|Fill her up!
I’ve discovered a new disorder! Is it just me or does everything have a disorder these days? Anyways, it’s called Emotional Deprivation Disorder.
Emotional Deprivation Disorder is a syndrome which results from a lack of authentic affirmation and emotional strengthening in one’s life. A person may have been criticized, ignored, neglected, abused, or emotionally rejected by primary caregivers early in life, resulting in that individual’s stunted emotional growth. ‘Unaffirmed’ persons are incapable of developing into emotionally mature adults until they receive authentic affirmation from another person. Maturity is reached when there is a harmonious relationship between a person’s body, mind, emotions and spiritual soul under the guidance of their reason and will.
Some signs and symptoms include:
Insufficiently Developed Emotional Life
o Incapable of establishing normal, mature contact with others
o Feels lonely and uncomfortable in social settings
o Capable of a willed rapport but not an emotional investment in relationships
o Childhood level of emotional development
o Feels like a child or and infant and others must focus their attention on the individual just as an adult would focus on a young child.
o Incapable of emotional surrender to a spouse
Reactions Around Others
o May be fearful in nature or courageous and energetic
o More fearful people tend to become discouraged or depressed
o More courageous and energetic persons can become more aggressive
Uncertainty & Insecurity
Fear or anxiety
o Can be in the form of a generalized anxiety
o Fear of hurting someone else’s feelings
o Fear of hurting others or contaminating them (e.g. with germs or a cold)
o Need for frequent reassurance
Feels incapable of coping with life
o Worry that they’ll be put in a situation they can’t handle
o Can be easily discouraged or depressed
o May pretend to be in control in order to mask inner feelings and fearfulness
Hesitation and Indecisiveness
o Difficulty in making decisions
o Easily changes mind
o Overly sensitive to the judgments of others, criticism or slights
o Easily hurt or embarrassed
Need to Please Others
o Pleases others in order to protect self from criticism or rejection and gain approval of others
o Easily taken advantage of or exploited
o Fear of asking for favors or services needed
o Worried about what other people think
o Self-doubt and need for reassurance
o Do not dare to say “no” for fear of rejection
Inferiority and Inadequacy
o Believe that no one could possibly love them
o Feel devoid of all feelings of love
o Believe they are incapable of loving others or God
o Suspicious of any token of affection – continually doubt sincerity of others
o May have feelings of inadequacy due to physical appearance
Feelings of Intellectual Incompetence
o May have difficult completing projects
o Repeated failure or fear of failure
Show Signs of Disintegration in New Circumstances
o Fear of new situations and challenges
o Difficulty coping with new job, landlord, moving, etc.
o Undeveloped or underdeveloped senses (touch, taste, sight, smell)
o Lack of order, disorganization
Further symptoms found in some individuals with emotional deprivation disorder:
o Deep feelings of guilt
o Need to collect and hoard useless things
o Paranoid condition
Essentially, it’s BPD Light without the wild mood swings, anger, impulsivity and penchant for self-harm and suicidal tendencies.
The cure? Simple! All you need is affirmation. Just find one person who can be your personal source of unconditional love and will provide all your emotional strengthening!
I’m sure there’s more to it than that, like say, years of therapy. Affirmation Therapy in fact.
“Affirmation therapy involves the therapist’s affective, not effective, presence with a client—in other words, it is a way of “being” with a person as opposed to “doing” something for him or her. Affirmation therapy can be formally described as a way of being affectively present to another human person in a therapeutic relationship in which the therapist reveals to the client his or her intrinsic goodness and worth.”
Essentially the therapist will be your source of unconditional love in a therapeutic relationship.
I don’t know. My experience with people makes it very difficult to believe that there are people out there that can genuinely love you without really knowing you…. Especially when you’re paying them to love you. It’s like emotional prostitution. This has always been an issue of mine regarding therapy actually. The idea that a complete stranger can generally care about your issues and problems without having any emotional investment in you. You can pay someone to listen, but you can’t pay someone to care. Though to be true, it has been my experience that given time a therapist can and will develop a genuine investment in their patients. A genuine investment based on the very reason they went into the profession in the first place…. A desire to help people. I know my therapist cares about me. I know she thinks about me when I’m gone, though I can’t help but feel that her connection to me is stronger than my connection to her. This isn’t her fault though, it’s my own attachment issues at play. She hasn’t given up on me though and that is exactly the kind of support I need.
My question with this Affirmation Therapy is… How much emotional support can you really expect a therapist to give? To listen, to help you work through your issues, to guide and provide the tools you need in order to learn to deal with your own life… sure. But unconditional love? Maybe they’re like the Grand Master Zen Buddhists of the therapy world.
Personally I would have a really hard time accepting this as genuine. But to each their own I suppose. Hell, if you’re in a place where you can openly accept the unconditional love of a therapist you’re probably a leg up on my stubby little bipeds of emotional stuntedness.