About Adoptee Rage

Statistics Identify large populations of Adoptees in prisons, mental hospitals and committed suicide.
Fifty years of scientific studies on child adoption resulting in psychological harm to the child and
poor outcomes for a child's future.
Medical and psychological attempts to heal the broken bonds of adoption, promote reunions of biological parents and adult children. The other half of attempting to repair a severed Identity is counselling therapy to rebuild the self.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Child Neglect and Adult PTSD Statistics & Guidelines

Child Neglect & Adult PTSD Stats & Guidelines

Child Neglect and Adult PTSD

Child neglect is more common than you might think.

Comfort, nourishment, shelter, and care should be things that a child can take for granted. Unfortunately, child neglect is a rampant problem that statistically exceeds child physical and sexual abuse in the U.S. 2006 reporting statistics by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services concluded that:
  • Children in the U.S. were abused or neglected at the rate of 1.23%
  • Out of that number, 64.2% experienced neglect
  • 1,530 children died of abuse or neglect that year
  • Roughly half the victims were of each sex, with only a slightly higher incidence of neglect victims being female
The National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System defines neglect as "a type of maltreatment that refers to the failure by the caregiver to provide needed, age-appropriate care although financially able to do so or offered financial or other means to do so." (USDHHS, 2007) Neglect is a unique type of trauma because only children (and, in some cases, dependant adults) are susceptible. In order to experience neglect, a person must be reliant on others for their physical and emotional wellbeing. This vulnerability means that victims of child neglect are predisposed to experiencing related trauma (including PTSD) later in life.

Physical Neglect - Children need the same basic necessities as everyone: food, clothing, shelter. However, they are reliant on others to provide these necessities. If a provider is not ensuring that their trustee is given these essentials, it is considered neglect. Physical neglect might mean that a parent is neglecting to provide adequately nutritious meals consistently, or it might mean that a parent has literally abandoned their child.
Educational neglect - Failure to provide a child with adequate education in the form of enrolling them in school or providing adequate home schooling. Not providing a stable home environment that will enable the child to participate in school, chronic tardiness and absence due to the parents inability to get the child to school punctually, getting the child to school dirty, hungry, sleepy, sick and distressed. 
Emotional neglect - Consistently ignoring, rejecting, verbally abusing, teasing, withholding love, isolating, or terrorizing a child. Emotional neglect can also include subjecting a child to corruptive or exploitative situations (such as illegal drug use).
Medical neglect - American Humane.org cites Medical Neglect as "the failure to provide appropriate health care for a child (although financially able to do so), thus placing the child at risk of being seriously disabled or disfigured or dying." Of all the types of neglect, this is the trickiest to diagnose because religious or financial factors can play an adverse role in a child receiving appropriate medical care.
According to Child Welfare.gov, child neglect can lead to problems as an adult which may include: 3
Physical consequences - such as failure of the brain to develop properly due to malnutrition and other medical issues; also, poor physical health in general which can lead to an array of problems later on
Psychological consequences - low self esteem, problems maintaining healthy relationships, depression, PTSD, eating disorders, suicide attempts, cognitive learning disability, social disabilities, and other issues
Behavioral consequences - juvenile delinquency, alcohol and drug abuse, criminal or abusive behavior.
The dangers of neglect can be dire for a child's healthy development. Without proper care, children are in danger of not developing properly due to malnutrition, physical injury, or illness. But the hidden danger of child neglect - the one that may not be apparent for many years but which can stick with a person for their lifetime - is the risk of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that can affect them psychologically and emotionally in the long-term.
The psychological principle of attachment theory proposes that children become psychologically attached to their caregivers (and particularly their mothers) as infants in order to establish a vital sense of security. 4 In nature's terms, keeping a child attached to the mother increases its chances of survival. So it stands to reason that being neglected is an affront to the "healthy, normal" sense of attachment that nature desires for children to have with their caregiver(s).
According to extensive research done by psychologist Mary Ainsworth in the 1970's (published in her groundbreaking study Strange Situation), "What happens to children who do not form secure attachments? Research suggests that failure to form secure attachments early in life can have a negative impact on behavior in later childhood and throughout their life. Children diagnosed with oppositional-defiant disorder (ODD), conduct disorder (CD), or (PTSD) frequently display attachment problems, possibly due to early abuse, neglect, or trauma. In other words, children who experience neglect early in life may be at risk for a lifetime of trouble attaching properly in relationships.
Another reason that child neglect can lead to such a wide array of development and psychological problems is that children (particularly, infants) need a certain amount and type of input for their brain development to proceed normally through it's various growth states. When deprived of appropriate input and stimulation, the brain may not develop normally, and this can affect brain functioning later on, which can affect an individual in many ways.
Not all children who experience neglect will experience long-term reactions. Factors determining whether the effects of abuse will be long-term include: 
  1. The child's age when the neglect occurred
  2. The type of neglect
  3. The frequency and duration

Child Neglect (known as an "act of omission".) On the other end of the spectrum of Child Abuse is physical abuse, an act of commission.

According to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services statistics for 2006, approximately 905,000 U.S. children were found to have been maltreated that year, with 16% of them reported as physically abused (the remainder having suffered sexual abuse or neglect.)  In other studies, it's been noted that approximately 14-43% of children have experienced at least one traumatic abusive event prior to adulthood. And according to The American Humane Association (AHA), an estimated 1,460 children died in 2005 of abuse and neglect.

 Many child abusers are not aware when their behavior becomes harmful to a child or how to deal with their own overwhelm before they lose their tempers.

At its core, any type of abuse of children constitutes exploitation of the child's dependence on and attachment to the parent.

Another therapeutic term that is used in conjunction with child abuse is "interpersonal victimization." According to the book Childhood victimization: violence, crime, and abuse in the lives of young people by David Finkelhor, interpersonal victimization can be defined as "...harm that comes to individuals because other humans have behaved in ways that violate social norms. This sets all forms of abuse apart from other types of trauma-causing-victimization like illness, accidents, and natural disasters.
Finkelhor goes on to explain: "Child victimizations do not fit neatly into conventional crime categories. While children suffer all the crimes that adults do, many of the violent and deviant behaviors engaged in by humans to harm children have ambiguous status as crimes. The physical abuse of children, although technically criminal, is not frequently prosecuted and is generally handled by social-control agencies other than the police and criminal courts. 

What happens to abused children?

In some cases—depending on the number of reports made, the severity of the abuse, and the available community resources—children may be separated from their parents and grow up in group homes or foster care situations, where further abuse can happen either at the hands of other abused children who are simply perpetuating a familiar patterns or the foster parents themselves. In 2004, 517,000 children were living in foster homes, and in 2005, a fifth of reported child abuse victims were taken out of their homes after child maltreatment investigations. Sometimes, children do go back to their parents after being taken away, but these statistics are slim. It's easy to imagine that foster care and group home situations, while they may ease the incidence of abuse in a child's life, can lead to further types of alienation and trauma.

How does child abuse turn into Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

For children that have suffered from abuse, it can be complex getting to the root of childhood trauma in order to alleviate later symptoms as adults. The question is, how does child abuse turn into Post Traumatic Stress Disorder later in life? What are the circumstances that cause this to happen in some cases and not others?
Statistics show that females are much more likely than males to develop PTSD as a result of experiencing child abuse. Other factors that help determine whether a child victim will develop PTSD:
  • The degree of perceived personal threat
  • The developmental state of the child: Some professionals surmise that younger children, because they are less likely to intellectually understand and interpret the effects of a traumatic situation, may be less at risk for long-term PTSD
  • The relationship of the victim to the perpetrator
  • The level of support the victim has in his day-to-day life as well as the response of the caregiver.
  • Guilt: A feeling of responsibility for the attack ("I deserve it") is thought to exacerbate the changes of PTSD
  • Resilience: the innate ability to cope of the individual
  • The child's short-term response to abuse: For instance, an elevated heart rate post-abuse has been documented as increasing the likelihood that the victim will be later suffer from PTSD.
Carolyn Knight wrote a book called Working With Adult Survivors of Childhood Trauma that states: "Trauma, by definition, is the result of exposure to an inescapably stressful event that overwhelms a person's coping mechanisms. She points out that an important aspect of an event (or pattern of events) is that it exceeds the victim's ability to cope and is therefore overwhelming. A child should not have to cope with abuse, and when abuse occurs, a child is not equipped psychologically to process it. The adults in their lives are meant to be role models on how to regulate emotions and provide a safe environment.

According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, some of the particular symptoms of child PTSD include:

  • Frequent memories and/or talk of the traumatic event(s)
  • Bad dreams
  • Repeated physical or emotional symptoms whenever the child is confronted with the event
  • Fear of dying
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Regular physical complaints such as headaches or stomachaches
  • Extreme emotional reactions
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Irritability, anger, violence
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Constant or often clingy or whiny behavior and regression to a younger age
  • Increased vigilance or alertness to their environment
Once a child has grown to be an adult, however, symptoms of PTSD can become more subtle as he or she learns how to cope with this in day-to-day life. The symptoms of PTSD can be quite general and can mimic other disorders: depression, anxiety, hypervigilance, problems with alcohol and drugs, sleep issues, and eating disorders are just a few. Many have problems in their relationships and trusting another person again. Many even end up in abusive relationships and find themselves re-enacting the past.
Community support is a vital tool in preventing child abuse and the PTSD that can result from it. If you suspect that you or a loved one is suffering from child abuse, please report it to your local Child Protection Services - or the police, if a child is in immediate danger. The longer that abuse continues, the higher the risk of causing severe symptoms.

If you or a loved one may be suffering from delayed effects of trauma due to childhood abuse, I encourage you to make a therapy appointment with someone who specializes in trauma and who can put you on a path of healing.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Canadian Adopted Child's Legal Rights and Protections, Unlike the U.S. Ownership Adoption Laws and Acceptance of Dominanting behavior Over Adopted Children


"The Legal Rights to Adopted Children" in Canadian Authority Adopted children's Legal Rights Listed.


Adoptees’ Rights and Responsibilities

An adoptee has the moral right to know the circumstances of their adoption. In even the least open adoption, non-indentifying information about the birth parents (including social and medical histories) is provided to the adoptive family. Adoptive families are educated about the importance of ensuring that their child is provided with this information in a comprehensive but sensitive way.

There are no laws in Ontario that can force the adoptive family to complete this important parenting responsibility; upon the adoptee’s 18th birthday, however, the adoption records will be made open to the adoptee (and, one year later, to the birth parents) regardless under the 2008 Access to Adoption Records Act. The records made available include identifying information of all parties, birth names and adoptive names (if different) of the adoptee, social and medical profiles of the birth parents, and a copy of the originaladoption order.
 Adoptees whose adoptions were finalized before September 1, 2008 may still apply for a Disclosure Veto to prevent their records from being made available to their birth parents. Likewise their birth parents may have requested a disclosure veto to prevent information from flowing in the other direction. There is no veto option for adoptions finalized on or after September 1, 2008. There is, however, the option to apply for a No Contact Notice or Notice of Contact Preference. If a No-Contact Notice is requested, all information will still be available to the birth parents, but they will be prohibited by law from attempting to contact the adoptee. A Notice of Contact Preference, on the other hand, indicates that the adoptee is open to being contacted by their birth parents but limits the channels by which that contact may be made (only by e-mail, for example). It is important to note that No Contact Notices and Notices of Contact Preference may only be filed by the adoptee themself, not by their adoptive parents.
Adoptees whose adoption was finalized before September 1, 2008 and whose birth parents have filed for a disclosure veto may still request information in the case of a medical emergency. This request is called a Severe Medical Search and is only granted in the case of a severe physical or mental illness suffered by an adoptee or one of their direct descendants. A medical professional must complete a portion of the Severe Medical Search request warranting that medical information from the birth family could be of direct medical benefit in diagnosing or treating the condition.
Adoptees are also, of course, entitled to all the natural rights granted to all children in Ontario. These include the legal rights protected by Children’s Aid Societies throughout the province as well as all the moral rights intrinsic in childhood. Adoptees have the right to a loving and caring home, the right to self-determination and a bright future, and the right to be treated with equality and respect in all social environments.

"Adopted Child Abuse" "Abuse of Adopted Children" Psychology Expert Carole J. Anderson "Child Abuse & Adoption" 1991


Child Adoption's Link To Adopted Child Abuse

Carole J. Anderson, “Child Abuse & Adoption,” 1991

In fact, what is child abuse? All states have definitions, but these definitions differ considerably. Some include not only physical and sexual abuse but also psychological abuse; others do not. Some include neglect, another term with a multitude of definitions. . . . Should abuse be measured by the damage to a child’s body or by the damage to a child’s psyche? .  . .
Risk factors for abuse
Although we don’t know exactly how much abuse there is, only that most of it is unreported, there are things we know about abuse. We know that one risk factor is diferentness. If mom, dad and two of their children are stocky blonds while one of the children is a slender redhead, the redhead is at greater risk of abuse. This is true of personality differences as well. A child who does not seem to fit in, who seems alien in looks or disposition, is more likely to be abused.
Another risk factor is separation. . . .
Lack of blood ties is another risk factor. . . .
The adoption connection
I used to think none of this had anything to do with adoption. When I first heard from abused adoptees, I responded much the same as social workers have responded to searching, unhappy birthparents: I thought they were the rare exceptions. But over the years, I’ve had a lot of letters from adoptees who report they were abused. I’ve talked to a lot of adoptees who were abused. The sheer number of them made me take a closer look. . . .
Many adoptees seem, even as adults, to express the same kinds of feelings as abused children. This cannot all be coincidence. Granting that there may be substantial numbers of adoptees who are physically or sexually abused, and even larger numbers who are psychologically abused, it seems we see abused child attitudes in a majority of adoptees.
Adoption’s inherent abuse of children and families
Adoption itself inflicts psychological harm on adoptees. Adoption means the near-impossibility of either adoptee or adoptive parent being able to take their relationship for granted. Because the parent-child relationship is established by law and not by nature, the relationship cannot be regarded as a simple fact of life as it is in natural families, by either adoptees or adoptive parents.
We often read of adoptive parents being the “psychological parents” of adoptees. Yet what does being a “psychological parent” mean? It means that the relationship is not natural, not clear cut. It means that in adoptive families, the parent-child relationship may be something that must be continually proved because it cannot be assumed. One way adoptive parents may seek to “prove” that they are “the” parents and are necessary to adoptees is to make themselves essential, which may mean being more controlling than the typical parent. One way adoptees may “prove” they are their adoptive parents’ children is by being more childlike, more immature, more dependent than typical sons and daughters, even when they are chronologically adults. . . .
Some adoptees may be less harmed by the disruption of the natural bond with their birthmothers than others. Some adoptive parents are better at empathizing than are others. Some are able to love and accept the children they adopt for who they really are, while others will never stop trying to mold adoptees into the natural children they could not have. But still adoption itself, I think, harms children. . . . Inside every adoptee lurks an abandoned child, and that child hurts. . . .
Yes, I know that some non-adopted children are damaged by abuse, poverty or other ills. I know many single parents have one or more risk factors in their families. Yet most, maybe all, of the problems that face vulnerable natural parents can be eliminated by societal and familial support, while the problems that occur in adoption, particularly when the parents are infertile and the adoption is closed, are inherent in adoption and cannot be prevented or eliminate

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Existential Crisis in Adult Adoptee's and Post Adoption Reunion Existentially Lost


The Existential Crisis in Adult Adoptee's,               Existential Loss In Post Adoption Reunion. __________________________________________

The adult adoptee that has arrived full circle from child adoption, identity search, adoption reunion and the place of realization where the adoptee's reality reflects that he belongs neither here nor there. The emptiness of the discontinuity of the forever severed bonds, the realization of the adoptive repulsion of difference and the continued lack of and failure of true identity that was not recovered through revisiting the past. Although a necessary ritual needed to reveal truths that is a desperate driven need to reveal, understand and live in the truth of the forever adoptee's crisis to destroy secrecy in his existence. 
Unfortunately the life of the adoptee beginning in biological abandonment, continued in child adoption secrecy, the forced false assumed identity and the reality of adoption's repulsive difference and compensation coping. The cycle of the search for biological truth and the reality realization of not belonging neither there (biological family) or here 
(adoptive family). The adoptee's reality of existence as an Island, and not a bridge to biological and adoptive groups, leaves the adoptee in the continuous misery of the plight of disconnection in the world he exists. The adoptee's reality of not belonging to anyone and without ties to anywhere that the adoptee is quite familiar with and the unrelenting, disappointing truth, verity and actuality of the fact of being disconnected, all alone in the world that he must continue to live this way as the island, or as the stranger in a crowded room of people he knows. The adoptee see's no comfort or respite from the miserable feelings that plague him, known only to him the sometimes unbearable loneliness that lies at the core of his difference from others. No amount of therapy, medications, drugs or alcohol can erase, numb or change the peculiarity of the adoptee that disconnects him from society and lies at his foundation of who he is not. The adoptee is the poster child of the forever adopted child who is existentially lost, and can never be recovered.

The adopted child's purpose in society, is thought of a life long role, but the timeline of purposeful service is about ten years. When the child's growth can no longer conceal his differences to the adoptive parent.
The adopted child's purpose is cut short by the group's growing repulsion of the adopted child's metamorphosis in to the appearance of his biological group which causes mistrust, repulsion, and reevaluation of the group's tolerance of the outsider and the predictable rejection from the group. The adopted child can no longer rely on coping mechanisms from childhood to compensate for the growing differences. The adopted child is mentally or physically discharged from service but did not develop his own true identity that would have given the child the tools to engage in society and the adoptee is left to flounder without social skills, personable talents and self esteem or respect that propel people into the world to conquer and claim.
The plight of the adopted child lies in society's role and rejection of the unwanted child and exists in society's utilization of the unwanted child to fulfill the temporary purpose and what is left over after the temporary purpose of adoption is fulfilled.     

Existential crisis

An existential crisis is a moment at which an individual questions the very foundations of their life: whether their life has any meaning, purpose or value. This issue of the meaning and purpose of existence is the topic of the philosophical school of existentialism.


An existential crisis may result from:
  • The sense of being alone and isolated in the world;
  • A new-found grasp or appreciation of one's mortality;
  • Believing that one's life has no purpose or external meaning;
  • Searching for the meaning of life;
  • Shattering of one's sense of reality, or how the world is;
  • Awareness of one's freedom and the consequences of accepting or rejecting that freedom;
  • An extremely pleasurable or hurtful experience that leaves one seeking meaning;
An existential crisis is often provoked by a significant event in the person's life — psychological trauma, marriage, separation, major loss, the death of a loved one, a life-threatening experience, a new love partner, psychoactive drug use, adult children leaving home, reaching a personally-significant age (turning 16, turning 40, etc.), etc. Usually, it provokes the sufferer's introspection about personal mortality, thus revealing the psychological repression of said awareness.
An existential crisis may resemble anomie (a personal condition resulting from a lack of norms) or a midlife crisis. Sometimes, an existential crisis stems from a person's new perception of life and existence. Analogously, existentialism posits that a person can and does define the meaning and purpose of his or her life, and therefore must choose to resolve the crisis of existence.
In existentialist philosophy, the term 'existential crisis' specifically relates to the crisis of the individual when they realize that they must always define their own lives through the choices they make. The existential crisis occurs when one recognizes that even the decision to either refrain from action or withhold assent to a particular choice is, in itself, a choice. In other words, humankind is "condemned" to freedom.

Handling existential crises

There is no single given psychotherapy method in modern psychology known to coerce a person out of existential despair; the issue is seldom, if at all, addressed from a medical standpoint.
Peter Wessel Zapffe, a Norwegian philosopher, provided a fourfold route in his work The Last Messiah, that he believed all self conscious  beings use in order to cope with the inherent indifference and absurdity of existence, comprising "anchoring, "isolation", "distraction, and "sublimation":
  • Anchoring is the "fixation of points within, or construction of walls around, the liquid fray of consciousness". The anchoring mechanism provides individuals with a value or an ideal that allows them to focus their attentions in a consistent manner. Zapffe also applied the anchoring principle to society, and stated "God, the Church, the State, morality, fate, the laws of life, the people, the future" are all examples of collective primary anchoring firmaments.
  • Isolation is "a fully arbitrary dismissal from consciousness of all disturbing and destructive thought and feeling".
  • Distraction occurs when "one limits attention to the critical bounds by constantly enthralling it with impressions". Distraction focuses all of one's energy on a task or idea to prevent the mind from turning in on itself.
  • Sublimation is the refocusing of energy away from negative outlets, toward positive ones. The individual distances him or herself and looks at his or her existence from an aesthetic point of view (e.g. writers, poets, painters). Zapffe himself pointed out that his written works were the product of sublimation.
Intense vipassana meditation will usually bring about a set of experiences, referred to as the "dark night of the soul" by Western spiritual traditions, that resemble the typical symptoms of an existential crisis. During the "dark night", meditators become severely discouraged in regard to practice and life in general, although continuing meditation is said to be the way to overcome this difficult stage.
Cultural contexts
In the 19th century, Kierkegaard considered that angst and existential despair would appear when an inherited or borrowed world-view (often of a collective nature) proved unable to handle unexpected and extreme life-experiences. Neitzsche extended his views to suggest that the so-called Death of God - the loss of collective faith in religion and traditional morality - created a more widespread existential crisis for the philosophically aware.
Existential crisis has indeed been seen as the inevitable accompaniment of modernism (c.1890-1945 and beyond). Where Durkheim saw individual crises as the by-product of social pathology and a (partial) lack of collective norms, others have seen existentialism as arising more broadly from the modernist crisis of the loss of meaning throughout the modern world. Its twin answers were either a religion revivified by the experience of anomie (as with Martin Buber), or an individualistic existentialism based on facing directly the absurd contingency of human fate within a meaningless and alien universe, as with Sartre and Camus.
 Fredric Jameson has suggested that postmodernism with its saturation of social space by a visual consumer culture has replaced the modernist angst of the traditional subject, and with it the existential crisis of old, by a new social pathology of flattened affect and a fragmented subject.

Literary examples

Prince Hamlet experiences an existential crisis as a result of the death of his father. This is shown especially by Shakespeare in the famous soliloquy which starts, "To be, or not to be: that is the question..."

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Predictable Identity Crisis A Constant Within the Adopted


The Predictable Identity Crisis, A Constant Within the Adopted __________________________________________

Identity crisis, according to psychologist Erik Erikson,                           is the failure to achieve ego identity during adolescence.
In adopted children and in adolescence the child's psychological and cognitive reasoning become stressed, uncomfortable and unrelenting ambiguity regarding the birth certificate identity and the adoption legal identity change. The adolescent adopted child's attempt to "satisfy the adoptive parent Identity" and the defense mechanism "coping Identity" and the conflict between who the child presently is without the presence of the adoptive parents, and who the adoptee was, can be, or could be in his secret life that the adoptee keeps from everyone. The adoptee will attempt to reduce the cognitive dissonance that he feels and  overwhelms his brain with truth., By denying his own needs, desires and truths, the adopted child will exhaust effort to please the adoptive parents, who demand his daily proof of allegiance and continued support in the adoptive family continues at the child's expense of identity formation. The adoptee will put off true identity for some future time that will never be convenient, until the very core of the adopted child's being is in question, crisis or too late, psychopathy. 

The stage of psychosocial development in which identity crisis may occur is called the Identity Cohesion versus Role Confusion stage. During this stage (adolescence), we are faced with physical growth, sexual maturation, and integrating our ideas of ourselves and about what others think of us and in the adopted child, the continued existence of two identities, one that must be kept hidden from parents.  We therefore form our self-image and endure the task of resolving the crisis of our basic ego identity. Successful resolution of the crisis depends on one’s progress through previous developmental stages centering on issues such as trust, autonomy, and initiative. When there is no parental trust, autonomy or the parent's lack of acceptance of the adolescent adult's progress, status, Identity formation can not occur in normal age appropriate development.


Those who emerge from the adolescent stage of personality development with a strong sense of identity are well equipped to face adulthood with confidence and certainty. This sort of unresolved crisis leaves individuals struggling to “find themselves.” They may go on to seek a negative identity, which may involve crime or drugs or the inability to make defining choices about the future. “The basic strength that should develop during adolescence is fidelity, which emerges from a cohesive ego identity”.
Erikson's own interest in identity began in childhood. born Ashkenazic Jewish, Erikson felt that he was an outsider. His later studies of cultural life among the Yurok of northern California and the Sioux of South Dakota helped formalize Erikson's ideas about identity development and identity crisis. Erikson described those going through an identity crisis as exhibiting confusion.
They often seem to have no idea who or what they are, where they belong or where they want to go. They may withdraw from normal life, not taking action or acting as they usually would at work, in their marriage or at school. They may even turn to negative activities, such as crime or drugs, as a way of dealing with identity crisis. To someone having an identity crisis, it is more acceptable to them to have a negative identity than none at all.
Erikson felt that peers have a strong impact on the development of ego identity during adolescence. He believed that association with negative groups such as cults or fanatics could actually "redistrict" the developing ego during this fragile time. The basic strength that Erikson found should develop during adolescence is fidelity, which only emerges from a cohesive ego identity. Fidelity is known to encompass sincerity, genuineness and a sense of duty in our relationships with other people.
Erikson described identity as "a subjective sense as well as an observable quality of personal sameness and continuity, paired with some belief in the sameness and continuity of some shared world image. As a quality of unself-conscious living, this can be gloriously obvious in a young person who has found himself as he has found his communality. In him we see emerge a unique unification of what is irreversibly given—that is, body type and temperament, giftedness and vulnerability, infantile models and acquired ideals—with the open choices provided in available roles, occupational possibilities, values offered, mentors met, friendships made, and first sexual encounters.

Marcian theory and identity crises

James Marcia's research on identity statuses of adolescents also apply to Erickson's framework of identity crises in adolescents.
Identity foreclosure is an identity status which Marcia claimed is an identity developed by an individual without much choice. "The foreclosure status is when a commitment is made without exploring alternatives. Often these commitments are based on parental ideas and beliefs that are accepted without question and forced on the child.  Identity foreclosure can attribute to identity crises in adolescents when the "security blanket" of their assumed identity is removed. These "foreclosed individuals often go into crisis, not knowing what do to do without being able to rely on the norms, rules, and situations to which they have been accustomed. An example of this would be a son of a farmer who learns that his father is selling the farm, and whose identity as an heir to a farm and the lifestyle and identity of a farmer has been shaken by that news.
Identity diffusion is a Marcian identity status that can lead to identity crises in adolescents. Identity diffusion can be described as "the apathetic state that represents the relative lack of both exploration and commitment. Identity diffusion can overlap with diagnoses such as schizophrenia and depression, and can best be described as a lack of identity structure. An example of an identity crisis emerging from this status is an adolescent who becomes recluse after his identity as a star athlete is destroyed by a serious injury.
Identity moratorium is the status that Marcia theorizes last the longest in individuals, be the most volatile, and can be best described as "the active exploration of alternatives. Individuals experiencing identity moratorium can be very open-minded and thoughtful but also in crisis over their identity. An example of this would be a college student who lacks conviction in their future after changing majors multiple times but still cannot seem to find their passion.
Identity achievement is the resolution to many identity crises. Identity achievement occurs when the adolescent has explored and committed to important aspects of their identity.
Which leads the adoptee in identity crisis not knowing what was real, what was coping, what did I like or what did I do well at? It is all a jumble of bad memories, and here I am at the wall of no direction or knowledge about who I am or Who Could I Be If I knew the right questions to ask myself? 


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Adopted Child's Coping with Domestic Violence


Adopted Child's Coping Use of Domestic Violence

As you will notice in the outline of Coping 
Psychology is the "avoidance of the obvious problem". In adopted child abuse, sexual abuse,       the psychological sabotage and maltreatment of adopted children, the problem identified by the adoptive parent is the poor behavior, bad grades  and bad attitude of the adopted child. Although  the abused adopted child's problem is the domestic violence at home, the adoptive parent's alcoholism, husband and wife's chronic late night return home fighting. The inconsistent home environment caused by the partying parent's chronic absence from the home keeping the child hypervigilent at their return.

The adoptive parent wants the psychologist to alter the adopted child's coping behavior. The coping behavior is in response to the adoptive parent's misbehavior. The adopted child is essentially "surviving", existing day to day in between the parent's outbreaks of anger and violence. The psychologist will not approach the parent regarding the adoptive parent's dangerous behavior causing the adopted child's coping. The adoptive parent if approached by the psychological professional, would fire the therapist on the spot. Nor does the therapist report the incidence of domestic violence to authorities about the disruptive adoptive home.  
There is no way to benefit in this adoption triangle.
So the adopted child continues "coping" to survive,
does no better in school, everything stays the same.

Coping Psychology

In psychology, coping is expending conscious effort to solve personal and interpersonal problems, and seeking to master, minimize or tolerate stress or conflict. The effectiveness of the coping efforts depend on the type of stress and/or conflict, the particular individual, and the circumstances.
Psychological coping mechanisms are commonly termed coping strategies or coping skills. Unconscious or non conscious strategies Defense Mechanisms are generally excluded. The term coping generally refers to adaptive or constructive coping strategies, i.e. the strategies reduce stress levels. However, some coping strategies can be considered maladaptive, i.e. stress levels increase. Maladaptive coping can thus be described, in effect, as non-coping. Furthermore, the term coping generally refers to reactive coping, i.e. the coping response follows the stressor. This contrasts with proactive coping, in which a coping response aims to head off a future stressor.
Coping responses are partly controlled by personality (habitual traits), but also partly by the social environment, particularly the nature of the stressful environment. Most of an adopted child's stress is based in the adoptive home and the perpetrators are the adoptive parents. 
Types of coping strategies
Hundreds of coping strategies have been identified. Classification of these strategies into a broader architecture has not yet been agreed upon. Common distinctions are often made between various contrasting strategies, for example: problem-focused versus emotion-focused; engagement versus disengagement; cognitive versus behavioral. The psychology textbook by Weiten identifies three broad types of coping strategies:
  • appraisal-focused: Directed towards challenging one's own assumptions, adaptive cognitive
  • problem-focused: Directed towards reducing or eliminating a stressor, adaptive behavioral
  • emotion-focused: Directed towards changing one's own emotional reaction
Appraisal-focused strategies occur when the person modifies the way they think, for example: employing denial or distancing oneself from the problem. People may alter the way they think about a problem by altering their goals and values, such as by seeing the humor in a situation: "some have suggested that humor may play a greater role as a stress moderator among women than men".
People using problem-focused strategies try to deal with the cause of their problem. They do this by finding out information on the problem and learning new skills to manage the problem. Problem-focused coping is aimed at changing or eliminating the source of the stress. The three problem-focused coping strategies identified by Folkman and Lazarus are taking control, information seeking, and evaluating the pros and cons.
Emotion-focused strategies involve releasing pent-up emotions, distracting oneself, managing hostile feelings, meditation or using systematic relaxation procedures. Emotion-focused coping "is oriented toward managing the emotions that accompany the perception of stress". The five emotion-focused coping strategies identified by Folkman and Lazarus are disclaiming, escape-avoidance, accepting responsibility or blame, exercising self-control, and positive reappraisal. Emotion-focused coping is a mechanism to alleviate distress by minimizing, reducing, or preventing, the emotional components of a stressor. This mechanism can be applied through a variety of ways, such as seeking social support, reappraising the stressor in a positive light, accepting responsibility, using avoidance, exercising self-control, and distancing. The focus of this coping mechanism is to change the meaning of the stressor or transfer attention away from it. For example, reappraising tries to find a more positive meaning of the cause of the stress in order to reduce the emotional component of the stressor. Avoidance of the emotional distress will distract from the negative feelings associated with the stressor. Emotion-focused coping is well suited for stressors that seem uncontrollable (ex. a terminal illness diagnosis, or the loss of a loved one). Some mechanisms of emotion focused coping, such as distancing or avoidance, can have alleviating outcomes for a short period of time, however they can be detrimental when used over an extended period. Positive emotion-focused mechanisms, such as seeking social support, and positive re-appraisal, are associated with beneficial outcomes.
Typically, people use a mixture of all three types of coping strategies, and coping skills will usually change over time. All these methods can prove useful, but some claim that those using problem-focused coping strategies will adjust better to life. Problem-focused coping mechanisms may allow an individual greater perceived control over their problem, whereas emotion-focused coping may sometimes lead to a reduction in perceived control (maladaptive coping).
Lazarus "notes the connection between his idea of 'defensive reappraisals' or cognitive coping and Freud's concept of 'ego-defenses'", coping strategies thus overlapping with a person's defense mechanisms.

Positive techniques (adaptive or constructive coping)

One positive coping strategy, anticipating a problem, is known as proactive coping. Anticipation is when one reduces the stress of some difficult challenge by anticipating what it will be like and preparing for how one is going to cope with it.
Two others are social coping, such as seeking social support from others, and meaning-focused coping, in which the person concentrates on deriving meaning from the stressful experience.Yet another way of coping is avoiding thoughts or circumstances that cause stress.
Keeping fit, when you are well and healthy, when nutrition exercise sleep are adequate, it is much easier to cope with stress - and learning to lower the level of arousal by relaxing muscles the message is received that all is well are also positive techniques.
One of the most positive methods people use to cope with painful situations is humor. You feel things to the full but you master them by turning it all into pleasure and fun.
While dealing with stress it is important to deal with your physical, mental, and social well being. One should maintain one's health and learn to relax if one finds oneself under stress. Mentally it is important to think positive thoughts, value oneself, demonstrate good time management, plan and think ahead, and express emotions. Socially one should communicate with people and seek new activities. By following these simple strategies, one will have an easier time responding to stresses in one's life.

Negative techniques (maladaptive coping or non-coping)

While adaptive coping methods improve functioning, a maladaptive coping technique will just reduce symptoms while maintaining and strengthening the disorder. Maladaptive techniques are more effective in the short term rather than long term coping process.
Examples of maladaptive behavior strategies include dissociation, sensitization safety behaviors, anxious avoidance and escape (including self medicate).
These coping strategies interfere with the person's ability to unlearn, or break apart, the paired association between the situation and the associated anxiety symptoms. These are maladaptive strategies as they serve to maintain the disorder.
Dissociation is the ability of the mind to separate and compartmentalize thoughts, memories, and emotions. This is often associated with PTSD
Sensitization is when a person seeks to learn about, rehearse, and/or anticipate fearful events in a protective effort to prevent these events from occurring in the first place.
Safety behaviors are demonstrated when individuals with anxiety disorders come to rely on something, or someone, as a means of coping with their excessive anxiety.
Anxious avoidance is when a person avoids anxiety provoking situations by all means. This is the most common strategy.
Escape is closely related to avoidance. This technique is often demonstrated by people who experience panic attacks or have phobias. These people want to flee the situation at the first sign of anxiety.

Further examples of coping strategies include[23] emotional or instrumental support, self-distraction, denialsubstance useself-blame, behavioral disengagement and indulgence in drugs or alcohol[24]
Many people think that meditation "not only calms our emotions, but...makes us feel more 'together'", as too can "the kind of prayer in which you're trying to achieve an inner quietness and peace".[25]
Low-effort syndrome or low-effort coping refers to the coping responses of minority groups in an attempt to fit into the dominant culture. For example, minority students at school may learn to put in only minimal effort as they believe they are being discriminated against by the dominant culture.[26]

Historical psychoanalytic theories[edit]

Otto Fenichel[edit]

Main article: Otto Fenichel
Otto Fenichel summarized early psychoanalytic studies of coping mechanisms in children as "a gradual substitution of actions for mere discharge reactions...[&] the development of the function of judgement" - noting however that "behind all active types of mastery of external and internal tasks, a readiness remains to fall back on passive-receptive types of mastery."[27]
In adult cases of "acute and more or less 'traumatic' upsetting events in the life of normal persons", Fenichel stressed that in coping, "in carrying out a 'work of learning' or 'work of adjustment', [s]he must acknowledge the new and less comfortable reality and fight tendencies towards regression, towards the misinterpretation of reality", though such rational strategies "may be mixed with relative allowances for rest and for small regressions and compensatory wish fulfillment, which are recuperative in effect".[28]

Karen Horney[edit]

Main article: Karen Horney
In the 1940s, the German Freudian psychoanalyst Karen Horney "developed her mature theory in which individuals cope with the anxiety produced by feeling unsafe, unloved, and undervalued by disowning their spontaneous feelings and developing elaborate strategies of defence."[29] She defined four so-called coping strategies to define interpersonal relations, one describingpsychologically healthy individuals, the others describing neurotic states.
The healthy strategy she termed "Moving with" is that with which psychologically healthy people develop relationships. It involves compromise. In order to move with, there must be communication, agreement, disagreement, compromise, and decisions. The three other strategies she described - "Moving toward", "Moving against" and "Moving away" - represented neurotic, unhealthy strategies people utilize in order to protect themselves.
Horney investigated these patterns of neurotic needs (compulsive attachments).[30] Everyone needs these things, but the neurotics need them more than the normal person. The neurotics might need these more because of difficulties within their lives. If the neurotic does not experience these needs, he or she will experience anxiety. The ten needs are:[31]
  1. Affection and approval, the need to please others and be liked
  2. A partner who will take over one's life, based on the idea that love will solve all of one's problems
  3. Restriction of one's life to narrow borders, to be undemanding, satisfied with little, inconspicuous; to simplify one's life
  4. Power, for control over others, for a facade of omnipotence, caused by a desperate desire for strength and dominance
  5. Exploitation of others; to get the better of them
  6. Social recognition or prestige, caused by an abnormal concern for appearances and popularity
  7. Personal admiration
  8. Personal achievement.
  9. Self-sufficiency and independence
  10. Perfection and unassailability, a desire to be perfect and a fear of being flawed.
In Compliance, also known as "Moving toward" or the "Self-effacing solution", the individual moves towards those perceived as a threat to avoid retribution and getting hurt, "making any sacrifice, no matter how detrimental."[32] The argument is, "If I give in, I won't get hurt." This means that: if I give everyone I see as a potential threat whatever they want, I won't be injured (physically or emotionally). This strategy includes neurotic needs one, two, and three.[33]
In Withdrawal, also known as "Moving away" or the "Resigning solution", individuals distance themselves from anyone perceived as a threat to avoid getting hurt - "the 'mouse-hole' attitude...the security of unobtrusiveness."[34] The argument is, "If I do not let anyone close to me, I won't get hurt." A neurotic, according to Horney desires to be distant because of being abused. If they can be the extreme introvert, no one will ever develop a relationship with them. If there is no one around, nobody can hurt them. These "moving away" people fight personality, so they often come across as cold or shallow. This is their strategy. They emotionally remove themselves from society. Included in this strategy are neurotic needs three, nine, and ten.[33]
In Aggression, also known as the "Moving against" or the "Expansive solution", the individual threatens those perceived as a threat to avoid getting hurt. Children might react to parental in-differences by displaying anger or hostility. This strategy includes neurotic needs four, five, six, seven, and eight.[35]

Heinz Hartmann[edit]

Main article: Heinz Hartmann
In 1937, the psychoanalyst (as well as a physician, psychologist, and psychiatrist) Heinz Hartmann marked it as the evolution of ego psychology by publishing his paper, "Me" (which was later translated into English in 1958, titled, "The Ego and the Problem of Adaptation").[36]Hartmann focused on the adaptive progression of the ego "through the mastery of new demands and tasks".[37] In fact, according to his 'adaptive point of view', once infants were born they have the ability to be able to cope with the demands of their surroundings.[36] In his wake, ego psychology further stressed "the development of the personality and of 'ego-strengths'...adaptation to social realities".[38]

Object relations[edit]

Emotional intelligence has stressed the importance of "the capacity to soothe oneself, to shake off rampant anxiety, gloom, or irritability....People who are poor in this ability are constantly battling feelings of distress, while those who excel in it can bounce back far more quickly from life's setbacks and upsets".[39] From this perspective, "the art of soothing ourselves is a fundamental life skill; some psychoanalytic thinkers, such as John Bowlby and D. W. Winnicottsee this as the most essential of all psychic tools."[40]
Object relations theory has examined the childhood development both of "[i]ndependent coping...capacity for self-soothing", and of "[a]ided coping. Emotion-focused coping in infancy is often accomplished through the assistance of an adult."[41]

Gender differences[edit]

Gender differences in coping strategies are the ways in which men and women differ in managing psychological stress. There is evidence that males often develop stress due to their careers, whereas females often encounter stress due to issues in interpersonal relationships.[42]Early studies indicated that "there were gender differences in the sources of stressors, but gender differences in coping were relatively small after controlling for the source of stressors";[43] and more recent work has similarly revealed "small differences between women's and men's coping strategies when studying individuals in similar situations."[44]
In general, such differences as exist indicate that women tend to employ emotion-focused coping and the "tend-and-befriend" response to stress, whereas men tend to use problem-focused coping and the "fight-or-flight" response, perhaps because societal standards encourage men to be more individualistic, while women are often expected to be interpersonal. An alternative explanation for the aforementioned differences involves genetic factors. The degree to which genetic factors and social conditioning influence behavior, is the subject of ongoing debate.[45]

Physiological basis[edit]

Hormones also play a part in stress management. Cortisol, a stress hormone, was found to be elevated in males during stressful situations. In females, however, cortisol levels were decreased in stressful situations, and instead, an increase in limbic activity was discovered. Many researchers believe that these results underlie the reasons why men administer a fight-or-flightreaction to stress; whereas, females have a tend-and-befriend reaction.[46] The "fight-or-flight" response activates the sympathetic nervous system in the form of increased focus levels, adrenaline, and epinephrine. Conversely, the "tend-and-befriend" reaction refers to the tendency of women to protect their offspring and relatives. Although these two reactions support a genetic basis to differences in behavior, one should not assume that in general females cannot implement "fight-or-flight" behavior or that males cannot implement "tend-and-befriend" behavior.