Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Update One

Trauma, Diagnosis & Treatment

Compiled, Formatted, and Narrated 
by Anthony Servante

Los Angeles County Mental Health Facility 
Circa 1920


Note: Account provided by "Lydia" (not real name) as part of this series of updates on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Critical Incident Stress.

Lydia's Account

"I was walking home from work. I put in some overtime and missed the bus. One of my co-workers offered me a ride. He asked if I wanted to stop for a drink at his place. It felt wrong that he asked me that since we hardly knew each other and I was half his age. 

He got mad when I asked him to drop me off right there and then. He pulled the car into an alley. I wasn't scared because there were lots of back yards with their lights on. He grabbed my breast. I slapped his hand. He punched me with a closed fist. I tasted blood. 

Everything felt unreal as he pulled off my pants and raped me. When he was finished, he put some money in my hand and pushed me out of the car. He rolled down the window and threw my pants and panties at me. I didn't put them on. 

I started to walk home. I felt like I was forgetting something, so I turned around. I saw a long trail of blood from my pants on the ground leading to my feet and up along my inner legs, coming from between my legs. Only then I realized it wasn't blood.

It was shit. 

I laughed. I had shit myself. When some old women found me in the back yard, I was still laughing." 

Note: "Lydia" sent me this description. For her, this was the beginning of her PTSD. She told me that she would follow up with her hospitalization, her meds and treatment, but since has not contacted me. Others also contributed accounts of abuse, witness to murder and mayhem, and horrific experiences for this article on PTSD and CIS, but not one provided any post-traumatic insights. As such, I will try to concentrate my articles and updates on both trauma and post trauma.


Leaving the McClure Tunnel.

Anthony Servante's Account:

On August 9th, 2017, I survived a near-death experience in the Santa Monica Tunnel, aka the McClure Tunnel. It's been close to two months and the memory of that night has begun to fade. I had no one to talk to about the horrors I witnessed, and in my silence, the night seems more and more unreal. But there are peripheral remnants that tighten my stomach and make my head ache. Birds. Cold weather. The stranger I face everyday in the bathroom mirror. I decided it was time to seek medical attention. 

From that decision, I received some therapy that led to my writing down the detailed accounts that led to these updates. These accounts can be found in "The Journal of Norinko Hanasaki" and "Norinko Hanasaki: The Investigation & Research". Therapy, to this day, continues. 

I am on Los Angeles County Health Care. I choose a primary health physician, who gives me my annual physicals and bloodwork, refers me to specialists when necessary, and whom I turn to when I have the flu. For the treatment of trauma, however, he cannot help me, except to prescribe Xanax for the anxiety and Tramadol for the headaches. Instead, he refers me to the specialist, a psychiatrist (not a psychologist). The "shrink" asks for symptoms, such as lack of sleep, hallucinations, rage, headaches, nausea, pain behind the eyes, shortness of breath, forgetfulness. That is the list of symptoms we have developed so far. And for each, he prescribes drugs, even marijuana. There is no counseling, for that is what a psychologist specializes in, and the County of Los Angeles does not pay for such treatment, for it is a "cosmetic" solution, not a practical one, just as the county will not pay for root canal work--only extractions. It is a free health care service, so I cannot complain. 

Note: The Psychiatrist to date has only prescribed antidepressants, which I do not take

But in my hour session with the doctor, I do manage to work in some subtle attempts at being counseled by the psychiatrist when I relay my symptoms. For instance, when I say I cannot sleep, I go into detail about my circular dreams. I wake, turn over in bed, and slip back to sleep, only to re-enter the same dream I awoke from. No matter how many times I wake and return to sleep, the dream remains the same. If I get up to avoid this conundrum, my vision becomes blurry for the rest of the day. Although I had my eyes checked, the problem with blurriness was not found in my vision. Thus I sleep through the dream until it ends of its own accord, until the dream comes full circle and my waking itself ends the dream cycle. As if waking up is a part of the dream. But, at least, with this waking dream, I see the rest of the day clearly and without any blurriness. Colors stand out. The clouds are whiter. The sky bluer. The birds more lively and focused. They even seem more focused on me. 

Picture taken while I was
waiting for the train.

So it is that my hour spent with the psychiatrist has some counseling benefits, although the visits usually end with more prescriptions than advice. Thus I wondered about what treatment is out there for those who are suffering from more than headaches and nightmares. What follows is my research into trauma, its treatment in general, and the medical health plans that are better than mine. 

Note: Updates will entail survivors of trauma via accounts from readers as well as the latest health information from any of the Norinko Ten who wish to be part of this research. My doctor thinks it is therapeutic; I hope yours will agree. 


This article on Trauma, Diagnosis, and Treatment is sponsored by FROWNLAND CALENDARS, $16.00, 
featuring twelve full color Frownlands, as well as additional art sprinkled throughout. 

1 comment:

  1. I think we can provide ourselves with an equivalent of Eye Movement Therapy. Other things too. xx