What is Human Degradation? (Signs, Examples from Life)

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Probably everyone has heard about someone: “This person has gone downhill, or degenerated.” And sometimes I happened to meet people on the street in dirty, shabby clothes, with signs of beatings. It's hard to look at them. Let's try to understand what personality degradation is and how you need to behave so as not to hear such words about yourself.

What is degradation?

It is generally accepted that human degradation is the gradual destruction of personality. We are social creatures and need the support of our own kind. At the same time, for the growth and development of personality, new knowledge, impressions, and events are needed. If we lose the opportunity to learn something new, we find ourselves in a limited world, and our needs are gradually narrowed to the most primitive. And aspirations and aspirations turn into a set of base instincts.

Personality is what distinguishes us from animals, and when it disappears, a person becomes a predator, a primitive mammal. He is only concerned about where to get food, but more often a dose, and sorts things out on an animal level.

The same applies to mating, sex becomes promiscuous, and partners become random. Control over actions is lost, the line between good and evil is erased. A person becomes capable of murder even without a reason.

Critical thinking disappears, as does the feeling of responsibility for one’s actions. A degraded person can be dangerous to others.

Sometimes degradation creeps up unnoticed and it can happen to anyone. It is so arranged by nature that acquiring new knowledge and skills also forms new neural connections in the brain, which contributes to its effective functioning. If interest in life is lost, due to apathy, depression or for another reason, there is a risk of becoming a degenerate. Of course, not like binge alcoholics and drug addicts, to a much lesser extent.

It has been noticed that even women who have been on maternity leave for a long time begin to degrade. Their interests are narrowed to the family circle, and new information concerns exclusively one area. If there is no diversity, we partially degrade as professionals in our field and lose valuable knowledge and skills. The same thing happens to pensioners. Leaving your job means unexpected freedom and time to occupy yourself with something. Production tasks are being replaced by TV series and alcohol.

In old age, the brain already loses some of its functions, and such “leisure” provokes its gradual decline. It has been noticed that people who are engaged in creativity and science (artists, designers, architects, scientists), even in extreme old age, maintain clarity of mind until the end of their lives and continue to develop, although according to the laws of nature it should happen differently. "Degradation" literally means moving backwards. There is no point of balance. We either move forward and develop, or we retreat and degrade.

On the importance of strong willful efforts

In fact, it is easy not to become a degenerate. Just volitional efforts must be feasible. It wouldn’t occur to you to lift 100 kilograms in the gym when you yourself weigh 50, right? You need to take a feasible weight. It is much easier to implement a small habit than a large one. And when it already becomes a part of you, then it can be cultivated. The main thing is to plant the seed and constantly water it . And then it will become a huge tree that will bear very tasty fruits. And remember - willpower is a muscle that can and should be trained.

In the world, a huge number of people die due to lack of self-control (they drink themselves to death, commit suicide, die from a heart attack due to eating food rich in cholesterol), do not repeat their example. Indeed, the body will not thank you if you abuse anything. This is precisely the first symptom of degradation.

Causes of personality degradation

The reasons why a person degrades are different:

✔️ Loss of loved ones and forced loneliness. Regression most often strikes lonely people. A possible reason that serves as a trigger for moving backward is the absence of friends and relatives due to discord in relationships or due to their death. A person does not have the opportunity to “pour out his soul” and share his experiences, impressions, thoughts, and reasoning. He feels useless, which develops into indifference. Against the backdrop of a lonely existence, suicidal thoughts and depression appear.

✔️ The reasons for human degradation also lie in forced isolation from society. Loss of a job, layoff, retirement, imprisonment. A person excluded from society feels superfluous, dropped out of active life. Everyday habits lose relevance - there is no need to get up, wash, go to work, complete tasks, communicate with colleagues. Group life creates a feeling of fullness, and loneliness gives the impression of being lost. There is no goal, no incentive for development.

✔️ Apathy and inertia. Sometimes regression occurs due to character traits. A person prone to laziness and apathy does not want to strain and make efforts. Self-withdrawal and unwillingness to take responsibility is a short path to regression. Anything that requires effort - cleaning, cooking, minor repairs, hygiene procedures - is unworthy of the attention of a lazy person. Spending time idle leads to degradation. Such people often gain excess weight, become obese, and their circle of interests narrows to the sofa with a bottle of beer. Relaxation, which is beneficial for the mind and body in reasonable quantities, becomes an addiction and turns into a bad habit.

✔️ Low self-esteem and feelings of guilt can cause degradation. It happens that failures at work and in your personal life significantly undermine your sense of self-worth. Some people are able to withstand adversity and defeat serves as a springboard for them, while others can only give up and wallow in feelings of guilt and worthlessness. This leads to the gradual destruction of personality.

Etymology of the word

The word degradation is borrowed from the Polish language (degradacja - from the Latin degradatio “demotion, gradual decline”) - a derivative of degradare “to go down”, in turn formed using the prefix de “down” from gradior “to step”

A number of dictionaries erroneously show that the word degradation is borrowed from the French language. In fact, this word was borrowed from the Polish language in the Petrine era in the meaning of “demotion, deprivation of ranks.” A new meaning of this word “decline” took shape in the Russian language under the influence of French and other Western European languages ​​in the 20th century.

In the 20th century, not a new word appeared, but a semantic neologism - instead of the original meaning of “demote,” the word began to be used in a new sense - decline, gradual deterioration, loss of valuable properties and qualities in different areas (degradation of society, degradation of culture, degradation of art, soil degradation and etc.).

Signs of human degradation

According to experts, there are the first signs of personality degradation:

1. Reluctance to take responsibility for yourself, for your actions and for your own life. The so-called “pawn” psychology.

2. There is no need to engage in spiritual growth and intellectual development. Needs are limited to physical needs.

3. For such a person, the world is divided strictly into black and white, people into good and bad, friends and strangers.

4. Increased feeling of guilt. Painful self-criticism and excessive feelings of guilt can be a sign of regression.

5. A strict set of life rules, beyond which it is not possible. (Often observed among prisoners and those who consider themselves to be part of the AUE community).

What does personal degradation look like based on external signs:

6. Untidy appearance. Dirty hair, a body that has not been washed for a long time, a strong smell of sweat and dirt, unwashed and torn clothes are signs of the final stage. A person can wander the streets drunk, sleep on the road, without being ashamed of his appearance and repulsive behavior.

7. Loss of interest in life. Needs are narrowed down to food, drink and alcohol (drugs). The view of the world narrows to the size of a keyhole, nothing evokes emotions. The surroundings become insignificant, illusory and invisible.

8. The vocabulary is reduced to a few interjections, verbs and obscene language.

9. Shame and disgust are lost. Food from the trash becomes the norm, and the views of others, like those around them, do not exist.

10. Deterioration of memory and intelligence. Primitive reasoning.

11. Mental instability. Irritability, aggression, frivolity, tearfulness and other manifestations of unhealthy psychological reactions.

The essence of the concept

Personality degradation is the gradual loss of human appearance. When irreversible changes occur for the worse in character, habits, inclinations and hobbies. The development of such traits as irritability, passivity, and then aggressiveness is manifested.

What does degradation include?

Signs of degradation

A degraded person does not come to his condition in one moment. Sometimes regression takes several decades to develop. The main distinguishing signs by which one can suspect a decline in personality include the following symptoms:

Gradual loss of the ability to think soberly and reason sensibly. The ability to concentrate on any one task/goal disappears. There is a attenuation of all feelings exhibited by a person in a normal state. One notices a gradual withdrawal into oneself, into one’s inner, artificially created world. Conversational and familiar speech becomes more primitive and incoherent. Busyness in business and work decreases sharply. The circle of human communication is also narrowing. An apathetic state occurs in which the person stops showing any care and attention to others.

A person, being in the developing stages of regression, eventually loses mental stability. All manifestations of activity and performance are stopped. They are replaced by nervousness, global disturbances of attention and memory. All interests disappear, giving way to lack of initiative, lack of will and carelessness.

Degradation can also follow the spiritual path

Human degradation and Abraham Maslow

A medical psychologist who lived in America last century, he devoted his life to the study of human nature. A psychiatrist has compiled a hierarchy of personal needs. The world-famous scientist noted the main qualities that manifested themselves in all people walking along the road of degradation. According to the psychologist, people with regression tend to have the following perceptions:

  1. The degenerate considers himself to be a “pawn.” That is, I am sure that his actions, as a conscious individual, depend entirely on someone: other people or external forces. This phenomenon is called “learned helplessness.”
  2. The priority of degraded people becomes survival, only the desire to achieve all the needs necessary for the functioning of the body. Food, sleep, natural needs.
  3. The regressed personality divides the entire society into two camps: bad/strangers and good/our own.
  4. He is fully confident that his opinion is not subject to any discussion/criticism and is the only correct one.
  5. The brain of such a person stops expending active efforts on the implementation of verbal functions. Therefore, those who are degraded will have a poorer vocabulary.

How does personality degradation occur?

The process of personality degradation does not occur immediately. This takes time, sometimes years, and sometimes just months, depending on living conditions and the presence of the disease. The exception is those cases when, due to mechanical injury, a person loses part of the brain. Then personality degradation can occur simultaneously, along with memory loss and loss of some mental functions. This article is not about these cases; we are looking at the gradual loss of human appearance for various reasons.

Types of human degradation are usually divided into three types:

  • Spiritual degradation;
  • Moral;
  • Mental regression of personality.

Spiritual degradation of personality

A spiritually degrading person is not necessarily a monk who has left the monastery, although some people think so. The spiritual world of a person should be rich and diverse. For some, religion becomes a support in life, for others, science. In any case, they fill life with experiences, impressions and provoke development. Even books, movies and sports fill the spiritual world of people. Any hobby aimed at gaining new knowledge contributes to progress.

When a person neglects to fill the inner world, it becomes impoverished and a gradual process of moving back to a primitive existence begins. Lack of hobbies, reluctance to think, inability to occupy oneself with something other than satisfying base needs leads to the disintegration of personality. It becomes primitive, thinking becomes flat, interest in life is lost.

Moral degradation of personality

The disease of all humanity in all ages is degradation in the moral sense. The decline of morals and licentiousness affect society as a whole and each person individually. When an individual crosses the boundary of what is permitted, he steps onto a shaky bridge leading to the animal world and even below.

Animals have no moral norms and rules; only one law works there - the desire to survive. People have certain moral principles and rules that allow human civilization to exist. Some of them are set out in stone tablets, religious Talmuds and other sources. Everything else is collected in the constitution of any country.

In everyday life, moral degradation is manifested by promiscuous behavior, promiscuity, and disregard for the feelings of others. On a large scale, it is more sophisticated in nature - people with power equate themselves to gods and easily transgress moral laws.

Although outwardly they look quite presentable and cause envy among ordinary people, the mechanism of degradation has already been launched in many of them. Power corrupts just like big money, if there is no inner core.

Mental degradation of personality

Occurs when a person loses mental stability. First, professional skills fade, then creativity suffers, and at the end of the path there is asocialization and loss of vital activity.

Irritability, loss of concentration on a specific task, partial memory loss can be warning signs of impending degradation.

At the same time, lack of will, carelessness and various kinds of dependence are intensifying. This disease affects people of different ages and social status.

Corruption as a factor of personality degradation

Organized crime, hiding under the guise of officials, is a powerful factor in personality distortion. It affects both those who give bribes and those who accept them. Unspoken rules that exist parallel to official legislation give rise to double standards and create the illusion of lawlessness, because any issue can be resolved with the help of money and the “right” connections.

From this state of affairs, moral principles suffer and social degradation occurs. People who give bribes gradually lose their sense of the boundaries of what is permitted, and those who accept such rewards for services become dependent. This is a kind of doping that affects the breakdown of personality in the same way as gambling, alcohol and drug addiction.

Personality degradation in alcoholism and drug addiction

Alcoholic personality degradation is the most common form of regression. It begins with a “harmless” passion for your favorite alcoholic drink, the taste of which causes pleasure. Then more and more reasons to drink appear, including minor, absurd and fictitious ones. Over time, addiction intensifies and becomes chronic.

Personality degradation in drug addiction develops in the form of the following manifestations:

▪️Decreased self-control;

▪️Increased irritability, aggression;

▪️Superficial thinking dominates;

▪️Fine and large motor skills are disrupted;

▪️A person loses social connections with his former environment;

▪️There is complete degradation of personality.

Movement is life!

If you don’t want to learn from personal example what human degradation is, try to always be active. Regular walks, sports - all this will make your life shine with new colors. Remember, perhaps you have long wanted to try some unusual type of fitness or take up dancing? Don't deny yourself this pleasure! People who are easy-going are especially positive and cheerful. Train yourself to agree to all interesting spontaneous invitations. Try to spend more time in nature, in city parks, and also visit cultural and entertainment places.

Degradation is a synonym for the words regression and deterioration. In order to prevent it, it is necessary to constantly develop. Go to the theater or cinema, exhibitions and other events. Discover new genres and art directions.

Personality degradation: examples from life

✔️ Examples of personality degradation can be observed quite often, and one of them is my neighbor across the wall. At one time, he was a boy from a not very prosperous, but still complete family that lived an ordinary life. An inquisitive and kind child strived for knowledge and tried to learn and develop. As a teenager, he came under the influence of his older brother, who had recently been released from prison.

From that moment on, the death sentence was signed, so to speak. He lost interest in studying and tried to follow the example of the authorities of the underworld. Parents died, they lived alone with their brother. As a result, the young man received his first sentence of 19 years, and upon returning home, six months later he closed himself off from the whole world. The eldest received a new sentence, and this young man found himself without funds, without electricity, water, but in his own apartment.

He has cut off contacts with his remaining relatives and acquaintances, and any attempt to help is met with aggression. He drives away the girl who was waiting for him and loved him. He eats from the trash heap and hates the whole world. At the same time, he makes no attempt to improve his life, although he is only 20 years old. In just a couple of years, he lost his human appearance and turned into a primitive primate, from which passersby shy away.

✔️ Another example is a retired friend who has always been distinguished by a heightened sense of responsibility. A specialist in his field, he worked extremely hard and was under constant stress. After work, I would drink a can or two of beer to relax. This happened for several years. After he decided to go on vacation, life lost its meaning.

Neither grandchildren, nor children, nor household chores caused a rush of adrenaline; everything except addiction lost its meaning and meaning. The lack of former responsibility led to the fact that the doses of alcohol began to increase. And he began to gradually descend. Domestic alcoholism had a detrimental effect on his personality. A serious illness saved the man from complete degradation. He had to abruptly stop his addiction, which also had a bad effect on his health. Now he is recovering as a person, but his health is irrevocably undermined.

So why did society not begin to live more cheerfully, but began to degrade?

In the late 60s and early 70s of the last century, humanity, distinguished by its progressiveness, faced a serious problem. The fact is that the basic needs of most people living in the United States and other leading capitalist countries have been met. Previously, people lived so well only in Paradise! After being expelled from Paradise, man had to constantly work hard to satisfy his rational and natural needs.

But in the 70s of the 20th century, average families not only did not lack healthy and tasty food, beautiful and high-quality clothing for the season, spacious, cozy and comfortable housing, but also acquired such luxury items as a car, household appliances, etc. d.

But just some 10 - 20 years ago, all this was the American dream! Why a dream? Because all this was not available to the average person! In order to satisfy basic needs, a person who lived in the 50s and 60s had to work hard, endure all kinds of inconveniences and step on the throat of his own selfishness.

America 70s

And there is nothing strange about this, because in an ordinary English mining town in the late 50s there was only one bathroom. All other residents were forced to go to a public bathhouse, relieve themselves in street latrines during the day, and go to the toilet in chamber pots at night, the contents of which were covered with an ice crust by morning. Women washed clothes in a trough, ate fruit on major holidays, and bought flowers only for funerals.

In the 70s, two-thirds of the population of England and any other decently developed capitalist country gained access to security and everyday comfort. If earlier ordinary mortals, regardless of their country of residence, were forced to constantly struggle with hunger, cold and other signs of poverty, now the struggle for a piece of bread has faded into oblivion. Don’t believe that ordinary mortal people lived like this just recently? Then you definitely need to get acquainted with the works of Dickens, Remarque, Moravia, Hugo, Dreiser and their contemporaries!

Yesterday's poor man, forced to constantly scour for a piece of bread for himself and his family, overnight turned into a completely decent average person who eats well, dresses fashionably, has good housing, equipped with household appliances, and a personal vehicle. Elderly Europeans recall that after the end of World War II, many of them dreamed of simply eating normally and dressing normally. But after 10–20 years, the same Europeans noticed with surprise that they “no longer lacked anything.” A person who has nothing missing has eaten well, pushed the plate away from him, left the table and asked himself a reasonable question: “I’ve eaten to my heart’s content!” What next?”

The model of social development, based on satisfying basic needs with money earned by people, has exhausted itself. Not only did people not have any growth in cash or their needs, but they did not foresee any growth in the future. Only population growth could affect business growth, but in developed countries, population growth somehow did not work out.

How to stop personality degradation?

To stop the process, you need to realize that it has begun. The brain strives to optimize its processes in order to save energy, and therefore, as we age, we choose increasingly simpler and more familiar things. Routine and habit drag you in with their well-worn rut. Curiosity and the desire to learn something new disappear.

Development is the formation of new neural connections, and this occurs especially intensively in childhood and adolescence. To stop regression, you need to “tread new paths,” make efforts and strive for new knowledge and skills. New books, new films, foods that have not been tried before, music that was previously ignored - all this is included in the recipe for age-related degradation.

Each of us has many abilities and they need to be developed. In your life you can do the following: learn to sing, master a craft, try different activities, make new acquaintances, visit places you have never been before. The birth of children, the appearance of a pet, a change of job - all these changes help to develop. Such actions will help you live to old age and maintain the freshness of the perception of an ordinary person.

Curiosity can overcome regression. The list of social tools can be endless, the main condition is not to stop developing and avoid harmful habits that destroy the brain at the chemical and physical level.

Alcohol and drugs not only affect the psyche, they disrupt life processes, becoming an integral part of metabolism. It is extremely difficult to stop the degradation of another person, especially if he himself does not want it. Specialists can help with this, but without his desire for development, all efforts will be useless.

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