Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Say it loud, say it clear, say it right

Dharma Bodhisattva

I'm reading a section on personality disorders in my textbook and I'm on Antisocial Personality Disorder. As I read this, I drifted to what I can post on my blog because I've got to intersperse stuff between the daily postings of the Daily Successes! (Perhaps I should collect the Daily Successes and make them weekly?)

Onto my blog post: There are many words that mean one thing for lay people and another for professionals. I shall list examples that relate to psychology.

Well, first, I want to start with something that appears in legalese (but is actually incorrect in common English): "persons."

You see, the plural for persons is "people."

Okay, to get started (again):


Professional usage: Antisocial refers to behaviors that are against society, violate the rights of others, and shows disregards for the well being and property of others. A person with Antisocial Personality Disorder is what people used to call a sociopath (you know, like Hannibal Lechter).

Common usage: "I don't feel like going to the party, I'm feeling antisocial tonight." This usually means, "I don't feel like socializing," or perhaps that one feels shy or introverted.


Professional usage: Introversion literally means "turned inward." An introvert requires solitude in order to recharge but can be quite sociable and enjoy parties. However, socializing eventually tires them out and they need alone time.

Common usage: Shy.


Professional usage: No such word as "unconscience."

Common usage: Confusion of the word "unconscious" which is literally, "not conscious." Conscience refers to morality and ethics, knowing the difference between right and wrong. "Con" means "with" and "science" means "knowledge."


Professional usage: Related to psychology, the mind as distinct from the body.

Common usage: It's all in your head so it's not real, valid, or serious like a physical illness. "It's just psychological why he's afraid of flying."


Professional usage: Physical (body) symptoms experienced as real and with an emotional (psychological) root.

Common usage: See Psychological, Common usage.


Professional usage: A phase of development according to Freud where a child is focused on learning to control his or her anus as a means of gaining approval (potty-trained), disapproval ("accidents"), or exerting control.

Common usage: An abbreviation of "anal-retentive," which describes controlling, uptight behavior or a person who is usually very organized and likes things just so. In psychoanalytic thought, people can actually be anal-retentive or anal-expulsive. You know--those types that are messy and irresponsible. However, because of cultural value placed on being "flexible" and "mellow," nobody ever gets called "anal" for being a slob.


Professional usage: Related to a system of psychology and therapy (known as psychoanalysis) created by Sigmund Freud which has spawned many schools of thought, theories, etc. that influence our thinking even today about how the mind works (and what to do when it's not working well).

Common usage: Relating to sex symbolically, covertly, or unconsciously. Freud actually wrote about more than just the sex drive (eros or inaccurately called the libido), he also wrote about the death wish (thanatos).

There ya have it. Now I better get back to studying. Thanks for taking this break with me.

Invite Beauty,


Left: Call of Nature, oil on canvas, finger painted, 18" x 36". Right: Death as a Maiden, oil on canvas, finger painted, 18" x 24".

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