May 10, 2010

Psychiatry part 2

I recently read another two things (in addition to my "True Healing" post, two posts ago) that have reinforced my strong feelings about psychiatry. 

I am almost finished reading "The Girl in the Green Sweater" by Krystyna Chiger about how she survived the Holocaust at age 7 by hiding in the sewers beneath the city of Lvov for fourteen months.  After many months underground and enduring horrific living conditions (swarming rats, for one thing) the usually cheerful girl became silent, sullen and sad.  She did not feel like eating, talking or doing anything.  It's what a psychiatrist would diagnose as childhood depression.

Her mother was desperate about her, thinking her temperament was changed forever and so she told the Polish man who was their protector about her concern.  The Pole led her through the pipes and said, "Let me show you something."  She crawled through and then climbed a ladder which led to an opening to the street where she could see sunlight through the grate.  It was the first sunshine she had seen in over a year.  She heard children playing outside.

He said to her, "You have to be strong, little one.  In just a few days, you will be up there playing with the other children.  You will smell the same flowers."

And she writes "And in this way I became whole again," thanks to him.

What would a psychiatrist have done for her? Without a doubt, reached for his prescription pad and drugged her.

(more in the next post)

1 comment:

  1. For Krystyna Chiger, there really was a light at the end of the tunnel! What about people who live their whole lives in abusive and damaging environments? Does stress and negative emotions eventually eat away at normal brain function? How do healthy babies eventually become psychotic individuals capable of harming themselves and others?
    Then there is stress that someone can't be talked out of. Sometimes the relief is with drugs and sometimes it is with avoidance of the situation. For example, several years ago I was hit by a car. I was so nervous about undergoing surgery that I allowed the doctor to sedate me (prior to general anesthesia). When crossing streets I get nervous so I love to take walks but am extra cautious about street crossing. That is how I deal with the fear of chas v'sholem another accident.