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  • Circumcision Trauma and Personality Disorders

    Hello all - I was a member of the boards over a decade ago, for a few years, and then came back and scuttled off again. I have been hiding in an existential bottle of ethanol for most of my life. I am finally sober for several months and want to start to get my life on track.

    I have Borderline Personality Disorder. I was raised by Borderlines, and so I know that is the crux of my disorder. However, I hypothesize that genital mutilation trauma in and of itself may cause such disorders in some individuals. I already had BPD when I recognized my mutilation for what it is at the age of 17 - HOWEVER - that realization profoundly exasperated my condition. After my revelation I had an extreme emotional breakdown, used drugs until I had a psychotic break, and over the past 15 years have nearly died probably a dozen times due to heavy substance use (mostly ethanol).

    I notice that in the insular, Middle-Eastern Muslim world, personality disorders seem to be the norm. I think perhaps circumcision was designed to create these disorders, even if the exact intent of the original perpetrators was not so coherent and conscious.

    I spoke a Muslim Pakistani man on an internet chat room recently. When I explained to him the ramifications of male genital mutilation, he told me it was good to hurt the babies physically, and that it is good that mutilation dulls sexual sensation, as sexual pleasure should not be "excessive". Maimonides used this exact reasoning in his texts. Sexual pleasure is an essential component of human experience. The word perverse has been perverted. Perverted means "twisted" - sexuality is not inherently perverted at all, quite the opposite. The maligning of sexuality is perverse.

    Anyway, obviously Muslims are not the only mutilators. Most of us were cut by doctors or mohels - myself by a doctor, and my partner by an especially awful mohel who left him mangled.

    I study psychology so these things are of great interest to me. Does anyone have any thoughts about a correlation between personality disorders and genital mutilation? I know that I feel so violated by what happened to me that I will never fully resolve the conflicts I harbor within. I snapped when I found out what had been done to me. Every time I try to make love with my partner, I am confronted by my mutilation and his mutilation. He can't function fully he was cut so badly. My penis feels discomfort during sex much of the time, and I nearly always experience emotional trauma during sex due to my awareness of what happened to me, and the sheer discomfort my penis can provide due to what was done to it.

    Does anyone else here have a personality disorder? I think the incidence of Borderline PD, as well as other personality disorders such as Narcissistic and Anti-Social are endemic and widespread in cultures which mutilate. Any thoughts on the matter?

  • #2
    I think with this phenomenon there is a very real correlation between various personality disorders, being prone to violence, etc. and circumcision. Remember, there is documented proof thru MRI studies that the intense pain of circumcision on an infant's brain messes up the wiring in those areas that deal with emotion, perception and reasoning. An infant's brain is like a brand new computer hard drive and the pain is a virus. Just like a computer, the "software" of the brain, i.e. life experiences, must be installed properly and in a more or less proper order and introducing the virus of pain while the brain is still developing has the potential for some really disastrous results. However, this does not effect everyone in the same manner. There are so many variables.
    MORE studies on this are needed.

    Comment


    • #3
      "But..........because I am science based, and more importantly, because science has not researched (with any confirmation I'm aware of) the general psychological effects on neonates who have been circumcised, and, because I have seen several people with your Dx fixate (for want of a better term) on one issue or another, I would suspect, if pressed to the wall, that your suspicion that circumcision is significant in your diagnosis, is a feeling only, and not necessarily a fact. Of course, I don't know your history. In other words, you, like the rest of us for that matter, have to tread carefully when you (and we) are looking for "causes", "reasons", etc."

      I am "artistic", lol, but I am science-based as well. This is why I am positing a highly speculative but not wildly haphazard hypothesis, rather than communicating some solid conclusion or revelation. I know that my intense emotions can distort reality. I also know that I am sometimes simply much more highly attuned to the intensity of a matter - mostly concerning the suffering of a living being. I digress. As I said, I am speculating, based on some degree of observation. Yes, many people with Borderline PD fixate on anything we perceive as persecution/victimization. I recognize this and know that it can color my perceptions.

      I still think there is something very significant about genital mutilation in Muslim cultures and generation aggression, domestic power disparity/violence, etc. I enjoy having discussions on these matters, and want as many facts as possible, but also enjoy intelligent observations and anecdotes and brainstorming. I have a feeling I am not the only person with Cluster-B traits on these boards, both due to sheer statistical probability and the congregation of wounded energy I see in communities of individuals coalescing to work to change such a grave societal injustice that leads to grievous personal tragedies.

      "Beyond this suggestion, though, I can't help. But I do think that realizing that thoughts are just thoughts, and not mandates, not "orders", not "outside", is very important. Also realizing that someone else's thoughts about circumcision aren't that personally helpful. Whatever one person's take on his culture may or may not be, it's irrelevant to your situation.

      If you notice, I'm qualifying and back peddling here. Not just because I'm not somebody who can advise you (really, nobody here can), but because I think this needs to be a discussion with a therapist. I highly doubt that another guy with the same diagnosis would be much help, either. Run your thoughts past a therapist, discover what you can with that person. You've opened up here. So you can, and should, so the same with a professional, if for no other reason than balance."

      You're correct that my conversation has no relevance to my personal situation, at least in the micro sense. In the macro sense, I tend to see everything as interconnected to some degree, at least in regard to human social consciousness in an era of mass communication. I get into states where I engage in activities which I find interesting, which may or may not yield any truly valuable experience, lol.

      I do see a therapist. Thank you for your concern. I have been very open with a lot of people about my thoughts and feelings on this topic. It doesn't make the pain abate much, frankly. I am still faced with it every time I have sex. Some people have more damage than others in the mutilation department. And of course I have psychological sensitivities to any adverse stimuli. Still, if I weren't mutilated I wouldn't have nearly the difficulties with intimacy that I do. I believe I've come to a place where I can parse that which is purely emotional and that which is, hard as it is to face, factual. Since my reaction is not hysteria but mature, stoic acceptance, I think Iv'e evolved and am in a position where all I can do is try to improve my sexual situation as much as possible with restoration and salve my psychological wounds as much as possible with socialization with like-minded individuals and internal work, both self-directed and professional-assisted, in addition to activism.

      I do recommend good professional help for anyone with issues similar to mine. Be wary, though - Americans in general are very emotional about circumcision due to its cultural entrenchment. I have had multiple practitioners make me feel considerably worse than I did before seeing them, either through overtly demeaning comments or obviously condescending/mocking energy - and I know these were not always misperceptions. I am not an especially hysterical Borderline.

      Sorry for being so verbose. I appreciate the responses! I would love to get a conversation moving here. I need to do some research. There is a class I want to take, a Psych-Sexuality course in which such topic-matter would be what I'd most anticipate exploring in class. And I love to stir up the status quo and get people thinking and talking in general, lol.

      Comment


      • #4
        "I think with this phenomenon there is a very real correlation between various personality disorders, being prone to violence, etc. and circumcision. Remember, there is documented proof thru MRI studies that the intense pain of circumcision on an infant's brain messes up the wiring in those areas that deal with emotion, perception and reasoning. An infant's brain is like a brand new computer hard drive and the pain is a virus. Just like a computer, the "software" of the brain, i.e. life experiences, must be installed properly and in a more or less proper order and introducing the virus of pain while the brain is still developing has the potential for some really disastrous results. However, this does not effect everyone in the same manner. There are so many variables.
        MORE studies on this are needed."

        Yes!

        Comment


        • #5
          The MRI study which showed pain from circumcision has an impact on infant brain development, especially in the prefrontal cortex, is extremely compelling evidence in regards to long term psychological impacts. However, when I presented this study to someone, they outright refused to believe the results. Granted, that person denied to accept the results of any of the studies that I presented him with, finding different excuses for each study.

          What that study really showed was neonatal pain results in a change in the development of the brain. What i found by researching it from this angle, is that there are dozens of studies showing this. These studies do not mention circumcision in any way, yet have a very similar hypothesis and result. So when someone says we need MORE studies, they may already exist. If circumcision is trauma, and causes pain, which it does, than it falls under the umbrella of these other studies.

          Comment


          • #6
            If you need "more studies" to prove that forcibly chopping off the most nerve packed and sensitive part of someone's body without their consent, for no valid medical reason, as one of their first life experiences WITHOUT anesthetic, YOU are a piece of shit with no morals ,respect, or higher cognitive functioning. To me, this really is a no-brainer. Even if you know nothing about the foreskin, something in your little pea brain has to go off and say "Hmm, he was born with that, maybe he needs it". DUH!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by parsecskin View Post
              If you need "more studies" to prove that forcibly chopping off the most nerve packed and sensitive part of someone's body without their consent, for no valid medical reason, as one of their first life experiences WITHOUT anesthetic, YOU are a piece of shit with no morals ,respect, or higher cognitive functioning. To me, this really is a no-brainer. Even if you know nothing about the foreskin, something in your little pea brain has to go off and say "Hmm, he was born with that, maybe he needs it". DUH!
              I understand your anger, but it becomes complicated when it is your own family that does it. I have to go have christmas with my family today, and the emotions I feel toward my sister and brother-in-law are very complicated. I don't even think trying to explain it to them would be beneficial, they just don't get it. If feels wrong not to debate it, but if i constantly bring it up I seem weirdly obsessive. The last event we were all at I drank heavily, spoke as little as possible to them, and left early.

              The way I see it, there are 4 psychological reasons for making the decision, maybe more but these seem like the cornerstone mentalities to me. The first being ignorance, which is where I would place most of the older generations, oblivious there is even a debate. The second being denial, where many of the current generation reside, making it extremely difficult to convince them of the truth. Next being delusional, similar to denial but slightly different. Many people are probably a combination of these two. Lastly, you're just a monster that lacks a moral compass.

              I think not believing the studies fall more under the denial and delusion reasoning than the lack of morals/monster. Lack of morals argument would be," I believe the studies are true, but I don't give a shit about the pain and suffering that baby is experiencing". Instead the reaction I am more familiar with is, "there must be a flaw with that study, so I don't believe it could be true. I am fine."

              Comment


              • #8
                I agree that most people perpetuate circumcision out of denial and ignorance rather than intentional monstrosity. Thoughts are indeed thoughts, but thoughts dictate our subjective realities, as do feelings. In the realm of human experience, objective reality does not exist in the way it does in hard science.

                Extreme pain experienced at any age can cause organic changes in brain chemistry; this is especially the case when speaking about an infant, let alone a neonate. Being neglected of attention is accepted as capable of causing long-lasting, even permanent, changes in cognition and personality. The neuronal damage incurred during genital mutilation is arguably even more severe. Extreme pain has been shown to cause changes in the development of one's organic brain chemistry and therefore psyche. People just don't want to accept this in regard to MGM in our country due to deeply entrenched bias. People tend to prefer their denial, as you pointed out, deja.

                There were multiple factors involved in the genesis of my personality disorder. I am much more highly aware than most about the intricacies of my issues than most with my disorder. My perception is actually generally quite clear when I am not intoxicated. As I said, I don't think most genital mutilation is conducted out of malice.

                It seems evident to me that Muslim men tend to be more violent than other cultures; these people are mutilated at an age when they are cognizant enough to recognize that something dreadful is occurring to them, and are subsequently taught that violence is appropriate and even desirable. I am not attempting to malign Muslims as a whole. I am an Atheist. All religious people, and people in general, seem to be hardwired to be capable of violence. It is the cultivation of higher reasoning which mitigates or eliminates this. I don't judge people simply for their religious beliefs. Yet that religion is especially violent, as politically-incorrect as that is to say.

                Our culture is always decrying the subjugation of women. Yet the sexuality of women is held sacred. In fact, it is even held sacred in Muslim cultures. Men's sexuality still seems to be seen as unseemly, I am suffering from a lack of pleasurable sexual experience with the man I plan to spend the rest of my life with; he is a brilliant man, and so very loving. Yet I see even in him this malignant denial. He told me being mutilated doesn't bother him, because he doesn't know any better; but I know better, and I see how he struggles to experience fully pleasurable sexual activity.

                I was not diagnosed by a "professional" as Borderline. It is glaringly apparent to me as I meet all the criteria, but people are reluctant to actually Dx it. My new psychologist even let me know that she takes my self-diagnoses with a grain of salt, and told me something I was already vividly aware of - many practitioners are reluctant or even refuse to treat people with my issues. It makes me feel like I should feel fortunate to even be given treatment.

                The question of whether or not mutilation causes personality disorders may never be elucidated. But I fee confident that in some cases, perhaps many, it can. And the frustration of not being able to enjoy full sexual pleasure can cause a person to slide into mental illness, regardless of the cause of their inability to feel full pleasure.

                I still believe that violence begets violence. Our culture is vividly aware of how poorly Muslim women are often treated, and that is a good thing, But I see nobody commenting on the fact that the men are victimized first, often with the blessing and even abject celebration of the women in their lives. This all leads to a cycle of violence,

                It's difficult being aware of just how fucked up our world is, especially when so many laugh in the faces of men who have so cruelly been abused from a young age.

                I know that my sexual frustrations often lead me too become very aggressive.

                And denial is not just a river in Egypt. My partner told me his mutilation doesn't bother him, that I am too fixated on sex, and yet he has masturbated to the point that he is severely worsened his condition; I find it all very perplexing.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Ohh! The thought police will edit that post, I'm sure. 1st AMENDMENT RIGHTS to be trampled upon again.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Ron Lowe isn't into censoring free speech at all, hence my post remains unmolested.

                    I am unsure why the poster referencing my need for therapy removed his posts.

                    I like pontificating on matters, and I find it highly offensive that so many think women's sexuality is oppressed and that of men is not, hence my previous post.

                    Comment


                    • #11

                      "The MRI study which showed pain from circumcision has an impact on infant brain development, especially in the prefrontal cortex, is extremely compelling evidence in regards to long term psychological impacts. However, when I presented this study to someone, they outright refused to believe the results. Granted, that person denied to accept the results of any of the studies that I presented him with, finding different excuses for each study.

                      What that study really showed was neonatal pain results in a change in the development of the brain. What i found by researching it from this angle, is that there are dozens of studies showing this. These studies do not mention circumcision in any way, yet have a very similar hypothesis and result. So when someone says we need MORE studies, they may already exist. If circumcision is trauma, and causes pain, which it does, than it falls under the umbrella of these other studies."

                      This sounds very accurate to me.
                      Last edited by WoundedBird; 06-15-2019, 11:27 PM.

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