Vision # 2

Vision # 2

Next, Labels were projected onto each of the developmental age segments representing the damaging or impairing events that happen to some of the people of each age group.

2 Decompensation Model Revised

These labels represent only some of the possible damaging experiences that individuals and families may experience in each age segment. Most of these damaging events, now projected upon my evolving model, are well known to professionals and lay people alike. Psychologists call these experiences pathogenic because they are consistently associated with (and “suspected” of causing) higher than average rates of psychological disorders and problem behaviors among the people that experience them. In science, proving cause can be very difficult. We will discuss the problem of proving causation in materials to follow. However, no one should doubt that child abandonment, child abuse, teen pregnancy, and drug addiction, etc., commonly destroy human potential by putting the individuals who suffer these traumas at high risk for future biological, social, or psychological problems.

As I considered the implications of these thoughts and images, I became uncharacteristically shaken and fearful. My experiences in private practice and teaching college abnormal psychology and psychopathology of children and adolescence compelled my conclusion: I judged that steadily increasing proportions of America’s population had been experiencing these and other damaging events with predictable bad outcomes for them and America. I did not know the truth of this assumption, at that moment, but the implications of this possibility were frightening.

Whether the damaging influences are biological (in-utero toxic poisoning due to maternal alcohol or drug abuse, inherited tendencies to develop mental illness or other physical diseases, or contracting sexually transmitted diseases, etc.); or sociological (increased divorce rates, racial or gang violence, increasing proportions of children living in poverty, etc.); or psychological (impaired emotions, perceptions and behaviors due to the traumas of physical or emotional abuse by parents and care-takers, abandonment, or sexual abuse, etc.) the outcomes are similar. Very often, way too often, the damaging effects remain with the afflicted individuals as they mature and move from one age segment to the others until they begin to accumulate and remain, for the longest time, within the adult population. It is important to remember that as these individuals move through the segments of the developmental continuum they interact with thousands of other individuals who may, or may not,  yet have any of the problems or risks of problems that the origionally affected individuals.

Why don’t you think about the implications of this fact until I post the next segment of The Vision in a day or so.

VTM, 8/3/09


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2 Responses to “Vision # 2”

  1. vtmawhinney Says:

    vtmawhinney Says:

    September 2, 2009 at 9:54 PM | Reply edit


    As my blog moves along, I will write more of behavioral contagion. This is the spread of behavioral influences within a population via scientifically validated biological, psychological or sociological mechanisms (biopsychsocial mechanisms). Your concern is the influence of chemicals on our health. Health to me is not only biological it is behavioral in that health determines the amount of human energy available to sustain the individual and the society. You are worried about the effects of biological pollution on individuals and their societies. I too am very concerned. If I can find my older writings on that topic, I will post them in the future. For now, I fear, with you, that we have no idea what such chemicals (or interactions between these chemicals) will do to our biopsychosocial well-being in the future. The relatively recent dramatic increase in rates of Autism, and our confusion about why this increase has occured, is just one example.

    Other creatures further down the food chain are reportedly showing the effects of pollution (two headed frogs, and other creatures that are malformed). I am no expert on this subject matter, but I have read that increased rates of this stuff in some species has been thought to be caused by chemically induced mutations. A review of the scientific literature on this problem is needed. If you chose to do this, be sure that you look for good quality professional research journals. I hope to do such a review, in time, for a book that I am writing. Tom


  2. Jana Martin Says:

    As someone who suffers from an elusive condition, (doctors don’t know exactly what causes it or how to cure it), I am interested in the many theories I’ve studied. The number of new chemicals dumped into our environment since world war II is untold. Pesticides sprayed on our food mimics hormones in our bodies and unbalances our systems. I’ve read that autism, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and multiple chemical sensitivities are rising dramatically. I wonder how the slow unseen poisoning of our earth fits into your vision.


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