This is the best summary I have come up with so far. I am much better at explaining through conversation. Thoughts?
If we assume a few things to be true always the motivation for human behavior becomes clear.
Survival, procreation, and quality of both is our primary objective.
Another way to say survival is avoiding death. Fearing death.
The best way to avoid death is to control ourselves and our environments. This is a hard wired
rule due to evolution. Those that could best control themselves and their environment in
whatever way survived and procreated. Ability to control was selected for.
Association is fundamental to control. What an object can be used for. If I do this, then this
The then of the if then is expectation.
How we perceive ourselves relative to the expectations of our given culture is self esteem.
Self esteem is necessary to feel worthy of belonging within the group. Belonging in the group is
the same as survival.
Survival = avoiding death = control = self esteem
Associating is how we learn how to best control.
If we meet our perceived expectations of the society, we feel safe and have good self esteem.
There is much less of a fear of death because other people accept us and have our backs. It also
means we are contributing positively to the group.
If we do not meet our perceived expectations of the society, we become afraid. We fear showing
ourselves to others because we will feel rejected, and feeling rejected is the same as feeling like
you are dying.
The way to counter this is to control ourselves and our environment.
If the attempt at control fails, we become more and more afraid and become desperate.
Our response to all fear, pain, and anxiety is fight/flight/freeze otherwise known as SNS. The
SNS is our only biological defense mechanism. Therefore all violence, anger, aggression, all the
verbs like these, are due to fear pain or anxiety.
If we examine the symptoms of what are commonly known as BPD, NPD, ASPD, sociopathy, or
psychopathy, they are easily explainable with this simple logic. It is accepted that those with
these illnesses are insecure. The opposite of insecure is secure. To feel not secure is to not feel
safe. Not feeling safe means there is either fear or anxiety. Since control is a reaction to fear or
anxiety, they control ( manipulate, dominate, abuse) others. This is also known as antisocial
behavior. It is also self destructive in that doing antisocial things lowers self esteem even
further because it is antithesis to societal expectations (most of the time). There becomes a
push pull between the desire to be near others for safety, and being afraid of them because the
insecurity makes them hide the part of themselves they don’t think will be accepted by others.
This controlling antisocial behavior is also extroverted.
It is good to note that, due to the way the SNS and PNS function, the only way to calm anxiety
or fear is to further increase SNS activity, which means doing antisocial/self destructive things,
which also means being pulled towards dangerous situations. This is why addiction to anything
can spiral out of control very quickly. An always active SNS is also known as PTSD.
Addiction is also attachment. The stronger the pain fear or anxiety, the stronger the attachment
to whatever is around that makes the person feel safe. Attachment also connotes ritual,
repetition, or obsession. Even identity can become an attachment. This is why people will die
for religion and nationalism. An outgroup is one that is perceived to challenge the individuals
ingroup identity. The fact that the outgroup is percieved to be different in someway, their
existence is a threat to the attached identity that is controlling the fear of death. The threat to
identity is exactly the same as a direct physical threat to survival. The greater the insecurity, the
greater the attachment, the greater the perceived threat.
An obvious example of a collective insecure extroverted reaction is the third reich. With
poverty comes anxiety about the future and feelings of helplessness (no control) which then
lowers self esteem. To combat this, an outgroup that was easily definable (Jews) became the
focus of blame for the lack of control as they ‘owned all the banks’. The nazis directed their fear,
and therefore, aggression which became genocidal ( high level antisocial) at their created
common enemy. This increased self esteem and sense of safety by bonding the individuals of
the reich. This collective insecure extroverted reaction is the cause of all racism and war.
Remember that all aggression and violence is a fear reaction.
Another thing that happens as fear and/or anxiety rise is self centeredness. The more you feel
you are about to die, the smaller your circle of concern becomes, until you are the only one left
that you care about.
This self centered behavior is actually just self preservation. It is not that those with certain
mental illnesses lack the capability for empathy, it is that they just don’t care because they feel
like they are about to die for some reason. They are also oblivious to the fact that their actions
hurt others. Expectations are calculated by our brains subconsciously, and it is constantly on
the look out for clues as to what expectations are, equally as important as noting sources of
food. We are not consciously aware of what we perceive the expectations to be. If insecurity is
at high enough levels, our subconscious can hide the fact that very self centered can hurt others
from our conscious mind as another hit to self esteem would crumble the semblance of identity
and control the individual is clinging too.
Another way to look at this lack of insight (also called anosognia) is by imagining a true self
and a false self. The true self is buried in the subconscious is not fully known to the conscious
mind or the false self. The false self is what is shown to others. It is an attempt to appear strong
in the face of deep insecurity. The mechanism for this ability to split/schism/dissociate
identities was created at some early point in primate evolution.
Fear and memory dramatically increased survivability. But it become problematic when you
come to fear your own species for whatever reason because the group was intrinsic to survival.
Memory would be useless if it erased painful events. So to overcome this, the ability to split
identity evolved. The false self did not contain the memory or reason why the individual feared
their own species, and the true self did. The subconscious then had to actively manipulate the
false self or conscious mind so this was never found out, because if it was, it meant death.
This is why childhood trauma and mental illness are so related. The deeper the split, the more
confusing things get because the push pull of fearing others and desiring intimacy becomes
even stronger. This is also why people who experienced very intense trauma have memory
issues. The memory suppression can become habitual at some point. It’s not hard to imagine
how this can also cause cognitive impairments.
Keeping everything I have said in mind, it is then easy to see how autism, ADHD, OCD, and
schizophrenia are just extreme introverted responses to a split due to fear. A split is also known
as a schism. It results in antisocial and self destructive, self centered, and controlling behavior.
For introverts it becomes an attempt to control themselves. This cause extreme tension as the
true self is suppressed from expressing itself.
It’s important to note that when life spans were short and resources were scarce, this system
rarely became problematic as attention was fully focused on day to day survival. But as leisure
time became so abundant, the hidden inner anxiety due to trauma bubbled to the surface.
Another important note is that trauma is not defined broadly enough. Suppressing anything to
do with the survival instinct such as shaking sex becomes traumatic as does a society that has
impossible to attain expectations. In the west, many many factors have lead to the artificial
increase in expectations. Our subconscious’ constantly scan for what is considered acceptable.
Watching lots of movies can make expectations unattainable as they are scripted and filled with
only beautiful people. Advertising erroneously links products with sense of control, which
means that a lack of products makes one feel like they also lack control and it lowers self
esteem. There is marketing of fear by the government with Iraq, Iran, isis, North Korea and
such. And news media since 9/11 has become ridiculous and constant with stories that scare
people. The combination of all this has created all the sadness, anger, and suffering we see
today, even though we live in the least violent, safest, technologically capable Era in human
The word delusion. There are two that are most associated with schizophrenia, persecution and
grandeur. And just like many symptoms attributed to personality disorders, these delusions are
found in those with NPD and APD (the extroverted side). That is because they are caused by
the same ‘survival circuit’. Delusions of grandeur put the person above other people and nature
itself so that the individual can feel safe from death. This delusion comes with a sense of total
control, as god/jesus/supernatural being has complete control of their environment and
therefore deal with any threat. Those experiencing a pure grandeur delusion are calm and you
can have a conversation with them, it would just be filled with cognitive bias and dissonance.
The persecution delusion is the brains way of explaining a hidden threat and it is self centered
in that the person is important enough to be the target of everyone. However this delusion has
no sense of control, and those experiencing it are erratic and volatile.
A delusion is defined as a false perception of reality that cannot be changed in the face of
overwhelming evidence. Cognitive bias’s and dissonance is therefore also a delusion. By
separating the study of mental illness into functional and non-functional groups, it makes it
more difficult to see how almost everyone is deluded in some way because the word delusion is
strong and associated with severe mental illness. People are even deluded in the same way. Its
always fundamentally a form of grandeur or persecutory. Grandeur can also be extremely
negative. Believing that one is the cause of all problems or the focus of everyone’s derision is
grandiose. The truth is most people are concerned with themselves and are barely even aware
of others. All delusions are self-centered because they are attempts at self-preservation. This
aligns with a recent youtube clip of the Dalai Lama explaining that negative thoughts arise due
to self-centeredness and can lead to seeing reality not as it is, which is also called cognitive bias
or a delusion.
There is also the symptom associated with schizophrenia which makes things more meaningful
than they actually are. It’s just an extreme insecure introverted attempt at control. The
meanings are also self centered, always about the individual.
Meaning is a way to control fear. That’s why a militaries morale is important and why general
give speeches to soldiers before battle.
Abusers traumatize victims because they control the victims emotions. The control increases
their self esteem and therefore sense of safety. This is why freeze is a defense mechanism. An
abuser will stop abusing an individual that displays no emotion as they are not getting the
sense of control they crave.
But aren’t psychopaths known to have a tendency to be uniquely capable of remaining perfectly calm during s-hits-the-fan moments? For example, James Bond seems over-the-top psychopathic, though extraordinarily well controlled.
i’ve never heard of james bond described as psychopathic. although he does love dangerous situations and is comfortable with killing people. being used to intense stress is a positive thing that can come out of a ‘split’ definitely. this all gets a bit weird to talk about because i’m saying that the dsm classifications for disorders is wrong. it can all be boiled down to 50 pages probably.
I’ll bet you’d never thought socially positive things might result from a hard-core philanderer/hired assassin/deceiver-extraordinaire. Kevon Dutton sees things a bit differently, though he doesn’t underestimate potential destructiveness of psychopaths, as well.
A couple of links that briefly explain what I’m referring to, as long as you can look past his hair:
oh no i was just trying to convey that the word ‘psychopath’ ...... i mean its not even in DSM V. That’s one of the huge problems with psychology. There’s no common language yet its supposed to be a science. politicians are psychopaths. the president has to be ok with killing lots of people. he just doesnt do it personally
I see. But psychopathy isn’t necessarily a disorder. Neuroscientist James Fallon, for instance, was born with, as he puts it, a warrior brain. He theorizes that since his upbringing was loving and nurturing, he was able to stay on the straight and narrow. The concept of psychopathy seems to be going through some reconceptualizing or at least rearranging these days.
oh nice he’s smart and close. ghengis khan was the most succesful ‘psychopath’ ever. anxiety ( sensing a threat without obvious source ) is what drives the desire to control ones environment/other people. killing them is close to the top level of control. doing something they dont want is overpowering/controlling them. manipulating/convincing people of something true is also a method of control. its an ingenious system really.
But psychopaths are commonly described as having unusually low anxiety. It’s one of their most uncanny traits. Maybe you’re thinking of borderline personality, if that’s still a common term.
ohhhhhh i see what you mean. self deception is only effective if its believable. the anxiety can hide in subconscious mind. agnosognosia is the technical term. psychopaths usually dont admit to anything being wrong, right?
Kevin Dutton says that if he needed to have brain surgery and had to pick between a psychopathic neurosurgeon or a non-psychopathic one, everything else being equal, he’d go with the psychopath because they don’t panic when things go haywire. A mistakenly cut artery filling the work cavity with blood, for example, wouldn’t bother the psychopath in a life-death way that most everyone experiences. He’d just keep on doing his work, hands and fingers steady as ever. His pulse and BP would stay even, etc. A somewhat robotic surgeon is exactly what you sometimes need. Where’s the anxiety again?
. . . psychopaths usually dont admit to anything being wrong, right?
They can tend to fail to be embarrassed when anyone else would be bright red in the face. Is that what you mean?
A psychopath is quite capable of admitting that he was wrong, if doing so is the best way to exploit his current situation. Narcissists have trouble admitting that they were wrong. Narcissists can be psychopathic, but probably don’t make the most functional of psychopaths.