Someone sent me a link to the story of Brigitte Harris who accidentally killed her father after she found out he was intended to molest other children as he had molested her. Unfortunately, her story is not rare. But she said something which deeply saddened me.
It's sad, but I see a lot of people speaking from fear, not fact. Sometimes it is drama, which has a reasoning of its own. But sometimes it's trauma, which can be more difficult to realize.
I was once working with a child who was also seeing a psychiatrist. Like many children with whom I work this child had numerous diagnoses: ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety Disorder and Intermittent Explosive Disorder. However, when the mother would describe the child's behavior I would instantly think "trauma". I kept saying this to her, but she was swayed by the authority of the doctor and maintained his belief the child was mentally ill. Until her child told her he had been sexually and physically abused.
Francis, a mule we are rehabilitating for providing animal assisted therapy, has a history of very severe abuse. As a result, she has chronic anxiety. Apparently her previous owners tranquilized her to deal with her anxiety and fear. I see a lot of humans doing this for their anxiety. It's amazing how closely her coping mechanisms mirror those of human trauma survivors.
Throughout the years I have worked with several clients who were criticized or rebuked by family members or Alcoholics Anonymous sponsors for using psychiatric medications as a "crutch". Yes.... and?
The New York Times has a wonderful article on anxiety, "Understanding the Anxious Mind" which seems to suggest that we are born with an anxious temperament. Personally, I wonder.
I really have a problem with the recent surge in diagnosing children with Bipolar Disorder. The children I see with this diagnosis are often the victims of serious issues at home, issues which may even include abuse. Some struggle with PTSD and the mood swings which are inherent in a traumatized individual are attributed to "Bipolar Disorder" and medicated.
I'm reading the August 2009 edition (yes I am a little bit behind in my reading) of Yoga Journal and I am reminded once again of all the benefits yoga has to offer in one's struggle for peace of mind and mental health.
Is it just me, or does everyone seem to be a victim these days? Even White males are now claiming to be persecuted. The problem with having a victim mentality is that it fosters depression. Is it any wonder that depression rates are skyrocketing?
Yes, therapists have issues too. Anxiety was never mine until a few years ago. Prior to that I could intellectuallly understand that people said they were experiencing anxiety and panic, but I couldn't fully appreciate how bad it felt, until I had my own.