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A Cure for Bitterness 
Friday, June 5, 2009, 01:24 PM - Newsletter
Posted by Administrator
In the Bible book of Ruth, tremendous grief and a crushing decent into hopeless poverty caused Naomi, (meaning pleasant), to rename herself as Mara, (meaning bitter). (Ruth 1:22)

Naomi might been diagnosed by Dr. Michael Linden as suffering from post-traumatic embitterment disorder. A condition that describes good people turning into angry, pessimistic, aggressive, hopeless haters when something awful takes away a job, marriage, or activity they valued. “They feel the world has treated them unfairly. It's one step more complex than anger. They're angry plus helpless.”

Dr. Linden says such folks are resistant to treatment because they want the world to change, not them. Additionally, they judge themselves victims and make their sole goal revenge, which, Dr. Linden points out, “is not a treatment.”

After the disasters of the first chapter of Ruth, we read that Naomi is able to return from bitterness not by hurting others as she had been hurt, but by helping the next generation: her widowed daughter-in-law Ruth. She helps Ruth find a way out of poverty and back into family and community.

Maybe Dr. Linden should counsel his patients that instead of trying to get even, they should focus on helping others get ahead.

Information from a Los Angles Times article “Bitterness as mental illness?” by Shari Roan. May 25, 2009

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