Wednesday Evening Open House for Individuals or Group Studio Visits

THE MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEM AND
ITS TREATMENT OF CHILD ABUSE VICTIMS
(Open Source information from The Survivor Monument Project
Child Abuse Awareness Advisory Forum)

 
 

There is a wide perception that the mental health system consists only of publicly funded hospitals, psychiatric wards, clinics and other services. However, there are a number of privately funded services some of which are unregulated.

Many of the tools & supports which survivors of child abuse need to assist in healing have just begun to be identified & integrated into the mental health system.

The survivor needs long-term, consistent treatment from a trusted therapist. Short-term therapy, changes of therapists, and band aid treatments are counter-productive.

There needs to be wider awareness, more resources and ongoing training to enable mental health professionals and the community to develop more meaningful and successful responses to the horrific problem of the legacy following child abuse.

Treatment needs to honour the survivors. Despite progress, there are still many instances where survivors are re-victimized when trying to access the appropriate treatment and services.

Throughout the mental health system a coordinated response (with best practice protocols) needs to be developed for responding to child abuse survivors. There needs to be survivor input to make the system more user-friendly and accountable.

In far to many cases the mental health system re-victimizes survivors of child abuse. The mental health system tends to clinically label the survivor - often people are misdiagnosed. The apparently "scientific" based treatment is in fact very subjective and tends to reinforce stereotypes.

Doctors, gynecologists & other professionals can re-traumatize the survivor through ignorance and insensitivity around treatment and physical examinations which can be very stressful and triggering for an abuse survivor.

Good programs do exist, but too often the patient is not given clear direction as to how the process works. Waiting lists to see a health care funded psychiatrist are very long. Often psychiatrists do not have or take the time to do therapy. Many are not specialists in child abuse. They may opt to medicate as a primary response.

THE JOURNEY

I awaken to the land of nightmares and images, the forest of deadness
There are no feelings. I have no choices. This world is numb, the trees lifeless,
everything is cold, dark, frightening and vague. Where is reality?

Questions engulf me. I wander into the tunnel, and the seemingly endless journey begins.
Once in the tunnels, surrounded by a soundless echoing of shrouded pictures,
I quickly lose my orientation and my escape path is gone!

A feeling overwhelms me, FEAR! Quickening my pace, I panic, searching for the exit.
“One day at a time”, the annoying turn of phrase attacks me as each passing day,
every waking moment, in which day turns to night and night to day and time,
a fixed property, can no longer be measured.

I run and hide, into pills, busyness, denial and finally illness that threatens my very life.
I yearn for the illness to swallow me whole into an expanse of permanent nothingness.

I force my eyes closed in search of much needed sleep. Through darkness the pictures
become crystal clear. I can truly smell their corrupt existence!
They touch me with rough hands of remembrance.
Screaming quiet pounds relentlessly in my brain! Vomit, bile retching, until my frame
becomes bony and unrecognizable to long since deserted friends.

FEAR! PAIN! ABONDONMENT! SADNESS! CONFUSION! LOSS of love,
innocence, job, self-esteem, spirituality, ability to trust, friendships, health, energy,
support and lastly control! Dissociation is a brief reprieve. DESPERATION!

Moments of euphoria, where I catch a fleeting ray of that
ALight at the end of the tunnel@, another much hated aphorism.
It is a mirage I cannot reach while falling backwards through these tunnels.
No sense of direction, FRUSTRATION! Why must I keep on trying?

The roses among the thorny brambly bush, my husband, my daughter,
my son and family who care, I cannot disappoint them.
I want to soar, a phoenix, fighting my way to freedom from the memories.
I crave that the tortuous images be deafened into their place, in the past,
never forgotten, just taking a different perspective on my life.
A perspective I can learn from and proceed into the healing glow and warmth of the sun,
to bask in its quietness of mind and to enjoy simple pleasures.

Bur first I must find a way to elude the diversions, the eternal setbacks and illusions.
I must break out of these terrifying tunnels!

Is there enough of this immeasurable time?

Tana



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES ON THE MENTAL
HEALTH SYSTEM AND ITS
TREATMENT OF CHILD
ABUSE VICTIMS:

Bagley, Christopher and Raymond John Thomlison. Child Sexual Abuse: Critical Perspectives on Prevention, Intervention and Treatment. Toronto: Wall and Emerson 1991.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Easy Targets. Film/TV. Canada: distributed by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 47 min. 1994.

Gallop, Ruth and Others. “Caring for Sexually Abused Clients: A Study of Psychiatric Nurses’ Attitudes Toward Assessment of Sexually Abused Clients Has Interesting Implications for Educators.” Canadian Nurse, August 1998, vol. 94 no. 7, p. cover, 30-4.

Kutchins, Herb and Stuart A. Kirk. Making Us Crazy: DSM: The Psychiatric Bible and the Creation of Mental Disorders. New York: Free Press 1997.

MacFarlane, Kee and Jill Waterman. Sexual Abuse of Young Children: Evaluation and Treatment. New York: Guilford Press 1986.

Morgan, Marcia K. How to Interview Sexual Abuse Victims: With a Special Segment on Appropriate Use of Anatomical Dolls. London: Sage Publications Ltd. 1994.

Peterson, Marilyn Strachan and Anthony J. Urquiza. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “The Role Mental Health Professionals in the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect.” (Online) Available.

http://www.calib.com.nccanch/pubs
/menthlth/contents.htm 1993.

"Follow Site Web Ring"
GO TO: LAWS APPLYING TO CHILD ABUSE


I've been abused so much that I's a waling, talking DSM BOOK!
Julie Atwood
Archive

 


Disclosed at 16 and the
Mental Health System
didn't believe
until I was 35.
Child abuse causes
people to cut.
Kathy, age 48

 


"It's everyone's problem.
L.B.

 


Care, Love, Happy,
Respect.
I never abuse a child
because it's not write.
Ashley, age 8

 


While we may not know
every child...
We must know
the importance
of each childhood.
Carol

 


Love is all we need.
L.L.


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*All Rights Reserved
copyright (1991-2012)


*All Rights Reserved
copyright (1991-2012)