Theatrical and egocentric behavior can always be observed in an ego disorder. However, therapy can only take place if those affected show insight and really want to change their behavior. The patient must want help and must seek the therapist himself. Only then can long-term psychotherapy begin.
What is an ego disorder?
According to abbreviationfinder, an ego disorder manifests itself primarily through behavioral problems. Those affected always want to be the center of attention and feel uncomfortable when the attention is on someone else.
An ego disorder is a personality disorder that can affect you throughout life. The behavior pattern influences people in their thinking, feeling and in relationships. The ego disorder also has a very negative effect on professional life and in everyday life the actions are different than with “normal” people.
Those affected show exaggerated emotionality and like to dramatize the experiences. At least that’s how other people perceive it. On the other hand, the feelings shown seem superficial and artificial, because these people do not allow real feelings at all. They cannot and do not want to have any sense of identity, they are easily influenced and change their minds all the time.
The constant search for attention can also be observed, those affected always want to be the center of attention. If they notice that attention is being paid to other people or objects, they react very sensitively and try everything to be the center of attention again.
In addition, a very fast-paced relationship behavior is shown, so these people often change partners and are not even capable of deep social contacts. Same-sex friendships are very difficult, usually only the respective partner is noticed at all and only because of the sexual attraction.
The causes of the ego disorder have not yet been adequately researched, but as with all mental illnesses, the course is set in childhood. If the children cannot develop their own personalities, an ego disorder can become apparent. These children were given a false sense of love, meaning they lacked attention, stable family relationships, or adequate support.
A genetic predisposition can also be the cause. Often the traumatic experiences are in the earliest childhood or even during pregnancy. How and when a personality disorder develops has unfortunately not been researched. The disease is always shown by a conspicuous behavior. There is a penchant for dramatization and theatricality.
Striving for attention is also an indication of an ego disorder and those affected must always be the center of attention. There is also provocative behavior, especially when sex and seduction is the order of the day. Those affected show symptoms similar to those of narcissism. A reliable diagnosis can only be made in a psychiatric or psychotherapeutic clinic.
First of all, of course, the ego disorder must be proven using various tests so that therapy can begin. Differential diagnoses must be clearly ruled out, but if five points of the following symptoms apply, one can speak of an ego disorder.
Symptoms, Ailments & Signs
An ego disorder manifests itself primarily through behavioral problems. Those affected always want to be the center of attention and feel uncomfortable when the attention is on someone else. Interpersonal contacts take place only to a limited extent or not at all, with the focus often being on sexual issues. To outsiders, the patients appear emotionally cold and superficial.
The behavior is often described as bizarre and strange. They are usually described as people who appear very theatrical and often show self-pity. Those affected are also easily influenced and are usually unable to correctly assess social situations.
Relationships are described as narrower than they really are and conversations with strangers are misinterpreted as overtures. The ego disorder develops in childhood and manifests itself in adult life. The system complex ranges from slight behavioral problems to paranoid thoughts and aggressive outbursts.
The mental illness often occurs in connection with schizophrenia or narcissism. Accordingly, depending on the underlying disease, many other symptoms and complaints can occur. In general, the symptoms of the disease intensify over time, which often results in social exclusion of those affected.
Diagnosis & course of disease
The patient feels uncomfortable when he is not the center of attention. He tries to attract attention. Interpersonal contacts are only possible if exaggerated sexual behavior is possible. The emotional state seems very superficial. The person concerned describes all events very theatrically and tends to be self-dramatic.
The descriptions of the people contain only a few details of the respective situation. Victims are easy to influence. You can no longer classify relationships correctly, relationships are described more narrowly than they actually are. The disorder is established in childhood and breaks out in adult life.
An ego disorder cannot be completely cured, but with therapy patients can lead a normal life. But this can only happen if the disease is treated in time and the severity of the disease is not too advanced. But the patient must agree to the therapy.
Ego disorders can occur as part of various diseases and must always be seen in connection with them. The basic characteristic is that the boundaries between the ego and the outside world become blurred. Since ego disorders cover a whole spectrum of symptoms and can occur in many different forms, it is sometimes difficult even for medically trained personnel to recognize them as such.
People who suffer (or at least what people think they think) from thought initiation, thought propagation, thought withdrawal, external control, and affectation of their will and feelings can be prone to bizarre behavior. These represent de facto defensive reactions on the part of those affected in order to evade an alleged influence by someone else’s will. Aggressive outbursts can also occur.
To outsiders, this can seem bizarre and disconcerting. They often have difficulty classifying ego disorders as such. In addition, those affected are usually so caught up in their own world of thoughts that they are difficult to access for arguments from outside. One consequence is that those affected may be treated incorrectly (e.g. disciplinary) or be completely excluded from the environment.
This also applies to the spectrum of disturbed emotional perceptions such as depersonalization or derealization. Such phenomena mean that people who suffer from them are difficult to get out of their condition. Because of this, treatment is difficult.
When should you go to the doctor?
Behavioral changes or abnormalities should be evaluated by a doctor or therapist. If the behavior of the affected person is abnormal in direct comparison to people in the immediate vicinity, there may be disorders that indicate a serious illness or mental disorder. If general social rules are disregarded, there are repeated emotional injuries to fellow human beings or if the person concerned is immensely inconsiderate towards his or her environment, a visit to the doctor is recommended. If the conspicuous behavior over a long period of time leads to professional or family problems, it is advisable to ask a doctor for help. In the case of an ego disorder, it is part of the clinical picture that the person affected has no feeling of illness.
He often denies existing problems and does not see his own behavior as the cause of dissonance in everyday life. It is therefore a challenge for relatives to suggest that the person concerned see a doctor. Theatrical or self-centered behavior is considered unusual and should be discussed with a doctor. If the person concerned vehemently refuses to see a doctor, it can be helpful if relatives seek advice on the symptoms and effects of the ego disorder. When dealing with the person concerned, a way can be worked out how a check-up visit to a doctor can be initiated carefully and considerately.
Treatment & Therapy
It is a very strenuous treatment, for the person concerned and also for the relatives. Even the psychotherapist is challenged. Treatment is only possible if the person with the ego disorder really perceives the illness and really wants to improve their situation. It is a basic requirement that the patient cooperates, otherwise therapy is not possible.
In many cases, behavioral therapy has the greatest success. Research into the causes can be carried out and sometimes this is also very helpful. But the person concerned should change his behavior and practice new behavior patterns. Treatment is often accompanied by psychotropic drugs, but when a patient is suffering from depression, these drugs are of little help.
Outlook & Forecast
The prospect of healing the symptom of ego disorder depends on the underlying disease. Since many patients do not have an independent disease, the ego disorder can be part of various clinical pictures. In the case of delirium, severe alcoholism or dementia, the prognosis is rather unfavorable, since a progressive course of the disease is to be expected. In these cases, mostly large regions of the brain have suffered irreparable damage that, according to current scientific knowledge, cannot be treated and is permanent.
If the patient suffers from a form of schizophrenic disorder, there are sometimes treatment options that can alleviate the ego disorder. With an optimal treatment and therapy plan, stable success is possible. However, this does not apply to all forms of schizophrenia.
If the patient receives a diagnosis from the field of personality disorders, there are definitely chances of healing the ego disorder under certain conditions. If the person concerned has an understanding of the illness and is willing to change himself and his personality, the symptoms can be significantly reduced. The therapy lasts for several years and is absolutely dependent on the cooperation of the patient. In many cases, past experiences have to be dealt with and views about them changed. In addition, a restructuring of the environment is often necessary for lasting success to occur.
You can only counteract an ego disorder in early childhood. Parents can only educate their offspring to be strong personalities. Those affected themselves have no chance here and cannot prevent it. However, faulty personality development can already be recognized in adolescence, and a youth psychotherapist can already provide valuable help.
In many cases, the ego disorder can be prevented or at least mitigated in this way. There is no prevention, because the ego disorders have not been researched enough. But if the child develops as carelessly as possible, an ego disorder will not occur. You cannot avoid the ego disorder, but those around these people should be sensitized.
These people can recommend therapy as soon as the first symptoms appear, so that the ego disorder cannot manifest itself and a chronic course of this disease is prevented. There are no other preventive measures, it is always based on a traumatic experience that only the person concerned can resolve.
The ego disorder is one of the mental disorders that usually require lifelong follow-up care. Illnesses such as the ego disorder can recur at any time, even after supposedly successful treatment. A renewed outbreak of the ego disorder is possible both shortly after the first therapy and years to decades later.
In the follow-up care of this disease, the patients themselves are asked to observe themselves critically and to register emotional imbalance sensitively. Those affected must decide for themselves when to seek professional help again. However, it is advisable to contact the previous psychotherapist as a preventive measure if necessary.
This is useful, for example, in the case of major changes or stressful life situations. Blows of fate can also attack the mental stability of those affected and are a reason to turn to psychological counseling centers again. As with many other mental illnesses, self-help groups also make sense in the case of an ego disorder.
These groups can also be visited after successful therapy for follow-up care in order to experience support from other sufferers and to notice the sensitivity to critical changes in one’s own emotional world. Other patients often recognize better than you do that there is a need for further therapy. In principle, a stable living environment is advantageous for former patients with an ego disorder and helps to prevent new outbreaks.
You can do that yourself
Many of those affected have problems structuring and organizing their everyday lives. They try to get back to their old, accustomed lifestyle as quickly as possible. However, it is blatantly important to accept that recovery can only happen in small steps. Any form of excessive demands is contraindicated and, in the worst case, leads to frustration and setbacks.
To avoid being overwhelmed, it makes sense to plan each day in detail. A good way to do this planning is in writing. Approaching the plan realistically and not taking on too much makes it easier to stick to the plan. Also displayed is the classification according to task priority by means of a list. Scheduling all of the highest priority tasks in a day creates pressure. A mix of important and less important tasks minimizes this. It is also inappropriate to fill the day only with duties. Enough space forleisureis just as important.
The motivation is increased if the daily planning contains a special highlight that is very pleasant for the person concerned. This highlight can be both professional and private. Daily planning is made easier if each day starts at the same time. Drug and psychosocial treatment, if available, should not be forgotten in this daily plan.