How Trauma Can Seriously Adversely Affect The Nervous System

how trauma can adversely affect the nervous system

Peter Levine, an expert on the effects of trauma on the body, states that as a result of severe and prolonged trauma, the functioning of our nervous systems can become seriously disrupted. More specifically, traumatized individuals can suffer from dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system.

What Is The Autonomic Nervous System?

The autonomic nervous system operates below the level of conscious awareness (i.e. it functions involuntarily) and consists of two sub-systems : the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system.

What Are The Sympathetic And Parasympathetic Sub-Systems?

The Sympathetic Sub-System :

This sub-system of the autonomic nervous system is ‘switched on’ when we are faced with threat/danger/emergencies in order to mobilize extra energy that the body may require for fight/flight.

The Parasympathetic Sub-System :

This sub-system of the autonomic nervous system is ‘switched on’ when we are in a state of relaxation.

 

How Does The Autonomic Nervous System Become Dysregulated And What Effect Does Such Dysregulation Have On The Individual?

Trauma can cause the autonomic nervous system to become dysregulated in two main ways :

  1. The sympathetic sub-system can become ‘stuck’ / ‘locked on’
  2. The parasympathetic sub-system can become ‘stuck’ / ‘locked on’

A traumatized individual, whose traumatic experiences remain unprocessed, may become ‘stuck’ / ‘locked into’ one of the above two extremes or may oscillate back and forth between the them ; their is a loss of homeostasis (i.e. healthy balance between the two systems). In the absence of effective therapy, such dysregulation can persist for months, or, as in my own case, for years. I briefly outline the effects of these two types of dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system below :

trauma adverse effect on nervous system

Above : Effects of the activation of each of the two sub-systems on heart rate. Other effects of the two sub-systems shown below :

 

EFFECTS OF THE SYMPATHETIC SUB-SYSTEM BEING ‘LOCKED ON’ :

 

  • increased heart rate
  • fear
  • anxiety
  • panic
  • hypervigilance
  • insomnia
  • mania
  • anger / rage / hostility
  • chronic pain
  • emotional flooding
  • digestion inhibited
  • adrenal glands secrete epinephrine and norepinephrine
  • bronchioles are dilated

EFFECTS OF THE PARASYMPATHETIC SUB-SYSTEM BEING ‘LOCKED ON’ :

NB. The normal function of the parasympathetic sub-system is to facilitate rest and recovery after the sympathetic sub-system has been activated and the danger has passed – however, severe trauma can lead to the body ‘shutting down’ too much leading to symptoms such as those shown above.

THERAPY :

A therapy that has been specifically designed for individuals who have experienced trauma leading to dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system (as described above) is called SOMATIC EXPERIENCING THERAPY.

 

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

 

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2017 Child Abuse, Trauma and Recovery

3 Ways To Classify Trauma

3 ways to classify trauma

Terr (1991) in an article published in the American Journal Of Psychiatry, proposes three classifications of trauma. These are as follows :

Terr’s 3 Classifications Of Trauma :

  1. ACUTE TRAUMA (Type I Trauma)
  2. COMPLEX TRAUMA (Type II Trauma)
  3. CROSSOVER TRAUMA (Type III Trauma)

Below, I briefly define and provide examples of these three classifications of trauma :

  1. ACUTE TRAUMA (Type I Trauma): this results from an individual being exposed to a single, overwhelming traumatic event such as the death of a parent during one’s childhood. According to Terr, chief characteristics of acute trauma include detailed memories relating to the traumatic event, an exaggerated startle response, hypervigilance, emotional overreactions and misperceptions.
  2. COMPLEX TRAUMA (Type II Trauma): this results from protracted exposure to traumatizing situations and events such as years of emotional abuse by one’s parents during childhood. According to Terr, chief characteristics of complex trauma include dissociation, psychological numbing, rage, social withdrawal, and a sense of a foreshortened future.
  3. CROSSOVER TRAUMA (Type III Trauma): like acute trauma (see above), crossover trauma also results from a single, overwhelming event ; however, in the case of crossover trauma, the traumatic event is so devastating that the adverse psychological effects of the trauma are long-term. An example of this type of trauma is being involved in a car crash in which other family members are killed. Terr states that chief characteristics of crossover trauma include extended mourning/depression, chronic pain,  sleep disturbances (such as insomnia and nightmares), difficulties concentrating and irritability.

types of trauma

The above forms of trauma are types of DIRECT traumatic experience. However, it is also possible to experience trauma INDIRECTLY. The indirect experience of trauma is also sometimes referred to as SECONDARY TRAUMA or VICARIOUS TRAUMA :

What Is Meant By Secondary / Vicarious Trauma, Who Does It Affect And What Are The Symptoms?

This can affect professionals who work with traumatized individuals and refers to the adverse psychological consequences that might be suffered by such professionals as a result of such work – this is also sometimes referred to as compassion fatigue; symptoms of compassion fatigue include exhaustion, emotional numbness, withdrawal and poor concentration (all of which may impair work performance). Professionals who work with traumatized individuals and who have little support or have suffered significant trauma in their own lives are especially at risk of developing secondary trauma / vicarious trauma / compassion fatigue.

 

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

 

 

 

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2017 Child Abuse, Trauma and Recovery

Posttraumatic Growth : An Existential Perspective

posttraumatic existential growth

We have seen from other articles that I have published in the ‘Postraumatic Growth’ section (see MAIN MENU at the top of this page) of this site that it is not only possible to recover from the adverse effects of trauma but even to go on to develop as an individual in response them in ways that would not have been possible had the traumatic events not occurred.

The concept of posttraumatic growth is closely related to existential philosophy / psychology. Yalom (1980) asserts that the four fundamental existential concerns that mankind faces are :

DEATH

FREEDOM

ISOLATION

MEANINGLESSNESS

Whilst most people go through life without dwelling on these four existential concerns too deeply (distracted as they are by life’s more superficial and mundane problems), there are certain life events that can bring them sharply into focus, including what Yalom refers to as a ‘COLLAPSE IN MEANING-MAKING SCHEMAas may occur as a result of severely traumatic experiences. (The term schema refers to the mental models we construct that help us make sense of / interpret the world around us. To read my article : ‘Childhood Trauma Leading To The Development Of Negative Schema’, click here.)

existential crisis

Yahom suggests that when a person becomes aware of one (or more) of these existential concerns as a result of trauma, s/he will enter a state of anxiety (i’e’ s/he will experience as EXISTENTIAL CRISIS).

Crucially, however, Yahom states, how long this state of anxiety lasts, together with its intensity, determines whether or not the individual who experiences the existential crisis a result of his / her traumatic experiences enters :

A) A positive state of posttraumatic growth 

or

B) A negative state of psychopathology

If s/he is fortunate enough to enter a positive state of posttraumatic growth, the individual can experience a profound sense of renewed meaning in life.

In relation to existential concerns, this may involve a far deeper appreciation of life given a more vivid awareness of one’s mortality and how precarious human existence is (specifically, this is connected to the existential concerns of meaning and death).

Or, to provide another example, a person may realize, given life’s brevity and uncertainty, s/he should make the free choice to live life more authentically, perhaps involving a radical change of career, lifestyle and social acquaintances (specifically, this is connected to the existential concerns of death and what to do with one’s freedom of choice).

A third example would be that of a person who finds a new, meaningful cause, related to the traumatic experience s/he suffered, to work for in life, such as a person who survived a highly disturbed childhood deciding to undertake helping disturbed children as his/her vocation (specifically, this is connected to the existential concern of finding meaning in life, and, thus, overcoming an existing, perceived state of meaninglessness).

 

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

 

 

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2017 Child Abuse, Trauma and Recovery

Steps To Trauma Recovery

steps to trauma recovery

The psychoanalyst, Rothschild, in her excellent book ‘Keys To Safe Trauma Recovery‘, suggests that recovery from trauma entails just a handful of majo elements and I list these below. Underneath some of the elements that appear on the list I have added my own short elaborations and elucidations in terms of how each element may relate specifically to recovery from childhood trauma.

1) Recognizing that one has experienced trauma and survived it.

In the case of childhood trauma it is essential that the victim’s feelings in relation to it are validated by at least one significant other ; the psychotherapist and childhood trauma expert Alice Miller termed such a person an ‘enlightened witness’. An enlightened witness is so vital because It is not unusual for other members of the traumatized individual’s family to invalidate the his/her feelings (e.g. belittling them or dismissing them) for reasons connected to their own guilt and complicity.

2) Coming to terms with flashbacks and understanding their relationship to traumatic memories (to read my article Horowitz’s Information Processing Theory, Flashbacks And Nightmares‘, click here).

3) Self-Compassion

Many individuals suffer from IRRATIONAL feelings of self-blame and guilt in relation to their traumatic childhood experiences ; for example, a child whose parents divorce may erroneously blame him/herself for the parents’ marital breakdown. It is essential to free oneself from such inaccurate and self-destructive beliefs.

To read my article on ‘Compassion Focused Therapy For The Effects Of Childhood Trauma‘, click here.

steps to trauma recovery

4) The need to overcome feelings of shame

Closely related to self-blame and guilt, irrational feelings of shame are also extremely common amongst survivors of childhood trauma and the victim may require significant therapeutic intervention to facilitate the amelioration of such feelings.To read my article entitled ‘Shame And Its Agonizing Effects‘, click here.

5) Recovery from trauma best achieved by breaking the recovery process down into small, manageable steps.

6) Mobilizing the body out of its ‘frozen’ state

Trauma affects the body’s biological functioning and can have the effect of ‘freezing’ it into a state of physiological HYPERAROUSAL and FEAR. Exercising for about 30 minutes a day can help ‘unfreeeze’ the body, not least because it helps to return adrenaline levels to normal (those ‘frozen’ in a hyperaroused and fearful state have an excess of adrenaline coursing through their systems, contributing significantly to feelings of physical tension and associated emotional distress.

7) Deriving meaning and purpose from one’s traumatic experiences in a way that leads to self-improvement.

This essentially refers the concept of posttraumatic growth. A whole category of this site is devoted to posttraumatic growth articles (see MAIN MENU at the top of the page).

 

THERAPIES :

Therapies that can be effective for individuals who have suffered childhood trauma include ‘talking therapies’ such as counselling and psychotherapy. Also, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) can be very effective.

 

 

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

 

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2017 Child Abuse, Trauma and Recovery

Diagnosing BPD In Adolescents : Why Some Clinicians Don’t Like Doing It

 

diagnosing BPD in adolescents

Whilst borderline personality disorder (BPD) can be diagnosed in adolescents, some clinicians may be reluctant to do so ; I summarize some of the main reasons for this below :

– Symptoms of borderline personality disorder (BPD) may overlap lap to some degree with non-pathological (‘normal’) adolescent behaviors which can somewhat muddy the waters when it comes to attempting to make a clear, unambiguous and unequivocal diagnosis.

– The personality of the adolescent is still developing and is not yet fully formed

– Although it is less the case now than it was (in even the relatively recent past) a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder (BPD) is still often perceived as being stigmatizing and can potentially make the adolescent feel yet worse about himself/herself when his/her self-esteem and sense of self-worth is already extremely low (low self-esteem and low sense of self-worth are hallmark symptoms of BPD).

However, some individuals also feel a great sense of relief to have a diagnosis as it helps them to understand the root causes of their dysfunctional behaviors and therefore feel less guilty (feelings of intense, irrational guilt are another hallmark symptom of BPD).

Also, of course, an accurate diagnosis helps to ensure appropriate and effective treatment is given (see RISK OF SUICIDE below); at present, the most effective treatment for BPD is considered to be dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). Whilst DBT is a therapy that was initially developed in order to help to treat adults with BPD, it is possible to adapt it to the needs of the adolescent. However, the majority of clinicians are still reluctant to make the diagnosis of BPD in young people who are under the age of eighteen years.

– Because BPD has its roots in childhood experience, it is likely that some clinicians are worried about diagnosing BPD in the adolescent in case the parents may regard it as a negative judgment upon them and therefore become upset or angry.

However, if the parents’ behavior has seriously damaged their child, then alerting them to the fact may galvanize them into making a concerted effort to improve the manner in which they treat the young person (sadly, of course, this can’t be guaranteed ; indeed. abusive parents may feel humiliated at take it out on the child).

– Because BPD sufferers tend to be gravely misunderstood, even by those entrusted with their care and treatment, some clinicians may be reluctant to diagnose adolescents with BPD in case it results in them being treated with prejudice and discriminated against by other clinicians they may come into contact with in later life,

THE RISK OF SUICIDE :

It is vital to remember that one in ten (yes, 10%) of individuals with BPD end up dying by suicide. This statistic demonstrates the vital importance of the earliest possible therapeutic intervention for those suffering from this profoundly painful and complex condition. Clearly, a prerequisite to effective treatment is sensitive, timely and accurate diagnosis.

eBook :

BPD ebook

The above eBook Childhood Trauma And Its Link To Borderline Personality Disorder, is now available for instant download from Amazon. Click on above image or click here for details (other titles available).

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).[sg_popup id=”3″ event=”onload”][/sg_popup]

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2017 Child Abuse, Trauma and Recovery

Controlling Emotions : The Emotional Regulation System

controlling emotions

We have seen from other articles that I have published on this site that if, as children, we experienced, significant and protracted trauma we are at increased risk of developing various psychological difficulties as adults, including an increased risk of developing borderline personality disorder (BPD) and complex posttraumatic  stress disorder.

One of the hallmarks of BPD, as we have also seen from other articles, is that the sufferer of the condition finds it very difficult indeed to control intense and volatile emotions. In effect, the emotional regulation system of individuals diagnosed with BPD is out of kilter and dysfunctional.

What Is The Emotional Regulation System?

The emotional regulation system is fundamentally comprised of three interacting parts of the brain ; these are as follows :

  1. THE THREAT SYSTEM (detects and reacts to threats)
  2. THE DRIVE SYSTEM (motivates us to identify and seek resources)
  3. THE SOOTHING SYSTEM  (helps balance the two systems above and engenders in us a sense of well-being, satisfaction and contentment)

Each of these three systems is neither good nor bad per seas long as they are in balance and interacting in a healthy and functional way. However, each system is vulnerable to becoming dysfunctional (as occurs in the case of those suffering from BPD, for example). TO READ ABOUT WAYS IN WHICH THESE SYSTEMS CAN BECOME DYSFUNCTIONAL AND THERAPIES THAT CAN HELP, YOU MAY LIKE TO READ ANOTHER OF MY POSTS ON THE EMOTIONAL REGULATION SYSTEM BY CLICKING HERE.

how to control emotions

THE ROLE OF NEUROPLASTICITY IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE EMOTIONAL REGULATION SYSTEM :

The way in which the brain is shaped and develops depends, to a large degree, upon our early life experiences ; this is because of a quality of the brain known as neuroplasticity which you can read about by clicking here.

Because of the brain’s neuroplasticity, if, when we are young, we are constantly exposed to fear and danger because, for example, of the abusive treatment we receive from a parent or primary care giver, the THREAT SYSTEM is at very high risk of being constantly over-activated in a way that leads it to operate in a dysfunctional manner ; this dysfunction takes the form of the fight/flight/freeze; response becoming hypersensitive, resulting in the affected individual developing grave difficulties keeping related emotions (such as anger, fear and anxiety) in check. Without appropriate therapy, such dysfunction may last well into adulthood or even for an entire lifetime.

On the other hand, if, when we are young, we experience consistent and secure love, care and emotional warmth from our parents / primary caregivers, our SOOTHING SYSTEM is ‘nourished’ and becomes optimally (or close to optimally) developed resulting in us becoming more able to cope with life’s inevitable stressors, less vulnerable to feelings of anxiety and fear, and more able to calm ourselves down and ‘self-sooth’ than those who had who were brought up in an environment in which they were constantly exposed to fear and danger.

However, even if we have had a traumatic early life and have problems regulating our emotions, there are various, simple things we can do to us control our feelings (see below).

 

  • AVOID REACTING IMMEDIATELY / IMPULSIVELY : For example, if someone triggers our anger, rather than making a reflexive response (such as saying something we’ll deeply regret later) it is better to wait until the rage has subsided – this may involve calming physiological symptoms like fast heart rate and tense muscles by using relaxation exercises such as deep breathing and visualization ; we may, therefore, need to remove ourselves for a while (if possible) from the presence of whoever it may be that has upset us.
  • MAKE POSITIVE ALTERATIONS TO THE SITUATION GIVING RISE TO OUR NEGATIVE EMOTIONS (although this will not always be feasible, of course)
  • ALTER FOCUS OF ATTENTION (e.g. undertaking a distracting activity)
  • ALTER WAY IN WHICH WE ARE THINKING ABOUT THE SITUATION : A therapy that can help with this is COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY (CBT).

USING NEUROPLASTICITY TO OUR ADVANTAGE :

Although the brain’s quality of neuroplasticity can work against us if we experience a traumatic early life, we can also take advantage of it later in life to help reverse any damage that was done to the development of our young and vulnerable brains. In order to learn more about how this may be possible, you may wish read my article MENDING THE MIND : SELF-DIRECTED NEUROPLASTICITY.

DIALECTICAL BEHAVIORAL THERAPY (DBT) :

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a therapy that was designed primarily for those who are suffering from borderline personality disorder (see above). A particularly useful skill taught within this therapy is called DISTRESS TOLERANCE which can be very helpful for those experiencing emotional distress due to intense, negative feelings.

COMPASSION FOCUSED THERAPY (CFT) :

Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) can also be an effective therapy for those suffering from emotional dysregulation.

 

RESOURCE :

CONTROL YOUR EMOTIONS – SELF-HYPNOSIS DOWNLOAD. Click HERE for

further information.

 

eBook :

childhood trauma damages brain ebook

Above eBook now available on Amazon for immediate download. For further information, click here.

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2017 Child Abuse, Trauma and Recovery

Narcissism : The Roles Of Nature, Nurture And Culture

narcissism nature and nurture

To what degree are narcissists created by their genetic inheritance (nature) and to what degree by the environment in which they grow up (nurture)?

The Role Of Nature :

According to a leading expert in the field of the study of narcissism, Dr Craig Malkin (Harvard Medical School), author of the fascinating book The Narcissist Test, some individuals may be born with an innate, or, in other words, genetic, predisposition towards developing narcissism in later life (which is, of course, a very different thing from asserting that there exists a gene for narcissism).

Indeed, he states that some young children start to display a temperament with narcissistic-like elements even before the age of three years, such as an abnormally intense need for attention. Furthermore, according to Dr Malkin, those children who display a deficit of empathy and compassion in relation to others’ feelings are more likely to go on to develop full-blown narcissistic personality disorder in adulthood. Also, importantly, says Dr Malikn, it is those with an extravert personality who are at particular risk of becoming narcissists.

The Role Of Nurture :

However. inborn temperament and predispositions are not enough per se to determine whether a person will go on to develop narcissistic personality disorder. Instead, it is how the child’s upbringing interacts with his/her particular temperament that is crucial.

It is when a child is brought up without receiving ‘secure love‘ that the s/he will feel driven to try to compensate for this deficit by desperately attempting to gain attention, but in ways that are ultimately dysfunctional or ‘unhealthy’.

Types Of Parenting That May Put The Child At Risk Of Developing Narcissism In Later Life :

Dr Malkin states that certain parenting styles may put the child at risk of developing narcissistic personality disorder later on in life ; I summarize these below :

  • parents who only show their children admiration and approval when they (their children) achieve tangible successes (for example, in the realm of sport or academia). This can, ultimately, addict children to the desperate pursuit of similar admiration and approval in later life by constantly feeling compelled to achieve further successes (such as the accumulation of large sums of money and the gaining of high social status) because their fundamental sense of self-worth becomes inextricably linked to, and dependent upon, publicly/socially acknowledged achievements.

 

  • parents who excessively intrude’ and ‘interfere’ with their children;s lives, ignore their need for privacy’ and place their own needs for ‘control and attention’ over their children’s needs for autonomy’. (Dr Malkin also points out that parents who behave in this ways are, themselves, narcissistic) Children exposed to such treatment at the hands of their parents may develop into adults who therefore have an intense need to prevent the desires of others impinging upon their own in order to preserve their identities (that were so threatened by their parents’ overbearing behavior during their childhoods).

The Role Of Culture :

Finally, Dr Malkin stresses the importance of the influence of particular cultures on the development of narcissism in individuals.

He suggests that :


Resources (Self-hypnosis downloads).

Dealing With Narcissistic Behavior : Click HERE for further details.

Escape Emotional Abuse : Click HERE for further details.


David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2017 Child Abuse, Trauma and Recovery

What Are The Effects Of Trauma On Young Children (0-6 Years)?

 

The possible effects of childhood trauma on children under the age of six years are extensive and can be divided into three main categories. These three categories are as follows :
  • BEHAVIORAL EFFECTS
  • COGNITIVE EFFECTS (i.e. effects on thinking and conscious mental processes)
  • PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECTS (i.e. effects on physical health and biological processes)

Below, I list the possible effects of being exposed to prolonged and significant trauma on young children :

A) FROM 0 YEARS OLD TO TWO YEARS OLD 

B) FROM THREE YEARS OLD TO SIX YEARS OLD 

 

A) POSSIBLE EFFECTS ON CHILDREN AGED 0 TO 2 YEARS :

 

BEHAVIORAL :

Aggression

Regressive behavior

Extreme temper tantrums

Fear of adults connected to the traumatic experiences

Fear of separation from the parent / primary caregiver (see my article about separation anxiety)

Irritability

Anxiety

Sadness

Withdrawn behavior

Highly sensitive ‘startle response’

Prone to excessive screaming and crying

COGNITIVE :

Memory impairment

Impairment of verbal skills

PHYSIOLOGICAL :

Sleep problems

Nightmares

Reduced appetite

Low weight

Problems with digestive system

B) POSSIBLE EFFECTS ON CHILDREN AGED 3 TO 6 YEARS :

What Are The Effects Of Trauma On Young Children?

BEHAVIORAL :

Aggression

Regressive behavior

Extreme temper tantrums

Fear of adults connected to the traumatic experiences

Fear of separation from the parent / primary caregiver (see my article about separation anxiety)

Irritability

Anxiety

Sadness

Withdrawn behavior

Highly sensitive ‘startle response’

Low self-confidence

Anxiety / Fearfulness

Avoidant behavior

Difficulty placing trust in others

Difficulties making friends

Self-blame in relation to traumatic experiences (e.g. blaming self for parental separation or believing physical abuse ‘deserved’ for being a bad person‘)

Acting out

Imitating the abusive behavior suffered (e.g. by bullying school peers)

Reenacting traumatic event

Verbal aggression

COGNITIVE :

Memory impairment

Impairment of verbal skills

Problems with concentration and associated problems with learning

PHYSIOLOGICAL :

Sleep problems

Nightmares

Psychosomatic complaints such as headaches and stomach aches

Regressive behavior  (i.e. behaving in ways associated with an earlier period of development such as stress-related bed-wetting)

eBooks :

emotional abuse book   childhood trauma damages brain ebook   effects of childhood trauma   

Above eBooks now available on Amazon for immediate download. Click here for further details and to view other available titles.

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2017 Child Abuse, Trauma and Recovery

The Role Of Being Unloved By Parents In Cancer And Heart Disease

The Role Of Being Unloved By Parents In Cancer And Heart Disease

A study carried out at Harvard University during the 1950s was conducted in order to gain insight into the link (if any) between the quality of individuals’ relationships with their parents and their physical health.

The participants in the study were 126 undergraduates and each was given a simple questionnaire with the aim of collecting information relating to how emotionally close each of these young people felt to their mothers and fathers.

The questionnaire presented three options for describing these relationships – I show these below :

  • VERY CLOSE
  • TOLERANT
  • STRAINED AND COLD

The study was longitudinal, and the original participants were followed up THIRTY-FIVE YEARS LATER (meaning that they were now all in either their fifties or their sixties) and their MEDICAL RECORDS WERE EXAMINED.

THE RESULTS OF THE STUDY :

  • 91% of those individuals who had, thirty-five years earlier, described their relationship with their mother as either TOLERANT or STRAINED AND COLD had been diagnosed with a serious medical condition by midlife ; these conditions included HEART DISEASE, HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE and ULCERS.

FURTHERMORE :

  • In the case of those individuals who had, thirty-five years earlier, described their relationship with BOTH their mother AND father as either TOLERANT or STRAINED AND COLD, this figure climbed to a staggering 100%.

ADDITIONAL FINDINGS :

  • Amongst individuals in the study who described their relationship with their mother as ‘warm and friendly’, only 45% had developed a disease by the time they reached their fifties.
  • Those who reported feeling loved by their fathers also developed lower rates of disease by the time they reached midlife than those who did not report a positive relationship with their fathers

 

Another similar, longitudinal study, carried out at John Hopkins University, found that students who reported impoverished emotional relationships with their parents were far more likely to have developed cancer by the time they had reached their forties and fifties than those individuals who had reported more warm and loving relationships with their parents,

 

CONCLUSION :

The researchers concluded that, according to their findings and based upon their (non-random) population samples, the quality of the emotional bond with parents was the single most powerful predictor of the later development of illness and disease, including cancer and heart disease (more powerful, even, than drinking, smoking, parental divorce, death of a parent and exposure to environmental toxins).

 

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

 

 

 

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2017 Child Abuse, Trauma and Recovery

Are Those With Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) Manipulative?

are those with BPD manipulative?

Sadly, many individuals suffering from borderline personality disorder (BPD) are stigmatized by others and, amongst other perjorative terms, are frequently described as ‘manipulative’.

However, in recent years, it has been increasingly recognized that intentionally manipulative behavior is, in fact, NOT a defining characteristic of BPD sufferers after all ; this shift in attitude is best exemplified by the fact that the Diagnostic And Statistical Manual Of Mental Illness, Fifth Edition, or DSM-V (sometimes informally referred to as the ‘psychiatrists’ bible’), has ceased to list ‘manipulative’ as one of the personality traits associated with borderline personality disorder.

However, this begs the question : ‘Why has it been so common for those suffering from BPD to be scornfully dismissed as manipulative in the past?

According to the psychologist, Marsha Lineham (well known for having developed Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) for the treatment of BPD), this mis-labelling of BPD sufferers as manipulative has been based on a MISINTERPRETATION of certain types of their behavior.

Lineham puts forward the view that, often, some of the behaviors of BPD patients are wrongly perceived as being  manipulative whereas, in fact, they are desperate manifestations of intense psychological and emotional pain.

Indeed, borderline personality disorder (BPD) is generally accepted as being the most excruciatingly, psychologically and emotionally, painful of all mental health conditions ; as I have stated elsewhere on this site, approximately one in ten of those suffering from BPD end their lives by suicide. (To read my article, Living With Mental Agony, click here, or to read my article, Anger May Operate To Soothe Emotional Pain, click here.)

Sometimes, an example some people may give of so-called ‘manipulative’ behavior from BPD sufferers is the threat of suicide. For example, someone with BPD may take an overdose of tablets but then phone a friend or family member to say what they have done. Lineham points out, however, that this is unlikely to be a coldly calculated ploy but, rather, a desperate and confused expression of inner mental turmoil (the intensity of which the individual may not have the words to convey) and ambivalence – ambivalence in the sense that a part of the BPD sufferer may genuinely want to die whilst another (say, instinctual) part may be driven to survive.

Indeed, the fact that, as stated above, one in ten BPD sufferers eventually die by suicide suggests that any threat to do so should be treated extremely seriously.

 eBook :

BPD ebook

Above eBook now available for instant download from Amazon. Click here for further details (other titles available).

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).
Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2017 Child Abuse, Trauma and Recovery