From CPTSD Foundation: “One of the banes of our culture’s psychiatric ideology is its tendency to pathologize mental health difficulties as ‘disorders’ and ‘diseases,’ both of which imply that there’s something wrong with a person that needs to be fixed. This often leads someone diagnosed with a disorder to self-shame, self-blame, and try to fight against their symptoms. In this article, I’ll investigate the notion of disorders and argue that they are actually processes that, as trauma expert Gabor Maté eloquently states, are ‘normal responses to abnormal circumstances.’
. . . So what exactly are these dynamic processes? To shed some light, we must trace them back to their causes. With CPTSD (along with virtually any other mental health condition), the symptoms that manifest are, in my view, actually a collection of coping strategies that kicked in during childhood due to trauma. These adaptations are highly intelligent when they first come online — they prevent our traumatic experiences from becoming even worse, and in many cases actually save our lives. Once the trauma is over, however, they often become maladaptive and outlive their usefulness.
. . . The notion of a disorder tends to create an attitude that symptoms are something to be gotten rid of — to battle against using any means necessary. Far from being compassionate, this approach essentially puts the internal system at war with itself. The process perspective, on the other hand, opens the door to treatment modalities such as Internal Family Systems (IFS), which work with our coping strategies rather than against them, using self-compassion and understanding. IFS respects that coping strategies came about for good reasons, and therefore doesn’t attempt to change behaviors directly. Instead, a bottom-up approach is used to heal and release a person’s trauma, at which point behavioral change comes about as a natural outcome.”
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