Who Are the Sweden Democrats?

“Keep Sweden Swedish” – a campaign poster for the Sweden Democrats

Shockwaves will go through the West in the aftermath of the Swedish General Election on the 9th September. Opinion polls are suggesting that the post-war Swedish consensus is about to be shattered, with it looking increasingly likely that the Sweden Democrats are going to win the most seats. This essay seeks to explain who the Sweden Democrats are and how they rose to prominence.

It’s the Swedish Summer of 2008. The country has been rocked by the news that the Sweden Democrats, considered by most to be neo-Nazis, have just come over the 4% threshold in latest opinion polls. If they can maintain this level, they will enter the Riksdag (Parliament) at the next election. I’m sitting at the waterfront, not far from the centre of Stockholm, discussing the situation with a politically engaged friend of mine, a member of the Social Democrats.

I had just spent the summer in the North of Sweden, a vast and rural area, long known as the heartland of the Social Democrats. The Far North has always been poorer than the Swedish South, for a variety of reasons, and therefore somewhat dependent on government assistance. Many people up there are unemployed and on benefits, and they were not happy about immigration.

Talking to these people and listening to their grievances, I got a sense that the bounds of solidarity had been extended too far in Sweden. These people had been raised to think of Sweden as a giant family, where the high levels of homogeneity meant that everyone had something in common, and so everyone looked out for each other. The mass importation of Muslim and African immigrants could only mean less solidarity for the rural Swedish poor, which was reflected in their poverty.

For whatever reason, this unhappiness with the state of the nation was not taken seriously by the ruling classes. Sweden Democrat voters are poorer and less educated than average (like nationalist voters elsewhere) and the attitude of the Swedish ruling classes seemed to be that these people could be dismissed as simple racists and hicks.

It was apparent from talking to my friend in Stockholm that this grievance movement was not being taken very seriously. Of course the Swedish poor are poor, the argument went, but the refugees are even poorer, so it’s fair that the Swedish poor are made to go to the back of the queue in favour of the refugees. If they didn’t like that, then they didn’t appreciate how good they had it in Sweden, which was of course the world’s best at everything.

In any case, the rural poor were usually just smygracister – a word that describes a person who makes decisions out of racism, but is too ashamed to admit it. I pointed out that calling these angry people who felt betrayed ‘racists’ was not going to help the situation. In fact, it would make them feel that their anger was justified and that the government and the ruling classes had truly betrayed the Swedish people.

But the denial persisted. The Muslims and Africans would “försvenskar sig” (make themselves Swedish) and they would then be exactly like us, and all of the grievances would disappear. Being a psychologist, and having a deep interest in history I knew that the immigrants didn’t give two shits about becoming Swedish, or about Sweden in general. Sweden was, to them, just a bitch to be exploited and used. The fact that she gave herself so willingly was ample justification.

Few agreed with my dire prognosis at the time, but having met and spoken to Sweden Democrats voters, I knew that their movement would only grow in strength. Because the grievances of their voters would not be met, their march to power was inexorable, and that would not be a good thing for a foreigner like myself. For that reason, I decided to leave Sweden in 2008.

Sweden Democrats voters are the disaffected poor, who have come to feel that they are not represented by the neoliberal tag-team of the Social Democrats and the Moderates. They are the people who have lost out from neoliberalism, and from the freedom of capital to drive down wages through strategies such as mass importation of incompatible Third Worlders. They are not just dumb hillbillies who have been aggravated by far-right wing rhetoric.

The way they felt about mass immigration was how I would feel if my parents gave my inheritance away to some random strangers because they felt kinder helping strangers than helping their own family.

Sweden Democrats supporters feel deeply, deeply betrayed by the decision of the Swedish ruling classes to open the borders to the Third World. If you are Swedish, and poor, and you need help from the state for the sake of a physical or mental illness but can’t get it because of a lack of funding, it’s extremely difficult, and galling, to watch the government spend money on refugees.

The heaviest concentration of Sweden Democrats voters is in the Far South, which is also the area with the heaviest concentration of Muslim and African immigrants. In some areas in Skåne, the Sweden Democrats are predicted to get over 40% of the vote – which will be most ethnic Swedes. These are the people who have seen first hand the effects of mass immigration, and they understand more than anyone else how much has been lost, and how bad things could get.

These people are not bad people, and they’re not stupid losers. They’re simply people who have been lied to and betrayed by their rulers, and are angry and trying to take action to prevent further losses and humiliations. They’re not necessarily nice people, and they’re not necessarily open-minded, but neither of those things will stop them from getting their will through.

It’s already apparent that the other parties will work together before they allow the Sweden Democrats into power. After all, the Social Democrats and the Moderates are both neoliberals, and mass immigration is one of the main policy planks of neoliberalism. This can only mean that the Sweden Democrats will continue to grow in strength until the day where they take power outright.

When that day comes, anything can happen. The Sweden Democrats, and their supporters, utterly despite both the Social Democrats and the Moderates, and will be more than happy to throw everything out the window in order to stop Sweden from disintegrating into a Third World country. Anyone who suffers from this, Swede or otherwise, will be considered merely collateral damage.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).

Writing Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia nervosa (usually known as bulimia) is a psychiatric condition characterised by intense bouts of over-eating, followed by a “purge” of some kind. The condition is about nine times more common in women than in men, and is believed to affect 1% of young women at any given time. This article looks at how to write engaging and believable characters with bulimia.

The classic example of bulimic behaviour is to consume an abnormally large amount of food, and then go to the toilet to vomit it all up. It’s worth noting that simply throwing up a lot, even after eating, is not sufficient for a bulimia diagnosis. The throwing up is not the main factor, as the condition is psychological and not physical.

It’s also worth noting that bulimia is very different to anorexia, despite that both conditions are eating disorders caused by a nervous complaint. Bulimics and anorexics share many symptoms, in particular the obsession with food and body image, but there are major differences. Bulimics are often at or near a healthy weight (despite the unhealthiness of much of their activity), and anorexics do not binge eat as a general rule.

If the protagonist of your story encounters another character with bulimia, it might be a matter of slowly coming to the realisation. The character with bulimia might show signs of having thrown up a lot or recently, such as bloodshot, puffy eyes or burst blood vessels in the face. Other physical tell-tale signs are low energy and evidence of self-harm.

Another character might give away signs that they are falling into a pattern of bulimia. An obsession with dietary rules is a common early sign. A character developing bulimia might also develop a set of strict dietary rules that they expect themselves to abide by. These rules might seem obsessional to a second character, but the bulimic character is unlikely to appreciate this sentiment.

These rules are key to understanding the condition. Because consuming fewer calories than one needs to survive is not sustainable in the long-term, the strict dietary rules will inevitably be broken. This doesn’t come with a sense of relief but a sense of horror and shame – feelings so intense that they have to be purged. In this state, vomiting often brings the desired relief.

If the protagonist of your story has bulimia, they are likely to live a very difficult life with a considerable amount of confusion. Thoughts of suicide are common, a symptom of both the condition itself and the difficult life circumstances caused by the condition. Also common are depressive and obsessive-compulsive thoughts, especially self-recrimination and rituals relating to food.

A protagonist with bulimia will probably experience a great deal of anxiety in their everyday life. This is not just because of the condition itself, with the neverending worry and guilt relating to food and body shape. It is also because of the social anxiety that comes with trying to keep their condition a secret. Your protagonist might find themselves telling lies to keep other characters from realising they are bulimic.

A character who develops bulimia may do so on account of exposure to media images that create an idea about what a human body ought to look like. It’s common for teenage girls – especially those who have never previously thought about their bodies as things that sexually attract men – to develop an obsession with what their bodies ought to look like. Bodily self-hate is an inevitable consequence of this for some people.

Some societies that have not yet been exposed to sophisticated and manipulative Western advertising culture find it a shock when they finally are. Many people have been unaware of the possibility of hating their own body on account of it being the “wrong shape”. Some cultures are naive when it comes to lies and lying, and are more easily affected by them. These cultures can see sudden spikes of bulimia rates when this advertising does come.

Like many other psychiatric conditions, bulimia carries an increased risk of depression, anxiety and self-harm. Thoughts like this form an unpleasant positive feedback loop, where the low self-regard puts a person at risk for bulimia and the bulimia causes low self-regard. A character with the condition may not realise that their thoughts are circular. On the other hand, they might be all too aware, and start losing sanity.

Also like other psychiatric conditions, there is a body of literature that suggests a strong correlation between having bulimia and early childhood abuse, in this case sexual. It’s possible that the trauma of sexual abuse leads to some difficulty in handling thoughts and feelings related to one’s own sexual attractiveness.

Bulimia is, along with anorexia and schizophrenia, one of the psychiatric conditions most likely to end in suicide. It is easily possible that such a fate will await a bulimic character in your story – after all, the average woman can no easier look like a photomodel than the average man can look like Schwarzenegger. However, like most mental illnesses, the majority of people with bulimia find some way to accommodate it in their lives.

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This article is an excerpt from Writing With The DSM-V (Writing With Psychology Book 5), edited by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

Should The West Convert to Islam?

Islam may be horrifically illiberal and oppressive, but, as this essay will argue, it may be the only thing strong enough to save the West from its own degeneracy

Westerners are not stirred to rage by many things – not by mass homelessness, not by declining wages, not even by the British Government covering up serial child sex abuse by Jimmy Saville and by various Asian rape gangs. Our spirits have been broken, and this had led us into a state of decline. This essay argues that the Western World could solve many of its current problems with a wholesale conversion of every country to Islam.

People can criticise what they like on social media, and people can defend what they like. Some criticisms meet with more defence that others. Nothing inspires an impassioned defence more than criticism of Islam. If a person criticises Islam on social media, hundreds of people will line up to scream all kinds of abuse at them, but they won’t do the same for any other ideology. This suggests that Islam has a special place in the heart of Westerners; it’s already holy, in a way.

If one considers that almost all of the Western World was Christian before World War One, it seems that the widespread loss of faith that resulted from that conflict could be resolved with a switch to a similar religion. Islam is also an Abrahamic cult, so it contains much of the same message as Christianity; the idea that God is male and that the feminine is inferior is an Abrahamic idea, as is the idea that homosexuals should be killed and the genitals of infant boys mutilated.

So Westerners have long been conditioned to accept the ideas of Islam, by way of accepting these same ideas in the guise of Christianity. Islam, like Christianity, considers itself a branch of the tree of revelation that began with Adam and continued through Moses and Abraham. In a sense, then, switching to it would represent a natural progression.

Already in Britain, there are more weekly mosque visits than church ones. This fact alone suggests that Islam might already be stronger than Christianity in Britain. The same is likely to also be true of other countries with large Muslim populations, such as France and The Netherlands. So Islam is arguably already stronger than Christianity, and one reason to adopt it would be to recognise this fact.

The most pressing reason for a widespread conversion to Islam would be to arrest the decline of the West.

Western birthrates have fallen to the point where we are no longer replacing our own people. The fertility rates in major Western countries like Italy, Poland and Spain is less than 1.5 children per woman. This is going to cause our populations to shrink ever-further until we are no longer capable of resisting foreign domination. Birthrates in Muslim countries, by contrast, remain high: Afghanistan 4.6, Iraq 4.4, the West Bank 4.0, Pakistan 3.5, Egypt 3.3, Algeria 2.8.

For whatever reason – perhaps the admonition to wage war against the infidel with the wombs of Muslim women – Islamic countries have maintained a much higher birthrate. A switch to Islam might rid us of the meek self-hatred of Christianity that has caused us to believe that we were no longer worthy of continued existence, and inspire our people to ensure a physical future for themselves.

Adolf Hitler once declared that:

“It’s been our misfortune to have the wrong religion. Why didn’t we have the religion of the Japanese, who regard sacrifice for the Fatherland as the highest good? The Mohammedan religion too would have been much more compatible to us than Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness?”

and that logic still holds. The meekness of Christianity has caused the West to lie down and die out of guilt and the resentment of strength; the vigour of Islam might be what is required to revitalise our people.

Some might object that Muslim culture has a number of obscene and immoral practices that ought to be resisted on account of the immense human suffering they cause. Not so.

Many of the most obscene practices of Muslims are already accepted by Westerners. Muslim cultures also practice widespread male infant genital mutilation, much like America. Although this practice results in horrific psychological damage to the victim, it’s not considered too barbaric for America (or many European countries). Moreover, like the Europeans, Muslims despise Jews and can’t wait to exterminate them for good.

Of course, a mass conversion of all Western nations to Islam would be terrible for the homosexual community. Homosexuality is illegal in the vast majority of Muslim countries, and punishable by death in South Sudan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Mauritania, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Qatar, the UAE, parts of Nigeria, parts of Somalia, parts of Syria and parts of Iraq. The Koran repeats the Biblical story of Sodom, and implies at several points that homosexuality ought to be punished severely.

Should the West convert to Islam, a wholesale persecution, if not outright massacre, of the homosexual community would have to be expected. However, against that, it has to be pointed out that the homosexual community is one of the strongest proponents of mass Muslim immigration. Homosexuals are on the front lines of the war against the people who oppose mass Muslim immigration, frequently attacking people for mentioning the deleterious effects of it elsewhere.

A wholesale Western conversion to Islam would also be terrible for women, whose rights are severely restricted in Islam. Women would likely have to face the daily reality of sexual assault and the impossibility of getting Police help for domestic violence or sex crimes against them. Again, however, like the homosexuals, women have been eager proponents of mass Muslim immigration and arguably would be getting what they deserve.

So maybe we should just surrender. Is it time to admit that we don’t have the willpower to resist the Islamic conquest of the West? That Muslims will keep stealing from us and raping our women as long as they see us as infidels and so we ought to join them? The conclusion of this essay is that we should jump on board while we can still get favourable terms.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).

Writing Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder is an extremely taxing mental disorder that is believed to affect about 1% of the population at any given time. Most commonly affecting people in their mid to late 20s, the condition affects men and women in roughly equal numbers. This article looks at how to write believable and realistic characters with Bipolar Disorder.

As the name suggests, bipolar disorder refers to two distinct poles, one corresponding to ‘up’, the other ‘down’. These relate to mood and behaviour; Bipolar Disorder was once known as “manic depression”. The stereotypical course of Bipolar Disorder is for someone to feel extremely low and depressed, and then suddenly feel high-energy and manic, only to fall back into depression, in a cycle that never ends (important to note here that the cycle is not predictable, like a pendulum, but chaotic).

Although the idea of mania can sound appealing to those with no experience of the condition, and although it is generally much less unpleasant than depression, Bipolar Disorder causes problems at either pole. It contrasts with healthy, natural changes in mood in the sense that people with the condition are seldom in an average, moderate state inbetween the two poles, as mentally healthy people are.

When a person in this condition is in a depressed phase, they are at risk for all of the suicidal behaviours that accompany Major Depressive Disorder. Self-harm is common among people with Bipolar Disorder, a function of the deep self-hatred that occurs in depressive phases. However, when a person is in a manic phase, they are also at risk of harming themselves.

Manic periods have to last for at least a week to really count, as an elevated mood could occur for any number of reasons. The manic phase of Bipolar Disorder can, at its most extreme, present much like a methamphetamine bender. A character undergoing one will tend to talk fast, sometimes stammering, and will have difficulty following a conversation, being easily distracted. Also like a methamphetamine bender, manic episodes tend to result in very little sleep. At worst, they can cause a person to become psychotic.

The combination of these factors can result in some extremely risky behaviour, which could be dynamite for your creative fiction. Hypersexuality, gambling, drug-taking and speeding in motor vehicles are all common behaviours for a person with Bipolar Disorder while they are in their manic phase. Someone behaving like this might seem like they’ve been given a week to live and want to make the most of it.

A character with Bipolar Disorder might not be easy for other characters to deal with. The erratic moods of bipolar sufferers means that other characters seldom feel comfortable around them. People with bipolar can be unpredictable. They are also very high suicide risks, because of the combination of impulsiveness arising from the mania and the self-hatred arising from the depression.

Sometimes a character with Bipolar Disorder will come across as full of energy and life and enthusiasm, making them seem very charismatic to another character. Other times they were be low in energy and miserable, which makes them seem very different. Someone who meets a Bipolar character while they are at one pole, and then meets them again while they are at the other, might have difficulty believing they’re the same person.

If the protagonist of your story has Bipolar Disorder, they might find themselves facing a considerable degree of social stigma. As mentioned above, their condition might make other characters feel uncomfortable. The protagonist might find themselves getting overlooked for parties and for social occasions on account of that other characters are afraid they will be in too crazy of a mood.

If the protagonist encounters another character with Bipolar Disorder, things might not be much easier. It’s common to meet a person with Bipolar Disorder during one of their manic phases, because this tends to cause them to become more extraverted. During this time, they might strike others as dynamic, engaging and enthusiastic. However, if a friendship is formed, it may not survive the depressive phase.

There are two kinds of Bipolar Disorder, known as Bipolar I and Bipolar II. The essential difference lies in the severity of the manic symptoms. The more powerful the manic symptoms, the more likely the sufferer will get a diagnosis of Bipolar I. This is not to downplay the difficulty of living with Bipolar II, but some of the hypomanic episodes in the latter case can actually be useful for getting things done.

Bipolar Disorder is distinct from Borderline Personality Disorder, although the behaviour of people with the condition can appear similar. For instance, people with either condition are capable of changing their attitude towards another person very quickly, but the Bipolar sufferer tends to have more self-awareness than the Borderline and maybe aware that their change in perception is not fully rational.

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This article is an excerpt from Writing With The DSM-V (Writing With Psychology Book 5), edited by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

The Government Needs to Draw Up A List of Opinions We’re Allowed to Express

The Western World risks falling into confusion. Most of us have lived our lives under the impression that we were free people, at liberty to pursue happiness and to discuss ways of achieving it. As we’re now finding out, we don’t actually have the rights that we thought we had. This essay suggests a way out of the predicament.

New Zealanders have, in recent weeks, been surprised to learn that we don’t actually have the rights to free assembly and free speech. This has been demonstrated by the example of controversial speakers Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux, who were forbidden from using a public hall by Auckland Mayor Phil Goff. Stating that he doesn’t believe that the political opinions of the two should be permitted to be spoken, Goff banned them from using the Auckland Town Hall.

Southern and Molyneux, whose talks frequently criticise the suicidal policy of mass immigration, have come in for a savaging from the banker-owned New Zealand media. Because the banks are the ones that profit the most from the bloated house prices and rents that come with opening the borders, they are the biggest cheerleaders for it. Consequently, their peons in the New Zealand media whipped up a mob which threatened violence to get the speakers banned.

This imbroglio has raised an important question: what are we actually allowed to talk about?

One potential solution lies in Peter Dunne’s Psychoactive Substances Act. The logic behind introducing this piece of legislation was that synthetic drug manufacturers were coming up with novel, dangerous substances so quickly that the authorities were unable to ban them all fast enough to keep the public safe. So instead of banning specific drugs that were known to cause harm, the Act simply bans all psychoactive substances.

This was a breakthrough in jurisprudence. Anyone wishing to use any psychoactive substance, no matter what it is, even if they just invented it themselves, is automatically a criminal unless they have Government permission to use that substance specifically. An entire class of actions are thereby criminalised, without any proof that actions within this class are harmful to people. They could even be helpful, but they’re still criminal.

We could apply this same logic to free speech and assembly. New ideas come and go in an ever-mutating memescape, and the Government can’t keep up with all the new ideas and opinions that people have and which might be dangerous. The spread of the Internet means that New Zealanders are frequently exposed to opinions that have been formed overseas and brought into the country by way of underground networks, such as 4chan. These new opinions have not had time to be dissected and discussed.

Why not simply ban them all?

The Government could pass a law that bans expression of all political ideas and opinions apart from those that are on a pre-approved list. This list would contain all of the speech that the Government believes is not harmful to anyone else. It could be called the Dangerous Opinions Act. It would then become illegal to express any political opinion that didn’t have an exemption under the Act.

Because talking about the effects of mass immigration on European society risks stirring up ethnic tensions and hatreds, we could simply ban all such talk in advance, thereby precluding anyone like Southern and Molyneux from ever speaking. Discussing racial differences in IQ would then be illegal. Questioning the mainstream media would be illegal. Questioning the Government would be illegal.

Perhaps the Government could create some kind of central authority that can be tasked with determining what opinions may be freely expressed and what opinions have to be criminalised and repressed for the greater good. This Ministry would be concerned with the truth and the promulgation of same, so naturally it should be called the Ministry of Truth.

All of this might sound fairly draconian, but the people would still have the right to petition the Government to allow certain opinions to be expressed. If enough people wanted to express a certain opinion, they would merely need to petition the current Minister of Truth, and perhaps get enough signatures for a referendum on that opinion. Over time, good opinions would become legal while the bad ones stayed illegal.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).

Writing Panic Disorder

Panic Disorder (PD) is a kind of anxiety disorder that is characterised by reoccurring, sudden attacks of intense fear without any obvious cause. These attacks, called panic attacks, involve a number of unpleasant psychological and physical sensations, including shortness of breath, dizziness, heart palpitations and sweaty hands. This article looks at how to believably portray Panic Disorder in your creative fiction.

A panic attack usually lasts for about ten minutes. The first sign is usually a wave of adrenaline and noradrenaline that surges through the bloodstream in preparation for the fight or flight response. It’s common for sufferers to feel a panic attack even in their bowels. Despite the absence of an obvious threat, the panic can be equally as intense as if one was confronted with a terrorist mass shooter.

One unpleasant feature of these attacks is that they can stir many different kinds of fears. Some panic attacks make the victim afraid of dying, whereas others make them afraid that they will lose control and become a screaming mess (even though this is extremely rare). In some ways the experience is like a tour de force of terror.

Perhaps the most difficult thing about this condition is that panic attacks are so unpleasant that they can be traumatising, and this creates fear of future panic attacks, which is often enough to itself cause a panic attack. So a person with the condition can end up learning to fear situations which may cause panic, and this can lead to social isolation in a similar fashion to agoraphobia.

If the protagonist of your story has panic disorder, it is likely that they have to live a life somewhat on the outside. Panic Disorder makes it difficult to socialise, especially when a person starts to become afraid of future panic attacks. This can lead to an everyday experience of constant misery, as the protagonist starts to twist themselves up in knots of over-thinking and anxiety.

An interesting story can be told about a normal life that starts to break down because of Panic Disorder. It’s common for a sufferer of the condition, at least in the initial stages, to be unaware that they are suffering from a recognised psychiatric condition. The panic attacks can be embarrassing, on account of that they have no obvious cause, and it’s easy for a person who suffers them to consider themselves mentally weak rather than sick. They can seem to come out of the blue.

People with Panic Disorder tend to develop a fear of the places in which they have had panic attacks, by way of association. This is one of things that makes the condition so disruptive. Even something as simple as going shopping can become an ordeal if a person is afraid that the experience will trigger a panic attack. Because much of the suffering of the condition is caused by fear of the next attack, certain places can themselves become intimidating.

If a character in your story encounters another character with Panic Disorder, how the first character reacts will tell the reader a great deal about their level of compassion. Because panic attacks can be set off without any obvious cause, the suffering is in the mind. This means that people who need help and reassurance from others can usually only get it from especially empathetic people. A character who helps out another one suffering a panic attack might demonstrate their nature to the reader.

A character with Panic Disorder might have a very complicated relationship with drugs. Many people with the condition have found that alcohol, cannabis, tobacco etc. has a short-term, immediate effect of quelling the panic, but have also found that using these substances makes a panic attack more likely once they have worn off. A character taking drugs to treat their anxiety might not have figured the second point out yet.

In contrast with Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Panic Disorder tends to come in sharp spikes or groups of attacks. GAD is an ever-present background hum of anxiety, whereas people with Panic Disorder can often live entirely normal lives until the panic kicks in. When people with Panic Disorder are anxious, it is usually because of a particular fear of another panic attack rather than anything general.

Mass Panic Disorder is not a condition in the DSM, but the author might still like to use the phenomenon in their creative fiction. A contagious panic attack might be the event that leads to mass destruction of part of your story world, leading to the disruption of the life of one of your characters. An explosion might cause a mob reaction that a character gets caught up in.

The Government Religion

God was dead, but God has returned to life in the form of government. This essay examines a terrifying proposition: taken together, the number of people who are willing to do violence to others on behalf of their government greatly exceeds the number of people willing to do violence to others on behalf on any other mentality or ideology. Worship of government is its own religion.

For those who follow the Government religion, any pronouncement from the government is the same as if the clouds have parted and the voice of God had boomed from the heavens. The government simply cannot lie – its size and power makes it both omnipresent and omnibenevolent. Therefore, every law and decree passed by government is regarded by its followers as if it was written in holy scripture.

If all the available scientific and medical evidence says, for example, that cannabis is medicinal and can be used to treat nausea and insomnia, but the government says that cannabis is not medicinal, then the followers of the Government religion will say that cannabis is not medicinal. The scientific literature and all the evidence be damned – the government says it’s not medicinal, therefore it isn’t.

Before any decision can be made, the question has to be asked: does the government approve of this? This is the government-worshipper’s equivalent of the Christian question “What would Jesus do?”. All actions must be viewed through the prism of whether they serve government objectives. If not, those actions are sinful and must be discouraged.

Police officers are usually fanatical followers of the Government religion, which offers a ready excuse for them to discharge their baser, sadistic instincts on members of the public. Without the Government religion, Police officers would not have the authority to physically abuse people without punishment. The Government religion raises these people, who would otherwise mostly be criminals, into a position of prestige, and they return the favour with obedience.

Mental health workers are another. The job of a mental health worker is to determine when a person has lost touch with reality and to guide them back to it. The problem with this is that they have no natural or philosophical explanation of the nature of reality and so they rely on the government to provide one. This means that the government literally decides what reality is for mental health workers. They are consequently hopelessly mired in the religion.

Bureaucrats are a third, and arguably the worst of all three. Bureaucrats are to the Government religion what the cardinals are to Catholicism. They are the ones that seek to organise the world so that their religion might be dominant. In the case of the bureaucrat, the objective is to use Police officers and mental health workers to destroy those who oppose the religion.

If one reasons by analogy to dogs, we can see why government workers behave the way they do. Dogs are completely loyal to the people that feed them, on account of the gratitude created from that dog no longer having to worry about where its daily food comes from. In a state of Nature, the majority of creatures must live in a state of extreme anxiety on account of the pressure to acquire sufficient food resources to live. Anyone feeding a dog takes all that anxiety away, and the resulting gratitude leads to loyalty.

By the same token, the natural stress of finding enough money to live on has been alleviated, in the life of the government worker, by the government. Therefore, the government worker regards the government with the same undying, arse-licking loyalty that a dog regards its owner with. The government provides food and shelter like God provides manna from Heaven, and in exchange the government worker obeys the orders they are given.

Because Government-worshippers treat the desire of their government as if it was the Will of God, they are capable of causing immense destruction and human suffering. All of the death camp guards on both the Nazi and Soviet side were Government-worshippers, as were the Chinese mandarins responsible for the mass starvation of the Great Leap Forward. Those responsible for destroying their own young people through conducting the War on Drugs on them also commit their crimes out of a sense of the holiness of government directives.

Because Government-worshippers are responsible for most of the crimes against humanity committed throughout history, the rest of us need to oppose the spread of the cult and the fanaticism of its followers, for our own good. The best way to do this is to cause the Government-worshipper to realise that the authority they worship is fallible. This is why they are extremely reluctant to consider the possibility, much like any religious person.

The discovery that the government may have actually been wrong about something is enough to shatter the life of the government-worshipper. This will cause them to have a crisis of faith, which, like the crises of faith suffered by followers of other religions, can lead to the complete rejection of the Government religion.

The more doubt a government worker has in the infallibility of their paymaster, the less likely it is that that worker will commit a human rights abuse. Therefore, causing people to lose faith in their government is essential to keeping the rest of us safe. Making Government-worshippers realise that the authority they worship is fallible is the key to undermining the Government religion.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).

Writing Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a condition characterised by extreme emotional instability and sensitivity to criticism. This means that characters with the condition are naturally well suited to dramatic fiction. This article looks at how to write interesting and believable characters with Borderline Personality Disorder.

Originally named because it was the label given to those on the border between diagnoses (in particular psychosis and neurosis), BPD has taken on a somewhat different meaning in recent editions of the DSM. Indeed, some believe the name is no longer accurate, and the condition ought to be renamed as something like “Emotional Disregulation Disorder”.

People with BPD tend to have extremely strong reactions to criticism. This is believed to stem ultimately from a weak sense of self, which makes them prone to being heavily impacted by what other people say about them. It’s as if they don’t have the same defences that most people have when it comes to accepting criticism and resisting bullying.

They also tend to have problems when it comes to interpersonal empathy. A character with BPD might seem a bit narcissistic or psychopathic to other characters because of their apparent refusal to take other people’s feelings into account when making decisions. Alternatively, they might perceive someone to be angry at them when they really are not.

If the protagonist of your story has BPD, it might be that they experience even mild criticism as brutal, sharp and denigrating. This could make them seem extremely sensitive, or even narcissistic, to other characters. The difference between BPD and narcissism in this sense is that a person with BPD can be reassured that the criticism was not intended to be wounding, whereas a narcissist would likely bear a grudge.

People with BPD also tend to have a very strong fear of abandonment. It is uncommon for them to feel secure in romantic relationships. A protagonist with this condition will probably experience a lot of thoughts of jealousy and suspicion going through their minds. They will frequently perceive their partner as flirting with others when they really aren’t.

A protagonist that gets involved in a romantic relationship with another character who has BPD is probably in for a rocky time. People with BPD tend to treat their lovers like a demigod one minute and dogshit the next. This is often very difficult for those lovers, who then don’t really know where they stand. The line between this kind of behaviour and narcissistic abuse is not obvious.

On the other hand, a character with BPD might be more than memorable in bed. The combination of emotional intensity, need for reassurance, and lack of inhibition can make for an incredible sexual experience – perhaps even enough to make up for all the insanity otherwise endured. A psychologist can tell you that this kind of treatment is liable to become addictive, which makes for a tumultuous time.

Realistically, an experience with BPD is more likely to be deeply unpleasant than it is to result in legendary erotic achievements. Self harm is common among people with the condition, and could be considered characteristic of it. If the protagonist of your story encounters someone with scars on their forearms, this could foreshadow some intensely emotional scenes.

If your protagonist encounters a character with BPD, they might realise something is amiss on account of that that character has dysfunctional life goals. The borderline character might seem to drift from one meaningless activity to another, with little awareness paid to the fact that they’re getting older and that time is passing them by. This might manifest as a nihilistic streak.

A character with BPD might be disliked by other characters, sometimes intensely, if they don’t have sympathy for the condition. Because people with it tend to be deeply wounded by criticism, they can develop a tendency to lash out hard at minor insults. This can make them antagonistic and grudge-keeping. Other characters might get the perception that they have to walk on eggshells around the borderline or else run the risk of being attacked.

BPD is around three times more common in women than it is in men (this is likely one of the main reasons why women are often seen as less emotionally stable than men). This can add to the difficulty of having the condition. If you’re writing a female character with BPD, that character might discover that other people don’t take their condition seriously, because their prejudice leads them to put it down to being a woman etc.

In the eyes of a protagonist who is encountering a character with BPD, the borderline character might just seem like a loose cannon, akin to certain other conditions like Schizophrenia and Histrionic Personality Disorder. Much as with those conditions, the risk of self-harm and suicide is often present with BPD. This is partially a result of the disinhibition that comes with the disorder but it is also the result of the fact that people with BPD tend to have difficult lives.

All in all, a character with Borderline Personality Disorder is a good choice if your dramatic fiction needs some more drama. Things are unlikely to remain stable for long with such a character around. However, care will have to be taken to portray such a character with compassion, and not make them seem like an arsehole.

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This article is an excerpt from Writing With The DSM-V (Writing With Psychology Book 5), edited by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.