bluebalu86

Feeling like a victim

48 posts in this topic

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to deal with feeling like a Victim? I feel like such a victim to Big Pharma, doctors and life in general. 

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It is possible to start re training your brain to talk and think differently. It won't happen overnight. I highly recommend the little easy to read self help books by Andrew Matthews. Some of the titles include "Being Happy" and "How life works". Little nuggets of wisdom, easy to read and life changing.  There are testimonies of people who have literally been through the worst of experiences but through their positive attitude have come out the other side strong and better for it.  It is inspiring! Words are so powerful and it is so important to think before we speak. Once we get the hang of that then other things can be done to change but small steps first. 

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What works for me when I spiral down the self-pity hole is to reach and learn about the problems of others that are worse than mine.

 

Have you researched what a traumatic brain injury is?

 

Those people have it so much worse than we do, and you can get a brain injury just by being at the wrong place at the wrong time, like if you are driving and a drunk lorry-driver hits your car.

 

For people that suffered a traumatic brain injury, it was not their fault in most of the cases, just like us who suffer the damages of psychiatry... but the world is like this, some people get unlucky and we cannot do anything but try to get the best of our situation...

 

The fact that reaching for others with worse problems to feel better can look evil, but I see it like :

 

If that person that has it so much worse than me is trying his best and is not feeling sorry about himself,,, what right do I have to feel sorry about myself??

 

And also staying busy is completely necessary to stop the self-pity behaviors. 

Being busy is a natural thing for humans, humans have been busy for hundreds of thousands of years, if you were not busy 5 thousands years ago, you just die of hunger. Human beings are not made tu be unoccupied, it's just as unnatural as the medications, and unnatural things tend to be not good.

 

Of course some people here are too sick to work, but I think that at the moment when someone can work, that person needs to do it because it will help immensely

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Blue,

 

Many of the things you've been considering--DBT, yoga, art, exercise, mindfulness--can all be part of the process of shifting you from that place. It's unlikely there is one thing that will change it. I find being stronger physically makes a huge difference, as well as just doing a lot of movement. Also, I believe it's important to have compassion for that place that feels victimized. If we hate it, it's impossible to heal...at least, in my experience it was.

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For 17 years I was advised to be "compliant" with a hefty medication regime that my psychiatrist and all the other mental health professionals supporting me felt were necessary - they were true believers in the "medical model" and I trusted and believed in their expertise. I was given a diagnosis of postnatal depression after the birth of my 3rd child in 1996, a year later this changed to severe recurrent depression. Medications ranging from tricyclics, SSRIs, SNRIs, mood stabilisers and various antipsychotics were prescribed as well as ECT as an inpatient and maintenance ECT as an out-patient. I was self-harming on a regular basis and attempted to take my own life on more than one occasion - I also began to abuse alcohol which I thought would help me cope better with my thoughts, feelings and emotions - big mistake!! I became totally dependent on the "system". I did attempt to come off these drugs once or twice, but never succeeded - I was totally unaware at the time that withdrawal symptoms can often be mistaken for symptoms of relapse. My psychiatrist of 17 years retired in August 2013 and following the death of my father that same month I hit yet again another crisis point and was admitted to an acute psychiatric ward - for some reason I mentioned to the staff that maybe the drugs weren't working and the following day was taken off all medications "cold turkey". That was 2 years ago and although withdrawal has been challenging to say the least I am now "living" and not just " existing". Over these 2 years I have often followed the path of self-victimisation and felt incredibly angry with a system that was supposed to help me but this way of thinking has not helped me or been productive - I am now trying to channel that rage more productively and have managed to find paid employment (after 20 years out of the market) as a peer support worker - trying to support others in similar situations to my own. I'm not sure if it will help but it seems to be working at the moment. DBT, Mindfulness, a healthy diet,regular exercise, connecting more to nature and my own spiritualism have all helped in my recovery so far, as well as talking about my feelings. I hope this has been of some use ?

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When I was harmed by these drugs, I felt confused, angry, terrified....and yes, very much like a victim.

Whilst in victim mode I accepted many treatments which I now wish I had rejected.  For me I had to get down to the bottom rung of the ladder before I felt that they could do no more harm to me.  Allowing myself to get that low wasn't good for me.  It's caused anger and I find that hard to control now because the harms have been too serious whilst I sat back and accepted them. I'm angry at myself for allowing this  to happen to me.

 

Being a victim opens the door to harm. It says I can't fight back and my self esteem says that I'm not worth it.

 

I always used to think that people would feel sorry for me, help me, listen and care....but when you act in this way...they just don't.

 

I haven't achieved that much by fighting back, but I do feel better for it.  Speaking up for yourself, taking responsibility for your own health and saying no to treatments which concern you matters.  Learn to say NO and to say " I matter" and believe that if you don't speak up for what you want and need and express how you feel, no one will ever know that you needed it.  What have you got to lose by speaking up and saying what you want and need?

 

It may be empowering.

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It is possible to understand that you are a victim of medical error but not continue to act as a victim in your life and relationships with others.

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My own opinion is that once symptoms weaken to a certain point where Withdrawal isnt the dominate thought in your mind than you can start to let go more . And who will have time to be a victim when you can enjoy life again. I think most of us in acute WD feel like we are in Jail and its hard not to feel like a victim. But Life is full of victims not just in medicare but in so many other ways , relationships , bullying etc.... we just cant let it define us while we are in the thick of things. Try and hang on and enjoy life as much as possible. I think the Victim thing will fade just like all the other symptoms of WD

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I'm sure that's true Mort. I guess it depends what you are left with once it's all over though...and if it continues.

It is an attitude of mind to consciously decide that you are not "a victim".

 

I've found it hard if I'm honest. I do understand where Bluebalu is coming from on this one....

I can cite words of strength and suggest fighting back, but I'm not sure I'm much different to Bluebalu in terms of how I still feel deep down. The façade I achieve is simply that....a front hiding how I really feel.

 

Nothing has ever really harmed me before and anything that has, has been surmountable and I've been able to deal with it.

I have to admit that this experience has dented me, and it is VERY hard not to feel like a victim particularly when fighting back meets with so many closed minds and closed doors to validating what I've been through and continue to go through.

 

Do you feel like that too BlueBalu? Maybe it's important to say so, rather than simply listen to others telling you to be strong and look forwards. All that matters of course, and I'm not decrying it in the least, but I think that you should be able to say how you feel and have that validated by the rest of us. I've felt like a victim too.

 

For me the lack of validation has been key. I've been treated as if the role of the drug is in my head, of my own making and inconsequential despite what seem to me to be life changing experiences and health issues which continue to impact on my life. Every day I struggle to come to terms with the effects of it all and although I get on with life and chug along the injustice doesn't sit well with me and I veer between helpless victim and anger.

 

Moving on past victim status isn't that easy without validation for our experiences. That's what I need. I need a doctor to say, "we're sorry and we acknowledge that it shouldn't have happened. We will now try to help you and support you"

 

Is that too much to ask?

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I get where you are coming from regarding validation but for me the medical profession has lost all credibility when it comes to mental health and prescribing. I place no value on their take on what has happened to me. Their lack of recognition says much more about them than it does about me.

 

I should not have been subjected to this. I should not have had to endure harms but I will not give the medical/industrial complex any more space in my life. I'm driving my own health, everyone else can get out of the car!

 

Turn hurt and anger into power or you will be your own persecutor

 

Dalsaan

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I would if I could Dalsaan.

 

Unfortunately the drugs have caused a cardiac problem which is treated with a pacemaker.

I have to deal with the cardiologists, who continue to state that "they know best" and that their treatments are the only way or the highway.

 

I don't want them to have any space in my life, but I am dependent on them to advise on how pacing should be set up and changed to deal with my medical condition.

 

If I could tell them to take a hike and deal with it myself I would. All I can do is try to have my point of view considered as to cause and treatments.

 

To date they have caused more harm because they would not listen. It's more complicated than just telling them to stay out of my life unfortunately.

 

Working with them isn't easy, because they do not believe in withdrawal and have treated the reactions I have had to pacing changes with treatments which have caused more harm because they did not understand them, nor want to understand them.

 

I have to deal with them and I can't just walk away.

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They are all fair points Marmite. My mum has had serious issues with her cardiologists and her drug regime (not psych drugs). They have no concept of iatrogenic illness. She eventually got it sorted but it took a lot

 

My comments are more directed towards people who aren't reliant on medical professionals in the way you are and my point is to take up as much space as you can which is what you are doing

 

Ivan illich had a lot to say about the disabling effects of professional power and iatrogenic illness

 

Dalsaan

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The lack of validation is soul crushing. Not only is this the worst suffering known to man, but doctors don't even acknowledge it. I have no words how bad this situation is. 

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The lack of validation is soul crushing. Not only is this the worst suffering known to man, but doctors don't even acknowledge it. I have no words how bad this situation is. 

 

 

The lack of validation is something you can't change.  Whether you allow it to be 'soul crushing' is up to you.  You have control over how you think about this.  If you can't exercise that control then you have a responsibility to seek the help you need to develop this capacity.  

 

It is not the worse suffering known to man.   Many other people suffer greatly and to catastophize in this way is very harmful to your health.   Your biggest oppressor is yourself and you are engaging a form of self victimisation that knows no bounds.

 

Seeking validation for your status as a victim - given the purpose you put it to - legitimising your fatalism, catastrophising and passivity - is the most damaging thing you can do to your prospects of recovery.

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Many people have difficulty coming to grips with the fact that very, very few physicians understand tapering or withdrawal syndrome, as well as the difficulty of communicating with their own doctors about their health problems, as Marmite has experienced.

 

That there are holes in the safety net medicine provides can be very frightening and frustrating.

 

But lack of validation being "soul-crushing"? "Worst suffering known to man"? What kind of response do you expect from the world regarding your problems?

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But lack of validation being "soul-crushing"? "Worst suffering known to man"? What kind of response do you expect from the world regarding your problems?

 

This is such a good point/question. 

 

I have found myself feeling the same way, especially when the pain gets to be intolerable.  As my symptoms become less severe, the less angry I become.  I find it difficult to believe just how entitled I am, deep down, at a very basic level - my sense of entitlement has caused me to curse the system, and write long diatribes against "the man" for creating a situation that has injured me.  I honestly wish that my upbringing, and education provided me with much lower expectations for how life was going to turn out - because I have suffered for many years due to having higher-than-realistic expectations for myself.  I just take myself way too seriously - and I find it difficult to rewire my personality into being a more humble, and accepting human being.

 

This experience has certainly helped me in that latter regard more than anything else in my life, however - and I believe there's a tremendous amount of meaning to pain and suffering.

 

A wise man once told me that "Pain and suffering is the touchstone for all spiritual progress".

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I wish a doctor could say "I believe every word of what you are saying. No, you're not crazy. No, you aren't doing this to yourself or imagining it. No, this isn't a relapse of your mental illness. All of these symptoms are because of the drugs you are taking and your withdrawal from them. I'm sorry this happened to you, you didn't deserve this and it's not your fault that you got in this situation. It ours, the doctors' fault. Doctors harmed you and I'm sorry for it. I will do my best to support you and help you while you regain your health. I will try my best to prevent this from happening to anymore people. I will notify the FDA (or other relevant institution) and we'll fight this together. You are not alone".

 

I know nobody will say this. Only in my dreams. 

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Hey Blue sorry to hear about your withdrawal suffering. I feel like a victim too, im 20 years old and cant believe this is happening, I was extremely angry with my parents and doctor for putting me on this stuff at 15 years old, I now realise that will achieve nothing nor change the past, but I know I can change the future me it may take years but know its possible to rebuild your self from the parts you have left. How ever we have got to stay strong. I do a lot of walking and running now which really helps and alleviates my symptoms.

 

Together we will both get through this our brains will heal in time how long it takes will depend on how we deal with this situation. And when we do heal, we will find life much more enriching as a positive result after would. If I could take your pain away I would, I really would, id take every once pain away as a matter of fact. 

 

When I first joined this Forum I was kind of expecting an instant cure but I now know that isn't here. The best recipe to a cure is pushing our self into doing things we want to enjoy again, exercising well, eating well and keeping socially active.

 

If you ever want to talk sometime let me know and I can Skype you if you use Skype.

 

Just remember we are not alone we are walking together through this. some people may be further away from the finishing line than others but all you have to remember is you will get through this strenuous journey of pain and suffering.

 

Luke     

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Im sorry Blue about the validation thing . I just met a Pychologist and teacher of Pychiatry at a well respected school in Toronto who validates my Withdrawal and even took it upon himself to contact my GP to tell her to take me seriously.  It took me over a year to find anyone who believed me and I know  some people wont ever find anyone in their area. I went through 6 different doctors for a few of my symptoms and it was a big joke to them. At the time it was soul crushing !  I actually found someone when I wasnt trying to at all and my symptoms were starting to improve. I didnt even feel the need to go to this guy funny how that works . However Ill be honest we know more on this site than he does but he is open to learning and well versed with David Healy's work. But I know what you mean you just want somebody to sympathize with you while your healing ! I totally get it . Doctors like David Healy are fighting for all of us . But not only us for the future generation of kids and adults  who will continue to get hooked on these dangerous meds. If its any help just know everyone on this site knows your pain and suffering is real. If you were in Toronto Id send you to him just to be validated. There has to be someone in Bulgaria who isnt drinking the pharma koolaid they are just very hard to find. 

 

 

Marmite I totally understand your situation. I am sorry that Withdrawal has caused you this and I hope one day you find peace with it. The fact that you do have to see them on a regular basis when they dismiss the meds as the cause I could only imagine the frustration.  I think most people at the very least are stuck with painful memories of suffering and financial loss among many others. I think we can all agree that in varying degrees WD completly reaks havic on all aspects of your life. 

 

Osk I know what you mean about expectations aswell. I grew up with the same things. I should have kids , a house and my good cushy Job back   but right now everything is on hold. for how long I dont know. But I agree the pain and suffering is not for nothing . I think one day I will enjoy life more than anyone could imagine . until you have it taken away I dont know how you could truly appreciate everything  and thats one thing thats happened to all of us on here . We had our life taken away for a period of time. But one day we will thrive again.

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THank you guys. It means the world to me to be part of this community where I get validation and support and reassurance I'm not crazy, in relapse or making this up. I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have that place. I wish you healing friends. May God heal you and protect you 

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It's really really hard isn't it. Sometimes even when I'm taking to my family and I describe how it is for, I can see their eyes glaze over and I wonder if i sound like a maniac and whether they secretly just think I'm unhinged and 'imbalanced' (argggghhhh!!!!)

 

It's really hard but I do believe one day we'll all be vindicated by society, in the same way that smoking is now absolutely known to be harmful, and of course the doctors will say they were doing the best they could with the knowledge they had..... and ... in my case at least that's true.

 

There was no malice or malpractice so maybe I'm just lucky, I turned up with emotional issues to do with my horrible domestic situation and she felt that paxil would give me some relief to 'strengthen me' to make it through... of course what I needed was actual support and practical help, but she wasn't in a position to provide that, but she did have the ability to prescribe.

 

Even the doctor at A&E who then prescribed valium to counter the CT of paxil didn't know better at the time, he just saw a person desperate and thought (with an enormous waiting room of people) 'oh this will calm her down and get her through the next 24 hours without hurting herself', I suppose he couldn't be expected to make a non existant family appear, or cuddle me up on the couch with a blanket and a hot cup of tea... but he did have a drug that was he believed was better than nothing - so that was what he did.

 

Just ignore all this if it's not helping!! I suppose I just know now that the entire way we medicalise normal struggles, sadness, grief, sensitivies and personalities is all wrong, and although I don't blame myself, I now know that I should never have gone to see a medical doctor for a problem that wasn't medical in nature. 

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I would like to say a few things about my situation.

 

I am 29 years old but I am not equipped to deal with life. Not to mention such hardships as withdrawal. I come from a very dysfunctional family. My father never lived with us, he always worked in Germany and was always away. My mother has mental health problems for which she never sought any kind of help. We have a very bad relationship. She abuses me and she feels abused by me. It's all very toxic. My father doesn't even call me on the phone. He can't deal with being a husband and a father and never even tried to. I never got any kind of guidance from my parents while I was growing up. I was never raised right to be able to deal with life. My mother only cared about my grades and disciplining me but she never cared about teaching me how to deal with life. I have no foundation, I'm learning everything as I go in the middle of this withdrawal. I began having anxiety as a young child. I had severe anxiety, ocd, school refusal, hypochondria because I was very stressed from living in this environment. I was bullied at school for being weird and ugly. THose problems were never adressed. I was never taken to see a counseler, I was only made to study study study. have been prescribed tranquilisers even as a very small child because my heart and chest ached and I couldn't sleep at all because my mother would leave me alone with my cold and distant grandparents for long periods of time without calling or reaching out to me. I begged my grandparents to take me to the doctor and they finally did, and she prescribed tranquilisers but they didn't give them to me because I was so little and they didn't think it's possible for me to have mental health problems. My first severe anxiety started some time later when I was 10 years old and I didn't know what was happening to me and why, I thought I have AIDS and am dying. My life has not been good or normal. When I was 18 I had a complete nervous breakdown with anxiety and depression, couldn't get out of bed, couldn't watch TV, nothing, I was like a vegetable. I haven't been able to work or study ever since, I was only prescribed meds and more meds which only harmed me and which didn't help. I never regained functionality after that breakdown. THat's the story of my life. I'm a 29 year old virgin because ever since I was 18 I could never socialize and go out to meet people because of the horrific anxiety + nobody wanted a sick and incapacitated girlfriend so I was always rejected. For me it's not just panic attacks, it's anxiety non stop. 

 

I am sorry I am not able to handle this withdrawal as well as other people are. I am not making excuses for myself, I know that my life is my responsibility. I am only trying to shed some light on where I'm coming from and why I am the way I am and why I lack basic coping skills that other people on here have and find useful. Please don't judge me...

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Hi Blubalu,

 

I think that sometimes on this site we all get so wrapped up in the process of trying to get off harmful meds, that we forget the original issues that brought us to consult doctors and psychiatrists in the first place. You describe your issues Blubalu, and they sound very difficult to deal with and I'm truly sorry to hear about their impact on you.

 

I think we all acknowledge that the pills can't take away the suffering and that they are no more than a sticking plaster which often goes on to cause us more issues. We're united on here regarding the harm these drugs cause. Maybe though, we need to think more about "people" rather than just "the process" ?

 

People come here for advice and for the accumulated wisdom and knowledge that they can't find anywhere else, and that is more helpful than I can state. However, many people need more than practical advice. They need understanding and support and yes, no judgement. When it all gets too much and they hit a crisis point and reach out they need to know that there is empathy.

 

I've got through the emotional turmoil part of withdrawal and I can't tell you how pleased I am to see the back of it. I remember the heightened emotions, the intense anxiety, feeling out of control emotionally and frankly frenzied at times. In this state it's hard to be practical, sensible and strong.

 

I think its actually very good that you have brought this topic up and that we can all reflect on how empathy, rather than advice, can be beneficial at times, and to remind us that although we might disagree with the medicalization and drugging of human distress, distress still exists and often undermines and contributes to the problems we encounter in withdrawal.

 

I'm sorry you feel judged and I feel a little guilty myself. That's actually why I returned to this thread after my initial comment. I realised that by sounding strong and giving advice rather than empathy I was selling you short. When I first had my cardiac issues I remember having "brave children who battle cancer and run marathons" quoted at me. If I'm honest it made me feel inadequate and invalidated. What I wanted and needed at the time was someone to acknowledge the hurt, not tell me that others coped better with it than I did. All it achieved was to make me feel worse! I apologise if anything I've said has made you feel that way. We all sink and feel weak and unable to cope at times....and it's normal and OK to feel that way. By giving you the message that you should be strong too, perhaps I'm trying to persuade the vulnerable part of myself that it needs to stay buried and denied ....and that's not helpful for you is it?

 

Maybe it would be better to acknowledge that we all feel like you at times, and that we need this site for understanding, peer support, empathy and encouragement as well as practical advice.

 

You will get through this Bluebalu and when you do you you can go on to tackle the underlying issues differently....but we don't expect you to be strong all the time and sail through this unscathed. You're a normal, vulnerable human being like the rest of us. What you're going through is hard and you're justified to feel the way you do and to ask for support when you feel low.

 

Keep speaking out. You need to. xxx

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Hi Blubalu,

 

I think that sometimes on this site we all get so wrapped up in this process that we are going through - trying to get off harmful meds - that we forget the original issues that brought us to consult doctors and psychiatrists in the first place. You describe your issues Blubalu, and they sound very difficult to deal with and I'm truly sorry to hear that your family circumstances and upbringing has had such an impact on you.

 

I think we all acknowledge that the pills can't take away the suffering and that they are no more than a sticking plaster which often goes on to cause us more issues. The upheaval in our emotional state and the impact of the physical symptoms can't be under-estimated, particularly if someone was vulnerable to start with. I agree that we should not judge, enough of this is done by the medical profession and even friends and family.

 

On here we need to respect that being in withdrawal is a lonely and misunderstood place to be. Many of us need more than practical advice. We need understanding and support and yes, no judgement when it all gets too much.

 

I've got through the emotional turmoil part of withdrawal now and I'm very pleased to feel calm and rational again, but I DO remember how I catastrophised, clutched at straws, poured out my anguish and generally acted out when I was reacting to the emotional volatility caused by withdrawal from these drugs. Maybe we all need to remember how we reacted and felt and how the lack of validation impacted on us in this situation.

 

What I would say Bluebalu is that family circumstances which cause distress like yours can be helped by talking therapy. Withdrawal emotions however can be misleading. Try to get through the withdrawal - with our support - and then see what you are left with in terms of the emotions and hurt that you feel.

 

Therapy can be unhelpful in withdrawal if it "medicalises" and attempts to diagnose and treat the high levels of anxiety and stress we experience ...(I know this because I had GAD diagnosed in withdrawal, yet I have no anxiety now)....but support matters.

 

You're not alone. There are plenty of people who feel like you do and who look inwards for reasons for the emotional upheaval this process causes.Many people have good reason to look inwards and have genuine issues to deal with too. The important thing is to realise that we understand how you feel, and we acknowledge that the reasons are complex.

 

I'm sorry you feel judged...that's actually why I returned to this thread after my initial comment. I realised that by sounding strong and giving advice rather than empathy I was selling you short. When I first had my cardiac issues I remember having "brave children and adults who battle cancer and serious illness" quoted at me. If I'm honest it irritated me. What I wanted and needed was someone to acknowledge the hurt, not tell me that others coped better with it than I did. All that achieved was to make me feel worse!

 

You need to feel that you're understood and not alone perhaps? It's OK to feel the way you do and it's OK to tell us how you feel.

If we're all honest many of us have felt the same way too.

Excellent post, Marmite. I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiments that you have expressed in this thread in each of your posts.

 

Tilly x

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I would like to say a few things about my situation.

 

I am 29 years old but I am not equipped to deal with life. Not to mention such hardships as withdrawal. I come from a very dysfunctional family. My father never lived with us, he always worked in Germany and was always away. My mother has mental health problems for which she never sought any kind of help. We have a very bad relationship. She abuses me and she feels abused by me. It's all very toxic. My father doesn't even call me on the phone. He can't deal with being a husband and a father and never even tried to. I never got any kind of guidance from my parents while I was growing up. I was never raised right to be able to deal with life. My mother only cared about my grades and disciplining me but she never cared about teaching me how to deal with life. I have no foundation, I'm learning everything as I go in the middle of this withdrawal. I began having anxiety as a young child. I had severe anxiety, ocd, school refusal, hypochondria because I was very stressed from living in this environment. I was bullied at school for being weird and ugly. THose problems were never adressed. I was never taken to see a counseler, I was only made to study study study. have been prescribed tranquilisers even as a very small child because my heart and chest ached and I couldn't sleep at all because my mother would leave me alone with my cold and distant grandparents for long periods of time without calling or reaching out to me. I begged my grandparents to take me to the doctor and they finally did, and she prescribed tranquilisers but they didn't give them to me because I was so little and they didn't think it's possible for me to have mental health problems. My first severe anxiety started some time later when I was 10 years old and I didn't know what was happening to me and why, I thought I have AIDS and am dying. My life has not been good or normal. When I was 18 I had a complete nervous breakdown with anxiety and depression, couldn't get out of bed, couldn't watch TV, nothing, I was like a vegetable. I haven't been able to work or study ever since, I was only prescribed meds and more meds which only harmed me and which didn't help. I never regained functionality after that breakdown. THat's the story of my life. I'm a 29 year old virgin because ever since I was 18 I could never socialize and go out to meet people because of the horrific anxiety + nobody wanted a sick and incapacitated girlfriend so I was always rejected. For me it's not just panic attacks, it's anxiety non stop. 

 

I am sorry I am not able to handle this withdrawal as well as other people are. I am not making excuses for myself, I know that my life is my responsibility. I am only trying to shed some light on where I'm coming from and why I am the way I am and why I lack basic coping skills that other people on here have and find useful. Please don't judge me...

Hi Blue,

 

I am so sorry to read that you have been through so much and have been lacking in support that we all need as humans.

 

Withdrawal is a difficult road to travel. You are not alone in the feelings that you are experiencing.

 

You are learning new things each day and now have the support of people here who understand the struggles that you are facing.

 

Be patient with yourself and don't ever feel the need to apologise for who you are or your capacity to cope during a difficult time. You are human and you will come through this with support and time. You will develop new coping skills as part of this process. Regardless of your level of functioning, you are a valuable person who is worthy of care and compassion. Try to remember this.

 

Be kind to yourself.

 

Tilly x

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Kind words Tilly, which strike at the heart of what matters here.....validation and support.

Keep going Blue. We're here for you.

x

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I understand. Im 32 and feel that I never learnt normal life and coping skills due to, now I know, the medication. Was in such a bad state and still am at times that I'm just surviving really and everything else takes a back seat. And I know how hard it is to face life as an adult and be expected to cope as normal when huge chunks of time and opportunities to develop have been taken away. We are not alone in this though and we are doing well. We are still here which is an achievement in itself. No matter how we are, it's still our life and have a right to live it.

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in withdrawal, i have been a victim of two entities. i have been the victim of repeated and collective negligence by the medical/psychiatric/pharmaceutical system (and my parents and educators who exposed me to this negligence as a child), and i have been the victim (or more aptly prisoner) of my emotions over having been victimized.

fairly early in my withdrawal - around the 3rd month - i walked away from the medical system that hurt me for decades. i essentially fired all of my doctors by withdrawing myself as a patient and seeking care elsewhere. it in no way changed my feelings of having been a victim - but it allowed me to stop further damage at their licensed hands. i have known many victims of domestic abuse and repeatedly i hear how hard it is to walk away from those who hurt them - because they are enmeshed in a cyclical trap of dependence. i found this to be similar to my dealings with doctors. i knew they were hurting me, but i was scared to walk away - i hated them, but felt i needed them. it ultimately took the virtual incineration of my life (acute withdrawal) to have the courage to leave. and short of seeking some sort of legal action, my departure (and subsequent stubborn survival for the last three years) seems a best-case outcome for me. it has the subtle taste of victory, or nearly.

freeing myself from the self-imposed role of being a victim has been a much steeper climb. as of yet, i have not fully accomplished it. acknowledging the victim that i am, actually honoring that wound while simultaneously maintaining forward motion, has frustrated me to varying degrees throughout this process. it's like there are these two opposing voices in my heart and head yanking hard in their own directions. there is the voice that says "they hurt me so bad, they ripped my life away from me. they forced me to endure indescribable levels of pain and suffering, and stole years from my vitality as i slowly clean up the affects of their poisons on my mind and body. i am still dealing with the pain they washed down my throat in capsule form for years. i innocently gave them my trust, my vulnerability, and they destroyed me. i am broken, i am defective, i am hobbled in my pursuit of living." and then there is the other voice. the one that says "those that hurt me are where they belong - fading in my rear-view mirror. to the degree that i can exist above my symptoms, i am now in control of my choices. i am AND am not a victim - simultaneously. i bear the scars of the atrocities i endured, the wounds still weep and throb on occasion, but they do not define me. they are shaping me into what i will be in my future. i refuse to succumb, i choose to endure - even if it is ugly. definition over submission."

i don't believe there is a definable one-size-fits-all for dealing with our own inner-victim. the above illustrates what i have experienced in trying to make sense of it all - and it may be completely wrong for everyone else. but i do believe i can say this with a fair degree of universality. at the point where we take the whip that has been lashing across us at the hands of another and begin applying the lashes to ourselves; the moment of urgent introspection has arrived. we absolutely owe it to ourselves to cease the perpetuation of inflicting the suffering we have endured. we must find a way to set down the whip, deal with the echoes and reverberations of its former cracking, and move forward as our varying states allow. we must afford ourselves the love, time, and compassion to heal while not drowning in the mire we were led into. no easy task. it is why i admire each of us.

hang in there,

dave

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Hi Blue

really sorry that you have had a rough child hood and that your parents weren't there for you that much. Life is extremely harsh sometimes and it is hard to move forward when you see others living great happy life's. However this experience will build you into someone way more sophisticated and stronger than you have ever been before. I think the toughest people in the world went through the most horrific experiences. these are the experiences that build you into something truly amazing if you let them.   

 

And by the way there is no way on earth you are Ugly, I think you are a very highly attractive girl if you don't mind me saying. Your picture 100% doesn't refine someone who is Ugly, it resembles a highly beautiful women that will make a man extremely lucky to be with one day.

 

Hang in there Blue, You will get through this

If you want to talk one time on Skype about your troubles Id be happy to listen and help you out.

My Skype name is luke.glithero  

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Thanks Dave for those thoughts. None of this healing is straightforward or simple. I don't think anyone can wake up one day and say, "I'm not a victim" and be done with it. I too, find it very much an ongoing learning curve. There might always be places where the sense of victimization replays itself, but I notice the intention to see it, and to meet it with care, are very important to not finding myself all the way down the road. 

 

In the same way, it is not an easy process to lay down the whip. For those of us who have been traumatized from an early age, that way of being has been laid down in a physical way. At least, that's been the case for me and for the people I've known in a similar boat. For me, that same thing has been repeated through therapy. Therapists actually took out the whip in moments where what was needed was compassion. But through practices and learning to deeply care for myself, that is slowly beginning to heal.

 

Though we'd probably all love to banish the parts of ourselves we find unattractive or unacceptable, I've found that never works. There's a way in which I've needed to embrace the victim part of myself, in order to find a deeper healing. It's never worked for me to have others try to banish that part of me either..it's only gone underground and wreaked havoc in my life. Most of us have been taught in a multitude of ways that it's wrong to be vulnerable, that only strength or determination is healthy..and that we should in some way be ashamed of being victimized.

 

Blue, I have a trust that you will find your way through this...however that looks for you. More than anything, I encourage you to listen to and trust the deeper parts of yourself. Move towards what interests you, what you care about, what brings you joy. Trust in what the Quakers call the "still, small voice."

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I'm so sorry the first 29 years have been so difficult for you bluebalu, I hope that the next 70-80 years are full of healing, wonder and joy xxx

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... but i do believe i can say this with a fair degree of universality. at the point where we take the whip that has been lashing across us at the hands of another and begin applying the lashes to ourselves; the moment of urgent introspection has arrived. we absolutely owe it to ourselves to cease the perpetuation of inflicting the suffering we have endured. we must find a way to set down the whip, deal with the echoes and reverberations of its former cracking, and move forward as our varying states allow. we must afford ourselves the love, time, and compassion to heal while not drowning in the mire we were led into. no easy task. it is why i admire each of us...

 

 

I agree with this point so beautifully expressed. Many of us have been victims, genuinely abused when we were in no position to be able to protect ourselves from being harmed. This needs to be recognized, heard and validated, if not by someone else, then by ourselves. We are owed validation, its the first step towards healing.

 

But if our lives are going to improve we have to find a safe way to escape from the ongoing abuse, reverse any patterns of self victimization take control of our own lives and redefine ourselves as no longer a victim. This is usually a very difficult task which takes courage, time and the help and support of others. Not everyone has the resources or help available to them, we can all only do the best we can within the confines of our own circumstances.

 

For me, that same thing has been repeated through therapy. Therapists actually took out the whip in moments where what was needed was compassion. But through practices and learning to deeply care for myself, that is slowly beginning to heal.

 

Me too freespirit, I've also been re-victimized in therapy, but at the time, I was so used to blaming myself for every wrong and harm in the world, I took it on board and didn't recognize it for what it was. But I think part of learning how to step out of the victim role we have been cast in, is learning how to connect with and honor our inner sense that something is harming us and then being able to walk away or say no, to seek more appropriate, nurturing support. Like you wrote... by 'listening to that still, small voice'.  Of course it may take some practice to start hearing that little voice if through most of life its been drowned out by the voices of others.

 

I haven't yet ventured back into therapy since casting off my victim status, but if and when I do, I'm going to enjoy practicing my new powers of deciding what is and isn't helpful to me. There are some bad therapists out there, just like there are bad parents, we don't get to choose our parents, but in most cases, we have some control over who we go to for therapy.

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I can relate to a lot of this too....

When I went to therapy...which helped me...I was fed up of pouring out the tears and hurt and wanted to set my own agendaand so I told the therapist what I wanted from him and how I wanted to be treated. Therapy can be directed towards your own agenda and should be really....I'm sorry you had such a rough time of it Petunia.

 

My "theme" in therapy was "validation" and I too remember talking about this "small voice" which was buried deep inside which kept jumping up and down inside me demanding to be heard only to be squashed time and time again.

 

I felt entirely validated after therapy, but once validated my GPs ... and family....condemed this new found validation as something which perpetuated my delusion that the drug had caused my problems. It was quite frightening to encounter this and to realise that the "real world" outside therapy was every bit as resistant to accepting the drug as the problem as it had been before.

 

I found that the system, my family (who meant well) and the medical profession (who believed they were right) slowly eroded the good work of therapy because they did not think it was right to validate the beliefs of someone they believed was delusional. I'm still fighting that battle after 2 years and no matter how sensible, straightforward, reasoned, calm I am, the minute I mention the role of the drug in my problems, the eyes glaze over and more notes are added to my file.

 

How do you overcome that level of prejeudice?

 

I suppose my point is that standing up for yourself and being validated is empowering and the right way to go. However, please lets not naively expect everyone to be able to deal with the repercussions from a system which is quite determined to deny that these drugs could cause harm and which has it's own convictions (and prejeudices) against those they have diagnosed and dismissed as mentally ill.

 

I've come a long way and I'm still fighting....but please don't underestimate or under state just how hard it can be to walk away when you're reliant on medicine to sort out the mess it has caused and you are afraid because you are left alone to deal with the repercussions.

 

That's why I think this site needs to "support" as well as "inform".

 

It took me ages in therapy to admit to any kind of "vulnerability" but this experience has left me vulnerable and afraid and with nowhere to turn for help.

 

That's a very difficult place to be... and I think that many of us feel that way.

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Please note we cannot provide psychiatric care or psychotherapeutic care here due to legal and ethical constraints. Bad psychotherapy can be damaging, just as bad medical care can be damaging.

 

If you are a licensed physician, therapist, or social worker and want to risk your license to offer such services gratis here, you must post your license number in your signature. You will need to take complete responsibility for what you post as advice. SurvivingAntidepressants.org will not take responsibility for your advice and will not assist you should you meet legal challenges.

 

A public Internet forum is an inappropriate place for psychotherapy. Everyone here should be aware that peer support is not a substitute for treatment by a mental health professional. If you need intensive attention, to take care of yourself, you should seek face-to-face counseling by a qualified person, not rely on an Internet forum for such attention.

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Validation has to be an internal thing........I believe.  It doesn't come from anywhere external in words or actions or acknowledgement.

 

I think vulnerable comes into play somewhere too.......not sure just how.  Maybe being vulnerable to no longer being a victim of something or someone.  Yah, it's uncomfortable at times........practice, patience.  I feel like I am about 13 years old about now.......that's about all I've got. 

 

I like birds, listening to music, and hot tea.  Yah, ask me why I am typing?  :)

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... but i do believe i can say this with a fair degree of universality. at the point where we take the whip that has been lashing across us at the hands of another and begin applying the lashes to ourselves; the moment of urgent introspection has arrived. we absolutely owe it to ourselves to cease the perpetuation of inflicting the suffering we have endured. we must find a way to set down the whip, deal with the echoes and reverberations of its former cracking, and move forward as our varying states allow. we must afford ourselves the love, time, and compassion to heal while not drowning in the mire we were led into. no easy task. it is why i admire each of us...

 

 

I agree with this point so beautifully expressed. Many of us have been victims, genuinely abused when we were in no position to be able to protect ourselves from being harmed. This needs to be recognized, heard and validated, if not by someone else, then by ourselves. We are owed validation, its the first step towards healing.

 

But if our lives are going to improve we have to find a safe way to escape from the ongoing abuse, reverse any patterns of self victimization take control of our own lives and redefine ourselves as no longer a victim. This is usually a very difficult task which takes courage, time and the help and support of others. Not everyone has the resources or help available to them, we can all only do the best we can within the confines of our own circumstances.

 

For me, that same thing has been repeated through therapy. Therapists actually took out the whip in moments where what was needed was compassion. But through practices and learning to deeply care for myself, that is slowly beginning to heal.

 

Me too freespirit, I've also been re-victimized in therapy, but at the time, I was so used to blaming myself for every wrong and harm in the world, I took it on board and didn't recognize it for what it was. But I think part of learning how to step out of the victim role we have been cast in, is learning how to connect with and honor our inner sense that something is harming us and then being able to walk away or say no, to seek more appropriate, nurturing support. Like you wrote... by 'listening to that still, small voice'.  Of course it may take some practice to start hearing that little voice if through most of life its been drowned out by the voices of others.

 

I haven't yet ventured back into therapy since casting off my victim status, but if and when I do, I'm going to enjoy practicing my new powers of deciding what is and isn't helpful to me. There are some bad therapists out there, just like there are bad parents, we don't get to choose our parents, but in most cases, we have some control over who we go to for therapy.

 

 

I wish you well, should you decide to return to therapy...for me, that is simply no longer an option.

 

In the same week that I began doing qi gong, I made a promise to myself that I would never go back to therapy. Perhaps my sleeping through the night again after nearly 30 years since beginning therapy was just as much from that decision as it was from doing qi gong. It reminds me of the sense of internal safety that began when I made a permanent break from my family.

 

In my case, it wasn't just a situation of bad therapists. I have come to believe that therapy itself is not a good path for me. When I began, I never believed I was broken. I believed I had some difficulties with intimate relationships, which I later came to know was true of every person alive. All those years of focusing on what was wrong, what my problems were, why I couldn't be like other people led me to feel like a victim. I am not alone in that...I saw it quite commonly in my work and several of my friends have also gone through the same thing.

 

For me, therapy is a rather crude tool. I don't do well with anyone poking around in my psyche, however well-intentioned they might be. I have in fact, always had the ability to turn inwards and find ways through the tangles. If anything, therapy messed with that natural inclination. It's only been in the times away from therapy that it's returned in ways that are more beneficial. I feel a deep sense of freedom from not needing another person to find my way. 

 

Working through the body, from an energetic model takes away all the notions of good or bad emotions, or even needing to know where that energy came from. I don't have to wait for an appointment, hope the therapist is having a good day, or resurrect something I felt when I actually booked a session. If I wake in the middle of the night, I can breathe and allow the energy to move through..or get up if I need to and do some qi gong or stretching. Things move, minus all the drama and angst that happened for me in therapy. I go on about my night or day, and meet the next thing that arises, when it calls my attention. To me, it's far better teaching someone skills that they can use for themselves. That's why I've always been drawn to things that acknowledge and build on a person's inner knowing.

 

As a child, I turned to music, nature, animals, books, and a deep and rich imagination and inner life. I was physically active and I had community through playing sports. In many respects, I was thriving, in spite of the terrible conditions in which I was raised. Therapy took me away from all those things....I was told repeatedly that my profound need for silence and solitude was unhealthy, that it was wrong for me to want and need to live alone...that the things I did that nourished me were 'distractions' from the "real work". If any one of those therapists I'd seen had once been interested in the gifts of being sensitive, inward oriented, insightful, caring, compassionate, wise etc....that might have been beneficial.

 

I have over time, financed many vacations and homes for therapists...when I couldn't afford those things for myself. If I hadn't entered therapy, I wouldn't have ended up on antidepressants. It was my "therapy failure", more than my childhood wounding, that led me to drugs. Right now, I could be sitting on a beach in Hawaii, sipping a mai tai..or I could be living in the cabin in the woods I've dreamed of for nearly my whole life. I could afford the bike tours I'd like to go on...I could be surrounded with art and music...not because I'm interested in acquiring things, but because these things nourish my soul. I only hope there is still time for me in this life to unravel the crazy beliefs I took on that I was somehow broken. I was never broken. I am who I am, based on causes and conditions.

 

Therapy, like medications, ought to come with certain warnings. People need to make informed choices and consent, which actually rarely happens in either case.

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