Marginalization and violence

*Additional note – this post is not about me or a specific group or any individual in particular but is about all those observing and the affects they may face. People have to go along with a group but it can leave them psychologically uncomfortable. And someone who is already being persecuted too may be less likely to feel hope and more likely to feel even more worthless – the goal of those doing the marginalization.  All I’m suggesting and asking possibly, is tone down the volume of the jokes and dislike of each other because that in itself may be increasing risk of random violence anywhere and everywhere.  This post is simply about the repercussions, the ripple effect for observers – please think about the other marginalized people who may see the extreme treatment of some as a reason to give up.

I’m adding a section from a project I’m working on that is about transference and countertransference and working with others without getting too involved and a quote by Abraham Lincoln who encourages us “to act in the interest of peace.” This is like giving you the solution to a problem first and then giving you the problem but since it is about a severe problem maybe it may help to first have a solution in mind before reading about the problem.

“With Charity to All.”

“Enough lives have been sacrificed; we must extinguish our resentments if we expect harmony and union.  We must now begin to act in the interest of peace. With charity to all.” – Abraham Lincoln, to associates regarding letting Civil War leaders leave the country rather than be caught and executed. (pp23-24, Lincoln)

11.4.4. Transference and Countertransference – getting too involved.

Successful leaders and mental health counselors don’t let someone else’s bad day ruin their own good mood.

If as a modern business our goal is to overcome these natural instincts to trust those and want to be led by those who are more similar to ourselves than those who are different, then first it is necessary to simply admit that the instincts exist instead of suggesting that simply saying we are “equal” truly can make us equal to each other at an instinctual level. Remember we don’t have to emotionally “feel” like family or best friends in order to complete a project with someone. Advice from successful leaders suggests not taking it personally, don’t let your own emotions be affected by another person’s mood, and remember that even difficult people can add value to a team.

  • Read more, a list of tips for a business reader regarding how successful leaders cope with working with people they don’t like: 11 Ways Successful People Deal With People They Don’t Like. (11.21)   

Transference and countertransference of mood and symptoms is seen in the field of psychiatry and mental health counseling. The patient and counselor may form emotional patterns learned in their childhood and negative symptoms may develop in the counselor. The theory may apply to long term relationships formed in other areas of life:

    • Read more: The Space Between: Transference and Countertransference (11.22)
    • Transference and Countertransference: A Common Sense Perspective, includes exercises to help a person become more aware of their own body tension or relaxation and other responses that occur naturally during a conversation. We tend to “mirror” each other’s body language and style of speaking without being consciously aware of the tendency. The physical tension however can have very real effects on our mood. (11.23)
  • Transference and Countertransference in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, is a journal article with examples of scenarios and clinician responses: (11.24)

11.4.4.1: Social workers are less likely to commit suicide than physicians.

Social workers may commit suicide less often than physicians due to a difference in training about self care. Social workers are reminded to not become overly invested in the job or with a particular client’s troubles by having balance in their other roles in life. It did not seem to me that I was as good as the social workers whom I worked with at balancing my own life roles, but having role models who were good at it and who reminded me that it helps to have balance and variety in life, did help to let me know what is possible and worth working towards as a goal.

11.4.4.2: Resources for help or just someone to talk to:

  • U.S. National Suicide Prevention Hotline: Call 1-800-273-8255, Available 24 hours everyday. (I.suicidepreventionlifeline.org)
  • National Helpline: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: “SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service), is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.”  (I.samhsa.org)
  • Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, RAINN Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE, (I.RAINN.org)
  • Child Welfare Information Gateway: a variety of toll-free hotline numbers for concerns involving the safety of children. (11.18)
  • Power and Control and Equality Wheels  The following training materials are for helping victims of domestic violence and batterers learn how to recognize problem behaviors but emotional manipulation or abuse of power and control can occur in many types of relationships not just between couples.The Power and Control Wheel (11.15) was developed by the Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs (DAIP). (11.16) Manipulative behaviors are grouped into eight categories in the model. An additional Equality Wheel (11.17) was developed to help guide batterers and victims of emotional or physical abuse towards healthier ways to interact. It is grouped into eight equivalent categories with examples of healthier ways to interact with each other. Problems frequently can involve communication issues by both people in a relationship.

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has a service for locating a nutrition counselor near you at the website eatright.org: (eatright.org/find-an-expert)

And a section from G. Relaxation & Stress,  Four: Social contact would help protect against oxidative stress.

Social contact soothes stress and helps prevent children from developing PTSD:

Having a role that fulfills a valued purpose for the group is associated with an increased sense of happiness. Read more: A Better Kind of Happiness, by Will Storr, (G.9). Stress may become more overwhelming however if the person is isolated or never learned social skills or developed enough trust in others to ask for help or seek out help. Children in situations with emotionally immature caregivers may learn that people around them can’t be trusted or that trying doesn’t lead to success so why bother trying – they can learn a sense of helplessness and hopelessness and not even try to seek help because they are unfamiliar with finding strength or support from others.

In the book Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents, by Lindsay C. Gibson (G.10) four different types of emotionally immature caregivers are described and how growing up with them might affect children. Solutions are also provided in the form of techniques for how, as an adult, a person might overcome the lessons they learned as a child once they discover that emotions aren’t dangerous things to never be discussed or worse that one might be punished for exhibiting them.

Some emotionally immature people may feel threatened by strong emotions and may react negatively to children who are simply being children. The child in that situation learns to not trust themselves and may not learn that emotions are normal rather than upsetting or frightening.

Severe childhood trauma can lead to changes in the brain that cause ongoing symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). A new strategy for treating PTSD has been developed which involves electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve called Vagal Nerve Stimulation (VNS).  

The excerpt summary from the book Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents (G.10) regarding the research by Stephen Porges suggests that the vagal nerve is the nerve pathway that naturally is stimulated when social contact is sought by mammals who are enduring a stressful situation. (G.11) (G.12Infants and children depend on their caregivers for everything and try to please with their smiles, eye contact, or baby coos. If the infant isn’t receiving eye contact in return however they may stop trying or are scolded they may learn to look away and to avoid eye contact. Children ideally need emotional support in order to develop trust in themselves and in others. Parents who have limited skills in understanding and accepting their own emotions may not be able to teach their children what they don’t understand themselves. Children who have some role model in their lives who understands emotional skills may cope better than children who don’t.

The topic is discussed in more detail in the book Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents, by Lindsay C. Gibson, PsyD, (New Harbinger Pub., Inc., 2015, Oakland, CA) (G.10) (This book is not a twelve step book and is not affiliated with the Adult Children of Alcoholic or Dysfunctional Parents twelve step group.) On page eight the author discusses the importance of emotional connection for humans and other mammals for responding less negatively to stress. Stephen Porges published work in 2011 suggesting that mammals evolved a way in which we can get additional soothing during fear situations when we are in touch physically or possibly even mentally – thinking about them during times of need. It involves vagus nerve pathways that can be inhibited to reduce the fight, flight, or freeze stress reaction. (G.10)

**** It is not easy being a parent or a child is what I’ve learned about life.

Original beginning of the post:

Studies on random violence and terrorist acts have found that individuals and groups who are marginalized may be more at risk. Persecution and humiliation and child trauma or neglect was more common in the history of people arrested for a violent crime. The recent death of a peaceful protester in Charlottesville is tragic for the family and community, and the nation. (bloomberg.com/2017-08-14)

We are becoming even more divided since the difficult campaign season but marginalizing young adults may just lead to more violence. A group that has appeared to be supportive of or producing the Nazi themed memes  has a petition up to help save them from oppression, whether it might be satire about saving Pakistan is unclear. (change.org/p/the-recognition-and-freedom-of-the-kekistani-people)

Update, 8/18/2017, I’ve looked into this group further and it does seem to be a satire group whose artwork got taken up by other extreme right wing groups.. Their group’s name and artwork was not visible in any of the video footage that I saw of the event at Charlottesville. And a police officer has stated that the event may have been allowed to happen as a political move to show that the current administration is inciting violence. If the police officer is correct than the Charlottesville administration was the ones inciting it, but they deny it. Snopes has a debunking statement up about the police officer’s claim. Ever since the site debunked a story by suggesting it was simply a math anomaly I’ve been suspicious of their results – yes odd math happens but that is not a “debunking” – you’re not supposed to simply throw out the unusual experimental results simply because they fall at outside of the 98th percentile. See this article:  (yournewswire.com/charlottesville-inside-job) there’s a Snopes factcheck of it that says its false: (snopes.com/were-police-told-stand-down-charlottesville)

Young adults who are just looking for recognition and freedom from “normies” may need more variety of role models to follow. When “normal” society is the bad guy and Trump is the savior figure in the artwork – we all have a problem.

There are a few articles on my website about Zionism and World War II but the information is not in support of Hitler. Anti-Zionists at the time of World War II included Jewish people, such as Albert Einstein. There was collusion between Hitler and the Zionists at the time which may have left more of the non-Zionists Jews at risk for the concentration camps while a few left early for Palestine and they were allowed to take their possessions.  It all may involve banking and the national monetary system that Germany put in place after WWI cost them a large amount in reparations. History is complicated and the winners write the books. (The Israel leader supports Donald Trump, that seems significant: theantimedia.org/israel-trump-relations-important-condemning-nazis)

I’ve been working on a health information website, a directory of links to other resources with narrative about their value. It started out as an example of a policy manual for preventing harassment and discrimination in the workplace.

I’m posting a section regarding random violence and humiliation of others as it seems pertinent to our modern interconnected society. When one is singled out for persecution it is warning all the others in the group and other marginalized groups, that if they aren’t careful then they could get the same treatment – so follow the group’s expectations – their norms, but for the wrong person on the wrong day it might build up to a tipping point and an angry outburst might occur. Plan ahead for a pleasant work environment for employees and customers and have business as usual days instead of a tense environment or one that unfairly singles out certain individuals or groups for mistreatment by having open communication and supportive management. Employees like autonomy – some control over or input into how their jobs are performed.

Policy manuals are boring so that the most exciting event of the year is the company party or the baby shower for so-and-so or the annual fundraiser event or whatever the company thing is – celebrate that and it helps celebrate the whole team.

9.4: “Running amok,” “going postal,” or “a red stapler” moment.

Creating a pleasant work atmosphere where people feel safe from unfair persecution or humiliation may help prevent sudden violence where people who had seemed like quiet average people snap and try to harm others.  

The sudden outburst of violence is not that common and is not about a serial killer who is concealing themselves as average among peers, or the manipulative and charming boss with a narcissistic, sociopathic, or psychopathic side. A random violent outburst more likely might be the hard worker who finally reached a “camel straw” moment – the proverbial final straw added to a load that makes the already overloaded camel’s burden too heavy for it to carry any further.

Verbal and physical intimidation are more common problems in the workplace; and not reporting problems is also common. When is problem behavior serious? Or when is joking and teasing and pranks approaching harassment?

  • More information and guidance about workplace violence, and examples of common situations in Canadian workplaces is available at violenceautravail.ca/Understanding violence.  The site includes a list of “Examples of Workplace Violence:  being threatened with death or injury; getting hit or pushed; having an object thrown at us; being subjected to sexual touching and sexual assault; being scratching or pinched; being spat at; being yelled at; receiving threatening messages or emails; being ridiculed or humiliated; being threatened physically (for example, being shown a fist); having our property damaged. (9.105)

Labeling situations as serious and reportable may help an employee see that what they are experiencing is “bad enough,” and that they should seek help before anything “really serious” happens.    

    Labeling emotions can help to recognize when they are starting to build in one self or others. Unrecognized emotions may be more difficult to control because they are unrecognized but are uncomfortable and may lead to agitation and gradually build to more intense out of control anger or fear.

   “Running amok” is an older term and “going postal,” is a newer term for sudden violence. A “red stapler” moment is a reference to a movie from the 90’s that became an instant classic among disgruntled workers everywhere: Office Space.

  • If you happened to missed it, then if you would just go watch Office Space, “That would be great.” (9.79)
  • Or go read this article about it: 20 Things You Might Not Know About Office Space (9.80)

The movie Office Space shows all the “do not do this to your employees” bad boss examples to avoid following. Don’t be left holding only a stapler, plan ahead and give everyone their own. Fair treatment and a sense of autonomy, a right to some control over one’s work, are important for employees in addition to earning a fair paycheck. Threatening job loss or other retaliations can leave workers feeling trapped and hopeless because they may need that paycheck even if it isn’t fair.

9.5: “Amok” was a medical condition during stressful times.

Research has found that during stressful times, whether due to economic or environmental reasons, people are more likely to act out verbally or physically against people who are not of their same ethnic group. (9.41) During times of stress, violence against women is also more common, particularly against women who are suspected to be sexually active or to have been unfaithful in a relationship. (9.43) Other research has found that the rate of violent crime is associated with the rate of infection in the population. Research into group and individual behavior suggests that the rate of infectious disease in a group is significantly associated with the rate of violent and property crime and with the rate of violent crime against strangers. (9.41)

    It is unclear from epidemiology studies whether an association is causal or correlated, but if health is associated with less violence, it seems like a reasonable goal to promote health and try to prevent infectious disease.     

   Some types of infectious disease can directly lead to symptoms of increased irritability or rage and historically, and times of environmental or economic stress have been linked to a medical condition that was called “amok” where a previously healthy person suddenly started killing or assaulting people randomly. Historically a condition known as amok was first described in 1893 where an individual suddenly acted violently and then would forget the manic episode. Descriptions of the disorder were recorded by the British medical superintendent of the Government Asylum in Singapore. Increases in cases of amok were more associated with “times of social tension or impending disaster.”    

 The term fell out of use as a medical diagnosis but became commonly used in the phrase “running amok” to describe anyone who was acting unusually out of control. 99.42) Gun violence in modern times has involved racist xenophobia or religious ideology in many cases (9.53, 9.54, 9.56), it can also involve copycat reactions to news coverage of other violent offenders, (9.55), and in a few cases may have involved a shooter who claimed to have amnesia of the event afterwards. (9.44, 9.45)     

   Is “amok” a real condition that needs a more modern name? Controlling guns doesn’t control violence with knives or vehicles or explosives or with poisons. Promoting health might help more individuals control themselves.

   Negligence can also be lethal.

   Promoting compassion for others rather than supporting persecution and humiliation of those who are different is necessary. The young learn by observing the way others act and how they treat each other. Teaching compassion or another topic is easier with demonstration than discussion. Police brutality that goes unpunished teaches the wrong message that persecution and humiliation of some types of people is okay when it is done by other types of people. Recently teens filmed a man while he drowned and the group’s laughing and taunting was caught on the audio. The teens never reported the drowning and the man’s body was only found after a missing person’s report was filed. The video later became available and legally it has been found to fall into a loophole in the state’s laws. There is no legal requirement to help a person who is in danger in that state. (9.100)

   Divisive politics and economic hardship can lead to more focus being placed on differences in religion or culture, sexual orientation or gender, between oneself and others but it doesn’t have to. Being civilized can mean recognizing those differences and valuing and seeking to understand them better instead of fearing or mistreating those who are different from oneself.

  • TJ Brown suggests how in a section “Fight for a More Civilized Bigotry,” (pg 14) from a longer article: FEE’s Guide to Keeping Friends Despite Political Differences: How to Have Opinions and Friends (at the Same Time!), fee.org (9.106)

9.6: Gratitude and friendship boost dopamine, so does shaming.

Shaming others, reminding them of guilt, can cause an increase of dopamine in the brain of the person doing the shaming. However a compassionate exchange with a friend or acquaintance can also boost dopamine, and so can reading new and interesting information. Listening to music and enjoying good food can also. There are many positive ways to boost dopamine besides shaming others, such as being grateful for others’ diverse skills and unique backgrounds.

   Shaming others may be a natural instinct to promote one’s own morality by making it clear one is not in support of the topic or person being shamed, (9.21), or it may derive from a sense of guilt about the situation or person being shamed. (9.22)   

    Being fair in the first place would leave less to feel guilty about, accepting each other for our differences as well as our similarities might also.

     Shaming others, purposely humiliating them, can also be a form of control or intimidation to show power over another person or group of people. Shaming one member of a group can serve to humiliate and control the group. Less equal societies, with a group of wealthy elite at the top, may be more likely to use humiliation as a control tactic. (9.81) Human sacrifice in ancient cultures was found in a recent anthropology study to be more common in societies that also had greater inequality between the rich and poor. (9.82)  However, does shaming work as a form of social control to effectively promote changed behavior in the person being shamed?

    The answer is no – or at least not effectively and consistently when it comes to alcohol abuse. Research with reality shows focused on alcohol addiction and recovery have found that alcoholism or relapse were still likely to occur even after public shaming. (9.156)

“The results add to a body of literature suggesting that widely used shaming and humiliating methods of treating alcohol and other drug problems — such as those seen on shows like Celebrity Rehab — are not only ineffective but also may be counterproductive.” (9.156)

“Guilt” is a noun referring to the feeling one feels oneself over an error or misdeed, while “shame” can be used as a noun it is more typically used as a verb, “to shame.” Others shame the one who is guilty or believed to be guilty of something the group disapproves of. Other studies with alcohol counseling individually also found that shaming tactics did not effectively help individuals stop abusing alcohol. (9.156)

      Studies of serial killers and other types of violent offenders found an association with early childhood abuse. Rejection by a parent or other important person in their life was found to have occurred in the early lives of 48% of a group of 62 serial killers in the study. Other types of physical, sexual or emotional abuse such as humiliation have also been associated with violent offenders, and early adoptions, neglect, or abandonment in early childhood have been associated with violent crime. (9.63)

 In a study that included over 1000 violent offenders, shame and humiliation were found to be a common factor; violence was an attempt to restore a sense of pride or self-worth: “In the work, “Shame, Guilt, and Violence,” qualitative data from over 1,000 institutionalized offenders were gathered and analyzed over the course of four decades. According to Gilligan, self-conscious feelings of shame and a deteriorated sense of self-worth are the causal factors underlying violence; humiliation, Gilligan argues, compromises one’s identity, i.e. the way one sees oneself, and leads to feelings conceptualized as a loss of cohesion of the self, or a conceptual death of the self. This leads one to become violent in order to restore pride, or a sense of self-worth (Gilligan, 2003).”  Overcrowding and economic job stress, which leads to lack of parental time, are factors thought to be involved in the number of young men in gangs who may join them seeking the nurturing that was missing at an empty childhood home. (9.83)

If someone at work has a favorite stapler, maybe just let them enjoy it in peace instead of teasing them about it – and maybe get one of your own to find out what the appeal might be. The topic of shame and shaming is continued in the next section, and a therapy method for individuals who suffer from excessive guilt and a tendency to self-shame (9.158) is discussed in more detail.

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.

U.S. Climate Alliance; must be non-binding or may be un-Constitutional

A little matter will move a party, but it must be something great that moves a nation. – Thomas Paine

The agreement made in June 2017 between several states and other municipalities to uphold the Paris Climate Agreement even though the Trump administration withdrew from it, may be against a clause of the Constitution that prohibits interstate agreements that are made without approval of Congress. If the agreement is cooperative in nature rather than being a ‘legally binding” contract then it would be more likely to be considered legal.

 

According to Thomas Paine, “A little matter will move a party, but it must be something great that moves a nation.” He was right. The planet is something great, and it has already moved many people to join together in support of protecting it and working together towards more sustainable development:

  • An alliance of health professionals has been in existence in the U.S., working to increase awareness of the risk climate change has for human health: “The US Climate and Health Alliance is a national network of health and public health practitioners dedicated to addressing the threats of climate change to health.” Read more:  usclimateandhealthalliance.org/
  • Another group also exists in the U.S. with more than 160 member organizations in their network : usclimatenetwork.org/who-we-are
  • “Make Our Planet Great Again,” is a global initiative to help reduce climate change sponsored by President Macron of  France:  makeourplanetgreatagain.fr/home

Moving to France may not be possible for many people, but that’s okay because we all can help protect the planet wherever we happen to be.

  • Here are a few easy ideas from the United Nations Sustainable Development 17 Goals initiative for helping reduce your impact on the environment no matter where you are. The ideas are in lists of things you could do from your couch, or around your home, or in your community: The Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World

There are many wonderful organizations working towards protecting our planet and its many species. Finding an organization that is working on issues that interest you and is located near you is easy with the help of services like:

Why do so many people care?  — because worse case scenario predictions are being surpassed — reality is turning out even worse than predicted. We need to act together now rather than continue to deny that humans’ use of resources and production of waste is depleting the planet’s ability to recover.

“THE UNINHABITABLE EARTH”

How soon will our planet be too hot for life? Likely sooner than previous worse case scenarios have suggested. A long read article discusses aspects of climate change in addition to temperature that may put human and other species at risk in the future:

  • The Uninhabitable Earth: When will climate change make the Earth too hot for humans? nymag.com

The short answer: “Actually, we’re about there already. Since 1980, the planet has experienced a 50-fold increase in the number of places experiencing dangerous or extreme heat; a bigger increase is to come.”

Technological advances have been made but we have to put them in place instead of continuing to protect and expand fossil fuel industries and products that depend on them. And we have to each make the small daily changes or annual changes in reducing our use of non-renewable resources.

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.

A TEDx talk about SPECT Scans and Psychiatric Diagnosis

Psychiatry is a field that relies on talking and questioning patients about their symptoms and lives for the purposes of diagnosis. A pioneer in the field has been using a method to scan the electrical activity of the brain for the purpose of more accurate diagnosis with the goal of providing more accurate treatments.

Dr. Amen shares his findings from 83,000 SPECT scans taken over many years of his clinical work helping individual patients improve their health and quality of life with individualized diagnosis and treatment recommendations. While his findings have helped many patients with a variety of conditions, autism spectrum disorders are not a primary focus of his work. The scans can help clarify diagnosis of ADHD and many other psychiatric conditions and may be helpful with autism disorders but that will likely require more time and more patients. It is a private clinic that expects payment to be paid in full at the time of the appointment. The fees may be able to be covered in part by your health insurance company but you would have to submit the bill and work with your insurance company yourself – and it may require preauthorization so check with them first if you hope for some reimbursement.

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.