Sensitive personality

We are going to describe the features of subjects with sensitive personality prior to the onset of sensitive delusions. First of all, the sensitive personality is very similar to the neurasthenic personality described by P. JANET, which predisposes to obsessive neurosis.

Subjects with sensitive personality are fairly secretive with an intense inner life, and only truly reveal themselves on rare occasions. It is therefore fairly difficult to really get to know them.

Their main personality traits are :

1. Relative social isolation and distrust

They are fairly solitary and have few friends. In a group, they remain slightly withdrawn and do not actively participate in the conversation. This closely resembles timidity, but in fact they have a more or less conscious negative interpretation of their environment. They are fairly intolerant and distrustful of other people.

2. Entirely internalized pride and narcissism

This pride is entirely internalized. It is not at all demonstrative and remains invisible. It can even disappear entirely during periods of depression. Inversely, it can mask depression to put on “a good front”. This pride and narcissism sometimes appear during delusional episodes.

3. Asthenia, marked sensitivity and lethargy

Subjects with sensitive personality present asthenia, marked sensitivity, mental lethargy, and vulnerability. They very often put off until tomorrow their decisions or tasks that they should have performed today.

4. Deep sense of ethical and moral values and a rigorous attitude

This senses of ethics can sometimes reach a scrupulous extreme. These subjects are frequently introspective and concerned by problems of conscience. They are rigorous and even dogmatic.

5. Susceptibility and withholding of affects

Disillusion, disappointment, and failure are experienced very painfully by subjects with sensitive personality, who may ruminate for many weeks. Even humiliations that they did not perceive at the time, but which they only realise later, can have a negative impact for a long time.