Mental Health and Trauma
The experience of trauma has always been at the core of understanding PTSD. However, research is starting to show what many therapists have known, that adverse and traumatic experiences are also at the heart of things like depression, anxiety and even Schizophrenia.
It is important to know this for a couple of reasons. The first is because our society tends to push the narrative that most mental health issues are a function of brain chemistry, not enough serotonin or too much dopamine or something and if we could just find the right pill then everything would be alright. But this ignores the reality of people’s day to day lives and how their choices affect themselves and one another.
If we think we just need to find the right pill, then we don’t have to do the harder work of making changes, in ourselves or in our society. It also gives a false sense that you need something external to fix you, that you do not have the capacity to help make yourself feel better
A pill is not going to help what happened to you in the past, it cannot help you figure out why you feel the way that you do or the distorted ways that you view yourself and the world because of what has happened to you. But therapy can help you do that. And in my opinion EMDR Therapy is one of the better ways of helping folks make those changes to move beyond the pain of their past, to live more fully in the present and to develop hope for the future.
I am not anti-medication, because I have seen the way it can radically transform lives. I have seen how it can give people relief so that they can help themselves get back on track, so that they are not so overwhelmed by life that all they can do is focus on survival. But medication alone is often not enough to achieve the meaningful and lasting changes to help you lead your most full life.