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Author Topic: Truth of Molestation?  (Read 3290 times)
ForeverDad
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« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2007, 07:38:54 PM »

Somewhat recently there was a segment on one of the tv news magazines, like Dateline or something, that had to do with a medication that would alleviate PTSD symptoms in sufferers by somehow altering the impact of their memories. It was interesting and brought up provocative questions, as you can imagine.

River, I believe you're thinking of propranolol.  Here's some of my notes from last year.

On 11/26/2006 the program 60 Minutes had a segment The Memory Pill concerning the use of a heart medication, propranolol, to lessen the traumatic memories associated with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder).  Currently it is in early testing stages.  Research indicates adrenaline causes memories to be stored more strongly and propranolol lessens the effects of adrenaline, moderating strong memories.

I wonder, could this be tested whether this moderates the symptoms and behaviors of Borderline and other Personality disorders?  Of course, not all causes can be identified and traced to early childhood traumas, but many can.  Could treatment with this drug, which apparently has minimal or no side effects, helped moderate the extremes of BP behaviors?

Also, some have expressed concerns that this is messing with memory.  In the interview the researcher responded that we routinely give pain killers to injured persons to lessen their pain, so how is this so different?  Thus far it only lessens the traumatic effects so they're more like normal memories, it doesn't wipe them out.

http://www.acfnewsource.org/science/memory_pill.html
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To counter the harmful effects of stress hormones like adrenaline on memory, Pitman has been experimenting with propranolol, a drug commonly used to treat hypertension. Since propranolol blocks the action of adrenaline and noradrenaline, Pitman thought it might prevent memories from being burned too deeply in the amygdala of the brain. "We figured we could give people this propranolol to affect the memory before it gets laid down," he explains. Pitman is quick to point out that the drug doesn't cause people to remember things differently, just less strongly. "We would say it would more approximate a normal memory," he says.

http://www.cognitiveliberty.org/neuro/memory_drugs_sd.html
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« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2007, 06:25:02 PM »

  My friend/neighbor has a 20 year old daughter who was diagnosed with BPD about a year ago and is doing much better since being on medication.  Recently the daughter told her mother that her step grandfather had molested her when she was about 5 or 6 years old.  She only recently remembered this.  The daughter had been in therapy since being a toddler (including play and doll therapy) through high school but this had never come up before and she can't remember her daughter being afraid to visit the stepgrandfather or acting strangely or showing any other signs of being molested.
   The mother is aware that memories can be buried and forgotten and later remembered.  The mother and sister grew up with the stepgrandfather (would have been their stepfather) but neither of them were molested.  She's not sure what to believe.
  She is urging her daughter to go for therapy and perhaps hypnosis to determine what did or didn't happen.
   She also knows that borderlines can remember some things incorrectly or differently than other people.  How does she determine what the truth is?  Will hypnosis help?  Can a therapist determine false memories from real ones?
   Abigail

This is something I have always wondered about too.  I know that people do block being molested out, but I can't imagine how.  I remember every detail and always have.

I was molested by a family member over a period of 5 years.  I never forgot the memory, but I have never told anyone in my family.   

Incest is a big, shameful secret, and the people molested often feel an irrational need to protect their molester.

So, the only answer I can give is that there is no easy answer.  I think that if the memories are consistent, then they could be real.  Therapy is definately a good idea.  It is the best way to get the situation sorted out and get her the support she needs.

As for showing "signs", why was she in therapy from such a young age if she wasn't having emotional problems? These problems can often be a sign of sexual abuse.  I didn't sleep well, had constant stomach problems, agression, poor grades and started lying a lot.  I developed PTSD, but not BPD.

I also think that denial is huge in families where incest is occuring.
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« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2007, 07:21:39 PM »

I got angry when my therapist suggested I was "too close" to my dad (covert incest). But when the memories came I finally understood so many of the decisions I had made in my life. It explained everything.

When it is intuition and not a real memory you do have to tread lightly. But when the therapist's intuition triggers a memory then you must honor it and process it all.
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As with the butterfly, adversity is necessary to build character. ~ Joseph B. Wirthlin
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« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2007, 10:20:16 PM »

  My friend finally said something to the stepgrandfather about the accusation.  He didn't answer for a while and he closed his eyes and put his head down before he finally said it wasn't true.  That he would never have done that and that he always knew the granddaughter had "mental " problems.  My friend believes the abuse did occur especially given the way he reacted.  He also quickly changed the subject.
   I have since learned that repression is more common than I knew.

  Abigail
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« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2007, 10:34:03 PM »

My daughter was molested for 10 years by her uncle. She told me finally after she was an adult. She said if I had not believed her it would have killed her. We sent the perpetrator to jail.  I cannot deal with codependents who stay with the perpetrator and turn on the victim. I just want to say this. This is such a painful subject for me. My daughter lost her first child from the damage done to her body. He only did 9 months in jail. I wanted the death penalty.
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As with the butterfly, adversity is necessary to build character. ~ Joseph B. Wirthlin
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