Knowing that mental illness is the result of normal adaptations to unhealthy situations became clear to me when I read “The Boy Who was Raised as a Dog” by Dr. Bruce Perry. Trigger warning for this book – it does contain harrowing stories of people’s lived experiences.
For me, it showed me how people who come from seemingly ‘normal and loving homes’ can do terrible things. It really changed the way I thought about murders, sociopaths and severe mental illness in general.
How does the human psyche survive inhuman situations? It has to adapt. It reminds me of Charles Darwin’s phrase “adapt or die”. Dr. Perry talks about proven pathways of healing for severely traumatised children / people that don’t involve medication. His book touched me deeply.
If you love psychology and human development, you might enjoy his book too. If you read it, let me know what you think, and if you have read it, how did it impact you?