Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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Is there a cure for Depression?
Sunday April 08, 2007

Dear Alice,
I have come a very long way in my healing from severe childhood trauma. My mother was mentally ill (psychotic) and my sister and I (aged 9- 13) lived with her (alone) for 4 years like that. She did not physically abuse us but we lived in constant terror. In spite of this, I have succeeded in creating a joyful and love-filled life. Many of my dreams have come true and are still coming true. But I still suffer from clinical depression which began during menopause, about 8 years ago. Does this mean I have not healed my pain after all? How can I be so happy with my life and still clinically depressed? Is it denial? The psychiatrist says I have low serotonin from my years of trauma and will need to take anti-depressants the rest of my life. I started doing yoga every day because I read this can help depression and I also see a therapist trained in releasing trauma from the body (somatic experiencing by Peter Levine). My thought is that the trauma is still "in my body" and needs to be released. At age 55, I am devoted to healing and directly experiencing the true- and ever deepening- joys of being alive. I would love to fully heal and not need "medication." Do you have some thoughts on this? Thank you so much for your life's work. I haven't read your most recent book about the body but intend to soon. Maybe it will contain the answer to my questions. Sincerely, WS

AM: You are on the path to understand more than your psychiatrist. The lack of serotonin has a cause, and this cause lies of course in your tragic childhood but antidepressants will cover up your history. The knowledge of this story (an important part of your life) is a REAL key to your health. Your depression seems to ask you to face what happened to you THEN. You can leave a place only if you know where you have been. But you ARE STILL in your childhood WITHOUT KNOWING it. I hope that reading my last book will help you to make the right decision. Read also the article on Depression and the FAQ list on my website and you can write to us THEN.

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