Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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Book about fighting depression
Friday January 19, 2007

Dear Dr. Miller--
I'm finding your work, such as The Truth Will Set You Free, to be extremely helpful to me in understanding the roots of my depression. In revealing the terrible effects of childhood trauma and the importance of learning the truth, your work has been vital in my recovery. I suspected for some time that learning what happened to me and why I fell into depression would be the key to my recovery, and it turns out that's true, just as you've stated repeatedly. Unfortunately, several psychiatrists and psychologists I dealt with didn't believe what you believe, and my illness was prolonged as a consequence. Another thing I found very helpful was your concept of a "helping witness", which explained the reason why I was affected much more severely by my father's alcoholic rages than were my twin sisters, who had each other for support. I had no one.

After doing extensive reading about mood disorders over the past two years, I decided to write a book about what I learned through the course of my journey into depression and the subsequent recovery. In the book I rely heavily on the work of people like yourself (and for example, Charles Whitfield, Terrence Real, Janet Woititz) to shed light on why a person such as myself fell into depression. As the book traces my experiences, the expert information is applied in order to explain exactly what happened, which I believe will be very helpful to other victims as they try to understand their own disorders. My book is intended to engage, inform, support and inspire victims.

Depression has turned my life upside-down. As a 20 year veteran in market research with a masters degree from Brown University, I was enjoying a stable, productive career and a fulfilling life overall— until depression struck. I'm determined now to not only take the necessary steps to ensure my own mental health, but also to assist others.

I know this is a long-shot, and I don't know if you even do this, but I want to ask if you'd consider writing a brief foreword to my book. Of course, I would send you the manuscript for review, or any other materials such as a book proposal, outline, bio, etc. It would be an enormous honor if you did this, and it would help steer victims to what I feel would be a valuable resource for their recovery. My book follows your theme of helping people learn and face the truth about their condition.

I'm a new, unpublished writer, and my manuscript is currently being reviewed by two literary agents. As a resut of my time in market research and marketing, I have a great deal of business writing experience. I currently work as a part-time college instructor.

You have my deepest appreciation for the caring, insightful work that has helped so many.

Thank you, T. G.

PS-- my book is entitled, Silent Storm: An Annotated Journey Through Depression, the Legacy of a Son of an Alcoholic.

AM: I am glad that you succeeded in liberating yourself from the depression by having admitted the whole, extremely painful truth of a child of an alcoholic father. It is understandable that you want to become a witness to others who also suffered severe abuse in their childhood. Unfortunately, I can't write you a preface, nor can I read your manuscript. But if you honestly stay with your truth, if you don't preach forgiveness, nor tolerance and understanding for endured cruelty, and if you don't offer the flight into the nebulous "spirituality," your readers may feel understood and supported by an enlightened witness whom they can trust.

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