How the Term Toxic Personalities Came Into Being

A copy of the book authored by Dr. Ruthie O. Grant, an American Social Psychologist.

A few years back, I had an encounter with a persons who always find fault in others without examining their own shortcomings.Tired by their inter-personally exploitative acts, i.e., take advantage of others to achieve their own ends, are arrogant in attitudes and behavior and have trouble keeping healthy relationships with others, expect to be recognized as superior and special without superior accomplishments and envies others and believes others envy them, I made a vow to find an answer myself on what made the said persons behave in those ways.

Internet was not yet the name of the game during that time. Hence, whenever I had the chance to visit the capital city of Manila in the Philippines, I really took time painstakingly searching for any reading materials available at any bookstore I can find until I stumbled upon a book entitled: “People To Be Aware Of: 201 Ways To Identify Toxic People And How To Deal With Them” written by the Social Psychologist Ruthie O. Grant, Ph.D.

A copy of the book authored by Dr. Ruthie O. Grant, an American Social Psychologist.

A copy of the book authored by Dr. Ruthie O. Grant, an American Social Psychologist.

Toxic Personalities

Feeling to have hit a gold mine, I intently read the book from cover to cover until I found out that the man I was referring to seemed to have been afflicted with some form of Personality Disorder, defined by the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM-IV), of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) as “an enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates markedly from the expectations of the individual’s culture, is pervasive and inflexible, has an onset in adolescence or early childhood, is stable over time, and leads to distress or impairment.” A further research on the subject led me to the latest definition, by the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM-V), of General Personality Disorder which stress that such disorders are “an enduring and inflexible pattern of long duration that lead to significant distress or impairment and are not due to use of substances or another medical condition.”

Based on DSM Classification, there are a total of ten (10) Personality Disorders grouped into three (3) clusters, plus three (3) diagnoses for personality patterns that do not match these ten disorders, but nevertheless exhibit characteristics of a personality disorder. But, for ease of reference, the book author identified the 3 out of 4 in Cluster B (dramatic, emotional or erratic disorders) being Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), and Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD) as the disorders that cause the most chaos in relationships and referred to those afflicted by it as “TOXIC PERSONS.”

In my next blog on the subject, I will be dealing on the definitions of Narcissistic, Borderline and Antisocial Disorders in accordance with the American Psychiatric Association (APA) perspective and expounded by Dr. Grant being the book author.


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