When asked to give a definition of negativistic personality disorder (also called passive-aggressive disorder), we can state the following:
When a person suffering from this disorder is made a demand upon, he or she will appear to comply or act according to the demand – but actually he or she will behave negatively and will passively resist.
This can be shown by a multitude of disguising behaviors such as procrastination, dawdling, stubbornness, deliberate inefficiency, pretended forgetfulness and unreasonable criticism of people in authority. They’ll utter things like: ‘Good things don’t last’, or “It doesn’t pay to be good’, or ‘The future is behind me’.
The DSM-IV describes NPD as a pervasive pattern of negativistic attitudes. The pattern must not occur exclusively during periods of major depression. It is most commonly seen in the workplace, but also in marriages and other relationships.
This is a chronic condition and it affects normal behavior. Such people have a tendency to have a difficult time in getting along with others. They won’t respond properly when situations or circumstances change. This behavior can become so persistent that it affects day-to-day functioning.
The causes for this disorder are yet unknown, but most likely there will be a combination of genetic and environmental factors playing along. There are also no known ways to prevent getting negativistic personality disorder.
What are the symptoms?
– You will show a contradictory and inconsistent behavior. A person with the disorder will appear enthusiastic to carry out other people’s requests, but he or she will purposely perform the task in a manner that is not useful and sometimes may be damaging.
– A sufferer from negativistic personality disorder will intentionally avoid responsibility. This can appear in:
- procrastination: when you intentionally and needlessly delay or postpone someone’s request
- deliberate inefficiency: performing your task in an incompetent manner, on purpose
- forgetfulness: also intentionally
-Feelings of resentment towards others who are in charge
-Being argumentative, sulky, even hostile towards others (especially when in charge)
-Being easily offended.
-Being resentful to suggestions of others.
-Blaming others for things that don’t go right (and are their own fault).
-Being chronically impatient.
-Showing unexpressed anger or hostility.
While there still is no medicine for this disorder, patients can enter treatment. Doctors treat people suffering from negativistic personality disorder in two major ways.
The first, and most common, is an externally leveraged treatment for those individuals who don’t see themselves as having a problem. Someone forced them into treatment (family, the legal system). Such clients have minimal insight in their condition and fail to admit that they are a major factor in the problems they experience.
The second method for individuals suffering from the disorder to enter treatment is via self-referral for vague complaints. Counseling may have value here, in helping the person to identify and change his or her behavior.
Sometimes, doctors also prescribe anti depressants, especially when the negativistic personality disorder is accompanied with anxiety and/or depression. The anti depressants will fight these symptoms.