Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Twice More on Addiction
So the New York Times is again running pieces about addiction with the same old tired results; conclusion “We do need to rein this in“. Thus spoke not Zarathustra but Dr. Lynn Mcpherson of the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. (see http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/07/health/opioid-limits-older-patients-pain.html). She would be right if we are addicted to drugs. But what if we are addicted to needs which requires drugs to calm them. Would we say that about any other procedure? With no idea what her need is? Need changes the problem immediately and alters our therapeutic approach. No one takes pain killers over and over if there is no need for calming and soothing. Let’s see: pain equals need for pain killers. But what if we see no pain? Then of course we think pain killers are the problem. And why don’t they see pain? Because all they know is that in order to help rein in drugs they recommend going to a safer way; cognitive therapy (yes, it is recommended); it is all in our head, they believe, and therefore a therapy where we can turn our mind away from that need should do the job nicely. The implication is that it is a bad habit, an attitude that needs changing. There is no understanding of deep pain or that it is imprinted in the brain and body. We just need to “get over it.” Said by those whose defenses work marvelously. And if we become addicted we need better defenses; against what? It is not said or acknowledged. But pain from lack of early love seems to be off limits.
What does lack of love mean? Above all, early hugging, kissing, cuddling, protecting, teaching and other signs of carrying about the baby. It is hard to visualize the amount of pain in the lack of their fulfillment but it is enormous; we have only to observe the reliving in our therapy of needs gone unfulfilled to understand it. This is true of childhood life, of being ignored, never talked to, explained feelings and emotions, to be perceptive for the child’s moods and needs. To be empathic and not denigrative when the child cries; to be encouraging without driving the child to fulfill parents’ needs. To be understanding.
On a deep, earlier level, to make sure the child is not bustled about, fed correctly, no drugs for the mother, or alcohol and tranquilizers. This is essential as those drugs enter the fetus and create havoc; the need to escape from an input that is terrible and consistent—a chronic smoking mother. When the child is not loved he is in pain and that pain is constant and unrelenting. And, hidden. The earlier the trauma the more deeply hidden it is. When child is made anxious by an anxious carrying mother and then gives birth with heavy anesthetics, inescapable by the baby, he may be born terrified—no escape, cannot get out. Then at age two, left alone in the dark with no one there to hold and soothe him, his terror grows unceasingly; and sometimes, crib death is the result. The result of the latent imprint fear and terror. Sometimes the gating system kicks in and the deadening of feelings works. Other times the pain is overwhelming. The gates become leaky and the child is hyperactive and later becomes ADD. He cannot focus or concentrate and cannot sit still. Mind you, we still cannot see the terror inside the baby; we can only infer it and still might never know where it comes from. At age 20 she becomes addicted. To drugs? Yes but because her needs drive it. That is why I say that the addict is addicted to needs first. They drive it all.
Because, I submit, deeply sequestered anguish is off limits for those who treat. It is not within the limit of their conscious/awareness; it lies off their mental boundary. Feelings are not considered because addiction is “bad,” they are misbehaving. And to make it true, the addict is often forced to go to street dealers and mingle with criminals. Or to shooting-up galleries where other addicts hang out. Some do steal to support their habit because they have been reined in from getting drugs legally. Yet their bodies seem to know what they need. Yes they do overdose because they are not medically supervised and are left to their own devices, and above all, they use street drugs with no idea what is in them.
The pain we are dealing with is so remote and so deep that it is far beyond the usual psychologic boundary. For our adult patients, they are no longer infants in desperate need which eases a bit of the catastrophy of lack of love. To be held and cuddled right after birth is absolutely essential, not just something correct we must do. And if it has gone missing, then a reliving is in order. Why? because the need remains and is unresolved until lived fully. It needs crying out for fulfillment even though there is no fulfillment possible.
I have treated patients all of the time who tell me, “What’s the use they cannot love.” And I say, “Your needs and feelings are what is at stake here. So try… beg them to cherish you, to hold you and want you, even if they have never done it.” That is what is liberating--feeling. The unfulfilled need is blocked and held in storage deep within the brain. That is why we don’t see it and deny it. And then we are off on a cognitive voyage trying to find what’s wrong; and we never ever do. So if we don’t see it, it does not exist and we go on finding this solution or that, never dealing with the primordial cause.
To see outside we must first be open to the inside of us. That I think is an obdurate law. So long as our iron-clad defenses work we will not be open to inside feelings and needs. That is the function of defenses; to close us off from inside. And we will then be struck with a heart attack or other kinds of afflictions with no forewarning. Now look at our parents who were so closed off; did they have all kinds of medical problems? Those early imprints were still at work manufacturing symptoms to be dealt with which were reminders of unfelt feelings and needs. The imprint won’t let us go. Those needs and their pain from lack of fulfillment are embedded into the brain and biologic system and never disappear on their own. They own us.
The rulers of current day therapy and research reminds me of the painting of the kindly old lady staring at a rose when a gorgeous nude girl hovers in the background. For the professionals they continue to look outside for clues; and believe that taking drugs is a sign of weakness, giving in to impulses. Rarely do we see any attempt to measure the latent pain levels in the system to see whether heavy pain killers are necessary. In no other field of medicine do we give medicines without a full work-up of the level of deficit or oversupply. Why in the case of painkillers do we pontificate, leaving science behind, about their evil. It sounds like a religious cult in a tent survival meeting defining the evil that lurks. Where? Why inside of, course. And it remains an unknown, a danger. Recommendation? Reining in the drugs.
Interesting that when describing a so-called enemy, they are usually from outside wanting to harm us.
There are ways to measure imprinted pain. One way is through stress hormones. More important is the new field of methylation. We can measure pain by the process of observing methylated traces on the gene; and we can also measure its lowered levels with our therapy. (Research in the future).
What needs reining-in is a therapy that urges reining in. The incredible level of pain is not seen because of the type of their therapy. I mean another type in their armentarium is Behavior Therapy; the unreflective extrapolation of one’s childhood family life; all deviant behavior is not driven by anything but bad intentions. We see this deviant behavior and we dance around it with all sorts of theories as to why; except one: pain.
So what is left? Unfulfilled need. How do we rein that need? In the simplest way possible; we feel it. Due to its load of pain it could not be felt at the time. It is an old, primitive need that must be approached carefully, and never with drugs or other aides such as LSD which blow open the repressive gates. A need so archaic that it can hardly be described or conceptualized. We rein-in needs that have resided in the antipodes of the brain; wordless and tearless. A silent killer that waits its turn a lifetime for its need to be felt and fully experienced. experience. Imprinted pain leaves its traces on the gene. And those traces are methyl, the processs of marking the spot Is called Methylation. And we believe we do indeed rein in that need through demethylizing the basic cells. And when we do, we diminish or stop the addiction in its tracks. We address and reduce the unfulfilled need and with it the pain engendered. All this because we can go back, find the spot and its circumstances and live the pain for the first time. We have observed it and measured it through many different avenues: cortisol, natural killer cells, vital signs and other biochemical. We can tell when the Primal is not real and certainly not resolving.
We have had success in eliminating pain but we will not do it on an outpatient basis. It needs careful control and supervision plus a process that addresses the imprint. The latter is what is missing with the therapies done in addiction centers. All that is lacking for them is science. Do they do biochemical controls, natural killer cells? Stress hormones? No. It is booga booga medicine, joined at the hip with medical centers treating addiction who also seem to leave science behind. All remain on the top level, ignoring even that deep levels even exist.
What we will look for in our therapy are changes in neurobiology to verify what we are doing. Our job is to stop the terrible suffering, not just to replace it with this false piste or another. Addicts are hurting and need help, not in an addiction center masked with lovely surroundings and great food and exercise, but with a therapy that recognizes their pain and does something about it. May I suggest Primal Therapy?
Review of "Beyond Belief"
This thought-provoking and important book shows how people are drawn toward dangerous beliefs.
“Belief can manifest itself in world-changing ways—and did, in some of history’s ugliest moments, from the rise of Adolf Hitler to the Jonestown mass suicide in 1979. Arthur Janov, a renowned psychologist who penned The Primal Scream, fearlessly tackles the subject of why and how strong believers willingly embrace even the most deranged leaders.
Beyond Belief begins with a lucid explanation of belief systems that, writes Janov, “are maps, something to help us navigate through life more effectively.” While belief systems are not presented as inherently bad, the author concentrates not just on why people adopt belief systems, but why “alienated individuals” in particular seek out “belief systems on the fringes.” The result is a book that is both illuminating and sobering. It explores, for example, how a strongly-held belief can lead radical Islamist jihadists to murder others in suicide acts. Janov writes, “I believe if people had more love in this life, they would not be so anxious to end it in favor of some imaginary existence.”
One of the most compelling aspects of Beyond Belief is the author’s liberal use of case studies, most of which are related in the first person by individuals whose lives were dramatically affected by their involvement in cults. These stories offer an exceptional perspective on the manner in which belief systems can take hold and shape one’s experiences. Joan’s tale, for instance, both engaging and disturbing, describes what it was like to join the Hare Krishnas. Even though she left the sect, observing that participants “are stunted in spiritual awareness,” Joan considers returning someday because “there’s a certain protection there.”
Janov’s great insight into cultish leaders is particularly interesting; he believes such people have had childhoods in which they were “rejected and unloved,” because “only unloved people want to become the wise man or woman (although it is usually male) imparting words of wisdom to others.” This is just one reason why Beyond Belief is such a thought-provoking, important book.”
Barry Silverstein, Freelance Writer
Quotes for "Life Before Birth"
“Life Before Birth is a thrilling journey of discovery, a real joy to read. Janov writes like no one else on the human mind—engaging, brilliant, passionate, and honest.
He is the best writer today on what makes us human—he shows us how the mind works, how it goes wrong, and how to put it right . . . He presents a brand-new approach to dealing with depression, emotional pain, anxiety, and addiction.”
Paul Thompson, PhD, Professor of Neurology, UCLA School of Medicine
Art Janov, one of the pioneers of fetal and early infant experiences and future mental health issues, offers a robust vision of how the earliest traumas of life can percolate through the brains, minds and lives of individuals. He focuses on both the shifting tides of brain emotional systems and the life-long consequences that can result, as well as the novel interventions, and clinical understanding, that need to be implemented in order to bring about the brain-mind changes that can restore affective equanimity. The transitions from feelings of persistent affective turmoil to psychological wholeness, requires both an understanding of the brain changes and a therapist that can work with the affective mind at primary-process levels. Life Before Birth, is a manifesto that provides a robust argument for increasing attention to the neuro-mental lives of fetuses and infants, and the widespread ramifications on mental health if we do not. Without an accurate developmental history of troubled minds, coordinated with a recognition of the primal emotional powers of the lowest ancestral regions of the human brain, therapists will be lost in their attempt to restore psychological balance.
Jaak Panksepp, Ph.D.
Bailey Endowed Chair of Animal Well Being Science
Washington State University
Dr. Janov’s essential insight—that our earliest experiences strongly influence later well being—is no longer in doubt. Thanks to advances in neuroscience, immunology, and epigenetics, we can now see some of the mechanisms of action at the heart of these developmental processes. His long-held belief that the brain, human development, and psychological well being need to studied in the context of evolution—from the brainstem up—now lies at the heart of the integration of neuroscience and psychotherapy.
Grounded in these two principles, Dr. Janov continues to explore the lifelong impact of prenatal, birth, and early experiences on our brains and minds. Simultaneously “old school” and revolutionary, he synthesizes traditional psychodynamic theories with cutting-edge science while consistently highlighting the limitations of a strict, “top-down” talking cure. Whether or not you agree with his philosophical assumptions, therapeutic practices, or theoretical conclusions, I promise you an interesting and thought-provoking journey.
Lou Cozolino, PsyD, Professor of Psychology, Pepperdine University
In Life Before Birth Dr. Arthur Janov illuminates the sources of much that happens during life after birth. Lucidly, the pioneer of primal therapy provides the scientific rationale for treatments that take us through our original, non-verbal memories—to essential depths of experience that the superficial cognitive-behavioral modalities currently in fashion cannot possibly touch, let alone transform.
Gabor Maté MD, author of In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction
An expansive analysis! This book attempts to explain the impact of critical developmental windows in the past, implores us to improve the lives of pregnant women in the present, and has implications for understanding our children, ourselves, and our collective future. I’m not sure whether primal therapy works or not, but it certainly deserves systematic testing in well-designed, assessor-blinded, randomized controlled clinical trials.
K.J.S. Anand, MBBS, D. Phil, FAACP, FCCM, FRCPCH, Professor of Pediatrics, Anesthesiology, Anatomy & Neurobiology, Senior Scholar, Center for Excellence in Faith and Health, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare System
A baby's brain grows more while in the womb than at any time in a child's life. Life Before Birth: The Hidden Script That Rules Our Lives is a valuable guide to creating healthier babies and offers insight into healing our early primal wounds. Dr. Janov integrates the most recent scientific research about prenatal development with the psychobiological reality that these early experiences do cast a long shadow over our entire lifespan. With a wealth of experience and a history of successful psychotherapeutic treatment, Dr. Janov is well positioned to speak with clarity and precision on a topic that remains critically important.
Paula Thomson, PsyD, Associate Professor, California State University, Northridge & Professor Emeritus, York University
"I am enthralled.
Dr. Janov has crafted a compelling and prophetic opus that could rightly dictate
PhD thesis topics for decades to come. Devoid of any "New Age" pseudoscience,
this work never strays from scientific orthodoxy and yet is perfectly accessible and
downright fascinating to any lay person interested in the mysteries of the human psyche."
Dr. Bernard Park, MD, MPH
His new book “Life Before Birth: The Hidden Script that Rules Our Lives” shows that primal therapy, the lower-brain therapeutic method popularized in the 1970’s international bestseller “Primal Scream” and his early work with John Lennon, may help alleviate depression and anxiety disorders, normalize blood pressure and serotonin levels, and improve the functioning of the immune system.
One of the book’s most intriguing theories is that fetal imprinting, an evolutionary strategy to prepare children to cope with life, establishes a permanent set-point in a child's physiology. Baby's born to mothers highly anxious during pregnancy, whether from war, natural disasters, failed marriages, or other stressful life conditions, may thus be prone to mental illness and brain dysfunction later in life. Early traumatic events such as low oxygen at birth, painkillers and antidepressants administered to the mother during pregnancy, poor maternal nutrition, and a lack of parental affection in the first years of life may compound the effect.
In making the case for a brand-new, unified field theory of psychotherapy, Dr. Janov weaves together the evolutionary theories of Jean Baptiste Larmarck, the fetal development studies of Vivette Glover and K.J.S. Anand, and fascinating new research by the psychiatrist Elissa Epel suggesting that telomeres—a region of repetitive DNA critical in predicting life expectancy—may be significantly altered during pregnancy.
After explaining how hormonal and neurologic processes in the womb provide a blueprint for later mental illness and disease, Dr. Janov charts a revolutionary new course for psychotherapy. He provides a sharp critique of cognitive behavioral therapy, psychoanalysis, and other popular “talk therapy” models for treating addiction and mental illness, which he argues do not reach the limbic system and brainstem, where the effects of early trauma are registered in the nervous system.
“Life Before Birth: The Hidden Script that Rules Our Lives” is scheduled to be published by NTI Upstream in October 2011, and has tremendous implications for the future of modern psychology, pediatrics, pregnancy, and women’s health.