Personailty Disorders in the Workplace
People with personality disorders characteristic tend to have chronic inflexible styles of perceiving themselves, and interacting with others varies. (Ward, 2004) Personality disorders are typically some of the most challenging mental disorders to treat, because they are part of an individual and their self-perception. Treatment according to Ward, (2004), most often focuses on increasing coping skills, and interpersonal relationship skills. This paper will discuss a few of these disorders, such as Antisocial Personality, Borderline Personality disorders, and Insomnia.
I will attempt to describe the various disorders and how they affect employer/employees in the workplace. We will look at the symptom logy observed by co-workers and/or supervisors for those with the different disorders. I will provide similarities and difference in how supervisors or co-workers would intervene with people with these disorders. The end result will be to provide appropriate organizational intervention strategies for those living with these disorders. Antisocial Personality Disorders (APD) According to (Babiak, and Hare. 2006).Personality disorder behavior, is like a disease, is antiquity, and nothing about it changes.
Antisocial personality disorder (APD) is one of the disorders describe in the Psychopath in the Workplace: A Cautionary Tale, written by Paul Babiak and Robert D. Hare. The authors describe how a common misconception is that antisocial disorder refers to people who have poor social skills. On the contrary, the opposite is often the case, instead, APD is characterized by a lack of conscience people with this disorder are prone to criminal behavior, believing that their victims are weak and deserving of being taken advantage of. Babiak, and Hare, 2006) Antisocial tend to lie and steal according to the authors. Often, they are careless with money and take action without thinking about consequences. They can sometimes become aggressive and are much more concerned with their own needs then the needs of others.
“They may appear to be superior. ” Candidates for business leadership position and many of them rise to the positions of power and influence in business community. ” (p. 2) The authors express how a socially facile psychopath may expertly deceive the average person. Snakes in suits” is the term the authors used to describe an antisocial person. (p. 2)They give descriptive lucid, richly detailed guide for corporate business professionals who are interested in understanding how important and often unrecognized behavior syndrome is acted out in the workplace.
They believe this knowledge and information they give in their book Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go To Work is essential if “socially responsible and ethical individuals are to protect themselves and their organization against ruthless, fraudulent, manipulative behavior. (P. 2. ) It’s imperative that leaders and employees become aware and knowledgeable of this behavior if they are to protect themselves and their resources from exploitation. (Babiak, and Hare, 2006) These individual may appear impressive, because of their motivated ambitiousness, social charm, and self-confidence, yet closer observation of their behavior and inspection of their motives reveals that they posses qualities of ruthless exploitations deceitfulness, pathological lying, and a wiliness to use antisocial and even criminal behavior to achieve their goals. Babiak, and Hare, 2006) According to Babiak, &Hare (2006) the symptoms that antisocial personality disorder display, and should be observed by leaders, and employees are as followed: ·Disregard for the feelings of others ·Impulsive and irresponsible decision-making ·Lack of remorse for harm done to others ·Lying, stealing, other criminal behavior ·Disregard for the safety of self and others Borderline Personality Disorders Borderline personality disorders are described by Babiak, & Hare,(2006), characterized by mood instability and poor self-image.This disorder, according to the authors was named because it was originally thought to be at “borderline” of psychosis.
The disorder is relatively common, affecting 2% of adults. Women are more likely to suffer borderline than men. Nearly 20% of psychiatric hospitalizations are due to this disorder. (Babiak, and Hare 2006) People with this disorder are prone to having mood swings and or bouts of anger. Often taking anger out on themselves, causing pain and injury to their own body. They are suicidal, and think in black and white terms, which often form intense, conflict-ridden relationships.They are quick to anger when their expectations are not met.
The symptoms that employers/employees may observe are: Self-injury or attempted suicide Strong feelings of anger, anxiety or depression that last for several hours Impulsive behavior Drugs or alcohol abuse Feelings of low self-worth Unstable relationships with friends, family, and boyfriends/ girlfriends and co-workers Treatment could involve therapy in which the patient learns to talk through his/her feelings rather than unleashing them in destructive and self-defeating ways.Medication may be helpful, and treatment of any alcohol or substance abuse issued should be required. Insomnia We have looked at Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD), and Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). However, now I would like to prevent Insomnia, a disorder that is profound and many people suffer everyday because of it. According to authors of Handbook of Mental Health, Insomnia in the workplace is characterized by many different behaviors. People who suffer from insomnia call into work more because they are sick more.Insomnia can have a negative affects on the workplace, reducing the ability of affected employees to maintain adequate productivity and safety on the job, impairing their overall quality of life.
(Thomas, and Hensen, 2002 p. 351) People who suffer from insomnia are slower to complete assignments and short attention ps. Some people even put themselves and co-workers into dangerous situation if they are driving or working heavy machinery. Treatments for insomnia is commonly bought at most grocery stores. Sleep aid like “SleepyTime” can be purchased easy to help sleep.However, using medication can cause addiction, and cover up what’s really the problem. Psychological treatment can aid in getting to the “root” of the problem.
(Thomas, & Henson, 2002 p. 358). Durand, & Barlow, (2010), created a list of psychological treatments for insomnia, which are; cognitive, guided imagery relaxation, graduated extension, paradoxical intention, and progressive relaxation. (Durand and Barlow, 2010, p 332) Leaders and employees who need to recognize the symptoms and behavior that an Insomniac may display: Lateness Absent Sleeping on the jobPre occupied Unmotivated Bosses and co-workers who are aware of each other “normal’ work habits can observe and offer intervention, and resources that can help people with this disorder strive for effective treatment. (Thomas, & Henson , 2002, p. 363). Supervisory Intervention When considering intervention, Employee Assistance Programs (EAP’s) maybe one of the more comprehensive means of addressing psychopath in the workplace.
(Thomas, & Hensen, 2004). Organizational leadership can play a tremendous role in the implementation of treatment modalities in the workplace.The members of the Leadership should make as many attempts as needed and possible to maintain and environment with minimal stressors. Leaders and organizations that have the holistic well-being of everyone involved, should implement healthy, well being programs, that are designed to improve productivity for everyone involved. Supervisors must observe, and realize the impact of unhealthy behavior to the organization, like cost, law suits, accidents, violence, and decrease of production and increase in expenses due to sickness / work compensation.Supervisors need to focus and observe behavior respectful approach the situation, without alienating or making the person feel as if gossip or singling out is not the goal. Leaders need to be empathic, and genuinely concern with ones well-being; excellent communication skills and being well informed could enhance the probability of the person with the disorder agree to intervention.
EAP programs are designed to address a multitude of issues that plague the workplace. The programs and find alternative resolution, to help elevate stresses that prevent productivity.Furthermore, employees have an obligation to themselves, as well as their employers. Telling someone that a problem exists could save time, money, and mental illnesses. Observing a fellow employee who is having difficulties should be reported to supervisors, and not gossip about amongst fellow employees Subsequently, we all must become responsible for the healthy well-being of ourselves and find balance in our personal lives, in order to live stress free and well- rounded.References 1) Durand V. M, & Barlow D.
H. , (2010) Essential of Abnormal Psychology , Belmont, CA, Wadsworth, Census Learning 2) Hare, R. D, & Newman, C. S. (2006) , Handbook of Pschopathy , New York Gulford Press 3) Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery, (2005-2009), Proctor Hospital 4) Thomas, J. , & Hensen, M. (2002), Handbook of Mental Health in the Workplace.
Thousand Oak, CA: Sage Publication. 5) Ward, K. R. (2004), American Family Physicians, Leawood.