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A View of Personality Disorder from the Colonial Periphery

Journal Authors: 
Issue: 
DOI: 
10.7727/wimj.2013.122
Pages: 
383–8
 
ABSTRACT
 
Objective: To examine the history of personality disorder in the context of contemporary post-colonial Jamaican society.
 
Methods: The literature outlining the development and classification of personality disorder is reviewed. The social, psychiatric and epidemiological studies of personality disorder in Jamaica are
presented.
 
Results: A categorical classification system of personality disorder has been in use by the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) from the mid 20th century. Challenging that approach is the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), which represents the dimensional method, which views pathology as a continuum from normal personality traits. Both systems suffer from an absence of cultural flexibility, an absence of a system of severity, and a lack of treatment specificity, which foster misdiagnosis while making treatment planning difficult and unreliable. The proposed DSM-5 attempts to integrate a prototypematching system and identification of personality traits promises disappointing outcomes. The University of the West Indies, Section of Psychiatry, proposes a phenomenological nosological approach, advocating an alternate DSM Axis I category called Shakatani derived from Swahili shaka,(problem), tani (power), and developing a 38-item Jamaica Personality Disorder Inventory (JPDI)mscreening questionnaire for diagnosing this condition. The epidemiological results using this instrument are reviewed, and the Jamaican print, broadcast and social media responses to this researchmin Jamaica are described.
 
Conclusions: The heritage of slavery and colonial oppression in Jamaica has resulted in maladaptive personality disorders that have led to extremely high rates of homicide, violence and transgressive behaviour.
 
 
Accepted: 
22 Dec, 2013
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Weight: 
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e-Published: 26 Aug, 2013
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