Most Africans have issues with their personalities, and no one has helped them to understand them hence they make royal messes of their lives and the governing of their countries. By understanding my complex personality, Africans may pay attention to their personalities and try to understand them to start living like healthy human beings and governing their polities right.
BIOLOGY DETERMINES PERSONALITY
Four years ago, my girlfriend and I were in the living room, watching television when the TV made a loud sound went kaput. Thereafter, the apartment was filled with noxious smell. We felt that we needed to let in fresh air into the apartment and that that would take care of the odious smell; we opened the window, but the open window did not take care of the nauseating smell. The smell lasted a few days, and the window was left open during those days, and this was in the winter months in Alaska where it was no more than ten degrees Fahrenheit outside. Eventually, we had to close the windows but somehow my girlfriend no longer smelled the noxious smell, but I did.
Whenever we turned on the new replacement television we bought, I felt the noxious smell in my mouth and nose. Worse, now I felt the same smell when I sit in front of my tabletop computer, or laptop computer or when I am using my smart phones; it became a generalized noxious smell in my mouth and nose.
I went to my phone carrier, AT&T, and asked them if anyone had complained about their phones giving them odious smells? They did not know what I was talking about. I went to Providence Hospital at Anchorage, Alaska and talked to my primary care physician about the smell, and he did not have any clue about its cause and speculated that it may have something to do with less desired bacteria in my intestines and suggested that I drink some of the antibiotic drinks they sell at food stores. I did and that did not help.
I talked to the apartment manager about the smell and since I did not really know what was causing the smell in the apartment, I asked him to find out. He contacted the city department of health, and they came and checked and did not observe anything different from what I had reported.
The intense phase of the smell in my mouth and nose lasted for about a year and thereafter the smell was no longer in my nose but in my mouth.
As I write I smell the noxious smell, coming from the computer, in my mouth. I have tried all kinds of mouth wash and other home remedies, and none works.
If I were to talk to a neurologist and or psychiatrist, he would say that I am having Olfactory and or Gustatory hallucinations (often caused by head injuries, cold, temporal lobe seizure, inflamed sinuses, brain tumors, Parkinson diseases etc.). However, these are medical issues, not mere hallucination of smelling what is not there. I do not hallucinate.
My hypothesis is that there is something impaired in the smell, heat and pain center in my brain.
All my life, I have been sensitive to smell. When I was a kid, I used to feel dizzy in a freshly painted house and had to leave the building to avoid fainting spells. Fragrance from women’s scents made me faint, I have had to get out of cars if a woman is heavily scented and is in the same car. If certain types of food are being cooked, I feel nauseated and dizzy and must leave the house, outside from the house, the smell goes away.
Smell and heat cause me fainty feeling. In the dead of winter in Alaska I do not turn on my heat and feel fine in the less than warm apartment. If the heat is raised my entire body itches and I would scratch all over my body.
When I was about seven years old a cousin carried me on his bicycle, he had me sit in the front frame part of his bicycle with my legs on both sides of the steel frame. I felt burning sensations on my buttocks and asked him to stop and let me out. Other kids had fun been carried by him. The experience was repeated when other adults carried me on their bicycles, so I stopped having such rides.
Later, I had my own bicycle and realized that when I rode on it for hours my buttocks are in pain; my body is pained by sitting on unpadded bicycle seats so I would pad my bicycle’s seat to cushion me from the pain I felt and that helped for a while but did not eliminate the pain; now I ride bicycles less frequently than I would have loved to do.
I bought my first car while at college, in my early twenties and noticed that when I drove long distance, from Eugene, Oregon to San Francisco, California, the foot on the car’s gas pedal felt so hot that I had to stop to reduce the sense of heat on my leg. If I did not stop, I would feel my legs go numb and I must stop and stamp my feet on the ground, several times, to get life into them.
The same thing happened when I took buses or trains on a long distance ride, I would literally find it difficult to get up and would have to be helped to stand up and it might take me several hours before I could walk; I remember taking Taxi cabs to my hotel rooms and laying on my bed for a whole day before regaining life and ability to walk on my feet.
At college, I tried running long distances, after, say, ten miles of running my legs would freeze up and I would lay on my back to feel less pain (this is more than the usual runners muscle cramps from raised CK (Creatine Kinase) …a podiatric medical doctor diagnosed chronic muscle compartment syndrome).
When I was twelve years old, a boy brought a packet of Marlborough cigarettes to where a few of us hid and I took one and tried smoking it and it made me dizzy. I tried smoking a couple other times and had the same reactions and gave up smoking. At college I tried marijuana and fainted; I tried it a couple other times and had the same results and quit it. Alcohol makes me feel uncomfortable, so I never had to struggle to quit it, I just decided that it is not for me and did not try to habituate me to it. I have never tried serious drugs; I have a feeling that if I did, I would faint and die.
Something in my brain and body does not tolerate stimulating or depressing my body. I did habituate me to coffee drinking even though I knew that it is not good for me.
I have subjected me to thorough medical and genetic examination. I inherited heart murmur (Mitral Valve Prolapse), Spondylolysis of the fifth Lumber vertebrae and have lower backpains and a disorder of the Mitochondria called Cytochrome C Oxidase Deficiency.
These biological issues led me to realize that there is something disordered in my body and to conclude that they shaped my personality.
People form their personalities and self-concepts in childhood, before age six, but certainly not after age twelve.
In childhood a lot of things caused me pain. I adapted to my oversensitive body and its aches by anticipating what would cause me pain and avoiding it.
I had an approach-avoidance-approach to many things in my world; assorted environmental stimuli made me anxious (fear), and I avoided them.
I liked sports but playing soccer for a few minutes gave my legs tremendous pain and made my heart pound like it would fall out of its chest cavity, thus I avoided intense sports and settled for running, bicycle riding and tennis.
All said, these biological cum medical issues led me to anticipate harm and danger and avoid all kinds of things. So, what kind of personality did I construct in childhood?
I do not fit into the categories of any personality disorder, but I could be understood from avoidant and obsessive-compulsive and narcissistic personality disorders. In these disorders a person feels anxious in social situations, feels that as he is he would be found by other people as not good enough and he pretends to be better than other persons (narcissism is a sense of specialness masking underlying sense of not been good).
I was not good enough biologically, and at team sports was rejected by other boys because they formed teams to win and did not see me as capable of contributing to their goal of winning.
To avoid social rejection, I avoided social situations where I was likely not to do well, such as sports.
Outside social situations, I used my imagination to construct what Karen Horney (1950) called an ideal self-concept. I felt anxious in situations where my desired ideal self is not going to be met, so I avoided them and if they cannot be avoided, kept quiet in them.
In Alfred Adler’s (1956) psychological categories, I felt inferior due to medical issues and compensated with desire to seem superior to my physical and social environment. Such behavior, Adler called neurosis.
When I was a kid, if you did not treat me as an especially important person, if you treated me as an ordinary kid, I would feel angry at you and throw humongous temper tantrums.
I felt physically inferior and compensated with imaginary superiority and wanted other kids to see me as superior to them and if they did not treat me as if I was special, I felt angry at them.
The same thing happened at school. I wanted to be the best student in my class and if I had crummy grades, I felt angry at the teacher.
During my elementary school days, there were usually about thirty kids in a class and at the end of each quarter the kids took examinations, and the teacher ranked all of them from first to thirtieth. I never made first in any of my classes but was anywhere from second to fourth. I was always angry at the teacher for not making me the first kid in his class.
This anger persisted at secondary school, even though I realized why I was never the best student in my classes, I was no good at mathematics. When we graduated, I had expected to be made the valedictorian but was not and I hated the principle for that action and resolved never to see him for as long as I lived. Up to now I have not visited my secondary school since I left it!
At university if a professor gave me B, not A, I felt angry at him and avoided him; sometimes I walked to his office to demand an explanation why he did not give me A.
I felt inadequate and compensated with desire to be the best at whatever I do and if I was not perceived as the best by my peers, teachers, and coworkers and boss, I felt loss of social face and felt angry (in adulthood my anger was mostly at myself). I desired stellar performance in everything that I do and avoided situations where I would be less than stellar, all to keep the illusion of being a stellar person.
I do not like those who did not see me as I wanted to be seen as the best at everything I did.
I wanted to be always right and not wrong. My self-image is that I must be the best at whatever I am doing. I developed grandiosity that saw me as the best person in the world and felt angry to be seen as second best.
I considered quitting college to avoid been less than the best student around but hung in there.
In delusion disorder, grandiose type, one believes that one is the best person in the world and carries oneself as if one is in fact the best human being. Delusion disorder has five subtypes, grandiose, persecutory, jealous, erotomania and somatic. Delusion disorder is the same as paranoia.
I do not have delusion disorder or paranoia but I often behavior like those who have them.
In trying to understand me, I rule out fear, anxiety, avoidant and obsessive-compulsive personalities and delusion disorder. All these traits were rooted in whatever biological issues I had; biological issues produced my excessive hypersensitivity.
A CAUSAL HYPOTHESIS
The smell issue that I began this paper with, apparently, was always there but the exploded television in my apartment so aroused the smell center in my brain that it is now over active and would not subside to the point where I could be in front of a computer without feeling my mouth testing like I poured acid into it (after typing this paper I would have to go wash my mouth with assorted mouth washing liquids to regain some kind of good smell in it).
Biology and medical disorders play roles in the etiology of normal personality, personality disorders and mental disorders.
We have not yet understood many aspects of our bodies and, as such, have not understood the way they cause children to develop their personalities.
This is the tragedy of being human; people do not know what made them who they are. I guess that in a way this is good for it gives us something to keep studying in our efforts to understand ourselves, into the future; if we knew it all our life would become terribly boring, wouldn’t it?
The most disturbing tragedy of being human is that despite knowing extraordinarily little about who we are, we posit mostly silly causal explanations of why we are the way we are. I studied psychology and found most of Western psychology and psychoanalysis laughable stuff. They have no clue what makes children become who they are but instead of accepting not knowing they populate the world with their pseudo explanations.
Imagine reading Sigmund Freud talking rubbish about how the repressed Id and Aggression instincts cause neurosis.
Something in the child’s body caused him medical issues. And he seeks release through sex. I used to work at psychiatric hospitals and closely observed folks in the manic phase of bipolar affective disorder. They would feel their bodies over aroused and excited and seek ways to reduce the biological tension they felt. Many of them masturbated excessively, done to obtain calm bodies and calm minds.
In their childhood, they felt over somatically aroused. They posited grandiose self-concepts, egos hoping that the false powerful god called the grandiose ego would help heal their somatic issues; the pursuit of those unrealistic big selves increased the rapidity of their bodies working.
If you desire grandiose goals, your grandiose wishes now contribute to making your body overactive. The grandiose self-concept and the underlying biological issues make some folks hyper aroused. We give them anti mania medications that merely calm their bodies but do not heal their underlying medical disorders.
In other papers I posited that the desire for grandiose self-concept and self-image play roles in all mental and personality disorders. I will not review my many papers in this paper. Suffice it to say that in my experience the presence of unknown medical issues and our grandiose goals play roles in our psychological issues.
So, what is the cure for anxiety disorder (usually caused by aroused fear and anger neurochemicals in anticipation of threat to one’s life), and other mental and emotional disorders? I do not know.
Let us first understand the problem and from that understanding seek realistic cure, not positing rubbish explanations and hope that following those non-explanations would heal people.
Given psychoanalytic false theories on the etiology of neurosis you cannot heal neurosis with them; given the childlike simplicity of Skinner’s behaviorism you cannot cure anybody with classical and operant conditioning; given neurosciences concentration on the nervous system and ignoring other parts of the body that clearly play roles in the genesis of emotional disorder it cannot heal anyone.
We must go right back to the beginning and try to understand our bodies. Let every psychologist and psychiatrist tell us what he feels caused his personality type and if he has mental disorder tell us what caused it and let us begin from there and seek causal factors in human behaviors.
As of now, no one has understood any ones psychological make up.
A confluence of biological and medical disorders compels a child to adopt a specific type of personality, his habitual pattern of relating to his world. That pattern may be normal or disordered or a mix of both.
The goal of this paper is not to dwell on different somatic patterns that predispose and or cause certain personality types but just to observe that a child who inherited a problematic body that caused him loads of problems may develop what mental health professionals call personality disorder, emotional disorder, or mental disorder.
What we need to do is understand the medical issues rather than talk about mental disorders because we have not understood any mental disorder. We are still at the periphery when it comes to understanding the causation of any individual’s mental disorders. This is one reason no known psychotherapy, talk or medical, has a history of healing any human being of his psychological issues. We are like blind people trying to give people sight.
We need to start from ground zero and do realistic research on the correlation of biological disorders and mental disorders instead of befuddling our minds with mythological talk about the causes of mental disorders, mythologies that so far have no causal relationships with personalities. In my situation, there probably is a problem with the pain, heat and smell regulatory center (s) in my brain and or other parts of my body.
About my desire to seem superior to other people, it is obviously a childish attempt to overcome my issues. No human being is superior to other people; for one to believe that one is superior to other people means that one is deluded; that is, one believes in what is not true as true. The truth is that all human beings are equal.
Let go of your ego’s desire for false superiority and you feel relaxed, calm, peaceful and happy; whereas if you seek inequality and differences, you feel tense, anxious, fearful, heated up, and seek cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs (or addiction to excessive eating and sex) to make your body relax.
A healthy human being accepts that all people, men, and women, black, white, and brown are the same and coequal; of course, each person is good at doing certain things but that does not make him superior to other people.
Adler, Alfred. (1956). The Individual Psychology of Alfred Adler. H. L. Ansbacher and R. R. Ansbacher (Eds.). New York: Harper Torchbooks.
Adler, Alfred (1911/1987). The Neurotic Constitution. New York: Ayer.
Horney, Karen (1950). Neurosis and Human Growth. New York: Norton.
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association. Fifth Edition (2013). Washington, DC. American Psychiatric Association, Press.
January 23, 2022