The Psychology of Revenge (Part 3)

The psychotherapy literature on revenge suggests that fantasized revenge is a familiar cognition in daily life. In the treatment of various stress response syndromes, “clinicians may encounter intrusive and persistent thoughts of vengeance associated with feelings of rage at perpetrators” While the revenge fantasies often have the emotional content of hate and fear, the fear may easily devolve into frank paranoia. Of relevance to the pseudocommando is the research evidence suggesting that strong anger can serve as an attention-focusing emotion, making it difficult to think about other things. Angry thoughts thus generate a vicious cycle; “the more he thinks about them the angrier he gets, and the angrier he gets, the harder it is to think about anything else”. Thus, a pseudocommando’s revenge fantasy may prevent him from “engaging other strategies (e.g., trivialization) that would have allowed [him] to move on and think about something else”.

There are many publications which outline theories for wanting revenge. “Going Postal,” is a common theme when working at a place with high stress or being pushed to ones limit by exteral relationship factors. However, this does not mean that everybody should be thinking of hurting one another. It only means that better overall healthcare should be practiced and adhered to. This also does excuse anyone from taking their fantasies and making them a reality.


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