• Andrew4Handel
    1.4k
    If there is a vase or another fragile object on a table and you kick the table over then the vase is likely to break.
    So from this we can say that certain actions lead to harm or disorder.
    Compare this to the treatment of humans who can suffer years of various abuses.
    We could say humans are more resilient than vases but on what grounds?

    I feel that the effects of abuse, neglect and difficulties are underestimated and therefore the ideas about how to help people or enact change are weak.

    At the same time I can accept that different materials have different levels of resilience but I don't see which material scenario can be considered analogous to the human situation.

    Overall I think we need to be more careful of treating people as resilient over treating them as fragile.
  • unenlightened
    5k
    You are bang on target with the latest psychological thinking.

    I had a thread about it a while back that may have some interesting links for you.
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.4k


    Thanks. I didn't know about that thread. There are some good links on it. I don't know if this one should be merged.

    My question I suppose is can you recover from mental trauma if you compare it to physical trauma and realise how some physical trauma is irreversible.
    A problem is defining what a normal functioning healthy human is.

    Some people live for a long time whilst never feeling good. For example the previous worlds oldest lady said she had never been happy and thought life was a curse from God.

    If you feel unhappy but live a long time can you be described as healthy? So we could differentiate between physical and mental resilience.

    I certainly feel there are very few adequate treatments for abuse and neglect victims and mental disorders. But is there a sufficient model for what is really a healthy human and healthy psyche? In one sense it is a battle against society. If society is causing or based on dysfunction it is hard to make it the solution.
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.4k
    I suppose that the basic point is why would you not expect abuse to cause damage?

    Unfortunately we have adages like "Sticks and stones may break my bones
    But words will never harm me."

    This encapsulates the idea that physical harm is the only significant harm.
  • unenlightened
    5k
    My question I suppose is can you recover from mental trauma if you compare it to physical trauma and realise how some physical trauma is irreversible.
    A problem is defining what a normal functioning healthy human is.
    Andrew4Handel


    Some people live for a long time whilst never feeling good. For example the previous worlds oldest lady said she had never been happy and thought life was a curse from God.Andrew4Handel

    There's a lot to go at in your posts, but I'll say some stuff as if I know what's what, and see if we agree at all.

    Who is to say that the oldest lady is not entirely correct and sane? Suppose one lived in a concentration camp, one would have to be mad to be happy? I will claim that a proper mental function is to be happy to the extent that things are good, and unhappy to the extent they are bad. Which is to say, I suppose, that happiness is not straightforwardly associated with mental health.

    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. — J. Krishnamurti

    But if one is constantly anxious, or desperately miserable and depressed, or feels out of control, then to escape that is what one probably immediately means by 'happiness'. In such case, the concentration camp one wishes to escape from is intra-psychic whereas real concentration camps are inter-psychic, ie social constructs.

    But one needs in any case to bear in mind this relational condition of mentality. One might get closest to a definition of mental health in terms of being (appropriately) responsive to the environment, at which point, you can infer that current society is on this measure profoundly sick, and deep personal unhappiness and alienation is a sign of mental health.
  • unenlightened
    5k
    But from the pov. of someone who has been traumatised as a child, in a condition where one cannot escape and must as a biological imperative form an attachment with , in this case a possibly abusive parent, to be able to live with oneself is the happiness goal, and that I would say is more or less achievable in most cases, with the caveat that one cannot maintain a separation between the person and the trauma, so that to be healed is to become someone else, or in old-fashioned language to be 'born again', which is first to die - psychologically.
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.4k
    to be able to live with oneself is the happiness goal, and that I would say is more or less achievable in most cases, with the caveat that one cannot maintain a separation between the person and the trauma, so that to be healed is to become someone else, or in old-fashioned language to be 'born again', which is first to die - psychologically.unenlightened

    I don't know if there is a true self which might have been suppressed by abuse and trauma. Being yourself can lead to being rejected. It is a kind of dance and compromise.

    But can happiness be achieved by simply having basic needs met? Most cases of depression I have met seem to be caused by events but some people say they had a very supportive childhood but still became depressed.

    In a difficult society can close friends and family protect against other dysfunction and stress?

    I did have therapist suggest that I create new social circle to give the support family can't. But I feel you cannot replace possibly essential family relationships to become secure again (at least in my experience).
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.4k
    . One might get closest to a definition of mental health in terms of being (appropriately) responsive to the environment, at which point, you can infer that current society is on this measure profoundly sick, and deep personal unhappiness and alienation is a sign of mental health.unenlightened

    I like this idea. Does this mean that mental health involves the individual and society/environment?

    I studied some person centered/individual psychology and some social psychology but the two fields did not seem to meet. Mental health services seem person centered.

    I suppose the whole field of mental health needs reevaluating. Psychology has lots of branches that claim to be incompatible but when I did my degree I argued that the fields are compatible but describe different aspect of psychology. A little bit of each perspective can be true such as the unconscious vs the humanist and the cognitive versus critical social psychology etc
  • unenlightened
    5k
    Being yourself can lead to being rejected.Andrew4Handel

    Classic! :smile: The actor and the mask.

    Unfortunately, not being yourself leads to not being accepted even if you are accepted.

    See alice Miller, https://www.8freebooks.net/download-the-drama-of-the-gifted-child-alice-miller-pdf/
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.4k


    I like Alice Millers work.

    Her website had testimony from people about the effects of being hit as a child from people who were hit regularly to people who were hit once. They were good at articulating how negative it was for them for them and how there was no positive outcome.

    But a lot of people still support hitting children going against all the evidence from psychological studies on its negative effects.

    So there is this situation where what counts as abuse is refuted and if people don't class a behaviour as abuse they are likely to keep repeating it. But it seems to be such a long process to prove to others what abuse and dysfunction is.
  • Pneumenon
    443
    A big problem is heterogeneity.

    Some people rise from the ashes of their failure. Some people get knocked down by the smallest setbacks. There's no corresponding material, no analogy, because people are too different from one another.
  • TheMadFool
    6.2k
    If there is a vase or another fragile object on a table and you kick the table over then the vase is likely to break.
    So from this we can say that certain actions lead to harm or disorder.
    Compare this to the treatment of humans who can suffer years of various abuses.
    We could say humans are more resilient than vases but on what grounds?

    I feel that the effects of abuse, neglect and difficulties are underestimated and therefore the ideas about how to help people or enact change are weak.

    At the same time I can accept that different materials have different levels of resilience but I don't see which material scenario can be considered analogous to the human situation.

    Overall I think we need to be more careful of treating people as resilient over treating them as fragile.
    Andrew4Handel

    Do you see abuse as inevitable that you must ask about fragility and resilience to abuse?

    I mean isn't abuse itself preventable? Why create a problem (abuse) and look for a cure (based on resilience and fragility)?

    Oddly I'm beginning to think of unbreakable, not the movie, but pots and pans. I guess we all desire stuff that can handle rough treatment because it's not in our nature to be gentle.
  • Invisibilis
    29
    The effects of abuse
    Depends on each persons beliefs about what is being abused, and how does ones consciousness relate to it.
  • Invisibilis
    29
    Do you see abuse as inevitable that you must ask about fragility and resilience to abuse?TheMadFool

    Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.
    Suffering is a story, to believe in, about not coping with the pain.

    Everybody abuses themselves in one way or another. So abuse is inevitable.
  • TheMadFool
    6.2k
    Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.
    Suffering is a story, to believe in, about not coping with the pain.

    Everybody abuses themselves in one way or another. So abuse is inevitable.
    Invisibilis

    What is the difference between pain and suffering? What do you mean by abuse? Does abuse cause pain or does it cause suffering?
  • unenlightened
    5k
    I mean isn't abuse itself preventable? Why create a problem (abuse) and look for a cure (based on resilience and fragility)?TheMadFool

    There is a deal of material, and some links in the thread I linked earlier. Bruce Perry has a useful analogy to aid a general understanding. One develops muscles by stressing them, and actually causing little tiny tears, and they grow stronger. The trick is to start with the small weights, and increase as the muscles increase. To start with the heavy weights will not develop muscles but damage and so weaken them. Likewise, one offers small challenges to a child, and as they become more resilient they can face larger challenges.

    "Resilience" has become a buzz-word these days, and is much used by people who have little understanding. But it has a particular meaning in this context and is developed through caring relationship (not government program). Here's a simple example.

    When an infant becomes mobile, and starts to crawl, stairs become a danger, because climbing up is easy, and falling down is even easier. So perhaps one uses a stair gate. This protects the child from trauma - falling, but does not develop resilience - teaching them to navigate the stairs safely. To develop resilience, one spends time with the child, allowing them to climb, catching them if they fall, and showing them how to come down safely by crawling backwards. And so the danger becomes an adventure and a liberation.
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.4k
    Do you see abuse as inevitable that you must ask about fragility and resilience to abuse?TheMadFool

    I think the problem is that failing to treat past abuse properly can lead to more abuse. So to prevent abuse we need tackle current abuse and it's aftermath.

    I think you can become mentally resilient by being cared for properly. I do agree with the concept of prevention over cure.

    But because there are people who have been abused or are being abused I think that we need too assess the damage as accurately as possible.
  • Invisibilis
    29

    Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.
    Suffering is a story, to believe in, about not coping with the pain.

    Everybody abuses themselves in one way or another. So abuse is inevitable. — Invisibilis

    What is the difference between pain and suffering? What do you mean by abuse? Does abuse cause pain or does it cause suffering?
    TheMadFool

    Pain is a sensation.
    Suffering is a story of not coping with the sensation.
    Abuse is a misuse.
    Abuse can be pain and/or suffering, or neither. It depends on the type of misuse.
  • TheMadFool
    6.2k
    Pain is a sensation.
    Suffering is a story of not coping with the sensation.
    Abuse is a misuse.
    Abuse can be pain and/or suffering, or neither. It depends on the type of misuse.
    Invisibilis

    I see. Fantastic. So, while pain is a natural part of life, we have the option of how we face/deal with it that may prevent suffering. What would these coping strategies look like in your opinion?

    Off the top of my head, religion seems to be one. Which religion, in your opinion, provides the best coping strategy for pain?

    Also what do you mean by abuse can be neither?
  • TheMadFool
    6.2k
    I think the problem is that failing to treat past abuse properly can lead to more abuse. So to prevent abuse we need tackle current abuse and it's aftermath.

    I think you can become mentally resilient by being cared for properly. I do agree with the concept of prevention over cure.

    But because there are people who have been abused or are being abused I think that we need too assess the damage as accurately as possible.
    Andrew4Handel

    Read below:

    It strikes me as a good world we live in that takes people to the ER or hospital when facing death or at risk of it.

    I had a brief stint trying to end myself and spent some time in a psychiatric unit. The single question I formulated in my mind, that I wanted to ask everyone follows like this...

    If B follows from A, and C follows from B, and we only address C being a suicide or other ills, then why aren't we addressing the confounding factors starting from A->B->C?
    Wallows

    Perhaps part of tackling abuse is to prevent it. A post-abuse treatment seems one step too late for it makes a illness of "normal" reactions to abuse while the abuser, the one who's the real sick person is left untreated, and in likelihood will inflict more abuse to other people too.
  • TheMadFool
    6.2k
    There is a deal of material, and some links in the thread I linked earlier. Bruce Perry has a useful analogy to aid a general understanding. One develops muscles by stressing them, and actually causing little tiny tears, and they grow stronger. The trick is to start with the small weights, and increase as the muscles increase. To start with the heavy weights will not develop muscles but damage and so weaken them. Likewise, one offers small challenges to a child, and as they become more resilient they can face larger challenges.

    "Resilience" has become a buzz-word these days, and is much used by people who have little understanding. But it has a particular meaning in this context and is developed through caring relationship (not government program). Here's a simple example.

    When an infant becomes mobile, and starts to crawl, stairs become a danger, because climbing up is easy, and falling down is even easier. So perhaps one uses a stair gate. This protects the child from trauma - falling, but does not develop resilience - teaching them to navigate the stairs safely. To develop resilience, one spends time with the child, allowing them to climb, catching them if they fall, and showing them how to come down safely by crawling backwards. And so the danger becomes an adventure and a liberation.
    unenlightened

    What you say makes sense. A lot of what goes in soldier training programs would surely qualify as abuse for the civilian population. To shield people from all pain/suffering would be detrimental because that amounts to covering their eyes from reality which is not, as they say, a bed of roses.

    However, in my humble opinion, pain/suffering as part of living is quite different from abuse. Abuse is unnecessary/excessive pain/suffering and like atheists who complain about the problem of evil, how it exceeds the level necessary for adventure and liberation, we too can say abuse is a stumbling block instead of a stepping stone.
  • Invisibilis
    29
    ...So, while pain is a natural part of life, we have the option of how we face/deal with it that may prevent suffering. What would these coping strategies look like in your opinion?

    Off the top of my head, religion seems to be one. Which religion, in your opinion, provides the best coping strategy for pain?

    Also what do you mean by abuse can be neither?
    TheMadFool
    As mentioned, suffering is a story about not coping. So change the story to something else, such as "It's only pain". Then the mind searches another meaning for pain than the one about not coping.

    You might even come to a point of okayness, where it is okay to not be okay. This is not about accepting the abuse, but accepting the pain, because it already exists.

    I don't know about religions providing the best coping strategy. I am simply looking at the truth of the matter.

    Abuse can be neither painful nor suffering. Certain self abuses, such as malnutrition (which includes obesity), may seem painless and without suffering.
  • TheMadFool
    6.2k
    As mentioned, suffering is a story about not coping. So change the story to something else, such as "It's only pain". Then the mind searches another meaning for pain than the one about not coping.

    You might even come to a point of okayness, where it is okay to not be okay. This is not about accepting the abuse, but accepting the pain, because it already exists.

    I don't know about religions providing the best coping strategy. I am simply looking at the truth of the matter.

    Abuse can be neither painful nor suffering. Certain self abuses, such as malnutrition (which includes obesity), may seem painless and without suffering.
    Invisibilis

    What is coping to you?

    What have you discovered about the truth of the matter so far?
  • unenlightened
    5k
    What have you discovered about the truth of the matter so far?TheMadFool

    Last night I saw upon the stair,
    A little man who wasn't there,
    He wasn't there again today
    Oh, how I wish he'd go away...

    Hughes Mearns.
  • Coben
    1.5k
    I think people realize now that PTSD as it is sometimes framed can cause long lasting or even permanent damage. But the trick it seems to me, is not to close the door on recovery. All sorts of physical trauma, even extremely severe can be fully recovered from. Sometimes it seems to me people are told too often 'you will always be X'. I understand that one should not minimize the trauma and its effects, but also one should not presume to know what one can heal. There is a balance there and individuals vary and respond in varying ways to different treatment modalities (this holds for physical issues also.)
  • TheMadFool
    6.2k
    Last night I saw upon the stair,
    A little man who wasn't there,
    He wasn't there again today
    Oh, how I wish he'd go away...

    Hughes Mearns.
    unenlightened

    :chin:
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.4k
    All sorts of physical trauma, even extremely severe can be fully recovered from.Coben

    I think it is hard to define what recovery from mental problems is. In a sense it will be subjective where someone accepts their current mental state as good enough.

    But to recover I think we first need to appropriately assess the problem.

    There have been some strange solutions to mental health problems where the cause was unexpected.

    For example chronic constipation can lead to mental health problems (due a build up of toxins) and some depression is caused by conditions like ADHD and the person recovers by being given ADHD medication.
  • Coben
    1.5k
    For example chronic constipation can lead to mental health problems (due a build up of toxins) and some depression is caused by conditions like ADHD and the person recovers by being given ADHD medication.Andrew4Handel
    Though since adhd medications are generally uppers, I am not sure we have solved a problem, but perhaps shifted it down the line.
    There have been some strange solutions to mental health problems where the cause was unexpected.Andrew4Handel
    Diet, contact with nature, meaningful work, friends, physical activity, as some examples, have all made incredible changes in the emotional experience of people and not using medication. A great book on the subject is....


    https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Connections-Uncovering-Depression-Unexpected/dp/163286830X
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