Depressed by happiness: emotional shutdown in the family and society

From Mad in the UK: Emotional abandonment has left me with a sense of loneliness that I would describe as ‘absolute’ or ‘existential’ in nature. I call it absolute because it doesn’t change relative to circumstances and it is existential because it involves alienation from reality as such. I suspect that a lot of people troubled by psychological problems have experienced some version of emotional neglect and alienation growing up in their families and have then been sent out into a wider society that is itself neglectful and alienating. I think that the various symptoms and types of diagnosed mental illness that are recognised today are in fact different responses to this core experience of existential distress.

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