Unstable moods and bad memories seem to go together.
In the clinic where many of us work we have noticed how often it is that folks who we see with bipolar have had traumatic experiences in childhood. Why that happens is speculation. But we do know that dealing with those experiences can be very, very hard, and, potentially, life transforming.
We just got off the phone with someone who all of her life had experienced fear and shame because of a series of terrible events that culminated in her going to one of those adolescent “treatment facilities” that sounds like something out of a bad Hollywood script. All the way to the crazy, pedophilic director of the program.
She has spent more than a month working through the traumatic memories from that time, and has gone through hell in the process.
All of this culminated in a trip back to the treatment facility (now long closed) with a group of fellow “survivors.”
When she told me that she was going to do this, even though she had made amazing progress, I was a bit anxious… It sounded as though it could be very hard, would she tip back into depression?
On the phone, however, she was very happy. She had visited all those scary places and discovered that they were now just places, very run down, and not at all ominous.
It really helped that she was there with a group of people who really understood what she had been through. That allowed her to break through the shame that had always prevented her from talking about what happened to her.
She no longer has to feel that there is this dark shadow in her past that she has to hide from… that like anything dark and shadowy, glimpsed out of the corner of one’s eye, seems all the more terrifying because it can’t be seen clearly.
The future is bright now, because the shadows have lifted.For more about traumatic memories, and how to recover from them, we like these books. (We appreciate all those folks who support this website by using the links to buy books, and, as always, doing so doesn’t cost you anything). The PTSD Sourcebook. The PTSD Workbook. Mind Body Workbook for PTSD.