My response to a recent article on a study that showed the resilience of twins who had suffered trauma. Perhaps you’ll understand why I wasn’t impressed by the study upon reading it (link and comment below).
This is a misleading article title as the author notes the major weaknesses of the study. I was physically and emotionally abused and neglected as a child. Five-plus years of weekly therapy (2010-14) and powerful antidepressant and anxiety meds, though certainly helpful (the meds, for a few years but now don’t help; in the process of weaning off them; difficult), hasn’t rid me of the traumatic memories and the frustrating and useless bouts of anger and irrational behavior (verbally lashing out at abuser).
I’m reading a book that’s making a lot of sense to me, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma, by Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D. I should add that since childhood I have developed several auto-immune disorders–ezcema, allergies, hyper- and hypothyroidism, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sjogren’s Syndrome, as well as being diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Chronic Suicidal Ideation. What all of these illnesses have in common? Chronic inflammation as a major cause. And what’s a major cause of chronic inflammation? Chronic stress, something I’ve lived with my entire life.
Do I think my childhood trauma is behind these health issues? Yes. I suffer from PTSD, not the mental disorders listed above. And the very activities I’ve been drawn to from childhood to now–acting, writing, dance, yoga, meditation, a vegan lifestyle (before drug weaning I doubled my dark, leafy greens intake after reading about certain foods positive effect on mood and mine vastly improved within 24 hours which means the drugs had me baseline functioning in life)–all of which made me flourish and played a part in the happiest times of my life, were and continue to be looked down upon by already unsupportive family members.
I’m not eschewing all Western medicine but I’ve grown wary of what are now called “psychopharmacologists,” shrinks who write scripts for powerful, dangerous (in regards to side effects on them and through weaning process), ineffective drugs to millions of people, many of whom have suffered trauma that don’t heal through mainstream APA methods (that make the APA and BigPharma very wealthy, coincidentally). I highly recommend Van Der Kolk’s book for anyone who’s suffered trauma and struggling to maintain a semblance of a healthy, vibrant life.