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posted on Nov, 8 2013 @ 12:47 AM
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The Science of Trauma



Everyday we live through trauma. We do not recognize this trauma because it does not occur to us in any obvious way. It's just there. Enigmatically present in behaviors, occurring so surreptitiously that we barely even knrecognize ow that we've been hurt - inheriting a pain from a time we can't remember.

Trauma is a word that's often defined as a severe condition. It can be serious "head trauma", or trauma to the kidneys, or the lungs, or it can be emotional trauma, the kind that occurs in people with post traumatic stress disorders. But this is an arbitrary definition. The reason we distinguish between trauma and ordinary emotional pain, is because trauma is a very obvious, very persistent emotional disorganization. But this does not mean that people aren't "disorganized" and "dysregulated" by traumas that have occurred to them throughout their lives.

Take your run of the mill inhibitions. Most people have them, whether it be a discomfort with your shortness, a problem with your weight, insecurity with your intelligence; or a sense of emotional weakness, a nagging worry that people don't like you; or even more subtly, an unwillingness to speak up in front of groups, a fear to ask that woman out, or the fear that you wont be successful, wont keep that special man, etc.

These inhibitions are traumas. Some place in your brain, in the hippocampus, lies a set of neurons that associate with a set of neurons in the amygdala, which link up with neurons in the brain stem. The autonomic system keeps the brain aware - a process called neuroception - to "threats" in the environment. For whatever reason, probably related to a previous experience, your brain learned to associate "fear" with this particular context. Your hippocampus and amygdala sees a girl, and reads "threat, be vigilant". The explicit "cognitive" memory for why you should feel a sense of threat is gone. But nevertheless, a few brain regions are automatically activated by the regulatory functions of the brain stem, particularly a region called the vagus nerve.

The vagus nerve in mammals is bifurcated. In reptiles - our evolutionary ancestors - the vagus nerve strictly has end points in the body - no facial muscles are enervated. Reptiles have extremely conservative metabolisms, so they eat less, and spend most of their time in a parasympathetic state. Mammals conversely are more social, and therefore need a nervous system that mediates quick mobilization. This is what the evolutionary newer part of the vagus nerve - the nucleus ambiguus - does. The nucleus ambiguus in humans has efferents in the cranial nerves, as well as in the pharynx, larynx, and mouth.

Stephen Porges PhD discovered that people who admitted to having experienced past abuse have low amplitude RSA. RSA is respiratory sinus arrhythmia, which is the effect breathing has on heart rate. When someone has low baseline RSA and low reactive RSA, this essentially means that they are less calm and relaxed when inactive, and experience less intense emotions and ease when active. Conversely, people with normal social behavior have "high amplitude" RSA. They more easily respond to social cues, and feel more relaxed afterwards. This discovery is known as the "polyvagal theory", a huge breakthrough in the field of interpersonal neurobiology, with pretty amazing implications for therapists.

The nucleus ambiguus is the part of the brain that connects the cortex - our higher, cognitive functions - with the physical body. Heart rate changes with what were thinking about because the nucleus ambiguus sends signals to the caratoid nerve via the ancient reptilian vagus. When trauma occurs, the nucleus ambiguus - the new mammalian adaptation - breaks down. In mammals, this nerve is myelinated - which means cells called oligodendrocytes, essentially fats, surrounds the axon of the neuron, insulating it, which speeds up electrical transmissions. The reason were able to say "hey, whats up, how are you doing? Hows the wife and kids?" so quickly, is because the nucleus ambiguus directly coopts autonomic function, changes heart rate, breathing, to support quick sympathetic mobilization. Endocrine activity is too slow for social engagement purposes. It is ancillary to the specific duties of the vagal nerve (even though all emotional brain events are largely mediated by neurochemicals like seretonin, dopamine, oxytocin, vasopressin etc.)

The most resistant psychological disorders are those which exhibit the lowest RSA - major depression and post traumatic stress disorders. These disorders could be physiologically defined as being disorders of vagal function. In people who have these two ruthless conditions, there is a severe depression of nucleus ambiguus activity. Their entire experience is regulated by the parasympathetic nervous system, which in effect limits their experience to very low energy emotional states, or a complete "depression" of bodily vitality. A new treatment for people with PTSD and major depression is vagal electrical stimulation - zapping the nucelus ambiguus every 30 seconds to stimulate a normal connection between higher cortical areas and lower brain stem areas - which is experienced as more vitality coming to the mind.

The future of psychology is bright. The new science of interpersonal psychology coupled with positive psychology, if implemented in our schools, will, I believe, have a major positive impact on the developlment of humanity. Yoga, which has been practiced for over 3 thousand years, has been vindicated by somatic neuropsychologists, who see it as a very effective treatment for dissociation.

Dissociation occurs all the time. It occurs when were in a daze, it occurs when we lose focus, it occurs when we get anxious; but it is a constant feature of someone with post traumatic stress disorder. In people like this, experiencing "emotion", having your ideas enlivened by affective realities, energies permeating your mental experience, is blunted. Dissociation can literally be thought of as "disassociation from emotion". The mind no longer feels the energies of the body. And mentally, experience feels exceptionally "cerebral".

Our brains neuroceptive systems - controlled by brain stem regions - scan the environments, and without our input, it gears our body up for reactions, biasing our conscious minds to feel "this" or that way, independent of our actually even passing a cognitive judgement, in any particular environmental context. Evolutionarily speaking, this outmoded system served solid purposes. Before civilization emerged 10,000 or so years ago, homo sapiens evolved in a dangerous world, where being on guard, being aware of dangers, was a basic need of biological homeostasis. Dangers lurked everywhere, in the foods we ate, the animals we came by, and the strangers we encountered. Our brains thus developed with a bias towards negativity. For the mammalian body, sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems have developed to support environmental and biological needs while maintaining stable bodily energy; we call this process "metabolism".

If an animal (or a human being) experiences danger, it has 3 responses before it: Fight, Flight or Freeze. The first 2 responses are mediated by sympathetic and endocrine systems. But the body cannot maintain this response forever. There is a bodily limit: our bodies tire eventually,
edit on 8-11-2013 by Astrocyte because: (no reason given)




posted on Nov, 8 2013 @ 12:53 AM
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and when that happens, the dorsal vagal complex - the mainframe of brain-body connection, activates parasmpathetic responses. It shuts down connection between the cortex and its energy guzzling fight-flight states, and kicks into gear trauma mode: Freeze. When you feel this degree of trauma, you know something is not right with your body. You feel incredibly unsafe, incredibly tense, and yet, you feel a numbness, a break in your experience. Mentally, you are hyper-aware, hyper vigilant to environmental stimulus. You feel frozen in time, frozen from yourself, alienated from the flow of life and being.

Future psychologists will likely have a whole new host of host of frameworks to work with, and one, which is increasingly gaining support, is bodily energy state.

Of course, not all people are "extroverts", in the sense that not all people have similar emotional needs. People who are more personable sometimes just "need" more high emotional states. Other people, though they could endure high emotional states, feel satisfied with a lesser amount. However, things become pathological when social withdrawal is caused by insecurity. In persons such as these, we could say they have a dysfunction of bodily energy state, manifest in dyregulated feeling in social situations.

And it's not only social phobia that trauma prompts. Trauma is also the underlying causes of generalized anxiety, borderline personality, OCD, and most other emotional disorders. Therefore, treatment would involve a combination of psycho and somatic techniques: concentrating on both the cognitive and emotional aspects of the problem.

For example, in treating depression, or trauma, talking about "history" and past could go on all day. The problem is partly cognitive distortions, but what underlies cognitive distortions is a seriously dysregulated autonomic nervous system. Treating cognitive distortion is difficult without mobilization. And mobilization means good emotions. so, therapists have to teach - and people need to learn - to track their emotional experience. If they're feeling awry, they can waken themselves to it, and take control of their affective reality. When they do this, they can use whatever particular techniques that work for them to feel positive.

Overcoming trauma - our emotional baggages - involves a delicate back and forth between affective experience and cognitive reactions. When identity issues are made smaller, emotional experience can be revved up. When emotional experience is revved up, the body feels more relaxed, and the mind feels calmer. This is a reversal of the kind of feedback loop which started the trauma, but now, were using positive emotions and positive thinking to resculpt the nervous system to create a more balanced and at peace personality.'

Application of Knowledge in Society



In schools, there is an enormous need to strengthen a developing childs awareness of his own affective experience - because this is the root of the callousness that spurs bullying in our schools.

In the new movie Enders Game (which I highly recommend), this quote appears in the beginning:

“In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him. I think it’s impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves. And then, in that very moment when I love them.... I destroy them.” Orson Scott Card, Ender's Game

This is a profound and true insight. To understand someone else, to really understand their mind, their thinking, their needs, their fears, and desires, you have to be very sympathetically in tune with them. But what is empathy? Empathy is a conscious awareness of another persons emotional experience. To be capable of empathy, you yourself must be aware of your own emotional experience. But for a growing kid, especially in todays cynical world, it is more interesting to be involved in the events of the "outside" world, than attentive to the experiences of it's physical and emotional body.

Yoga is superb at doing this. The Hinuds we definitely onto something significant when they designed and cultivated a system of psychology which emphasized awareness of bodily and emotional experience. Although other mystical systems do this, none show a greater awareness of the centrality of the body than Yoga does.

Of course, we don't have to call this program "yoga" for those who are bothered by the religious or "pagan" connotation of the word. We can change the name, but keep with the program. Encouraging affective awareness of physical and emotional experience would generate the type of moral awareness that would deter a kid from bullying another child. It would instill a maturity that results from awareness - not simply a more that one "eventually picks up" as most people do, but a true and responsive recognition of what is and isn't right.

Imagine how our future would look when that happens. Imagine a time 40 years from now. The years 2053. Everyday before school, kids from JK to grade 12 participate in a period of somatic minfulness. If we begin this practice early, and we have teachers who encourage the practice, and effectively explain to the students the nature of their affective experience, we can create the conditions that would go to creating a better society.

As many great men have said, the problem isn't society, but us. All important decisions are made by great men. The neuroscientists of our time, particularly those who study affective experience, are truly paving the way for a system that will make better people. We won't do this through indoctrination. Rather, we'll simply make them more aware of their bodies; by making them more aware of their affective experiences (as bodily sensation, emotions, so called "interceptive" states) they will naturally develop an empathetic attitude towards their peers.

Empathy with the self, leads to empathy for others, which leads to knowing what others need, which will lead to moral behavior, which will create a better and more moral society.
edit on 8-11-2013 by Astrocyte because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 8 2013 @ 04:57 AM
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Astrocyte
Empathy with the self, leads to empathy for others, which leads to knowing what others need, which will lead to moral behavior, which will create a better and more moral society.

Know thyself.
When one knows what one is, one will then know what everything is.

One can get lost looking at the things but will return to source and be found (the prodigal son returns home to the father).



posted on Nov, 8 2013 @ 06:48 AM
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How to make a better world?
Live well and be happy, respect others space and rights.
As far as the touchy feely ptsd crap, you have a right to it.
I believe what my dogs tell me.



posted on Nov, 8 2013 @ 07:57 AM
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reply to post by Astrocyte
 


beautifully said. simple and precise.

i hope a lot of people read this.

i like your vision. i like neuroscientists paving the way with whatever means they have and let them have the know-how how to implement systems that would lead humanity to mature responsible kindness toward each other and as such would eventually eliminate the pain of trauma.



posted on Nov, 8 2013 @ 12:46 PM
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reply to post by Astrocyte
 


Thanks Astrocyte. Good job.

Bump



posted on Nov, 9 2013 @ 12:25 AM
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reply to post by SovannaMaccha
 


This is bound to happen one day.

The growth of interpersonal neurobiology is an exciting thing. What was the sphere of mystics and philosophers for generations, is now a central interest of contemporary affective psychologists and neuroscientists.

Somatic mindfulness is key to inculcating moral awareness. And moral awareness must precede wide spread social change.

Also, the theme of trauma enunciates the blockage that prevents a greater awareness of moral values. Most people are carrying emotional scars (traumas) that vary in size; but in each case, these traumas induce social conflict. They interfere with a sound understanding of relationship. People are less caring because they're preoccupied, whether consciously, or unconsciously, with themselves. Somatic awareness, by awakening consciousness to bodily sensation, draws the mind closer to emotional sensation. The "feelingness" of both states are mediated by the vagus nerve, so stimulating one will stimulate the other.

When people are made more aware of their own experience, they are bound to be drawn to a clearer perception of the needs of others. This is a basic cause and effect process. When the self and its emotional experience is contemplated upon, the theory of mind mechanism extends these thoughts to analyses of other people. No longer is it so simple to be mean and cruel without visceral reaction. As awareness of your experience increases, so does your awareness of another persons experience increase.

Of course, there are bound to be individuals who are unresponsive to somatic mindfulness. People like this might have an underlying psychiatric problem, whether it be autism or antisocial personality disorder (aka psychopathy), where certain parts of the brain which mediate emotional experience aren't connected properly.
edit on 9-11-2013 by Astrocyte because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 10 2013 @ 11:37 AM
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reply to post by Astrocyte
 


...there are bound to be individuals who are unresponsive to somatic mindfulness. People like this might have an underlying psychiatric problem, whether it be autism or antisocial personality disorder (aka psychopathy), where certain parts of the brain which mediate emotional experience aren't connected properly.


You lost me here. As the brain is plastic (neuroplasticity), do you not think that 'mindfulness education' would alter the physical structures/connections/dynamics that create such disorders?



posted on Nov, 10 2013 @ 11:15 PM
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reply to post by soficrow
 





You lost me here. As the brain is plastic (neuroplasticity), do you not think that 'mindfulness education' would alter the physical structures/connections/dynamics that create such disorders?


Very good question.

There's debate about that.

When neuroplasticity happens, sometimes people feel to understand what that actually means at a molecular level. Genes, and the nucleic acids which make them up, are literally switched on and off by epigenetic factors.

Now, the factor here - the mind - is a non-physical thing. But, we do know that the part of mind we use - higher cognitive functions - is largely active in the prefrontal cortex, with the dorsolateral mediating abstract reasoning and the oribitofrontal mediating attention and awareness. Beyond this, there are areas in the temporal and pariatal regions that contribute aspects that make up specific cognitive states of mind.

But, this is a non-sequitor. There's nothing logical about saying the brain creates consciousness, which in turn allows consciousness to create the brain (neuroplasticity) To me, the consciousness that thinks, reasons, feels and assesses its experience is something ontologically real. It is only logical.

That said, studies testing the effects of neuroplaticity aimed somatic therapy have showed some moderate success. Autistic people can to a degree enhance their social skills and learn to augument their emotional experience. However, the neurophysiological difference between autism and trauma is huge, and gets enormous with low functioning autism.

It seems to me that people with milder autism could really improve their awareness through these types of somatic mindfulness meditations. But I think there is a deeper biological problem with their brains than the brain of people who have suffered a trauma. In trauma, the memory of past experiences provides an anchor back to the original experience. This makes the experience more intuitively available to the person. With aspergers, for example, their dissociation might be so great that they wouldn't have any cognitive concept to work with, to find a parallel to more deeply enter higher emotive states of mind.

I am not saying we CANT do it, but I do think our understanding of the mind is still in its infancy. If we can figure out the developmental dynamics that go into socialization and whats called "the social engagement system" , we can develop better therapies that help coax proper development.

Since the brain IS plastic, and has an impressive prowess in reversing psychological traumas, it's plausible that in the future people with autism will have the wherewithal to attenuate the effects, and perhaps regain normal social abilities. But not everyone agrees. Some people would argue that some things are finite: the body grows to a certain age and then the bones cover over; the body stops it's physical development to a particular height. Some people could say that people with severe retardation are simply biologically incapable of reversing their condition. From a psychological perspective, they wouldn't even have the cognitive tools to work with.

So, I think so long as higher cognitive organs - in the cortex - are biologically healthy, than consciousness can assert itself on the body. Consciousness stirs, nucleic acids prepare genes that make certain proteins that become certain cells in specific brain areas. And in the end, we have the peace we couldn't find. Were happy after a decade of trauma.

That the mind has this ability, with all the implications that it implies, makes future study of the mind and body a very interesting field of study.



posted on Nov, 10 2013 @ 11:21 PM
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Some people say we need a better plant for the kids, but we need better kids for the planet.



posted on Nov, 11 2013 @ 08:41 AM
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reply to post by Astrocyte
 


RE: Neuroplasticity and "autism or antisocial personality disorder (aka psychopathy), where certain parts of the brain which mediate emotional experience aren't connected properly."

Your response focused on autism/Asbergers, but I was thinking more of sociopathy / psychopathy - diseases that arguably result from trauma. There is no doubt that early childhood experiences (or lack thereof) influence and even define brain development (probably epigenetically). Leaving aside the ontological notion that 'being' is not essentially physical, physical realities certainly limit or expand the individual's potential to experience and apprehend 'being.' Neuroplasticity research does show that brain structure/connections are influenced by the environment both positively and negatively - interestingly, ancient mystical teaching and healing traditions also are premised on concepts of neuroplasticity.


...so long as higher cognitive organs - in the cortex - are biologically healthy, than consciousness can assert itself on the body. Consciousness stirs, nucleic acids prepare genes that make certain proteins that become certain cells in specific brain areas. And in the end, we have the peace we couldn't find. Were happy after a decade of trauma.

That the mind has this ability, with all the implications that it implies, makes future study of the mind and body a very interesting field of study.


"Epigenetics" is the study of how environmental influences over-ride genetic programming. ...The most interesting work on mind-body connections is multi-disciplinary but just pairing epigenetics with neurology/neuroplasticity is phenomenally promising. : up :



posted on Nov, 11 2013 @ 02:45 PM
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reply to post by soficrow
 





Your response focused on autism/Asbergers, but I was thinking more of sociopathy / psychopathy - diseases that arguably result from trauma.


Well, I'm not up to date on the pathology of sociopathy. Chances are, something happens prenatally to the developing brain that impairs proper cortical development, resulting in a personality that is hyper-ego oriented. Most sociopaths were born that way. So I think the "trauma" happens in the womb. Check out "The Anatomy of Violence" by Adrian Raine for an interesting analysis of recent research into psychopathy.

I've read a bit on the brains of people with sociopathy. But our insight is still in it's infancy. There's many plausible theories for whats going on the in their brains. Some people think there's something awry with their "mirror neuron system" (a working concept), but this seems very vague. We don't even know what mirror neurons are, all we know is neurons in the frontal and limbic systems "mirror" or imitate the activity of neurons in othersbrains, mediated by what the visual systems are observing. We see this as a neurological cognate for empathy and sympathy. Maybe it is. But it is still light on details. Chances are it's far more complex. Corticobulbar areas in the brains of sociopaths are also very understimulated - this may explain why they have such trouble experiencing sympathy with the emotional states of others: the circuitry which connects emotional and higher cognitive areas isn't working properly.

But yeah, if autism can be challenged, I don't see why sociopathy couldn't as well.




"Epigenetics" is the study of how environmental influences over-ride genetic programming


Sort of. Environmental influences are the "root cause", but they need some molecular substances to work upon; this they do in the cytoplasm of cells, on proteins like histiones and methyl-DNA. These molecules switch genes on or off, affecting how genes are expressed.

So, for example, when I "choose" to think more positively, my brain begins to produce certain molecules, like glutamate, dopamine, seretonin, oxytocin and vasopressin; these - in addition to many other neurochemicals - coax genes to form proteins that create synapses in certain parts of the brain to support this heightened activity. Neuroscientists are beginning to call this "Darwinian neurodynamics" - the parts of the brain that are being used receive greater metabolic priority than those which aren't. The body thus works to strengthen what the mind whats to strengthen, and weakens/inhibits those areas which are not being used.




but just pairing epigenetics with neurology/neuroplasticity is phenomenally promising


It is. I can see us building space ships and exploring space before we have a thorough knowledge of the mind-brain-body connection. But it's extremely interesting. There are so many areas to study because the mind/brain/body is essentially so complex. There are scientists who concentrate on the development of neurological diseases; there are scientists who study the neurophysiology of experience, whats called affective neuroscience. This field interacts with psychology and has much to add to our understanding of psychiatric illnesses - like I've tried to elucidate with trauma (my area of study). And then there's fields which study mind-body interactions; how the foods we eat influence the body, brain and mind.

There's just so much. And Genetics is always involved, since everything that happens in the body is prompted by molecular processes.

I'm actually too tired to give my views on this subject (had 4 hours of sleep last night) but I have much to add on the genetic-neuroscience front.



posted on Nov, 11 2013 @ 06:17 PM
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reply to post by Astrocyte
 


...Most sociopaths were born that way. So I think the "trauma" happens in the womb. Check out "The Anatomy of Violence" by Adrian Raine for an interesting analysis of recent research into psychopathy.


I don't think this is proved at all, and I don't agree. Numerous sociopaths are created through extreme abuse, living in war zones, etc. ...I DO know there is a movement to prove sociopathy and other ills are "genetic," towards pushing a questionable agenda. ...Looking forward to your next post(s).



posted on Nov, 12 2013 @ 02:16 AM
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reply to post by soficrow
 





I don't think this is proved at all, and I don't agree.


With affective disorders, the individual needs to reorient him or herself to positive emotions. These types of disorders represent disorganizations in the social engagement system. Disorganization = trauma. The mind-body connection is weakened in trauma, resulting in a state called "dissociation".

Sociopaths, conversely, experience very strong positive emotions. Many of them are narcissists; and many, in fact, become criminals, or adapt so successfully as to become wealthy business people. What's wrong with their brains is not so simple as "not feeling connected to their bodies"; they are connected to their bodies, but for some reason, their own emotional experience does not promote an inter-subjective awareness of other peoples emotions.

This implies that there is something wrong in the corticobulbar regions of the brain which mediate between higher cognitive functions and basic emotional states. In the normal person, the sight of another persons pain evinces feelings of pain in the observer. Evolutionary theorists see this as adaptive since it promotes social cohesion. The brains basic emotive drives (7 of them, usually) kick in an emotion whenever it is appropriate - our hippocampus gives us this orientation. When my sister is kissing her husband on her wedding day, my sense of love for her is kicked into gear.

Not only do sociopaths not feel bad for you, but they don't feel good for you either.




Numerous sociopaths are created through extreme abuse, living in war zones, etc. ...I DO know there is a movement to prove sociopathy and other ills are "genetic," towards pushing a questionable agenda. ...Looking forward to your next post(s).


Just a suggestion. When going about analyzing things like this, what is your chief emotional interest? This is how I typically reason, but from your perspective. I like to break things down into basic factors:

1) were discussing psychopathy; I am seeking to explain the etiological, biological, psychological and behavioral aspects of it as objectively as I possibly can

2) you have an assumption, an emotional bias, which causes you to pay special attention to the presence of a movement "to prove sociopathy and other ills are "genetic," towards pushing a questionable agenda".

Now, whether or not there is or isn't a movement is irrelevant to the science of what I'm discussing. What's relevant in discussing this are the etiological, biological, psychological and behavioral dimensions of the issue. Politics is an irrelevant distraction in this conversation.

Also, since all things which happen to us have a genetic/biological aspect to it, I don't see how studying these aspects imply something nefarious.

Personally, I am always on guard against over-politicization of science. And with regard to Adrian Raine, I am fairly averse to his views that people should be screened for psychopathy in schools as a way to reduce violence in society. This, obviously, is quite socialistic and arguably unconstitutional. Doing something like this - the power that it bequeaths - is frightening. I agree.

That said, all I've written about psychopathy stands. Most of the time, psychopathy is prenatal. In other cases, a person suffered severe emotional abuse which caused him to develop in a very anti-social way; but for someone like this, unlike prenatal sociopaths, would not likely have the pristine social skills that succesful sociopaths use to navigate and manipulate their way through the social scene.



posted on Nov, 12 2013 @ 08:37 AM
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reply to post by Astrocyte
 


...Most of the time, psychopathy is prenatal.


Politics aside, your rhetoric is peppered with sweeping "scientific" generalizations like the above. And NO supporting references or documentation. I call bs but will leave you to it.



posted on Nov, 12 2013 @ 09:12 AM
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Astrocyte
Some place in your brain, in the hippocampus, lies a set of neurons that associate with a set of neurons in the amygdala, which link up with neurons in the brain stem. The autonomic system keeps the brain aware - a process called neuroception - to "threats" in the environment. For whatever reason, probably related to a previous experience, your brain learned to associate "fear" with this particular context. Your hippocampus and amygdala sees a girl, and reads "threat, be vigilant". The explicit "cognitive" memory for why you should feel a sense of threat is gone. But nevertheless, a few brain regions are automatically activated by the regulatory functions of the brain stem, particularly a region called the vagus nerve.


I love this stuff, I feel emotions, enough emotions that seem like a brick hit me and knocked me out, staring into the vast distance of infinity and feeling waves of emotion deep like the ocean.

Then you realize that it is all neurology, it is all a physical microscopic reaction of electricity like sparks of chemicals being transferred through 1,000's of receptors. It is in fact chemicals which allow us to think thoughts like the ones I am thinking now and the ones you wrote down, we get the chemical reactions from a break down of nutrients and proteins, like serotonin.

I feel violated and abandoned, because my best friend recently lied to me about a series of things. But if I specifically knew the reactions, and much more I would be able to feel ok instantly.



posted on Nov, 12 2013 @ 09:12 AM
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our world won't be made better by the brain, since the brain is what helped us arrive where we are today. our world will be made better by the heart, by beginning to care about ourselves and our fellow man. you cannot force, medicate nor psychoanalyze someone to be better, you can only support their efforts to realize this fact, that they will not survive without their fellow man helping them and each other,this the only way.



posted on Nov, 12 2013 @ 05:28 PM
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reply to post by soficrow
 





Politics aside, your rhetoric is peppered with sweeping "scientific" generalizations like the above


Oh sure, Scientific generalizations.

Is this an academic forum? No? Who here would look up, or even have the capacity or wherewithal to look up, the numerous citations I could list. Would you? Would check up on the published studies in academic journals?

Realistically, this isn't that type of forum, so naturally, I mention books - available to the public - which assemble such information.

Also, I am a psychologist who studies trauma. This is my field of research. For you to say "I call bs, but will leave you to it", given the sheer lack of justification in saying that, without even asking for references (which I could provide; today's book scanning technologies makes referencing far more easier than it used to be), implies to me the presence of an insecurity. Why are you turning our good-natured conversation into a contentious one?

And most conspicuously, you haven't even addressed the etiological and phenomenological differences I outlined between trauma and sociopathy - and frankly, it seems you don't really care all that much. Initially, I thought your questions had some legitimate scientific basis, but now, despite my efforts to clarify the basic differences between trauma and non-traumatic emotional disorders, you are too "detached" from the logical stream of our conversation to remain objective. You want to nitpick and insult me. And make issues of "generalizations" without even providing examples.

And as for that quote you quoted: Buddy! Seriously. Are you at all capable of recognizing the limits of your knowledge? As in, respecting the expertise of other people in areas we you yourself are poorly read? Almost all research into sociopathy sees its genesis in faulty brain development during fetal growthi.e. prenatally. This isn't a "sweeping generalization"; it's a simple analysis of the facts.

What you seem to be confusing is developmental trauma with sociopathy. Can a person be made cruel and dispassionate via early abuse? Of course. But this is a different emotional condition with inconsistent parallels with sociopathy. It's like confusing a red crayon with a piece of licorice; yes, they are both red, but they are different. Licorice is a food, while a crayon is a writing utensil. In this context, one person becomes anti-social due to traumatic early experiences, resulting in a more complex psychology, where, for example, he fosters violent and morbid thoughts against himself and others as a way to self soothe: to make sense of his experience. In sociopathy, there is no clear early developmental problems that led to this emotional dissociation from the feeling states of others. Thus, the neurobiology of sociopathy and developmental trauma - although they could both produce violent and unfeeling people - are completely different.
edit on 12-11-2013 by Astrocyte because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 13 2013 @ 09:04 AM
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reply to post by Astrocyte
 


Oh sure, Scientific generalizations.

Is this an academic forum? No? Who here would look up, or even have the capacity or wherewithal to look up, the numerous citations I could list. Would you? Would check up on the published studies in academic journals?


Yes, I would check up on the published studies in academic journals. I do it all the time. The internet is kinda wonderful that way, just click on the link and voila! - no need to drop everything and run to the library. More to the point, ATS has a tradition of requiring sources to substantiate rhetoric.

In any event, I acknowledge that sociopathy/psychopathy is defined as criminal - it's called a
Catch-22: sociopathy is defined as criminal; criminality is defined as psychopathy; and around and back again. I know that sociopathy/psychopathy is generally accepted as "untreatable" by some "professionals" and the Eugenicists who train them. I also recognize that the "psychopathy is genetic" hypothesis is generally accepted despite the lack of proof. My point here is that the dogma is highly questionable and controversial - and IS being questioned in academic circles.

The DSM conceptualization of Antisocial Personality Disorder is ...essentially synonymous with criminality.


...…Unfortunately, there remains a pervasive perception in the clinical community that adult psychopaths are impervious to treatment (D’Silva et. al., 2004). A meta-analysis of research on treatment outcomes in psychopathy concluded that the vast majority of the studies conducted lacked proper experimental design and scientific validity (Caldwell, 2013).


…The causes and specific pathophysiology of psychopathy are an active area of research. ...the general consensus is that a genetic predisposition is necessary for psychopathy while environmental conditions determine its specific expression (Porter, 1996).

[However}...there is no gene for antisocial behavior or psychopathy...


At present, the sociopathic/psychopathic aspects of Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD) are used primarily to justify and drive prisoner treatment in the justice system - arguably to the detriment of individuals and society.

The 4th and 5th editions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) have a diagnosis of Antisocial (Dissocial) Personality Disorder (ASPD), ...Although no psychiatric or psychological organization has sanctioned a diagnosis titled "psychopathy", assessments of psychopathy characteristics are widely used in criminal justice settings in some nations, and may have important consequences for individuals.


You say you are professionally committed to helping those who suffer trauma - yet blow off, out of hand, those who are arguably most in need of help. Interesting.

Also interesting, the qualities of sociopathy/psychopathy are accepted, nurtured, validated and rewarded financially in corporate settings where such behaviours are not considered criminal because the "right to profit" supersedes all other obligations.

Antisocial personality disorder is a mental health condition in which a person has a long-term pattern of manipulating, exploiting, or violating the rights of others.

...there is a tendency to blame others, or to offer plausible rationalizations for the behaviour bringing the patient into conflict with society


RE: Treatment

Treatment was also associated with a significant decrease in general and violent offending for each facet. ...Treatment appeared to disrupt the link between institutional and community violence and psychopathy features in this population.

Treatment-Related Changes in Psychopathy Features and Behavior in Adolescent Offenders

The impact of changes in psychopathy characteristics on institutional behavior was assessed in 127 incarcerated delinquent males who were treated in a specialized intensive treatment program. Participants were administered the self-report version of the Antisocial Processes Screening Device (APSD) on admission to the program and every 90 days through treatment. Changes in all APSD scales predicted improvement in institutional behavior and treatment involvement. For the 77 youth who had at least three administrations, repeated-measures analysis of variance showed significant changes in APSD total, Callous/Unemotional, Narcissism, and Impulsivity scores. For 127 youth who had at least two administrations and daily behavioral ratings, changes in each scale predicted improved institutional behavior and treatment compliance.

Offenders in the JCI (juvenile correctional institution) group are more than twice as likely to violently recidivate in the community during a 2-year follow-up than those who participate in MJTC treatment (Mendota Juvenile Treatment Center). Treatment is associated with relatively slower and lower rates of serious recidivism, even after controlling for the effects of nonrandom assignment to treatment groups and release status.

The results found significant improvement in behavioral and security measures with treatment. ...Furthermore, violent recidivism during a 4-year follow-up was predicted by final behavioral scores but not initial PCL:YV scores.



Just found this organization whose premises and vision conflict with your own:

Aftermath: Surviving Psychopathy Foundation

We envision a future in which psychopathy has less of a negative impact on the families, friends, co-workers, and victims of psychopathic individuals as well as individuals with psychopathic traits themselves because of the establishment of:
• more effective methods to help victims/survivors recover from traumatic relationships with such individuals;
• more effective methods to prevent or ameliorate the development of psychopathic traits;
• more effective methods to treat psychopathic features.




edit on 13/11/13 by soficrow because: link
edit on 13/11/13 by soficrow because: wd



posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 06:57 AM
link   
reply to post by Astrocyte
 


Great information! S&F for you!





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