While guns should certainly be kept from children and the mentally disturbed, behaving simplistically, as politicians tend to do following public distress, accomplishes little. The cause of the recent shooting atrocities is mental illness, virtually all deriving from lack of a "good enough" parenting during earliest childhood when the basic ego capacities governing control of thinking and behavior, modulation of mood, development of a sense of self, and the ability to separate fact from fantasy are formed. Yet no politician spoke this, doubtlessly because few know it since knowledge of child development is minimal even by doctors. What some seem to fear, even more greatly than guns, is awareness of the fearsome power of the unconscious. Can that a gun symbolizes this explain why it goes unspoken following shootings? Hmm...
A Psychologist's Thoughts on Clinical Practice, Behavior, and Life
Shooting Atrocities and Politician Response
The Attempted Murder of Justice Kavanaugh and the Often Ignored Power of the Unconscious
An unfortunate current development is the ignoring of unconscious factors in human behavior. Thus in our "I'm OK, You're OK" era on steroids, virtually any belief or action has now become acceptable no matter how weird it was once considered. But the murder attempt on Justice Kavanaugh evidences the power of unconscious motivation.
That the accused, twenty-six-year-old Nicholas Roske, is mentally disturbed cannot be questioned since he admitted this. "I wouldn't say I'm thinking clearly," he said in court. Yet his preparations--acquiring pistol, pepper spray, the Justice's home address, and more--indicates coherence. Fortunately before acting, Mr. Roske phoned the local emergency services, stating his murderous plan and asking for help. Thus did the sound logical conscious element of what psychologists call the Executive Function overcome the unconscious conflict driving him to kill. As I never tire of stating, the unconscious is very powerful and one must respect its power.
The Havana Syndrome and the Power of the Unconscious Mind
There has been much publicity about what has been termed the Havana Syndrome: debilitating physical and cognitive symptoms allegedly caused by an unknown foreign government. So certain is this origin that doctors relating these symptoms to psychological causation are ridiculed though experts insist that no evidence of such weapon has been found nor are they conceptually possible.
I have no special knowledge of the Havana Syndrome nor do I wish to minimize the symptoms or pain of its sufferers though the power of the unconscious generally tends to be ignored or minimized. All would prefer to believe they have ultimate power over their behavior. Which is true except when stress or emotions overpower it. Then physical symptoms can occur. Forty-to-sixty percent of those rushing to an Emergency Room, fearful that they are suffering a heart attack, are really suffering the extreme anxiety of Panic Attack during which the normal symptoms of anxiety are misinterpreted as a deadly medical event.
Anxiety symptoms can mimic virtually every physical disorder, even causing visual symptoms when stress causes an optical migraine. Nature behaves economically, having adapted systems to multiple uses with a large gland like the liver performing hundreds of tasks from processing glucose to generating hemoglobin.
A hospital coworker suffered recurring nightmares from which she awoke screaming with marks on her wrists, these being identical to those occurring when she had been repeatedly held down and sexually abused as a child.
The unconscious is very powerful and one must respect its power.
Psychology: The Amazing Power of the Unconscious Mind
Long ago a co-worker revealed a persisting nightmare which caused her to awake, screaming in panic, several times a week: that she was being held down by her wrists and sexually abused. This happened to her repeatedly when she was a child. Upon awakening there would be marks on her wrists where, in the dream, the attacker held her down. As I never tire of repeating: the unconscious mind is powerful and one must respect its power.
Anxiety Disorders, and the Retreat from Relating to Unconscious Motivation
After years on various medications and ( Read More