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Barbarannamated

The Power of Acknowledgment

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Barbarannamated

Acknowledgment is powerful.

 

That seems like a straightforward concept, but I'm only recently realizing the intricacies involved. This touches on many different areas we've discussed previously about invisible illness, being dismissed by doctors and family alike, disbelieved by those who still trust mainstream medicine, etc.

 

I've noticed a strong tendency to reassure anyone who DOES acknowledge and express concern for this bizarre thing im experiencing that has no easily understandable definition. It's my nature to minimize, to calm others, to say "oh, I'll be ok...dont worry about me". WHEN THEY BELIEVE, even if they dont truly understand.

 

On the opposite end that we know too well... with those who dismiss/doubt/rolleyes or, in my case, redirect attention to my MD husband for verification (and receive none along with eyeroll), I become obsessed with proving my point, getting them to BELIEVE ME. And then, I DO start to appear crazed. Although it has not been said, I wouldnt be at all surprised if some think my mind has been taken over by certain religious group that attracts celebrities as I live not far from their main facility in California.

 

This post is prompted by a message from an old friend who is a therapist and steeped in University Med School psychopharm. Her teenage son is on cocktail of psychotropics for anger outbursts. Her message was very placating. I could almost feel her patting me on the hand saying "suuure, of COURSE the legal prescription drugs caused you harm...now let's do some CBT to do something about those irrational thoughts..."

 

I realize that the denial factor is astronomical because everyone I know is either on psych meds or has a kid on them. I have many friends/relatives IN the medical community or pharma industry and to believe otherwise would shatter their paradigm.

 

You are the other people within my "alternate universe". My husband criticizes me for being online. Well, when my offline world doesnt acknowledge my reality, there is a horrible cognitive dissonance that im not handling well.

 

This is very difficult.

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jr1985

Yes, I understand needing people to believe what you're going through. But I've come to realise that people will believe as they wish and I can't do much to change that. So I don't really talk about w/d with anyone. When I realised my psychiatrist didn't believe me "it's your old symptoms coming back!" I decided just to play along with their little game. I haven't told them I'm trying to taper off because as far as I'm concerned I'm the one who's taking the junk, so I can do whatever I like (i.e. stop taking them!).

 

I have a study support mentor, who has a psychology degree, and she seems to believe in the whole "chemical imbalance" theory, and thinks I need my AD's the same way someone with diabetes needs insulin. She doesn't think I should be trying to alter my doses myself, as that's "playing doctor". But can you blame me when it's the doctors bad info that got me into this mess in the first place. No doctor ever told me about the 10% ever 3-6 weeks rule. One said just quit c/t as I was on a "low dose", then after I tapered for a month and felt awful the psychiatrist said that was long enough... idiots.

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Barbarannamated

Has your psychology friend read about how the whole Chemical Imbalance Myth came into being - a marketing strategy by pharma when they had compounds that increased serotonin? Even psychiatry has admitted that there is absolutely no science behind that - NONE. Psychiatry knows it, but they are not doing anything to set the record straight with psychologists and the many other doctors - primary care, especially - whole dole these drugs out for every physical and emotional ailment.

 

Insulin/glucose and all other medical treatments can be measured and monitored. There have never been "normal" levels of neurotransmitters identified. There is no method of measuring.

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Jemima

I realize that the denial factor is astronomical because everyone I know is either on psych meds or has a kid on them. I have many friends/relatives IN the medical community or pharma industry and to believe otherwise would shatter their paradigm.

 

Overall I agree with what you're saying, but especially this part about the denial factor. One of my best friends has been on Prozac for years along with GERD medications which I think can also affect the psyche, and she can't even remember what I told her was wrong with regard to my antidepressant withdrawal. She's also a very carefree person largely, I believe, because she's numbed out. She would never question her doctor, who obligingly pumps her full of all kinds of drugs. She does not associate her feelings of general ill health with the drugs. With more than one out of ten adults on some mood-altering medication, it's no wonder it's so difficult to get people to acknowledge a problem. Family and friends are often more resistant to acknowledging the drugs themselves as a problem than the patient.

 

It is also astonishing how few people question mainstream medicine. I was recently reading a book published in 2005 by a naturopathic doctor who said that the third largest cause of death in the USA is doctors. He was quoting an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, to my surprise. I wasn't surprised at the statistic, just the source.

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alexjuice

I agree entirely. I have people in my life who just can't be accepting though they are good at meeting other needs. Then I have just a couple of people, my old group therapist for one, who have heard my story and completely believed it and said it was sad... It's an amazing gift for this hing when another person willingly listens and accepts your reality.

 

Though, still, I've found nobody can truly get it, especially the losing years of my life part, and truly grasp the depths of the tragedy unless they have been through it themselves. This is probably true of many horrificly peculiar things in life. For instance, I've heard ex Army Rangers or combat military talk about how 'civilians' can't ever really understand what's its like, the thins they've been through. Of course, nobody tells a marine after a trauma that he just needs to get back on his meds or that no trauma happened.

 

Larger point... You are so very right Barb. Acknowledgment helps a lot.

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