Who was Mao? Was he the demon the Western media often makes him out to be, or was he just a product of his environment?
Mao has been judged by a Western value system that did not exist in China or the United States during his lifetime. In addition, it is now known that who we grow up to become as adults is partially due to genetics but mostly from environmental and lifestyle influences.
Mao grew up in a world nothing like most in the West have ever experienced, but he has been judged by Western humanitarian beliefs—also known today as political correctness—that did not exist when he was born into China’s collective culture where the reverse was true and the individual was not more important than the whole.
There is a strong possibility that Mao also suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and this may have influenced his behavior and decisions during the years he ruled China [1949 – 1976].
Helping Psychology says, “PTSD victims tend to be in a continuous state of heightened alertness. The trauma that precipitates the disorder essentially conditions them to be ever-ready for a life threatening situation to arise at any moment … But the continuous releases of brain chemicals that accompany this reaction time – and their inability to control when this heightened reactivity will occur – take psychological and biological tolls on PTSD victims over time.”
And Medicine Net.com says, “Complex posttraumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD) usually results from prolonged exposure to a traumatic event or series thereof and is characterized by long-lasting problems with many aspects of emotional and social functioning.”
American combat veterans are not the only people on this planet to suffer from PTSD. Every person is susceptible to the ravages of a violent trauma and if we examine Mao’s life, it could be argued that PTSD may have played a strong role in the decisions he made as he aged.
We will examine Mao’s long history as a victim of violence in Part 2.
Continued on December 4, 2013 in The influence of Complex PTSD on Mao as China’s Leader: Part 2
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.
His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.
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