• 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
    4.2k
    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
    4.2k
    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
    4.2k
    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
    4.2k
    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/
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