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Dr John B
Dr John B, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  PhD in Clinical Psychology, registered clinical psychologist.
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I have a new question. Over the past 18 months or so, I have

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I have a new question. Over the past 18 months or so, I have had, as my doctor put it, "more than my share of bad things that keep happening to me". I have little to no family support since my mother passed away this time last year and my 3 brothers & father have their own lives & families. I am divorced (15 yrs) with 2 children who are away at college. I work from home as a licensed private investigator and don’t really date right now because I don’t want any more complication than I already have at the moment. I'm pretty much alone most of the time and frankly, not hating it. Don’t get me wrong, when I do get out and around people I am a lot of fun and I do have fun, so I’m not like a hermit or anything just cautious.  My questions are these. When these horribly unfair, and most times, violent, instances occur, is it better, mentally, to “just let it go and move on” and try to just forget about it (sweeping it under the rug so it appears to be gone)? Or is it better, mentally, to have resolve and closure through accountability or at least addressing a situation? The way I see the “letting it go” thing, for me anyway, is that it makes it OK to do these things to me because no one cares and nothing will be done about it. Then there are the feelings of Worthlessness and anger. It seems these things keep happening because those who are doing them get away with it. Is it natural to want accountability? What are the long-term effects of “letting it go”...again and again and again? It doesn’t feel like, to me, that it could be very helpful in maintaining a healthy mental status. And from my experience, the accountability thing is pretty hard to go after too. Any ideas on how I can maintain a healthy mental status given the above. I do see a Psychiatrist once monthly and I do take my meds for bipolar as prescribed. Thank you for your help again.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr John B replied 2 years ago.

Dr John B :

Hi, are you there?

Expert:  Dr John B replied 2 years ago.

Hi,

It is generally thought that people recover from trauma when they are able to process what has happened, reach a point of closure and move on. So, suppressing what has happened (sweeping it under the rug) or trying to ignore or forget what happened (I think this is what you mean by 'letting it go') is thought to be potentially problematic as traumatic memories have a tendency not to go away. We see people many years after a traumatic event continuing to have nightmares, flashbacks, anger problems, depression and a whole range of traumatic symptoms while they try very hard to forget, suppress or ignore what happened.

There are exceptions (some people appear to cope very well with suppression) but regardless it sounds very much like letting it go is not working for you at this time. It is completely natural to want accountability is this is something that can't be achieved through letting it go. Self esteem problems and feelings of worthlessness are very common to victims of trauma, feeling like you are not holding people accountable is only going to make these feelings worse.

If you are interested in pursuing trauma therapy let me know as I ca make some suggestions on how best to go about this.

Dr John B, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 557
Experience: PhD in Clinical Psychology, registered clinical psychologist.
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