Are People With High Conflict Personality Disorders Using Social Media To Spread Lies & Disrupt Society?
Stress kills and those suffering high personality conflict disorders[i] (HCPD) create a perpetual climate of anxiety. Trolls, liars, bigots, haters, and blind partisans keep the entire nation/world in a 24/7 fight-or-flight response.
Besides the falsehoods these people spread, which include reporting fake deaths only intended to draw viewers and hurt people, the troublemakers threaten public health.
High Conflict Personality Disorder
Most the trolls, haters, and troublemakers suffer high conflict personality disorder. They live for conflict and look for it everywhere. While there are several types and each causes its own symptoms, those suffering high conflict personality disorder walk around with a chip on their shoulders.
A person suffering high conflict personality disorder believes people in their lives and the world work against them. They confuse honest disagreement for malicious disrespect, and hold grudges for years against family members, colleagues, and acquaintances. HCPD people turn minor disputes into lifelong animosity and plots for revenge.
While those with high conflict personalities raise everybody else's blood pressure, they do not suffer the same harm from the exchanges. Those suffering high conflict personality disorder represent up to 15% of the population[ii], and conflict lowers their blood pressure.
5 High Conflict Personality Disorder Types
According to Psychology Today[iii], there are five high conflict personality disorder types.
High Conflict Personality Disorder Personalities View Social Media As Heaven
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media outlets are heaven for those suffering high conflict personality disorders. Under their real or fake identity, they can attack, spread rumors, spy, troll, and otherwise inflict damage on others. Viewing themselves as victims, they justify their misbehavior as responses to perceived slights.
Those suffering the disorder view every situation through emotion. Even when presented facts contradicting their positions, they use religion, partisan politics, or another vehicle to justify their abusive behavior. They are always right and those opposed to them are stupid or evil or out to get them.
Too many Americans suffering high personality disorders in both parties respond to events by emotion before gathering facts.
Independents, democrats, and republicans should view all political talking points with a proper dose of skepticism. However, those suffering HCPD do not care about facts; instead motivated by hate, vengeance, or fanaticism.
Those Suffering HCPD Spread Lies!
Those suffering HCPD libel their enemies and are otherwise habitual liars. They campaign against their perceived enemies each day on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, other social media outlets, through libelous office gossip, or otherwise intent on destroying their perceived enemies.
Accusations Are Not Facts
HCPD people are the primary reason we should not accept public or private accusations as the truth until we establish the facts. Those suffering high conflict personality disorders spread enough lies to confuse everybody else.
What are the consequences of HCPD lies?
They destroy the reputations of good people.
Make people dismiss all allegations because of a handful of fabrications and falsehoods.
Makes whistle-blowers and victims less likely to step forward.
Predators and the dishonest gain an advantage.
Society grows more uncivil and unkind.
Discourages the most qualified from running for political office.
Sends the message to those who do not know better that abrasive behavior is okay.
How Do HCPD People Get The Upper-hand?
Those suffering high conflict personality disorder often are as charming and convincing as they are deceitful and wrong.
In politics and society, we need to remove some emotions from the public discourse. Instead, we allow those in high and low places to disrupt sanity, logic, facts, truth, decency, and everyday life.
People suffering high conflict personality disorder on all sides hear what they want and go on the attack. They win by convincing others to pick up their cause or engage them in emotional debates (attacks).
Too many "normal" humans lose tempers or try to reason or debate HCPD people, but it is a losing battle. You cannot reason or use facts to sway somebody who suffers the medical condition. You only become their latest target and will remain so long after you forget ever engaging them.
Those suffering HCPD dumb down our society. They dominate political office and positions at the top. Their followers emulate them, sometimes taking the madness to even more dangerous levels.
As things stand, the wrong people control public conversations. Trolls, people with high conflict personality disorders, attention-grabbers, political opportunists, bigots, haters, predators, dishonest partisans, and other troublemakers thrive in the social media age.
HCPD people and haters of every type are winning at everybody else's expense! We either fight for a more civil, honest, just United States and world, or we drift deeper into a chaos where only those with HCPD thrive.
How Do We Save Civility, Logic, & Reason?
For starters, the medical community needs to treat the 15% of the population suffering high conflict personality disorder. While their behavior is inexcusable, it might be treatable. We will never thrive as a society with 15% of our people suffering a medical disorder that encourages them to walk around with a chip on their shoulder.
We must learn to protect the innocent and the victim. Too often, we protect neither. We must treat the accuser and the accused like our son and daughter and do our best to uncover the facts before we crucified either party.
Both The Accused & Accuser Are Somebody's Son Or Daughter
If somebody accuses our son of something, we want him presumed innocent until proven guilty. If our daughter accuses somebody of a major crime, we want the system to deliver her justice. Instead, the public rushes to judgement, calls each other all kinds of names, and then finds out the accusations are false.
HCPD types destroy too many people's reputations with false accusations. With 15% of the population engaged in continuous smearing campaigns, everybody is at risk.
Not Taken Serious
Or a guilty man gets off by hiring a team of HCPD lawyers who place the victim on trial and helps their client get away with a violent crime.
We want to hold people accountable without rushing to judgment; to engage civics without becoming political parrots incapable of thinking for ourselves.
Remember You Might Be The Next Target
When people come to us and smear other people, we should listen but verify. If the person spreading the rumors suffers high conflict personality disorder, there's a good chance you will one day be on the receiving end of their wrath.
Time For Change!
Beller Health calls on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and the rest of social media to learn the difference between honest debate and malicious attacks, allowing the former and banning the latter. All organizations and people must protect free speech but ban unreasonable behavior. As things stand, Facebook and other social media platforms are heaven for trolls, haters, stalkers, liars, and those suffering HCPD.
Stress Increases Risks For The Following Medical Conditions
High Blood Pressure
Irritable bowel syndrome
Decreased sex drive
Stress Risk Sources: Heart & Stroke Association[iv], Mayo Clinic[v]
[ii] Bill Eddy, ‘Always Adversarial: Why High-Conflict Leaders Are On The Rise in Business and Politics’ <https://ideas.bkconnection.com/always-adversarial-why-high-conflict-leaders-are-on-the-rise-in-business-and-politics> [accessed 4 October 2019].
[iii] ‘Five Types of High-Conflict Personalities’, Psychology Today <https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/5-types-people-who-can-ruin-your-life/201711/five-types-high-conflict-personalities> [accessed 4 October 2019].
[v] ‘Stress Symptoms: Effects on Your Body and Behavior - Mayo Clinic’ <https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-symptoms/art-20050987> [accessed 4 October 2019].
Jerry Beller, Lead Author & Researcher, Beller Health Research Institute
Jerry is the lead author and researcher at Beller Health Research Institute. Among his accomplishments, Beller wrote the first book on the newest dementia classification, LATE, and is one of the few in the world to write books on all 15 primary dementia types. @JerryBeller1