Tag Archives: recommended

About trauma


Traumatizing experiences shake the foundations of our beliefs about safety, and shatter our assumptions of trust.

Because they are so far outside what we would expect, these events provoke reactions that feel strange and “crazy”. Perhaps the most helpful thing I can say here is that even though these reactions are unusual and disturbing, they are typical and expectable. By and large, these are normal responses to abnormal events.

08d0ab8d1b1a5435a32a3e5134150cd2Trauma symptoms are probably adaptive, and originally evolved to help us recognize and avoid other dangerous situations quickly — before it was too late. Sometimes these symptoms resolve within a few days or weeks of a disturbing experience: Not everyone who experiences a traumatic event will develop PTSD. It is when many symptoms persist for weeks or months, or when they are extreme, that professional help may be indicated. On the other hand, if symptoms persist for several months without treatment, then avoidance can become the best available method to cope with the trauma — and this strategy interferes with seeking professional help. Postponing needed intervention for a year or more, and allowing avoidance defenses to develop, could make this work much more difficult.

We create meaning out of the context in which events occur. Consequently, there is always a strong subjective component in people’s responses to traumatic events. This can be seen most clearly in disasters, where a broad cross-section of the population is exposed to objectively the same traumatic experience. Some of the individual differences in susceptibility to PTSD following trauma probably stem from temperament, others from prior history and its effect on this subjectivity.

Traumatic experiences shake
the foundations of our beliefs
about safety, and shatter our
assumptions of trust

In the “purest” sense, trauma involves exposure to a life-threatening experience. This fits with its phylogenetic roots in life-or-death issues of survival, and with the involvement of older brain structures (e.g., reptilian or limbic system) in responses to stress and terror. Yet, many individuals exposed to violations by people or institutions they must depend on or trust also show PTSD-like symptoms — even if their abuse was not directly life-threatening. Although the mechanisms of this connection to traumatic symptoms are not well understood, it appears that betrayal by someone on whom you depend for survival (as a child on a parent) may produce consequences similar to those from more obviously life-threatening traumas. Examples include some physically or sexually abused children as well as Vietnam veterans, but monkeys also show a sense of fairness, so our sensitivity to betrayal may not be limited to humans. Experience of betrayal trauma may increase the likelihood of psychogenic amnesia, as compared to fear-based trauma. Forgetting may help maintain necessary attachments (e.g., during childhood), improving chances for survival; if so, this has far-reaching theoretical implications for psychological research. Of course, some traumas include elements of betrayal and fear; perhaps all involve feelings of helplessness.


About Trauma

Emotional and Psychological Trauma
Nice explanation of the causes, symptoms, effects, & treatments of psychological or emotional trauma — broader than PTSD.
Information on the Threat Response
Detailed and well-done article on responses to threat, by Eric Wolterstorff.
APA Topics: Trauma
American Psychological Association webpage offers information on emotional trauma.
Facts for Health: PTSD
“The intensity of experiencing a life-threatening trauma can take time to subside. For some, it simply never does…”

Inspiration: Movies about mental illnesses


– submitted by Ruth Levine, MD, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston

Black Swan (2010), Darren Aranofsky

Brilliant psychological movie. Dissociation?


Anxiety and Anxiety Disorders Bipolar Disorder/Mania
Copycat (panic/agoraphobia) Mr. Jones
As good as it gets (OCD) Network
The touching tree (Childhood OCD) Seven Percent Solution
Fourth of July (PTSD) Captain Newman, MD
The Deer Hunter (PTSD) Sophieís Choice
Ordinary People (PTSD) Sheís So Lovely
Depression Psychosis
Ordinary People Shine
Faithful I Never Promised You a Rose Garden
The Seventh Veil Clean Shaven
The Shrike Through a Glass Darkly
Itís a Wonderful Life (Adjustment disorder) An Angel at my Table
The Wrong Man (Adjustment disorder) Personal
Dissociative Disorders Man Facing Southwest
The Three Faces of Eve Madness of King George (Psychosis due to Porphyria)
Sybil Conspiracy Theory
The Singing Detective
Substance Abuse
The Long Weekend (etoh) The Days of Wine and Roses (etoh)
Barfly (etoh) Basketball Diaries (opiates)
Kids (hallucinogens, rave scenes, etc.) Loosing Isaiah (crack)
Reefer Madness Under the Volcano
Long Day’s Journey into Night Ironweed
The Man with the Golden Arm (heroin) A Hatful of Rain (heroin)
Synanon (drug treatment) The Boost (cocaine)
The 7 Percent Solution (cocaine induced mania) Iím Dancing as Fast as I can (substance induced organic mental disorder)
Eating Disorders
The Best Little Girl in the World (made for TV)-Anorexia Kateís Secret (made for TV)-Bulemia

Axis II Disorders

Personality Pathology
Cluster A Cluster B
Remains of the Day- Schizoid PD Borderline PD
Taxi Driver-Schizotypal PD Fatal Attraction
The Caine Mutiny- Paranoid PD Play Misty for Me
The Treasure of Sierra Madre -Paranoid PD Frances
After Hours
Cluster C Looking for Mr. Goodbar
Zelig-Avoidant PD
Sophieís Choice-Dependent PD Histrionic PD
The Odd Couple-OCPD Bullets over Broadway
Gone with the Wind
A Streetcare Named Desire
Antisocial PD
A Clockwork Orange
Narcissism Obsession
All that Jazz Taxi Driver
Stardust Memories Single White Female
Zelig The King of Comedy
Jerry Maguire Triumph of Will
Shampoo Mental Retardation
American Gigolo Charly
Citizen Kane Best Boy
Lawrence of Arabia Bill
Patton Bill, On His Own

Miscellaneous Issues

Family Early Adult Issues
Ordinary People Awakenings
The Field The Graduate
Kramer vs Kramer Spanking the Monkey
Diary of a Mad Housewife
Betrayal Latency and Adolescent Issues
Whoís Afraid of Virginia Woolfe Stand by Me
The Stone Boy Smooth Talk
The Great Santini
Doctor/Patient Relationship Boundary Violations
The Doctor The Prince of Tides
Mr. Jones
Idealized “Dr. Marvelous” Psychotherapy
Spellbound Suddenly Last Summer
The Snake Pit Captain Newman, MD
The Three Faces of Eve Ordinary People
Good Will Hunting

Steve Hyler directs an APA course on this topic, and
would be a good person to check with.
For more details, you can call me (409) 747-1351. Hope to see you in Maine!

Ruth Levine
University of Texas Medical Branch

| Back to the ADMSEP Resources Page |

Recommended: Ability To Love blog


There is a lot of good blogs out there with relevance for psychology. I wanted to present the blog Ability to love, because it is a well-written, important blog based on personal experiences with abuse. The author has herself helped others to recover from abuse, and has gathered a lot of knowledge about Cluster B Personality disorders, how to survive after trauma and what the effect of trauma can be. As a professional, I warmly recommend this if you want to know more about these subjects. Her own presentation of the blog, follows:

About The Ability To Love Blog

This blog is a reflection of years of my personal experience with regards to the Cluster B of dramatic and erratic personality disorders. These are Antisocial Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Histrionic Personality Disorder. These are disorders of the low/no conscience/empathy disorders. More commonly they are known as borderlines, psychopaths, sociopaths and narcissists. My background is extensive, being the granddaughter, daughter, ex partner and mother to psychopaths. None of these individuals has been officially diagnosed. Most disordered are not.  All who have suffered in any role with a psychopath are free to participate and heal here.

I do not spend a lot of time on the clinical perspective, or slicing and dicing the disorders, preferring to simplify these experiences for those who have just come out of the relationships with a Psychopath, Narcissist or Sociopath. Once the disorders are understood, which I try to convey as simply as possible in terms that are understandable and clear about the experience, survivors are able to understand what has happened to them in one of the most toxic relationships and with the most toxic  individuals on the planet.

I am not a professional therapist, nor do I possess a degree in the field of psychopathology. I have spent much time researching, reading and reflecting about the disorders in an effort to understand my own experiences. I have read countless books and articles and have listened to the stories of hundreds of survivors recount their relationships of horror with the disordered one.  This blog is for educational purposes to the degree that I understand the disorders, as well as for recovery purposes only and I do not claim that what I write is accurate for each individual’s experiences, but merely my own experiences shared, as well as other survivors who participate on this blog.  Names, some situations and circumstances in my posts have been changed to protect the privacy of the innocent (and not so innocent).

d0b78e72594144c821805a587c99d135I am a survivor of a psychopathic parent and multiple sexual and chronic childhood abuse. I am a survivor of three narcissists/psychopaths in romantic relationships in adulthood. I also have a disordered son. Psychopathy is, at this point in time pending ongoing and further research, hypothesized to be genetic, although there is no solid scientific proof of this presently  My family, I believe, is genetically predisposed.

I have been  writing about psychopathy/narcissism for about three years now and started this blog in June 2012. I am an advocate, mentor (coach) to survivors whose lives have been nearly destroyed by the disordered. I continue to do this today and I love my work. Every survivor that comes here is treated with compassion and respect and I expect courteous and compassionate exchanges on the blog. I am vigilant about survivors safety, as much as is possible on the internet and on this blog, psychopathic stalkers of any survivor here discovered will be immediately reported to the proper authorities. Yes, it has happened. If you choose to share your story, please be safe and use an alternative identity. No one sees your email address on  your blog  post except me.

My goal is to transparently, authentically and with integrity, add voice on behalf of myself and other survivors who have been abused. Silence is the abusers weapon. It is my hope that with education and support, we as survivors, can work together to remove the weapon of silence out of the abusers hands, while also learning to take responsibility for our own lives and move into personal growth and development through recovery, and healing of our wounds.

Many survivors arrive “after the fact’ from their relationships, to my blog or to my face book or email. My hope is to also educate those who have never been touched by such extremes, in an effort to bring the disorders more to public light.

My blog is very intense, personal and there is raw written material within these posts and it can be triggering for some survivors. Please be advised of this as you read here.

If you are in need of assistance, please see the email guidance page.

If you are a survivor, I especially welcome you. You have a home and a voice here. I hope you find education, support, healing and hope within these pages.

Best wishes.

Here is her page:

the ability to love


The following is a list of helpful reading:

1. Without Conscience- Dr. Robert Hare
2. Freeing Yourself From The Narcissist In Your Life- Linda Martinez-Lewi
3. The Betrayal Bond- Dr. Patrick Carnes
4. The Sociopath Next Door- Martha Stout
5. The Highly Sensitive Person- Dr. Elaine Aron
6. Stalking The Soul- Marie-France Hirgoyen
7. Snakes in Suits- Dr. Robert Hare, Dr. Paul Babiak
8. Women Who Love Psychopath- Sandra Brown M.A.
9. The Seducer- Claudia Moscovici
10. The documentary “Fishead”. This can be seen at http://www.fishead.com for free.
11. “I, Psychopath”, youtube.com



Still not giving in


I cannot. Cannot tell you about the amazing conversations I had yesterday, just say that I had. Just say that magic never has been more clear or vibrating in others. I have seen it in shocked eyes, unusual movements and habits broken.

An alive connection, an umbilical cord filled with nutritious experiences that bind us all together. 02fdff71a9b0ccd510e0a929e0cb05f8Our stories are the blood vessels that keep it connected through every storm. The cord doesn`t stop transferring, only we do. We clip it, pinch it or send something poisonous away, or we don`t shield it from what it needs to keep pulsing. It needs iron for the blood, steadiness to not twist and food to build its walls. When we neglect given ourselves energy, we neglect being alive. Lack of self-preservation have the direst consequences people can think of.

Not getting what you need is like putting the shiny film over your eyes that blinds you even if it`s transparent. Your children are there, tugging your leg, and you pat them on their head, while that shine cuts away any other thoughts or feelings. It`s better that way, it’s better to avoid it all. Just not for the child, seeing the vacant look that so skillfully create small holes. When there is not enough space, for more of them, they devour each other. Black holes inside black holes. That`s when the amazing thing happens, that`s when magic comes. Magic has the power to find plugs that stop energy from leaking out of the holes. It might even reverse the process, since a filled hole will brim over, spread its contents and neatly cement other cracks.

Coincidence or not, the power of new experiences and daring to jump into a different carousel, one that goes slower, is more controllable, and might even give time to watch what`s going on, is like nothing else. Wind is a powerful as the speed in which it proceeds, and it won`t help for me to blow any more life into it. It happens inside the weather system, the trick is not holding back. Inhibitions and fear, the mountains that push your existence away, can be crushed. Again with magic hammers and explosive that was in your pocket all along. Just find them, install the dynamite and let it blow, until you fly with your flapping wings.

If you need inspiration: Start learing. Everything. Expansion is part of the explosion, and the expansion of a mind can really move mountains.

Subscribe now to unlock challenges
Jane Austen‘s Mansfield Park is a complex, challenging novel read by millions. And now a recent collaboration between Stanford neurobiologists and English Postdoctorate Natalie Phillips suggests that complex novels such as Mansfield Park can activate key brain areas.
Casual versus critical reading
Researchers from the Stanford Center for Cognitive and Neurobiological Imaging took brain scans of several literary PhD students as they read a chapter from Mansfield Park. First, the PhD students were asked to read the book casually, for fun. Then students were asked to switch to a critical reading mode similar to how they might analyze it in a literature classroom This switch in reading modes created a significant shift in brain activity patterns on fMRI scans. Casual reading activated pleasure centers while critical reading increased activity in the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for the executive functions heavily involved in attending to tasks like reading.
Executive function and the brain
Executive function is responsible for more than just attentive reading: this brain function helps moderate how you divide your attention, use your working memory, and generally direct your brainpower. It plays a powerful role in decision-making. While the findings of the Stanford study are preliminary, they make a good case for further research on the impact of reading on cognition. Philips posits that critical reading could serve as a type of training, “teaching us to modulate our concentration.”There is other evidence that reading can be good for your brain. A 2007 study from the Center for Occupational and Environmental Neurology found that avid readers benefited from increased cognitive reserve. Cognitive reserve is the concept that challenging intellectual activity — like reading or brain training — can protect the brain against negative cognitive impacts later in life.

Related articles

blogs I recommend:


I’m a 50-year-old Scottish male Living in London. Suffering mental health problems, including, Depression/ Bipolar (unconfirmed), PTSD, (associated) Agoraphobia, and (newly diagnosed) Borderline Personality Disorder.


So many nice pictures, I totally fell in love with her blog and pinterest site


Simply a wonderful girl with different parts inside



Exploring ways to win the wars waged within the mind, writing about it, and playing some cards on the side (something has to pay the bills!)


ScreenshotHart Helps Facebook Page


Some extra reading if you want to expand your universe already:

Nobel laureate John Steinbeck (1902-1968) might be best-known as the author of East of Eden, The Grapes of Wrath, and Of Mice and Men, but he was also a prolific letter-writer. Steinbeck: A Life in Letters constructs an alternative biography of the iconic author through some 850 of his most thoughtful, witty, honest, opinionated, vulnerable, and revealing letters to family, friends, his editor, and a circle of equally well-known and influential public figures.

Among his correspondence is this beautiful response to his eldest son Thom’s 1958 letter, in which the teenage boy confesses to have fallen desperately in love with a girl named Susan while at boarding school. Steinbeck’s words of wisdom — tender, optimistic, timeless, infinitely sagacious — should be etched onto the heart and mind of every living, breathing human being.

New York
November 10, 1958

Dear Thom:

We had your letter this morning. I will answer it from my point of view and of course Elaine will from hers.

First — if you are in love — that’s a good thing — that’s about the best thing that can happen to anyone. Don’t let anyone make it small or light to you.

Second — There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you — of kindness and consideration and respect — not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn’t know you had.

You say this is not puppy love. If you feel so deeply — of course it isn’t puppy love.

But I don’t think you were asking me what you feel. You know better than anyone. What you wanted me to help you with is what to do about it — and that I can tell you.

Glory in it for one thing and be very glad and grateful for it.

The object of love is the best and most beautiful. Try to live up to it.

If you love someone — there is no possible harm in saying so — only you must remember that some people are very shy and sometimes the saying must take that shyness into consideration.

Girls have a way of knowing or feeling what you feel, but they usually like to hear it also.

It sometimes happens that what you feel is not returned for one reason or another — but that does not make your feeling less valuable and good.

Lastly, I know your feeling because I have it and I’m glad you have it.

We will be glad to meet Susan. She will be very welcome. But Elaine will make all such arrangements because that is her province and she will be very glad to. She knows about love too and maybe she can give you more help than I can.

And don’t worry about losing. If it is right, it happens — The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.




we are the most intelligent species on earth, so maybe we should act like it.



To introduce the idea, I will ask everyone to watch this short movie first. Even if it takes 18 minutes of your time, I really promise it is worth it (psychologists honor)

We go about our everyday lives wanting things to always be getting better. We hope that our work makes a difference and those who came before us are proud and we wish for our children to have more than what we were given. As anyone knows who has heard Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous speech—delivered fifty years ago this August~ dreams are at the center of any effort to make things better. And today we have something with more power than we might realize: The internet. It’s not without reason that China and North-Korea tried to keep their inhabitants away from news. The media also have immense power, and even if some might argue that they focus on the wrong things (making thin the new fashion, ignoring many crises out there) there still is so many good journalists out there, who really want to make the world a better place. Combine the knowledge, motivation the internet and the media and you have a wonderful recipe: People who actually do something.

So, this is all well and fine, but how does this help? What can I DO? If you have watched the movie, I give an option. Like we all help the world by sorting our paper and throw it in a separate garbage bin, thereby saving the rainforest, what about spreading validation around to others ? What happens when someone smiles at us? Research shows that our mirror-neurons respond automatically by creating a smile on your own lips. This means that smiling AT someone, actually MAKE them happier. Research also shows that being happy yourself, gives you more energy to be there for others. So, like in the video, I would challenge the readers of this blog to do JUST one nice thing for somebody else (preferably a stranger, because that would have the biggest impact) the next week. When you have done that, write WHAT you did, and if you want, leave your email at the end. This will be like signing a petition for releasing a political prisoners. For every one of you who does that, you might have made the world just a little better. This is what your story means: You are signing a petition for a better world!

English: Dr. Martin Luther King giving his English: Dr. Martin Luther King giving his “I Have a Dream” speech during the March on Washington in Washington, D.C., on 28 August 1963. Related articles
 Follow: Good blogs and random stuff:
Follow on Bloglovin



My personality profile

INFP – “Questor”. High capacity for caring. Emotional face to the world. High sense of honor derived from internal values. 4.4% of total population.

Take Free Jung Personality Test
Personality Test by SimilarMinds.com


Nina Er


About me, growing in heart and mind.

Try to learn something new every day, and to remember how good this world can be if you only look for it. Right now I`m working with something I love: Helping people on their way to a better life. I`ve had so many good moments together with people who just had to open their eyes, and see what they hid inside

Further interesting reading:

Steve McCurry’s Blog

  1. Bayou Woman
  2. Gabriela LeBaron’s Blog
  3. Life is a Vacation
  4. waywardspirit
  5. Crazy In The Coconut
  6. In Flow
  7. both sides of the wall
  8. My Travels with Depression
  9. borough of lost boys
  10. Julia’s Carpe Diem List
  11. twentysomething Steph
  12. HayleyHobsonBlog.com
  13. Hart Helps
  14. Shaun Robinson
  15. Vers Les Etoiles
  16. The Oeditrix
  17. Echosent
  18. ACEs Too High
  19. daryahayes
  20. Posts I Like

Bayou WomanLife in the Louisiana Wetlands
Life is a VacationTravel, Food, Songs of the Soul…everything that makes a perfect vacation
waywardspiritLiving – growing a soul in wonder.
Crazy In The CoconutI’m not alone as long as I’m with me
In FlowCreativity is within us all
both sides of the wallintegrating the light and the dark
My Travels with DepressionA Tale too Tragic to Tell
borough of lost boysfrankie leone, just a man – 27 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)
Julia’s Carpe Diem ListThis blog is a review of how I plan to seize the day before I graduate from UGA.
twentysomething StephConfusion and Awkwardness of My Quarter-Life Crisis
HayleyHobsonBlog.comPlease note my new Blog address above…..
Hart Helpsexplore ways to win the wars waged within the mind
Shaun RobinsonJust another WordPress.com weblog
Vers Les Etoiles“The wide world is all about you: you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot forever fence it out.” J.R.R. Tolkien
The OeditrixWords, words, words.
EchosentFinding the way, everyday.