If we assume a few things to be true always the motivation for human behavior becomes clear.
Survival, procreation, and quality of both is our primary objective.
Another way to say survival is avoiding death. Fearing death.
The best way to avoid death is to control ourselves and our environments. This is a hard wired rule due to evolution. Those that could best control themselves and their environment in whatever way survived and procreated. Ability to control was selected for.
Association is fundamental to control. What an object can be used for. If I do this, then this happens.
The then of the if then is expectation.
How we perceive ourselves relative to the expectations of our given culture is self esteem.
Self esteem is necessary to feel worthy of belonging within the group. Belonging in the group is the same as survival.
Survival = avoiding death = control = self esteem
Associating is how we learn how to best control.
If we meet our perceived expectations of the society, we feel safe and have good self esteem. There is much less of a fear of death because other people accept us and have our backs. It also means we are contributing positively to the group.
If we do not meet our perceived expectations of the society, we become afraid. We fear showing ourselves to others because we will feel rejected, and feeling rejected is the same as feeling like you are dying.
The way to counter this is to control ourselves and our environment.
If the attempt at control fails, we become more and more afraid and become desperate.
Our response to all fear, pain, and anxiety is fight/flight/freeze otherwise known as SNS. The SNS is our only biological defense mechanism. Therefore all violence, anger, aggression, all the verbs like these, are due to fear pain or anxiety.
If we examine the symptoms of what are commonly known as BPD, NPD, ASPD, sociopathy, or psychopathy, they are easily explainable with this simple logic. It is accepted that those with these illnesses are insecure. The opposite of insecure is secure. To feel not secure is to not feel safe. Not feeling safe means there is either fear or anxiety. Since control is a reaction to fear or anxiety, they control ( manipulate, dominate, abuse) others. This is also known as antisocial behavior. It is also self destructive in that doing antisocial things lowers self esteem even further because it is antithesis to societal expectations (most of the time). There becomes a push pull between the desire to be near others for safety, and being afraid of them because the insecurity makes them hide the part of themselves they don’t think will be accepted by others. This controlling antisocial behavior is also extroverted.
It is good to note that, due to the way the SNS and PNS function, the only way to calm anxiety or fear is to further increase SNS activity, which means doing antisocial/self destructive things, which also means being pulled towards dangerous situations. This is why addiction to anything can spiral out of control very quickly. An always active SNS is also known as PTSD.
Addiction is also attachment. The stronger the pain fear or anxiety, the stronger the attachment to whatever is around that makes the person feel safe. Attachment also connotes ritual, repetition, or obsession. Even identity can become an attachment. This is why people will die for religion and nationalism. An outgroup is one that is perceived to challenge the individuals ingroup identity. The fact that the outgroup is percieved to be different in someway, their existence is a threat to the attached identity that is controlling the fear of death. The threat to identity is exactly the same as a direct physical threat to survival. The greater the insecurity, the greater the attachment, the greater the perceived threat.
An obvious example of a collective insecure extroverted reaction is the third reich. With poverty comes anxiety about the future and feelings of helplessness (no control) which then lowers self esteem. To combat this, an outgroup that was easily definable (Jews) became the focus of blame for the lack of control as they ‘owned all the banks’. The nazis directed their fear, and therefore, aggression which became genocidal ( high level antisocial) at their created common enemy. This increased self esteem and sense of safety by bonding the individuals of the reich. This collective insecure extroverted reaction is the cause of all racism and war. Remember that all aggression and violence is a fear reaction.
( in order to kill others they must be dehumanized first. That shows how all humans are basically good people)
Another thing that happens as fear and/or anxiety rise is self centeredness. The more you feel you are about to die, the smaller your circle of concern becomes, until you are the only one left that you care about.
Even altruism is a self centered action. It is self destruction for the sake of the group. Sacrifice with an expectation of being praised or remembered. A symbolic immortality which control the fear of death when directly in front of it.
This self centered behavior is actually just self preservation. It is not that those with certain mental illnesses lack the capability for empathy, it is that they just don’t care because they feel like they are about to die for some reason. They are also oblivious to the fact that their actions hurt others. Expectations are calculated by our brains subconsciously, and it is constantly on the look out for clues as to what expectations are, equally as important as noting sources of food. We are not consciously aware of what we perceive the expectations to be. If insecurity is at high enough levels, our subconscious can hide the fact that very self centered can hurt others from our conscious mind as another hit to self esteem would crumble the semblance of identity and control the individual is clinging too.
Another way to look at this lack of insight (also called anosognia) is by imagining a true self and a false self. The true self is buried in the subconscious is not fully known to the conscious mind or the false self. The false self is what is shown to others. It is an attempt to appear strong in the face of deep insecurity. The mechanism for this ability to split/schism/dissociate identities was created at some early point in primate evolution.
Fear and memory dramatically increased survivability. But it become problematic when you come to fear your own species for whatever reason because the group was intrinsic to survival. Memory would be useless if it erased painful events. So to overcome this, the ability to split identity evolved. The false self did not contain the memory or reason why the individual feared their own species, and the true self did. The subconscious then had to actively manipulate the false self or conscious mind so this was never found out, because if it was, it meant death.
This is why childhood trauma and mental illness are so related. The deeper the split, the more confusing things get because the push pull of fearing others and desiring intimacy becomes even stronger. This is also why people who experienced very intense trauma have memory issues. The memory suppression can become habitual at some point. It’s not hard to imagine how this can also cause cognitive impairments.
Keeping everything I have said in mind, it is then easy to see how autism, ADHD, OCD, and schizophrenia are just extreme introverted responses to a split due to fear. A split is also known as a schism. It results in antisocial and self destructive, self centered, and controlling behavior. For introverts it becomes an attempt to control themselves. This cause extreme tension as the true self is suppressed from expressing itself.
It’s important to note that when life spans were short and resources were scarce, this system rarely became problematic as attention was fully focused on day to day survival. But as leisure time became so abundant, the hidden inner anxiety due to trauma bubbled to the surface.
Another important note is that trauma is not defined broadly enough. Suppressing anything to do with the survival instinct such as shaking sex becomes traumatic as does a society that has impossible to attain expectations. In the west, many many factors have lead to the artificial increase in expectations. Our subconscious’ constantly scan for what is considered acceptable. Watching lots of movies can make expectations unattainable as they are scripted and filled with only beautiful people. Advertising erroneously links products with sense of control, which means that a lack of products makes one feel like they also lack control and it lowers self esteem. There is marketing of fear by the government with Iraq, Iran, isis, North Korea and such. And news media since 9/11 has become ridiculous and constant with stories that scare people. The combination of all this has created all the sadness, anger, and suffering we see today, even though we live in the least violent, safest, technologically capable Era in human history.
I am proposing that the labels BPD, NPD, APD, OCD, ADHD, autism, schizophrenia, bullemia and anorexia be done away with, group the symptoms of all of them in a simpler fashion like introverted and extroverted, antisocial and self destructive, and cognitive deficiencies. Something to that effect as they are all caused by this one system that interconnects the ANS and the prefrontal cortex and was incredibly effective in promoting survivability up until our current technologically advanced era.
The word delusion. There are two that are most associated with schizophrenia, persecution and grandeur. And just like many symptoms attributed to personality disorders, these delusions are found in those with NPD and APD (the extroverted side). That is because they are caused by the same ‘survival circuit’. Delusions of grandeur put the person above other people and nature itself so that the individual can feel safe from death. This delusion comes with a sense of total control, as god/jesus/supernatural being has complete control of their environment and therefore deal with any threat. Those experiencing a pure grandeur delusion are calm and you can have a conversation with them, it would just be filled with cognitive bias and dissonance. The persecution delusion is the brains way of explaining a hidden threat and it is self centered in that the person is important enough to be the target of everyone. However this delusion has no sense of control, and those experiencing it are erratic and volatile.
A delusion is defined as a false perception of reality that cannot be changed in the face of overwhelming evidence. Cognitive bias’s and dissonance is therefore also a delusion. By separating the study of mental illness into functional and non-functional groups, it makes it more difficult to see how almost everyone is deluded in some way because the word delusion is strong and associated with severe mental illness. People are even deluded in the same way. Its always fundamentally a form of grandeur or persecutory. Grandeur can also be extremely negative. Believing that one is the cause of all problems or the focus of everyone’s derision is grandiose. The truth is most people are concerned with themselves and are barely even aware of others. All delusions are self-centered because they are attempts at self-preservation. This aligns with a recent youtube clip of the Dalai Lama explaining that negative thoughts arise due to self-centeredness and can lead to seeing reality not as it is, which is also called cognitive bias or a delusion.
There is also the symptom associated with schizophrenia which makes things more meaningful than they actually are. It’s just an extreme insecure introverted attempt at control. The meanings are also self centered, always about the individual.
Meaning is a way to control fear. That’s why a militaries morale is important and why general give speeches to soldiers before battle.
Abusers traumatize victims because they control the victims emotions. The control increases their self esteem and therefore sense of safety. This is why freeze is a defense mechanism. An abuser will stop abusing an individual that displays no emotion as they are not getting the sense of control they crave.