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A Common Trait Among Mass Killers: Hatred Toward Women []


By Julie Bosman, Kate Taylor, and Tim Arango, The New York Times, August 10, 2019

The man who shot nine people to death last weekend in Dayton, Ohio, seethed at female classmates and threatened them with violence.

The man who massacred 49 people in an Orlando nightclub in 2016 beat his wife while she was pregnant, she told authorities.

The man who killed 26 people in a church in Sutherland Springs, Tex., in 2017 had been convicted of domestic violence. His ex-wife said he once told her that he could bury her body where no one would ever find it.

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Rich Featherly posted:

Do we need a new DSM diagnosis called hatefulness disorder? Imagine the stigma with having that label slapped on you. Perhaps we can call it complex PTSD or developmental trauma.

There have been moves to adopt "complex PTSD" to encompass developmental trauma. I've been away from clinical practice for a while. Does anyone know of plans for this in DSM6? There is a lot of controversy about what was or was not included in DSM5. Last I heard we're stuck with DSM5 for a while. Practically though I think it is helpful to think in terms you suggest, Rich.

In the discussion about mental illness being or not being a factor in mass killings, I think people who are unfamiliar with the DSM would be surprised to find out that hatred and/or a history of domestic violence does not guarantee a mental health diagnosis. We are dealing with a similar paradigm shift in the way we view addictions. Are a person's behaviors a sign of mental illness or a sign of a character defect. In the case of hatefulness and domestic violence, there have been previous articles posted in this group pointing out a strong link to ACEs.

Do we need a new DSM diagnosis called hatefulness disorder? Imagine the stigma with having that label slapped on you. Perhaps we can call it complex PTSD or developmental trauma.

Tina Marie Hahn, MD posted:

Attachment trauma w/ fear of abandonment provoking a dissociated β€œFight Part?” 

Yes and dissociated shame taking the form of anger when triggered by recurring rejections and perceived failures over a lifetime as measured by his culturally shaped expectations for success as a man.  This is just a slim narrative that could be bulked out with many different tangled threads. John Hughes' teen movies usually highlighted the frustrations of this kind of character in ways that kids recognized.  I saw these "kids" in my practice and sometimes later when they grew up. Without support networks to improve resilience they had a difficult time with self acceptance and capacity to risk "failure" in initiating relationships or in opportunities for learning. There was a wonderful scene in the Netflix Stranger Things when a shy sensitive boy finds himself at a school dance where he suffers several rejections before an empathetic and generous older girl invites him to dance with her and offers him verbal encouragement. As the story continues he later develops a relationship with a girl with similar "nerdy" traits  which that had separated him from his peers in school.  

Tina thank you for responding to the post. I agree with you about the self hatred. I'm interested in untangling the multiple determinants, the bio-psycho-social factors like ACEs that generated the self hatred including those that generated and perpetuate the ACEs. I think the work which has resulted in expanding the types of ACEs beyond 10 is carrying that process forward. A clue for me is that in doing psychotherapy with men with misogynist traits the kernel always seemed to be a sense of powerlessness and inadequacy in general and not just with respect to women. So how did they get that way? Maybe this is where the biological cultural and social factors converge.

If you have been following the stories about these men what is reported here will be no surprise. Yet to see it spelled out so clearly gave me a jolt.
What is going on in our culture that shapes their view of the world. And what can be done to remedy this? It's one thing to say that misogyny is a factor. It's another thing to to trace the roots and nutrients that feed it and perpetuates it.. As we trace these threads and follow how they are entangled with other cultural and structural factors that amount to structural violence, hopefully we can make some progress to a more sane and humane world. I'm grateful for the contribution ACEs Connection already makes to this enterprise.

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