At “Why Can’t the Past Just Die,” thememoryartist posts an article reviewing a book that will hopefully make an impact. (That blog no longer exists — the article is also printed here) It’s about how childhood abuse is so often a major causative factor of mental illness. This is something I’ve believed for years. Most of those people I worked with as a social worker, regardless of diagnosis had been abused in some fashion. I can also attest to my own abuse. From the body of the article I quote:
Some authorities say that up to 60 percent of psychiatric patients, both in-patient and out-patient, report childhood histories of physical or sexual abuse or both. This estimate excludes emotional abuse and neglect.
I would venture to say that if those people who were emotionally abused and neglected were counted it would cover most if not all the remaining 40%. Being emotionally abused starting from an early age is just as bad as physical abuse.
Please read the article and then read the comment section below the article. The comment thread is great. (I had a hard time finding the comments–you need to scroll way down the page.)
For the purposes of this blog (being that is in large part about the value in withdrawing from drugs) I quote one section of one of thememoryartist’s comments:
As someone who spent half of my life “diagnosed” with bipolar disorder, I can tell you that I am lucky to be alive after years of taking those drugs. They did nothing for my growth unless you count my waist size. They created new psychiatric symptoms that had not been present originally, they caused me to become diabetic at 24 years old, and they left me too numbed and unmotivated to be able to take care of myself and my life. I could not, in that condition,even begin to truly engage in therapy in a way that helped to overcome any of the the mental health issues that I have. I had 26 inpatient hospital stays and nearly landed in a long-term state hospital on two different occasions, because of the way the doctors played with those meds. There are many times that I might have died. A year and a half ago, I could no longer get those meds and could not afford to buy them. It would’ve cost me $1600 a month. The withdrawal was hell. I thought I was going to die. But instead I got my life back. It’s been over two and a half years since I’ve been hospitalized. I supposedly have bipolar disorder with rapid cycling. If that were the case, I’d be really screwed by now without medication instead of getting healthier all the time.Mythology? Yes, there are so many myths that come with psychiatry, and those myths are costing lives every single day that people go on believing them.
thememoryartist withdrew from drugs (it seems) cold-turkey and had a wonderful recovery after a hellish time. I’d like to suggest that if people have the option a slow careful withdrawal is probably safer–she did not have that option. I know that many people who withdraw cold turkey do not succeed well. I’m doing okay moving along slowly. It’s a long, low-grade hellish experience, but I often feel quite good too. In my experience now on the withdrawal lists I’m on it seems to be commonly accepted that slow is better and diet and nutrition helps–but people do it all different ways and do succeed.