Psychological Self-Help

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35
exposed to a myriad of responses to frustration, but in many ways the
message, again, is: "aggression gets results." Examples: the handsome TV
star is often quick and powerful with his fists; every night the news
documents that the most powerful nations win the wars and that the giant
corporations eliminate jobs or do whatever makes a profit and win. 
Recent research found that 3,385 children and teens were killed by guns in
one year. Guns have a special allure for boys. Marjorie Hardy
(
hardyms@eckerd.edu, Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics,
2003) observed boys, aged 9 to 15, who were told to not touch an air gun
when left alone. But many did touch it and then denied they touched it. This
was especially true of the younger boys. Bingenheimer, Brennan & Earls
(2005) reported that just observing firearm violence and aggression doubles
the risk that the young observer will become a perpetrator of violence in the
next few years. So, personal experiences in the environment are additional
important causes of violence. Male teens with diagnoses of Conduct Disorder
or Behavioral Disorder are more likely to break the law and carry a gun. That
is a dangerous combination.
Lastly, I’ll just mention that violent video games are sold by the millions,
mostly to teens and young men. Even the U.S. military uses violent games to
entertain and train new recruits. These real-life violent games increase
(http://www.apa.org/releases/videogames.html). Likewise, there are many R-
rated movies being seen by children and teens. About 28% of 10 to 14-year-
olds say they have seen especially violent films depicting rape, sodomy, and
brutal killings. The focus of the research is on males but according to Join
Together.org (www.jointogether.org) girls are also much more likely to be
aggressive after a childhood of watching violence on TV (Dr. Linda
Lewandowski, University of Michigan).
Self-hatred and self-reports describing anger
Theodore Rubin (1975) discusses self-hatred, defined as disliking any part
of our selves. It involves all of our distortions of our real self, any self-put
down, or any exaggeration of one's goodness or ability. When we distort or
deny what we really are, it suggests we don't like ourselves. This dislike of
self starts in infancy. Babies have all kinds of habits, needs, and emotions
that parents prohibit: sloppiness, anger, greediness, jealousy, self-centered
demands, etc. As a child, we all learned that parts of ourselves were bad. This
self-hatred becomes automated in the form of depression, which both
punishes us and drowns out other feelings too. 
Parents who are rejecting, neglectful, overdemanding, overprotective,
overly punitive, or overbearing increase the self-hatred in a child. "I'm not
good enough" becomes a central part of the self-concept. Such a child may be
a "good girl/boy" but fear and rage may exist within, even when feeling
empty and lifeless. Sometimes the self-hatred is conscious but the connection
between self-criticism and other problems (depression, anxiety, and fatigue)
is unconscious. Sometimes the self-hatred is unconscious and we feel badly
without knowing why.
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