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Opinion | Opinião

STATE OF ALERT

Generalized anxiety disorder is often described as being in a permanent state of alert. The heart rate rises, adrenaline is in full throttle, all cells ready to fight and escape for survival. In healthy individuals, this state is transitory and activated only in the face of danger. People with generalized anxiety disorder have this state activated all day during common situations. Everything is taken as a matter of life or death.

All this happens on a subconscious level. Emotions take control of everything, regardless of the constructs of rationality. This is the main feature people fail to understand about mental illness.

A brave person hides emotions in the face of danger and takes action to heroic deeds. Individuals with generalized anxiety disorder feel they are facing danger all the time and are constantly hiding those emotions to take every single action. It is a life felt as martyrdom, no matter how simple and common each task is felt to healthy people. This behavior is often seen as weakness, laziness, irresponsibility, selfishness and arrogance especially when tasks are not fulfilled in due time. Imagine the effect of making such accusations to someone whose emotions tell all the time one is being brave.

No wonder suicide is an option now and then.

Judgemental people are the most toxic to individuals with generalized anxiety disorder, especially when they start giving advice. The intensity of the state of alert goes sky high and suicide becomes a more viable option.

The only valid way to give advice and really help someone with generalized anxiety disorder is to make no judgement and give all the love it takes to make a child feel safe. The state of alert was learned in childhood, before the acquisition of consciousness, or deployed by trauma. Only true generous caresses can make the feeling of danger go away.

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Opinion | Opinião

Violence Management

It is easy to get angry and lose control. Try dealing with a noisy classroom full of children hurting and bullying each other. You will crack in a blink. Give it a few years of daily exposure to excruciating noise and continuous effort to maintain control and you will sink into clinical depression and trauma, finding yourself unable to exercise the profession again. Thousands of teachers are in that condition. You can apply the same reasoning to any professional working under abusive conditions or any human being under abusive families, companions or marriages. Some people explode.

Unfortunately, civilization has not grown enough to make it possible for people to change context. Taking unemployment and real estate prices into account, one is condemned to hold still in the abusive scenario until the following episode of explosion, ending up oneself to become an abusive agent committing crime.

A totally different kind of individual is the bully. Here it is not a matter of losing control. Bullies are deliberately violent and abusive. Their only principle is to provide themselves and their tribe with infinite power and wealth. Ends to justify means is the basis to propaganda, recruit and alliances. Ends to justify means gives them permission to domestic violence, rape, slaughter, beheadings and genocide.

Civilization is to bullies a mere tool for the perpetration of power, abuse and wealth. The concept of civilization as a social structure without abusive leaders is beyond their understanding.

Violence by extenuation and violence by abuse are sometimes hard to distinguish. In an ethically based civilizational structure, once the violent act is committed, subjects get the same label – criminal. Though such label is true, it is prawn to misjudgment. Reaction to abuse and exercising abuse are antagonistic realities.

One thing is sure. If you are not a bully, society offers thousands of sets for you to explode. My advice is never to pass judgment without wearing the defendant’s shoes.