Originally Posted by transformed
Actually, I was talking about a google search I conducted to see what I could turn up for treatment.
I was thinking that in this day, we would have treatment for just about everything, if the person is willing to accept treatment.
Everyone has some degree of personality disordered traits. Everyone.
A personality disorder becomes a diagnosis when the level of those traits is so high it interferes with functioning. Axis II diagnoses (e.g. personality disorders) are not like Axis I diagnoses (e.g. schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, psychosis) because Axis I disorders aren't a normal condition just taken to a higher degree. You either have a psychosis or you don't. But everyone has Axis II traits - its a matter of degree as to how problematic those traits are.
Because they are traits everyone has to some degree, it isn't really accurate to say there is no treatment. Personality disorders often mellow out in middle age or older, to the point where the person is not considered diagnosable anymore.
When any of us are subject to stress, our use of Axis II traits usually increases. Its a stress-related function. Theoretically, ANYONE under enough stress will display personality disordered traits to a high enough degree that they could officially receive a diagnosis. Once the stress is removed, the symptoms also decrease, back to a level where a person wouldn't qualify for an Axis II diagnosis anymore. People with a high degree of Axis II traits also experience a high degree of stress, chronically. That degree of stress may be somewhat due to their environment, particularly their childhood environment, but often those people have central nervous systems that cause them to feel more stress than a typical person would in the same situation. Many researchers consider personality disorders to be a kind of PTSD "gone worse." Whether the initial chronic PTSD is caused by a person's innate response to stress or a stressful environment is sometimes difficult to assess, but the overwhelming majority have experienced stress levels caused by their environment that led to the development of Axis II coping strategies.
"Sociopathy" is an outdated term that could be either more accurately diagnosed as Reactive Attachment Disorder or Antisocial Personality Disorder or another Axis II diagnosis. Its better to get a real diagnosis than use the term sociopathy.
Because Personality Disorders consist of traits everyone has and are a matter of excessive degree, any treatment that seeks to either reduce stress levels or teach a person more adaptive ways of dealing with other people can be considered a "cure." Yes, there is, theoretically, a "cure" for Personality Disorders. The cure is to reduce stress and teach adaptive behaviors. This is a little different from merely calling it "coping strategies," which implies that the disease still exists but the person has learned to cope with it - because its a diagnosis by degree, reducing the degree of symptoms is the same thing as a cure.
However, the problem with Personality Disorders is that the nature of the disease causes a person to reject the cure. Since the cure includes teaching a person how to attach to another person, something they have found painful in the past, personality disordered people will find any excuse they can to reject the therapy, usually by finding fault with the therapist ("He is verbally abusing me!" or "My therapist is sexually attracted to me - I have to protect myself by cutting off treatment!" or, most common, "My therapist hates me! She won't let me come over to her house at 3am when I am in crisis! I have to throw her away because she doesn't care about me!").
Personality Disorders are becoming more prevalent, and there is a flurry of new research. In California, there is an inpatient facility devoted to the treatment of personality disorders (inpatient treatment for severe
levels of the disease is really the only hope - by not allowing the person escape from treatment which they will do if given a choice). DBT has had some success in reducing stress levels and increasing adaptive strategies to interpersonal stress.
In short, what I'm trying to say is... there is hope for Axis II disorders, but its a long road, there's a great deal of new research in progress, and they shouldn't just be written off as hopeless.