Looking for psychology term, perhaps from Herman's Trauma and Recovery
July 18, 2012 1:36 PM Subscribe
Do you know the name of the mental disorder or syndrome or complex in child abuse survivors where they can be reported as being "geniuses at doing the absolute minimum necessary to survive"? As best as I can recall this phrase comes from Trauma and Recovery by Judith Herman
but none of those words seems salient enough to pull what I want with a search engine.
posted by bukvich to health & fitness (9 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
The dynamics of this (as best as I can recall) is the child feels their survival is at stake and they are in energy conservation mode all the time--they feel that any exertion that could be described as "meeting more than halfway" or "going the extra mile" or similar could be a fatal over exertion. They get the minimum report card. They do the minimum chores. They go along with almost anything. They have no assertiveness. They are nearly invisible. They will sometimes follow on into an adult lifetime of underachieving. I briefly scanned a copy of Herman's book and I could not find it so I could easily be misremembering that part, but I am almost sure it came from a book of that type.
Thank you in advance!