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ICD9 code 301.84, Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorder, a personal encounter

Posted May 31 2012 12:37am

This is a note that was left on my car today, which I discovered after leaving the clinic. It was folded in half and titled “Hello, Friend.” Shudder. Just re-reading the words makes me cringe. The disdain in this person’s voice is almost screaming through the scribbled ink. Also, I would just like to clarify, that I was more than 7 inches of his bike, which is more space than most cars park next to my car. And I am happy to mention, his bike was left in one piece, in the same position it was before I parked it, without a scratch. Mostly because I learned how to drive in Connecticut. And mostly because I know how to parallel park, which I have to argue that most people in this state struggle with on a daily basis.

This is what I would like to make note as, “being passive aggressive“.

This is a familiar phrase around my house. Questions and statements, such as: “Why are people here so passive aggressive?”, “That person is being so passive aggressive”, and/or “The driving here is SO passive aggressive” is quite common to hear at least once a day. It is so often commented upon, mostly because passive aggressive is not a term to describe me, nor any of my roommates. It’s more of an insult. I’d be safe to categorize us into an “aggressive” category than not, or maybe we’re even in the “non-passive aggressive” category, since we’re all generally nice people. That works too. Isn’t there some cheerleading chant… B-E. A-G-G-R-E-S-S-I-V-E . Spelling out passive aggressive would just take too long..

I think has great definition(s), plural of what being passive aggressive really means. You can check it out for yourself, but my favorite definition entails “act of doing something specifically to piss someone off, but with the cover of “I didn’t realize it would bother you”. (, “passive aggressive”, #2).

So in all seriousness, since this is a medical blog, rather than a rant-and-rave fest, the American Psychological Association and the DSM IV (soon to be V) does recognize “being passive aggressive” as a medical condition. It is known as Passive Aggressive Disorder (PAD), and is also known as negativistic personality disorder. It has a higher occurrence in men than women (although that might be highly debatable). Two risk factors are associated with PAD (1) Documented childhood abuse or childhood neglect
(2) Harsh childhood punishment

So the lesson? Be nice to your kids for the betterment of society. Pretty please.

Some other complications that a person with PAD may experience include anxiety, depression, or other psychosocial disorders (paranoid personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, etc), although not necessary. On physical exam, the individual might exhibit obstinate behavior, negativity, inefficiency, or procrastination. According to the DSM IV, there needs to be 4/7 criteria met in order for PAD to be diagnosed. Psychotherapy may be helpful, although studies show inconclusive evidence.

A Google search on “ Which country has the highest incidence of passive aggressiveness ?” indicated France. I couldn’t find one for the most passive aggressive state in the United States. Maybe you could help me and my burning question be answered.

On a final note…

Here is a great resource on 25 Most Passive Aggressive Kitchen Notes if you need a pick-me-up after reading this blog post. Also, within my research studies, I came across , which is also a hilarious resource. This post is not intended as medical advice, nor as passive aggressive medical advice. It is intended as sarcasm, and for informational purposes only.


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