La Times: Bitterness as mental illness?

Posted by Kendall Harmon

You know them. I know them. And, increasingly, psychiatrists know them. People who feel they have been wronged by someone and are so bitter they can barely function other than to ruminate about their circumstances.

This behavior is so common -- and so deeply destructive -- that some psychiatrists are urging it be identified as a mental illness under the name post-traumatic embitterment disorder. The behavior was discussed before an enthusiastic audience last week at a meeting of the American Psychiatric Assn. in San Francisco.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchPsychology

4 Comments
Posted May 26, 2009 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Grandmother wrote:

Ironic they should mention “rewriting the mental health bible” .  LOL

Next up, not just bitter folk, but “clinging” bitter folk, and then of course gun-owners, and bible clingers… 

I guess it means they’re soon coming to take me away my friend, only I don’t believe its the men in the white coats, hopefully, its the angels with wings.
Grandmother

May 26, 1:07 pm | [comment link]
2. palagious wrote:

There has to be a opportunity for the pharmaceutical industry here somewhere, gotta get the R&D;bubbas working on the “bitter-ness medicine”.

May 26, 1:12 pm | [comment link]
3. nwlayman wrote:

OK, the same folks who took homosexuality *out* of the book now put “bitterness” *in*.  If you’re bitter about not getting your same sex marriage blessed, however, it’s perfectly normal.  See why “Social Sciences” degrade the education at every university?

May 26, 2:20 pm | [comment link]
4. Terry Tee wrote:

OK guys enough of the sarcasm.

Surely the pastors/clergy out there have had experience of people who have been terribly, terribly hurt.  Victims of violence or betrayal, for example.  What do you say to someone whose child has been blinded and brain damaged in an unprovoked attack?  I sometimes think that we Christians rush too quickly to the injunction to forgive.  Sometimes rage has to be worked through - and here therapy, prayer and yes, even perhaps pharmacology, may have a part to play.  But what if the person cannot let go of the bitterness?  We were very moved here in the UK about something I think Kendall may have posted - the vicar whose daughter died in the London subway bombings.  She (the vicar) felt that she could not forgive, and therefore resigned her ministry, because she recognized that as a Christian she ought to forgive.  Personally, I thought that she could have continued with integrity to minister, because even to struggle with yourself in such a situation is to begin to forgive, or at least, to do what you can with otherwise overpowering feelings.

May 26, 4:57 pm | [comment link]
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