Monday, April 11, 2011

Why Do I Have an Interest in This Survey?

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Last week it was  brought to my attention that there is an unofficial survey going on and I thought it interesting enough to share with you. This appears to be an essay format where you can write as much - or as little - as you are comfortable with. 


You can view and respond here if you are interested in participating.



Why do I have an interest in this particular survey?

Because I was a victim to the misnomer that child abuse is a disease - or at least the effects of it are.

I've read and followed the work of Colin Ross and Sidran in my journey out of the traditional mental health system that deemed me to be "disordered" and "ill" as well as others work around trauma.

But ultimately it was when I found my own power to heal myself that I found freedom from the lies that told me I was defective, less than and somehow different and unworthy of being considered a whole and capable human being. *

If you'd like to read more of my personal journey into, through and out of America's mental health system you can go here or here to listen to how I began to find my way OUT of the despair that plagued me from first the original abuse and trauma of my childhood then the second trauma where my life was forever changed by being labeled with a "mental illness" that stole my hope instead of being heard as a survivor and allowed to - or even being guided to - heal from the inside out.

I'm thankful the mental health system is starting to look at "symptoms" as learned coping mechanisms instead of a genetic illness. Check out the trauma center that is the brainchild of Dr. Bessel Van der Kolk.

For more info on overcoming what many of us learned to accept as "genetic" or "ingrained" and permanent check out Darlene Ouimets blog Emerging From Broken where Darlene shares how she believed and lived in chronic depression and disociation - until she discovered she could break through the lies that kept her bound to the past. EFB is about recognizing and breaking through ALL forms of oppression and abuse and recognizing the lies that kept us in that place of broken.

If your background is sexual abuse, men and women around the world are finding Christina Enevoldsen & Bethany Ruck's blog Overcoming Sexual Abuse a vibrant and safe community.

Anyway - the archives here at A Journey contains bits and pieces of my journey and the abuse I escaped when I escaped "diagnosis" so you are invited to poke around there as well as visit the Resources page to begin to map out your own journey.

Ok, well then - back to the survey. :)

You can view and respond here if you are interested in participating.

The focus of this survey is described as follows:


This is an unscientific, information gathering survey about Comorbidity in mental health treatment and services.

I am a therapeutic practitioner who is interested in your experience with comorbidity. Please share your thoughts with me, if you wish.

Definitions for comorbidity include:
  • A condition in which a patient meets the criteria for more than one DSM-IV Axis I disorder.
  • The presence of one or more disorders (diseases) in addition to a primary disease or disorder

My disclaimer: Please use your own best judgement in participating in any online survey.

And remember...

Breaking through the fog and pain of the past begins with believing it is even possible to do so. 


*I do not advocate against mental health providers or therapy. I DO advocate to learn and understand what mental health abuse looks like. While my experience in the mental health system was far from helpful I do realize there are helpful, empathic and nurturing therapists and counselors out there and god bless you if you were fortunate enough to have found one. I did too - but only after 15 years of experiencing the crippling effects of poly pharmacy and the weekly company of therapists who enjoyed Medicaids residual income stream who sat silently while I ruminated over the sad state of my life. 


It should no longer be considered "normal" to have to seek for years for helpful therapy and experience the abuse of mental health service providers who are working out their own life issues through their clients. The imbalance of power and control in these dysfunctional relationships make abuse survivors a prime target to be manipulated and blamed for ineffective "therapies" and "treatments".


Seek Knowledge, Find Wisdom, Live Your Truth!

2 comments:

yobluemama said...

"It should no longer be considered "normal" to have to seek for years for helpful therapy and experience the abuse of mental health service providers who are working out their own life issues through their clients. The imbalance of power and control in these dysfunctional relationships make abuse survivors a prime target to be manipulated and blamed for ineffective "therapies" and "treatments".

Susan, Well said! Why was this ever considered acceptable? Could it be that this poor standard is directly related to the poor efficacy and safety of the drugs used to "treat" the symptoms of distress?

Susan said...

Thank you B!

It is acceptable perhaps because it is a system that mirrors the dysfunction and abuse that is rampant in our patriarchal world. In my observation and experience the mh system is a mirror of the abuse and dysfunction many of us seeking help hail from; which is why we are so susceptible to this kind of abuse and manipulation. Complaints are turned on the victim and focus becomes about them instead of the abuser.

Just as in the original abuse - my complaints, thoughts, feelings, choices - were all used to tell me that I was "less than" and my complaints had no value. They could tell me what they thought was "wrong" with me - but they never had a clue how to help me find my way beyond that and instead insisted that I was simply broken - forever. Being incapacitated with poly pharmacy - the drugs made sure I would be dependent on them and unable to voice my complaints in any way that made sense.

Just as a predator grooms their prey the mental health system and pharma has been grooming us for the past 65 years. Its normal for the oppressor to deny the pain of their victims. Thus - the norm of dismissing us and telling us we "lack insight".

I believe the system perpetuates this abuse by telling us its our fault if there is a problem in these relationships so the abusers are never held accountable, we are seen as "disgruntled" and unreliable, lying, attention seeking....and its allowed to perpetrate year after year as victims are shamed into silence.

Abusers of all kinds are really good at hiding the damage they cause and turning attention to the victim as though they somehow caused and deserved to be mistreated and unheard.

But these are just my thoughts on the issue and in no way refects anyones opinion other than my own.