• unenlightened
    3.6k
    Wiki.

    Personal testimony.

    Questionaire.

    If you look at the questionnaire, you will see that the topic is a rather crude measure on a scale of 0 - 10, of childhood, where 0 is unproblematic, and 10 is really fucked up in every way. You are welcome to share personal details, and you are equally welcome to refrain from sharing. My own score is 0 which explains why I am such a lovely kind equable positive person. Lucky me, and lucky you to have my special attention.

    But behind this crudity, there is a weight of psychological, and particularly psychoanalytic tradition. Currently, it finds favour as the Trauma Model. Freud's original theory, associated hysteria with childhood sexual abuse, and Alice Miller regarded it as a terrible betrayal that he essentially stopped believing his patients in favour of his 'fantasy' models because (presumably) the abusers tended to be paying for the treatment.

    The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) questionnaire asks 10 questions to measure childhood trauma, and each affirmative answer gives you a point. Research has shown that an individual with an ACE score of four or higher is “260% more likely to have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease than someone with a score of zero, 240% more likely to contract hepatitis, 460% more likely to experience depression, and 1,220% more likely to attempt suicide”. — my second link

    These numbers are worryingly impressive, and unusually high for psychological studies, so while the trauma model my not be exactly right, there is something significant going on. The idea roughly is that these adverse experiences cannot be straightforwardly assimilated, and instead some psychological defensive measure has to be taken; dissociation, denial, retreat to fantasy, depending on the proclivities of the child. Thereafter, these defences are triggered by particular experiences sounds sights, or whatever, and thus one has a general stress, a PTSD like reactivity, and other defensive symptoms such as depression dissociation and so on.

    This in turn leads to perhaps self medication tobacco, alcohol, etc, obsessive behaviour such as eating disorders, self harm, etc etc. In very short. Childhood abuse leads to self abuse, and that leads in turn to abusive parenting.

    Now if you read Alice Miller, or Gabor Mate, they will tell you that it is not just in the gutter that you will find these victims, but some of the great and the good, actors businessmen, politicians are also suffering and coping as best they can with obsessive behaviours of another kind. Maybe doctors or social workers too, some them, are trying to fill a void they felt as children. The difficulty with such talk is that there is too much explanation for the amount of fact. It tends towards the unfalsifiable. Still, remember those startling statistics, and think on...
  • csalisbury
    1.7k
    3 1/2, I think, for me. All of my romantic partners and close friends have been in the same region. Obviously, I'm a small sample size, but I wonder if people tend to stick together with people from their 'region.'
  • Isaac
    714
    Only 2 for me, and neither anyone's fault.

    12 times more likely to commit suicide as a result of childhood trauma and yet this is apparently acceptable treatment in modern society. It's a fucking disgrace.
  • I like sushi
    902
    0? How is that possible?

    I ask because of this:

    Act in a way that made you afraid that you might be physically hurt?

    Are you saying you never felt a threat of being slapped?

    My friend was tied to a chair by his mum and forced to eat soap once! Haha!
  • bert1
    211
    3-ish for me.

    This one's very sexist:
    7. Was your mother or stepmother:
    Often pushed, grabbed, slapped, or had something thrown at her?
    or
    Sometimes or often kicked, bitten, hit with a fist, or hit with something hard?
    or
    Ever repeatedly hit over at least a few minutes or threatened with a gun or knife?
  • Terrapin Station
    9.2k
    Are you saying you never felt a threat of being slapped?I like sushi

    Yes. Never felt a threat of my folks physically hurting me. They rather helped me avoid feeling physically threatened, including that they encouraged my interest in martial arts.
  • I like sushi
    902
    Yeah! They obviously never met my mother! Haha!
  • I like sushi
    902
    So, you were punished how exactly?
  • unenlightened
    3.6k
    Are you saying you never felt a threat of being slapped?I like sushi

    Yes. That's what I'm saying. It is very sad that that is at all hard to believe.
  • unenlightened
    3.6k
    Yes, I don't know why. I assume it is not a mistake though, and that the wording picks up something better than a more neutral locution.
  • I like sushi
    902
    Was it that you never did anything wrong? I don’t quite understand. Maybe I took the threat to be more subtle.

    I cannot honestly say a remember an instance of being hit/slapped vividly. I was on maybe one or two occasions though. Not a big deal. There was certainly a sense of “If I do X then I may get hit,” deservedly so on occasion.
  • unenlightened
    3.6k
    I was on maybe one or two occasions though. Not a big deal.I like sushi


    Does that amount to a bolded 'often'?
  • I like sushi
    902
    Ah! I missed that because of the way it was written. Fair enough then :) Not surprising to get 0 at all.
  • Terrapin Station
    9.2k
    So, you were punished how exactly?I like sushi

    Either grounded, some other privileges taken away, and/or I'd have to do some extra chores or something like that.
  • unenlightened
    3.6k
    and yet this is apparently acceptable treatment in modern society. It's a fucking disgrace.Isaac

    If you do it to an adult it's called psychological torture, and it's a crime against humanity.
  • praxis
    1.3k
    1 for me. My mom went on the occasional vodka bender. Unreliable attachment?
  • Wallows
    8.1k
    Thereafter, these defences are triggered by particular experiences sounds sights, or whatever, and thus one has a general stress, a PTSD like reactivity, and other defensive symptoms such as depression dissociation and so on.unenlightened

    3 for me. The questionnaire doesn't asses the impact of neglect, which is a comparative trauma of sorts. "Why don't you love me?"

    Why is that unenlightened-san?
  • Isaac
    714
    If you do it to an adult it's called psychological torture, and it's a crime against humanity.unenlightened

    Yes, absolutely it's not even a minor offence against an adult. How the fuck does anyone support the fact that on your 16th birthday what was "for your own good" becomes a fucking war crime.
  • unenlightened
    3.6k
    Why is that unenlightened-san?Wallows

    Mrs un scored 3, and she was almost annoyed not to get more. She asked the same question. And the answer is that this is not a therapy, or even a diagnostic tool, but a research tool. They want robust, rather than precise, and neglect is not the sort of matter of fact physicality you can give an easy yes or no to. So if you say to your doctor that you score 3 on this scale, he will look for stress illnesses, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, eating disorder, depression, addictions, etc etc. You might not have any of these, but you are at higher risk.

    It's not that neglect isn't a factor, at least at some extreme, it's just down and dirty convenience not to go into it for these purposes - we're not trying to actually measure your suffering. When it's therapy time, and we get to details, then of course it is important.

    Interestingly, when we look at Mrs un's wider family of aunts uncles and cousins, there are many more factors that are related to this list; alcoholism, suicide, physical violence, that are not on her list. As though one sibling took to drink, another to violence a third to depression, and each next generation family had its own list of woes as a result.
  • Wallows
    8.1k
    Mrs un scored 3, and she was almost annoyed not to get more. She asked the same question. And the answer is that this is not a therapy, or even a diagnostic tool, but a research tool.unenlightened

    Well, I'm quite glad you aren't putting Mrs Un through therapy or that she needs it. Things seem to be going well in your part of the world.

    It's not that neglect isn't a factor, at least at some extreme, it's just down and dirty convenience not to go into it for these purposes - we're not trying to actually measure your suffering. When it's therapy time, and we get to details, then of course it is important.unenlightened

    I see, so then that produces a skewed distribution of who needs what. And those whos wheel squeak louder will get the grease. Which, then would lead to a perpetual neurotic driven demand for therapy of sorts. Anyway, have you experienced this phenomenon in practice rather than in theory?
  • unenlightened
    3.6k
    I see, so then that produces a skewed distribution of who needs what.Wallows

    Not really. There are obviously factors that are not accounted for in a short questionnaire. there are obviously degrees of 'often' and beating and sexual touching that are not accounted for. It does what it does, and not everything.

    A 2005 meta-analysis of schizophrenia revealed that the prevalence of physical and sexual abuse in the histories of people diagnosed with psychotic disorders is very high and has been understudied. This literature review revealed prevalence rates of childhood sexual abuse in studies of people diagnosed with schizophrenia ranging from 45% to 65%.[2] An analysis of the American National Comorbidity Study revealed that people who have endured three kinds of abuse (e.g., sexual, physical, bullying) are at an 18-fold higher risk of psychosis, whereas those experiencing five types are 193 times more likely to become psychotic. — wiki

    This is the sort of thing that is interesting, not on an individual level, but on a theoretical level. These are not causes, but clearly they are important. Probably some people are genetically more susceptible to this or that. schizophrenia, or depression, or obesity, or... and some are highly resistant to them.

    But for you, if you have a score of 3 and you have symptoms x, y, z, that are known to be associated with adverse childhood experiences as measured by this rough and ready guide, then there is an extremely good bet that your symptoms are related to your childhood experiences. And that might in turn suggest some therapeutic relation that involves looking in that direction, and that would then include whatever else was a stressor, including neglect.
  • Wallows
    8.1k


    So, I'm going to throw out my favorite word of the week, being "homeostasis", with yours being xyz... If I understand your reasoning correctly and the profound valence or salience of my favorite word of the week, then how do you interpret it according with theory and practice.

    Forgive me if I'm clouding up this thread if your not interested in that concept at all.
  • unenlightened
    3.6k
    I need a bit more than a word. This is just a wild guess, but if you are thinking along the lines that 'mental illness' is an attempt to maintain one's psychological stability in a dangerous unstable mad world, then I think that is probably something like, A childhood coping adjustment thatbecomes a hopeless maladjustment to a normal world.
  • Wallows
    8.1k
    I need a bit more than a word.unenlightened

    So, I'll elaborate since you've shown interest in the issue. Namely, given your antipsychiatry sentiment, and my affinity of the (unthinkable) assumption that people can just as well live without drugs or antidepressants or major tranquilizers and simply cope or change their circumstances, then why (according to the links you have provided and what you have said yourself) is it so hard for people to assimilate traumatic experiences, and instead experience some internal or external outlet in the form of psychosis, addiction, high-blood pressure, self medication, depression...

    Basically, I'm asking if there ever can be a quantification done in regards when medication is necessary or not, if we cannot attain a state of homeostasis with regards to traumatic or (lesser so) adverse childhood experiences, and if we cannot, then why not?
  • TogetherTurtle
    217
    5 or 4 1/2 for me.

    Now if you read Alice Miller, or Gabor Mate, they will tell you that it is not just in the gutter that you will find these victims, but some of the great and the good, actors businessmen, politicians are also suffering and coping as best they can with obsessive behaviours of another kind.unenlightened

    I think the difference between the people in the gutter and the ones who become successful is interesting. Surely chance has something to do with it, but what else? The severity of the abuse might. For instance, maybe a 7 on the scale has a better chance at success than a 9.

    For successful people, perhaps there is a sweet spot of abuse where it isn't too high to learn from but not so low that you stagnate. Of course, people from all levels can succeed, so everyone must have a different tolerance to abuse. Of course, there are also ways to learn that don't involve abuse, or at least what we would classify as abuse. At the end of the day, to be right in the future, you must be ok with being wrong, and at least at first, being wrong hurts.

    And what of potential? It is often said that challenges make you stronger, but I would disagree to an extent. Challenges only make you stronger when you complete or win them. If you leave them alone or lose, you will only become weaker. If you lose, then you don't learn what is required to win. Sure, you learn what isn't required, but that can be almost anything and win conditions are specific.

    A believer in free will would probably argue that the difference now between the person who succeeds and the person who doesn't is their own decisions. But what affects their ability to make these decisions? Outside factors. If you are in a bad situation, then only something from outside that situation can help you, because without change a stable system will not change. Even then, help that intervenes could just make things worse.

    It certainly does seem to come down to luck at some point. There is so much we don't know about the human mind that would be endlessly useful in our everyday lives. I like to imagine a world where we can make everyone live up to their full potential. Of course, that is much easier said than done.
  • csalisbury
    1.7k
    @Wallows @unenlightenedIsn't question number four about emotional neglect?
  • Wallows
    8.1k


    Yes, I believe you are right. But, the generality of the question posed, leaves much to be desired in my mind.
  • csalisbury
    1.7k
    Maybe, but your example was 'why don't you love me?' which question four says exactly!

    I do have some of my own issues with the test though. surely being raped by a parent and suffering through a divorce @ 17 should not equally be a 'one'. Admittedly tangential to the op's point tho.
  • Wallows
    8.1k
    . surely being raped by a parent and suffering through a divorce 17 should not equally be a 'one'.csalisbury

    Ouch. Sorry to hear. Yeah, the test is pretty broad and all encompassing. I thought it was pretty short being only 10 questions for the issues raised.
  • csalisbury
    1.7k
    oh i was the parents getting divorced when I was 17, not the other one.
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