Stopping the Curse and Cycle of Mental Illness Before it is Cast (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 212)

My mother was a highly intelligent, hyper-aware individual. She was also unquestionably mentally ill. It is impossible for me know or assess how much of her mental illness was purely genetic/inherited and how much was environmentally nurtured. I am confident that both factors are involved in such a disease, but her ratio of risk from each factor will always remain a mystery to me. I have come to believe that the environmental factor, the taught and imprinted perception and behavioral interpretation, thrust upon a child from their parents (their earliest authority figures) is the primary governing consequence which determines the child’s ultimate susceptibility to the degree or extent of suffering from mental illness in the overwhelming majority of cases.

If my assessment is accurate, that means that the majority of mental illness is actually as much or more of a behavioral problem as it is a mental one. I can prove this in animals and the correlation to people is more than easy to illustrate to anyone who is willing to listen and consider the obvious evidence.

As a result of suffering from mental illness and lacking the help, support, recognition, comprehensive understanding, and nurturing stability required to treat such a condition, my mom fell into the predictable state of severe anti-social introversion, paranoia, chronic anxiety, and severe insecurity. In other words, the instability she had suffered, her failure to understand it, and her inability to put it in its proper perspective, left her mentally suffering, crippled with fear and believing her best option was isolation from almost everyone.

Yet still, a spark of desire for human connection remained in her, as it does even in those of us who are the most damaged. My father cared for her the best he could and I believe loved her to the fullest extent she would allow. Because of her overriding insecurity, she banked almost all of the love she thought she needed in the world into her children; into entities that she could control, and “protect”,  and “love”. But, protection and love are easily twisted by an insecure psyche, and most commonly, a parent suffering from such will over-nurture (spoil) their children in an effort to “buy or purchase” their child’s love and commitment. This is doomed to fail. It weakens and destabilizes the children, teaching them to be bullies who are paradoxically often dependent on those they bully. Those children also have often inherited the high awareness and high drive of the mentally ill parent which often confuses the matter exponentially more. These children, now high drive, highly aware, bullyish, but also codependent on those they bully, eventually grow into adults.

I dealt with such issues for a very long time and only through tenacious unrelenting introspection, and perhaps the luck of my external life, was I able to move beyond this curse or possession. In those who remain trapped and suffering, they often detect or feel an unrecognizable inescapable pathogen, but they can never quite come to the point of realizing that the psyche they have chosen to live by is the demon that torments them so hellishly.

The key to avoiding such suffering in any individual and in such an individual’s eventual children is to stop the cycle and the curse before it develops, not after it has snowballed into a juggernaut beelzebub reproducing abomination for years and years, or even half a lifetime. Children, most especially the highly aware and the highly intelligent, need the structure, insight, and guidance, of a truly stable and balanced pack leader in their early developmental stages to ward off all of the demons of mental anguish and instability which constantly swirl about to infect, and linger, and fester in our souls.

This is why behavior and genuine stability is so important. It is the only way to break the cycle. It is the only way to deliver our highly aware and highly intelligent children, and even our high drive pets, from the otherwise inevitable confusion, suffering, and mental illness created by being trapped in an unstable pack (support group).

Jeff Cribb DVM          2017

Moving Beyond the Stalemate of Being Enemy Combatants (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 211)

 

My study of moral psychology has made me somewhat more humble. It has made me realize that my mind will jump to conclusions and that many of those conclusions will be wrong. I can’t often perceive that reality at first. What I have found is that the best way to make an effective apology, which also happens to be a good way to initiate any kind of interaction and/or consideration for change with anyone, is to start by saying what you’re wrong about. So, in any sort of politically charged encounter, don’t start off by making your case about what you’re right about. Start off by saying what you know your side has been wrong about historically, and that you know the other side was right on those issues. Being humble, acknowledging fault, or praising something on the other side, has been proven to win hearts and minds, to create an atmosphere that supports consideration and empathy. Start off in that way, and then by the power of reciprocity, the other side is more inclined to match your effort. What you want to avoid at all costs is the normal human interaction of assuming that everyone who is not a blind unquestioning ally is an enemy combatant. Avoid throwing arguments at the other side for pure consumption and to create emotional outrage, not even by the other entity, but by the onlookers and bystanders of the matter. Avoid that dynamic at all costs. The power of apologies and acknowledgements, the expression of empathy and respect, is what is required to lay the groundwork for genuine conversation. That is what I want to leave with you.

Jonathan Haidt

(transcript from an On Being interview with significant editing/paraphrasing from me 2017)

Giving the Masters More Money, Blood, Sweat, or Tears (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 210)

Do you think that the american slaves were ever told by their masters that if they worked harder and helped their masters generate more revenue for themselves, that they (the slaves) would then be set free or at least have their standards of life significantly improved? Sounds good, doesn’t it? But isn’t a man (a corporation or any other institution), capable of having the power to be a slave owner and choosing to do so, almost always irrevocably going to remain a slave owner unless he is overthrown and stripped of his power? Giving a slave owner, a master, more money, blood, sweat, or tears almost always just emboldens the slave owner to double down on his oppression and plundering of others, doesn’t it?

Cribb          2017

Struck With (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 209)

What I hear from trauma survivors, what I’m always struck with, is how upsetting it is when other people don’t help them or don’t acknowledge the reality of their situation or respond very poorly to the suffering, needs, and distress of all of those involved. I’m very struck by that.

And I’m very struck by how many Holocaust survivors got through because there was one person that focused on their survival or because they focused on another’s.

So, I believe that how we behave towards one another individually and in society can make a very big difference in the effects of environmental events (trauma, tragedy, disaster) on our molecular biology (expression of PTSD, depression, anxiety, etc.). It becomes very interesting when you think about it that way, but I believe it’s true.

Rachel Yehuda
Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience
Transcript excerpt from On Being recorded 2015

Work Life Imbalance, Balance and Bullshit (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 208)

It started off as a good idea where people would say “you must have work life balance.” Work life balance is certainly better than work life imbalance, but I think that the concept is basically mindless, and the reason for that is that we have these categories; work. . , life. . , and we have brains, and brawn, and so on, all of the different distinctions that we (feel we must) make. . .we make them mindfully and then start to use them mindlessly, forgetting that when we are at work, we are people, we have the same needs we had when we were on vacation, that when we’re talking to people, the people we’re talking to also have the same needs and so on. The idea, I think needs to be, to replace work life balance which treats these categories as independent, with work life integration. And you should get to the point where you’re treating yourself, whether you’re at at work or at play, in basically the same way.

Ellen Jane Langer          2014

Ellen Jane Langer is a professor of psychology at Harvard University, having in 1981 become the first woman ever to be tenured in psychology at Harvard. Langer studies the illusion of control, decision-making, aging, and mindfulness theory.

Leadership and Fostering the Wellbeing of a Pack (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 207)

This is beyond excellent. He defines what it means to be a genuine leader, discusses the hormones of motivation, harmony, and addiction which effect us all, and explains how our jobs in our current day society are killing most of us and our children. You need to watch this.

Hero Bullies versus Us (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 206)

Our society has indoctrinated us, taught us from birth, what normal is and what to expect from it. It has taught us the capitalistic lesson of the hero bully, the champion over-dominator, who gets to rise above all others and hoard all of the resources and power that he so chooses to do. We have been taught from birth that everyone is an individual entity unto to themselves, bearing responsibility, performing sacrifice, and reaping reward only as an individual. It is never “us” because that always allows the excuse of plausible and discardable deniability; enables the embodiment of a scapegoat to wash away all the sins of the herd, so that the herd may always go marching merrily away in celebration of its deniability. Only in the rare instances of kissing a hero bully’s ass as part of the court graced by his power and prestige or when begging for the scrumptious scraps he has thrown off of his throne, does the “us” get subtly remembered as part of the human condition and whispered ever so hopefully to the hero bully in the name of favorable submissive leverage; only then. But even still, the long hand of the court or of the herd engaged in worshipping the hero bully, retains the reflexive instinct to fold their “us card” in a moments notice, should their bully hero fall from his grace and power as a high achieving over-dominator. We raise the hero bully up in our society only so long as it benefits us personally and we do so in particular because that bully operates in direct contradiction to the balance of natural order, respect, and empathy, that we would otherwise have to endure ourselves. He delivers us into our own happy diabolic debasement. And when we are done with our selfish machinations that he has enabled, we gleefully cut him down so that we may look at him nailed upon a cross instead of our own souls.

The hero bully is your mate, controlling you with money, sex, a marriage certificate, or the presence of a child.

The hero bully is your employer, making you work for less than you deserve and forcing you into unethical and immoral behavior towards others that benefits his business just because he can.

The hero bullies are the corporations and businesses which drain you dry via perpetual psychological warfare, but are nonetheless, nice enough to do their best to make you feel like you are exceptionally special and smart in your purchasing habits and indebtedness.

The hero bullies are the political leaders of bombast, hyperbole, and vitriol. Those who ramp up your emotions and hatred of others while they compulsively lie about everything so that they may pilfer your pocket and your personal freedoms unheeded.

The hero bully can even become your child or your dog if you tragically allow such to happen.

All of this is wrong and heinous. It isn’t natural. It is an orchestration to turn natural order, respect, and a true understanding of communal union upside down. It is the modus operandi of madness, instability, and isolation which is only capable of being addicted to over-dominating and plundering everything outside of itself.

Understanding this paradigm is the first essential step necessary for an individual to comprehend if they truly desire to foster, promote, and nurture, the universal behavior and relationships necessary to create a better world for all.

Cribb          2017