Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 30376

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Deb R…

Posted by Janice on April 23, 2000, at 11:17:34

In reply to shouldnt have posted that - , posted by Deb R on April 23, 2000, at 8:29:53

I think this is the perfect place to try to air your experience. In the sense that you will probably never meet us, we will always be anonymous. I don't think you will find a better place to shed some light on your horrifying experience. I imagine you are right, that you will never forget those memories. I have a hard time even trying to imagine it myself--a child discovering her mother in this state. Have you ever thought of EMDR therapy? It is suppose to be especially effective for traumatic memories. take care Deb R and I think you probably took a step in the right direction. Janice


Re: shouldnt have posted that -

Posted by Brenda on April 23, 2000, at 11:22:44

In reply to shouldnt have posted that - , posted by Deb R on April 23, 2000, at 8:29:53

> > >And, I have NEVER heard anyone say that their parent committed suicide and they had "gotten over it," that they had dealt with the pain and it just didn't hurt anymore. I love them too much to leave them with that.
> >
> > I still have vivid memories of my Mum's attempt at suicide when I was 11 - we found her in the garden with her wrists slashed. This is an image which has always remained with me.
> I shouldn't have posted the above, my Mum would be mortified to think I had spoken outside the family about it. Secrets and guilt weigh heavy in our family and I'm just so sick of it all. I shouldn't have said anything, I know we are all virtual strangers but its a big thing for me to do this. I truly think I am way overdue in going to speak to someone about these horrible memories. Since posting the previous post all of 5 minutes ago I have a head full of stuff that I feel will burst out and I wont be able to stop it.

Dear Deb, Bless your heart. It is soooo hard to release ourselves from the rules of our childhood. Your mom's suicide attempt not only affected her, but most likely affected you more. You have every right to talk about what that did to you. My god - you were only 11 years-old at the time. If there was no one to talk to about it then, there sure is now. The "stigma" (for lack of a better word) of your mom's attempt isn't about you in any way. You were just a kid. There's no way an 11 year-old can bear the responsibility of that.
Your heart is in the right place in wanting to look out for/love your mom, BUT your peace of mind comes first. Now and always. I'll keep you in my thoughts.


There are no accidents!

Posted by Todd on April 24, 2000, at 1:08:39

In reply to Re: shouldnt have posted that - , posted by Brenda on April 23, 2000, at 11:22:44

This is perhaps one of the best threads I have seen in quite some time. These discussions are brilliant, particularly those submitted by Mark H. I am bipolar/manic, meaning I have had a major manic episode and a few fleeting hypomanic states and near misses, but no instances of clinical depression. I guess I am one of the "lucky" ones, but we all have our crosses to bear. Being bipolar in a "normal" world is not always a picnic.

I think boB put it best - modern psychiatry today puts far too much emphasis on medicating so-called mental patients. Not nearly enough emphasis is put on good old-fashioned psychotherapy, but more importantly, spirituality is an aspect that is almost completely ignored. To say our conditions are merely biological is to completely ignore the very real possibility that true healing may actually occur, and that we hold the key to that healing within ourselves. We are not JUST a body, or a mind, or a soul. The three are intricately and inextricably intertwined. Anything that is off in one aspect will affect the others.

I had my big manic episode over 10 years ago while I was in college. It was preceded by a lot of internal religious questioning. It was a classic textbook case, with all of the grandiosity and euphoria and sleeplessness and reckless behavior that usually accompanies a manic episode. But in the wildest highs of that mania, I experienced some startling revelations and touched a truly beautiful place. I babbled endlessly about all sorts of spiritual things to my family and friends, and alll of a sudden, life seemed to make SO much sense. Of course, the way it came out of my mouth was enough to land me in a mental hospital. I really felt that "I" was the sane one, everyone else was crazy, and spent all of my energy trying to convince everyone that they could be happy. Of course, what I experienced was described as delusional, grandiose, and once the lithium kicked in, the vividness of it all faded into the background. Thank GOD! I couldn't handle all of that energy running through my system, and thank God I had loving family and friends that knew something was amiss. Lithium works well for me, and I lead a completely normal life, if you want to label it that way.

The point of what I am getting around to saying is that in the years since that mania, and in the process of coming to terms with and embracing that aspect of myself, I never forgot the visions and the "understanding" that I experienced at the time. It was all too real at the time and made too much sense for me ever to forget. So for years I kept my little ideas in the back of my mind, vowing to validate them with personal experience as I continue to walk my path. I have done a lot of reading in spiritual matters since then, trying to find a framework for my ideas. I have since become a big fan of metaphysics and the concept of the chakra system.

I am not here to "convert" anyone, just to share my ideas and hope a few benefit. When I first came across these ideas years ago, I dismissed it as New Age bunk. I have since then had enought personal experience to convince me that there is a lot of validity to the concept. Even if you don't buy the idea that we are all walking rainbows, you'll find a lot of wisdom here. The whole premise is that within our body there are 7 centers of energy or "processing" centers that universal energy runs through. Each center represents a different level of consciousness or viewpoint on "reality." In order, from the bottom, survival, emotions, will, love, creativity and expression, vision, and divine connection are represented. If there are any issues or "blocks" below, energy cannot reach the higher levels and make us feel "whole." One cannot be emotionally healthy if they have survival issues, and one cannot love uncondionally and receive unconditional love if there are unresolved emotional issues. Very simple in theory, but very complex in reality, since everyone has a completely different set of issues to unravel and deal with.

For the most part, the issues we have to resolve are largely unconscious, and stem from patterns that were set in motion from birth to about 4 or 5 years old. Early childhood traumas are buried and sent into the subconcious. This is what some would call the "inner child." A great deal of everyone's modes of behavior are actually governed by the inner child. The whole idea is to revisit the inner child and make the subconcious concious, so that we no longer get sucked into the same patterns. We have to take the inner child out of the driver's seat. The inner child aspect of ourselves will always remain, but once we meet the inner child on his or her own terms and understand him or her, we then have the ability to CHOOSE a different behavior and stay out of the self-destructive patterns. Meeting your inner child is NOT easy.

I truly believe that anyone suffering from depression has the inner child running on overdrive. If you think that your fear, guilt, sadness, or anger is irrational, it IS. Your subconcious is processing all of your input through a confused child's eyes and sending all of the sensations back to your conscious. You experience all of the symptoms of depression and are powerless to stop them or to understand why. The reason the inner child is subconcious is because the original pain you suffered was too great to deal with on a conscious level, so it was buried. You processed the information as best you could with your childlike understanding and it became your mode for survival. The problem is, you still use that internal program everday without even knowing it, and that internal program is hopelessly inadequate to deal with your adult-life situations.

We all have to re-examine our childhood in a loving way. The fact that you feel your depression is a sign that you are already loving yourself. I truly believe that we are all here on this earth to heal ourselves, and feeling all of the pain is the first step. The next step is to relate the pain you are feeling now with similar situations you encountered as a child. Re-examine the way your parents raised you, and the way they made you feel. Realize how their shortcomings and attitudes and mistakes affected the way you felt about yourself growing up. Your parents weren't perfect, but as a child, YOU thought they were. That makes a huge imprint on our psyche. Realize that you were born innocent, and at your core, you are still! REALLY! Treat yourself with love and respect. The process could take years or a whole lifetime, but if you really look within WITHOUT being critical of yourself, you will eventually get closer. Once you realize that you're NOT a bad kid, you can start to find out who you really are and start to shine your light into this world. I have only just begun.

As far as my mania is concerned, I have come to believe that a manic episode is really a tapping-into of Divine knowledge, with no ground for true understanding or integration. It's way too much energy being sent into a system that has too many unresolved issues. It's the inner child falsely thinking he knows everything and can manipulate the world to his advantage. Of course, that isn't reality. And that's why mania is mania. But there is a great deal of truth mixed in.

We are all interconnected. Everything we do to interact with other people continues the chain of cause and effect. We are all here to learn our lessons, to grow, and to heal. I believe there are NO accidents - every single waking moment, we all get what we need to accomplish that task. I really believe that we are here to love each other and to make the world a better place. But we have to love ourselves first. Then there will be plenty to go around.

Sorry this has turned into a novel. When the muse takes me, I run with it. I hope I have piqued your imaginations, or maybe I made you laugh out loud. I'll quote Lennon - You may say that I'm dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I'm looking forward to your responses.


Re: There are no accidents! (except bedweting)

Posted by boB on April 24, 2000, at 2:58:32

In reply to There are no accidents!, posted by Todd on April 24, 2000, at 1:08:39

Todd, et al,

I can't believe they are still talking about my posts after all these years. (LOL)

Actually, on another site, under other pseuodonym, I was accused of reductionism! Ha!

Anyway, your synopsis of the chakra system is an accurate representation of a major Easter pattern of belief. I understood better than ever, reading your brief synopsis, the truth represented in that system. Likewise, your representation of Western psychology as relates to the development of the inner child represents truths I eventually confronted, sometime in my 30s.

As i understand it, humans basically confabulate. Reason and logic are our secondary method of thought. Systems of belief bridge our confabulation to, hopefully, provide a reasonably accurate inner representation of reality.

(nice rambling unfocused post, eh?)

My mother tried to kill me. Blew out the pilot lights on the stove once, and tried to steer our family car off a bridge another time. Bless her ADD heart. She is still somewhat overdriven in her conversation style. But as we approach the sunset of her golden years, the last thing I want to do is to cloud those days with memories of her abusiveness. She tried so hard, and even her most painful outbursts were driven by her desire to see me fulfill her best expectations, no matter how wrong they were. I sympathize with the one who spoke here of their mother's suicide attempt and five minutes later regretted the posting. Technology is growing fast. I can see my mother laying in her nursing home bed, (20 years from now, I hope, NOT NOW, PLEASE GOD!) using some advanced handheld WebTV system to review and zoom in on the most intimate moments I shared with whoever wants to log on to psychobabble. My defense will be that it was for the greater good, and that my public discussion was an effort to build an understanding that will outlast our brief lifetimes.

Anyway, if I have a point on this post, it is the love that drove my family, even in their darkest moments. In examining our childhood to find the hurt, we can sometimes find shadows of love, and a yearning for life obscured by the clouds of guilt, depression and desire. I am a dark soul, unafraid to admit the pervasive unavoidable depth of human inadequacy. But in our efforts at self discovery, I know we often focus on the darkness in an effort to avoid the eye-watering blinding light that turns total darkness into a drab shadowy grey.


Re: Todd's novel

Posted by CarolAnn on April 24, 2000, at 8:33:18

In reply to There are no accidents!, posted by Todd on April 24, 2000, at 1:08:39

Todd, I'm glad to meet a fellow dreamer! It seems that you and I have been on the same journey, although you are much further along. I never had any manic episodes, my revelations have come in small doses over large periods of time.
The whole "inner child" thing really rings true for me. It's amazing how we "see" our lives and others thru the perspective of the subconsious child, and how that perspective can change once we learn how to interpret what the inner child is experienceing. For example: My issues have always been with my mother, and my view of her and her motives were definitely filtered thru the eyes of my wounded, inner child. Thru out my 20's, anytime I would speak to my mom about my wanting to be married and have a family, She would say things like, "Oh you don't want that, you'll never be able to travel, or do anything if you have kids." For a long time, I interepreted that as my mom wishing that she never had kids(me specifically), AND I thought she didn't want me to have kids, so she would never have to be a grandmother(she was a little vain in those years). Now, having learned some things about myself, I see that she really does love me and was only saying the "you don't want that" stuff, because she wanted to protect me from being disappointed with my life, if I never did end up with a husband and kids(at the time I was so socially inept, that this was a possibility). This is only one small example the way that perception changes when we learn how to look beyond the filter of our subconscious and really examine our interpretations of our childhood memories. I still have a long way to go in this process, but not as far as I have come, hopefully! CarolAnn
p.s. you might be interested in the dream I had, which I am going to post in a new thread down below.


Forgiveness: Question for DebR and boB

Posted by Cass on April 24, 2000, at 16:20:00

In reply to shouldnt have posted that - , posted by Deb R on April 23, 2000, at 8:29:53

I guess I am both humbled and alienated by the previous posts by boB and DebR about forgiving your mothers. My mother was rejecting, shaming, withholding of love, and physically neglectful. She always found a way to communicate, "You are not wanted." I have not been able to forgive her. She seemed only to be content when I was unhappy, and she seemed enormously threatened by any good fortune of mine. Once I invited a boyfriend over, and my mother dressed up more nicely than I had ever seen her dress, all in black. She doused herself with perfume, and fawned all over my boyfriend all night. It was clearly a competition to her. She had told me when I was younger that no man could ever love me. My mother was so demure, considerate and polite outside of the house that no one could understand my unhappiness. So my question for boB and Deb R is, aside from the fact that your mother tried to kill you or kill herself, was the relationship otherwise loving? I think that if my mother had been loving as a rule, no matter how drastic her mistake, I would be able to forgive her. However, I feel that she used me as a sacrifice to feed her pride and vanity. She had to make me inferior, so she could feel superior. I guess I would just like a little more insight into your relationships with your mothers, if you feel comfortable giving it. If you don't, I understand. Am I less of a person because I cannot forgive?


Re: Forgiveness: Question for DebR and boB

Posted by boB on April 24, 2000, at 22:28:49

In reply to Forgiveness: Question for DebR and boB, posted by Cass on April 24, 2000, at 16:20:00

Honey, my forgiveness of my mother grew from her repeated tearful apologies for the things she did to me.

The biblical notion of forgiveness seems to suggest a connection between repentance and forgiveness. My mother knew the shouting matches and the frequent bouts of unruly behavior were disruptive of my life and tried, when she was in a better state of mind, to make things right.

No, you are not less of a person if you do not return kindness for evil. You will make us all a little bit stronger if you find a way to resist the wrong done to you without letting yourself be drawn down into the same kinds of behavior. Your situation is not uncommon, and those who stand up to their abusive caregivers by returning abuse for abuse lend to the unfortunate cycle of sociopathic hatred that poisons our society. If you can break the cycle without condoning or ignoring the wrong done to you, you are probably a better person than I.

If you can find a small way to encourage your mother to admit the error of her ways, you might have discovered a stronger medicine than anything the best pdocs at the U. of Chi. can ever create in their laboratories.


Repentance or lack thereof

Posted by Cass on April 24, 2000, at 22:58:53

In reply to Re: Forgiveness: Question for DebR and boB, posted by boB on April 24, 2000, at 22:28:49

Thanks boB,
Actually, when I was an adult, my mother became extremely ill with cancer, and I did, in fact, find it in my heart to help her, and I took better care of her than she ever did for me. I couldn't turn my back on her when she was in such a vulnerable state. After a long battle with her disease, she passed away. But I wish that she had apologized like your mother did. It would have made me know that she had true warmth for me deep down. I always longed to know that, but it never happened. I am glad I did not return evil for evil, though. It would just be a terrible guilt to live with. Thank-you for your response.


not doing so well...

Posted by Deb R on April 25, 2000, at 0:01:02

In reply to Repentance or lack thereof, posted by Cass on April 24, 2000, at 22:58:53

Just wanted to thank all who have replied to my post. I am feeling dreadful and am not up to saying a decent thankyou to you all. I dont know if it is because I posted what I did, or because now is the time for all bad memories to bubble to the surface. I have been crying a lot, which I havent done for a long, long time. I will write soon.

Love to everyone in the whole world.


Re: not doing so well...

Posted by china on April 25, 2000, at 10:50:11

In reply to not doing so well..., posted by Deb R on April 25, 2000, at 0:01:02

> Just wanted to thank all who have replied to my post. I am feeling dreadful and am not up to saying a decent thankyou to you all. I dont know if it is because I posted what I did, or because now is the time for all bad memories to bubble to the surface. I have been crying a lot, which I havent done for a long, long time. I will write soon.

Crying is the best thing for you, especially if it's been building up.
It always restores a sense of balance to my outlook. After a good crying spell I tend to see things as they are, as opposed to the distorted ideas that I focus on while depressed.
Keep up the good work, Deb!


Re: not doing so well...(((Deb)))

Posted by Noa on April 25, 2000, at 17:55:57

In reply to not doing so well..., posted by Deb R on April 25, 2000, at 0:01:02

Deb, don't feel obligated to respond to this if you haven't the energy. But I had to jump in and give you a virtual hug.

You have been here to support so many of us, and we know you are there to care for your Mom, who has so many difficulties. My question is, who is taking care of you? You have been through a lot in your life and deserve some support to come your way, too. I hope you have someone to lean on, especially now.



Posted by Cass on April 25, 2000, at 18:10:52

In reply to Re: not doing so well...(((Deb))), posted by Noa on April 25, 2000, at 17:55:57

Deb, I hope you are doing alright. Please ignore the question which I had partially directed toward you. boB's response really helped me. Just take care of yourself. Best wishes.


Re: Rebecca 4/22/00

Posted by Mark H. on April 25, 2000, at 18:49:57

In reply to Re: realities--Mark H., CarolAnn , posted by Rebecca on April 22, 2000, at 16:17:03

Dear Rebecca,

Yes, I'm a Vajrayana Buddhist of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. I'm not a very good Buddhist, however, and hopefully no one will judge the value of the path based on my poor example. (You may think that's ritual humility or sarcasm, but it's just the truth.)

I asked my lama about you last Saturday during an all-day class, because I feel like I'm the LEAST qualified person on this forum to respond to you -- your ideas and excuses, your logic and misapplication of philosophy, your desire just to lie down and drift indefinitely, all sound so much like what I experience, think and feel, that I'm afraid I will unconsciously encourage your negativity. I'm too much like you to be of much help. But I'm compelled to answer -- I think you know why.

My lama said: "Dying hasn't worked so far, has it? You're still here. You're still suffering. A glimpse is wonderful -- it can be motivating. But it should motivate you to practice, not to kill yourself. Through practice, those glimpses come again, and you begin to understand that the 'pure land' is here, all around you, not somewhere where you don't have a body. At the moment of death, whatever habits of mind you have developed (consciously or unconsciously, negative or positive) will propel you into the quality and circumstances of your next birth. Killing yourself just sets you back immeasurably, and who knows how long it will be before you have the opportunity even to glimpse the larger truth once again?"

Rebecca, the problem with being so smart is that there is no one to talk you out of your logical delusions. Who can argue with the internalized Kierkegaard and Kant? My IQ is half yours -- why would you even entertain the thought that a middle-aged depressive paper-shuffler could have anything of value to add to your understanding of depression and suicide?

I vote for the part of you who knows better than to buy a gun, who knows that even a brilliant, incredibly rare person such as yourself is subject to the simple Pavlovian influence of your high school self-hatred, who when she is feeling well again (and she will feel well again!) will find a way to integrate and weave her glimpses of ultimate reality into a reason to live, and to teach others to live, fully.

With appreciation,

Mark H.


To DEB with LOVE

Posted by Todd on April 26, 2000, at 18:23:56

In reply to not doing so well..., posted by Deb R on April 25, 2000, at 0:01:02

Deb, my dear Deb,
I don't even know you but I feel my eyes welling up with love and compassion as I type this to you. Did you read my post above, "there are no accidents?" You seem to me to be very guilt-stricken about the post regarding your mother's suicide attempt - It seems as though you are feeling that you are dishonoring her name and that from somewhere up above she is frowning on you for even thinking to post such a remark. YOU NEVER DID ANYTHING WRONG!

I would guess that you have a lot of anger towards your mother built up inside that you either will not admit, or you will not validate as being appropriate or "right." And I would go on to say that anytime you feel angry towards anyone, you feel that you are a bad person. I am really going out on a limb here, but I do so because I have been through the same thing in different ways. IT IS NOT WRONG TO BE ANGRY! You can love someone and still have feelings of anger towards them - the two are not mutually exclusive. Acknowledge your feelings of anger, don't hold them down. Once you acknowledge, you can let go when you are ready.

I really and truly believe we are all born innocent. We are born, fresh from the heavens, with an intent to be the best we can be. How can anyone claim, beyond the most criminal elements in society, that they try to do their worst at all times? Because we, from birth to childhood, are so completely dependent on our parents for support, survival, and guidance, we come to adopt their perceptions of us as the reality. If our parents scold too much, or break our will, or tell us that we are "bad," in our core we will believe that and do whatever we have to do to win their love and approval. These modes of behavior are completely valid and appropriate at the time. Once we start becoming adults and see outside our own limited worlds to new possibilities, we try to branch out, become independent, and be happy. But the old patterns we used for survival as a child will continually trip us up until we revisit the inner child, understand her motivations, and most importantly recognize her beauty. Once you get to that point, and it could take quite a bit of pain and suffering to get there, you can always choose a different set of behaviors to respond to the situations you bring yourself into. You no longer have to let the inner child drive your life.

Deb, you are BEAUTIFUL. Such a beautiful person. You have SO much to offer the world. Find your light and let it shine! You can't just tell yourself that your mother was only doing the best she could at the time. You need to acknowledge your anger and your hurt and validate it. All along, you were only trying to show her what a good girl you were. Just because she may have said you were a bad girl, or didn't recognize your efforts, doesn't mean that you indeed are a bad person. It's just that she never saw it, for whatever reasons she may have been blind. It wasn't her fault, but it wasn't yours either.

You're in a great place right now, even though you probably feel like you are swimming in a lake of sewage. You have given yourself permission to feel your pain. Don't run away from the pain. Feel it with all of your being and realize that you are NOT TO BLAME. You can't grow without feeling your pain fully. Pain is your best friend. Don't get me wrong, I am no masochist. I would not court pain, but when the pain comes calling, the only thing to do is go along for the ride.

Sending you AND your mom a big hug and lots of love. You'll get where you're going - be patient and forgive. Yourself AND your mother. I am sure she is listening and loves you very much.


Re: Rebecca 4/22/00 - to Mark H.

Posted by Rebecca on April 26, 2000, at 20:00:45

In reply to Re: Rebecca 4/22/00, posted by Mark H. on April 25, 2000, at 18:49:57

Mark H.--

I keep forgetting to confirm the preview of my posts and come back later to find them not there--grr.

Thanks for the response. A more thoughtful reply from me should come at some point, though I'm trying to put off deep thought for the time being. See the above "slug update" post for an update on what's been going on. I'm avoiding pondering the nature of reality until I can do so without becoming really scared about what happened last weekend. Maybe I'm just losing it instead of having religious insights.

the phrase "internalized Kierkegaard" makes me grin.

I looked up a bit about the Nyingma school in one of the books I was supposed to read for that Himalayan Buddhism class. The author divides Tibetan Buddhism into clerical and shamanic tendencies, classifying Gelugpa (the Dalai Lama's school, as you must know) as clerical, and Nyingma as shamanistic. How'd you end up in the Nyingma school? I thought the Gelugpa was more prevalent, especially in the West.



Re: To Rebecca 4/26

Posted by Mark H. on April 26, 2000, at 20:15:31

In reply to Re: Rebecca 4/22/00 - to Mark H., posted by Rebecca on April 26, 2000, at 20:00:45

> How'd you end up in the Nyingma school? > Rebecca

We have a long tradition of dumb luck. Actually, I waited for my teacher, and he came. I have an American lama whose teacher is a Tibetan named Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche. I laugh at myself now for the years I worried about which school I would choose when the time was right. It found me. It took an extraordinary American lama who was (previously) as angry and messed up as I am to convince me that there was any hope for me on the path. If I had started with a Tibetan, I would have left shaking my head at what my lama refers to laughingly as "our jumbo mumbo-jumbo." It's high church, all right. ;-)

I look forward to your writing more about yourself. Although everyone would benefit from reading it, if you want or need to write me privately, you're welcome to.


Todd's writing Lithium

Posted by bj on April 26, 2000, at 23:57:14

In reply to There are no accidents!, posted by Todd on April 24, 2000, at 1:08:39

I agree wholeheartedly that so called "modern" medicine puts so much emphasis on biological factors and completely or mostly ignores the person's internal psyche. I've always wondered, what comes first -- the distorted thought process -- or the biological problem causing the distorted thought process. It's been proven that some people CAN alleviate their depression by alternative methods besides using powerful drugs. And on that note, if someone knows of something that's been successful, please share it with me! I am trying to wean off of Effexor and it's hell for me and everyone who lives with me -- my husband and 3 young kids. Two dr's said I had manic-depression, although the first doctor never mentioned lithium as a possibility. She just put me on Prozac first, which made me so sleepy I couldn't stay awake, and then Effexor, which she seemed almost giddy for me to try.

There was a great article on AOL a while back by some native American holistic doctor (can't think of his name) but he said we need to get to the ROOT cause of the depression. I agree totally. Too many psychiatrists, etc. think the ROOT is biological, but is it really? Our thoughts affect our bodies to a great degree. He said get at the root of your unhappiness, which I think, can only be resolved by psychotherapy. So, I just answered my own question -- I am going to try to find a competent therapist, which I know is a hit or miss situation and another "job" to undertake. But I truly think that awareness of the underlying unhappiness is the key to finding happiness instead of looking for artificial means to "cure" whatever ails you. "Depressed? Take a pill." "Overweight? Take a pill." I also think nutrition plays a big role in a person's well-being. Your body needs good fuel not junk food to operate well. I am trying to change my eating habits which is difficult after 39 years of eating a lot of carbohydrates.
I really really think way too many people are taking drugs as a "fix" and not spending the time looking for the real reasons of their depression. Because when you go off the drug, you're still left with the initial depression. That hasn't gone away.
Anyway, that said, I still want to investigate lithium (so if anyone has experience using this, please tell me.) At this point, though, I am very very leery of starting on any more drugs that directly affect the brain. The lack of long-term studies on the serotonin affecting drugs is very very worrisome! How the FDA granted approval I'll never know!

PS: I can't seem to post a new thread. How do you do that?


Re: Todd's writing Lithium

Posted by Todd on April 27, 2000, at 0:24:19

In reply to Todd's writing Lithium, posted by bj on April 26, 2000, at 23:57:14

Heya, BJ,

It's always nice to hear people agree with me :-), although I would invite the naysayers to respond as well. This page is an excellent forum for these kinds of discussions. The more we share, the more we all learn from each other and grow. I would like to add that I do not disagree with biology being a factor, but I really believe it is just that - a factor. If the psyche is off, it throws off the body, which throws off the psyche, and so on like the mystical snake eating its own tail. We just have to figure out why that self-destructive snake is so damned hungry! Hmmmm - Just as I typed that line I am reminded of the snake in the garden of Eden. What an interesting parallel.

Because I acknowledge that biology is a factor, I continue to take lithium. As much as I would like to believe that I am healed and don't need it, I am also terrified of another manic episode. As euphoric and wonderful as they can be for the person experiencing them, they can also wreak quite a bit of havoc. I really have not experienced what I would consider clinical depression, which I would define as deep depression without any logical cause. I have, however, had a few very depressing eras that can be attributed to "outside" causes. Reactive depression is the term, I believe. So I don't really know how lithium would be able to help you. As far as I am aware, lithium is not so much an antidepressant but an anti-manic med. It's a natural salt found in nature, not really a drug, but indeed toxic in high doses. For me, a manic, it's been wonderful. I can only hope it will work for you.

I try to keep in mind that the lithium is only a tool, though. I meditate quite a bit on my belief systems and what fuels them. If I hit a depression, that's a big sign to me that something in my worldview is way off and needs correcting. My depressions have been incredible growth periods, as I grit my teeth and push forward, knowing that I will "get it" if I can just hang in there. I have "gotten it" twice now, and I am sure the day will come when I will need to grit my teeth once again and put a few more pieces in the puzzle. But, boy, can I tell you that I really am starting to see what a glorious puzzle it is! Lots of love to you, BJ. Keep on dancing the dance, and remember you always get PRECISELY what you need for your own healing if you really want it!


Re: Todd's writing Lithium

Posted by Mark H. on April 27, 2000, at 10:48:58

In reply to Re: Todd's writing Lithium, posted by Todd on April 27, 2000, at 0:24:19

Hi BJ,

I'm struggling with some of the same issues, although I'm committed to remaining on my meds as long as they make things better rather than worse, which I expect to be for the rest of my life..

I want to throw a dark consideration into the mix. I've made it to 50 without killing myself or anyone else. But I'm beginning to understand that I really don't deal with anger at all. I seem to have two main settings, at least on the "hot" side of anger: zero (or close to it) and full rage. It's disappointing to learn this about myself, but hopefully it will be useful.

I'm told by non-beginners in this area that it gets better as one practices expressing SMALL irritations and venting SMALL amounts of anger in short bursts, learning to let it go after expressing. At this point, I have to suspend my strong disbelief that this is even possible.

Sue and I "practiced" exchanging small irritations after her therapy session on Tuesday night. It actually did help seem to free up some energy. But by the next morning, after tortured dreams of abandonment and rage all night long, I awoke afraid and angry and upset and thought, "how the heck is this supposed to make our already good relationship even better? This sucks!"

So I took it up (quite angrily) with my therapist in group last night and wound up yelling at him at the top of my lungs, virtually deaf with rage. He handled it skillfully (I'm not violent or destructive) and the strange thing for me was that I actually did feel better -- at a physical level -- this morning. I'm such a baby in this area. But I still could not come up with any examples of "small irritations."

I think I'm groping here, but something in your post elicits my wanting to say that part of my depression may have developed because the only way I knew how to control myself when I was younger was to stuff the rage. Even though I have a lot more skills after many, many years of therapy, I still worry that opening that Pandora's box will release something I can't handle. Ugh.

I think this is my least coherent posting in a long time. If it doesn't make any sense, please forgive me. I love Todd's managed mania -- his lyrical, sweet madness contains many of the things I value most in people.

Mark H.


••••••Deb R•••••••

Posted by Janice on April 27, 2000, at 11:44:57

In reply to Re: Todd's writing Lithium, posted by Mark H. on April 27, 2000, at 10:48:58

how are you doing?



To Mark H.

Posted by Todd on April 27, 2000, at 15:01:59

In reply to Re: Todd's writing Lithium, posted by Mark H. on April 27, 2000, at 10:48:58

Hey there, Mark
I feel compelled to write because I really identify with your attitudes towards anger. Before I share those thoughts with you, I'd like to say that I have really enjoyed reading a lot of your posts. You are incredibly intelligent and well-read, and seem to have invested quite a bit of time in your personal growth. From what you have related in these posts, you have done some great work on yourself and in the process have inspired many. That's what I feel my purpose here is, to learn and share in the hopes of helping others heal as I heal myself. You feel like a bit of a soulmate to me.

Back to the anger. Anger has always been something I have been uneasy with, and never knew exactly why. For most of my life, whenever I felt angry, I felt a need to squash it. I felt it was wrong to be angry, and on a much deeper level, I felt I would lose approval and even be abandoned by those who I thought loved me if I ever expressed it. For the most part, the only time I ever expressed my anger fully was when someone else was angry with me. That made me very angry, and their anger justified my own and it would sometimes vent in a big rage. As long as the other person was angry, I could vent. But at the same time, I was afraid that I would lose their approval so eventually I would just give in and stop the venting. This always left me with a sour feeling, that they still hadn't seen my point, and worse, I felt manipulated into giving in to the other's demands and felt unable to stand my own ground and assert myself. But in the name of peace and love to all, and feeling that anger was a bad thing, I would let it go. Deep down inside, I would resent the hell out of it.

When I started doing my inner child work about a year ago, I had an amazing dream loaded with symbolism that helped me to discover where my anger came from and to validate it as being entirely appropriate. First off, I was born prematurely, which is usually manifests as an abandonment/survival issue later in life. I was immediately taken from my mother and put in an incubator for a week or so. To a newborn psyche, this is an indication that mom doesn't really love me, that she is going to leave me all alone and I will die. Of course, that is not the reality, but newborns are very sensitive and those kinds of experiences are incredibly traumatic and become embedded in the psyche. Later on, when I was about 3 years old, my Mom had to go to the hospital for a weekend-long procedure. I actually remember bits of this very clearly. While she was away, I stayed with my godparents. I am sure that deep inside I was terrified she was leaving again for good, but she and everyone else assured me that she would be fine and back in a few days. So I relaxed and had a great time. I remember several things about that weekend, and I also remember that my godmother let me do things for myself and flex my newfound independence a bit. This is the age that a child starts becoming aware of his own autonomy and wants to show the world how good he is. I felt great, because hey, wow, I can do this myself. It was a new feeling for me, because my Mom was a bit of an over-manager and tended to do too much for me instead of letting me start to do things on my own. I don't remember anything about what happened when Mom came back. That would come in the dream I had decades later.

In the dream, my mother, my godmother, and I were the characters. I felt kind of like a teenager in the dream. I was playing a guitar and was pretty impressed with myself and wanted my Mom to see how good I was. So I went to show her, and played for her. She got ANGRY with me! I felt like, who the hell are you to get angry with me when I am trying to show you how good I am on this here guitar? I wanted to impress her and gain her approval. So I played some more. She got angrier, and this made ME angry. I started playing furiously, and all of a sudden my godmother is off to the side, and I am thinking to myself, I am going to live with HER instead. But as the dream wore on, I knew that living with my godmother, who gave me the approval I wanted, was not an option. I was stuck with my own mother. Then the panic set in. I felt like if I got any angrier with my mother, she would get hurt again and would go away and I would be all alone. So, wracked with guilt and panic, I gave into her and stopped playing the stupid guitar and we collapsed in an emotionally-drained heap. And at the very end of the dream, I was at the top of my godmother's stairway, now an adult, and everyone I love was leading me outside. I asked them how long I had been up there at the top of the stairs, and they said it was a reallllllly long time, and they were all glad that I was finally out. Then the dream ended and I immediately woke up and said "Holy shit, that's it!"

One of my earliest memories of childhood was standing on the top of that stairway and watching my mom leave. So I knew this dream was incredibly significant. I am sure that, although I don't remember it, when life resumed after her hospital stay, I probably tried to impress her with something I had learned at my godmother's house to show her how good I was. She didn't pay attention, I got angry, this got her angry, I felt like I was hurting her, and submitted to her will for my very survival and for hers. In my child's mind, this was a completely appropriate and rational thing to do. It was a marvelous plan that worked very well at the time. But it became embedded in my subconscious and became THE survival mode for me later on in life. I had convinced myself that anger was a bad thing, and learned to stuff my anger and give in to other's wills instead of asserting my own. This would give me "peace" with those who I argued with, but I also resented the hell out of it. Even deeper than that, I felt that deep down inside I wasn't good enough. If I were good enough, then these people wouldn't be getting angry with me. It was a vicious cycle of pleasing people outwardly but resenting it and feeling like my real worth was not being recognized. I craved validation but hated myself for it, because it meant that I would have to submit my will to another's. I thought others were robbing me of my authenticity, but in actuality, I was the one who was doing it.

I am still working on letting anger come through when I feel it, and expressing it appropriately. But the funny thing is, since starting a lot of this inner work, I find that a lot of my anger has evaporated. I have more patience than I ever have had, because I understand myself better and can rest comfortably in the fact that I AM good enough. I find that I no longer have such a need to prove to others how good I am, and am able to walk confidently away from situations that previously would have made me either very angry or craving approval in a clinging way. So I guess what I would like to say to you, Mark, is explore your anger. It's a natural impulse and protects us when we need it. Try not to deny your right to be angry, rather, embrace it. You have to feel your anger before you can let it go. If you don't let yourself feel it, it backs up and pollutes you and keeps the cycle going. I hope you enjoy reading this. Peace and love.


bj--posting new threads

Posted by Cass on April 27, 2000, at 15:27:16

In reply to Todd's writing Lithium, posted by bj on April 26, 2000, at 23:57:14

I can't post new thread the regular way either. Click on "Why you couldn't post a new thread", which is under the Psychobabble title at the top of the page. It gives you an alternate place to start from. Hopefully, that will work for you.


Cass and Forgiveness

Posted by Jennifer on April 27, 2000, at 16:17:57

In reply to Forgiveness: Question for DebR and boB, posted by Cass on April 24, 2000, at 16:20:00

Cass, I cannot begin to completely understand your life with your mother. I know that I had plenty of things to deal with regarding my mother that she would never in her life own up to doing. I decided that I did not want to be unhappy the rest of my life because I could not forgive her. I am in therapy now and spent the first two months talking about her. All the while she was telling the family how she does not understand why I want to live in the past. She could not understand that I was seeking the ability to forgive her. Finally, I decided that I can forgive her for me. For my happiness, not hers. You dont have to forget, but forgiving will definitely help you. Let her be human. Even, let her be a monster if that is how you see her. But, forgive her for being spiteful and mean and cruel. You dont have to change how you feel about her, but I have found that after forgiving my mother, I was able to move onto myself and deal better with my problems. Not hers.


Re: To Mark H. and Todd (Anger thing)

Posted by CarolAnn on April 28, 2000, at 8:53:53

In reply to To Mark H., posted by Todd on April 27, 2000, at 15:01:59

Hi! I must say that both of you write very eloquently!
Actually, having read your posts on anger, I think we may all three be soulmates of some sort! Todd, I found your story about your mom and your dream very compelling. I have always had mother problems and quite a while ago, I figured out one of the roots of those problems. I was an "accident", my mom and dad had to get married at ages 18 and 20. From the beginning I have questioned my mother's love and in fact, have felt for most of my life that she did not love me at all. I truly believe that part of this is related to being unwanted while in the womb. I really think that at some level, babies can sense what is going on around them in utero. I have always felt that I didn't "belong" or fit in. And this was just the beginning! I think that a lot of my anger is residual, because when I was a kid, if I showed any anger, it always made things worse. So, I too learned to stuff anger rather then express it.
After two years of therapy, I am better, but I know that there is still some unresolved stuff some where, because at certain times, the dumbest little things can send me into an unreasonable rage. Blessings to you both! CarolAnn


problems posting - last try for today...

Posted by Deb R on April 28, 2000, at 9:53:30

In reply to ••••••Deb R•••••••, posted by Janice on April 27, 2000, at 11:44:57

> how are you doing?
> Janice

Have tried to post a reply a couple of times and dont know if this one will work...briefly, I am feeling much better, have booked in to see a counsellor next week for some help. Thanks to everyone who wrote, I did write personal thanks to everyone in my previous attempt, which must be somewhere is cyber-space I guess. I keep getting disconnected from our server so will make this brief...many thanks to everyone, hope this one works!


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