You are viewing the Mental Area Psychology Article Site
Traumas as Social Interactions
("He" in this text - to mean "He" or "She").
We react to serious mishaps, life altering setbacks, disasters, abuse, and death by going through the phases of grieving. Traumas are the complex outcomes of psychodynamic and biochemical processes. But the particulars of traumas depend heavily on the interaction between the victim and his social milieu.
It would seem that while the victim progresses from denial to helplessness, rage, depression and thence to acceptance of the traumatizing events - society demonstrates a diametrically opposed progression. This incompatibility, this mismatch of psychological phases is what leads to the formation and crystallization of trauma.
Victim phase I - DENIAL
The magnitude of such unfortunate events is often so overwhelming, their nature so alien, and their message so menacing - that denial sets in as a defence mechanism aimed at self preservation. The victim denies that the event occurred, that he or she is being abused, that a loved one passed away.
Society phase I - ACCEPTANCE, MOVING ON
The victim's nearest ("Society") - his colleagues, his employees, his clients, even his spouse, children, and friends - rarely experience the events with the same shattering intensity. They are likely to accept the bad news and move on. Even at their most considerate and empathic, they are likely to lose patience with the victim's state of mind. They tend to ignore the victim, or chastise him, to mock, or to deride his feelings or behaviour, to collude to repress the painful memories, or to trivialize them.
Summary Phase I
The mismatch between the victim's reactive patterns and emotional needs and society's matter-of-fact attitude hinders growth and healing. The victim requires society's help in avoiding a head-on confrontation with a reality he cannot digest. Instead, society serves as a constant and mentally destabilizing reminder of the root of the victim's unbearable agony (the Job syndrome).
Victim phase II - HELPLESSNESS
Denial gradually gives way to a sense of all-pervasive and humiliating helplessness, often accompanied by debilitating fatigue and mental disintegration. These are among the classic symptoms of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). These are the bitter results of the internalization and integration of the harsh realization that there is nothing one can do to alter the outcomes of a natural, or man-made, catastrophe. The horror in confronting one's finiteness, meaninglessness, negligibility, and powerlessness - is overpowering.
Society phase II - DEPRESSION
The more the members of society come to grips with the magnitude of the loss, or evil, or threat represented by the grief inducing events - the sadder they become. Depression is often little more than suppressed or self-directed anger. The anger, in this case, is belatedly induced by an identified or diffuse source of threat, or of evil, or loss. It is a higher level variant of the "fight or flight" reaction, tampered by the rational understanding that the "source" is often too abstract to tackle directly.
Summary Phase II
Thus, when the victim is most in need, terrified by his helplessness and adrift - society is immersed in depression and unable to provide a holding and supporting environment. Growth and healing is again retarded by social interaction. The victim's innate sense of annulment is enhanced by the self-addressed anger (=depression) of those around him.
Both the victim and society react with RAGE to their predicaments. In an effort to narcissistically reassert himself, the victim develops a grandiose sense of anger directed at paranoidally selected, unreal, diffuse, and abstract targets (=frustration sources). By expressing aggression, the victim re-acquires mastery of the world and of himself.
Members of society use rage to re-direct the root cause of their depression (which is, as we said, self directed anger) and to channel it safely. To ensure that this expressed aggression alleviates their depression - real targets must are selected and real punishments meted out. In this respect, "social rage" differs from the victim's. The former is intended to sublimate aggression and channel it in a socially acceptable manner - the latter to reassert narcissistic self-love as an antidote to an all-devouring sense of helplessness.
In other words, society, by itself being in a state of rage, positively enforces the narcissistic rage reactions of the grieving victim. This, in the long run, is counter-productive, inhibits personal growth, and prevents healing. It also erodes the reality test of the victim and encourages self-delusions, paranoidal ideation, and ideas of reference.
Victim Phase IV - DEPRESSION
As the consequences of narcissistic rage - both social and personal - grow more unacceptable, depression sets in. The victim internalizes his aggressive impulses. Self directed rage is safer but is the cause of great sadness and even suicidal ideation. The victim's depression is a way of conforming to social norms. It is also instrumental in ridding the victim of the unhealthy residues of narcissistic regression. It is when the victim acknowledges the malignancy of his rage (and its anti-social nature) that he adopts a depressive stance.
Society Phase IV - HELPLESSNESS
People around the victim ("society") also emerge from their phase of rage transformed. As they realize the futility of their rage, they feel more and more helpless and devoid of options. They grasp their limitations and the irrelevance of their good intentions. They accept the inevitability of loss and evil and Kafkaesquely agree to live under an ominous cloud of arbitrary judgement, meted out by impersonal powers.
Summary Phase IV
Again, the members of society are unable to help the victim to emerge from a self-destructive phase. His depression is enhanced by their apparent helplessness. Their introversion and inefficacy induce in the victim a feeling of nightmarish isolation and alienation. Healing and growth are once again retarded or even inhibited.
Victim Phase V - ACCEPTANCE AND MOVING ON
Depression - if pathologically protracted and in conjunction with other mental health problems - sometimes leads to suicide. But more often, it allows the victim to process mentally hurtful and potentially harmful material and paves the way to acceptance. Depression is a laboratory of the psyche. Withdrawal from social pressures enables the direct transformation of anger into other emotions, some of them otherwise socially unacceptable. The honest encounter between the victim and his own (possible) death often becomes a cathartic and self-empowering inner dynamic. The victim emerges ready to move on.
Society Phase V - DENIAL
Society, on the other hand, having exhausted its reactive arsenal - resorts to denial. As memories fade and as the victim recovers and abandons his obsessive-compulsive dwelling on his pain - society feels morally justified to forget and forgive. This mood of historical revisionism, of moral leniency, of effusive forgiveness, of re-interpretation, and of a refusal to remember in detail - leads to a repression and denial of the painful events by society.
Summary Phase V
This final mismatch between the victim's emotional needs and society's reactions is less damaging to the victim. He is now more resilient, stronger, more flexible, and more willing to forgive and forget. Society's denial is really a denial of the victim. But, having ridden himself of more primitive narcissistic defences - the victim can do without society's acceptance, approval, or look. Having endured the purgatory of grieving, he has now re-acquired his self, independent of society's acknowledgement.
About The Author
Sam Vaknin is the author of Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain - How the West Lost the East. He is a columnist for Central Europe Review, PopMatters, and eBookWeb , a United Press International (UPI) Senior Business Correspondent, and the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory Bellaonline, and Suite101 .
Until recently, he served as the Economic Advisor to the Government of Macedonia.
Are Observations Objective?
On the outset all observations may seem to be objective, but in reality subjectivity tends to shape the objective observations. The observations can be categorized into three for better understanding Objective, Subjective, medley of subjective/objective observations.
The Joan of Arc Complex
Sometimes I think that I have a mental health problem and that at any minute the pharmaceutical companies are going to develop a cute little green star-shaped pill to cure me of my ailment. I call it my Joan of Arc Complex. You see, I hear voices that I'm pretty sure aren't mine and they tell me to go out and do these stupid save the world projects. I call them THEY or THEM because they refuse to give me a more accurate name to call them. So, I must be crazy.
Metaphors of the Mind (Part II)
Storytelling has been with us since the days of campfire and besieging wild animals. It served a number of important functions: amelioration of fears, communication of vital information (regarding survival tactics and the characteristics of animals, for instance), the satisfaction of a sense of order (justice), the development of the ability to hypothesize, predict and introduce theories and so on.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is Not Related to I.Q.
It's important to know that Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Intelligence, as measured by I.Q., are two different things.
Rediscovering the Mind
From the viewpoint of a modern microbiologist, we hear the call for integration and common sense in sciences that are all too often devising separate stakes and battlements to pontificate from, on high. The 'experts' thus proving their ignorance because the result inevitably is specious ego and puffery. Truth did not divide herself up for prissy 'nerds' to prevail upon, with their massive convolutions and devious attempts to practice buffoonery upon her.
Synchronized Swimming Advantage for Twins
The Olympic Contests for Synchronized Swimming are a testament to the natural human ability of telepathy. What we find in College and University Level synchronized swimmers thru observation and data of the top athletes is that those teams which have been long time friends seem to have a mind connection, which far surpasses generally accepted scientific knowledge. Those synchronized swimmers that are twins have even a greater advantage, as results show that twins are often some of the top performers in the sport. These observations are quite obvious and statistically too high to be coincidence.
Mind Over Matter - Proven
THE ACTS OF CREATION:
Jack the Ripper
At around 3.40am on August 31st 1888, a carter named Charles Cross was making his way along Bucks Row Whitechapel, when he noticed a bundle lying in a gateway. Presuming it to be a tarpaulin, and thinking that it might prove useful, he went to examine it and discovered, instead, that it was the body of a woman. Within moments another carter, Robert Paul, had arrived on the scene and the two decided that the wisest course of action would be to find a policeman. Following a brief search of the neighbourhood, they managed to find three officers and brought them to the site, where one officer, Constable Neil, shone his lantern onto the body and the five men saw, to their horror and disgust, that the woman's throat had been cut back to her spine.
Emotional Intelligence: The Basics
There's so much talk about emotional intelligence and how it can promote personal and business success. What is it really? What are its basic tenets?
Countess Erszebet Bathory was a breathtakingly beautiful, unusually well-educated woman, married to a descendant of Vlad Dracula of Bram Stoker fame. In 1611, she was tried - though, being a noblewoman, not convicted - in Hungary for slaughtering 612 young girls. The true figure may have been 40-100, though the Countess recorded in her diary more than 610 girls and 50 bodies were found in her estate when it was raided.
The Offspring of Aeolus - On the Incest Taboo
Incest is not such a clear-cut matter as it has been made out to be over millennia of taboos. Many participants claim to have enjoyed the act and its physical and emotional consequences. It is often the result of seduction. In some cases, two consenting and fully informed adults are involved. Many types of relationships, which are defined as incestuous, are between genetically unrelated parties (a stepfather and a daughter), or between fictive kin or between classificatory kin (that belong to the same matriline or patriline). In certain societies (the American Indians or the Chinese) it is sufficient to carry the same family name (=to belong to the same clan) and marriage is forbidden. Some incest prohibitions relate to sexual acts - other to marriage. In some societies, incest is mandatory or prohibited, according to the social class (Bali). In others, the Royal House started a tradition of incestuous marriages, which were imitated by lower classes (Ancient Egypt). The list is long and it serves to demonstrate the diversity of this most universal taboo. Generally put, we can say that a prohibition to have sex with or marry a related person should be classified as an incest prohibition, no matter the nature of the relationship.
What is the Treatment for Bipolar Disorder?
How do we treat bipolar disorder? Specifically, how do we treat mania or depression associated with bipolar disorder? The treatment of these two clinical states is not the same.
Even though hypnosis has been around officially since the 1700s (Franz Anton Mesmer), there are still questions as to its validity and benefits. For the most part, these questions stem from fear and ignorance. Regarding this subject, it is generally assumed that what you don't know can hurt you. People's viewpoints on hypnosis vary according to what their experiences have been and what they've heard.
Anti-Social Behaviors and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Anti-social behaviors are common with ADHD individuals. About 60% of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder kids are also oppositional or defiant. Some are even getting in trouble with the law.
Solution Focus Process: Solution Talk vs. Problem Talk Pt 2
It is crucial that interviewing with helpee progress toward solutions. In addition to Exceptions and Miracle questions, Coping and Scaling questions are also useful and effective methods of moving helpees from problem talk to solution talk.
Gender and the Narcissist
In the manifestation of their narcissism, female and male narcissists, inevitably, do tend to differ. They emphasise different things. They transform different elements of their personality and of their life into the cornerstones of their disorder.
The Mind, Information, and Attitude
Information is flowing to us at a great rate. The radio, television, the internet, advertising, newspapers and magazines are giving us information all day. We also receive information from the people we associate with in our daily lives. This article discusses some of the ways that our minds, both conscious and subconscious, process and use that information.
What?s the Problem: Introducing Solution Focus Pt 2
Again, many of us think we listen, yet we don't always "attend" to the person who is speaking to us. We are too busy doing other things! We are not being 100% attentive. The following attributes of good listening are suggestive of the skills needed. There is some overlap between the various attributes, but each suggests something different.
Parapsychology: Maximizing Effectivity Of Targeted Controlled Remote Viewing Techniques
Individuals with a solid working knowledge of Controlled Remote Viewing (CRV) have undoubtedly encountered the "plateaus" experienced at various levels throughout the ability's development.
Achieving an Ambidextrous Mindset
History lends us an ideal of ambidexterity: Leonardo da Vinci, Harry Truman and James Garfield were all known to be physically ambidextrous, but to what does that translate? In modern times, ambidexterity isn't a hot topic, but in fact, we are all - to a degree - ambidextrous.
Take your place in the circle! Help others by donating now - keep this site free!
|About Us||Blog||Contact Us||FAQ|
|Visit our other sites:||I Love Yu-Gi-Oh!||Hot Marketers||Internet Marketers Dream Site|
Copyright © 2005 - 2011 The Helping Circle / TheHelpingCircle.com