Sexual violence is the (cause) and mental illness is the (effect) of personality disorders.
Sexual violence is a topic that is often repressed, denied and silenced in popular culture today. The #metoo movement has raised the profile of this insidious disease, with survivors stepping forward to add their story and receive some comfort knowing they’re not alone. Yet sexual violence hides beneath the surface of mental illness and it is one of the main components of ill mental health? With the closure of mental health services and the shrinking budget or even denial of mental illness having any real relevance to wellbeing, the effects of sexual violence ripples down throughout society and is a common theme seen in the mental health industry across all the sectors!
From hospital admission to charity groups. Without a doubt, this epidemic is evident in society.
I’ve worked across the different sectors in mental health and a common theme evidenced in the distress for victims of sexual violence is mental ill health. Yet what is most alarming of all is how society stigmatises people with a serious mental illness as someone to be feared and ostracised, these victims of Trauma are stigmatised and vilified. All of this is prejudice towards people whom are actually carrying or burying a heavy trauma and they are further burdened with this because society further neglects the truth behind each victim of this insidious disease.
With the movement of #metoo, I wonder if we can now expect a surge of compassion and tender care towards all those people suffering with chronic and severe mental illnesses!
As a clinician working in the area, I was shocked to discover how integral this is to people suffering with a personality disorder. Personality disorders are caused by direct sexual violence!! For both team players! Many theorists throughout the ages have studied this phenomena where sexual abuse or the sexual energy is damaged at an early age, an age where the inner child is abandoned or abused at their core and replaced with a sense of shame. Freud a famous theorist who identified the sexual energy as the life force integral in each individual, which he named the libido highlighted this in his works. Although he didn’t add in the component of shame for victims, shame is the main cause of why people who are experiencing mental illness suffer in silence, this shame is traced back to an event in childhood! Shame hides their inner child! Shame is directed at the victim to ensure they don’t expose and heal from the child trauma.
Sexual energy is the root of all internal drives, and this energy, when damaged or repressed causes a whole malady of dysfunctions. Namely mental ill health and a loss of wellbeing.
Texts prove that Multiple personality or also referred to as disassociative personality disorder are definitely caused by sexual violence and trauma. The inner child or psyche is fragmented from horrific experiences which causes the personality to spilt off and new characters are created as a means of protection for the inner psyche. The person is unaware of the different characters they portray and these characters are created to protect a damaged psyche.
The psyche of their inner child!
However, MPD is an internal hallucinatory experience, flip the coin over and we have the external experience – schizophrenia!
Schizophrenia where the mind splits, is another way to view the fragmented psyche from an external point of view. What we learn from the multiple personality disorder we can now apply to the schizophrenic and with a more compassionate approach, include understanding and tender care. The hallucinations and voices are an external form of torment that is driven by outer voices or sources, whereas the MPD is driven and tormented by inner voices or sources.
Two sides of the same coin. Therefore the same cause is obviously responsible for the effect!
I’ve met many people with schizophrenia and a common thread again is the evidence of sexual violence. How this violence is experienced is personal to the individual – but the root cause can be found in sexual abuse, sexual assault or sexual violence which is the foundation of their trauma and stress!
Without a doubt sexual violence is responsible for hundreds of mental health admissions, if not all of them, and one I’ve noticed across the board with many mentally ill patients. Some patients are unable to recall their sexual violence history or how it came to be, I’ve met some people with dementia and their sexual violence history is evident in how and what they say. They’re story is unraveled through their behaviours and reactions.
The effect is clearly visible and evident in their behaviour. Behaviour is the root cause to our internal drives, dysfunctions and addictions!!
The cure on the other hand doesn’t support the true cause which is why those diagnosed with a serious mental illness rarely get better and spend the rest of their lives dependant on medication! Is this because they’re mind is protecting them from reclaiming their terrified, damaged and frightened inner child! The very essence of their soul?
Hysteria – what Freud called repressed sexual activity has its similarities to personality disorders. Where or how the sexual energy has become damaged runs through each individual and psyche. Sexual exploitation, sexual assault and all other means of sexual violence are the true causes of mental illness amongst society today. Are mental health clinicians equipped and trained to effectively treat this? I can honestly state that no, in training there is no formal training that highlights or even focuses on sexual violence as the cause. Which is why many sufferers continue to suffer in silence, because the remedy doesn’t match the cause. A band aid is often given because clinicians are either not trying to uncover the true cause of the mental illness, have no knowledge of how to offer help, feel helpless and powerless in their clinical practice or maybe they don’t care! I’m not accusing the medcial professional of lack of care, just highlighting facts. And due to the sensitivity of this topic and the embarrassment or humiliation felt by sufferers, the real cause often remains repressed simply because of stigma attached to mental illness or is it the lack of training given to mental health professionals? Again two sides of polarity in play!
I trained as a rape and sexual violence counsellor and the calls made to the service are all underpinned by the service users mental ill health. It’s a common thread throughout all sexual violence services of how integral rape and abuse leads the individual down the path of mental ill health. I’m not saying all victims of rape go on to develop schizophrenia, I am saying sexual abuse has its roots in schizophrenia – As does MPD! Sexual abuse is definitely, without any doubt, at the root cause of all personalities disorders!
Yet society and culture condemns these seriously ill people? Mental illness is stigmatised and frowned upon. The very word mental illness causes those non sufferers to want to run off and avoid any further communication with a mental ill health sufferer! Those individuals who are lucky to have never experienced abuse have little understanding towards this growing epidemic! Without knowledge around the true causes of mental illness, how do we as a society tackle the stigmas associated to the dysfunction. Without understanding why, where or how, we as a society have no capacity to understand sexual violence or how to properly treat it!
Personality disorders are the labels that apply to sexual violence, for victims and perpetrators! Both sides are equally dysfunctional and impacts on the personality, the behaviour of each shows how it applies to both sides of the coin! Victim and victimiser!
Sexual violence perpetrators are often found in cluster B and the victims of sexual abuse tend to fall under cluster C. Although any of the personality disorder labels can be applied to both perpetrator and victim! Cluster A is where you will find the schizotypical and eccentric type of abusers. Without doubt, personality disorders are created by sexual violence!
I’m sure there are those who have experienced exploitation or violence and have no desire to want to discuss such a delicate subject, and it is their right to have anonymity, however this doesn’t mean we should all brush it aside and deny the real effects that this trauma has in holding the person captive. Restricting true development and growth and limiting wellbeing to a healthy functional life.
Addictions are a coping mechanism against early trauma. Usually a trauma that is so damaging the person is too afraid to return to the terrifying memory. It stunts development and destroys self esteem and self worth. Moreover, it damages the developmemt of the inner child!
Hysteria – could Freud of meant it was repressed sexual abuse or repression lacking sexual freedom in a relationship? Were the women he studied really victims of sexual abuse, but felt unable to voice this or even remember the earlier trauma! Women in the early 20th century were raised to be subservient and obedient to man, so his studies wouldn’t hold such value in today’s climate! Or were these women depressed from their sexual expression and identity! There are so many gaps in his works as to how or where the trauma of his studies derived and how it evolved into hysteria, I’m not condemning his works, but adding to a theory that’s contributed to understanding the growth of mental illness in society today.
As a species, we are all driven and guided by sexual energy. As this is the very life force integral in everyone of us. It certainly doesn’t mean we’re all going to become sexual predators! That depends on other aspects of the human biology and endocrinology! As human creatures we’re innately driven to socialise and communicate, yet this communication and bonding aspect is affected or infected from our early childhood wounds.
Schizophrenia on the other hand is an external expression or the external reality for someone who has been sexually violated in the same manner that someone with a MPD expresses or even protects themselves by internal voices from an internal reality that no other can see!
If we, as clinicians can start including sexual rehabilitation and offering support and recovery with sexual violence as the core aspect for a recovery model, we could effectively help support the rehabilitation for many people traumatised from sexual abuse and help heal them in a kinder and more compassionate manner. It is by reclaiming the inner child, where true healing can begin!
We could even reduce the growing pandemic!
Healing takes time, understanding and compassion and in this often hidden sector of humanity which is in desperate need of some tenderness and compassion in today’s volatile and violent climate. If we have learnt to accept and embrace those people physically disabled by traffic accidents, then why can’t we embrace and nurture those who are emotionally, mentally and sexually maimed and ultimately, internally disabled!
Mental illness is a disability that has the same impact as a road traffic accident survivor, just because we can’t see the broken bones doesn’t mean it isn’t there!
Trauma is trauma, regardless of whether we can see it or not, and some children or adults even, are forced to do things that are regarded as immoral, illegal and against humanities standards. (see stockholm syndrome and c-ptsd) It doesn’t or shouldn’t mean we should label them as bad or evil. Underneath their trauma is a broken child. What we should be looking at is the child behind the tragedy or trauma, listen without prejudice and to bear as a compassionate witness to their distress and pain as that is what controls the inner nature driving their persona, rather than judging them. Because in essence what we’re really doing is fighting from one side without knowing, listening or understanding the other side of the story. It begets a war against man and woman?
After all, prejudice breeds contempt and humanity is in desperate need of compassion, nurturing and understanding.
Nobody is perfect and our journeys are personal and individual to each of us. Those whom we judge as child abusers were once abused themselves. The theory of oppression only perpetuates itself by those who were once a victim and eventually became the victimiser, whereby they now refuse to reach out and admit they too are wrong. Is it stigma that holds them captive to their childhood programming? When the truth is – their inner child is in desperate need of parenting, guidance and acceptance to help them move forward from the internal pain they try hard to hide, to becoming a more balanced and healthy individual. And as a society we need to be more compassionate towards them. It’s their dysfuncational childhood programming driving their behaviour. Nothing else!
Everybody makes mistakes, nobody is perfect, it’s the mistakes that shape our reality, our personality and ultimately our destiny. And prejudice and hate is what perpetuates this disease!
Personality disorders are labels that were created to identify and apply to victims of abuse. Sexual violence is the main culprit which is the true underpinning in all personality dysfunction!