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Personality Analysis

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By Arnab Datta, MD
Published on Feb 17, 2023

What do I mean by personality analysis?

When a patient presents to a psychologist or psychiatrist feeling depressed or anxious, there’s a level of understanding the provider aims for and a level of objective understanding the patient desires. 

It’s good for the provider to understand the origin of the patient’s depression or anxiety. When and how did it start? What makes depression or anxiety better and what makes it worse? What events, relationships and circumstances change the nature of depression or anxiety? What kind of medication the patient took and how it made them feel? How does family history affect the patient’s depression or anxiety? How and Why are key questions. Also, we are part and parcel of our parents, yet we separate and individualize into our own person. Separation and individuation are matters of developing maturity; this is a significant topic in the field of child psychiatry/psychology. This is the work ethic of many Mental Health Providers, understanding the personality and emotional growth of the patient. Ideally, this level of understanding is required to truly understand the patient and treat their depression and anxiety (just to name a few ailments). Just giving medication for depression and anxiety is not often not enough to cure it.

In this process of understanding the patient, it is an experience and a journey for both the patient and mental health provider. As the patient expresses their history, it’s a cathartic experience; perhaps the patient is telling this life story to an individual for the first time. As a result, this process helps the patient organize their own life story. The patient is reciting their life story to an objective listener; a listener who is hopefully not held back by their own traumas and biases. The mental health provider should have their own psychotherapy or psychoanalysis so they understand where their own buttons are; so they are not triggered by the patient.  When the mental health provider hears the patient’s story, the feedback that is given should be free of any bias or hang-ups. The feedback given to the patient should be objective and solely have therapeutic benefits for the patient in mind. 

Here is a metaphor: The mental health provider is sitting on a bench within the patient’s heart and mind. As the patient is conveying their story, it allows the provider to paint a picture of the patient’s life. This is how the provider eventually sees what is happening, consciously and unconsciously, with the patient. This is what Arnab Datta, MD calls having an ‘unconscious vision’ of the patient. As the provider absorbs the story, the provider is able to help the patient as a coach and teammate in unraveling the ‘personality analysis’ for the patient. This is where the questions are answered: “Why am I the way I am? Why did things in my life turn out this way? What can I do to change myself and change for the better? How can I let go?”

Curing depression and anxiety at this level requires a lot of dedication and consistency on the part of the patient. The sessions with the mental health provider are like a piano lesson. If the student does not practice the piano after their session, then the student will not get better. This is why it’s recommended to journal after one’s session with their psychiatrist/psychologist because that’s where one is re-framing their thoughts. Then one should read the journal in between sessions because without practice, people usually revert to their old ways of thinking and behaving. It takes time, sometimes months, to truly adopt these newly re-framed ideas. Then, meditation is also necessary to surrender the negative aspects—the traumas that plague us. If you have more questions or want to see if you and Arnab Datta, MD are a fit, please call or email. 

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