Grief makes you do weird stuff

4 Apr
Mourning Woman. Egon Schiele

Mourning Woman. Egon Schiele

 

I’ve just been re-reading Freud’s remarkable essay, Mourning and Melancholia, in which he presciently paves the way for current controversies on the differences and similarities  between mourning and depression. These differences are an ongoing topic of robust debate in psychiatric and psychological circles: when does grief for the loss of a loved one become depressive illness requiring treatment; should mourning be immediately treated with anti depressants, what are the wider repercussions of diagnosing grief as a pathological state?

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) is the 2013 update to the American Psychiatric Association’s classification and diagnostic tool. In the United States and in Australia, the DSM serves as an authority for psychiatric diagnosis. According to this informative Q and A in the Huffington Post, in the DSM’s last edition the committee removed the “bereavement exclusion” from both depression and adjustment disorders. What this means in its simplest terms is that a person who is grieving a loss potentially may be diagnosed with depression or an adjustment disorder It is the removal of the bereavement exclusion from these diagnoses that has become highly controversial.

A major aspect of this controversy is that with the pathologising of grief and the introduction by the DSM-5 of a category of mental illness known as “complex” or “abnormal” grief, drug companies now have a wider market for anti depressants, and doctors could be encouraged to prescribe these drugs as soon as two weeks after the death of a loved one.

This pathologising leads to an economy of grief that Freud likely did not imagine, though one of his three core principles of the conceptual architecture of psychic organisation was his Economic Hypothesis. According to this hypothesis, psychic process can be evaluated in terms of gain and loss, for example, when a symptom mobilises a certain quantity of energy, other activities show signs of impoverishment. There is a circulation of value, a distribution of resources in the psychic household, or what he also referred to as the household of the soul.

In mourning, it’s not unusual for the mourner to withdraw her interest from the world, so demanding is her labour of grieving. In melancholia, a similar withdrawal might occur, with the distinct difference that in melancholia it is not necessary that there be an external loss: the depression can emanate from internal sources. In both cases, psychic resources are focused on loss, depriving other possible concerns of energetic engagement.

When grief is co-opted by capitalism it is commodified: by defining it as an illness, the opportunity arises for the marketing of a cure, or an amelioration of its symptoms. In a similar manner, the pathologising of post traumatic stress disorder in American war veterans has led to intense drug therapy, often causing uncontrollable and deadly side effects.

There is little abnormal in the intense reaction of an individual to traumatic circumstances of all kinds. The pathology lies not in the individual’s reaction to a situation, but in the situation itself. War is pathological. The sexual abuse of children is pathological behaviour on the part of the abuser. The distress and dis-integration of people subjected to pathological events is a normal human reaction to diseased circumstances.

Capitalism profits from pathological circumstances, and it’s in the interest of capitalism that such circumstances continue to exist. Those who suffer adversity as a consequence find their adversity pathologised, commodified and exploited, in the instance of grief and the war veteran’s post traumatic stress, by pharmaceutical companies.

There is a growing body of dissent on the usefulness of  intense drug treatment of war veterans, and an increasing suspicion that the unholy alliance between drug companies and the US military is the driving force behind what many medical professionals regard as dangerous over-medication. Psychiatrist Dr Peter Breggin, author of “Medication Madness: The Role of Psychiatry Drugs in Cases of Violence, Suicide and Crime,” claims the increase in drug treatment of veterans: …cannot be accounted for by anything other than military decisions at the very top that were certainly influenced by the pharmaceutical industry, which markets from the top down, then the drugs flow to millions.

The economy of the household of the soul is obliterated by the capitalist economy of Big Pharma, and the labour of mourning, which is also a significant aspect of post traumatic stress, is named as mental illness requiring drug therapy.

This is not to say that drug therapy is always unnecessary or unhelpful. That would be a ridiculous position to take. Rather, as well as drug therapy we ought to be considering a causal inversion in which the circumstances are recognised as pathological, rather than the normal human reactions to traumatic situations that give rise to disturbing symptoms, disrupting the individual’s psychic economy.

Today, all mourning is in danger of being defined as melancholia in the interests of profit, and we are all impoverished as a result.

ƒ

As readers of this blog and The Practice of Goodness will know, I’ve been struggling with the loss of my husband for some time now. My loss began not with his death, but when he suffered a massive stroke that left him paralysed, unable to speak, and subject to a degenerative process that was agonising to witness, and during which he became increasingly comatose and unable to recognise me. This went on for over two years, culminating in his death in June, 2014.

It has only been in the last few months that I’ve allowed myself to begin to grieve this awful period. Instead, I engaged in a variety of displacements, including embarking on an affair with a man who was also seriously ill, but well enough to ask for and respond to love, concern, and desire in ways in which my husband could not. For much of my life I had also sublimated a powerful wish (and its devastating regrets) to have been able to help and save my stepfather, who committed suicide when I was sixteen. I was in the zone, as I put it to myself, of desperately wanting to save men to whom I had a powerful attachment.

Were I to be Freudian about my affair I would name it as transference, the unconscious redirection of feelings from one person to another, frequently but not necessarily originating in childhood experience.

Grief makes you do weird stuff.

It was only when the affair came to a horrible end that I collapsed for several months into a state of profound grief during which I couldn’t write, or read, or engage with the world, and during which I had consistent and terrifying suicidal thoughts. I spent hours every day trying to work out a way in which I could end my life without anybody knowing I’d done it on purpose, because even in the midst of this collapse, I couldn’t bear to leave such a legacy for my loved ones to deal with. I imagined in great detail the methods I could avail myself of. I stockpiled drugs. I could simply disappear, I thought, and die in the forest, but then I realised the anguish my disappearance would cause, without even as much as the resolution of knowledge of my death.

The only circumstance that kept me in my life was my love for my three-year-old grandson, Archie, with whom I have an exceptional bond. There is much yet to pass between Archie and me, and I could not, even in my worst hours, deliberately leave before seeing that through. He will never know that he saved my life, and nor should he.

I sought no psychiatric or psychological help through this period. I mostly stayed in bed or lay on the couch, exhausted. I suspect that had I presented myself at the doctor’s in this state I would have been diagnosed as severely depressed, probably hospitalised, and encouraged to take anti depressants, and that would have been a responsible reaction on the doctor’s part. Although I had to visit the doctor for other reasons I never mentioned my state of mind, and my physical illness accounted for weight loss, lethargy and other symptoms.

In retrospect, I think I simply didn’t have the energy to find the words, let alone speak them. As Freud would have noted, the symptoms of my mourning drew heavily on my psychic resources, and left every other aspect dangerously impoverished.

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Grief is always complicated. Nobody comes as an adult to the loss of a loved one without an accumulation of losses and griefs of varying degrees, many of which remain unresolved because we aren’t taught or encouraged to resolve them. The shock of loss, which is always as shock even if you have, like I did, two years to know it’s coming, ruptures the protective membranes that allow us to conduct productive daily life in an environment that is, although we might deny this, all too frequently hostile to our psychic and physical well-being.

One of the unforeseen side effects of the massive rupture caused by significant loss is that it allows other sorrows, other traumas, other losses that haven’t been dealt with to leak through, infusing and complicating the main event and causing overwhelming feelings that transport us to an altered state. Grief is an altered state. It is nothing like “ordinary” life. Once you’re in grief, anything can happen, although that might not always be evident to observers.

Increasingly, we are encouraged to medicate these altered states so they achieve a two-fold outcome for capitalism: we buy drugs to get us off the couch, back into the workforce and consuming again, but what does such an approach do to stabilise our psychic economy?

ƒ

The greatest sacrifice we make to live in our current dominant culture is the sacrifice of self-knowledge and self-understanding. Who has time to unravel the psychic complexities that drive us? And yet, what could possibly be more important to us as individuals and as communal beings than understanding how and why we do what we do?

Instead, we have drugs whose sole purpose is to render us capable of functioning within this society, in the manner that supports its capitalist goals. The adverse effects major and minor of anti depressants, for example, were for me antithetical to a life fully experienced, fully lived. They dulled my senses and my mind, and didn’t suit my chemistry at all. There is little opportunity offered for the processes of the psyche, which can often seem slow and laborious, to unfold, and anything that takes one’s attention away from worldly considerations is regarded as a symptom of pathology.

I’m not done with my labour of mourning.  I will be grateful for the rest of my life that this crisis occurred at a time when I was able to withdraw, and allow it to take its course. When eventually I got myself to a psychiatrist I chose an analyst, one who would not persuade me to medicate myself out of the psychic processes, but on the contrary, travel with me through them.

Freud was, of course, both formed and constrained by his times, as are we all to some degree. There is much to disagree with in his theories, especially for a woman like me, who found her first liberation in feminism. Yet to revisit his writings is to be astounded at his vision, and the poetic manner in which he expressed that vision. Just now, his essay on Mourning and Melancholia is a source of great comfort, like the right poem at a particular moment can ease the heart with the reassurance that others have felt these things, mad and isolated as they might seem to be.

Grief makes you do weird stuff. True fact.

freud01

 

 

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34 Responses to “Grief makes you do weird stuff”

  1. paul walter April 4, 2015 at 6:23 pm #

    “A person of sorrow and acquainted with grief”, was the subject for JS Bach in his “St John Passion”. Are we not all eventually people of constant sorrow, when the getting of wisdom dictates that we deal with the foundational experience of losing someone closest to us?

    There is before and there is after.
    I hadn’t lived it all ’till my partner died. She was the most gentle of souls and I had failed to protect her from her own vulnerability although people told me there was absolutely nothing I could have done, given the nature of her sudden death through heart disease.
    It hurt for so long afterwards that it would never stop and I was referred to a counsellor, where I learned I suffered from “reactive depression”, although it was true that after the first eighteen months or so, I went through all the usual motions well enough but without passion. But the cloud remained and I eventually got injured at work, through loss of concentration.

    That was a blessing in disguise, as it led indirectly to a chance to do uni as a “manured aged” student, until my mum went down with cancer and it started again, including the depression and loss of concentration

    It’s said what doesn’t kill a person makes them stronger.
    Despite every mistake I’ve made over the years, I’ve some how survived and that includes a certain amount of over medicating using stuff I would have done better doing without. But then, there you go. Jennifer calls it a rupture, I think of it as an amputation.
    Of course you don’t do so well when the key people in your life leave, any more than you would be comfortable until you adjusted to losing a leg, say, which is to say a long time.

    I won’t ignore the question of others exploiting people and the so called “ethical” drugs industry is notorious for cold allous bad conduct with some of their junk, including pilled out kids, housewives and “mother’s little helpers” and hopeless blokes, of course.
    When people are are down, it seems part of the process, the difficulties of eventually becoming unencumbered of other people and their solutions and agendas.

    I’m a two prozac a day man and I’ve often wondered what processes I’ve interfered with in not going hairy chested and earning my freedom the robust way, but I don’t care.
    My body is now wired to the drug and the ferocity of the impact when I run out for a couple of days has me in no hurry to cold turkey with them.

    Better second class than no journey at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson April 4, 2015 at 8:47 pm #

      Your journey isn’t second class, PW. I know by the way you write. I know too the effect anti depressants had on me when I tried them once, and it wasn’t good.
      Whatever gets us through the night. No hairy chest competitions.

      Liked by 1 person

      • doug quixote April 5, 2015 at 6:15 pm #

        I think I mentioned at times before that my father, my mother, two of my favourite uncles and aunts, a very good friend and my brother all died within a short space of time in the late 1990s. In hindsight that set off a depression which was not apparent to my other friends, as I withdrew into routines and safe behaviours.

        The unlikely-named psychologist Tom Jones tried cognitive therapy on me, but all that came out of that was mental jousting. Doctors tried me on anti-depressants like citalopram; they were ineffective apart from the horrid side effects. A very perceptive psychiatrist took me off all medication, bless him; and I have not looked back.
        I came out of the depression by 2009, about 10 years; 10 lost years.

        I’ve had no medications whatever since 2008, aside from the odd antibiotic, if that counts. It can be done; perhaps it is a matter of surviving until the body and the mind can repair themselves.

        Clearly some people may be helped by meds, and as you say Jennifer, whatever gets us through the night.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. hudsongodfrey April 4, 2015 at 6:43 pm #

    I know that by capitalism you mean commodified medicine, but I wouldn’t want to go so far as to assume all medicine is commodified or that we shouldn’t use science to improve our health. And by science I happily include wide ranging types of knowledge of anything from drug therapy to surrounding oneself with good people is capable of providing support. So while I hear and agree that emotional experiences are life affirming, in our more lucid moments most of us have a sense of when too much of any emotion is overwhelming. I wouldn’t wish anyone to risk becoming overwhelmed any more than I’d believe they’d ever prefer it.

    The other day I happened upon clips on YouTube by a Storyteller Poet who happens to be L Ron Hubbard’s grandson. I’ll let those who’re interested google him, but the one that’s most devastating isn’t the one you’ll find first. Now I’m not grieving. I’m not particularly emotionally fragile either. But sometimes we all get sad, and for me the sadness of others is cathartic. I don’t mean the suffering of others, I’m not an axe murderer. I mean my empathy with deeply saddening stories. It allows me to quietly have a cry, vent my emotions and reflect that things in my life might not be so bad after all. I reckon that’s a kind of therapy, and if I’m a somewhat correct it that then its also a powerful testimony to the value of good art.

    Someone will probably tell me my coping mechanism doesn’t measure up to your level of grief, or that it sidesteps my problems. Someone else will tell you you’ve made typical grief driven errors of judgement. I tend to prefer living life to following others’ textbook approaches so I won’t say don’t let it get you down, but I do hope for your sake that you’re mindful when you’re not bouncing back that things are not supposed to seem dark forever.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson April 4, 2015 at 8:57 pm #

      I don’t know what things are supposed to be HG, or who makes the rules about what is and isn’t supposed to be. Anti depressants have never been attractive to me, not for any moral reason, but because I want to know what things feel like without them. It’s probably an unnecessary hardship, I don’t really know. I did try them and felt very much worse, so I’m guessing I don’t have the kind of chemistry that works with them.

      I think the worst darkness is over, for the time being at any rate.

      Like

      • hudsongodfrey April 4, 2015 at 9:19 pm #

        I know what you mean. For similar reasons I have no interest in taking recreational drugs. Maybe I just lack the ambition to deal with more than one version of reality at a time 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • bitter.sweet.alive April 4, 2015 at 10:35 pm #

          I would like to share my story.
          I take an antidepressant daily. I had concerns at first too. Will it change me, will I be the real me, etc. But mental illness is a illness of the brain, so, how did I know if my thinking or feelings were rational? My brain has a fault, so, could my thinking also? If I had diabetes, would I not manage my blood glucose with insulin?
          But it is not a cure, it only helps alleviate the symptoms. Grief is a terrible trauma to endure. It is a natural part of the human experience. But some people are not as resilient to process and integrate such trauma; the same with some mental illness.
          Thankfully, I have not experienced a psychiatrist that gave me anti-depressants and then sent me on my way. Talking therapies (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and InterPersonal Therapy) have been necessary to address the underlying distress. As to the sometimes time demands, I had to bloody make the time. Though, there are much better therapeutic models than Freud’s psychoanalytic model nowadays, and they require less time commitments. According to Prof Paul Bloom at Yale, Freud is more commonly found in the History Department, or, if discussed in the field of psychology, it is critique of Freud.
          To intellectualise the issue, it is up to the psychiatric boards to make sure “big parma” doesn’t negatively influence the wellbeing of patients. I think a more important issue for the mental health sector is making talking therapies more accessible, more affordable, and to reduce the stigma around mental distress so that more people get the appropriate help.

          Liked by 1 person

          • paul walter April 5, 2015 at 12:27 am #

            Depends on how many on the boards are Big Pharma stooges.

            Liked by 1 person

            • bitter.sweet.alive April 5, 2015 at 12:33 am #

              How are consumers/patients protected though? Through peers reviewing each other. Through clinical studies and trails. There is little effect of suspicion.

              Liked by 1 person

          • Jennifer Wilson April 5, 2015 at 5:43 am #

            Bitter Sweet, Absolutely agree that the “talking cure” needs to be more accessible, and for longer periods. There’s a big variety of therapies available but unfortunately the government only allows a set number of sessions, not nearly enough, whereas financial support for anti depressants is infinite.
            I’m writing about the pathologising of normal experiences such as grief so that they are seen as illness and treated as such. I’m not suggesting anti depressants aren’t necessary and useful.
            I’m saddened when Freud is dismissed as irrelevant. Were it not for his visionary genius we wouldn’t have the therapies we have today. I don’t understand why we so frequently dismiss pioneers.

            Liked by 1 person

          • hudsongodfrey April 5, 2015 at 11:04 am #

            You’ve posted as a reply to one of my comments, but I think your story stands alone. I trust you’ll be okay because you seem remarkably balanced in your approach to your life and the challenges it has held for you.

            The thing I said about alternate realities was flippant. Our lived experience unfolds sequentially regardless of our mental state. What I was really referring to was a sense of unease or discontentment that one feels when one is not right within their own mind, an incompleteness if you will. I think that may seem familiar to you.

            Perhaps something akin to meditation can help in the sense that becoming mindful is a skill to be learned. So in a less flippant way I’d refer to an appreciation gained for accepting the reality I’m in to a greater degree among other things.

            I’m no expert by any means but it seems to me that I practice recognising my own mental states as an exercise in familiarisation with the mechanism of exercising that recognition. So that at the very least I would know something is wrong were I unable to do so, quite differently from experiencing the influence of grief or joy.

            I’m sure there’s a lot more to it than that, and I’m not trying to give any advice, but rather more humbly to account for what we mean when we refer to the line between coping and needing help in the sense that the better placed you are to deploy coping mechanisms then it stands to reason you’ll require less help.

            Having witnessed and dealt with the experience of those around me suffering from depression and anxiety, and occasionally experienced my own brushes with them I find the difference between coping and mental illness to be utterly stark. When one knows where to look for control and recognises the mind is no longer responding to its owners’ wishes there isn’t much room for doubt that one should get help.

            My take on it not advice, but offered with a sense of care.

            Like

            • bitter.sweet.alive April 6, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

              Thanks for taking the time to comment and also for having the stance of not wanting to give advice. I appreciate that.
              Depending on the person, mindfulness can be very beneficial, as seen in many recent empirical studies. Self awareness tends to also be beneficial.
              Regarding the main topic of the article: that grief is now not an exception to mental illness diagnosis. Well, if people think that they need a bit of help coping, then there is always the option of counsellors. Counsellors are not able to diagnose clients, but are trained to recognise symptoms of mental illness and to refer if they deduce that more specialised treatment is required for the client. (I’m training to be a counsellor) Counsellors should help the client develop healthy coping mechanisms (there are plenty of unhealthy ones which people deploy on their own).
              But one can not beat a good GP, as long as people book a double appointment rather than a normal appointment. With these issues GPs need the time to properly serve their patient.

              Liked by 2 people

  3. Selkie April 5, 2015 at 2:01 am #

    I missed the second half of your post on reading the first half and falling to bits. :~)
    I’ve lost people recently and I’m getting around to thinking that it was their right to leave.

    But.

    Liked by 1 person

    • drumms01 April 5, 2015 at 2:12 am #

      I doubt that anyone, ever, has been able to hand out a pill for a profound sense of loss.

      Liked by 1 person

      • paul walter April 7, 2015 at 10:09 am #

        No and perhaps for good reason..

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jennifer Wilson April 7, 2015 at 10:30 am #

          I agree with you PW. We ought to allow ppl time and space to grieve loss. It’s part of life.

          Like

    • Jennifer Wilson April 5, 2015 at 5:32 am #

      It is. Doesn’t mean we don’t grieve them Selkie. Best thoughts to you.

      Like

      • paul walter April 5, 2015 at 11:33 am #

        My sympathies for Selkie also.

        HG grasps it, it is processive, has a life of own. It might not be going where you want it to go, or in a manner that is enjoyable for you, but it is a part of the human experience and the human condition.

        It is reality and is coped with as well as an individual may cope with it, given their individual wherewithal and unfolding circumstance.
        Doesn’t have to be a picnic, even for Australians.
        Life has little pity for millions living in the slums of Bombay, why should it favour us any more than it has?

        I think in the end it depends on whether a person “down” gets to look “outside” themselves, can re-engage with reality. Maybe one day you look up and about you, see someone else having a bad time also and can reach out to try to help them.

        You may or may not succeed, but if you save no one else you may take yourself off yourself for long enough to break a stasis, you forget ( briefly) what was getting you down, then, having moved to a different cognitive location, are able consequently to leave your troubles where they are and begin to move on.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jennifer Wilson April 5, 2015 at 12:37 pm #

          In the matter of drugs, PW, my journey has been one in which I’ve felt it necessary to accept the challenge of doing without them as much as I possibly can, not just in emotional situations, but in something as physical as childbirth. I can’t explain the origins of this drive, perhaps related to my mother’s alcoholism, my terror as a child of seeing adults out of control due to substances…who knows?

          I don’t mean at all to place myself in a superior position because I’ve eschewed drugs whenever possible.

          There is also the problem of an overly sensitive system – the most apparently ordinary drugs cause unpleasant bodily reactions. A course of simple antibiotics is a physical trial. This makes me a difficult patient to treat.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. eroticmoustache April 5, 2015 at 12:58 pm #

    Wow, there are so many important themes raised, and salient points made in this post I don’t quite know how to speak to it; the task presents as a tad overwhelming. For now I’ll just say that I hope Jennifer’s strength and maturity in facing these trials (and that of others) is a source of hope and encouragement to everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Michaela Tschudi April 5, 2015 at 3:13 pm #

    J, I’ve re-read this post several times since yesterday. It’s a breathtaking piece.

    I absolutely agree with your comments “This is not to say that drug therapy is always unnecessary or unhelpful. That would be a ridiculous position to take. Rather, as well as drug therapy we ought to be considering a causal inversion in which the circumstances are recognised as pathological, rather than the normal human reactions to traumatic situations that give rise to disturbing symptoms, disrupting the individual’s psychic economy.”

    Years ago, my GP put me on an antidepressant (SSRI) to help manage depression and anxiety (I was suicidal). This triggered mania. I stopped the drug, and took several months off work to get my head back together with the help of a good psychologist. Unfortunately remained unwell so I sought the advice of a psychiatrist. He was surprised that I wasn’t medicated for my bipolar disorder, and prescribed a range of drugs to stabilise my mood. He wasn’t interested in my history of trauma; he focused on the medical solution.

    Months later I ended up in the emergency department at our city hospital, with a skin rash that wouldn’t go away, and unable to eat due to ulcers in my mouth and oesophagus. I had developed an allergy to one of the drugs, which I promptly stopped. The psychiatrist at the hospital wanted me to start lithium and quetiapine immediately. They would only release me if I agreed, so I said yes just to appease them. Again, we had no detailed discussion about my personal history. Instead, I went home and did my research. I was quite unwell, so I had to take several months off work again.

    During that time, I didn’t take any psych meds and was rapid cycling with mixed episodes of mania and depression. Finally I got an appointment to see another psychiatrist in our city (with the help of my psychologist). I saw her weekly and after a few appointments, I agreed to try lithium with quetiapine.

    At different times over the past 4 years, I’ve also tried adding other antipsychotic meds, but ironically, they’ve exacerbated unwanted symptoms like hallucinations. Lithium remains my mainstay.

    Unfortunately, if I get sick for any other reason, my lithium blood levels are affected and my mood destabilises quickly. That’s the problem with this drug: it has a very narrow therapeutic window.

    While lithium hasn’t kept me out of hospital, without it I couldn’t work fulltime. It’s also bought me some thinking space to talk about and process past trauma, which is impossible when trapped in rapid cycling episodes of bipolar disorder.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson April 5, 2015 at 4:10 pm #

      You beautiful, brave, honest, courageous, valiant friend.
      Je t’aime, ma cherie. Je t’aime.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Michaela Tschudi April 5, 2015 at 4:32 pm #

        Thank you J. I used to think that dealing with the side effects of medication was difficult, until I disclosed my mental health issues at work. Discrimination has many faces. So I got myself nominated on a committee that provides advice to our employer about these issues. I learned 30 years ago that you have to work from the inside out to tackle systemic discrimination. I guess being a bit feisty helps. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • paul walter April 7, 2015 at 10:33 am #

      I, too came back for a second read. I was provoked to look up SSRI’s at Wiki- what a vast array of weird sounding potions and nostrums!

      My intuition is that Zooloft has been identifed over time as not always doing the job, but there are so many of these things, meant to operate in slightly different ways to obviate previous side effects.

      With Prozac, I found the tablet form worked exponentially better than the capsule form.
      ………………………….

      Michaela, I found the story of your journey a remarkable one. I suspect what you are saying in the second para is that drugs (deliberately in some cases) create situations rather than solve them, also that some medications are based on false assumptions about the human condition that regard progessions in life as conditions to be treated than evnts to be worked through as part of learning processes re human communication.

      Sorry for using clumsy lay language: you are further along the line as to knowledge of these things than I, in a sense you are tutoring readers like myself and I hope our feedback comments help you more closely align your developing ideas as to these issues.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jennifer Wilson April 7, 2015 at 10:35 am #

        conditions to be treated rather than events to be worked through – spot on PW.

        Like

  6. stewarthase April 6, 2015 at 8:07 pm #

    It’s true that grief makes you do weird stuff that surprises and frightens oneself. I often found that in my clinical role that one of the most comforting and useful things I could say to a person who was in psychological pain was that their reaction to whatever that had happened was normal. I’d tell them that I was not surprised that they were feeling the way they did given their experience-and I meant it. Psychopathology is often pathological.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. doug quixote April 7, 2015 at 12:00 am #

    That is what my therapist told me in so many words, and meant it. He also said he thought I was coping remarkably well given my circumstances.

    I think that is a very useful thing for a therapist to say, if it is true.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson April 7, 2015 at 6:30 am #

      I think we struggle to live in a culture that has many pathlogical aspects, DQ. But a person can get locked up, one way or another, for reacting to that pathology

      Like

      • doug quixote April 7, 2015 at 9:18 am #

        ‘All the world is mad save thee and me, and sometimes I think even thou art a little mad.’

        So said Robert Owen; but I’ll make an exception for you Guinevere 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jennifer Wilson April 7, 2015 at 9:19 am #

          Actually, DQ, by the standards the culture uses to define sanity, I’m quite happy to be thought of as mad.

          Like

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