Archive for Depression
Today I was thinking about how many emails I get from people who sincerely want to find validation. Unfortunately most of them want validation from the people who invalidated them in the first place. I am always thinking about ways to communicate WHY hurt people seem to think that if the people who invalidated in the first place would finally validate, then life would be so much better. It is the way our belief systems have been fed and formed that is at the root of this dilemma. And there are MANY hidden false truths back there that govern the confusion we are dealing with.
It occurs to me that the people in my own life who invalidated me had this kind of “if you don’t comply ~ Good-bye” attitude towards me. In realizing that truth I remembered that my mother always said “if you don’t like it, lump it.” I don’t remember if I ever wondered what the hell that meant but I always took it to mean that if I didn’t like it, too dang bad. And that means the exact same thing as “if you don’t comply, good-bye”. When I got older she started to say Read More→
I am grateful and excited to have another guest post from Pam Witzemann ! Pam is a frequent guest blogger on Emerging from Broken and contributes her voice to most of the discussions here as well. As always please add your thoughts and comments. ~ Darlene Ouimet Founder of Emerging from Broken
Psycho-Tropic Medications Used As Chemical Asylums by Pam Witzemann
People who are treated for mental illness are led to believe that the medications they are prescribed are in their best interest and treat a specific disease. However, people are prescribed medication as a means of control and psycho-tropic medications are in actuality, chemical asylums.
I know what I have written in the above paragraph is controversial and I’m not advising anyone to go against their doctor’s instructions however I don’t think people with mental illness are always treated with their best interests at heart. Historically, treatment has been primarily about containment and even in these modern times, I believe that containment remains the top priority. In the sixties, many mental hospitals had to be shut down because of the expense required to run them and since that time, drugs are the primary method used to control the behavior of people with mental illnesses. From my personal experience and from my observation of others undergoing treatment, I see little benefit to the patient from the psycho-tropic medications being used today and often they seem to cause more harm than good. I don’t think these chemical asylums are working in the best interest of patients or for society at large.
In the late nineties, I underwent interferon treatment for hepatitis c and became depressed. I was given an anti-depressant that made me hypo-manic and I was sent to visit a psychiatrist who spent an hour with me and diagnosed me as bipolar II. I was told that only bipolar patients become Read More→
I saw this poster on facebook that said “PTSD isn’t about what’s wrong with you; it’s about what happened to you.” I believe this is a true statement. I believe that we can achieve all positive results through facing what happened; facing the trauma and the damage that trauma caused.
I believe that this is true for all depressions too. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is the best term I have seen to describe depression. The name itself indicates that there was a trauma. After the trauma there was damage. The damage caused stress. Stress manifests itself in many different ways; depressions, dissociative disorders, physical illness and sleep disorders just to name a few.
But something happens when people actually try to face what happened. Looking back I can see how hard I fought facing it and how much I wanted to stay in the dark about the bottom line truth of it all. It’s human nature to try to protect ourselves when the truth is too painful. When we are kids it is much easier to cope by not thinking about the trauma and just “blocking it out”.
Quite often there is a terribly negative response from other people in our lives, especially from family when a survivor of trauma wants to face the facts and the truth about that trauma. When we try talking to our parents or our siblings, these people who are close to us may try to convince us that it is better NOT dealt with. We are encouraged by many to let it go, leave the past in the past, put it behind you and the list of these unhelpful trauma directives goes on and on.
Therapists will even jump on board and suggest that you have to “forgive your family” or that we should “try to understand them”, or that these parents “did they best they could” and the problem is that all this is said BEOFRE the trauma itself has been examined and Read More→
It wasn’t that bad. What happened to me wasn’t “that bad” and I told myself that for YEARS. When I was in my early twenties and struggling with trying to quit the coping methods of alcohol and drug use, some of my memories of child sexual abuse were coming up and I was trying really hard to get rid of them without resorting to alcohol or drugs. At that point in my life I had never told anyone (outside of family but they didn’t validate the abuse OR me) what had happened to me.
One day I was having coffee with a friend of mine who I had met in a 12 step program. In an attempt to mentor me and validate an issue that I was struggling with he told me that from as young as he can remember his parents sandwiched him in between themselves while they had sex. He told me that he can never remember a time growing up when he didn’t have sex with both his parents. He told me that by the time he was 5 he liked it and by the time he was a young teenager, he loved it. He didn’t know it wasn’t “normal”. It was his normal. And now he was struggling to learn what the truth about “normal” actually was and to overcome the damage that had occurred in his life. He was having all kind of relationship problems as a result of child sexual abuse.
Although I felt extreme compassion for him, I didn’t hear any of what he was trying to communicate to me. He was trying to communicate that it wasn’t his fault and that his body reacted to being sexually stimulated. He had been sexualized from a very young age. All I heard was how horrible his childhood was and how horrific the child sexual abuse that he endured was. And the biggest thing I “heard” was that what had happened to me did not compare with Read More→
I am excited to have my friend and fellow writer Tracy Nall contributing to Emerging from Broken with her guest post on how her search for answers about depression led her to realizing that child sexual abuse was at the root. This article articulates how hard it is to tell someone and describes the setbacks, feelings and damage when someone reacts to that horrifying experience in a minimizing way. Please help me welcome Tracie and as always please add your comments and feedback. ~ Darlene ~ founder of EFB
Understanding Depression Led to Facing Sexual Abuse by Tracie Nall
I have traveled a long road to get to the point where I can now speak out about the abuse I survived.
I knew that I needed help before I knew the reason why. Or at least before I would admit it to myself. Depression was something I had battled since my childhood years. By my late teens, I was working in a bookstore, and I found myself regularly drawn to the self-help section, searching to answers for questions I hadn’t articulated.
One hot summer day, the kind of day when no one wants to leave the comforts of their air conditioners, the bookstore was completely empty, and we hadn’t had a customer for hours. I wandered to the biography section to re-alphabetize books and look for a new read. It was that day I came across a little book where the author shared about her experiences with depression. I skimmed through several chapters, and then hid it behind a stack of books. It scared me how much of my own life I saw reflected in her words.
Two weeks later, I was at another bookstore on my day off (bookstores are my very favorite places) and found another copy of that book. I wasn’t looking for it. It wasn’t even sitting in the right section. I re-shelved it, and left the store.
I couldn’t get away from that book about depression, though, because the next day at work Read More→
I was fifteen or sixteen when I worked in that Real Estate office as a receptionist on the weekends. I answered the phones, and typed offers for the salesmen. My mother’s disgusting boyfriend got me the job. That should have been the first red flag.
There was this one chubby salesman named Ron who gave me the creeps. He was about 40 years old. He was just a little too friendly. He would come up behind me and put his hand on my shoulder. He tried to rub my back. I was terrified of him and didn’t even understand why. It was one of those feelings that today I have come to realize was my intuition. It was my “radar” warning me about a predator. That man had really bad motives when it came to me.
One day he came up to my desk and showed me some porn pictures. At first he was on the other side of the reception desk. He handed them to me; I took one look at them and handed them back without speaking. They looked like snapshots and they were mostly of naked people having oral sex. Those snapshots were pretty graphic. He came around to my side of the desk and at first I tried to look away, but he told me to look at the pictures. Something about him scared me and so I did as I was told and looked at the pictures. He slowly flipped through them, and I looked at them one by one. I was horrified and terrified, but I didn’t turn away. I thought if I was strong, if I showed no reaction, that he would lose interest in me. I thought that if I just pretended that it wasn’t bothering me, he would not ask me to Read More→
Depression began at a very young age for me. I think that fact added to the belief that I was somehow defective and different from other people.
Depression always began with a sinking feeling. Sometimes I fought it. When I fought depression it felt like I was fighting in a mud bog and I was too tired to battle my way out. It felt like my legs were tangled up in vines or underwater foliage and I couldn’t get free of them. They were pulling me under. I could see and feel hands grabbing at me, trying to drag me down. “Something” or “someone” was pulling me under.
Sometimes I felt like someone was sitting on my chest and holding me down. Holding me back; Keeping me under; I felt like I was fighting just to be seen. I felt like I was drowning in a deep black swamp and people were standing around but they didn’t notice me. People, only a few feet away and they could not see how close to death that I was. And they didn’t CARE. They were laughing and talking as though they were at a cocktail party and no one cared that I was thrashing around, fighting for my life and sinking in that swamp.
Many times I thought it would be so much easier just to give in and let the dark water close over me. But it never took me completely. No matter how tired I got, I lived a partial death but Read More→
I saw a poster on facebook. It reminded me of the extremely foggy place that I emerged from. It reminded me of the lies that I told myself in order to resist looking at the truth about my life. Believing this type of statement, (or trying to) became a big part of how I survived. It was also how I beat myself up.
The poster states: “What screws us up most in life is the picture in our heads of how it’s supposed to be”
~ Survival thinking was: “As soon as I can achieve this standard and realize that my own thinking and expectations are the problem then, I will be able to put the problem (which is really all in my head) behind me.”
~ Self abusive thinking was: “I am a failure at getting over the past because Read More→
Please help me welcome guest blogger Pam Witzemann as she shares about Emotional Neglect. Emotional Neglect is a form of psychological abuse. Pam is a frequent guest blogger here at Emerging from Broken and contributes her voice to the comments in almost every post here on Emerging from Broken. As always please add your thoughts and comments. Darlene Ouimet Founder of Emerging from Broken
The Black Hole of Emotional Neglect by Pam Witzemann
Emotional neglect is largely, invisible. When one is emotionally neglected as a child, it is impossible to understand what is missing because it is impossible to understand what one has never known and can’t see. The emotional neglect of a child, places within them a black hole. It produces an insatiable loneliness that can consume the spirit, body, and soul of a child. As a child, I was a victim of emotional neglect.
My most familiar emotion as a child was loneliness. I was prevaded and often overwhelmed by it; but I also couldn’t name it. At the center of my being, was a darkness that often pulled me under and left me in such a state of depression as to paralyze me. I was filled with a deep longing for someone to notice my pain and help me. This core emptiness followed me into adulthood and ruled over the choices I made. Inside me lived death and I longed for the final consummation of death. In that deep night, I was made blind to happiness, joy, and life itself. I was a dark child who didn’t expect to live Read More→
Sometimes facing the pain seemed so overwhelming that I didn’t want to get out of bed. I didn’t want to face what I had to face in order to get on with my life. I didn’t want to feel anything. I had survived by shutting down my feelings and by shutting down my needs. I didn’t want to feel or be aware; it was much too frightening.
This was the spin; the vicious cycle.
But I must have wanted to live. There was a tiny spark in me that didn’t go out. There was a tiny flame that belonged to me and a determined little flame it was. That spark was determined to live. The “how to go about doing that” was the problem. I wanted to be free but there were certain chains that had to be broken. Certain things held me back and because those chains formed when I was so young, I didn’t realize they were even there. They were familiar; they were part of me. I thought they helped me, and even thought they were “saving me”. I was afraid to break them and emerge into the sunlight. That was the spin that I was caught in. I had lived in “survivor mode” for so long that it was all I knew.
Survivor mode is the shut down place; not feeling, not needing, not facing the truth. Survivor mode is the only way to get through any kind of childhood trauma. But as an adult it was in my way. It became one of the road blocks to freedom.
Victim mentality believes that being compliant will keep me safe. Being compliant means Read More→