Friday, April 18, 2008

The blessings of psychotherapy

A dear friend of mother had struggled with life for a long time. She had a demanding job, working as a teacher in primary school. With her husband alcoholic she must have spent endless amount of energy on him. Nevertheless the drug was stronger and he was not getting anywhere. How it affected her became clearer when her body developed a herpes zoster around her chest. When trying to get treatment in the hospital, the docs used the occasion to break her a rib. While each of the 2 things is spectacularly painful I do not want to imagine how both feels on the same spot. So to fight her pain she got morphine and of course, with her run of luck she got addicted. After a painful deprivation she was mentally not the strongest as she had developed sleeplessness and severe depressions.

Trying to get treatment in a reputable German clinic (Glottertalklinik, or Black Forest Clinic), she got drugged with psychotropics , treated with deprivation of sleep and other amenities. Unfortunately they missed out to educate her what the side effects can be. So after while she developed strong hallucinations, started talking to physically not existing people on her balcony and haunted by faces she spent the night clenched on chairs. She even had started to sculpture the faces she experienced during that time in clay.

In short she was scared to death by what was going on in her world.

On day my mom told me with sad voice, that she believed that her best friend was about to go mad. She had visited her and what she found was more of a human robot, but no longer her beloved friend.

But when she described me what was going on, I gasped in horror. Trusting the doctors around her she did not suspect anything when suddenly her reality start to change and her personality to fade. Once she started to hallucinate she was not knowing where she was, what was going on, why it happened, when it was going to leave or whether it was ever going to leave. Being thrown into this world it cost her a lot of mental energy trying to maintain her conscious. In the consequence her mental strength diminished, and her resistance and connection to the physical world got weaker by the day.

It is nothing less than the true definition of "alone"
Can you imagine how it feels when you have to observe your reality to collapse, your personality to diminish, and not being able to express yourself or to communicate in any way? To get an impression you might find this link very interesting.

The mental strength of every one of us is limited. Everyone has the point where your conscious simply snaps. And a dead serious mile-stone on this road is the point where you start to question your sanity.

When I heard her story, she was on the the edge of giving up on her. When I called her I had a most alienated person on the phone. Considering herself on the edge of madness, she was quite reluctant to share her world with me. But by not asking question, just by describing and explaining her world I was able to lure her out of her shell. Minute by minute her self-confidence started to grow when I finally was able to assure her that neither sanity nor reality was to be worried about once she would just stop her "therapy".

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