Fraser Trevor Fraser Trevor Author
Title: If we had called Dissociation Anonymous Addiction Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous.
Author: Fraser Trevor
Rating 5 of 5 Des:
If we had called Dissociation Anonymous Addiction Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous. BUT We aren’t Addicted. We are just dissociated.We es...
If we had called Dissociation Anonymous Addiction Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous. BUT We aren’t Addicted. We are just dissociated.We escape into...substances, we act out as romance junkies we turn into couch TV junkies.

It’s a strange thing that as a society we pathologies sadness and hurt and fear, and attempt to escape the consequences by making excuse names like addict, junkie, smachead, drunk.


On the one hand, yeah. Because when life is disordered, let’s not pretend that we were meant to live like this – terrified of eating, terrified of trees, of dogs, of people, of new places, of anything and everything that ever resembled our original abusers.Locked into our addictive lifestyle That gut-gripping terror of our addiction is not how life is supposed to be.

But on the other hand, do we tell people they’re addicted so that we can avoid their pain? This isn’t someone – we say – who’s distressed because we have lost our family, our children, our very life. This is someone who’s ‘addicted’. Puts the emphasis on something being wrong with us, doesn’t it? And takes the pressure off us to be compassionate – to sit with us in our addicted suffering, to mourn with us, grieve with us, protect us, sustain us.

Talking about mental health is a great thing, because everyone has mental health issues, and we shouldn’t be surprised when we have big emotions when big things happen to us.

It doesn’t worry us when someone responds to the death of their child with vehement emotions – when they can’t stop crying, or they’re too numb to cry, when they can’t sleep or eat, or they can’t stop sleeping or eating. It’s normal that our natural, bodily and mental mechanisms go awry after such an enormous event. Of course they should. It’s our grief speaking.

It’s more worrying when we think that they should ‘act normal’ and contain our emotions into a narrow tube of socially acceptable behaviour. If we love deeply, we will hurt deeply. Our feelings spray out of us like watercolours depicting our experience. Of course we feel feelings when we are hurt: big feelings, overwhelming feelings, feelings that we never knew we had, feelings that we don’t even know are feelings and transmute into dissociation symptoms. Feelings are meant to be felt. Let’s not call them mental illness.

Being distressed by distressing events is normal. Being traumatised by abuse is normal. Calling someone addicted when they’re being normal isn’t normal. Surely?

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