papalagi (papalagi) wrote,

Encyclopedia of Psychology Alan E. Kazdin, PhD, Editor-in-Chief


Longitudinal research shows that the onset of the bipolar subtype of alcoholism tends to predate that of alcoholism: individuals with bipolar illness (or manic depression) tend to use alcohol to reduce agitation during the manic phase of the illness rather than during depressive episodes (Merikangas & Gelernter, 1990)


To some extent, all human beings are alienated. It is as if we realize at some point in our existence that we have been left all alone on a planet in the cosmos and challenged to make meaning from a potentially meaningless accident. The conscious struggle to overcome this sense of alienation is the mark of a healthy person. Conversely, the inability to face this challenge inherent within the subconscious leads to a deepening sense of alienation.

This is especially true in first world countries where constant activity is used as a temporary sedative for the symptoms caused by alienation. In this environment, technological advances separate workers from their work and create conditions where the worker cannot relate a personal contribution to the end product or its impact on the consumer.

Individuals wander through life searching for a personal identity since their true selves are long since hidden through socialization and nurturing. This “diffusion of identity” (Erikson, 198o), creates a strong sense of separation between the individual’s external and inner worlds. We can relate this sense of separation to the angst the individual feels from not being able to reach a level of fulfillment consistent with that defined by the ego.

Horney suggested three types of personalities: the compliant, aggressive, and detached types. The compliant type asks, “Will I be liked?” The aggressive type asks, “Will I get hurt?” The detached type asks, “Will I be left alone?” To the extent that each of these types is not able to answer these questions favorably, the individual becomes alienated. Inherent in these types are expressions of alienation such as isolation with the detached type, emptiness with the compliant type, and estrangement with the aggressive type.


Idiocentrics in collectivist cultures are likely to try to escape the “oppression“ of their ingroups. Idiocentrics in collectivist cultures are likely to emphasize human rights and the importance of the individual in relation to the state.

Tags: encyclopedia of psychology
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