Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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Childhood Insight and Medication
Wednesday July 19, 2006

Hello
I just read your book the Drama of the Gifted Child. I found it insightful. I realized actually from a very early age, around 8, that my parents were unstable and not acting in my best interests. Is that unusual? Because a lot of the books I have read on child abuse assume that the child is in denial about what their parents are doing. However, as I grew older and the abuse escalated I shut down. Now I am financially independent of my parents and I am trying to recover. I have been in therapy for just under a year and it gives me someone to talk to. On the advice of my therapist I went to a psychiatrist and started taking antidepressants. I did not respond to the medication and my psychiatrist gave me the option of increasing the dosage. I declined. I decided to get a second opinion and the second psychiatrist I went to recommended lithium. He mentioned a "bipolar spectrum" that he thinks I am on. I found this psychiatrist brash so I am now seeking a third psychiatrist.
What is your take on medication ? Do you think in conjunction with therapy it helps the patient recover faster? I would rather not take medication but I also want to recover as quickly as possible.

Thank You, F.O.

AM: You can continue to ask numerous psychiatrists for help and I doubt whether one of hundreds of them will speak with you about your childhood. If you want to know how I think about antidepressants, you can find my answer in my last article on this web-site. I understand that you want to “recover quickly" as maybe your parents wanted you to stop screaming immediately and not disturb their peace. But healing takes time and needs your compassion for the child you once were. Don't treat yourself like your parents did. Medication can disguise your memories; it can help to feel better for a while but the never acknowledged suffering of the little boy will continue to speak in your depression until you are willing to hear what the body (the child) has to tell you.

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