The disease of DV, arising from a combination of a biochemical imbalance in the addiction pathway of the brain arising from an addiction to the need to be needed, in conjunction with active engagement (emotional/physical) in a co-dependent relationship, expresses itself as clinically diagnostic lesions in the form of repetitive abusive behavioral patterns. The disease of DV affects both men and women, and it is inclusive of the spectrum of LGBTQ relationships.
Just as diabetes EXPRESSES itself as high blood sugar and an elevated HgA1C, domestic violence EXPRESSES itself as distinct abusive behavioral patterns. The abusive behavioral patterns of DV are actually secondary effects of GASLIGHTING and CODEPENDENCY in an intimate partner relationship or any unhealthy familial or domestic living situation. This is similar to how increased thirst and urination are complications of a diseased pancreas and insulin resistance in diabetes.
To facilitate the conceptualization of DV as a disease, I have created the diagram above entitled ‘The Clinical Spectrum of DV’. The three main circles of the Venn diagram in part A are shaded to demonstrate sets of patients with EMOTIONAL, PHYSICAL, or SEXUAL presentations. The overlap of the circles produces seven subsets, in which those manifestations are present alone or in various combinations.
Clinical spectrum of domestic violence
These are the patients who complain to their friends about destruction of personal property, violation of personal boundaries, sexual avoidance, and economic abuse, but are perceived to be extremely low risk by societal standards for engaging in the stigmatized behavioral patterns commonly associated with DV (aka. doctors, lawyers, software engineers, actors, dentists, and other career professionals).
On the DV spectrum, just as with autism, DV presents with many different variations (ie. physical abuse in one person and financial abuse in another). Also of importance is that just as in PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), there is a wide spectrum of variations in the severity or acuity of a victim’s response to the psychological trauma of domestic violence.
These patients will not realize they have a disease because they have been conditioned to the common misconception that there is a demarcation between physical and sexual acts of aggression resulting in bodily harm such as rape, a broken nose, or a black eye, and minor environmental acts of aggression such as putting out a lit cigarette in your car, expecting you to provide them with considerable financial support, and socially isolating you from your friends and family.
I have designated this subgroup as asymptomatic because most often these patients will not admit to symptoms when they are present because the addictive component of this disease causes them to rationalize the initial red flags they already know to look out for, particularly in relation to DV.
CODEPENDENCY and GASLIGHTING will be present in this homes of this 'asymptomatic' patient population and these patients will not realize they have a disease, just as asymptomatic diabetics will not realize they have high blood sugar. Screening for signs of emotional and even minor physical and sexual abuse can help direct this early manifestation of DV to the appropriate therapy and reduce long term complications.
DV can result in long term medical complications such as asthma, dementia, peptic ulcer disease and colitis in addition to psychological conditions such as depression and PTSD.
The ADDICTION TO BEING NEEDED is 2 fold. The dominant in the relationship will have an unhealthy desire to provide financially or to provide support in an area of a person's life where they are lacking. A teacher dating his student is an example of this scenario. Another example is an overbearing and narcissistic parent and submissive child. The submissive in the relationship will have an addiction to a desire to please.
According to Harvard Health Publications, Addictive drugs and behaviors create a shortcut to reward by sending a flood of dopamine to the nucleus accumbens. NIDA published that when the addictive substances (or behaviors) are abused, they can stimulate 2-10 times more dopamine to be released than things like food or sex may. This flood of dopamine causes a burst of euphoria, or the high, that occurs when the brain is entrenched in addictive behaviors. It can be highly pleasurable, and individuals then start repeating these addictive behaviors.
The longer we engage in addictive behaviors, the more entrenched we become in the addiction and the harder it is to break the cycle. Because dopamine also affects the part of the brain responsible for judgement, people trapped in this overstimulated reward pathway also display distorted thinking-manifested by a series of bad decisions. This is the cycle of addiction.
Among the many benefits of this decision as evidenced in the medical literature, designating alcoholism as a disease, as opposed a simple repetitive behavioral pattern, resulted in improved recovery rates and decreased psychological trauma to the victim of the disease process.
Mental illness has become the next pandemic. In America, 52% of women over the age of 40 are on antidepressants. Mental illness presents anytime our emotional and mental stability are compromised.
Thank you Sadhguru for your words of wisdom. Our emotional and mental stability can become compromised anytime the things that we have come to rely upon for a long time and have allowed to define us are taken away from us - such as when going through a divorce, dealing with the loss of a career and grieving the death of a loved one.
For families that have a member affected by mental illness, the biggest problem faced by caregivers is the inability to distinguish true suffering and mental anguish from the occasional manipulation tactic and dramatization. Unfortunately there is no way to ever really tell. That leaves caregivers unable to always exercise the proper judgement when choosing to react to a situation or emotional outburst with compassion or with discipline.
In high conflict relationships where arguments are frequent, each time we explode with an angry emotional outburst and cross that thin line between wise mind and emotional mind, we momentarily feel a sense of release - an empowerment to speak our mind and to raise our voice. It’s liberating. and after we cross that fine line during heated arguments with our spouse or loved one enough times, we start to enjoy not the arguing, but the feeling of liberation that the explosive verbal diarrhea and release of emotions triggers in our brain.
When we start to enjoy this feeling of liberation thru conflict more and more, we develop an addiction. The dopamine in our brain’s reward pathway now revs up in response to engaging in high conflict exchanges for some people who crossed that line enough times.
Mental illness is a prison within our own mind. Lethargy is associated with many types of mental illness, and the overconsumption of thought, particularly a single thought or group of thoughts, without being able to turn on and off the flow of theses thoughts (ie. what our mind experiences when we feel anxiety, depression, fear, paranoia, etc).
Dr. Charles Barker, a world renown metaphysician, writes in his book The Power of Decision, "New ideas are as essential for the mind as food and water are for the physical body".
A major contributor to mental illness is approaching life using only your intellect as a lens of interpretation : “I THINK therefore I AM”. Engaging only one brain hemisphere most of the time leads to compartmentalization and ineffective living.
Ignoring the intuition, ignoring our innate conscience, and ignoring these other dimensions of intelligence cause us to fragment our perceptions of reality such that we begin to compartmentalize our emotions and reactions to things that make us uncomfortable and we try to pretend they are not there.
Eventually we begin to 'forget', or re-write our recollection of the experience such that the recollections associated with uncomfortable feelings are taken out of the equation.
A hallmark of mental illness is the formation of strong conclusions. The more unshakable the conclusions you form in your mind, the less open your psyche will be to the views and perspectives of others.
A classic example is the man behind the wheel of a car who refuses to ask for directions. Even though it would probable lessen the time of the trip if he were to stop and ask for directions, in the moment that he is the man behind the wheel, his ego takes over and a streak of narcissism prevents the man behind the wheel from prioritizing the time wasted in his day over the importance of his own ego.
The more malleable the conclusions you have formed in your mind about other people and your reality, the more the psychological reality you have created in your own mind works either cohesively or antagonistically when going through life’s experiences.
Sometimes it's an issue of communication to others and not actually in the mind. In that case, a simple change in verbage from saying "I know this to be true; my view is right and your's is wrong" to a more respectful tone, for example, by asking for other's opinion instead of making assertions.
Another technique would be to say "it's possible this is true" or "Some would say this is true, others however may say otherwise". The key is to be open to seeing other perspectives.
When we choose to ignore uncomfortable feelings, it provides us with a temporary reprieve as the maxim goes "out of sight out of mind". Unfortunately, the uncomfortable feelings are now left hidden in the dark without a name and without a face.
This is the most significant consequence of ‘toxic positivity’, an untoward complication of “Personality Ethics” and “positive mental attitude” that has emerged in society since World War I. Forcing yourself to blindly adopt a positive attitude about a situation that generates strong uncomfortable feelings has long term negative consequences. The uncomfortable feelings don't stay hidden forever and tend to manifest in unexpected ways when we are having a bad day and lower our vibration.
Frequently asked questions about domestic violence