Sunday, November 27, 2022

Comments by Christine Burnett

Showing 55 of 55 comments.

  • I say that you’re not going to have affective treatments when you don’t understand the problem you’re treating. When I was in psychological distress people would push medication or therapy. I know they thought that I was just too untrusting or have an extreme need to handle it myself or just afraid of stigma etc. But none of those were the reason I didn’t go to the mental health system for help. I was very very desperate. If I had thought for one second that the mental health system could/would help vs. giving me more to deal with, I would have been pounding at the door. However, my psychological problem itself pointed out to me how ignorant psychiatry/psychology really is. The medical model was obviously untrue but that isn’t close to all the inaccurate theories. I’m yet to see a theory/model without something of significance, that I can say with a lot of certainty, is inaccurate. One example, I look some websites that therapists write into. They talk about dealing with a client’s anger. If I ask why do you think the anger is so intense, and I get no response or their temperament and/or upbringing. Before my problem, I didn’t know myself why some people’s anger was so intense. But the trauma I experienced resulted in a change in the intensity in emotion I felt that was massive. It was very clear that the change was due to the experience not my innate temperament or upbringing. But if you believe it’s temperament or upbringing, you’re not going to look at what happen, nor are you going to provide validation on how one of the impacts was increased intensity in emotion. You’re not going to view the increased intensity of emotion as the fault of the experience instead of the client. You won’t give validation on how difficult it is to be living with very intense emotion. Such validations can be calming. Instead it’s send the client to DBT or Anger Management Classes that can add to anger. At least it would mine. Now I feel anger at less an intensity than I did before the trauma because I worked through stuff from childhood in addition to the trauma. How more obvious can it be that trauma affect intensity of emotion?

  • I’m in agree with both Squid and Katel. I think what Katel describes in the norm. It’s especially true with teenagers that the focus is on change in behavior through discipline with a disregard for the life experiences. Suicide attempts or self harm are just “attention seeking” in some programs. It’s treating any pain with indifference. Something I would say abusers do. I know Mad In America formed to bring attention to misinformation and harm around the Medical Model. However, I glad there is also concerns around therapy discussed. The medical model is a very serious issue but definitely not the only issue.

  • It’s striking to me the degree of separation in how people are impacted by DBT. Some saying it was very abusive and damaging and others saying it saved their life. I haven’t been in DBT therapy but I’ve read about the model. Some says that the difference in impact is a matter of the therapist administrating the therapy. Although I’m sure the therapist’s viewpoint and characteristics have an impact, I think the model itself would lead to different outcomes for different people. I, personally, would be among the people upset by it. But I can see where someone else who’s looking to deal with their struggle a different way than I was, could find it helpful. I was trying to work through all the emotion, thoughts, unresolved issues. I suspect a lot people would feel that there’s too much baggage to possibly work through it all, they are unsure of where it all came from and therefore it doesn’t make sense to try to work through it all. I can see in their view it makes sense to do mindfulness, coping strategies, acceptance. But for me, I knew where my struggle came from and although it was too much to work through, it was also too much too bury and have any kind of life I would want to live. Although there were days where I though I couldn’t deal with anymore, I never considered possible ways to kill myself because that would hurt people I really didn’t want to hurt. However, the day I move toward acceptance over recovery would be the day I started looking for ways to kill myself. So I think if I went to DBT that would increase the possibility of suicide for me. I think when a service user doesn’t want to engage in a particular therapy there’s often a reason that the service user knows that the therapist doesn’t. Services users themselves know the most about their struggle, what will help and what will upset. So it’s not that I think DBT shouldn’t exist. It’s that I think there shouldn’t be any pressure to engage in it.

  • I see so many comments that say don’t challenge therapies or treatments it will discourage people from seeking assistance. The most discouraging aspect is that treatment doesn’t help and makes matters worse. The field of psychology needs to known what can be harmful and in which ways it is harmful. Those providing therapy should care, investigate and make corrections around concerns. There shouldn’t be pressure for everyone to use therapy that some find useful while others find harmful.
    Everyone sees their own struggle differently. People want different things in response. So we, as a society, need to stop thinking we know what best for others and imposing our beliefs.

  • Hi, I was speaking in a general way. ĂŤm pulling from my experience and not looking to speak for anyone else. There suffering that can be settle by looking at what the suffering brought to you in increased knowledge, insight, talent that you didĹ„t have before. I feel it´s possible for people to embrace the good things their suffering brought and learn to cope with what isĹ„t. But sometimes I feel the suffering has to be lessened. In my case, I felt I had to look for a way to lessen it. I was too overwhelmed by it. So I found Richard Schwartz theories interesting. Even though it doesĹ„t fit my experience entirely I do think he brings a lot to the conversation.

  • Absolutely, People know what assistance is helpful and what isn’t for their particular situation which they’re more familiar with and have a better understanding of than anybody else. I see CBT as viewing people as broken and needing correction which is why I don’t like it. Although, I may not support all of Richard Schwartz’s theories, I do like that his approach as one of curiosity and his therapy seems more compassionate than many others.

  • Steve, I agree. Fixing is bad. Trying to fix, anyone who didn’t ask for anything, is very bad. But I also think if everyone was ok with whatever suffering they experienced, we wouldn’t have suicides. I would have looked for a way to kill myself if I didn’t have a plan that was improving my situation. Sometimes people are looking for something that would improve their situation. I think the current mental health system is often making people situation worse but I don’t think that means there shouldn’t be any study of how to make people’s situation better.

  • I remember the first time I heard Richard Schwartz speak of IFS during a seminar I attended. I was excited because I felt IFS was getting into the ballpark of a better understanding of psychological problems. I respect that after Dr. Schwartz found that the therapy he was using, didn’t help, he investigated why. I respect that he listened to his clients in an effort to understand why. I feel psychology needs more people to respond as Richard Schwartz. Currently, I see that most in the field ignore, deny or blame the cooperation of their clients for failures in treatment

    Based on my own experience there are elements of his theories I agree with, others that I don’t.
    What I agree with:
    1. Not looking at psychological issues as abnormalities or disease.
    2. How his theory differ from CBT. I agree that a problem such as anxiety/phobia come from having been in a scary place and still carrying emotion from it. I believe looking at such problems as a distorted cognition that needs to be corrected leads to treatment that inflames the problem.
    3. I do think, what he calls the self (I’ll say who you were before the trauma) does become trapped under anger, hurt, fear. From my experience, every time positive feelings of the self are brought to the surface there is some healing. Positive feeling need not be pulled up through therapy. I think a positive relationship is better. Activities that bring up good feelings of oneself or others is better.
    4. In his therapy, he lets the client take the lead. I agree with that but I still feel probing a trauma is potentially problematic.

    What I disagree with:
    1. That there are innate parts that come out during a trauma. In my experience I feel the parts were the result of the trauma. I don’t see them as coping mechanisms that came to the surface to deal with the trauma. I see them as feelings, perceptions, patterns of interaction that occur during the trauma and stayed with me because the trauma couldn’t be understood and was left unresolved. I, also, don’t agree that the parts will always be there even if you obtained an understanding of what happened and worked through the emotion. In my experience the separate thoughts, feelings and perceptions did integrate into one viewpoint, without emotion connected to it, after I obtained a understanding of what happen and worked through the emotion around it. But closure can be impossible to obtain and consequently the parts never leave.
    2. I think the possibility of becoming overwhelmed when traumas are probed is a legitimate concern. One can’t just decide not to be overwhelmed. I don’t agree that through a discussion with a part (I won’t exile you?) the part won’t overwhelmed. My experience is the intensity of thoughts, feeling etc. comes from how much there is in what is referred to as exiles. I know in the beginning of my psychological struggle, I would feel anger at a intensity that was scary. I physically felt it not just emotionally. When it did come to the surface, it would be there for hours. It was a severe stress on my nervous system that I physically felt. I did gradually reduce it but not by negotiation with a part or through a decision. It lessened as I work through what were my exiles. A number of years ago there was a 60 minutes report of people who went into therapy and after considerable probing of past trauma they were left with emotion always on the surface and that emotion was disabling them. They could no longer exile the feelings and keep them box away so they could function. They were in a worse situation than before the therapy. So although bringing thoughts, memories, feelings may allow their release some of the time, I don’t think it’s risk free.
    3. If I understand Richard Schwartz and Gabor Mate (someone I feel has made a positive contributed as well) correctly both believe that people become stuck in a trauma because their thoughts and feeling never had a voice at the time of the trauma. That doesn’t fit my experience. During my experience I was voicing my thought and feelings. However, I didn’t understand what I was dealing with and what happened was left unresolved. I think the lack of understanding/resolution is why I became stuck. If I’m right then merely bringing exiles to the surface won’t result in healing if there still isn’t closure.

  • I found the comment Insel’s son made regarding Ritalin interesting. “It doesn’t do much for me Dad but it makes everybody else a lot nicer.” Seems to me, given such a comment, Insel should explore his son views on how he’s treated. Maybe he’s more active that he naturally would be because he’s agitated. Maybe he agitated because people have been treating him in ways that are hurtful.

  • Excellent piece!!! We do need an end to the arrogance and trauma counseling, although a step in the right direction, hasn’t produced change in treatment on the level needed. There’s is still a lot that isn’t understood on the impact or trauma. There’s still much in treatment that harms rather than supports recovery.

  • Hi, Joshua, It sound like you’re speaking of local programs. I’m not in California. But I think it goes back to the believe in a chemical imbalance or looking at it as inappropriate behavior without understanding the problem or struggle. They don’t think they’re being cruel. They think they’re doing right thing in correcting the chemical imbalance and holding people accountable. They’ll continue the current practices until those views are corrected.

  • The government contracts for services through private agencies and religious charities. It provides grants and often pays per case. The government contracts with shelter, residences and outreach services not to mention all the money from Medicaid/ Medicare that goes to hospitals and mental health services. It’s not a little bit of money. It’s a lot of tax payers money. I don’t know how much money flows from the business community but it seems that their giving is often to the arts and sports. Not that I have anything against the arts or sports, I think participating in both can be beneficial.

  • I agree, if their goal is to help, this proposal is the wrong way to go about it. It will put people under additional stress, alienate more, and further drop their faith in humanity. It’s mind boggling how much money is spent on programs that harm. It seems to me that food and housing could be provided without all the involuntary services (legal, drugs, locked wards in hospitals). Any services should be designed to help people gain control over their lives not take it away.

    I see this proposal as the result of the chemical imbalance theory
    and looking at symptoms of trauma as behavior problems.

  • I read the articles. Wow I noticed that the Psychiatric Physicians Alliance of California called it “really welcome”. It seems that they believe their own lies that they know how to cure psychological problems. So, they think, why not impose treatment on whoever they deem to have a mental illness?
    In general, it sounds like there is more support for this proposal than any questioning or push back. Of course the majority of the public supports the medical model or it seems that way to me.

    It is a difficult problem when thinking get very delusional. However, it needs to be understood that mental stress will cause that; specifically, the stress from unresolved trauma and treatment received once labelled mentally ill. Add the constant stress of not having basic needs met (housing, food, heat etc.), along with the lack of support, understanding or say in one’s life, all combined, they can push people into a psychotic state.

    Mental health services are hardly a substitute for genuine support, affordable housing and income.

  • Yes, I understand the position people are place in when they are struggling and others decide they’re a problem. People are put in an impossible positions. They’re not in an environment that allows for healing and are told they won’t be treated any differently until they show they’re healed.
    We need many voices on the problems because it’s hard to change such established institutions.

  • In my experience, I could say that I need others to work with me and I had that request abruptly dismissed. I feel that many would recover if there was a willingness to work with the person struggling instead of imposing theoretical beliefs and services that can harm. Unfortunately, it’s hard to get people not to impose when they have the ability to do so. It’s hard to mobilize a fight against it when the victims are struggling to get through the day.

  • Joshua, Thanks for your comment. I wasn’t aware of the plan in California. This plan is part of why I says we have a societal problem. It’s a societal problem that the mental health system has contributed to but its throughout society. Politician tend to follow public pressure more than drive policy. There’s a view in the public that people who are struggling are responsible for their situation, that they have behavior problems that require correction and accountability, and/or they are too mentally confused/delusional to have control or even input on their treatment. These viewpoints and policies the stems from them creates a self fulling prophecy. By denying people who are homeless self determination, validation of their struggle, help in area of expressed need, or showing any value in their viewpoints or information they bring to a problem, this policy is pushing down those they are supposedly trying to help. Then the stress of being further marginalized makes the ability to function well, or get back on ones feet, harder. If they want to help people who are homeless, they need people who are homeless recommending policy changes that would help. It’s those who are struggling with the problem who know the most about what would alleviate it.

  • Jessie,
    There currently isn’t any test showing physical impairment that used for disability eligibility regarding mental health issue. It’s currently the person’s report of symptoms or observation of symptoms. Clearly there are people disabled for mental health reasons. I worked with people who were so disabled they couldn’t apply for disability without help or obtain food and housing. Yes, I believe that someone can become that disabled solely from trauma. Should they not receive any help because their problem is not the result of a physical disease?

  • I think one has to consider how severe the psychological problem is. If it´s not too severe then positive thinking, acceptance and meditation might be the best course. However, that´s not going to cut it for a severe psychological problem. When you have been in a lot of psychological distress yourself, you have an idea how much distress others are in given what they say and how they act. I have seen many people who were in extreme distress but carry on. People are willing to live with extreme distress. However, still there are many suicides. I don’t think that´s because some people are weak. I think it speaks to how serious the psychological distress can be. I say never assume what you experience is as bad as it gets. I think any therapy need input from the person suffering on whether it would be helpful because he or she knows the most about the condition they´re struggling with.

  • I agree that I don’t see anything in the news about the harm psychotropic can do. It’s all how treatment will help.
    In my job as a caseworker, I wouldn’t have anything to do with medication or therapy. But I know there are caseworkers who work as part of a mental health program.

  • I feel the marginalization is throughout society. But psychiatry is in a position to really create a problem. I stayed away from any treatment through psychiatry. However, I still had a severe problem that I had a lot of difficulty making it through. I stayed away from psychiatry because it operates on falsehoods and I do believe its practices make psychological problems worse. However, I can’t say that psychological problems wouldn’t exist or they wouldn’t be serious if we didn’t have psychiatry. I did use some of what I learn through reading self-help books to help me understand my situation. Some of what I read was helpful. People are getting others beliefs about mental health imposed on them. That’s a problem. I didn’t tell anyone about the problem I was having, that I didn’t have to tell, for that reason. Psychological problems are very tricky and I’m very hesitant to give any advice. When I write a blog I see it as, if its helpful to someone great but I’m not trying to impose. If I knew of a fast, easy solution, I would give it, but I don’t.

  • Hi,
    I read the article. I thought it brought up a lot of issues needing discussion. There has been a lot of changes to society and I do think some of the changes could result in more, and more severe psychological issues. I noticed a statement, by Jones, who was diagnosed as schizophrenic at one point. She has a relative who was severely disabled by “Mental illness”. The statement “I’m angered that those critical of diagnosis and medication do not consider the most intractable cases”. It does appear to me sometimes that mental health issues are minimized. I consider those cases because I’m very familiar with them. It was my job to assist adult who weren’t able to get their basic needs of food, housing, income without help. Usually the adult needed help because of a severe psychological problem. I’ve seen the difference in functioning in some of those cases when on and off medication. It can be pretty dramatic. I seen people in a constant state of psychosis (people are coming through the walls and snakes are coming into my body) go to, not 100 percent, but a pretty reasonable conversation about their life and needs when on medication. There are people who will say when you see me acting funny get me back on my medication. I don’t think psychotropic medication will be discontinued because there are many people who say they are helped by them. But I will say that the fact that there are people helped by psychotropic medication is not proof that the problem is a biological abnormality. The impact of environmental factors are way underestimated. I believe that the emotion from life events effect the brain’s chemistry. I think the brain’s chemistry changes when under distress and changes again upon healing from the distress.

  • I don’t think what is referred to a mental illness is a disease, genetic or biological. Therefore, in that sense no one has it. But in the sense of carrying around thoughts, perceptions and emotion from unresolved experiences, everyone has it. Since everyone’s life experience is different, what they are carrying is different in type and severity. To me it not some insignificant made up problem and it has to be referred to some way. In short, I would say it’s something everyone has on some level. Its not a disease that you have or you don’t.

  • Hi Bradford,
    Dealing with conflicts by labeling someone in it as mentally ill and dismissing that person is ridiculous. It creates and exacerbates psychological problems. I know what it’s like.

    It’s promoted by the mental health field that psychological problems are lifelong. They don’t have to be, but behavior like that holds people down. I haven’t read your comments yet but I will.

  • Hi Louisa,
    I agree with you completely. Is not enough to just complain about the current systems although I think it is important to point out the problems it causes. I do want to discuss the issues in how society functions and how people in different psychological states clash. I learned through my experience that people are often in conflict because they’re in a different psychological place. These conflicts create psychological problems and make recovery difficult. I tried to put some of it in this blog but it didn’t work. So I’ll try to write a separate blog on it.

  • Hi Hazel,
    I found bringing good feelings, from before the painful ones, to the surface helped me. Doing so through imagination or fantasy or just remembering can work. I found the more positive feelings I was able to bring to the surface the more clear headed and calmer I became. My thought is drugs that interferes with that, interferes with healing. I have found in my conversations with professional that they don’t let what people have found to be successful to alter their beliefs. Thanks you for your essay.

  • Hi Jessie and Joanna,
    This is a good conversation and I agree with much that’s been said. But any linking of what causes psychological problems with whether or not they are debilitating, concerns me. I had a severe psychological problem and found it very debilitating. I was established in a job at the time it developed. If I had to find employment during that time, I’m sure I wouldn’t have been able to. I was barely able to continue the job I had.
    I don’t think psychological problems develop from genetic or biological abnormalities. But many people do and will take the position that if it isn’t genetic or biological, then any struggle you are having is just a choice. In their mind, there’s no excuse for any impairment, or reason to provide any accommodation. We shouldn’t have to agree on the cause, to have some recognition of how difficult and debilitating a psychological problem can be.

  • I think your viewpoint is common but wrong. A psychological problem can be both not genetic or biological and still be disabling and limiting. Refusing to listen or accommodate, when someone who is struggling says that what is being asked, is beyond what they can do, pushes him/her down further and interferes with recovery. It creates a more hopeless situation because you are denying support unless the person does what he/she can’t do. It very hard to recover when you receive criticism mixed with unrealistic expectations instead of people working with you and providing support.

  • I didn’t write the blog to discuss what the best therapy is or to complain about any wrongs. Actually, I see people saying what they feel worked for them and then believing that’s what everyone should do, as a problem. I think it’s a problem because everyone psychological issues are different. People will be different when it comes to what helps them. In my blog, I trying to offer information that might be helpful, not tell anyone what’s best for them.

    If I wanted to see a therapist that would sympathetically listen to what I said, I suspect I could have found one. But I didn’t look. I didn’t look because, I didn’t think that would be helpful either.

    When I talked about having a voice, I was referring to having a voice in their treatment. When I talked about listening, I was referring to listening to their view of the problem and taking it seriously.

    But my point in writing the blog wasn’t to discuss therapy, it was to discuss how psychological problems develop and my view that our current Mental Health system exacerbates psychological problems by focuses on symptoms with a lack of recognition for why the symptoms are there.

  • Hi, I agree. I don’t support the medical model but I don’t feel that just a positive attitude or meditation will correct any psychological problem however severe it is. We need to stop seeing some people as good and others as bad depending on their viewpoints and work for the benefit of all our fellow humans. No one is always right or always wrong.

  • Thankyou for writing this. I worked in child welfare and I agree. The medical model is especially damaging when used on children. Children’s trauma is consistently dismissed and the goal is to control behavior through medication and discipline that adds further injury. Society allows it to continue at it’s own peril. In the end society at large is harm by the damage done to it’s children.

  • Hi, So sorry for what you experienced. That’s horrendous! But unfortunately, I’m not shocked. It’s very hard to get out of a Domestic Violence situation. Perpetrators get a lot of support from others who identify with them and there’s many who identify with them in the helping profession. I hope you’re getting support now.

  • Thanks, Mr. Brown for doing the interview. Safe housing, regular meals and understanding are critical to an improved mental state. So much money is spent on programs that are detrimental to people’s Mental Health. The money would be better spent on safe housing and food.
    There needs to be a better understanding of mental health problems before Mental health programs that do help can be developed. Mr. Brown and others with lived experience can increase understanding if people listen.

  • Hi,
    I just want to speak to ¨hanging around for a year waiting for it all to nicely play out in a civilized fashion¨. This is another issue that I touch upon but didn’t fully explain in my blog. I didn’t stick around because I was so naive that I thought an abusive person could become nice and there would then be happy ending. After all, I worked for the Department of Social Services, and in that capacity, I worked on child welfare cases with physical abuse, sexual abuse, domestic violence, etc. I saw people remain in or return to abusive situation regularly.
    I didn’t understand why this happen but figure there was something going on psychologically that was the driving force behind it. In my view, if it was just naïveté, it wouldn’t be so wide spread; nor would naïveté be enough to keep someone in a dangerous or abusive situation.
    My experience explained the problem to me.
    As mentioned in my blog, simply leaving become difficult when there is both unresolved issues and an significant emotion connected to them. Early on in my conflict and not gradually, but suddenly, I felt a strong amount of emotion upset and didn’t have the closure that would allow me to release it. It’s the emotion that can’t be release that causes someone to become tied to an abusive relationship.
    My friends were actually a small part of my life. Initially, I didn’t understand myself why I had become tied to Bill and obsessed with the problem. But it wasn’t a belief that I could resolve the conflict or a need to resolve the conflict. It was a need to have some answers for Bill’s and others conduct.
    When working in a Domestic Violence Unit, I had a client whose abuser attacked her with a axe and fractured her skill. He went to prison. After he was released, she saw him on the street and although she had a order of protection forbidding contact, she went over to talk because she wanted to ask him why he did it. I understood why she would do that. She was struggling with a major psychological problem. It’s not that she wanted a relationship with him, it’s that she didn’t want to be stuck with a major psychological problem that she would have for life. The psychological problem drove her behavior.
    After I stopped contact with Bill, I continued contact with mutual friends. It wasn’t because they were nice to me. I was being attacked by them. It wasn’t because I liked being attacked while I was struggling with a major psychological problem. I didn’t. It was because I needed answered to avoid being saddled with a major psychological problem for the rest of my life.
    Unfortunately, although the general public has trouble understanding how someone could be psychologically injured and then tied to the person who injured them, I notice that some abusers have learn how to go about creating such a psychological problem for their victims and purposely do so. In training for my job, I saw a interview, on film, of a man talking about how he handled women. He said he would wait for an attachment with the women to form then purposely abuse the women to cause psychological injury for them and give him control. He said, this created a situation where the women wouldn’t leave and he was able to treat them as he pleased.

  • Unfortunately, I think it´s true that people in the helping professions doĹ„t know how to help and eventually give up. I worked as a caseworker in Adult Protection because there I providing concrete assistance with income, housing, etc. I didn’t understand the psychological problems I saw or know how to help. People with lived experience need to help educate. That´s why I wrote the blog.

  • Hi, I didĹ„t write in the Blog my many reasons for not going to the mental health system for help. But I was certain from theories and therapies I hear in training, and the treatment provided my to clients while working in DSS, that the Mental Health System would be a hindrance, not a help. I, definitely, do not regret the decision. I think the Mental Health System is a hindrance to recovery and ĂŤm sure has worsen many people mental health. The problem is a lack of understanding of the social problems in society and how people are emotionally effected. Even if I point out how damaging certain societal problem are. Even if I point out the symptoms of trauma. People have trouble believing or accepting that the traumatized individual is having a normal reaction.

  • I wasn’t suggesting that anyone who is abused should forgive and forget. The efforts I made to keep him from going over the edge were because I didĹ„t want to be threaten, harassed or possibly attacked. I didn’t want to move. As it was, I was stalked.
    Not only did I end my relationship with Bill but I ended my relationship with anyone associated with Bill. I didń´t mean that people should be sympathetic to an abuser. The mutual friends I had with Bill, they knew about abuse Bill directed towards women and kept it secret. I wouldńt have been part of the group if I was aware of it. When they learned of my problem with Bill, they referred to him as a sick puppy but still followed his lead and attached me.
    On the surface, the friend group was polite and they consider themselves nice people. I never would have thought, they would behave as they did. That´s why it messed with my mind.
    It´s impossible to know how best to deal with societal problems without knowing why they occur. So I do believe in looking at why people become abusive and why people attach to and follow an abuser.

  • There’s quite a bit regarding this conflict that I didn’t put in the blog. As it is, I went over 3000 words. I don’t feel that I used much of what is currently promoted in “modern psychology”; its theories, research, or therapy to understand or deal with my situation. I feel that “modern psychology” promotes many theories and therapies that are actually detrimental to mental health. So, I stayed away from it. Instead, I used self-examination to understand how my brain functioned, then used what I discovered to understand the behavior of others. It took a long time, but with a severe mental injury, recovery is going to be long because the brain works through emotion at its own speed. I don’t know of a way to speed it up.
    I understand that there are so many flaws in our mental health system that people think it should be eliminated. But I feel that it needs to change. Because a severe mental injury isn’t just feeling some distress. It’s much more serious, and the people who suffer it, need support.
    I don’t believe anyone is born with a genetic predisposition to abuse. Bill knew he had a psychological problem and was in therapy. Maybe if therapy was improved, Bill’s psychological problem wouldn’t have become as deep and dark as it did. Maybe he wouldn’t have play out his psychological problems on women injuring them. Maybe with better treatment, there would be less abusers.

  • Thanks for the supportive comments. I took a lot of heat for not seeking help through the Mental Health System. In particular, people didn’t like that I wouldn’t acknowledge that I had a mental illness. I would agree that I had a psychological problem. However, the problem wasn’t a genetic or biological abnormality of the brain in my view. Also, I didn’t think I should just drug myself into numbness. As I said in my blog, I thought that would interfere with recovery. I explained my view to people but it didn’t go over well.

    In terms of some people having a higher sensitivity than others. I don’t think that some people have a genetic predisposition to mental injury. As I said in my blog, a mental injury (trapped in a emotional state) occurs because both the behavior is significantly upsetting and the person can’t incorporate it into what he/she understand about human behavior. When I consider children, I understand that they aren’t born understanding the many facets of human behavior. Consequently, they are more subject to injury than an adult. Probably everyone has had an mental injury in childhood but not of equal severity. I had a moderate injury in childhood. It didn’t prevent me from connecting with people and forming close, lasting relationships.

    My problem with Bill resulted in severe injury. The severe injury educated me on the symptoms of trauma and explained a lot of behavior that I had seen in people but never understood. In addition, I couldn’t connect with people while I had the psychological problem. It’s harder for people to hurt you when you don’t feel a connection to them. I read an article once where the writer said “you can’t kill me, I die years ago” (referring to a psychological death). My point is that some people are going to be more or sometimes less subject to mental injury based on the depth of their understanding of human behavior and the psychological state they’re in when the trauma occurs.

    I had many people attacking me while I was trying to recover. Some of the people were friends unrelated to Bill and that circle. I never became stuck in the emotion I felt from the attacks. I didn’t like. I felt they made it a lot harder for me to recover, but I wasn’t confused by it. So as soon as I didn’t have to deal with it, the emotion quickly dissipated.

    In regards of the severity of the mental injury, I think severe injury is the result of, one, the length of the trauma. If it happened over a long time, someone could suffer an mental injury multiple times. Naturally, that’s worse that recovering from one. Two it’s not what the trauma was, but the level of emotional stress felt at the time the mental injury happened. I didn’t emphasize that I felt my life was in jeopardy in the blog. However, I felt that if I didn’t calm Bill before leaving there was a good possibility, I would be killed. I told friends at work, if I’m found dead, he did it. I was under intense stress when the emotion became stuck and that’s why it was severe.

  • I like using the term “mental injury” as well. Certain situations will cause mental injury. Psychiatry needs a better understanding of the situations that do so. The gaslighting was the primary factor in my injury. If anyone in the group was willing to tell me the narrative that Bill was spreading and everyone was operating under, my mental injury would have been far less severe. I don’t think I would have had a significant injury at all.
    When someone has a fracture bone and goes to a doctor. The doctor doesn’t think what’s wrong with this person’s skeletal system that her leg is broke. The doctor asks “What broke your leg?”. If the person can’t remember, or is non verbal, the doctor still knows something broke the leg. The doctor doesn’t think the person’s inability to walk or the limp she may have is the problem. But in psychiatry, they focus on the limp, think there’s a biological cause for the break and the person could have prevented it with a good coping mechanism.

  • Hi, I never thought I was mentally ill or had a disorder in the sense of believing there was something fundamentally wrong with my brain. I did, and do, see the way I was affected as a normal reaction to a psychologically damaging situation. My point is that the field of psychiatry needs to increase its understanding of what a normal reaction looks like. I’m absolutely against giving out labels through DSM. Actually, I didn’t seek mental health services, in part, because I wasn’t going to allow a label placed on myself. Disorder may be the wrong word but I think my psychological state was more serious than distress would imply. I think Bill’s and the friends behavior was abusive. For me to heal, I didn’t have to like it but I needed some understanding of what was behind it.