Shame/Guilt in Bipolar & Other Mental Disorders

Bipolar disorder, formerly often referred to as manic-depression, is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (such as depression). When in the depressed state the sufferer may feel sad or hopeless and lose interest or pleasure in most activities. When the mood shifts to mania or hypomania the subject may feel euphoric, full of energy or unusually irritable. Such mood swings, characteristic of Bipolar disorder, can affect sleep, energy, activity, judgment, behavior and the ability to think clearly. Symptoms can include unpredictable changes in mood and behavior, resulting in significant distress and difficulty in life.

We first became interested in Bipolar behavior when a client was brought to us who suffered from this malady. And since it is customary procedure for our work to examine any emotional involvement or roots of any disorder, what emerged foremost in her case was that she had been subjected to parental shaming as a child. Testing indicated this began at age 19 months and continued in some degree till age 8. We have since discovered that over one third of persons suffering from Bipolar disorder have this childhood experience in common. Other low frequency emotions are or can also be involved such as guilt, wounded feelings, repressed anger and frustration being the most common. Since shame is actually the lowest emotion on the energetic scale except for murderous intent it is to be seriously avoided as a child raising strategy. [1]

Unfortunately shaming of children and/or making them feel unnecessarily guilty about their childish behavior was and, in many cases, still is a common method for achieving obedience. Part of the problem, so well articulated by the child psychologist Alice Miller, [2]  is the quasi-religious misconception of original sin which supposes that children are born bad or flawed and must undergo significant correction to be successful adults. [3] This idea may be either in the foreground or the background of parental approaches to discipline and early training and can have significant detrimental effects. Such approaches may also exist apart from any religious feelings simply through habit or just in the form of traditional child-rearing passed down through the generations.

Shaming has been particularly strong in European cultures and the subject mentioned earlier was born and lives in a German speaking country. [4] Fortunately modern child rearing has generally taken on less oppressive approaches that do not stigmatize the child with serious mental/emotional straight jackets. Unfortunately, the pendulum is, in many now visible cases, swinging excessively in the other direction. For example, cultural or societal ideas that everyone deserves a trophy and/or the promotion of gender choice and its resultant confusion, constitute neurological landmines waiting to detonate with unintended consequences for the rising and future generations.

The human body and its marvelous genome and fail-safe mechanisms is also carefully packaged within an intended developmental program tailored for the safety and security of a traditional family environment. The various well-known and well researched developmental targets and stages that are disrupted by such things as war, family disturbances or just cavalier ignorance of their existence has neurological ramifications and attendant functional deficits which can be almost impossible to rectify. Additionally, if such victims of circumstance survive long enough to reproduce, their genetic and epigenetic deficits and neural confusion will be passed on and further confounded through the offspring.

Neurological development follows an intricate hierarchical structural program in which infant's interaction with caregivers and its environment are critical according to clearly designed outcomes. It doesn't matter whether one believes in creation or evolution, the design is there, and with a normal family structure as the neurologically and physiologically anticipated developmental environment. The human infant stages of development are no more  negotiable than its sex. And if various targets and experiences are not there for whatever reason (e.g eye contact, sights, sounds, language, crawling, tactile experiences, interacting with mom and dad, experiencing warmth and love, discipline and instruction, role models, etc.) there is a deficit in the child's neurological development. The point here is that the potential of the future adult to function successfully, both physically and mentally, has a great deal of dependence upon early neurological development in which the environment has a highly important role in allowing and facilitating the genetic predisposition of the child. We cannot get the full expression of the child's "Nature" without taking good care of the child's "Nurture." [5]

With respect to shaming, we and others have observed that those who were, in retrospect, “perfect” children for their parents were often actually emotionally abused children. These children will often seemingly adore their parents (mother in particular) and be loyal to them to a fault throughout their adult lives while harboring deep seated and inexplicable anger that cannot be expressed in any healthy way, and which will eventually surface as some form of dysfunction—physical, mental or both.

One of the problems with childhood stressors and traumas is the effect on neural synaptic development. And though the human neural and other tissue systems have tremendous adaptive capacities there are some changes and deficits during the childhood developmental stages that cannot be fully retrieved nor entirely compensated for by inherent neural plasticity or therapeutic treatment. And as neurological and synaptic development are hierarchical in nature any change or deficit in early stages necessarily constrains later stage development which is dependent upon it. Consequently, ignorance of these relevant facts, ill-conceived societal fads or cavalier cultural departures from the norm can be fraught with unimaginable retribution. The very existence of the human race depends upon people making informed choices.

 

The fact is that those who have received the perfect upbringing and correctly hit all the right stages of development are a minority. However, the effects of childhood shaming as well as more serious abuses leave indelible effects upon the child’s psyche, character and future--changes that may very well challenge their ability to fit into the healthier mainstream. Childhood stressors are also implicated in other mental disorders such as obsessive/compulsive (OCD), Anxiety Disorders (AD), Intellectual Disability (ID), Conduct Disorder (CD), ADD/ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). [6]                                           Also see the NG White Paper on:

 

For those of us who have suffered the ill effects of difficult childhood or parental lack of enlightenment and/or have presided over the administration of the same to our children, we may console ourselves with the idea that through NG Processing and personal change we can still undue some of the damage and/or that many of the world’s accomplishments were achieved at the hands of the psychologically handicapped, and that the Lord has likely used us and them for some good anyway. And the Lord works with what He has. It seems that the poor, the maimed, and the halt and the blind (Luke 14:21) are more likely to have priority entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven over those establishment elites who were first bidden to the Lord's feast who had better things to do.

 

                                                                         To review the NG Shame Release & Bipolar Modulation Process see:

1) On the scale that we use (logarithmic/to base10) Shame registers around log 40. It get an idea of the true nature of Shame it may be well to note that the evil spirits that followed the Adversary range to as high as log 70. For reference, average adult = log 123, complete integrity = log 172. Ads this is a logarithmic curve rather than a linear straight line the differences are much greater than even the numbers suggest. See White Papers 1 articles on Frequency Testing.

2)Dr. Miller uses the phrase "poisonous pedagogy" to describe what we, as parents, inflict on children "for their own good" out of our hypocrisy and ignorance, and that we instill humiliation, shame, fear, and guilt as we are "training" children. By encouraging conformity, suppressing curiosity and emotions, a parent reduces a child's ability to make crucial perceptions in later life. "Children are tolerant. They learn intolerance from us."  Alice Miller Interview: The Roots of Violence;  https://www.naturalchild.org/articles/alice_miller/roots_violence.html

3) According to Wikipedia , "Original sin" is a Christian belief in the state of sin in which humanity has existed since the fall of man, stemming from Adam and Eve's rebellion in Eden, namely the sin of disobedience in consuming the forbidden fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The concept of original sin was first alluded to in the 2nd century by Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyon in his controversy with certain dualist Gnostics. Other church fathers such as Augustine also shaped and developed the doctrine. Tertullian, Cyprian, Ambrose and Ambrosiaster considered that humanity shares in Adam's sin, transmitted by human generation. Augustine's formulation of original sin after 412 CE was popular among Protestant reformers, such as Martin Luther and John Calvin, who equated original sin with concupiscence (or "hurtful desire"), affirming that it persisted even after infant baptism and completely destroyed freedom to do good. Before 412 CE, Augustine said that free will was weakened but not destroyed by original sin, but after 412 CE this was changed to be considered a loss of free will except to sin. Modern Augustinian Calvinism holds this later view.

4) We have treated European subjects who were children during World War II that have also been scared by their wartime experiences such that in later life they experience vague fears and excessive reactions to emotional and physical stimuli. This may have also been a factor for the subject mentioned above.

5) See: A L Tierney, C A Nelson III, Brain Development and the Role of Experience in the Early Years, NIH pub, Harvard, Zero Three. 2009 November 1; 30(2): 9–13; "Brain research suggests that development is a hierarchical process of wiring the brain, in that higher level processes build on a foundation of lower level processes... Higher level functions are dependent on lower level functions, the evidence for which is primarily in the basic cognitive processes and sensory perceptual systems... Depriving young children of the kinds of experiences that are essential to later development—that is, the building blocks that create the scaffolding upon which development depends—leads to severe consequences in both brain structure and function." Also see: A Gopnik, AN Meltzoff, & BK Kuhl, 1999. The scientist in the crib: Minds, brains, and how children learn. New York: Morrow; and Starting Smart, How early experiences affect brain development, Zero-to-Three, The Once of Prevention Fund, https://www.theounce.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/StartingSmart.pdf: "Unfortunately, high rates of child abuse and neglect across the country as well as persistently high rates of school failure in some communities indicate that far too many children do not receive what they need during their first few years for healthy brain growth and development. As our society becomes even more technically and socially complex, we cannot afford to continue to allow large numbers of children to miss out on the positive experiences they need in infancy and early childhood; the costs, in terms of lost intellectual potential and increased rates of emotional and behavioral problems, are too high. The new developments in brain research show us what children need; our challenge is to ensure that every child receives it." p.9.   

6) See: G K Murray, P B Jones, D Kuh & M Richards, Infant Developmental Milestones and Subsequent Cognitive Function, Ann Neurol. 2007 Aug; 62(2): 128–136;  J G Scott, C Mihalopoulos, H E Erskine, J Roberts & A Rahman, Mental, Neurological, and Substance Use Disorders: Disease Control Priorities, 3rd Ed, (V.4).https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK361938/; K von Klitzing, M Döhnert, M Kroll & M Grube, Mental Disorders in Early Childhood, Deutsches Arzteblatt Int. 2015 May; 112(21-22): 375–386, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4496484/, "The quality of early relationships is vitally important for lifelong mental health. The younger the child is, the more embedded his or her behavior and biopsychosocial equilibrium are in relationships with parents and other carers. The determination whether any putative manifestation of a mental disorder is truly pathological, or just an expression of normality, can only be made in reference to the child’s current stage of development and its characteristic features."