The accountant – A film about Aspergers and the innate savant skills. What a film, and an accurate story about the true nature of people with Asperger’s or high functioning Autism.
His mother left him because he wasn’t perfect. A common theme I have witnessed with the families I’ve met and it’s usually the father is rejecting parent, leaving the mother to cope alone, (single parents are stigmatised) also a common thread with domestic violence and the prejudiced comments against single parents, who have the lonely, prejudiced experience of raising children like this. Society also rejects the family who have children with this disorder too, nobody wants to babysit or get involved with parents that have a child diagnosed with Asperger’s or Autism! This is because of all the negativity and prejudice towards savants, which are also mislabelled as psychopaths!
I must admit it was a spell bonding performance from Ben Afflick, he played the savant so well. One thing that is universal with people with this neurological dysfunction is how he needed to harm himself daily, the 9:00pm ritual where he used the stick against his shin, was his own coping mechanism of restraint to self harm and testimony of the ritualistic obsession, integral to this condition.
Scientifically speaking – This is called proprioception, where the nervous system is stimulated with pain to release the inner scream, he does this to maintain self control and as a release for his inner emotions, (this is a universal explaination from the teenagers I treat, we call it ‘the scream’) this inner scream often overtakes many Aspergers sufferers, due to depressed trauma and unresloved anger or anxiety.
[The 50 shades of grey film was also based on a man with Aspergers disorder, needing BDSM, to alleviate inner turmoil and trapped rage, because of damaged attachments. I’m not saying this is universal for all children orphaned, it’s an analysis on this one character!]
The Accountant film also highlighted the TRAUMA he experienced as a child – being rejected by his mother and forced to fight and stand up for himself by his father (bullied). Therefore, highlighting psychological, sociological and emotional rejection!!
The film clearly demonstrated the emotional and sometimes violent outbursts when sensory overload or change occurred as a child. In mental health, these outbursts are common, and the young people who have Aspergers are restrained. Unfairly!
Restraining a child who has Aspergers is the wrong method, which is over used. And if you have are a parent and have a child with this disorder DO NOT RESTRAIN! Find an alternative way to help them, or better still, teach them how to mange their anger. Talk to them.
You can’t restrain them as an adult, so DON’T RESTRAIN THEM AS CHILDREN.
Many people believe the Hollywood stories about mental health illness, and I’m sorry if this post shatters your illusions, because the truth is, a majority of young people with Asperger’s or Autism are admitted in these wards. Others are in secure care or prison! So mental illness and insanity is not what you think it is? Over 75% of rererrals to CAMHS are for young people with Asperger’s or Autism.
THIS IS NOT A MENTAL ILLNESS, THIS IS A BRAIN TRAUMA FROM BIRTH! IT NEEDS A NEW APPROACH, A NEW SERVICE DELIVERY AND COMPASSIONATE TREATMENT.
Secondly, is it fair to keep locking up people with a neurological impairment, one which they were born with?
Gene 15 has a long arm and a short arm. The long arm expresses itself as introversion or extraversion (narcissism) depending on temperament, and the short arm expresses itself as savant or psychotic (psychopathy). The polarity of the two neurological disorders works along a continuum, which is either high functioning, resembling Asperger’s disorder, or it can be low functioning, more severely brain damaged with limited cognition, social and verbal skills. Then we have the complexity of the endocrine system, (emotional) which is directly related to neurology, connected through the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system. These two proprioceptive abilities, deliver information back to the mind, enabling memory storage through sensory processing. And, more importantly – Trauma bonding.
Therefore, is neurological trauma, the root cause of abuse and violence, in all type of relationships, including the domestic? Self-harm is really rage, internalised, (Depression) whereas in abusive relationships, this anger and rage is externalised. (Aggression)
Neurological damage during development is also created from TRAUMA!!! So identifying PTSD from ASD is difficult.
Rarely do schizophrenic and other people (who humanity regard as insane), take up the bed space in hospitals these days, they’re in the community now. I can assure you with 100 honesty that the mental health wards are actually over loaded with Asperger’s and Autism! As are the prisons. Mainly because they are labelled as emotionally unstable?
Yes, these young people are restrained and given heavy drugs to control their behaviour, however, I personally don’t believe the chemical drugs are useful, or practical, for helping resolve their inner rage. Teaching them how to cope with their emotions, CAN.
I’ve worked across many mental health sectors – from learning disability up to older adult dementia, aged from 2 years old to 98 years old, and this is a common theme I have observed. Their emotional outburts can go on for hours on end, needing several staff members to hold them down. Its a sad sight to watch, and in my view, they are not being treated effectively. Chemical drugs cannot resolve emotional trauma or sensory impairment!
The most astounding fact for these people is they are distressed, internally, emotionally and psychologically. Angry outbursts are the common thread. With high and low functioning children on this spectrum. It’s essentially communication, they behave this way to get help for what they cannot control, only nobody is listening, so they react, often violently!
But so does the drunk, the drug addict, the wife or husband beater etc, react violently – they don’t get sectioned, they chose chemical imbalance!
They are thrust into a world that neither understands their difficulty and are generally bullied and abused by peers, teachers, parents etc. Which brings forth, the inner rage created from TRAUMA.
For low functioning, head banging is prolific for non verbal Asperger children, when they explode, restraining them is near impossible, and the wrong action to take. Restraint only exacerbates their inner turmoil! For those high functioing, this rage is internalised, into self harming behaviours, especially cutting, dangerous self harm and attempting suicide.
They can’t help it, they were born this way, they can’t help having a dysfunctional biology, or a neglecting, rejecting family, or even the playground bullies, yet they can be helped, if they are taught from a young age how to cope with their emotions, few are lucky enough to have never experienced trauma, but a majority do. Which is why they close off from human bonding because society is so prejudiced towards them. (Can you blame them!)
The film clearly demonstrated a child, distressed with change, rejected by his mother, which caused the nature of his TRAUMA. What I loved most of all was how the film clearly demonstrated the unbalanced sensory system, where he sought out another method to control his urge for self harm, which the protagonist learned to cope, through ritualistic behaviours. He used his body, pushing the stick against his leg, to manage proprioception, alleviating inner tension from embedded trauma and moreover, emotional pain from rejection.
Self harm, is internalised rage, children and young people with Asperger or Autism, often experience depression and anxiety, due to earlier childhood damage, if this pain isn’t resolved, they will react, externally, to the environment that rejects them, or internally by self harm. They are not psychopaths because they experience anger, they are simply traumatised children, screaming to be heard, understood, accepted, and most of all – Loved, for who they are!
We can never alleviate or reduce abuse until we start supporting the child traumatised during childhood, because they are the victim, or witness of abuse themselves! And this is PTSD not psychosis!