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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...

The Message of Violence

A Conspiracy Against Children

The message violence sends is that we may use violence ourselves as a means to ‘correct’ others who don’t do what we want. Not without reason, from an early age, beaten children pass on the violence they experience to their own brothers and sisters. Hitting hurts, but later in life, the effects of emotional and verbal violence cause greatest psychological problems.

The Invention of Authoritarian Parenting

How the Fourth Commandment Puts Children at a Disadvantage

Newborn babies love their parents unconditionally, but they don’t always naturally receive back the love they give. Under normal conditions, that wouldn’t be much of a problem if society fulfilled its corrective function to call parents who abuse their children to order. Reality, however, proves otherwise.

The Effect of Emotional Abuse

The Blows that Damage One's Self-Image

More than physical abuse, emotional maltreatment damages a child’s self-image, because it communicates a stronger message of negative worth than a smack or a kick.1 Parents sabotage their child’s self-worth by “blaming it, belittling it, humiliating it, intimidating it, terrorizing it [and] secluding it.”2...

Unconditional Positive Regard

Being Loved for Who You Are

Conditional love promises the child love, but dangles it before its eyes like the carrot and stick before a donkey until it meets the right ‘conditions’. Conditional love threatens with “the withdrawal of love when [the child] does not obey”, a powerful weapon in the hands of parents to make the child exhibit desired behavior.1

As a consequence thereof,...

The Myth of Violence in the Media

The Only Way to Learn Violence Is by First Experiencing It Yourself as a Victim

The deadly assaults American teenagers committed against their classmates, such as Kip Kinkel at Thurston High School, and Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold at Columbine, shocked many in the Western world and outside. Each time after such tragedies, we lean in great detail about the shooters’ personal lives, but the true motives, as well as the true causes for those motives, often remain meticulously hidden from public view.

The Darkness at the Bottom of the Soul

Understanding the Four Mechanisms that Drive People to Suicide

At some point in our lives, we may all experience a minor depression, for example after a death in the family, or when we fail to pass an exam. To most people, a light depression is short-lived, but victims of child maltreatment can suffer negative thoughts about themselves, others and the world around them a whole life long. Without professional help, they can’t heal.

The Core Self

Revealing One's True Personality by Pealing Away Learned Behaviors That Go Against It

La Venus de Willendorf coruñesa by Uvep3 | CC BY-NC-ND

Growing up, children learn to take after their parents. By copying some or all of their parents’ behaviors, children learn-by-doing many of the important skills they will need to survive as adults, as if ‘playing grown-up’. This includes adopting trivial routines, such as cooking and cleaning, getting up and getting ready, chatting with neighbors, and so forth. More importantly, they learn critical survival skills, such as how to ‘play house’ and maintaining personal hygiene.

Before formal...

Becoming Your True Self

Reflection on the Suicide of a Former High School Classmate

La Suicidé (1877-1881) / Édouard Manet

Recently, one of my former high school classmates committed suicide by leaping off his apartment balcony. The eerie thing about the internet is that his LinkedIn and Facebook profiles lived on. I had not been in touch for nearly fifteen years, but I was tempted to have a look.

The thing that worried me was his show of pride for supposedly having graduated high school — because I knew he had not. He had flunked the final year, had not been allowed to redo it and was forced to get a job. To keep up...

He Who Marches Out of Step Hears Another Drum

What I Learned From Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over A Cuckoo’s Nest

Freedom of Expression by Christian Mayrhofer | CC BY-NC-ND

Man is not born perfect. We have good and bad sides, but he who dares not show his bad side isn’t worth his good. Whoever suppresses the evil in him only lives half. But half a man is not a man. And therein lies the cause of modern diseases such as depression: society dictates we should oppress ourselves and be mindful of others, but self-oppression kills our spirit.

In the overpopulated world we live in, we submit ourselves to mandatory adjustment to fellow human beings, rather than finding the...