Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Comments by GGGreen

Showing 21 of 21 comments.

  • Thank you for your astute observations, Dr Kelmenson. I was an active believer and participant in the Church of Prozac for twenty years and was also a lifelong indoctrinated believer in Christianity. Six years ago I rejected the indoctrination and became atheist. Four and a half years ago I quit the Church of Prozac and weaned off it. What I have found since rejecting church in all its forms is mental and emotional freedom. I am not broken. I survived numerous traumas from birth onwards and have spent years facing them and processing them and healing from them. Though I am a survivor I am not broken. I am whole and always have been. When I threw off indoctrination and began questioning all beliefs and belief systems I found real freedom.

  • Megan,

    Thank you so much for your piece here. I think the defense of anger is so long overdue. I’m 64 and all my life I have been told to dial down my anger. I was told this from the time I was three years old and possibly earlier. I was an abandoned newborn foundling who was fostered a week later and legally adopted by my foster parents. My birth abandonment was my first major trauma in life and many others followed. I had good reason to be angry but it took me many years to remember and to recognize why. I didn’t grow up knowing I was abandoned at birth by my birth mother or that I was a foundling. I knew I was adopted but that was all. I had a white hot anger and an acute sense of injustice from the time I can remember and no one in my adoptive family understood why. Those were not the days of any awareness about birth or childhood traumas.

    I intuitively knew I had experienced a huge trauma and injustice from my birth mother abandoning me. This actually sharpened my awareness of every following trauma and injustice so I felt anger very often. Throughout my life I was punished for noticing and expressing my anger, all the way through adulthood and even now into my sixties. If it weren’t for learning about second wave feminist writings in 1980 and onward I think I would’ve always been concerned about and ashamed of my anger. Instead, the feminist writers gave me a language to explore my anger and to learn that it was always connected with some injustice done to me or others. These feminist authors taught me that I can define myself, my emotions, and my experiences as a woman, apart from the male gaze or male interpretation. These feminists were incredibly lifesaving!

    So thank you for continuing this conversation concerning anger and reminding readers that it is a natural human emotion and it is not secondary. It arises in relation to wrongdoing committed by other human beings.

  • PD: thank you for your well articulated position here. I have always said that one has to face one’s traumas and feel the feelings related to them in order to recover. The only way I was able to achieve any recovery from the repeated traumatic events of childhood and my consequent alcoholism and drugs addiction was to get sober and become completely abstinent of all artificial chemicals, so I could begin recalling what had happened to me and to feel my feelings all the way through. I had been dissociated from myself and my feelings related to the traumas so I had to face all of it directly and feel them. Through my recovery from alcoholism and drugs addiction I also learned how many people simply don’t want to feel reality at all and would rather be numb. I understand that because that’s what I did for several decades but I also know that one cannot fully recover from any addiction or anything else without facing and accepting reality as it is and to feel the feelings all the way through. I’ve discovered that many people would rather be given validation for not feeling and for numbing out so they seek that validation by claiming there is no harm in numbing out because people have been doing that since time immemorial. Nothing is more dangerous to the chance of recovery than claiming numbing out is ok because “people have always done that.” People have always killed other people, too, but that doesn’t make killing acceptable.

  • The main problem I found in Ungar’s example of the Japanese tsunami survivor Aikiko as particularly resilient is that he only observed her eighteen months after her ordeal. Many trauma survivors don’t present with traumatic stress for many years after the traumatic event(s) took place. It can take fifteen to twenty years for the effects of traumas to surface. This was discovered by those who were trying to help and to understand combat veterans. My own experience with repeated traumatic events in childhood bears this out. I didn’t even begin to recall the traumas I survived till twenty years after the last one occurred. Alcoholism and drugs addiction interfered with my memories and emotions and after I sobered up it took me an additional six years of recovery before I was able to begin recalling the traumatic events I survived.

    This happens to many trauma survivors and for Ungar to neglect this in his article is a serious error. He focuses so much on the glow of resilience rather than the true costs of trauma. I was told I was resilient all my life. It wasn’t till I began to finally recover from all the traumas that I fully recognized the actual toll they took on me. I think this notion of resilience saving people from the effects of trauma is Pollyanna looking through rose colored glassses.

  • I have CPTSD (Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and I absolutely detested Prolonged Exposure Therapy. It did not help me in any way. I was exposed to my traumas enough when they were occurring and I do not need to continue to expose myself to them. My intrusive memories of them do that often enough. So many of these “newer therapies” like PET and DBT are really overrated. They have done nothing to relieve my symptoms. The only things that have ever offered me relief are distance running, walking, and talking to friends and peers who also suffer from PTSD.

  • I posted my own comments below but I wanted to respond to CatNight here directly because I had the same sorts of experiences with DBT only I was in one of Marsha Linehan’s year long studies on DBT and Prolonged Exposure Therapy for borderlines and trauma survivors. I only stayed in the groups for six-eight months but dropped the therapist assigned to me after four sessions. I am very educated and found DBT to be a very overrated system that verges on cult indoctrination. It’s one of those sorts of systems that seems to help only the indoctrinated. If you doubt the system then you’re considered non-compliant. I met Linehan several times and listened to her speak and found her to be quite condescending. Though I know and understand why she hid her diagnosis for so long I found that to only point out even more clearly why psychiatry and psychology are highly suspect practices. I did a great deal of online searching for individuals who have been critical of Linehan and DBT and there’s actually quite a few of us, many clients as well as doctors and other researchers. Linehan made a name for herself and found efficacy for her DBT in several studies but more studies need to be conducted showing how DBT and other modalities actually fail many clients. Just my opinion.

  • I was in one of Marsha Linehan’s studies at the University of Washington some years ago for about six months of a year long study on DBT for BPD and PTSD and it was a thorough test in patience for me. At first I was excited because the therapy was touted as “cutting edge.” I am very educated myself so I also have a very analytical mind. I am extremely well read so attending the long DBT sessions every week became an exercise in critical thought for me. I kept an open mind at first, of course, because I wanted to be helped by the therapy and therapist assigned to me. What I found was graduate students leading the groups and therapy sessions who behaved in very authoritarian ways. There was only one who didn’t. A great deal of coercion was employed to get us to comply with their approach and if we questioned it we were made to feel uncomfortable for any of our doubts or skepticism.

    I found the grad student leaders’ resistance to doubt and skepticism to be increasingly concerning because of the potential for emotional abuse. Linehan herself made appearances to our group several times and her demeanor was one of superiority, condescension, and arrogance. What I saw were graduate students and study participants fawning all over her “authority” and for this thinker I found all that quite repugnant. It looked very much like a psychiatric cult movement.

    The therapist who was assigned to me absolutely refused to allow me to tell her about my extremely traumatic past which I found to not only be insulting but counterproductive to therapy. She made it rather impossible for me to develop any trust in her. When I questioned her routine rejection of me attempting to discuss my past she repeatedly told me that DBT doesn’t address the client’s past and only works with the present moment. Insert eye roll here. I kept asking her how she was going to help me if she wouldn’t allow me to tell her anything about my past. She just kept telling me to “stay in the moment.” Insert another eye roll here. I was basically treated as non-compliant every session, both with her and in the group because I had serious questions about what they were doing. They were very resistant to us questioning them about anything and they would basically shut down anyone who exhibited any resistance to them. They kept claiming how people with BPD are very resistant to therapy. Ha! Cult much?

    And yes, I studied Linehan’s DBT manual for six months and found it extremely tedious verging on silly and ridiculous. All DBT is is a mishmash of CBT and diluted mindfulness training. It is clearly a product of pop psychology and American culture that has been marketed as the best new thing for borderlines and trauma victims. Insert yet another eye roll here. I have found the proponents of DBT typically to be over zealous and moon eyed over Linehan’s so-called major contribution to psychiatry. I found the approach to be highly suspicious and off-putting especially due to all this zealotry and I felt very concerned for the clients who were unstable emotionally or who didn’t have questioning minds or any healthy skepticism because that made them quite vulnerable to DBT indoctrination. Yes, indoctrination, because that is exactly what it is. It is a psychological doctrinal system created by Marsha Linehan, a system that requires complete adherence without questioning.

    Though I know a couple of people who feel DBT helps them I am quite dissatisfied by their explanations about why they think it helps them. They usually can’t explain why they think it helps. From what I’ve seen it looks like it “helps” in the same way many people think religion or spirituality helps them, but for me those sorts of reasons raise a great deal of skepticism.

    DBT and Marsha Linehan are both highly overrated, in my opinion. They’ve gotten far too much widespread attention.

  • William Dowling, thank you. I concur and embarked on my rejection of religion and psychiatry the year prior to when I began weaning myself off of the antidepressant I had been on for two decades. That was five years ago and I’ve been off that medication and religion and psychiatry for four years now. I’ve never felt better or more lucid or free.

  • Over the years I’ve read widely about orthodox religions and psychiatry because I’ve suffered abuse from both. Though I find this article interesting as a former student of Russian language and literature and history what I find most disturbing about orthodoxy and psychiatry is that they’re both based on belief but are always seeking to be proven by science. I found my freedom from orthodox religion and psychiatry once I began to explore atheist thought. Atheism has liberated me from the false restraints that both religion and psychiatry attempt to impose on intellectual thought. I find the union of the two to be quite disturbing.

  • J.A. Carter Winward, your performance piece in your video is brilliant and remarkable on so many levels! Brava! You nailed it. I haven’t developed akathisia but it definitely sounds like hell on earth. I agree with a few of the other commentators that it’s criminal that prescribing doctors are not held to professional and legal accountability for not providing warnings to their patients. I was on an SSRI for twenty years and weaned off it three and a half years ago, thankfully. That was very rough but so worth it. I also was never given any warnings about how difficult it really would be to discontinue them. My doctors always told me they were harmless and non addictive and that I’d probably have to take them for life. I proved them wrong. I’m just so sorry you and so many others developed these horrible painful iatrogenic symptoms. Thank you for speaking out and for making such a powerful presentation in your video.

  • I’ve always found ECT to be barbaric. What is especially concerning to me is how it’s being touted as a “new” type of ECT these days, and that it’s not as “invasive” as it was in earlier decades…I am very concerned for an acquaintance of mine in her thirties who has begun ECT recently because antidepressants were not helping her depression. She is like a cheerleader for ECT and I have to say I am deeply disturbed by her cheerleading. She is very successful in her work and attributes that to ECT…I am actually quite worried for her future and wellbeing…Anyway, I am very glad you are continuing to raise awareness about the dangers of ECT. Thank you for that.

  • I have suffered from depression my whole life but I always, always, always feel better when I run. Running does take an effort and it takes awhile to build up time and distance but there are immediate results. There is an app for cell phones that talks you through a beginning running program, it’s the C25K program and it’s free. It’s a walk/run program that anyone can do. Anyone. I quit taking antidepressants several years ago and running has helped me immensely. No therapist ever even suggested running to me. I also know how many people are resistant to the suggestion to exercise when they’re depressed because when you’re depressed you don’t feel like making an effort to do anything, but I’ve found that making an effort to do something healthy always helps me move through my depressive episodes. The Nike slogan “Just Do It” pertains.

  • Thank you so very much for your article here. It is so validating for me. I’m a 63 year old survivor who suffered repeated traumatic events of every kind as a child, events that were never discussed with me in my alcoholic family. Naturally I became an addict and alcoholic myself in my teen years and continued drinking and drugging till I was 32 when I sobered up in AA. Though I recalled the family violence all my life I failed to recall being raped at age five and other molestations until I was six years sober at age 38. Luckily I read Courage to Heal as well as Judith Herman’s book Trauma and Recovery twice and I was able to access my earlier buried traumas. I began talking about them in AA which helped me immeasurably.

    The thing was, though, I had gone to see “therapists” numerous times before and after sobering up and over the years since but I constantly ran into walls with them because of the DSM and my “diagnoses” and the therapists’ unwillingness to even listen to me speak about my traumas. The final straw for me came when I was enrolled in a university study on Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and Prolonged Exposure Therapy. I am a very educated woman who reads and studies everything so I read loads about DBT and PET outside of the study so I was very informed. The therapist who was assigned to me in the study systematically refused to allow me to tell her anything about the traumatic events I survived. When I questioned her about why she refused she said that DBT and PET don’t work that way, that they only work “in the moment” so I was not allowed to discuss what happened to me in the past. Say what?! I asked her several times on several different occasions how anyone is supposed to grow and heal if they’re not allowed to discuss what happened to them in the past?! Again she said that DBT and PET don’t “work like that.” I had been diagnosed by the study as having BPD, C-PTSD, Major Depressive Disorder, Panic Anxiety Disorder, Avoidant Personality Disorder, and OCD. I was age 56 when they diagnosed me.

    For several years I bought into their diagnosis but then found this website Mad In America when I was looking for articles to read about getting off my antidepressant. I had tried to quit taking it many times so I needed more information about why it was so hard to quit. I learned a lot in my reading, especially about how addicting they really are. I was finally successful in weaning off them 3 1/2 years ago. Though I still have the C-PTSD and depression I now believe the late adult diagnosis of BPD was incorrect and was made so I was more easily “billable.” Funny thing, all my so-called BPD and other DSM diagnosed disorder “criteria” dropped off once I was off the SSRI…

  • I don’t feel comfortable with any treatment for my C-PTSD, shaun f. I’m 63 and have been through every sort of “therapeutic” approach that’s been offered since I was a teen and I have found more help from my friends and other people with C-PTSD than I ever had from any official “therapy.” For example, sharing about my traumas with Vietnam veterans helped me more than any “therapy” ever did, undoubtedly because the vets also had C-PTSD and accepted me and what I told them unconditionally. We didn’t try to “fix” each other. We simply accepted one another unconditionally so we were emotionally safe with one another. I’ve never had that experience with any therapist, and I’ve had many of those. My peers helped me (and still do) more than any so-called therapy or therapist ever did. If you met me and got to know me you would never know I have the disorders I have, all because I have been so thoroughly helped by my friends and fellow survivors.

  • I was in a university study that utilized P.E. for those of us with C-PTSD and I found it quite retraumatizing. I am a survivor of multiple traumas that had regularly occurred in my childhood and early adulthood and it was rather ludicrous reciting only one of those traumas over and over and expecting that to have any effect whatsoever on all the rest of the traumatic events I survived. It would’ve taken years and years of P.E. to even process every trauma I survived. I found the process to be very ineffectual as well as increasing the effects of my C-PTSD. When I ended my participation in that so-called therapy I did some online searches to see if others had shared my experiences with it and I found some others who shared my take on it, most of whom were war veterans, which I am not. Like them, however, I also found great relief once I ended all participation in PE. Like DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) I think PE is highly overrated. Both have become very popular in the psychiatric community over the last ten years, the new panaceas. I wasn’t impressed or helped by either. In fact, ending therapy completely brought much more relief to me than any therapy ever did while I was still participating!

  • Thank you for this, Irit! I am so happy to learn about Don Weitz and you and both of your contributions. I receive the weekly emails from Mad In America and am learning so much more about the oppressive nature of psychiatry. I am a survivor myself and was able to wean myself off antidepressants over three years ago after having been on them for over twenty years. Luckily I have always been an intellectual who studies everything I become interested in so that’s what led me to this site to begin with. I look forward to reading Don’s work, as well as your work in your Phoenix. Bringing the truth forward is always the most important work. We will not stay silent! Solidarity always.