A 2020 Pew study reported that the combination of progressivism and youth strongly correlates with mental health difficulties, a finding gleefully seized upon to claim that progressivism drives people crazy. But it’s possible that this has the causality backwards, and it’s more that unhappy people seize upon what Jason Manning has called “Victimhood Culture” to justify an already-endemic state of maladjustment.
And the “meltdowns”, the emotional dysregulation and demands for safety — all the behavioural tics characteristic of militant wokeism — map startlingly closely onto common symptoms of pre-verbal trauma. That is, they’re consistent with symptoms displayed by children abused or neglected before they learned to talk.
The child development theorist Erik Erickson characterised the first stage of infancy as where we develop a foundational confidence that a caregiver will be there when we need them. And where this is interrupted by traumatic experiences, the sense of chronic threat can last forever. As psychotherapist Dorothy Scotten argues, pre-verbal experience of abuse or neglect then means “the infant loses the sense of safety and begins her/his life in a state of psychological mistrust and instability”. Long-term effects of such trauma can then include “a feeling of helplessness, residual fear and lack of safety” along with self-destructive behaviours such as substance abuse, difficulty forming relationships, and overwhelming emotions such as “infantile rage”. Not a million miles, in other words, from the supposed symptoms of “meltdown”.
Another paper describes a traumatised child who expressed “feelings of being unsafe and inadequately protected by caregivers and an intense behavioural regression to an infantile level at home”. This included acting out; the child “would camp outside his mother’s bedroom door pretending to be a ‘lost puppy’ wanting to be taken in”. Read more…