|Greif or Loss Information||
Let us create a 3d Digital eBook for you! DigyCat.com
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 the editor of mental health categories in The Open Directory, Suite101, and searcheurope.com.
His web site: http://samvak.tripod.com
Frequently asked questions regarding narcissism: http://samvak.tripod.com/faq1.html
Narcissistic Personality Disorder on Suite101: http://www.suite101.com/welcome.cfm/npd
Grief - Google News
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news
How to Deal with Suicide and Euthenasia
The following is a report that indicates how you might recognize suicidals, and how you might deal with them. But a warning: Suicide can be a very complex issue, and it might be better to have a professional deal with this issue if it comes up, but if this is very difficult to attain, this guide is a very good alternative to follow if you have no other solution to the problem.
It is one thing to be free; it is quite another to be liberated. Liberation implies that freedom was absent for a time, and there was bondage.
How to Cope with Anticipatory Grief
Anticipatory grief is the name given to the mix of emotions experienced when we are living in expectation of loss and grieving because of it. Anticipatory Grief is particularly relevant to those who have received a terminal diagnosis and for those who love and care for them.
How My Four Your Old Son Reacted To The Death Of His Great Nanny Biscuits
My nan was called Margaret and lived until the age of eighty eight. Unfortunately she died in hospital and this article describes how my son reacted to the news of her death.
If we were to organize a list of the thorniest problems for the bereaved, certainly somewhere near the top would be the question of miracles. Everybody has heard anecdotal stories of certain people who have suffered incredible, life-threatening injuries or illness, but who have somehow recovered against all odds.
Physiological Consequences of Carrying Emotional Trauma
Although many of us carry some form of emotional trauma in our bodies, and therefore in our energy fields, do we ever really stop to question the impact that it is having on our overall health? If you are like most individuals you probably just want to forget its even there. The thought of revisiting it probably just makes you feel sick.
Angelo C, was a good man that never did any harm. He died yesterday in the shower over a severe asthma attack.
Loss Involves Change - The Transformative Power of Loss and Change
There are many experiences in life, which remind us that change is an inevitable part of living. We then have to choose to either to resist this process or look for new ways of finding meaning in our lives.
How Can I Transform Tragedy?
There is only one place where tragedy occurs, and that is in the mind. Tragedy may appear to you on the physical level, however, it is the enormous power of your mind that creates the pain and separation you feel, from Love, from God, from Life itself when you listen to what your egoic thoughts are telling you, rather than listen to the voice of pure love, which can ONLY come from God, Holy Spirit, Divine Source.
Suicide - An Eternal Pain
Suicide is the one form of death that has quite a stigma attached to it. It brings with it a feeling of shame and betrayal.
Online Memorial - A Dedication of Love for Your Departed Loved Ones
Life has always been a journey, a journey of finding of one true self and happiness. As however destined, all journeys will eventually find its very own destination and it is inevitable that every one of us will eventually have to depart from this world.
Is Death Really the End or the Window to A New Beginning?
Earlier this month I learned a dear friend had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. She has been given less than six months to live as the cancer has fully permeated her liver and pancreas.
Who has the Worst Pain
During the 28 years I have been interacting with bereaved people, one of the most frequent questions I have been asked is, "Who has the worst pain?" Do bereaved parents suffer more than widows and widowers? Do children whose parents die feel more agony than children who lose a sibling? Is it harder to watch a loved one suffer for a long time before death releases the victim than it is to answer the doorbell or the phone at midnight and suddenly hear the news of tragedy? Is suicide worse than homicide? Is the death of an "older" child more difficult to grieve than the death of a newborn or infant?If there were one, clear and definitive answer to those questions, grieving could be neatly catalogued and mourners could be organized into convenient categories. Our comforters and caregivers would then be able to select from a predictable menu of helps, and everyone could get "healed" more quickly and efficiently.
Mexico: Death in Mexico
Death: No thank you. Dying: Gives me a panic attack.
One Womans Way of Dealing With Grief
All of us at one time or another have felt grief: perhaps over a lost job, lost love, or the most heartbreaking, the death of someone we loved dearly. Each of us goes about the task of grieving in our own distinct way.
How To Write A Eulogy
Remembering someone special in a personal way can be healing for everyone concerned, for a eulogy is a deeply personal way of saying goodbye. The key word is life, and you've been given the opportunity to celebrate a loved one's life in the individual way that made your friend unique.
Men and Grief
Men grieve differently from women. Our cultural roles make it difficult for men to look for support, and harder again to accept it.
Grief & Loss - Healing Your Broken Heart
What is it about Grief & Loss that upsets us so much? Is it the heavy duty emoting that we have to do to get through our suffering? Is it the fear we have about opening ourselves to all this pain? Because, let's face it, it's hard down there, in the land of grieving where all those emotions toss us around like a cork on a stormy sea.We understand that this is necessary, at a surface level, but how we are feeling is what really counts.
The Valley of Sorrow or My Life as a Well Digger
It felt like I had been run over by a freight train. I was stunned.
I didn't know a heart could diebefore it stopped beating.I didn't know a life could ceasebefore it stopped breathing.
DietRight.biz Domain Is For Sale - $8,500 For Enquiries eMail Us
© www.DietRight.biz 2012