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Red Pill Redditor: Help! My girlfriend thinks I’m an abusive, manipulative narcissist (which I actually am)

By David Futrelle

A lot of what’s called “Red Pill Dating Strategy” is little more than abuse — mimicking the behavior of real-life skeezebags who employ assorted psychological tricks designed to keep their partners feeling desperate and insecure. It’s as if the Red Pillers read a rundown of toxic behavior in relationships and decided to use it as a to-do list.

But for this strategy to work properly, the subject of this sort of manipulation has to remain unaware of the tactics their abuser is using. So what happens if a woman learns about these tricks and realizes they’re being used on her?

Well, for one thing, it freaks out this dude who never thought he’d get caught. And so he turned to the Ask The Red Pill subreddit for help.

Oopsie daisy!

Naturally, one of the Red Pill regulars suggested that he respond to the accusations of manipulative abuse by … gaslighting her.

“I would honestly look at her crazy … and act stupid, ‘redpill? I don’t understand what you mean by that?’ Or some bullshit,” wrote rprookie.

Another suggested that he try to convince her that the abuse was a good thing.

Be blunt, yes it is selfish and narcissistic in some ways. Here’s the catch there’s nothing wrong with that. Surprise!! Most of therapy or psychology is helping people prioritize themselves in a healing process to develop healthy and more effective habits/behaviors. The red pill provides a way for men to better themselves and simply be honest about what they want and encouraging them to pursue it. For example, how many men want a threesome, but never try to get it?

The red pill has literal posts about how to get it and that’s the point self improve men/ actualization has an element of selfishness because you are the subject of change.

I’m sure his “abuse is good at least when I’m doing it because then I might get a threesome” argument will go over swimmingly.

Another commenter blames the therapist, and psychiatry in general.

So your midwit girlfriend learned some big girl words from her therapist, thus causing the very untheraputic outcome of more conflict on her life.

Your basically experiencing the same thing ever American Dad experiences when their daughter gets back from libtard university.

Google the antipsychiatry movement and if your not a midwit you should be able to hard counter with serious anti therapy critique.

Still another commenter thought that the OP had nothing to worry about.

All of the girls who called me a manipulative, abusive narcissist went on to fuck me even better. Those are just cute nicknames they use for us with their friends and orbiters.

Meanwhile, another commenter suggested that the girl was being the manipulative one:

If a women calls you manipulative/abusive whatever, basically anything remember that it’s for her personal gain. It’s just a tactic to manipulate you into turning into a little beta pussy for her. You should be worried tho if someone you trust and respect calls you this.

I’m pretty sure he neither trusts nor respects her; that’s why he’s treating her like shit.

There were also numerous commenters telling the OP to break up and move on and though their reasoning was often suspect I have to agree with them on this. OP, end this abusive relationship — and move on from the Red Pill altogether. Use this as a wake-up all. Get some therapy yourself. And don’t get into another relationship until you’ve expunged all traces of the “Red Pill philosophy” from your system.

H/T — The Blue Pill subreddit

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Kereea
Kereea
6 months ago

Ironically, one of them DID get something right: “Most of therapy or psychology is helping people prioritize themselves in a healing process to develop healthy and more effective habits/behaviors.”

This is in fact why standard therapy doesn’t work well for abusive men or can even worsen their issues. A lot of therapy is about self actualization and prioritizing yourself, which abusers are already great at, and can even make it worse by giving them rationalizations for their behavior. There’s a book that addresses it in places, “Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men” but there’s a reason therapy works a lot better for the victims than the abuser.

Michelle
Michelle
6 months ago

@Naglfar

Habanero peppers too.

Naglfar
Naglfar
6 months ago

@Kereea
Bancroft also has spoken specifically about MRAs/red pillers and how their ideologies make abusive and violent men even more dangerous.

Alan Robertshaw
6 months ago

Fans of The Sopranos may remember the bit where one of Dr Melfi’s colleagues says that violent criminals can use therapy to justify their actions and actually become better criminals. It’s almost like a confessional for them.

Looked into that and it turns out to be true. Well, insofar as the research they talk about is real.

This book got referenced a lot.

Yochelson and Samenow: The Criminal Personality

Big Titty Demon
Big Titty Demon
6 months ago

@Alan Robertshaw

Anecdotes are not data, but from personal experience that is exactly what psychopathic abusers do with therapy. Become more sophisticated psychopathic abusers.

Cats In Shiny Hats
Cats In Shiny Hats
6 months ago

Anecdote incoming.

I tried non-medicated therapy for years. I avoided medications. Then I had a total psychotic break from all my non-medicated issues reaching the breaking point at the same time. It took medications to get me able to walk down to my mailbox, let alone be a postal worker.

Crip Dyke
6 months ago

Michelle wrote:

@Naglfar

Habanero peppers too.

I scroll down after reading about narcissistic twits who hate it when their abuse is called abuse and I find a comment about … habanero peppers?

Brain, trying to make sense of it all:

Are habanero peppers abusive?

Brain goes on to imagine a habanero pepper talking to his girlfriend about how he’s not a sexist, selfish narcissist, he just needs his plant leaves to get more sunlight than girl plant leaves and he’s not afraid to say it. And don’t you steal my pollen, Miss Pimiento, don’t you do it!

TAKE THE RED PEPPER PILL, PIMIENTO!

Me:

For Freud’s sake, Brain, why do you do this to me?

Crip Dyke
6 months ago

@Seoirse:

Google the antipsychiatry movement and if your not a midwit you should be able to hard counter with serious anti therapy critique.

I guarantee you this man knows nothing about the antipsychiatry movement’s motives and goals.

Ayup. Thought the same thing.

There’s a difference between being anti the social institution of psychiatry and all its messed up shit and being anti science. I’m antipsych and take meds because my meds help me, but psych as a whole fucked me up because of its nature, especially with how it treats mentally ill kids.

Interesting. I’m probably anti-all the same things as you, but I wouldn’t call myself anti-psychiatry for various reasons, including (but not nearly limited to) the fact that people who are profoundly, proudly ignorant have thoroughly mixed anti-psychiatry with anti-science.

Psychiatry, after all, includes such things as taking an MRI of my brain when I was having blackouts and memory problems and erratic behavior that I’d never engaged in before. I can’t possibly be “anti-psychiatry” even if I’m anti-many, many things that are routinely done as part of psychiatry. To be anti-psychiatry would imply that I’m against all of it, and I’m not. I have specific critiques against specific bad practices. I’ve got ***reasons***.

I’m not saying you don’t, of course, I’m comparing myself to the reactionaries who stand athwart all psychiatry even when they don’t have any good reason to be opposed to, for instance, taking an MRI of my brain.

Anyway, I would guess that the two of us are in very, very similar places.

@Naglfar:

I would very much support no longer considering autism as a disorder, as that adds to the stigma and alienation. This is why I generally say “autism” instead of the medical term “ASD,” as the latter stands for “autism spectrum disorder” and as a result seems overly pathologizing.

First, let me say that as an individual, you have a right to deal with this shit any way you need to.

But as a society, I strongly oppose this approach. There is a very specific diagnosis for a broken arm. There are even multiple different diagnoses so that different types of breaks can be categorized for studying the effects of different types of treatments.

And yet, people are not stigmatized and exiled or alienated if they suffer from a broken arm.

A diagnosis doesn’t not create stigmatization and alienation. Society does that.

To say that autism or GID or whatever else shouldn’t be a diagnosis and/ or should be removed from the DSM because people with the underlying condition don’t deserve stigma is to tacitly agree that the people who have conditions that continue to appear in the DSM do, in fact, deserve that stigma.

Justice demands not that we make exceptions for ourselves or certain people that we like or certain diagnoses that we think are bullshit.

Justice demands that we simply destigmatize mental health variance, including mental illness. All of it. For everyone.

And I’m not trying to lay this on you. Just like ending trans oppression isn’t on trans people, ending the stigmatization of variance in mental health isn’t on the people who are stigmatized.

I’m just taking the opportunity to address a point that your writing raised: no one with autism should be put in this position, but while we’re working to destigmatize autism, we can’t use tactics that reinscribe the stigmatization of others.

Destigmatize all that shit, in the DSM or not, diagnosed or not. I want a world where we simply confront the assholes who are alienating or stigmatizing others, rather than one in which we have to say, “But don’t stigmatize and alienate me, because I’m not like THEM.”

Naglfar
Naglfar
6 months ago

@Crip Dyke
Re: the habanero peppers
The context for that was how on the last page I mentioned that jalapeño and bell peppers have lots of vitamin C. Michelle was adding that habanero peppers also do.

A diagnosis doesn’t not create stigmatization and alienation. Society does that.

I am aware that stigmatization is a societal issue. That being said, I still disagree with describing autism as a mental illness, as that would imply that I would somehow be better off if there were a cure. Autism is a part of who I am, I do not want to be cured and would certainly refuse a cure if it existed.

To say that autism or GID or whatever else shouldn’t be a diagnosis and/ or should be removed from the DSM because people with the underlying condition don’t deserve stigma is to tacitly agree that the people who have conditions that continue to appear in the DSM do, in fact, deserve that stigma.

I do not mean to imply that anyone deserves stigma. I am sorry if I inadvertently suggested that, I would like to destigmatize all types of neurodiversity and variance.

Moogue
Moogue
6 months ago

@Cats In Shiny Hats @POM

I’m glad that medication helped you and that you guys had good experiences. As I said, my complaint wasn’t with the idea of medication, or the idea of psyciatrists, but with how psychiatry tends to be run due to insurance, and regulation, and the inherent shorcomings of the human mind. I’m not actually anti-psychiatry, more just psychiatry-critical, but I still think that it’s not good to conflate psychiatry with performing therapy. Medication is good and all, but it doesn’t do shit without learning skills to go along with it.

My personal antedote? I wouldn’t know if medication was good for me because I was always forced to go off it. I’ve never had a psychiatrist spend more than a couple of minutes talking to me and diagnosing me, which is actually literally illegal, but more concerning is that due to regulations they require an appointment during the last week of every month, and hold your medication hostage if you, like me, were a single parent with two jobs at the time who couldn’t always make those appointments. I was on a medication that could potentially cause seizures if withdrawn from cold turkey, not to mention how hard it is psychologically to go cold turkey, so after the 5th or 6th time of running out of my meds and being forced to go cold turkey, from different psychiatrists, I decided that the psychiatrists weren’t worth the trouble, whether or not I needed the meds. That’s the easy version of my antedote.

This isn’t even considering my sister, who has psychosis with anosognosia, and is currently dying on the street due to psychiatrists (and yes psychologists) fucking incompetence. However I’m currently drunk on dark and stormys and far too drunk to get into that.

Here’s the thing about antedotes. My shitty anecdotes don’t negate your positive ones. Your positive anecdotes don’t negate my shitty ones. Antedotes are just shitty like that. And what threshold makes something anything? Something tells me that 40 years ago, when psychiatry “was”* pathologizing black men for being angry, and telling homosexuals that we were crazy, and getting white women permanently hooked on valium, that they were using all the best and brightest data as well.

*”was” hahahahahahahahah lol

Crip Dyke
6 months ago

That being said, I still disagree with describing autism as a mental illness, as that would imply that I would somehow be better off if there were a cure. Autism is a part of who I am, I do not want to be cured and would certainly refuse a cure if it existed.

Cool. That’s just a different argument than you made above:

I would very much support no longer considering autism as a disorder, as that adds to the stigma and alienation. This is why I generally say “autism” instead of the medical term “ASD,” as the latter stands for “autism spectrum disorder” and as a result seems overly pathologizing. [emphasis mine, not in Naglfar’s original]

It’s the “this is why” part (and the “as that adds to” part) to which I would have some objection, not any other argument for removal (or inclusion for that matter) which has nothing to do with stigmatization.

with this, though:

I would like to destigmatize all types of neurodiversity and variance.

It sounds like we’re on the same page, generally.

Seoirse
Seoirse
6 months ago

@Crip Dyke

I identify with the term largely because it’s the most broadly used one. One closer to my feelings and that you might be more comfortable with is “Mad rights”. It’s a reclamation of the idea that we aren’t capable of or should not be allowed to make our own choices, especially when it comes to healthcare.

Crip Dyke
6 months ago

I like “mad rights”.

I think the last time I actually did any work with people who used it was at the Queer/Disability conference 15 years ago or something at SanFranState.

It was a good conference, but like a lot of ’em, it had its problems. The biggest was that they billed it as a conference for all types of disabilities, but they really privileged perspectives of people who had mobility issues.

I wasn’t one of the organizers, but one of the organizers was a good friend, so I ended up holding his hand during a big feedback session the morning of the last day. It was pretty raw.

Anyway, there were some “mad rights” people there, but I haven’t heard the term since (or at least I don’t remember hearing it since). It’s nice to know that it’s still going.

Ah, found the webpage. Still up so that people can access/request copies of the sessions.

If anyone is interested, you can get audio files or transcripts, or at least could at one point:
http://www.disabilityhistory.org/dwa/queer/index.htm

…and that’s 18 years ago, not 15. Damn I’m old.

Lumipuna
Lumipuna
6 months ago

Naglfar:

I remember when the “guns pointed at crotch” trend was in full swing, being a bit confused by it all. Most of what the right does is intended to “trigger” people or “own the libs,” but some random conservative guy pointing a gun at his bits doesn’t really make me feel anything.

AFAIK this trend was meant to specifically annoy the subset of people who are firearm enthusiasts and also “libs” in the sense of highly valuing firearm safety rules.

Though generally, often trolls have an inflated view of how much they’ve disturbed your mental peace if they successfully goad you into saying “that’s stupid”.

Rabid Rabbit
Rabid Rabbit
6 months ago

Re: OP

Ah, I was wondering how the PUAs were doing these days. Well, no I wasn’t, but it has sort of seemed to me that David’s posts of late (as in probably for the last three-and-a-half years, for some odd reason) have been much less likely to address the PUAs, and I was vaguely wondering if they had sort of crawled back into the woodwork or if it’s just that the rise of the incels had made them a lesser concern.

Anyhow, let’s see. PUAs still assholes? Yep, PUAs still assholes. OK, got it. Just checking.

Though have any PUAs been whining about how lockdowns and social distancing are a vast conspiracy against their life choices?

Re: History of the American West

And for God’s sake, don’t tell them about how a third (?) of cowboys were Black.

Re: “Midwit”

I assumed this was attempted cleverness on their part. There’s “nitwit,” which means “complete idiot,” so “midwit” would mean “fairly dumb, but not that dumb.” Presumably both nitwits and midwits would be unable to understand, so it’s also a way of boosting the poster’s status — “Here’s my advice, though it’s only advice for people who are as smart as I am.” Which would make him what, a truewit? A bigwit?

@Naglfar:

This is why conspiracy theories like QAnon are built: to shield believers from the realization that they are the baddies.

The other reason, though, is to try and make sense of a complicated world by simplifying it, despite the fact that from the outside, that’s exactly the opposite of what their imagined conspiracy does. I’ve always found it fascinating how conspiracists build up these literally incredible and complex theories out of a desire for simplicity — including, in some cases, the simplicity of believing you’re absolutely in the right and therefore don’t have to evaluate your own behavior. It’s not even just hiding from the possibility of being the baddies, I think: it’s hiding from the possibility of being wrong. (Thus, Trump is secretely carrying out a war against extremely evil people, because I can’t have been wrong to vote for him; he must just be having to do it in secret. And the baddies must be particularly evil satanic child-killers, because there’s no way they can be morally superior to Trump and co, even if they seem that way.)

I mean, the Occam’s Razor explanation of the JFK assassination is that a random misfit took a very good shot. But the idea that a random misfit could take down the president of the US makes the world a much scarier and more complicated place, which is unbearable. So to explain it, let’s imagine how the FBI and the CIA got together with the KGB and Fidel Castro and invited some mob bosses to the table to all figure out how to kill him, probably while also getting some early work done on instructing Stanley Kubrick to fake the moon landing. Which is ridiculously complicated and unbelievable, but means that in the large scale of things the world still makes sense, because the idea that a vast conspiracy has the power to make a major event happen is easier to take than the idea that a random misfit can affect the world like that — a powerful cabal killing the leader of the most powerful country on earth can be accepted, a powerless nobody doing so can’t. (As someone pointed out, there are no massive conspiracy theories about John Hinckley and his attempt on Reagan’s life, because that time, the world worked the way it’s supposed to — the president didn’t die, the Secret Service got the guy at once, etc.)

I wonder if it would be possible to do a study of conspiracy theorists and people who have been cured of them, and see whether one of the things that cures you of them is there being a tipping point between Occam and the complexity of the theory.

Kevin
Kevin
6 months ago

I took ‘midwit’ to be a misspelling of ‘dimwit.’

Naglfar
Naglfar
6 months ago

@Lumipuna

AFAIK this trend was meant to specifically annoy the subset of people who are firearm enthusiasts and also “libs” in the sense of highly valuing firearm safety rules.

I guess that makes slightly more sense, although I’ve never owned a gun I know people who are on the left and own guns and they are very invested in safety, and one of the key rules they told me was “assume all guns are loaded, don’t point it at anything you don’t want to shoot.” Evidently the man on the last page learned that one the hard way.

@Rabid Rabbit

And for God’s sake, don’t tell them about how a third (?) of cowboys were Black.

Or how Black musicians played a key role in the invention of country and western genres of music.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 months ago

Medication is good and all, but it doesn’t do shit without learning skills to go along with it.

Therapy never did anything for me. It turned out that I already had the skills needed; what I needed was meds. I haven’t been in therapy for more than 20 years, but I’ve been on meds all that time because meds were what I needed, and only meds.

Therapy didn’t work for me, but I’m not anti-therapy.

due to regulations they require an appointment during the last week of every month

I don’t know what regulations you’re talking about. Are you in the US? No state I’m aware has regulations that you must be seen at the end of the month, and there’s certainly no federal law about it. I’ve had appointments at all times during the month.

Something tells me that 40 years ago, when psychiatry “was”* pathologizing black men for being angry, and telling homosexuals that we were crazy, and getting white women permanently hooked on valium, that they were using all the best and brightest data as well.

I don’t think anyone has claimed that psychiatry is innocent. I certainly haven’t. What I’m saying is that it’s not a complete shithole, because it helped me and I am alive today as a result. It’s not above criticism, but to be honest I shouldn’t have to be sitting here “both sides”ing the matter and specifying that it’s not above criticism because that ought to be obvious. Nothing is above criticism. Therapy is not above criticism either. Nothing is. Every part of society is anti-woman, anti-black, and anti-poor, to some degree or another. Including therapy.

Lumipuna
Lumipuna
6 months ago

Which would make him what, a truewit? A bigwit?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwit

Moon Custafer
Moon Custafer
6 months ago

@Lumipuna:

often trolls have an inflated view of how much they’ve disturbed your mental peace if they successfully goad you into saying “that’s stupid”

I’d say the main effect this guy has had on me is to destroy any last vestiges of worry about having a medical emergency on a day when I’m not wearing my best underwear.

@Rabid Rabbit:

a powerful cabal killing the leader of the most powerful country on earth can be accepted, a powerless nobody doing so can’t.

Oddly, the reverse seems to have happened in the case of Lincoln’s assassination. Booth actually *was* part of a conspiracy who pulled coordinated attacks on the President, Vice-President and (iirc) the Secretary of State, but he’s remembered in the popular imagination as a lone gunman—possibly because the other assassins failed, possibly because he was already a famous actor, so there was less of a “how could some random misfit have done this?” factor.

Moogue
Moogue
6 months ago

@POM

Therapy didn’t work for me, but I’m not anti-therapy.

I wasn’t basing everything off of my own personal story, if that’s what you’re implying. Just like I wouldn’t base my ENTIRE opinion off of your personal story either. Antedotes aren’t data.

“What I’m saying is that it’s not a complete shithole,”

I never said that psychiatry is a complete shithole beyond all good or redemption, just that it is a medical shithole that deserves the criticism that it gets. But I can see why you would read my post as calling psychiatry irredeemable, since a lot of people who criticize psychiatry do think this way.

Psychiatry *is* uniquely powerful in that can act take away a person’s freedom and act on that person’s body without that person’s consent and based upon no more evidence than medical opinion. It can also do harm by going to the other extreme and not helping when they could intervene as well. Yes, Psychiatrists are only human, but besides all that general “people suck” stuff, psychiatrists are overburdened and overworked. And far too many are far too overconfident in their abilities to make accurate snap judgments.

I think that we’re starting to get away from the original complaint, which that some asshole was going to use criticism
of psychiatry, and all of it’s issues, to confuse and gaslight his girlfriend about her therapy because her therapy was teaching her how to spot signs of his abuse.

Therapy didn’t work for me, but I’m not anti-therapy.

I wasn’t basing my whole opinion of psychiatry based off of my own personal antedote, if that’s what you’re implying. Just like I wouldn’t base my opinion of psychiatry off of your personal antedote either!

“I don’t know what regulations you’re talking about. Are you in the US?”

Yes I’m in the US. And that’s just my own story, they always all could have been feeding me bullshit to make me more compliant with their scheduling demands. I wasn’t using it as “evidence”. But anyway,

1. In my state the law for prescriptions for controlled substances is that they have to be picked up, in person, from an in state doctor at least every month. The months prescription MUST be hand written on a prescription pad, so not even any of the electric stuff.

A lot of ADHD and anti-anxiety drugs do fall under this regulation, so it seems like psychiatrists schedule all their clients this way whether or not they’re on a controlled substance at the time.

2. One of my psychiatrists that I asked for flexibility from because she was constantly HOURS late and I had leave appointments told me that, even though I was not on a controlled substance, she could lose her license if she wrote me more than a 30 day supply of meds without seeing me within so many days of that prescription. This is because if I wereto commit suicide it could have be due to an issue with medication, and she couldn’t risk having me out there depressed or something without being seen, because of her license. This always seemed like a weird argument though, since apparently a CYA isn’t needed if your patient commits suicide because they run out of medication? So take from this what you will, it always impressed me as dumb. But in this case, it sounds like the problem is lower than the government.

epitome of incomprehensibility

Another issue with psychology and psychiatry, besides the fact that they reflect society’s biases, is that they’re fairly new as branches of medicine. So how everything is categorized might not be that accurate yet, and treatments are probably in their early stages.

E.g. This isn’t just my idea, but I think it’d be more helpful to characterize ADHD as an attention regulation issue rather than an attention deficit one.

I was talking with my cousin recently and I was surprised when she referred to us both as autistic people. Turns out she thinks ADHD is a kind of autism. After my first question, I didn’t try to argue back more, because a) it might sound like I was saying autism is a worse thing to have and b) I was also thinking, “Eh, who knows, it might be categorized that way in the future.”

Like with her: She was diagnosed with Asperger’s and then that changed to a form of autism spectrum disorder because of a shift in categorization.

@Naglfar – I go back and forth on the label “disorder.” On one hand, my ADHD makes me better at the kind of writing I do – I think. On the other hand, sometimes I just hate it! because being disorganized with time gives me a lot of stress! (though maybe my anxiety is the bigger problem). And then on the social level difference is stigmatized, and that’s a whole other issue…

As for me, when I talked to a doctor last week about my anxiety and panic attacks, she recommended therapy rather than meds for now, because of the nature of the problem. She also treats my mother who’s taking antidepressants.

Oh yeah, result: I’m on a list for a free counseling program but it will take about 3 months. I can’t afford private psychotherapy right now so hopefully it doesn’t take longer.

Anyway, yes, even if psych medicine is fairly new, meds and/or therapies can still be very useful, like how early cancer treatments weren’t the best but they still saved lives.

Threp (formerly Shadowplay)
Threp (formerly Shadowplay)
6 months ago

@Epitome

On one hand, my ADHD makes me better at the kind of writing I do – I think.

Makes you a seriously good editor, as well. 🙂

Moogue
Moogue
6 months ago

“E.g. This isn’t just my idea, but I think it’d be more helpful to characterize ADHD as an attention regulation issue rather than an attention deficit one.

Yes. How many parents of children say “Oh they can’t have ADHD, just look at how well they focus on /insert subject of hyperfocusing/?

Dalillama
Dalillama
6 months ago

Part of the problem definitely is psychiatry as it stands lumping all manner of things under an umbrella that doesn’t fit them. Neurodivergence is one, most famously the autism spectrum (of which ADHD and OCD are quite probably a part). The brain works differently to many people’s, but this is only pathological insofar as the surrounding society is unadapted to their access needs. E.g., an autistic person in a low tech farming village will hardly even be noticed: doesn’t talk much, likes a routine, very task-focused, often gets along better with animals than people. Well, that’s pretty much a stereotypical farmer, no problem there.

Then there’s mental illnesses, neurological states that are pathological because they cause harm or distress to the person experiencing them. These can further be subdivided into innate and acquired illnesses. A propensity to psychotic breaks is a problem in practically any situation, and the person having them usually wishes they weren’t, at least when they’re lucid. PTSD, likewise, is absolutely pathological, a mental illness in the truest sense, but it’s something that’s caused ny previous experiences.

Then there’s personality disorders, or whatever they’re called these days, which are mostly states of mind rather than of brain, a set of learned behaviours rather than an organic malfunction of any sort. Here, the pathology comes from the propensity to victimize others, as they’ve leared to do and learned how to get away with. These are the people that neither therapy nor medication can help, becuae the problem is volitional: they choose to be assholes on an ongoing basis, because they like it. We see them a lot in the posts here.

Kevin
Kevin
6 months ago

Back to the Old West for a moment: Anyone know why Hollywood went for the ‘Sunday best’ Stetson as their common image of a ‘cowboy hat’ rather than the more practical and widely used derby/bowler hat?

Threp (formerly Shadowplay)
Threp (formerly Shadowplay)
6 months ago

@Kevin

Branding and drama.

For the branding part, the stetson makes the cowboys on screen stand out from the guys in the audience – many of whom were wearing derbys. Normal guys used to wear hats all the time, you’d feel undressed going out without one on.

The drama is both direct and indirect – directly, an easily visible coloured signifier of good and evil manages the audiences expectations. Indirectly, the broad brim of the stetson gives more interesting light/shadow options for the director to play with – and when cowboy flicks came in, movies were a mature enough art form to start thinking about things like that, even for B feature fillers.

Sick of your ableism
Sick of your ableism
6 months ago

@Dalillama

“Personality disorder” is not synonymous with “asshole”. It looks that way because way too fucking many people on the internet still feel justified in assuming, based on no evidence, that people who wronged or mistreated them must have personality disorders. For instance, if I were to apply the same sloppy pseudo-diagnostic criteria, I could look at your callous indifference to the well-being of a group of people with stigmatized mental health issues, and slap the label of “sociopath” on you, at which point you could be written of as hopelessly evil. However that would be inaccurate and unfair to people who have actual personality disorders, because it doesn’t take a clinical disorder to devalue and dehumanize a group of people who already face tremendous social stigma. It just takes being a basic boring bigot, like you.

Personality disorders don’t necessarily mean mistreating others. Symptoms can include harmful behavior towards others, yes. They can also include self-destructive behavior, other behavior that’s unhealthy for the person with the PD, and behavior that’s just considered strange. And not everyone who has a PD is going to mistreat others.

People with personality disorders aren’t deliberately choosing them because they like the results. They are engaging in deeply-entrenched patterns of maladaptive coping skills, often learned in chronically traumatic environments. Relearning it is a complex task that takes extensive effort and support in learning healthier coping skills.

Personality disorders are not as untreatable as you make them sound! Getting the correctly targeted therapy, sometimes with added medication, has resulted in significant improvement for many people with personality disorders! For example, many people with Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder respond well to CBT! But right, this is the Stereotype People With Mental Illness Game, so we’re ignoring two entire clusters of personality disorder and pretending that “personality disorder” means “Cluster B”, and “Cluster B” means “asshole”. Can we acknowledge the impressive success rate of DBT in helping people with borderline personality disorder? Or does that fuck up the narrative too much, by acknowledging that these are human beings in a lot of pain who need help coping with how much their disorder makes them suffer? Or is that giving too much humanity to chronically traumatized people when it’s easier to write them all off as bad?

And before anyone tries to mischaracterize what I’m saying, it’s not okay or excusable for people with personality disorders to abuse people. It’s not okay for anyone to abuse people. If someone who has a personality disorder abused you, then you’re absolutely justified in being pissed off at that specific person, and keeping them out of your life. And if someone hurt you and you don’t know why, you can be angry at them without furthering stigma against groups of chronically traumatized people in extreme psychological pain. I know you’re choosing to be a bigoted asshole about this, because you like it. But you hurting people like this is volitional behavior on your part, and you can choose to stop inflicting this kind of pain on people. I don’t expect you will stop inflicting harm on vulnerable people, and instead I expect a mob response of defensive rage and anecdata about people who, according to the expertise of someone on the internet with no clinical qualifications, totally must have had a PD to hurt someone like that! But you can change.

Kevin
Kevin
6 months ago

@ Threp

Thank you for the heads-up. I never would have twigged the shadow thing independently, surviving former early film studios round here look like greenhouses just so that enough light would reach the film to ensure it would develop.

NOBODY
NOBODY
6 months ago

Then there’s personality disorders, or whatever they’re called these days, which are mostly states of mind rather than of brain, a set of learned behaviours rather than an organic malfunction of any sort. Here, the pathology comes from the propensity to victimize others, as they’ve leared to do and learned how to get away with. These are the people that neither therapy nor medication can help, becuae the problem is volitional: they choose to be assholes on an ongoing basis, because they like it.

Oh, come on. Some of the milder PDs aren’t actively malicious. Some are even politically progressive, and have all the right “ideas”.

But because they refuse to take any responsibility for their feelings, actions or inappropriate outbursts, they fall into a toxic habit of denial, projection and gaslighting. When boundaries are set or they’re called out, they abandon real friends who tried to help them, and drift into progressively more chaotic and disfunctional relationships that have the one benefit of enabling them to think they’re never at fault and perpetually “misunderstood”. They never apologize (that is volunteer an apology as opposed to needing to be hunted down like a child), and they’re more than ok with allowing their new friends to spread lies about the people who actually cared about them.

This should sound familiar. As should this:

“I would honestly look at her crazy … and act stupid, ‘redpill? I don’t understand what you mean by that?’ Or some bullshit,” wrote rprookie.

Not that it ever actually worked. It’s just baffling to hear an otherwise smart person spew obvious bullshit and in the end only isolating themselves and becoming more miserable.

You’re right about medication not working, but you’re wrong about therapy. For the PDs who are tired of being miserable and can finally admit they are the cause of 99% of their perpetual chaos, cognitive therapy can work. But they have to DO IT. And not whine about how they can’t afford therapy. That is a real challenge, but if they can consume genre fiction and history books (proving their memory is perfectly fine and able if they’re motivated), then even a half-assed effort in trying to understand their explosive outbursts would be better than, “this is so hard, my real friends will put up with shit indefinitely”.

I have to generally agree with “Sick of your Ablism”, though not with every point.

The PD itself is not causing the “asshole lifestyle”. It’s the denial and refusal to get help or do anything but the most surface cosmetic changes: “don’t yell at people for no reason because you feel bad, yet refuse to talk about it”.

Eventually you have to let the people who refuse to change their behavior go. You might miss they person you thought they were, but you never miss the drama or gaslighting. Good fucking riddance.

As an aside, it is interesting the PDs most resistant to change are those raised white and male. Consciously or not, they benefit from the desire of many people wanting to believe their ongoing tales of “my unreasonable mom/teacher/boss/ex”. Seen that in the comments now and then.

Seoirse
Seoirse
6 months ago

@NOBODY

You are missing several things about how PDs work, I say as someone who is friends with and follows a number of people with NPD and BPD. You’re talking like the problems with PDs are largely to do with choices of how to behave, and that’s just not how PDs work.

First, PD =/= asshole. You can be an asshole without having a personality disorder, and you can have a personality disorder without being an asshole.

Secondly, I’d bet a thousand that you don’t have any disorder that causes emotional dysregulation. I’m bipolar. Realizing that I am manic or depressed does jack and shit to stop it, only to help me manage it and help it pass sooner. Knowing you have a problem with how your brain works… does not solve that problem. Often, it can’t be solved. So we learn to manage it, which entails a complex set of skills unique to the person that are often best learnt from other people with our disorders, which is harder for people with PDs because of the pervasive idea that they’re conspiring against people without PDs if they work together. But our disorders never go away, even if that’s what it looks like to an outsider. You have no idea how much of an emotional load that is.

Lastly, quite frankly fuck your classism for saying “whine about how they can’t afford therapy.” You realize how hard it is for people with mismanaged PDs to hold down jobs? How much energy it takes to work through issues like that on your own? I had to figure out 80% of this shit by myself because doctors refused to talk to me as a human instead of a problem to be solved, and it’s taken me five years to get to a semistable place. You blatantly do not understand how much work it takes to work around your own brain and how it’s wired.

TL;DR: Fuck off with this demonizing, dismissive, ignorant shit about people with PDs, and stop equating them to shitheads.

@Sick of your ableism

You rock. Keep sticking up for my demonized cousins, they need it.

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
6 months ago

Thirding “not everyone with a personality disorder is an asshole” here, and the anti-ableism and anti-classism bits.

@NOBODY:

They never apologize (that is volunteer an apology as opposed to needing to be hunted down like a child)

Hypothesis: people who never apologize, by and large, are precisely the people who were “hunted down” and made to do so repeatedly as children, and the reason is that for them an apology is not an act of contrition but an act of submission and a demand for one is thus an attempt to assert dominance, and from anyone other than a parent figure, their boss at work, or another authority figure, an illegitimate attempt to boot. (Psychopaths, meanwhile, will readily apologize … albeit insincerely. So the worst of the ones with a propensity to be actively dangerous to other people will slip right under your radar if “never apologizes” is your method for identifying problem people…)

This goes double if they were routinely, as children, coerced to apologize for things that they actually didn’t do, or that were involuntary on their part at least. That would complete the disconnect: apologies not when they actually had something to be contrite about, but purely as part of a dominance display by a parent figure.

An interesting question is then, from whom do the same people demand apologies be given to them? Those who genuinely fucked up and hurt them in some way, or those they perceive as subordinate? Do other people often demand apologies at all, or expect that they be freely given instead?

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 months ago

As far as I’m aware, no regular on this board is a clinical psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist, or other mental health professional. Nobody here is qualified to make sweeping, generalizing statements about all people with mental health challenges.

Especially statements that whole categories of people are beyond any possible help.

Narcissistic personality disorder is very resistant to treatment, but to say it can’t possibly be treated is dehumanizing and ableist in the extreme.

Borderline personality disorder is absolutely treatable! It is frequently comorbid with bipolar disorder and it responds to a lot of the same types of therapeutic interventions. So saying it is untreatable because folks with BPD choose to have personality disorder is not only ableist, it’s demonstrably (easily demonstrably) perfectly false.

An Impish Pepper
An Impish Pepper
6 months ago

I’m not really sure what to make of this discussion. I think I’m not going to comment on Dalilama’s post, as there has been no response to the criticisms so far and I can only guess from the post structure that they didn’t mean to spread harmful stereotypes about mad-identified people. I’m just a bit concerned about the nature of the criticisms, as it seems to make things out to be as if Dalilama is a repeat offender when it comes to ableism or even bigotry in general.

Some of us already feel disposable and ultimately unwelcome and just less and less inclined to share any views on any forum on the internet.

Seoirse
Seoirse
6 months ago

@An Impish Pepper

There are times when something someone says is egregious enough that one time is enough for censure. Saying that a whole class of mentally ill people are that way in order to victimize others and that they choose to be that way because they want to hurt people how they are is deeply ableist and incredibly inappropriate.

All those of us pushing back are upset about is that this is spreading ideas that are actively harmful to a marginalized group of people. Not doing that isn’t a high bar bar to clear.

NOBODY
NOBODY
6 months ago

You’re talking like the problems with PDs are largely to do with choices of how to behave, and that’s just not how PDs work.

Insofar as refusing to take responsibility AFTER they admit they have a problem BUT THEN get inappropriately upset when they are no longer allowed to make chaos, it really is. I too have known people either diagnosed or with similar symptoms.
I can have sympathy from a distance. But no way is anyone who behaves that way going to suck anymore of my limited time. I did my time, was patient and supportive for almost a decade with one “friend”. My reward? To be gaslit and lied about, and their pathologically jealous partner(who has their own tragic story and I ALSO tried to be a friend to), try to destroy my business reputation.

So good luck to them. Really. We need more mental health services. And funding and all that. But pretending everyone must have an inexhaustible supply of personal understanding is not workable or realistic.

Hypothesis: people who never apologize, by and large, are precisely the people who were “hunted down” and made to do so repeatedly as children, and the reason is that for them an apology is not an act of contrition but an act of submission etc

Gosh I have never considered that.
/Sarc

This is why, in at least one case, I was ridiculously patient, because I had similar unsupportive adults in my youth. My patience lasted for EIGHT FUCKING YEARS.

At some point, no matter how unhelpful your upbringing is, you must find a way to acquire adulting skills if you want your life to go forward. It’s not fair to do it on your own but it must be done. I speak from experience.

What you absolutely can NOT do is attack the people helping you. I speak from experience there too. In my case it was a factory manager who was really kind…who I snapped at for no reason.
She really kindly asked why I did that. I didn’t know, but by non God, I was going to find out, because I did not want to hurt people who were being kind to me.

People showing PD disfuctions simply do not respond to that kind of informal engagement. They must have professional therapy.

Edit: perhaps it’s not clear but I have unlimited patience for someone struggling with issues because I understand that journey, provided one thing: THEY ARE DOING THE WORK.

But the second I have evidence they were never doing the work and just making noises, I’m done. I don’t do codependency.

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
6 months ago

At some point, no matter how unhelpful your upbringing is, you must find a way to acquire adulting skills if you want your life to go forward. It’s not fair to do it on your own but it must be done.

That sounds a lot like the way conservatives always talk. Sink or swim, like it or lump it, that’s just the way the world is, it doesn’t matter if you had disadvantages and other people were born on third base you can still be successful as proved by $(INSPIRING_EXAMPLE) and therefore if you’re not it’s your own damn fault and quit whining about structural disadvantages and rocking the boat and yadda yadda yadda …

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
6 months ago

And of course the bloody site ate it.

Fuck this shit I’m going to bed. Maybe things will be working correctly again tomorrow. :/

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 months ago

Edit: perhaps it’s not clear but I have unlimited patience for someone struggling with issues because I understand that journey, provided one thing: THEY ARE DOING THE WORK.

But the second I have evidence they were never doing the work and just making noises, I’m done. I don’t do codependency.

There’s a big difference between saying “people with personality disorders are salvageable” and “people with personality disorders must be tolerated endlessly.” I haven’t seen anyone equate the two; maybe I missed it. The mentally well often experience splash damage from the mentally ill, and that’s unfortunate; your first responsibility is to yourself and your own mental health. If you can’t be mentally healthy around someone with (just to pull it out of the air) borderline, then you’re not required to put up with them! I discriminate heavily against mental illness in my own personal life, simply because my own bullshit is enough of a challenge without taking on the challenge of someone else’s bullshit additionally. I’m entitled to do that. The mentally healthy are also entitled to do that. It sucks to be the mad person being pushed away, but I recognize that nobody is required to put up with me any more than I am required to put up with someone else.

But, again, there’s a difference between pushing someone with mental illness away, and declaring unilaterally that they are unable to be helped, objectively, by anyone. The first is self-care; the second is ableism. I’m sorry for what happened to you with your (ex?) friends, but that’s not what’s being criticized.

An Impish Pepper
An Impish Pepper
6 months ago

*sigh* Here I go wasting more hours that I could have spent on something that wasn’t going to repeatedly hack away at my self-worth while doing it.

Censure is one thing. Dragging a person as a bigot, based on one post that may have been a miscommunication, is something more. It says something about the person’s relationship with the community — what it is, and what it should be.

The fact that being an asshole is not a mental illness is an extremely common theme, not just in the comment sections here but also in some of the articles. Many people have nonetheless tried to internet diagnose in the past, and many have been called out on it. Dalilama has been a regular in these comment sections for longer than I started reading them, and is generally among the people who do the calling out. I’m not saying that being “woke” makes you impervious to criticism, even harsh criticism. But at some point you’re just disregarding an entire context to read a post in the worst way possible. There’s a difference between demanding better of someone, and talking to them like they’re a troll that David forgot to ban.

Anyway, I’ve seen enough similar altercations on here that I’m not exactly inclined to say too much more for fear of people jumping down my throat again with the worst sorts of nonsense about my beliefs and values.

Moogue
Moogue
6 months ago

@an impish pepper

But at some point you’re just disregarding an entire context to read a post in the worst way possible.

What was the context? Honest question.

Some of us already feel disposable and ultimately unwelcome and just less and less inclined to share any views on any forum on the internet.

I think I can understand where you’re coming from. I’ve been there, on other forums. It is frustrating, especially when you don’t know what will set other people off.

Sorry if you feel disposable. You’re not.

Cyborgette
Cyborgette
6 months ago

Yeah sorry Dalillama is wrong about personality disorders. BPD at least can absolutely be treated and managed.

(It’s also hard to the distinguish from CPTSD, and preferentially thrown at AFAB and female-presenting people as a diagnosis; so you have a lots of people getting stigmatized with it and abused for it when what they need is some fucking trauma-competent therapy. I was lucky, I would have easily fallen into that category if I’d been AFAB.)

That being said this stuff is complicated. IIRC being officially diagnosed as a “sociopath” or “psychopath” theoretically requires a history of actually being an abuser, and honestly? I generally don’t fuck with people who have low interpersonal empathy and good theory of mind, because IME most of them have turned out to be abusive. I know one or two who (AFAIK) aren’t, but when you have low empathy and live in a society that *systematically rewards you* for having no code of ethics, it’s very easy to become an abuser.

I get similarly exasperated by a lot of the discourse around bipolar disorder TBH. I don’t have it myself, but what I do have is a close family member who has it – and got spectacularly abusive when they were manic.

The blame for that should fall mostly IMO on bigoted and broken institutions that don’t give people with mental illnesses the care we need, or respect our humanity and quality of life when “treating” us. But I also get really heartily sick of the rhetoric that mental illnesses never harm others. No y’all, it is absolutely possible for someone to become abusive or get more abusive due to mental illness. That in no way abrogates society’s responsibility to treat them like a human being, but like… maybe stop with that denial. It actually hurts people.

Moogue
Moogue
6 months ago

@Cyborgette

Yeah sorry Dalillama is wrong about personality disorders. BPD at least can absolutely be treated and managed.

I’m curious, what’s the “yeah sorry” for? I don’t think that anyone is saying that Dali’s right. Dali is wrong about PDs, and they’re wrong about psychosis as well, since a really large percent of people who suffer from a psychotic episode(s) are in some level of denial about being sick, even when they’re “lucid”.

Also, what’s this boards obsesession with BPD? It’s been mentioned quite a few times, and it’s hardly the token Personality Disorder, and hardly the most treatable either. Although I’ve been through DBT, (obviously developed for BPD), and it is an excellent, skills-based program. It will help anyone that puts the honest work in. Because a lot of the symptomology of Personality Disorders comes down to a lack of skills to handle a different brain structure. They’re not monsters. People used to say the same shit about autistic people too.

Lastly, many honest, competent mental health professionals will tell you that Personality Disorders are WAY overdiagnosed, and are super subject to the professional’s biases or even frustration with the client. This is because Personality Disorders are pathological versions of normal personality traits.

Like for example narcissism, well everyone is a narcissist. Seriously, it’s a part of everyone’s personality, a trait that exists on a spectrum from pathologically low to pathologically high. And where someone is on that spectrum is a matter of professional opinion, and if you are a professional that is frustrated or angry with a client, that professional opinion is going to get influenced by your emotions, try as hard as you might to be totally objective. That’s just the facts of the way humans work.

That in no way abrogates society’s responsibility to treat them like a human being, but like… maybe stop with that denial. It actually hurts people.

☝️THIS. Thank you for saying that.

Cyborgette
Cyborgette
6 months ago

@Moogue

The “yeah sorry” was because part of my own pathology is being far too conflict-averse. 😉

Moon Custafer
Moon Custafer
6 months ago

Lastly, quite frankly fuck your classism for saying “whine about how they can’t afford therapy.” You realize how hard it is for people with mismanaged PDs to hold down jobs?

Apologies for adding fuel to the fire, but I’m lucky enough to have a full-time job, and my medical benefits will cover maybe three psychiatric sessions a year, total, *if* neither I nor my spouse need any other stuff that’s classed as para-medical. He’s on disability, so I think his sessions are covered, if we can find a psychiatrist with room in their schedule and who isn’t awful (he’s had some in the bast who I’d consider abusive or incompetent).

Moogue
Moogue
6 months ago

The “yeah sorry” was because part of my own pathology is being far too conflict-averse. 😉

Oh, ok got it. Makes sense. 😊

Although now that you mentioned it, is it just me, or does anyone else read any sentence starting with the words “yeah sorry” in a sarcastic, confrontational way? Maybe it’s a regional English thing, or maybe it’s just a me thing. I am pretty dumb sometimes. 😝😜

Cyborgette
Cyborgette
6 months ago

@Moogue

Yeah that’s a real thing, and honestly I’m not sure sometimes if I’m doing it genuinely or as a form of passive aggression. Probably a habit I should work on TBH.

Alan Robertshaw
6 months ago

@ moogue

I use the ‘Yeah, sorry’ formula when I’ve put my foot in it.

The ‘yeah’ is to indicate I agree with someone; that old thing of agreement/disagreement being a signal for ‘I like you/I don’t like you’ regardless of the subject matter; and the sorry being the apology.

But I can see how people might see it as condescension; especially in text where there’s no tone or body language to take cues from.

Threp (formerly Shadowplay)
Threp (formerly Shadowplay)
6 months ago

Just going to say one thing, honor demands it.

Known Dali for years – way longer than just here. Yeah, she’s got opinions and ain’t exactly shy or circumspect about expressing them. That can rub people the wrong way. Sometimes she’s wrong – she’s human. It happens.

What she isn’t is someone as punches down.

Cyborgette
Cyborgette
6 months ago

@Threp

Oh yeah, and I’ve seen that. 🙂 Dalillama is one of the posters I most respect here TBH. Just even the best of us get it wrong sometimes.