Parataxic distortion is a psychiatric term first used by Harry S. Sullivan to explain the inclination to skew perceptions of others based on fantasy. Psychiatry is a medical specialty which exists to study, prevent, and treat Mental disorders in Humans Psychiatric Herbert "Harry" Stack Sullivan ( February 21, 1892, Norwich New York – January 14, 1949, Paris, France In Psychology and the Cognitive sciences perception is the process of attaining awareness or understanding of sensory Information. Fantasy is a Genre that uses magic and other Supernatural forms as a primary element of plot, theme, and/or setting The "distortion" is in the perception of others, based not on actual experience with the individual but from a projected fantasy personality. For example: when one falls in love they can create an image of the person as the “perfect match” or “soul mate” only to find out later the person did not match the original perception. The fantasy personality is created in part from experience and from emotional stress. Stress is a biological term which refers to the consequences of the failure of a human or animal body to respond appropriately to emotional or physical threats to The stress of forming a new relationship or finding a life mate, where one contemplates reproduction, can be seen as stress, although it is perceived as pleasurable. “Falling in love” can create the atmosphere where parataxic distortion is primarily involved in the perception of the object of affection. It is possible in these situations chemical influence play a role in the “falling in love” process. This could explain why divorce rates are high in the short term.
Parataxic (the word is from the Greek, 'to carry alongside') distortion also results when the therapist’s evaluation of the client is effected by past experiences, either clinical or in life. Psychotherapy is an Interpersonal, relational intervention used by trained psychotherapists to aid clients in problems of living For example, a particular trait of a female client might remind the therapist of his or her own mother and therefore distort the perception of the individual. Parataxic distortion is very difficult to avoid completely, because of the nature of human learning and interaction. Media could also be a source of parataxic distortion, for example, stereotyping of a drug addict as having certain traits and personality components can have an impact on the clear assessment of a client with a history of substance abuse. The news media refers to the section of the Mass media that focuses on presenting current News to the public A stereotype (from Greek: stereo + týpos = "solid impression" is a generalized perception of first impressions behaviors presumed by a group Drug addiction is widely considered a pathological state. The disorder of addiction involves the progression of acute Drug use to the development of drug-seeking This sort of stereotyping and classification of people in groups has a distorting effect on the clear perception of an individual.