When Freud published his ground breaking work on mental health over a century ago, mental health treatment moved from the dark ages of asylums to recovery. But over the past 30-40 years, mental health treatment has been pushed aside and relegated to something only people with money can afford.
HERE ARE SOME STATISTICS.
In 1986, people diagnosed with depression were sent to therapy. Less than half of those diagnosed with depression were given some form of medication. The go to treatment for depression was therapy.
Now, almost 40 years later, you are more likely to be prescribed a medication for depression. Four times as likely.
Being referred to therapy is rare.
The reason for this was the marketing of the SSRI and SNRI drugs such as Prozac.
THE CHEMICAL IMBALANCE MYTH
In the marketing speak of the pharmaceutical companies you had to take pills. With the lack of ways of examining the brains of living people it was easy to insert the idea that depression was caused by a “chemical imbalance” in the brain.
In our modern culture people prefer instant fixes. When we get a cold, we buy a cold and flu tablet to help us get over it quickly. When we have depression, instead of taking the time to find the root cause and treat it, so we are less likely to get depression again, we head for the quick fix of a medication.
These days, the idea of a “chemical imbalance” is widely believed to be the truth.
The fact is, there is no “chemical imbalance” causing depression. Depression is caused by unresolved issues.
The belief that a tablet will “change” your brain where therapy won’t is widespread.
The truth is, therapy does change your brain and those changes will occur without harming your brain.
The truth is, the SSRIs and SNRIs damage the brain when used long term. What was only intended to be used for a short period of a few months maximum is now used year after year after year.
I see a lot of people who want to get off these drugs that they have been on for years. We can try and we can hope the damage done to their brains is repairable. The sad truth is increasing evidence shows long term use of these drugs causes damage. Like tobacco in past decades, there has been no court case to set a legal precedent to establish the damage caused. But like tobacco, that day will come.
Here are some facts:
• Researchers can find no evidence of chemical imbalances in the brains of depressed people.
• Multiple research studies have failed to find any evidence of chemical imbalances in the brains of depressed people.
• Some people can be helped by these drugs, but so can people given placebos. Actually there is no significant difference in the effectiveness of the drugs compared to placebos.
• Exercise helps significantly more people with depression than drugs.
Here are some other facts:
• researchers discovered an overwhelmingly strong link between childhood trauma and depression in adulthood in the 1980s
• A stronger link to suicidality and childhood trauma was also discovered
• These findings have been replicated in multiple research studies.
WHAT ABOUT OTHER MENTAL HEALTH CONDITIONS?
The facts demonstrate:
• Bipolar disorder is caused by emotional dysregulation that occurs as a result of childhood trauma.
• If you have childhood trauma you are 3 times more likely to develop schizophrenia than those without a trauma history. Increase the number of traumatic events and the likelihood increases exponentially.
• If you have autism you are more likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia due to misinterpretation of your autism symptoms.
• People with schizophrenia have multiple traumas that make emotional regulation, the organising of thoughts and connecting with reality incredibly difficult.
WHAT HAPPENS IN THE BRAIN OF A CHILD EXPOSED TO TRAUMA?
Research has shown children living in traumatic environments are constantly in fight-flight-freeze mode. Their bodies respond by releasing cortisol and adrenaline into their systems. These effects are frequent and can last for hours.
The brains of these children are activated by the fight-flight-freeze mode. This happens so often their brains are primed to react quickly to danger and take longer to go back to normal.
These defence systems in the body fire again and again and again.
The child is flooded with emotions like fear, anger, shame, guilt and sadness. This flooding of emotions prevents the parts of the brain that plan and control emotions from developing fully.
The protective lining on brain cells does not form properly. Research has shown that even DNA is altered. If this happens severely enough genes in the DNA can be switched off.
There is often no adult available to help that child calm down and regulate. As the child grows they may well use cigarettes, alcohol or drugs to soothe themselves.
WHAT IS THE COST OF CHILDHOOD TRAUMA?
If you have childhood trauma you are:
• 2 times more likely to smoke
• 5 times more likely to use illegal drugs
• 7.5 times more likely to abuse alcohol
• 10 times more likely to inject drugs
• 30% more likely to be sedentary
• 60% more likely to be severely obese.
You can see where this is going. If you smoke, take drugs, abuse alcohol, are obese and sedentary or any one of those things you are at higher risk of 7 of the leading causes of death. That is heart disease, cancer, lung diseases, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease and suicide.
IF PILLS DON’T WORK WHAT DOES?
Therapy by a trained therapist works to heal the psychological injuries and to help you learn the skills necessary to cope with the stress of life and be able to regulate your emotions.
It may be that you might need pills for short periods of time during crisis periods, but the real healing will come from properly targeted therapy.
Research has shown that DNA recovers with therapy. This does not happen with pills where the DNA damage remains.
Other research has shown that after therapy 80% of people who took pills will suffer another depressive episode compared to 30% of people who received therapy.
IF YOU WANT TO HEAL, CHOOSE A TRAUMA TRAINED THERAPIST.
I am a trauma trained therapist with over a decade of experience treating trauma. If you would like to talk to me about how I can help you with your trauma, please contact me on 0409396608 or firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to learn more, I write a regular newsletter with interesting information, tips, information on courses, and the occasional freebie. At the moment I have a free mindfulness meditation for anyone who signs up to my newsletter. This meditation offers a way to safely explore your feelings and learn to be okay with them. If you would like to subscribe please click on the link here: http://eepurl.com/g8Jpiz