Friday, August 15, 2014

Why People Are Oblivious To Abuse & Suicide

After everything that has happened with the late Robin Williams committing suicide, I thought about my life in 2011 when I contemplated suicide. A few things were going on in my life at the time: I was writing a novel based on my life (enduring sexual abuse, and living with a mental illness), and trying to reach out to a dear friend who in the end turned her back from me and the Truth. People were scoffing me for reaching out to her and I was crushed because there were emotional ties to this friend. I felt like my life was in vain and wrote a suicide note (which is in the same novel). I was scoffed at again. So it left me a question: Why people are oblivious when others have been sexually abused and/or think of suicide until it hits someone in their own family or someone in their circle?

I asked a friend of mine who is a therapist (Jodi Aman) to share her thoughts. I'll comment after her response:

"I guess people don't mean to be oblivious. Suicide and sexual abuse are too horrible for people to think about. They are both such an attack on the soul. Their own fear and guilt take over and they either judge the situation, or avoid it. 

I know it is horribly invalidating to someone who has been abused, when no one seems to see. On the other hand, they are often scared for someone to find out as well. Same with people who have thought about or attempted suicide. There is so much (albiet unwarranted) shame involved. Some of the isolation is self inflicted because of this shame and fear of being hurt. And this is what I try to break down because building a community is foremost what we all need to feel safe, worthy and happy. 

Also, you can't blame people for not thinking about what is not on their radar. There are so many things to think about. We think about what comes into our consciousness. Like I only think about chicken food because I raise chickens. So we think about sexual abuse and suicide when it comes into our consciousness- i.e., when someone near us has the experience."

I totally get what Jodi is saying and she made a lot of valid points. What I do when I speak (and what I tried to convey in my novel - which is entitled Deaf, Dumb, Blind & Stupid by the way), is that we need to be more proactive and more loving towards people outside our circle. It's real easy to glorify celebrities when they're hurting, but scoff at your next-door neighbor when they're going through the same hurt. Everybody deserves the same amount of love and compassion. Just like it's easy to scoff at people when they've had a rough childhood but turn around and cry for help when one of your children suffer the same thing they were scoffing others about.

In summary: hurt is real, some people may not know they have choices to make their lives better than what they endured. We have a responsibility (if we are agents of change), to serve others out of a heart of gratitude. We have been so blessed regardless of what we have endured, so don't keep that blessing to just you or your elite circle.


The Mayne Man

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Why Doctors Don't Prescribe Meds First For PTSD

I initially wrote this blog July 21, 2014 and now I'm releasing it. I believe the time now is appropriate for this blog.

I am in the middle of reading a secular book entitled PTSD for Dummies. As someone who was diagnosed with this in 2008, I just wanted to read not only for my healing, but to understand what it’s about as well as what are ways to be cured from PTSD. So far, from what I’ve read, CBT (cognitive behavior therapy) is one way – and what that boils down to is replacing distortional thoughts that were brought on as a result of the trauma from the past (whether it be childhood sexual abuse, rape, domestic violence, emotional abuse from a relationship or from childhood, etc.) or even things recent (such as a family loss). The following chapter was talking about medications. I was really interested to see what this chapter was going to be all about, and the first paragraph caught my attention. This is what it says:

These days we have a pill for just about everything, from balding heads to overactive bladders. Thus, many people are surprised that doctors don’t treat PTSD simply by writing a prescription for some new wonder drug. But drugs, although they have their place in treating PTSD, aren’t number one on the list of treatment approaches – and often, patients don’t need them at all.

I couldn’t agree more with that paragraph if I tried. As I think about the medical (health-care) system, everything is now about putting somebody on medication and the end result is more damage done to the human body. And I commend those doctors that don’t just grab their prescription pad immediately to have someone pop a pill. Now, I’m not saying that all medication is bad. There are more serious conditions that merit it. When it comes to trauma, dealing with the mind is what’s really needed. Just like a body gets sick, a brain gets sick.

A real-life story: my first medical doctor diagnosed me with PTSD and she immediately grabbed her pad to prescribe me with Zoloft. I, of course, gave her one more chance to reconsider the second time I would visit her. She upped the stakes the second time and sought to prescribe me with Seroquel. The first medication was an anti-anxiety depressant, the second was psychotic. What baffled me when she sought to prescribe the latter drug; she went down the list of pros and cons. The cons were about 2-3 times more than the pros (and I was going to have to have my blood examined to see if I’m able to take it). At that point, I looked at her and said I must be psychotic if I take this and I left her office to never return to that therapist again. I sought another therapist recommended by a medical doctor in my church and he said straight up, you don’t need medication. In fact, he stated my gift of writing was a life saver. And he referred me to a LCSW (licensed counselor social worker). Now if you know me, you know I’m good at challenging people. Believe me, I give my LCSW a hard time every now and then, but we have that understanding.

The message: why was I so hard on the medical profession (and why am still hard on them today)? Because I believe that our health is worth fighting for. The last thing that’s needed is for the medical system to make a profit off of us while at the same time, causing unnecessary illnesses via a medicine that we really don’t need.

Anyway, back to the original lesson: I’m so glad the book stated that many doctors don’t prescribe medication as a first resort for PTSD.

If you’re someone going through the healing process and are diagnosed with any of the following: PTSD, OCD, and possibly Biploar or Borderline Personality Disorder, seek therapy and also let these Bible passages calm your mind and spirit (and don’t be afraid to pull from the roots the thoughts that are trapping you and paralyzing you): Philippians 4:13; Matthew 5:7; Luke 4:18; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Isaiah 61:3; Philippians 4:8; Galatians 6:9; Mark 11:25-26.

I encourage you wherever you are to never stop fighting for your healing and your health.

The Mayne Man