Psychiatry ignores trauma says Dr. Bessel van der Kolk (The Body Keeps the Score)

Psychiatry Must Stop Ignoring Trauma, says Dr. Bessel van der Kolk

Yes, please, and thank you for saying so! 

Of course psychiatry must not just stop ignoring trauma, it must stop retraumatizing the already traumatized. It’s clients. The very vulnerable people who seek help and end up being harmed further. Not only are hospitals and a lot of standard treatment horribly abusive the medications have been found to be further agents of trauma.

It’s also true that coercion, subtle or otherwise, is the rule in psychiatric care and that the United Nations has also declared forced treatment to be a form of torture.

Hallelujah for folks like Bessel van der Kolk and Gabor Mate who are helping bridge the gap between lived experience and academic clinicians who are totally missing the boat and causing more harm.

We can heal and we do given the right sort of supports. The mainstream mental illness system isn’t providing them.

Below is a brilliant and very brief video that is a great thing to share with those who still need to understand these issues.

From the Big Think youtube channel:

Acclaimed psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk explores his field’s long, complex, and stubborn history with trauma. Dr. van der Kolk explains how psychiatry as a whole avoided progress, often misdiagnosing trauma as hysteria or, in the case of shell-shocked soldiers, malingering. The experiences of abused women and children were more or less ignored for a century. They’re still being ignored in ways, he says. Psychiatry is still too focused on abstract diagnoses and not cognizant enough of the traumatic experiences that lead to them. His latest book “The Body Keeps the Score” was written to draw attention to how traumatic disorders can be avoided.

More posts that feature Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, HERE

More on Trauma and PTSD

See also: Professional denial is a form of retraumatization

Don’t forget to check out his very important new book The Body Keeps the Score

*it is potentially dangerous to come off medications without careful planning. Please be sure to be well educated before undertaking any sort of discontinuation of medications. If your MD agrees to help you do so, do not assume they know how to do it well even if they claim to have experience. They are generally not trained in discontinuation and may not know how to recognize withdrawal issues. A lot of withdrawal issues are misdiagnosed to be psychiatric problems. This is why it’s good to educate oneself and find a doctor who is willing to learn with you as your partner in care.  Really all doctors should always be willing to do this as we are all individuals and need to be treated as such. See: Psychiatric drug withdrawal and protracted withdrawal syndrome round-up

For a multitude of ideas about how to create a life filled with safe alternatives to psychiatric drugs visit the drop-down menus at the top of this page.  

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About Monica Cassani

Author/Editor Beyond Meds: Everything Matters