A little background. My Knight has a mentally ill daughter. She is under 10 years old, and has been in residential therapy for two years with no real end in sight. She is an amazing child and I love her like she were my own. But, she inherited a serious mental illness from her biomom. Not her fault.. not our fault .. just the way things are. As part of her overall treatment program her therapy team asked my Knight and I to submit to psych evals. Okay.. no problem . How this is going to help the child with schitzaffective disorder, ODD and RAD, I do NOT know.. but sure.. whatever. We took the evals about a month ago.
The results came back yesterday. In my Kight's results the computer program said his answers showed Histrionic Personality Features. I didn't have the foggiest idea what that meant, so I looked it up on-line and found this:PubMed Health article on Histrionic personality disorder
According to this article from Pubmed Health people with Histrionic personality disorder are (among other things) :
- easily influenced by others
- Overly sensitive to criticism or disapproval
- Constantly seeking reassurance or approval
My Knight's computerized test results claim that he avoids autonomy and prefers to follow rather than lead. It goes on further to say that he is prone to submitting to authority, regardless of circumstances.
Okay.. I will admit these things are *mostly true* about my Knight. He is easily influenced by others... but not indiscriminately. Obviously I have influence over my Knight, as do our kids, sometimes other people he respects, as long as I approve of him allowing that influence. Yes, my Knight is sensitive to criticism or disapproval. Would I say he's overly sensitive? That's kind of subjective, I think. What one person considers overly sensitive might be acceptable and normal to another. My Knight reacts to me. When I am unhappy with him he is unsure of what to do next. He needs my guidance and reassurance at those times. He feels that if I am unhappy with something he's done he has failed me. And Yes.. my Knight seeks my reassurance and approval. Constantly? I don't know. Over the years I have gotten in the habit of providing that reassurance and approval regularly. When we first got together, yes, he needed my reassurance and approval constantly.
BUT --- he was still recovering from the damage his ex-wife did. (did I mention his daughter's mental health challenges are inherited from her biomom? Yeah.. her mental illness put my Knight through more than 10 years of pure hell. She used his submissive nature to manipulate and use him. It has taken him years to recover.)
I would guess that these traits are mostly true about most submissive people, male or female. I mean... and please, correct me if I'm wrong. I have no personal experience here. I am basing this off of observing my Knight and what I have read. But I would guess that most submissives crave the approval of their dominant. Most probably are easily influenced by the dominant, as well. And, I would guess that disapproval from the dominant effects most submissives. Most submissives, by nature prefer to follow rather than lead.
In the rest of the report, all the "symptoms" listed by the computer point to my Knight's submissive tendencies. *every single one of them*. There was nothing in there that surprised me. I knew all these things about him already... they are what makes him submissive to me.
And that is NOT a personality disorder!
To the credit of the therapist who did the evals, he said in the summary that my Knight does not show any signs of personality disorder which needs treatment, and that he seems perfectly well adjusted and happy in his life situation. So, no.. my Knight has not been diagnosed with, or even suggested to have, a personality disorder.
My indignation is with the simple fact the computer program that does the scoring for these personality tests tags submissive people as having a probable personality disorder. I think that kind of blanket evaluation could lead submissive people to think there is something wrong with them. When, really... seeing submission as a personality disorder is something wrong with the diagnostic tool, the mental health system, and society in general.
The therapist who did my eval did ask some questions about my Knight. The type of questions he asked me led me to believe they suspected our FLR arrangement. I don't know that either of us tried to hide it... I mean... really.. why bother? Anybody who has known us for longer than 5 minutes can probably see that I am very clearly in charge.