‘Want to reduce mental illness? Address trauma. Want to save the world? Address trauma.’ by Laura K Kerr PhD

Scapegoat‘Different explanations have been given for the increased number of people suffering from mental illness. Some have claimed the increase is the result of ever-expanding diagnostic criteria and syndromes that risk medicalizing normal emotional reactions.

Others argue the increase is the result of the pharmaceutical industry financially courting the medical establishment as well as using advertisements to attract potential users of their medications.

While both these arguments seem correct, they nevertheless fail to address that an increasing number of people regularly experience despair and anguish and are struggling to make a meaningful life, if not keep themselves psychologically, socially, and financially afloat.

I would like to suggest an additional explanation for the increase in mental illness: The upsurge is the result of the collective failure to alleviate conditions that contribute to trauma-related stress.

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‘Want to reduce mental illness? Address trauma. Want to save the world? Address trauma.’ by Laura K Kerr

ScapegoatIt’s time we spent more time reflecting upon the role of trauma in mental health problems and addiction. Here’s a thought-provoking blog from Laura K Kerr.

‘Different explanations have been given for the increased number of people suffering from mental illness. Some have claimed the increase is the result of ever-expanding diagnostic criteria and syndromes that risk medicalizing normal emotional reactions.

Others argue the increase is the result of the pharmaceutical industry financially courting the medical establishment as well as using advertisements to attract potential users of their medications.

While both these arguments seem correct, they nevertheless fail to address that an increasing number of people regularly experience despair and anguish and are struggling to make a meaningful life, if not keep themselves psychologically, socially, and financially afloat.

Read More ➔

The Roots of Addiction – Dr. Gabor Maté

‘It is critical to understand that although addiction is a problem it is also an attempt to solve a graver problem, that is, unbearable psychic pain. To understand addiction, we need to understand human pain and that takes us to focus on childhood experiences.

One of the outcomes of childhood distress is addiction and the more adversity an individual experiences in his or her childhood the higher their risk of resorting to addictive behaviour to sooth their pain, even temporarily. In other words addiction (alcohol, drugs, shopping, Internet, etc.) is an attempt to seek something from the outside that the individual is not able to generate from within.

What makes childhood experience significant is that the circuitry that modulates the brain’s reward chemicals is underdeveloped in traumatized children thus making them more susceptible to addictive behaviours and conduct disorders.

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