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Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Triggering Cascade, Trauma Imprinting, and Total Reactance

Place: first place in Nonfiction

By Sam Vaknin
Author of “Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited”

“Triggering cascade” is when a seemingly minor trigger results in vastly disproportional trauma.

Painful memories, replete with the attendant negative emotions, are walled behind mental barriers: combinations of dams and firewalls.

Sometimes even an innocuous mishap or a merely unpleasant event rupture these defenses and decades of hurt are released in an avalanche that, at times, can be life threatening.

Narcissists and psychopaths are dreamwreckers: they are particularly adept at provoking triggering cascades by aggressively and contemptuously frustrating both individual and social expectations, cherished and life-sustaining hopes, deeply held beliefs, and ingrained fantasies and values.

Their lack of empathy, innate, goal focused cruelty and ruthlessness, absent impulse control, and mind boggling recklessness create a whiplash of shock and disorientation coupled with agony and a pervasive feeling of being existentially negated. Intolerable angst is the inevitable outcome.

Total reactance characterizes Psychopaths, Borderlines, trauma victims (PTSD and CPTSD), and people with mood disorders and impulse control issues. They escalate every conflict, however minor or imaginary, to the level of nuclear, apocalyptic, all-annihilating warfare and make disproportionate use of every weapon in their arsenal simultaneously. Defiance, posturing, hostility, aggression, recklessness, and abuse are part and parcel of these recurrent pitched battles with one and sundry: all bridges are burnt and relationships are shattered hurtfully and irrevocably.

In contrast, the reactions of healthy people are differential, in kind, and proportional, weighing the consequences and correcting course every step of the confrontation.

Trauma imprints everything and everyone involved or present in the stressful event, however tangentially. Places, people, smells, sounds, circumstances, objects, dates, and categories of the above, all get “stamped” with the traumatic experience.

Trauma imprinting is at the core of PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder), CPTSD (Complex PTSD), and triggering. Triggers are places, people, smells, sounds, circumstances, dates, or objects that are reminiscent of the same classes of stressors involved in the original trauma and evoke them.

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Author Bio

Sam Vaknin ( http://samvak.tripod.com/mediakit.html ) is the author of Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited as well as many other books and ebooks about topics in psychology, relationships, philosophy, economics, international affairs, and award-winning short fiction.

He is Visiting Professor of Psychology, Southern Federal University, Rostov-on-Don, Russia and Professor of Finance and Psychology in SIAS-CIAPS (Centre for International Advanced and Professional Studies).

He was the Editor-in-Chief of Global Politician and served as a columnist for Central Europe Review, PopMatters, eBookWeb , and Bellaonline, and as a United Press International (UPI) Senior Business Correspondent. He was the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory and Suite101. His YouTube channels garnered 25,000,000 views and 97,000 subscribers.

Visit Sam’s Web site at http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com

Posted by Sam Vaknin on 12/03 at 11:02 AM | Permalink
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