeatedly fakes or exaggerates their own illness or medical symptoms in order to manipulate the attentions of medical professionals or caregivers. Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome (MBPS) is a similar syndrome in which another individual, commonly a child, is substituted for the patient and made the focus of inappropriate medical attention.
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 - A form of Verbal Abuse which people sometimes indulge in when their emotional thought processes override their rational thought processes.
NAMI - National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest organization for people with mental illness and their families.
Narcissism - This term describes 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 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.
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.
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.
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 the 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.
No-Win Scenarios - No-Win Scenarios 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 I do and damned if I don't' feeling.
Obedience - In 1961 and 1962, Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram performed a famous series of experiments which demonstrated that about 2 out of 3 people will perform a cruel action towards another person if instructed to do so by someone whom they regard as an authority figure. This 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.
"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.
Parental Alienation Syndrome - A term used to describe the process by which one parent, typically divorced or separated from the other biological parent, uses their influence to make a child believe that the other parent is bad, evil or worthless.
Parentification - A form of role reversal, in which a child of a personality-disordered parent is inappropriately given the role of meeting the emotional or physical needs of the parent or of the other children.
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.
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.
PDTS - Personality Disorder Trait Specified is a catch-all diagnosis in the American Psychiatric Association's 5th edition of the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual (DSM-V) for those who exhibit specific traits of personality disorders but who do not fit neatly into the other personality diagnoses.
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.
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".
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 you up, speaking for you or "doing your dirty work" for you.
Prozac -an SSRI antidepressant medication. SSRI's are the most commonly prescribed antidepressants.
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 (1) - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (often shortened form of C-PTSD - Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
PTSD (2) - A person who suffers from PTSD or exhibits some of its symptoms.
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.
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.
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.
Riding the Emotional Elevator - The Emotional Elevator is a way of describing how people who suffer from personality disorders and those closest to them sometimes take a fast track down 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
Scapegoating - Singling out an individual or group for unmerited negative treatment or blame.
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".
Self-Aggrandizement - A pattern of pompous behavior, boasting, narcissism or competitiveness designed to create an appearance of superiority.
Self-Harm - Self Harm, also known as self-mutilation, self-injury or self-abuse is any form of deliberate, premeditated injury inflicted on oneself, common among adolescents and among people who suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder. The most common forms are cutting and poisoning/overdosing.
Self-Loathing - An extreme hatred of one's own self, actions or one's ethnic or demographic background.
Self-Victimization - Self-Victimization or "playing the victim" is the act of casting oneself as a victim in order to control others by soliciting a sympathetic response from them or diverting their attention away from abusive behavior.
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 - The act of viewing another individual in terms of their sexual usefulness or attractiveness rather than pursuing or engaging in a quality of personal relationship with them.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Targeted Humor, Mocking and Sarcasm - Targeted Humor is 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 - A process of interrogation or attempt to control another individual'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 - A tendency to focus on a single concern, 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.
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 - Violability describes a situation where a person is treated as if 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.
Wellbutrin - a Bupropion type of antidepressant medication.
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
Zoloft -an SSRI antidepressant medication. SSRI's are the most commonly prescribed antidepressants.
Zyban - a Bupropion type of antidepressant medication.
ZZZ - Snoring - what you should be doing if you read this entire glossary.
For More Information & Support...
If you suspect you may have a family member or loved-one who suffers from a personality disorder, we encourage you to learn all you can and surround yourself with support as you learn how to cope.
Five years ago, a photographer, an engineer, a writer, an office manager, a grandmother, a graphic artist, a law student, a husband, a librarian, and a stained-glass artisan came together to connect a diverse, isolated population in search of information, support, and growth as they strive to cope with a family members, spouses or partners who suffer from a personality disorder. Since its launch on November 1, 2007, Out Of The FOG has grown from a fledgling discussion group with 10 participants, to a vibrant community of over 4000 registered members world-wide, with new members joining every day.
On August 31 2012, the Out of the FOG Support Forum crossed two significant milestones - 100,000 member posts and 10,000 topics. Thanks to all who participate and contribute to the OOTF support board, which is a unique source of support to non-personality-disordered individuals all over the world.