You Know a Psychopath

Most people think that psychopaths are only in the movies or that they are in prison for serial killing sprees. This is not true. Psychopaths are around you and you have interacted with them.

No, this does not mean you are in danger or that they will be physically violent if they do target you for “special attention” as a particular favorite victim. It does not mean they will target you at all.

What is does mean is that 3 out of 100 people you ineract with is a psychopath. They can appear charming, they may take great care to look attractive and they often hold positions of respect within the community.

Psychopaths are teaching, giving therapy sessions, leading churches, contributing to charities and giving you medical treatment. They make up 3 to 4 percent of the population and you have exchanged words with one of them.

Being in the presense, even daily, with a psychopath does not meam they will ever harm you. They may just be using you to help maintain or promote their image, which is their “false self.”

Psychopaths will only specifically target certain people, usually ones that are predisposed to abuse. Other people are used as tools, proxies and pawn pieces in their games.

Narcissists , sociopaths and psychopaths are one and the same but they are on a spectrum. You can look up Nine Traits of Narcissism on google or YouTube.

The term sociopath is not any different than a psychpath. There was once a desire to make a strong distnction between narcissists and psychopaths and to create a label of in-between the two ends of the spectrum.

Make no mistake, someone with 9 traits narcissism is potentially dangerous and someone with 7 or 8 traits ( a sociopath) is also very dangerous. They may not choose to be physically violent but they are a danger the mental health, and ability to thrive of their victims.

If you are working with one then you may find yourself harrassed, bullied and feel your job is in jeapordy due to them. It probably is.

If your landlord is one then you may feel the same level of harrassment, threats, and manipulation from them as the one at work.

If they are in your life and you are not providing them with narcissistic supply, making them look good, feeding their ego and listening in awe of their stories of grandeur, then you might be tormented by them. They may torment and bully you to get things to go the way they want or just for sadistic pleasure…it depends where they fall on the narcissim/ psychopath spectrum.

None of the people who have malignant narcissistic personality disorder have any feelings of compassion,  emapthy, love or remore. Although they can emulate the words and gestures of people that do have these feelings.

Narcissists will woo you in order to lure you into trusting them. They can appear normal, even charming, for short periods of time. It takes extended interaction with them in order to see their mask slip.

If something seems inconsistent or “off” about someone and you find yourself recounting conversations to try to make sense of what seemed to be perfectly rational but later did not fit, then be wary.

Narcissists use “word salad”, re-framing, pre-supposition and other neuro linguistic programming (NLP) techniques to manipulate and confuse you. You can look these techniques up on google to learn more about them.

Some people spend years learning NLP techniques in order to use them for good purposes like helping clients lose weight or overcome a phobia.

Narcissists naturally use these techniques …but with insidious intentions. If you feel like you are being dominated in every conversation, even when you are in the right, just be wary.

If you feel like someone is always dominant in conversations about topics  you  are more trained and skilled in, that is anothercred flag.

If someone knows better about every single topic you have ever discussed with them, that is a red flag. Who knows better than you about everthing? Probably only someone with such a huge ego that they pretend to know things they don’t, just to put you under their foot.

Someone who is a “pathological lier” is probably a narcissist.  They can lie right to your face with eye contact,  and sound very sincere or even offended and indignant.

If you feel your will power being sucked out of you and your identity and self worth leaving the room, every time they are in it, that is not normal.

Normal people do not have that effect on others. They do not feel the need to push others down in order to appear bigger and better.

You have interacted with these people without knowing it and you never knew why you felt bad everytime you were around them…or you wondered what it was about you that made “dominating manipulative people” seem to intimidate you.

Intimidation is a game to them and it is also a way of survival for them. They do not want you close enough to see through their games so they will keep you at a distance.

As long as you are struggling to deal with their games, you are too focused on what is happening to you to really look at them and see who they are. They are deceiptful, bullying, “all knowing” people who always have a hidden agenda.

Their behaviors are often confusing because you are unaware of their agenda, which always has to do with them.

Even when they seem to be doing benevolent acts of service their is a hidden agenda behind it.

You might want to consider doing some research on narcissism and psychopathy, just to protect yourself. In this case knowledge is empowerment. These people want to disempower you by starting with your self confidence and distorting your perception of reality.

Some study of neuro linguistic programming will also help you to protect yourself from tactics being used against you that you have never heard of. There are some great videos on NLP hypnosis by David Snyder on YouTube.

You can research NLP techniques of “re-framing”, “presupposition”, “word salad” and others.

You can look up “gaslighting” and you will find written information and videos. I am going to post some videos about gaslighting in the next few weeks and I will put the links for you here.

There is no reason to have parts of your life miserable because of not knowing the tactics of narcissists or how to identify them. You can also look up “red flags” of a narcissist or “red flags” of an abuser and you will get some information.

Trust you gut and do not trust people that make you question your own perception. If something seems off…it probably is.

Your Possibilities are Greater than You Think

There is no one quite like you. You are unique in many ways. You are a spiritual being that is existing in the body you are inhabiting.

You could have made different choices that may have sent you on a slightly different path. You may have ended up at a different job or with different people if you had made different moves on the chess board.

You still would have been the same being. Your values may be re-prioritized as you grow and learn. There are no paths that change you from who you were born as into a completely different spiritual being.

You have no way to know how things would have turned out if you had made different choices because life is unpredictable and you cannot control others.

There is no need to feel bad over decisions that you think sent you away from the “right” path. You have no way to know what would have happened or if it would not have been worse.

Even things you feel that you really screwed up….you don’t really know that it would have been the way you picture it to be if you had not done that.

It does not serve you to hold shame and guilt about the past. You are still on your journey either way.

Your story is not completed. Often there are many paths that lead to the same place.


Any one decision from your past could have sent you a different way that could have landed you somewhere similar eventally…or somewhere worse depending on the events that could have followed that decision.

Life is full of unknowns and there are many things you cannot control…such as other people.

Memories tend to deceive us anyway. They are images and feelings that are filtered through our perception at the time …in addition to our current perception.

But the memories are missing information that we did not have such as what another person was really thinking or feeling.

You may regret ending a relationship and you are sure that you lost the best thing that will ever come your way. But you do not know for sure what the other person was thinking or what they would have been feeling a year from then.

These are all unknowns. Memories can deceive us because our brains fill in missing information. The story we create about what would have happened is just that….a story.

Life is in the present. We are affected by our past experiences and what meaning that our brains attach to those experiences.

Being in the present without carrying shame and guilt is the best way to be able to experience our spiritual selves to the fullest extent.

We are not who we are because of the things we have done. The things we did were based on what was happening at the time.

We had certain meaning attached to the things that were happening. We may not even be in touch with that meaning anymore.

We do not really fully remember exactly how we felt at that time. Many details are forgotten over time, including what triggers may have been occurring and what fears we may have been feeling at that moment.

Carrying shame and guilt over our past decisions is unfair you ourselves. It only serves to lower your self esteem and interferes with your ability to make decisions that are good for you now.

Judgement of ourselves is bad enough when it is done by others. When other people hold anger and judgement about us it is from their own perception of the past.

Just like us, their memories are bits of pictures and feelings with much of the information being filled in by their own brain which tells a story.

Details that are unknown to them, such as how you felt and what was happening in your subconscious mind, are missing from their information…so they make things up to fill in the holes.

Much of what they project onto you comes from their own perception and is wrong. So their jugdement of you is coming from a flawed reality of what really happened.

Do not carry other people’s judgement of your past as your true past. It is not true reality. You are not able to reach your possibilities if you are carrying these things with you.

You are the same spiritual being that was born. Your decisions and choices seemed neccassary at the time. They are in the past now.

Allow yourself to lift this weight from yourself. You will be able to be there for the people in your life right now, in a much more meaningful way, if you can be yourself and accept that you have innate worth.

You were born with worth and your past does not change that. We spend too much energy carrying memories that are convoluted anyway.

Your life is here and now. It does not matter how you ended up here. How you got where you are is no indication of where you can go and what possibilities your life holds for you.

Past limitations are just shadows. You have much more potetial than you realize yet. Just allow for the possibility that you can do greater things than you can imagine right now.

There is great power in allowing for possibiities and not limiting yourself based on what you think you remember doing in the past.

Your possibilities are full and your value is still for you to discover.

Blessings,

Annie💕


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Techniques of the Narcissist – Mirroring Technique Used During the Idealization Phase

If you are interested in learning about how the abuse victims are lured into a relationship with a psychopath, a narcissist or another abusive personality, then you can check out this post I put up on the Lovely Wounded Lady blog today. You can see the post HERE.

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This post is about the mirroring technique used by narcissists to lure people in and make them think that they share your feelings and beliefs. This technique is used during the idealization phase.

The idealization phase is the first phase of narcissistic abuse. It is the time they lure in their target, gather personal information to use against them later and begin brainwashing and conditioning processes.

The mirroring technique is one of the main ones used during the idealization phase.

save yourself meme

This mirroring technique comes from NLP and it is a neutral technique of creating a rapport with other people. It can be used for good purposes by good people. But like all good things, it can be used for malicious purposes by someone who has insidious intentions.

This post included a great video by an NLP practitioner.  His intention in the video is to teach teach the mirroring as something to be used by good people and there is no evil intent in his video. I am only using the video in my post because it does a good job of explaining how we psychologically respond to mirroring.

For one on one coaching for narcissistic abuse please visit my web site gentlekindnesscoaching.com

You can send me a message on the contact page there. You can add your email address for newsletter and specials and coupons. 
You can reserve your coaching time and get more info about pricing which begins at 15 dollars.

Emotophobia – the Fear of Strong Negative Emotions

Emotophobia is the fear of unpleasant emotions, not to be confused with emetophobia, the fear of vomiting.

There is little online about emotophobia.

The few articles I found offered the suggestion to “stop treating negative emotions as if they are your enemies and can harm you.”

This is somewhat condescending and implies that emotions themselves cannot harm you.

The person offering this advice clearly has never been in a situation where showing negative emotions could harm them.

So, they think it is rather ridiculous that someone would associate their negative emotions with danger.

The problem with this thinking is that there are situations where someone’s emotions can cause them harm.

This advise shows a complete misunderstanding of emotophobia and its root causes.

People with emotophobia are not “treating” emotions as if they are the enemy.

For people that have emotophobia, emotions were the enemy and they were followed by consequences.

People that grew up in mentally abusive childhoods were not permitted to have emotions like other people are.

The expression of emotion, which represents being an individual, is often punished by abusive parents.

Even children who were not physically abused, could have had their right to individual ideas and feelings violated.

Narcissistic parents and other overbearing, maniplulative parents do not want their children to develop independent thoughts and ideas.

They do not want their children thinking in terms of their own needs at all. When their children expressed feelings, the parents retaliated.

Punishments from the silent treatment to aggressive verbal abuse of the child are used.

Physical consequences may also follow as a matter of course, when a child showed anything resembling disobedience, including not feeling what they were told to feel.

These mentally abusive parents, want the focus on themselves and their needs. They demand for the child to cater to their ever changing desires and demands.

In order to survive in this type of environment, the child must learn to constantly read the parent’s body language and tone of voice.

They must anticipate the desires and moods of the parent. If they fail to do so, it is met with negative consequences.

If the child expresses disagreement, or unhappiness with the parent, they will likely incur the anger and wrath of the parent.

Even a facial expression of disagreement with the parent can bring out their anger.

For their own protection, these children and teenagers learn to disguise their feelings and push them down.

They do not want the parent to see their feelings because it will be used against them.

If you grew up in this type of environment, then feeling negative emotions was the enemy. It is not something we have suddenly developed an irrational fear of as adults.

This environment causes C-PTSD, which is Complex Post Traumatic Stess Disorder, in many people. This is carried over into adulthood.

So, the advice to “stop treating emotions as if they were the enemy” and to tell people that feeling emotions is safe, does not make sense to someone with C-PTSD from childhood mental abuse.

Adults can also develop emotophobia from ongoing abusive relationships with a partner. Women become afraid to disagree with their partner because they fear his anger.

Abusive people do not tolerate independence from their partner in the way of them expressing feelings like sadness and anger.

Again, the brain rewires the neural connections to avoid showing negative feelings. This is a necessary survival tactic at the time.

It is not easily undone. The brain considers it necessary in order to protect the safety of the person.

It takes years to develop this survival tactic and to detach from and avoid negative emotions. The brain becomes wired to discourage entering into situations that may cause negative emotions.

To undo what was a learned survival skill takes a lot of work in re-wiring the brain.

Telling someone “emotions are your friends” does not work, especially without any idea why the person feels such anxiety about emotions like anger and sadness.

The only people who really understand what it feels like to have severe anxiety about showing anger, and sadness to others are those of us that are carrying the C-PTSD that causes it.

This is not a simple problem to just fix. Minimizing the problem and misunderstanding the root causes just makes those of us suffering from emotophobia feel worse.

Treatment for emotophobia would have to begin with drudging up past trauma in a safe environment. It has to be done in small doses that the person can handle.

Each individual person that suffers from this phobia has a unique past and so their treatment would be individual.

When we Feel Destroyed – We can Find Self Love

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There is a moment of utter destruction.

Some would call this rock bottom

Everything we believed to be true comes into question

All the behaviors and beliefs that ruled our lives are in doubt

Our ability to perceive reality properly is in doubt

There is an inner questioning of our very sanity

We feel broken, destroyed

There is grief for past years that we feel may have been wasted

We feel anger towards our abusers who stole things from us, they had no right to claim

There is a condemnation of ourselves for being mislead, abused, and undermined by others

There is a fear of the future and a feeling of doubt as to how to proceed

The going has gotten tough…and we have no idea how the tough get going

This is the moment of deconstruction

Deconstruction of our inner self.

Deconstruction of the world as we have been perceiving it

Deconstruction of our beliefs, our priorities, our perception, our values, our mental behavioral patterns

This is the moment of both utter destruction and epiphany

There has to be a destruction of the incorrect, self hurtful perceptions and beliefs

Truth needs to be seen in a new and different light

Our previous beliefs about wrong and right, being a “good” person no longer serve us

We can realize that what others tell us to do to “be a good person” may not serve us

We finally realize that “others” have their own agenda and speak to us about our behaviors out of that agenda

Reality and perception are personal and individual

We must create our own reality and choose our perceptions of that reality

Allowing others to do this for us, or force their reality upon us, ends up in the destruction of our souls

Now we realize that in the midst of the destruction of who we have been up until this point, is the beginning of our starting to live

We claim the right to choose how we perceive things.

We claim the right to feel what it is that we feel

To think and perceive the truth as it best serves our soul

We draw new boundaries within ourselves and do not give others permission to decide what those boundaries are

We give ourselves permission to study, to learn, to research, to think and to evaluate

We matter

We have as much of a right to our beliefs, our thoughts and our feelings as anyone else does

We no longer have to feel guilty for refusing not to set ourselves on fire, for someone elses’s agenda

We find that we can know ourselves better than anyone else can know us

Those that claim to know us better than we know ourselves are manipultors and we owe them nothing

The person who had been neglected is ourselves

The brilliant mind that needs to be set free is our own

The compassion in our hearts should be valued. Not crushed and taken advantage of

We deconstruct all that has been true

We reconstruct from where we are, in the present moment

We are born anew and can begin to live

A Little About My Mother – and How we Can Re-program our Brain to not Accept Abuse

We repeat the behavioral patterns that we were brought up with. As adults our brains are wired from the programming we learned growing up.

The bad programming can be overcome.  First we need to become aware of what the programming is and what incidents caused it.  It is hard work, because we have to dig into our past and remember things that we may have repressed and buried deep in our brains.

The problem is that those things are still there. The way we were taught to see ourselves and our roles, is still there.  The way we were taught to deal with our thoughts and feelings is still there. Our general self esteem or lack thereof was programmed into us too.

People pleaser syndrome is a reaction to an unsafe and unstable environment.  Nearly everyone with People Pleaser Syndrome was conditioned to prioritize others, and respond bases on other people’s feelings. It was a self defense mechanism that we learned, in order to survive in a hostile environment as children and teenagers.

I have never spoken about my mother on this blog. I have repressed my memories and my feelings about her for years. I have not heard from her in years. She has no desire to speak with me and I have no desire to force myself back into her life. 

I have reasons for this. You won’t even guess what the main reason is. My secondary reason is because I do not want to deal with her abusive behavior towards me.The primary reason is about my sister.

My other had this very weird kind of disorder that caused her to only have one daughter at a time, It is very strange and the reason I do not talk about her to people, is that I do not think they would believe the stories I could tell about her.

Telling someone painful stories and then having them think you are making  it up or exaggerating, is painful and in validating. That is why most people think my mother is dead. I have been asked that before.

“Is your mother dead?”

I said “No, Why do you say that?”

They say “You talk about your father , step mother and sisters, but you never mention your mother.”

So, the answer is “No”, my mother is not dead, but she is mean and cruel to me. I could possible get her to be nice to me again, but that would mean her writing my sister off as dead, and then talking mean about her and to her face.

My mother had lots of problems…alcoholism, raging…probably borderline personality disorder…and hot and cold moods. 

She had one daughter at a time. She would validate the existence  of one of us and at the same time, banish, disown, leave for dead…the other one of us.

This could change on the spur of the moment , based on something she imagined in her head, that one of us did to her. or did on general. It was not logical or based in any reality.

Once I was in the car with my  mother and my younger sister. My mother screamed at me and told me to shove my sister’s head down in the back seat. so that when we drove past her boyfriend’s apartment, he would not see her.

She wanted Jenn to not exist. 

I asked her why I should do this. She said “I told him I had one daughter. I did not mention her. If he sees her, then he will think I am lying, but I am not”

I asked her why she told him she had only one daughter and she said “You know how your sister is. I do not want him to know about her. It will be embarrassing to me and he might not want to date me anymore.”

It was always about the men and what they wanted and what would keep them from breaking up with her. As far as the men she dated goes…this particula story I just told you was when she was dating this guy that was 10 years younger than her.

I finally found out why he was dating her. He had seen us together at the pool.  He wanted to sleep with a mother and a daughter. He was in the middle of our ages, and this was his perverted idea.

He dated her first, then he started inviting me to his apt to listen to music. I was 16 and very naive. I did not know he was trying to get into my pants, until he came out and said something very disgusting to me one the phone one day..that  I will not repeat here…but the lightbulb finally went off in my head.

So, she went back and forth like this between my sister and I.  One day she had one daughter and a few months later, she would change daughters and disown the other one. Whichever one of us she was talking to, she would bad mouth the other one of us to.

One day I was perfect… and Jenn was horrible. Then Jenn was perfect… and I was scum on the bottom of her shoe.

When I was 19, my sister lived with my Dad, who had moved to Florid for work. He paid for a plane ticket for her to come visit me in Baltimore. I was so excited to see her and to have her spend the week with me!

At this point in time, my mother was talking to me. She had disowned my sister for getting into a bad crowd. She had not spoken to my sister for several months.

I felt bad for my sister that my mother was not talking to her. I took my sister to my mother’s house , to try to play the peacemaker….

It was awkward at first. My mother had not seen her in a long time. But within about 10 minutes they were chatting away, like old friends.

Then my mother suddenly got very cold to me. She said,”You can go home now. I will bring your sister home later this evening.”

I told her that I thought the three of us would have a nice visit together. I do not know what in the world made me hope that it would work. It never did, no matter how many times I tried it.

She sent me home and I sat there alone for hours, waiting for her to bring my sister back to me. I was looking forward to spending the week with her, I had not seen her in many months.

My mother finally showed up at the door. Her boyfriend and Jenn were sitting in the car. She looked at me very coldly and said “Go pack your sisters stuff up. Put it all back in the suitcase and do it right now. We are going to dinner and she is staying with me.”

I was very confused and I asked her if she was taking both of us to dinner. I seemed like a reasonable thing to ask.

She looked at my like I was very rude. She said “I  did not invite you to dinner. You are NOT invited. Go get her stuff.”

I said to her that I was looking forward to spending the week with my sister. I said that Dad had sent to her visit me for the week. I was happy to let her see anyone, but she was staying at my house for the week.”

To which she said “You do not invite yourself to dinner, when no one invited you. Your sister will be staying with me for the week and you are not welcome to come over. Get the stuff and do not make me get the boyfriend to MAKE you.”

So I was afraid of whatever threat she was making about the boyfriend that I did not know at that time. I went downstairs and got all my sister’s stuff packed up. I was sobbing as I put her things into the suitcase, because I missed her very much.

My mother was yelling down the stairs about how slow I was and that any person should be smart enough to able to pack a suitcase faster than that, when they were told to hurry up.

She took the suitcase to the car. She did not let me say goodbye to my sister. The boyfriend did not say a word to me.

They left and I never saw my sister for a long time. They took her for the entire week and they would not answer the phone when I called to say hi to my sister. I was not allowed to call .

I saw her for an hour, when I first picked her up from the airport. I drove her to see Mom. That was stupid. Then I lost the entire visit because I wanted to be the peace-maker.

So, I grew up to be the peacemaker that does not even recognize when I am being abused. The severity of my mother’s mental abuse on my sister and I, was so bad that I hardly notice milder levels of abuse.

I grew up knowing that sometimes I had to sacrifice myself for someone else. In order for my sister to have a mother, I had to give up having one. I had to endure being the bad daughter that had been excommunicated, in order for my sister to have a mother.

This went back and forth so many times. When I was in my 30’s, I let my sister have her mother. I stepped out because anytime I go back, she could turn on my sister.

My sister has been through enough trauma and she needs that relationship with my mother. I am better off away from the entire thing.

This is why I am writing this. We have to know where our behaviors come from. I know that when my mother used to drink, I had to walk on egg  shells not to piss her off. I was 16 and she would throw me out of the house at 10 pm, and I would be walking the streets trying to think of where I could sleep.

I was taught to be hyper vigilant about other people’s feelings and to do whatever would keep them from getting angry. yelling at me , hitting me, throwing me out of the house, or disowning me for months.

These programs in our brains, have to be rewired.

We have to identify the viruses and where they came from. Then we have to look at them rationally and see what purpose the behaviors served at the time. They were needed for survival at the time, but now, they are causing us to end up being abused by other people.

Once we retrain our brains, then we can prioritize our feelings and recognize abusive behavior when it begins. Rather than tolerating it because we go into post traumatic stress and then react the way we were conditioned to react.

Blessings,

Annie

Gentle Mental Annie Blog

gentle mental annieGentle Mental Annie is a blog that has a bit if this and that, but focuses on mental illness. I want to create awareness that people with mental illness need to be treated like people and that the stigma about mental illness can be unfair and leave us at more of a disadvantage than we already are in.

People with mental illness are unique, individual humans. There many types and many levels of mental illness. Many of us would have been “normal” had it not been for mental abuse, physical abuse or other ongoing abuse during childhood.

Others of us have mental disorders from traumatic experiences. Mental illness does not mean “Crazy” and it does not mean “Dangerous.”

It is true that there are dangerous people in the world,  but there are far more people with mental disorders of some kind, than there are dangerous people in the world..

There are only a few types of mental disorders which can lead the sufferers to become dangerous to other people. These disorders, are not common and people with these disorders are not always dangerous to other people.

People with depression, severe anxiety, bipolar disorder, PTSD, C-PTSD and other types of mental illnesses suffer from types of mental torment, which cause us problems in our own lives. Some of us may inflict self harm at times, but we are not in any way harmful to other people.

We are in just as much danger from the dangerous, predators of the world as “normal” people, if not more. Predators like to target people that are already having mental suffering. It makes them feel good to inflict pain upon people that are already in pain.

We often feel out of place, misunderstood and handicapped about competing in the work world in the world in general. Most of us are perfectly  capable of working and also of being loyal,  wonderful friends. Some people with mental illness have trouble working for various reason, but it is not out of laziness or a desire to manipulate the system.

Mental illness affects the brain in an actual organic way. In this way, mental illness is a physical disorder just as much as physical disabilities are. People in wheelchairs are given support and extra help to function, but people with mental illness are usually not.

Whereas people with physical disabilities are often open to be able to discuss their limitations and ask for what kind of support they need, many people with mental illness are afraid of the being judged and misunderstood.

Due to the stigma of mental disorders, many people do not seek help, for fear that a record of the diagnosis would ruin them. We often fear for our jobs and fear other types of discrimination. There are suicides each year that could have been prevented, if the people would  have not been afraid to receive a diagnosis and treatment for their mental illness.

There is a fear of us losing our job, and having people treat us in ways that are condescending, fearful, critical and judgemental. Once people know you have a mental illness, often they see you differently. There is no going back in time and taking back the fact that they know.

Many people think that mental illness is something that you can just “get over” and that it is all in the person’s head.

Well, it is in the head, but there are neurological and chemical differences in people with different types of mental illness. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder looks one way in the brain. Depression looks another way in the brain. The brains of people with these disorders do not work in the way the brain was designed to work.

PTSD for example has an overactive amygdala, which is the fear center of the brain. The person can become triggered by reminders of their original trauma and the amygdala goes into hyper alert mode. This is not in control of the person and they cannot just turn it off.

The overload of fear chemicals and the amygdala in the “on” position, causes the person to go into a “fight or flight” mode. During an episode the person feels just like you would if there were a giant, scary dog cornering you and growling in a threatening way to you.

Just because you cannot see mental illness does not mean that it is not real. If you suffer from mental illness you are aware of the frustration of the lack of empathy about this problem

The more we make a place for ourselves in the world, the better off we will be. My blog to create awareness and it is also to be a support system.

I try to write posts that are informative and helpful. I try to write in a way that extends empathy and compassion to people with mental disorder like depression, anxiety, OCD, bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses.

Many of us have suffered abuse which we may or may not be aware is the root cause of our mental illness. Many of us have also suffered trauma and retraumatization as adults. Some of this had been because we were easy targets for predators.

Some of us have experienced retraumatization at the hands of therapists and counselors. It is always a risk to place your brain into the hands of another person, who claims to know how to help you.

I feel that blogging can be an additional therapy to any treatment plan you are in. Blogging opens up a world of expression and interactions with people who can understand how you feel…sometimes better than the therapist actually understands how you feel.

We all need to be heard and validated. We need to accepted for who we are…at least by some people.

Annie

Psychological Damage and Retraumatization

People with mental illness often have psychological damage from being subject to abuse during childhood.

Then very often they are retraumatized in adulthood by ending up being the victims of predators, There are narcissistic people that prey people who have C-PTSD from childhood abuse.

Some predators actually will evaluate you during conversations early in the relationship. They find out about your past and what the effects were.

Yes,  when they were seeming to be so sweet and caring, they were pumping you for information, in order to asses how broken you were.

These predators know that broken people are easier to brainwash and drag into their world of control and manipulation. The relationships we have with people like this, retraumatize us and add to the C-PTSD we already had.

You have chosen to click on this post because the title of it struck a nerve with you. Most likely you have been abused in your lifetime. It may have been during your childhood and / or it may have been as an adult. Many people that were abused as children , end up in abusive relationships as adults.

The psychological damage from living in abuse is extensive and can cause depression, severe anxiety, OCD, PTSD, and other mental illnesses. It is also common that people with other mental disorders such as depersonalization disorder, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder , social anxiety and  insomnia have experienced abuse during their lifetimes.

As people with mental illness, we sometimes make choices that are harmful to us that other people would not make.

We are so used to things being abnormal and painful that we tend to not notice the red flags of an abusive relationship until it is too late.

The mental illness causes us to end up in codependent , manipulative, abusive relationships. On the flip side, these relationships that cause severe psychological damage and we end up with mental illness that we may not have already had.

Which one comes first? The mental illness, the psychological damage, the abusive relationships? It is hard for us to tell. If you think back through your past , if you can remember, then you will most likely identify abuse against your mental health. 

Situations of trauma cause PTSD. The people who tend to be the most affected are the ones who have had some kind of mental trauma in their past.

There are cases of severe trauma (like military horrors),  that can cause PTSD , even of the person had a “normal” past. But a lot of the people who endure ptsd that never seems to go away, had some form of abuse prior to that trauma.

It is sometimes difficult to identify abuse from our past.  For some people it is glaringly obvious and for others it has been blocked out by their own brain.

The brain wants to protect itself from further trauma and will black out memories and deny us access to them.

People with psychological damage often have more than one mental disorder. In addition you may carry with you a feeling that you are not good enough to have a healthy relationship.

If you are carrying C-PTSD be careful of predators that may end up retraumatizing you. You do not need to sustain more mental damage.

Do not automatically assume that if someone is asking about your past and being a good listener that they care about you.

There are red flags of abusers that you should be aware of. You can search the tag Red flags of abuse or narcissistic abuse.

Learn the patterns and behaviors of narcissists and other abusers. There are typical patterns and things to look for.

You will identify the red flags if you are aware of them. Things like “love bombing” and “devaluing” are terms you should search, if you are not aware of them.

There is a great youtube site called Self-care Haven. She has videos that you should watch if you do not know the tactics of narcissists and how they draw you in.

Be Yourself Believe in Yourself

you are the person you say you are

Healing Requires Feeling

Healing requires feeling

It is nature’s only  way

Of disinfecting

the mental wounds

And closing them to stay

It seems too much to bear at first

Sometimes we want to quit

We regress to places past

And fear the future trauma

But healing always means feeling

There is no other path

That really grows our hearts

And makes us strong at last

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