Monday, 30 July 2012

Childhood abuse may stunt growth of part of brain involved in emotions

Many women and men who have been subjected to severe physical or sexual abuse during childhood suffer from long-term psychological and emotional disturbances. They may be invaded by nightmares and flashbacks, or conversely, may freeze into benumbed calm in situations of extreme stress. Recent studies find that survivors of child abuse may also have a smaller hippocampus relative to control subjects. If substantiated, the discovery could fill out the profile of an abuse survivor and help define what constitutes abuse.

The amygdala and the hippocampus are part of the limbic system. A study by Teicher et al. (1993) found a 38% increased rate of limbic abnormalities ('emotional brain') following physical abuse, 49% after sexual abuse.

Being sexually or emotionally abused as a child can affect the development of a part of the brain that controls memory and the regulation of emotions, a study suggests. Three key areas of the hippocampus in the brain were smaller in people who reported maltreatment in childhood.

The results add to the growing body of evidence that childhood maltreatment or abuse raises the risk of mental illnesses such as depression, personality disorders and anxiety well into adulthood.

Martin Teicher of the department of psychiatry at Harvard University scanned the brains of almost 200 people who had been questioned about any instances of abuse or stress during childhood. He found that the volumes of three important areas of the hippocampus were reduced by up to 6.5% in people exposed to several instances of maltreatment – such as physical or verbal abuse from parents – in their early years.

"The exquisite vulnerability of the hippocampus to the ravages of stress is one of the key translational neuroscience discoveries of the 20th century," wrote Teicher in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

India: No country for women?

Every 25 minutes a woman is raped in India !
20 women killed every day for dowry !
I have never envisaged a debate on Indian television suggesting that in India, the birthplace of Tantra, the home of the Dalai Lama, etc - India: No country for women

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

The Body in Psychotherapy - a "touching" letter from 'C'

"Hi Andre,

Now I have had some time to reflect on our afternoon I could probably look you in the eye again!

It was a liberating experience. Im not sure what I was expecting but I enjoyed it, afterwards I felt really good. I had been going through a bad time but whatever you did really helped, I felt much more centred and happy.

Until now I had never thought about my formative years in terms of touch before. I only knew the abusive kind I guess... :(

I'm aware most childhoods are dysfunctional and mine's no different. Since you asked, and perhaps in a way this may explain some of my reluctance to let go; Im a girl with daddy issues! father left my mother when I was very young not to return. After 18 months old my mother only ever fed me bread and water, as a consequence I have a severely limited diet and food problems today, although somewhat improved. I had a non-relationship with my stepfather. They had two daughters but I remained out-cast and used as a childminder. Soon after I made bad relationship and life choices involving sexual/physical abuse some of which I experienced while underage with my stepfathers friend... The first 20 years sucked!
... I thought as sexually open as I am I would be fine...However Ive come to the conclusion that there is no hiding here, what I experienced was authentic and real and all the while I can keep up with the best of them, truly surrendering is another thing all together... Thank you for your time, Tantra is definitely something I want to explore :)

I also need to return your umbrella!

C "

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Tantra, The Kama Sutra & the Song of Songs - שִׁיר הַשִּׁירִים: a comparison

Rape, Murder and Misogyny - The Real Revelations of the Kama Sutra 

“The following women are not suitable as lovers: A leper, a lunatic, an older woman, a woman ostracized by her caste..., a woman who is too black...” 
 Kama Sutra of Vātsyāyana (Part One, Ch:5)
  “I am black and beautiful, O daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Cedar, as the curtains of Solomon.” 
 The Song of Songs (1:5)

“How beautiful your sandaled feet...

Your graceful legs are like jewels, the work of an artist’s hands.

Your navel /vulva is a rounded goblet that never lacks blended wine

 Your waist is a mound of wheat encircled by lilies.

Your breasts are like two fawns, like twin fawns of a gazelle

Your neck is like an ivory tower

 Your eyes are the pools of Heshbon

 by the gate of Bath Rabbim. Your nose ...

Your head crowns you like Mount Carmel

 Your hair is like royal tapestry;

 the king is held captive by its tresses.

 How beautiful you are and how pleasing,

 my love, with your delights! Your stature is like that of the palm...”   (Song of Songs 7:1-7)