Monday, February 6, 2023

Comments by Inmyname

Showing 4 of 4 comments.

  • I was diagnosed “Manic Depressive” at age 25, told I had a “genetically inherited mental illness with no known cause and no cure, a chemical imbalance in the brain which would have to be treated with drugs for the rest of my life”. I had already been medicated with antidepressants and tranquilizers since age 15 having been told I was suffering from “clinical depression” with “no known cause”. At age 30 after five years of every antidepressant under the sun plus lithium, my system exploded in a terrifying psychotic breakdown. I was hospitalized between several hospitals for about six months, anaesthetised to unconsciousness many times and made two suicide attempts and was subjected to the horrific and barbaric ECT. I still suffer the long-term physical and mental effects of the ECT and am in no doubt it destroyed both my short term and long-term memory. I was shouted at and manhandled by a male and female nurses who held me down for asking questions and trying to understand the terrifying splitting of my psyche in a severe dissociated state – although at that time I had never heard of dissociation and had no memory of what, after eight years and five further hospitalized breakdowns later – began to emerge in my consciousness as the result of the shock of a traffic accident, revealed itself as horrendous sexual abuse, torture and rapes by my father, uncles, a priest and my father’s business partner from the age of two until eight years old. Then again at age 17-18. This began to show itself through my art – I had been studying for a BA in Fine Art when I broke down. By the time of my traffic accident I had begun in psychotherapy with the kindest most humble doctor who was also a Jungian analyst. Once I had begun to remember the sexual abuse I was able to get through another three breakdowns by drawing and drawing from the unconscious and although tortuous information it saved me from going over the edge into psychosis ever again. I came off all medication and worked intensely with dreams and the unconscious and my art, talking and being deeply, kindly and intelligently heard and listened to. My therapist who had been in charge of the hospital I was admitted to in 1988 left the NHS after my first two years with him which because he was in the NHS he had been able to treat me for free, and I left the NHS psychiatric system with him, paying him a fraction of his normal charge. Although for the first time in my life I was finding deep meaning and purpose as the result of being able to access the truth of this buried trauma information, I was too raw and fragile to be able to work and earn therefore I lived in severe hardship. But that was nothing in the face of the fact that this doctor save my life. And that my life was for the first time beginning to feel worthwhile being alive for. I was with him for 19 years, later moving to work with his colleague, whom I still see. I have recently achieved an MA which was the culmination of all this inner work and combining scores of documented drawings of flashbacks with my thesis which embodied my decades-long conviction that there had been nothing wrong with me in the first place. I recently needed to have a formal NHS mainstream psychiatric assessment to support a disability benefits appeal. The examining psychiatrist both understood disassociation and knew and had worked with the original psychiatrist who had misdiagnosed me at age 25 – and told me what had happened to me was about compliance and to silence me. I am now formally diagnosed as Complex PTSD.

    In 2000 I went to a large mental health conference. It was attended by both “service users” and “professionals”. After the main keynote speeches we broke up into groups to explore different themes. I had gone along because I wanted to see where and how I could be of help in learning about suicide prevention. I sat in a group of about 20 people. One young man shared that he had tried to commit suicide six times. Others spoke of repeated suicide attempts and their medications and other experiences. No-one seemed to have any ideas what to do about it. I found that I was sitting next to a consultant psychiatrist. As the group closed I turned to him and said that I had been able to heal from repeated psychotic breakdowns as I had discovered both the cause (not only the original abuse but crucially not having been believed by mother, doctors etc – and had been lucky enough to have brilliant help. I thought he would be delighted and interested to hear that someone who had been been very ill had found a way to heal. Instead, to my shock he stood up saying “well, so much for all my life’s study, then” – and stalked off.

    Having, at that point, had the benefit of twelve years of life-saving, kind and respectful therapeutic help it was a huge shock to be met with such callous indifference to the idea of an alternative and successful route to healing and wholeness and to the challenging of DSM traditional beliefs of mainstream biological model genetically inherited mental illness and psychiatric diagnoses. Your article confirms that is does not seem much has changed.

  • Apologies for errors in my post – I meant to recommend this link for the MIA podcast “Fighting for the Meaning of Madness” http://www.madinamerica.com/2019/05/an-interview-with-dr-john-read/ as opposed to the link I wrote – although that one I also recommend – both of these back up my own experiences of mainstream psychiatry which thankfully I have not been involved with for the last 30 years.

    2. Title of book should be “Shattered but Unbroken” – not “not unbroken” as written.

  • I am so sorry you interpreted my post as “insinuating” – to use your word – that you were raped. That was neither my intention nor my belief, at any level. I would not ever believe, and never have, believed such a thing about another person. I have re-read what I wrote and do not see any suggestion in it that I believed you were raped. I was responding to your comment in your reply to ‘Someone else’, where you state ‘80% of mental patients being victims of childhood sexual abuse sounds way too high. I’m not sure where you got that statistic, but you should double check that’. You repeat this in your reply to Steve McCrea with ‘…the idea that 80% of mental health cases are actually PTSD and misdiagnosed doesn’t seem to be correct. This is the first I’ve heard of this’.

    I suggest that if you double check what I have written you will see that I was quoting research written by my therapist. This is quoting various studies and is not a suggestion to any reader that this has to apply to them personally. When expressing an opinion I feel it is crucial to have reliable information to base that opinion on, as opposed to stating vaguely what something seems to be or not to be, and at least two of the people quoted in this research are names of people I deeply respect, having studied a lot of their work myself at some depth and recognised, from my own lived experience, the veracity and utter importance of their work. These two people are John Read and Bessel Van Der Kolk. The latter you may recognise as the author of “The Body Knows the Score”. This book became central to my MA thesis and is one of the most profoundly helpful and healing books I have ever read. I know many people worldwide feel the same, as shown for instance by the thousands of 5 star reviews on Amazon as well as numerous conversations I have had with people feeling the same.

    Following your comments I looked up the link kindly provided in her comment by ‘Someone Else’ – http://www.madinamerica.com/2016/04/heal-for-life/ and read the article by Liz Mullinar and Matthew Britts, “Victim Blaming: Childhood Trauma, Mental Illness and Diagnostic Distractions?” I am grateful to ‘Someone Else’ for sharing this link because it is a brilliant article which says it all in a nutshell. I was amazed to see there are no less than 92 comments under it. If you read it you will, I think, find that there are many things said which are in agreement with many of the things you have also said, especially about forced medication and the psychiatric labels, over which I also feel entirely in agreement with you. The first short comment also hits the nail on the head so much that I quote it here – by Markps2 –

    “Why are past experiences not talked of? The we-have-a-medicine/magic pill industry is worth billions of dollars a year is why.
    Those who separate themselves from the mentally ill also need the idea-excuse of a DNA error or brain chemical imbalance to keep themselves apart from the ill, keep the illusion that medicine is being performed, not a person’s soul is in conflict or damaged.’

    Regarding the subject of Satanic Ritual Abuse, I do not know anything about Q-anon as I have not felt the need to research it, although I watched the horrific riots on the Whitehouse over the Trump election. What has happened to me from very early childhood was not only actual sexual abuse by my father and uncles but not being believed by my mother, who protected my father and would not hear a word against him. This is about about extreme denial and cover-up, which is like a force field in the world and which has been a major cause of my own life-long ill-health as I was silenced by both family, Church and culture even though my siblings later revealed their own abuse by our father. However they did not want this spoken about as they did not want their own children to know. I was therefore silenced all my life and am only just feeling ready to speak out about it. During this time I have read a number of books which I would recommend to anyone who wants to learn about SAR and mind-control. These are: ‘The Enslaved Queen’ and ‘White Witch in a Black Robe’ by Wendy Hoffman, ‘Shattered but not Unbroken’ edited by Valerie Sinason and Amelia van der Merwe, and ‘Trance Formation of America’ by Cathy O’Brien and Mark Philips. They are not easy reads. But when you have yourself gone through similar experience even when it is still buried in your own unconscious, you know when something is real and true. These authors are very, very brave and courageous and has been written amongst the reviews, humanity owes them a debt.

    In relation to conspiracy theories, two years ago I came across a site called the “Grey Faction” which states its headquarters as a ‘Satanic Temple’ and on which I found a list of so-called ‘conspiracy theorists’ compiled by them. This list included both the therapist who helped Wendy Hoffman, Alison Miller – and Bessel Van Der Kolk! It is when I see the discrediting of someone of whom I am in no doubt as to their authenticity as truthful and first rate healers in the field – as ‘ conspiracy theorists’ that I can see through the lie of any such claim.

    I am so glad to read that you have a supportive loving family and I wish you all the very best.

  • I feel obliged to comment on your views and beliefs on the issue of the percentage of people diagnosed with serious mental illnesses who were in fact sexually abused as children. I have been in psychotherapy for many years dealing with exactly this issue, having had no memory of this having happened to me and being at the bottom of repeated hospitalised breakdowns and diagnosed bipolar in 1975, until the initial consciousness of it was shocked awake in me as the result of a major car crash at the age of 38. At that point, having been admitted to hospital for the sixth time since age 30, I was privileged to meet the doctor who saved my life. He was in charge of the NHS psychiatric hospital and did not tell me for six months that he was in fact also a Jungian analyst. I had never felt, or been, so helped. I had the benefit of free consultations due to his being in the NHS. He left the NHS after two years however and I went with him and he was my analyst for a total of 19 years, charging me a tiny proportion of his normal fee as I was unable to work due to the long-term effects of trauma and therefore in poverty. I then moved to seeing his colleague as I had moved to another part of the country. That was in 2007 and I am still seeing him weekly.

    During all these years I have experienced almost continuous flashbacks and buried memories slowly surfacing of extreme abuse involving violence and hypnosis by my father which continued up to age 26 when I was able to stop him and of this instance I have always had conscious memory but no memory of any of his previous abuse of me and it became my life’s work documenting the flashbacks and memories with writing and drawings. As I became conscious of the abuse I was able with the support of my therapists to come off all medications which, especially during hospital admissions, were in very high doses. I have recently completed an MA in authorial Illustration, having been believed by the initial psychiatrist in 1975 to have no future chances of career or recovery.

    I should like to quote some research by my current therapist, with his permission – he wrote this passage for a report supporting my application to the CICA in 2014. He writes:

    Research Linking Childhood Sexual Abuse and Severe Mental Illness:

    Research into Severe and Enduring Mental Illness demonstrated a remarkably strong correlation between Childhood Abuse (CA), especially Childhood Sexual Abuse (CSA) and a raft of severe mental illnesses. An overview of the research literature in this area shows that CA is causally indicated in, amongst others, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, personality disorders, psychotic disorders including schizophrenia and manic depression, and dissociative disorders. A significant piece of research found that
    ‘In 13 studies of ‘seriously mentally ill’ women the percentage that had experienced CSA or CPA (child physical abuse) ranged from 45% to 92% (Goodman, Rosenberg, Mueser, & Drake, 1997). A review of 15 studies totalling 817 women inpatients, calculated that 64% reported CPA or CSA (CSA 505, CPA 44%) (Read, 1997). Studies of female inpatients, or predominantly psychotic outpatients, find incest rates of 22%-46% (Beck & van der Kolk, 1987, Cole, 1988, Muenzenmaier, Meyer, Struening, & Ferber, 1993; Rose, Peabody, & Stratigeas, 1991). (Read et al 2003, 76, 2).

    This research and study shows that 76% percent of ‘seriously mentally ill’ patients had suffered childhood sexual abuse and states that ‘parental hostility precedes and is predictive of schizophrenia’ (ibid p.3). That,, in a study of bibolar affective disorder, patients who had suffered CSA were twice as likely as other patients to experience some form of hallucination’ (ibid p4) and that when both forms of child abuse was present the combination caused ‘an even worse outcome’ (ibid p 15).

    A further research finds that ‘abuse disclosures by psychiatric patients to be reliable and that ‘patients tend to underreport abuse histories rather than overreport them’ (Dill, Chu, Grobb & Eisen, 1991 p 168) and that there is no relationship between childhood sexual abuse and thought disorder.

    Research into the effects of childhood sexual abuse on survivors show that severe dissociation and/or the failure in capacity to access conscious memory of extremely traumatic experiences function as psychological mechanisms aimed at preserving the child’s fragile sense of itself and its relational environment (Sinason, 2002)….”

    I know that I would be dead long ago without having done this extensive psychoanalytic work. I have been re-diagnosed by an NHS Consultant psychiatrist who is rare in that he is an expert in dissociation (contrary to your statement that dissociation has been “debunked”) as having been misdiagnosed “manic depressive/bipolar” in 1975 – which led me down years of wrong treatment with drugs and ECT. My diagnoses should have been, and is, CPTSD and I daily experience dissociative states which I am now able to monitor myself through and am looking forward to doing a PhD exploring DID and the healing power of art and truthful self-expression.

    Regarding your comments about the “Satanic Panic” do remember that the many people involved in these activities are despicably cunning and clever and of course will infiltrate and destabilise information. I have worked in womens’ sexual abuse healing groups going back 30 years, where there have been survivors of SRA.