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My dear friend Anna Waldherr writes with such clarity, compassion and wisdom about a subject which many find difficult – mental health. For many mental health is considered “taboo”. Many would rather empathise with you on a physical ailment: a broken leg over a mental health issue such as depression. But aren’t those two worthy of the same depth of understanding and compassion. One you can obviously see and understand how debilitating and unpleasant this can be: restricting movement and preventing you from carrying out necessary everyday tasks. The other equally debilitating and that too preventing you from living life as you would wish until it “lifts” if indeed it ever does. Let us remove the taboo heading over mental health and begin to talk about it in just the same way we would never shun someone with a physical health issue such as a broken leg. This is perhaps easier said than done, but someone has to start the conversation, don’t they? Thank you Anna for doing this so brilliantly!

ANNA WALDHERR A Voice Reclaimed, Surviving Child Abuse

Sockeye Salmon jumping a waterfall, Author Marvina for Fish & Wildlife Service, Source http://www.public-domain-image.com (PD-Federal govt.) Salmon jumping a waterfall on the way to spawn, Author Marvina Munch for Fish & Wildlife Service, Source http://www.public-domain-image.com (PD-Federal govt.)

WARNING:  Graphic Images

Suppose I took a knife and gutted you with it, like a fish.  Suppose I left you to bleed out on the floor, but you somehow survived that catastrophic assault.  Would you expect to be unchanged by it?  Would you expect to recover just by thinking happy thoughts?

Obviously not.

Physical v. Mental Complaints

Yet this is the cold comfort some physicians offer abuse victims suffering from long-term depression/anxiety and PTSD or other chronic conditions, for instance migraines, stemming from our abuse.  We are not trying hard enough for them.  Better still, we must be malingering.  Who could possibly grieve for decades over a “mere” childhood violation?

Forget it.  Put it behind you, we are told.  Easier said than done, however.

The ignorance of such physicians is…

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