Dombek makes this case elegantly, and by heavy implication: If you are strongly averse to something, won’t you inevitably have trouble recognizing it within yourself? The religious fear of evil can itself lead to evil—a desire to protect unborn children, for instance, can cause a callous disregard for women’s lives. The fear of being inconsistent about one’s feminism often leads one to be inconsistent about one’s feminism. Fixating on any demon necessitates a deep familiarity with it, and today my fear of narcissism derives from intimate acquaintance with the many evolving ways a person can bend her life into a flattering mirror online. In the book’s opening section, before giving up the first-person pronoun, Dombek writes, “If using the word I_ _turns out to be a symptom of narcissism, you won’t hear from me again.”
As a reader, I resisted this notion: there’s a plain responsibility to the “I” when it’s used well, an admission that human experience is often too specific for a “we.” But as a writer I know exactly where Dombek is coming from. This fear of appearing narcissistic—of being_ _narcissistic, deep down—is where a particularly elusive form of the disorder may live. I am disturbed by the idea of being narcissistic, and yet I find other people’s self-absorption merely embarrassing. If that disturbance stems from an abiding suspicion that I can’t see myself clearly, well, what greater proof of overwhelming self-concern could there be?
@jiatolentinoJia Tolentino is a staff writer at The New Yorker whose work includes an exploration of youth vaping and essays on the ongoing cultural reckoning about sexual assault. Previously, she was the deputy editor at Jezebel and a contributing editor at the Hairpin. She grew up in Texas, attended the University of Virginia, served in the Peace Corps in Kyrgyzstan, and received an M.F.A. in fiction from the University of Michigan. Her first book, the essay collection “Trick Mirror,” was published in August, 2019.
PTSD treatments generally fall into two broad categories: past-focused and present-focused (or their combination) . Past-focused PTSD models ask clients to explore their trauma in detail to promote “working through” or processing of painful memories, emotions, beliefs and/or body sensations about the trauma. In contrast, present-focused PTSD models focus on psychoeducation and coping skills to improve current functioning in domains such as interpersonal, cognitive, and behavioral skills. Examples of past-focused models include Prolonged Exposure (PE) Therapy, Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and Narrative Exposure Therapy. Examples of present-focused models include Cognitive Therapy for PTSD, Seeking Safety, and Stress Inoculation Training. Thus far, the preponderance of evidence indicates that both types (past- and present-focused) work, and neither consistently outperforms the other in terms of outcomes based on RCTs . The majority of RCTs have focused on past-focused models, however, thus leading to the term “gold standard therapies” for models such as PE, CPT and EMDR (e.g. ).
One of many ways victims can help their brain break a trauma bond is by facilitating the release of calming oxytocin (from the amygdala). Igniting oxytocin receptors of this type can reduce cravings, ease withdrawal, and lessen pain.
What causes someone to violate a person they claimed to love? There are many reasons, for example, substance or alcohol abuse, a neurological condition impacting behavior, or a disorder of character such as antisocial personality/ psychopathy, borderline personality disorder, or narcissistic personality disorder.
Several important ingredients that contribute to someone’s “addiction” to their abuser are oxytocin (bonding), endogenous opioids (pleasure, pain, withdrawal, dependence), corticotropin-releasing factor (withdrawal, stress), and dopamine (craving, seeking, wanting). With such strong neurochemistry in dysregulated states, it will be extremely difficult to manage emotions or make logical decisions.
The term ‘trauma bond‘ is also known as Stockholm Syndrome. It describes a deep bond which forms between a victim and their abuser. Victims of abuse often develop a strong sense of loyalty towards their abuser, despite the fact that the bond is damaging to them.
The symptoms of trauma bonding can manifest:
- Negative feelings for potential rescuers
- Support of abusers reasons and behaviours
- Inability to engage in behaviours that will assist release/detachment from abusers
Inner child work is any form of self discovery that helps you access the child you once were, along with the experiences and emotions that child was taught to repress.
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