Health

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Solving the Riddle of Happiness

In This Article I Tell You What Happiness Is and How to Get It

Le bonheur de vivre (1905) by Henri Matisse

No one should have to earn the right to be happy. No one ought to go through Kafkaesque lengths to achieve happiness either. Despite the unalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness granted by the U.S. Declaration of Independence, happiness probably isn’t something you’ll need to pursue at all, as if the pursuit itself were a substitute for some mythical, yet unattainable ideal.

In fact, I believe happiness...

Who Interfered in Manning’s Gender?

Some Assumptions Are So Painful Society Works to Hide Them

When journalist for The Intercept Glenn Greenwald referred to Charles Manning as a ‘she’ on Twitter, I commented that Manning is still a ‘he’. It provoked Greenwald to respond by classifying yours truly as a sort of Untermensch undeserving of participating in public debate,

“It takes a very warped sickness to want to interfere in and dictate other people

...

The Self-Hatred that Derailed Kip Kinkel

Tragedy at Thurston High School

On May 21st, 1998, fifteen-year-old Kip Kinkel shot dead both of his parents. By car, he drove to school and opened fire on his classmates. Before the police overpowered him, he killed two students and wounded 25. The search for his true motives begins with a farewell letter he left behind after the murder of his parents, “I am a horrible son. I wish I had been aborted. I destroy everything I touch. I can’t eat. I can’t sleep. I didn’t deserve [my parents].”...

An Indirect Murder in Alaska

How a False Self-Image Pushed Christopher McCandless to His Death

Replica van de "magic bus". Foto door Madeleine Deaton | CC BY

On September 6th, 1992, hunters found a young man’s decomposing body in the deserted wilderness of Alaska. They would later find out it was the body of 24-year-old ‘Chris’ (Christopher) McCandless, who since 1990 had completely cut all ties with his parents, sister and family. Since the start of the year when he was found, Chris had been living off wild plants and the animals he shot dead with his rifle. His story became known to the general public after writer Jon Krakauer...

The Emancipation of the Child

Is It Too Much to Ask to Treat Children as Human Beings?

Foto door Trevor Klatko. | CC BY-NC

On March 12th, 2015, British newspaper The Times opened the front page with an article on the extent of the mental health crisis among children. The children involved are those that hurt themselves, that suffer from depression or other disorders. According to experts, the causes would lie in the consequences of “exam stress, school bullying and social media”.

Beyond Conditional Love

Healing Childhood Maltreatment by Breaking Through the Wall of Ignorance

Kinderen der zee (1872) door Jozef Israëls | Rijksmuseum

Every day, the news shows us hotbeds of violence in the world. We are powerless against war, but according to psychoanalyst Alice Miller the roots of violence are not unknown. People only learn to pass on hate and violence to others when they have experienced those things as victims first, especially as a child. Maltreated children learn that they must suppress their true feelings of anger and pain, because under no condition may they lose their parent’s love. Subsequently, they repress the memories of that pain from their memory, but that doesn’t mean the pain heals or disappears.

The Roots of Evil

All Violence is Learned Behavior

Child maltreatment is a source of great evil in the world, “It’s impossible to find one person who wasn’t beaten who beats a child.”1 When we hear the phrase child maltreatment, we think of sexual or physical maltreatment of the sort that leaves visible damage, such as scars or bruises.

We use euphemistic language such as ‘disciplining’ to acquit parents...

The Repressed Past

Healing a Negative Self-Image

IJsland door Moyan Brenn | CC BY

While we can remember a night’s out most fun moments a whole life long, despite our special memory, we often lose the unhappiest memories of our childhood, because we learned to repress them. But if we can no longer remember the historical causes for emotional problems that we suffer as adults, such as for example a lack of self-confidence or a negative self-image, then we will unjustly think the problem is with ourselves.

Turning Gold into Lead

The Life-Long Effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences

Bunnik door Mathijs Koenraadt | CC BY-NC-ND

Victims of child maltreatment repress their memories out of shame, because of a social taboo, or out of respect for parents, but as long as we keep denying the link between adverse childhood experiences and problems later in life, no therapy or medication will help us solve those problems. By being emotionally honest to ourselves, we can break through the societal taboo on speaking out about the effects of child maltreatment. That starts by daring to ask what kind of effect traumatizing experiences have had on our lives.

Verbal Abuse and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Words that Cause War Trauma

By verbal abuse, scientists mean “scolding, cursing, yelling, blaming, insulting, threatening, ridiculing, humiliating and criticizing” others.1 In their own words, over sixty percent of all parents use verbal aggression towards their children.

Among verbal aggression, scientists also count symbolic aggression, such as, for example, slamming a door shut in...