There are More Men than Women: Are You a Psychopath?

By Lida Prypchan
“Triple I” = Impulsiveness + Instability + Inability to Adapt to One’s Environment
NightwatcherbySWwithphotocreditUsually, one associates the sociopath (psychopathic or antisocial personality) with delinquency.  Many others associate it with sexual offenders.  There will be a few or many cases, but it is known that not every delinquent is a psychopath.
As a general rule, psychopaths are not held in psychiatric institutes for exhibiting psychopathic behavior, but rather for presenting another types of psychiatric problems that complicate his/her already unbalanced psyche, such as for example: nervous breakdown, depression, suicidal gestures, alcoholism and drug abuse, or a delusional episode.  But once they have resolved their immediate conflict, it becomes much more difficult to hold them in the institution, since the person who suffers this type of illness is a glib and persuasive speaker who is able to manipulate the group, leading them to revolt.  A typical example of this is observed in the movie “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” in which Jack Nicholson feigns being a psychopath.  He incites his fellow incarcerates to rebellion (plans escapes, steals a bus for a trip to the beach, etc.).  A psychopath, in general , is an ill person whose intellectual capacity, or rather, his/her intelligence,  is not affected by the illness: they have a normal IQ (average) or higher.
The characteristics of the psychopathic personality, from my point of view, are highly questionable.  I think that one can only make a proper diagnosis if one looks very carefully at his/her life history.  The classic texts of psychiatry define a sociopath as an individual who throughout his/her life shows serious difficulties with conforming to the rules of life that society imposes.  The ultimate cause of all of his/her social missteps is the “triple i”: instability, impulsiveness, and an inability to adapt to their environment.  This “triple i” converts the sociopath’s life into a closed circle.

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Aggression: …It just makes me want to…KILL…!

By Lida Prypchan
AngertoKilll01Aggression is a theme that concerns all those of us who live in a city. It concerns us because this attitude more than any other is the result of the depersonalization of city life. It is due to the hustle and bustle, the traffic, and the injustices.
 
One of the most vivid examples of aggression right now is the attitude of people who drive a car. In our city, day after day, drivers jam their cars up against one another almost as if it’s a way of unloading their problems on to someone else. It’s almost impossible for a pedestrian to cross a street in peace. Nobody will let anybody pass, some smart ones weave in and out and blow their horns enough to burst your eardrums, some shout vulgarities and insults at others and nobody gives way to anyone.
 
You no longer see what you used to see, a gentleman giving up his place in line to a lady, all that matters is getting there quickly. In a car, the danger lies in the fact that one doesn’t know the driver of the other car – he’s not even a human being, just an LTD or a Maverick. This explains the extremely churlish behavior of drivers. The worst aspect of human behavior is revealed at its maximum potential in the car. People have even been seen getting out of their cars and coming to fisticuffs. According to Konrad Lorenz, the result of imbalance becomes evident when a man is put in a little box – he is no longer human, but an engine with inert brute force.
 
Another root cause of aggression is the population explosion. This has been confirmed scientifically. Konrad Lorenz himself did a study on fish, which shows that the high rate of aggression is directly proportional to population growth. However, it is observed that if the population increases over and above a certain level, aggression paradoxically decreases. Thus, if there are reasonable numbers of fish, aggression is minimal, reaching its peak at a certain population level and then easing off when the population density is even higher.

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Frances: Woman of Passion

By Lida Prypchan
frances_frontcover_large_Bzr6G9XfOCzpibhFrances is an excellent movie from every point of view.  Directed by Graeme Clifford, it deals with the tragic life of Hollywood actress Frances Farmer, magnificently portrayed by Jessica Lange.
The life of this actress, although depressing and disturbing, leaves a valuable message, for both family and society, as well as for us as individuals.  This is an interesting message for analysis, though before starting, I must comment that I found the title rather inadequate since it does not convey the profound psychological and social nature of the subject matter dealt with in this film.
The plot evolves in the United States, in Seattle, Hollywood and Washington, and takes place around the year 1940.  Frances Farmer, a beautiful woman with an engaging personality, restless, impulsive, naïve and rebellious, spontaneous and intelligent, is the only daughter of a genial and permissive yet indifferent father and of a domineering, mentally disturbed mother who is unsympathetic in the extreme. A frustrated actress, her mother cannot stand being a “Mrs. Nobody”.  Hence, she projects her desire to become an actress on to her daughter, contributing greatly to the destruction of her life.
At the age of 16, Frances writes a paper on atheism, reads it at school and is repudiated by those present.  The only one who rises, applauding passionately, is her mother, possibly motivated by her need to stand out and be noticed through the person of her daughter.  At this time, and throughout Frances’ life, a journalist named Harry York is in love with her, ever present to share her difficulties.  We gather from this movie’s view of her life, that the one and only human being who ever truly loved and believed in her was this journalist.

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Dostoyevsky and Psychoanalysis

 

By Lida Prypchan

dostoevskyDisciplines outside the scope of medicine, such as literature and art, have powerfully drawn the attention of psychoanalysis.  Artistic creation reflects the artist’s inner world and his unconscious.  So psychoanalysis analyzes the work of an artist, applying the same criteria used to decipher the dreams of a patient.

The artist is, in and of himself, an unusual case, not only worthy of deep study, but he should also trigger admiration in us.  The artist is a different being, whose inner voice requires him to lead a life different from the one led by the common man.  He will suffer and enjoy his torment, that vital imperative that leads him to travel down unusual paths.  On this point, Freud believes that what makes the artist choose paths that are different from those of other people is sublimation; this is what channels the power of his libido along courses different from the usual in order to vent the tensions of their psychic contents.

Freud published a book called “Psychoanalysis of Art” in which he presents the analysis of the work of five artists, who are: Delusion and Dreams in “The Gradiva” by Jensen; “A Childhood Memory” of Leonardo da Vinci; “The Moses” of Michelangelo; A Childhood Memory of Goethe in “Poetry and Truth”; and “Dostoyevsky and Parricide”.

In his book, Freud declares himself to be a layman in matters of art, a layman who feels more attracted by the qualities of the artwork than by its techniques.  He is attracted by them because he feels overpowered by them and what is intriguing to him is that they are beyond his comprehension.

At least he finds an explanation for this fascination, and this is what he calls “the intention of the artist.”  By focusing on the artist, he believes that they are neurotics fleeing from an unsatisfactory reality and taking refuge in a fantasy world from which, unlike the mentally ill, they can find their way back.  For Freud, the sexuality of the artist has a great influence, but he knows to admit that this is not the only source of art and that psychoanalysis has not thrown any light on the technique of art as such.

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Freud’s Psychoanalysis

By Lida Prypchan

Sigmund-Freud-FeaturedFreud’s theories have had a great influence on the cultural life of this century, probably much greater than that of any other doctrinal system. The field where his ideas have encountered the greatest difficulties has been that of his own terrain, Psychiatry. Psychoanalysis is still polemical, although many of the current discoveries can be divided in two main groups: those with exclusive orientation or very preferentially psychoanalytic, and those that do not accept more than a few fragments of psychoanalysis, considering the rest to be an “interpretive fantasy.” To this latter group belong all the “official” European psychiatric schools (universities).

We can distinguish two aspects in psychoanalysis: psychoanalytic theory of the human psyche, normal and pathological, and the psychoanalytic technique as a psychotherapeutic method. Both are almost exclusive works of the portentous mind of a single man, of such originality and keen thinking that he was able to elaborate them against all the doctrines and scientific prejudices of his era. Although in recent decades certain theoretical aspects of the doctrine and those of the its practical application have been modified and completed, it was elaborated and set out by S. Freud in his books, published between 1910 and 1915. Read the rest of this entry »

FREUD a Potential Literati


by Lida Prypchan
He passed on to another stage in his life in which decadent poetry began to attract his attention.
A Dalmatian poet was committed in a private mental ward, and went mad over a shadow. His beloved was a “queen of the screen” and she smiled at him from the screen. From then on he had no life and his desperate passion for the shadow of his beloved destroyed his existence. In the same mental ward there was a fairly peculiar character: he was a monster who must have spent a half a century dressed in light green. His life was spectacular: originally he was one of the richest men in the world; with that fortune in his hands, he decided to take up the most refined drugs of a rotting culture. He began to travel, to get to know the most varied ideologies that govern the world, he held impassioned conversations with artists, read an enormous number of books and, with all this maniacal dilapidation, acquired, after 7 years, a perverse nose for the most radical ideologies. After much getting around, his spirit sickened, overwhelmed by the world, but he bequeathed us some writings he wrote with green ink, giving us his impressions on the world in which we live.
I am talking about Gog, the character invented by the fabulous critic Giovanni Papini.
Gog delivered those writings in green ink to Giovanni Papini, who is a friend of the Dalmatian poet who is committed in the mental ward.
Giovanni Papini takes advantage of his character, that ungainly monster with the judgment of a genius.
In this book titled GOG, Giovanni Papini moves his ingenious character to Vienna to have him pay a visit to Sigmund Freud on his 70th birthday and, as a gift, he brings a beautiful Greek marble statue representing Narcissus. From the time he receives it, Freud is grateful to him for such a splendid gift and invites him to his house as a result. Once there, Freud begins to speak, and reveals to us the secret of his life.
Giovanni Papini creates the circumstances and puts the opinions that he deserves in Freud’s mouth. Let’s see, then, what this man with great judgment thinks about the creator of Psychoanalysis. I shall add some information that will enable a greater understanding of Freud’s life, though before this I would like to say that I present something.
He searches for a way to study the metal development of human beings and he creates Psychoanalysis. He creates his system, based on the method used by Goethe when he wrote: release. Goethe, in Werther, writes to free himself of his pain; literature to him was catharsis. In this way, Freud has his patients use this method to cure themselves: confession, while Freud remained as if a priest, listening, advising and hushing secrets. Soon he realized that the confessions of his sick patients constituted a marvelous repertoire of human documents. Documents which he kept for himself, while Zola was publishing novels.

Another stage of his life arrived in which decadent poetry began to attract his attention, above all the similarity that exists between dreams and works of art and the importance of symbolic language. At this time, Romanticism reigned, which had proclaimed the primacy of passion and set love aside. In his capacity as a psychiatric researcher and under the influence of the naturalist novelists, he gave love a less sentimental and mystical interpretation. He wanted to see the more repugnant, though more common, sides of human life: the beast in man; with a scalpel he set aside the hypocrisy of good manners and found sensuality deprived of any masks.
Later, he wanted to write his conclusions and this is the best proof of his literary talents. The way in which Freud writes leans towards the essay, the paradox, dramatism, and has nothing of the pedantic rigidness and technique of the true man of science. We cannot say that is books “are treatises on pathology.” His spontaneity and joy when writing is such that one feels how close he was to the works of imagination and there is irrefutable proof: those who have best captured Freudian ideas have been artists, especially writers.
All men of science have the propensity to let themselves be carried away by fantasy, but in the case of Freud we see how he traveled hand-in-hand with fantasy and how he translated the inspirations of modern literature into scientific theories.
And his intelligence made him overcome his destiny to accomplish his dream: to continue being a literati while in appearance continuing to be this type of doctor since he was in complete agreement with the opinions of Papini, and due to the happiness it caused me to find such an accurate opinion of the polemical researcher and discoverer of the psyche, so unknown until now.
The Illusions of Sigmund Freud: When Freud was in high school, all his teachers saw in him a young man with a great talent for art, especially for poetry and novels. But he was very conscious of the obstacles that held back his illusions of being a literati. He was from a poor family and poetry, according to testimony by the most celebrated contemporaries, paid little or too late. Moreover he was Hebrew, which placed him in conditions of manifest inferiority in an anti-Semitic monarchy. The exile and miserable end of Heine discouraged him. He chose Natural Sciences. He graduated as a doctor, though he never practiced this profession. Instead, he conceived the idea of transforming a branch of medicine – Psychiatry – into literature. Literati by instinct and vocation and doctor by force and out of necessity, he was a poet and novelist underneath the image of a man of science.

Freud and Art


by Lida Prypchan

The genesis and content of a number of disciplines or activities outside the scope of medicine has repeatedly been psychoanalyzed.  In this regard, the attention of psychoanalysts has addressed the history of religions, prehistory, mythology and, especially, literature and art.  In this task, what psychoanalysts seek is to explain the psychological motivations lurking in the works of an artist.


It is clear that artistic creation reflects the artist’s inner world and, often, his unconscious.  From this point of view, nothing prevents their work from being analyzed using the same criteria that the therapist  uses to decipher the dreams of a patient.  In literature and contemporary visual arts, there are more or less avant-garde currents, such as Dada and Surrealism – which propose the incorporation of dream material into the artist’s work.  Regarding other times, it is known that Freud was inspired by Greek tragedy in naming some of the complexes that he discovered (the Oedipus complex or the Electra complex), and this was because the Greek dramatists showed many of the major conflicts detected by contemporary psychoanalysis in the psychic life of patients.  Authors such as Dostoyevsky, Stendhal and Flaubert set out an adjoining theme in their novels, almost always the neurosis or psychosis faced daily by the modern psychoanalyst in his clinic.  Examples are: parricide, with all its oedipal and totemic burden in The Brothers Karamazov; the will to power, in Stendhal’s Red and Black; emotional and sexual frustration in the provincial Madame Bovary who ends up committing suicide.


Psychoanalysis of Artwork:
The artist exhibits similar cases that the psychoanalyst attempts to resolve in their clinics and analyzes them carefully, although without a therapeutic purpose, using for this the prevailing literary or plastic techniques in each period of the history of culture.


Psychoanalysis of the Artist:
This constitutes in itself an unusual case: Why would a man feel the imperative of artistic vocation, renounce what his peers call “a normal life” and dedicate himself to the task – difficult, problematic and  financially unrewarding – of creating a work with words, shapes or sounds?  Freud would say due to sublimation.  That is to say, channeling the energy of his libido along courses different from the usual, and in this way, discharging the conflictive nature of its psychic contents.  The artist is, in many cases, a neurotic who self-analyses himself and often obtains true healing through the spirit.  Or who, at least, compensates and balances the shortcomings of his psyche, avoiding having them lead to the domains of pathology.


Freud and Art:
Freud published five brief works dedicated to the psychoanalysis of art.  They are: “Delirium and Dreams in Jensen’s Gradiva”; “A Childhood Memory of Leonardo da Vinci”; “The Moses of Michelangelo”; “A Childhood Memory of Goethe in Poetry and Truth”; and “Dostoyevsky and Parricide”.


Freud, at the beginning of “The Moses”, stated that he was ignorant in matters of art, although it attracted him greatly.  What called his attention the most was that the most impressive artistic creations were beyond our understanding and, in this respect, he concluded that what impressed us could only be the intention of the artist.


Some philosophers before Freud – Plato among them – had already studied the role of the unconscious in artistic creation.  It is often said that artists are dominated by a force beyond their will.  It is known that many poets write almost in a trance, as if they were hypnotized.


Others turn to alcohol or drugs with the intention of releasing the more profound contents of the unconscious.  Some scientists have come to consider the artist as crazy, classifying his works among the deliriums brought on by dementia.


According to Freud, the artist is a man who fails to completely satisfy his desires and who finds solace in creative invention.  In another paragraph he writes: “Artists, like neurotics, flee a reality that is hardly satisfactory to them and take refuge in a fantasy world, but – unlike the mentally ill – are able to find their way back.”


Freud, however, recognized that sexuality is not the only source of art and that there are two different aspects of this, on which psychoanalysis does not shed any light: the skills of the artist and the technical  means he uses for his work.



Is it Brilliance, Protégée or Extremely Talented

by Lida Prypchan
Brilliance, protégée, or extremely talented are terms often  used with one who has high intellect or spectacular talents that defy what is considered the norm.  Not often do we see the term brilliance utilized outside of this arena.  There are however times when one takes pause to explore the extraordinary accomplishments which do not seem to fit perfectly inside the box as the world would have. We have seen this around the world, children completing their college education long before their counterparts complete their high school education. Musical talents which cause the world to take note, whether it be because of the age of the musician or their extraordinary abilities.   As we explore the phenomena of these abilities, it is possibly common thought to not include those who may have less than what would be considered normal intelligence or diagnosed with a disorder that give the connotation of being less than or different.
One such disorder that has been demonstrative of spectacular and creative abilities is Autism.  According to the American Autism Association describes Autism as “…childhood-onset developmental disorder…defined by a triad of deficits in social reciprocity, communication, and repetitive behaviors or interests, each of which can occur at different levels of severity?” (Association, 2013).  “Autistic people are often thought of as “disabled”, but maybe it is the non-autistic people who truly are disabled in understanding the brilliance that could
lie behind autism. ’(Wise, 2010).  Therefore, often thought as an anomaly when one who is considered “disabled” demonstrates creative abilities beyond what is often considered possible.  Szalavitz, M. (2012) wrote of a study conducted by Ruthsatz and. Urbacheight of eight (8) child prodigies finding considerable similarities, characteristics and high levels of autistic traits.  Additionally, Maia conveyed while there are obvious similarities with extraordinary talent and the autistic spectrum little research has been embarked upon to date (2012).   As we explore this phenomena, we will introduce Glenn Gould, his extraordinary abilities and controversy surrounding the possibilities of an autism diagnosis.
References
Association, A. A. (2013, October 20). American Autism Association . Retrieved from American Autism Association : http://www.myautism.org/what-is-autism
Szalavitz, M. (2012, July 10). What Genius and Autism Have in Common. Time.
Wise, Caitie. Forming pathways: a theoretical review of autism. Diss. 2010

Glenn Gould: An Avoidable Presence


by Lida Prypchan
Glenn Gould has been described in many different ways…. An article written by Tom Service described Glenn as a “wilfully idiotic genius.” (Service, 2012).  He was also described him as “An avoidable presence”, “ahead of his time, a prophet even.”  Service conveys that even thirty years after Gould’s passing, he continues to contribute to an amazed and confuse music arena because of his abilities that some believe were presented before their time.   Gould’s idiocies at times caused other’s to pause…  Gould could be found with an overcoat and gloves no matter the temperature,  once being arrested in Florida for being a vagrant (Holland, 2007) , his seating did not change,  he  carried the same  folding chair with him (Service, 2012) Steve Shelokhonov wrote “Gould played his piano which was technically adjusted to his touch.” (Shelokhonov, n.d.) Holland questioned Gould’s following, was it warranted 30 years after his death. He believed Gould and his music came to life after his passing. Gould was different, his style, his music, his creations challenged other musicians with his eccentric ways.   (Holland, 2007)
Debates continue years after Gould’s death, as to whether Gould was autistic and while some believe this to be true because of the idiocies of Gould’s behaviors, others dismiss the idea.  Timothy Mahoney, a music historian spent a vast amount of time studying Gould and his mannerism, concluding that Gould most likely was autistic, believing Asperger’s disorder most likely fit Gould and his eccentric style.  According to Mahoney   “people with AS demonstrate exceptional skill or talent in a specific area. But because of their high degree of functionality and their naiveté, they are often viewed as eccentric or odd.” (Maloney, 2012).
Have Not …
Francis Merson did not believe Gould was autistic.  In an article titled “Gould not Asperger Sufferer”, Merson believed there were other reasons for Gould’s eccentric behaviors identifying extreme phobias or an obsessive personality (Merson, 2011).  Steven Laurent a clinical psychologist did not believe Gould experience the primary symptoms related to Asperger’s Disorder, limited social interaction, he postulated that Gould’s weaknesses were common place.  Gould as a social person and often interacted with others for hours.   Additionally, Gould was intimately involved with women, thus baring speculation that Gould was Asexual.
One eccentric behavior was Gould’s insistent finger tapping.  Richard Beauchamp (2005).  While it was believed to be an odd behavior, Gould believed the constant finger tapping maintained his “agile finger technique.” Beauchamp believed Gould suffered from some psychiatric disorder, however, would not lend to Asperger’s (Beauchamp, 2005).  Gould would also immerse his hands into hot water prior to a performance (2005).
There are many differences of opinion regarding Gould and his mental health issues.  The reality of gentleman is… he was eccentric and while he displayed some odd behaviors, Glenn Gould was a brilliant musician and composer who will be listened to for years to come.  
References
Beauchamp, R. (2005). Glen Gould and Finger Tapping. Retrieved from musician and health : http://www.musicandhealth.co.uk/articles/tapping.html
Holland, B. (2007, November 24). New York Times. Retrieved from Music: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/24/arts/music/24goul.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
Maloney, T. (2012, January 20). CBC. Retrieved from Digital Archives: http://www.cbc.ca/archives/categories/arts-entertainment/music/glenn-gould-variations-on-an-artist/a-rising-star.html
Merson, F. (2011, February 16). Glen Gould not Asperger’s Sufferer. Limelight.
Service, T. (2012, September 20). The Guardian . Retrieved from The Guardian : http://www.theguardian.com/music/2012/sep/20/glenn-gould-wilfully-idiotic-genius

Shelokhonov, S. (n.d.). IMDb. Retrieved from Biography: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0332384/bio#overview

PAVLOV


by Lida Prypchan

An Alternative to Freud

The traditional mind-body dualism posited by classical psychology is accepted by psychoanalysis; however, there exists an alternative to this approach that is presented by the Russian biologist Pavlov, who rejected the independence of psychic contents regarding vegetative functions and strove to overcome this contradiction through his theory of conditioned reflexes.  Pavlov claimed, “the psychologist is an individual who walks in darkness, guided by a small flashlight that only illuminates limited areas… On the other hand, our objective research on nervous system activity of the higher animals will pave the way so psychologists can discover the underlying laws in the intricate labyrinth of this inner world called the psyche. “


A Life Dedicated to Research:
Ivan Petrovich Pavlov was born on September 14, 1849 in the district of Ryazan in a town that today, in honor of his memory, is named Pavlovo.  He was the son of a priest.  He studied at the Faculty of Natural Sciences, Biology Department, of the University of Leningrad.  He graduated and received his doctorate with a thesis on the functioning of the centrifugal nerves of the heart.  Among his studies and research are: “Studies on the Nerves Regulating Pancreatic Secretion,” “Imaginary Food,” “Lessons on the Functioning of the Principal Digestive Glands,” and “The Physiology of Digestion”  From 1902 and for the rest of his life, he devoted himself to the study of the nervous system activity of the higher animals.

Discoveries and Theories:
His made four main contributions to contemporary scientific thought: “The Theory of Conditioned Reflexes,” “The Concept of Dynamic Stereotypes,” “The Reflex of Biological Caution,” and “The Painless Childbirth System.”  They all correspond to the fundamental notion that the behavior of higher animals holds a close relationship to environmental stimuli.

Pavlov was a typical representative of the experimental method.  As a psychologist, his principal contribution was in the absolute scientific rigor that he knew how to apply to a discipline dominated by assumptions and speculations.  In short, he did it in the way that Freud, Darwin, and Einstein did or would have done. He was a thinker, not a scientist in the sense that is usually attributed to this word in this day and age.

Conditioned Reflexes:
These are the body’s reaction to any external stimulus that is repeated various times under similar circumstances.  For example: the salivation caused in a hungry animal by the presence of an appetizing treat.  It is called “conditioned” because it not caused by the body, instead it is due to an external phenomenon.

The Experiment with Imaginary Food:
After the conditioned reflex of the dog’s salivation, Pavlov built laboratories isolated from the outside world and locked up a dog in said laboratories.  For several days, he fed the dog, accompanying each meal with sound from a metronome.  This was then repeated without providing the dog any food, which resulted in the animal secreting saliva as if it had the dish before it.

Dynamic Stereotypes:
For this, Pavlov locked up the dog in the laboratory and during the feeding would ring a bell while pricking the dog at the same time. The dog would secrete saliva and withdraw its paw.

Painless Childbirth:
Pavlov initiated this investigation, however, after his death it was his disciples who developed the concept of painless childbirth. They concluded that childbirth pains were just a conditioned reflex generated over centuries and whose precept was: “when you give birth, you will be in pain.”

When the woman is ready for childbirth, she is already so terrified that she behaves in an irrational manner and makes absurd movements that in turn are the true causes of the pain.  Consequently, it is necessary to educate the woman, teaching her the appropriate movements in order for her to abandon her neurotic attitude and give birth naturally.

Clearly, the psychological aspect of childbirth is important, but one must not forget the organic aspect of it that in one way or another produces pain.  Perhaps Pavlov thought that childbirth was an event where only the psychological part mattered, all the while forgetting the physical aspect of it.

Guilt is one of the most efficient methods that parents use for manipulating the actions of their children.  The tactic “you embarrassed us, what will the neighbors think?” is very useful.   The parent uses external forces to make the child feel bad for what he did and prevents him from thinking for himself.

The illness of a parent is a megafactory of guilt: “You’re making my blood pressure rise; you’re going to kill me.”  It may even go so far as to make a child feel responsible for the death of one of his parents.

Sexual guilt imposed by parents is very common.  All sexual thoughts or behavior are fertile grounds for the cultivation of this feeling. “God forbids you from masturbating.  It’s bad.”

In the case of marriage, pressure is placed on one of the spouses using the phrase “If you love me” in order to manipulate the other regarding something he/she did.  It is as if love depends on a determined type of behavior.

Resentments, pronounced silences, and pained looks are good methods to provoke guilt in others.  

Children are not the only ones putting into practice methods that produce guilt in their parents.  With a tantrum in the supermarket, they can get the desired candy.  And if they are not given it, then it is the parents who are not good.

Children, of course, learn to use this behavior with their parents by observing how the adults, in their world, use it to get what they want.

School and the Feeling of Guilt:
Teachers are the superlative originators of guilt, and children, as they are already highly prone to suggestion, are also very easy to manipulate.

Messages like, “What a disappointment you are going to be for your mother. How can you make your parents suffer after all they have done for you?”

Other Institutions That Cause Guilt:
In our society, the practice of tipping does not reflect the service or whether the attention was of good quality, but instead on the degree of guilt felt by the beneficiary of the service.  Waiters and waitresses, taxi drivers, bellhops and other domestic workers have realized that most people cannot cope with the feelings of guilt caused by not behaving properly, and that they will give the established tip without it bearing any relationship to the quality of service received.  Thus, the ostentatious gesture of the outstretched hand along with the nasty comments produce the intended sense of guilt, and result in a big tip.

Weight-loss diets are an activity loaded with guilt.  If someone who is on a diet eats a candy or has chocolate ice cream, he will feel guilty for the rest of the day, recalling his moment of weakness.

Guilt and Sex:
According to psychologists, sex is the activity that produces the most guilt in our society.

Parents cause guilt in children for acts or thoughts related sex.  But adults are not far behind. People surreptitiously enter into theaters in which pornographic movies are screened so that others do not see how depraved they are.

Those who are manipulated with feelings of guilt are condemned to live in resentment, dominated and manipulated by the desires and whims of others.  One of the most common problems we face is not doing that which we want to do, instead, doing what others want us to do.  We must stand our ground regarding matters and firmly maintain belief in ourselves.


It goes against human nature to be repentant for something that, at one point in time, we decided for ourselves.

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