Saturday, September 06, 2008

Psychopathology of The Office

Just for fun, while watching Season 4 of The Office tonight, I started thinking about DSM-IV criteria and the main cast of characters (yes, I'm a huge nerd). Obviously, these personalities are exaggerated for the sake of the show, because nowhere else on earth (except a psych ward or prison) would you see this many personality disorders in one room--they'd all kill each other. See what you think:

1) Michael: dependent personality disorder vs narcissistic personality disorder; manifests splitting, self-destructive behavior, pathological need to be liked, feels entitled, has some somatization, fears of being alone, rushes to new relationship when old one ends

2) Dwight: paranoid personality disorder vs schizotypal personality disorder; feels everyone is out to get him, has hidden weapons in the office, turns down a free drink because it may be poisoned, has some magical beliefs (the computer has free will, the websites are talking to each other to take over the world, the short guy is a Hobbit), ideas of reference, eccentric behavior

3) Angela: obsessive compulsive personality disorder; control-freak, stubborn and rigid, everything has to be done her way, inflexible with rules, perfectionist, devoted to work, reluctant to delegate tasks

4) Toby: avoidant personality disorder (soft call); can't have Pam so is leaving to go to Costa Rica

5) Andy: narcissistic personality disorder; believes he is special, is grandiose, is often jealous of others or thinks others are jealous of him

6) Jan: borderline personality disorder, alcohol abuse; repeated patterns of self-destructive behavior in work and relationships, impulsive, labile mood, fits of rage

7) Meredith: alcohol abuse/dependence--duh

8) Creed: antisocial personality disorder; exploitative, repeated arrests, irresponsible at work, lack of remorse

9) Kevin: pathological gambling--duh

10) Phyllis: personality disorder NOS with features of passive aggressive personality; always knocking stuff off Angela's desk or throwing things at her when she's frustrated

11) Kelly: histrionic personality disorder; OMG LOOK AT ME OH HI RYAN WANT TO GO ON A DATE I'M PREGNANT OH J/K HI DARRYL MMM LET'S MAKE OUT RIGHT NOW HEY PAM YOUR BOYFRIEND IS SOOOOO GOING DOWN

12) Ryan: narcissistic personality disorder vs substance abuse NOS (I'm not sure what but he was definitely on drugs in that club, looked like Ecstasy) vs pyromania*

That leaves Jim, Pam, Oscar, Darryl, Stanley, and Holly without a current diagnosis. Any thoughts?

Obviously, this is satire, and I just made this all up. This information is not intended to diagnose or treat any condition. I do not think everyone I meet has a personality disorder, I swear. It's just a joke. No, really. Stop looking at me, swan!

5 comments:

Trent said...

Stanley clearly has dysmotivitional syndrome and is passive aggressive.

Oscar has the DMS III dx of homosexuality. He may be a bit self destructive returning to the job where he knows he will be stereotyped and ridiculed.

Pam suffers from low self esteem and is passive.

Jim is just a normal guy.

Holly only showed up in one episode so we'll have to wait for season 5 to know how screwed up she is.

Allison said...

I am digging the unnecessary Billy Madison reference at the end. Nice.

Tiny Shrink said...

I was going for DSM-IV-TR criteria. I don't know if Stanley has smoked enough pot to qualify for "amotivational syndrome", but it's not currently a diagnosis (although who knows what will come out in DSM-V?)

Oscar doesn't qualify for the DSM-III diagnosis of "ego-dystonic homosexuality" because he seems okay with it. On a personal level, it's not a legitimate psych diagnosis in my opinion.

Pam does have low self-esteem, but fortunately seems to have gotten stronger through seasons 3-4.

If Holly is as much like Michael as it looked, then she's in trouble...

And you know you like the Billy Madison!

Anonymous said...

Funny I found your web page....I just did a psych presentation on personality disorders as expressed in the office with clips from seasons 1-3. Dwight is easily schizotypal. For people who didn't fall into DSM IV TR criteria, I used defense mechanism examples to include them.

Basia said...

That was hilarious! So glad homosexuality is not longer a 'disorder.'