I just read this again and it is a downer. So, I removed the picture and may find a more sanitized inage, but I took the “Sticky” off it so it will get soon buried. However, what do you think about this before it is lost?
This morning, I was reading an article published by The New York Times on nightmares. I came upon some disturbing statements. They indicated that patients who are terrorized by repeated traumatic nightmares are usually victims of PTSD, not necessarily associated with wartime events, but usually from childhood sexual abuse.
The results of a randomized controlled trial were published in a 2001 paper in JAMA, of the subjects:
95% had moderate to severe PTSD
97% had experienced rape or other sexual assault
77% reported life-threatening sexual assault
58% reported repeated exposure to sexual assault in childhood
Reading that article got me to do some research.
The statistics are shocking
- 1 in 4 girls is sexually abused before the age of 18.
- 1 in 6 boys is sexually abused before the age of 18.
- 1 in 5 children are solicited sexually while on the internet.
- Nearly 70% of all reported sexual assaults (including assaults on adults) occur to children ages 17 and under.
- An estimated 39 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse exist in America today.
Some of you have read about my first marriage. I stuck it out for 9 years even though it started to go bad right after the honeymoon. My wife was an alcoholic. She abused every drug she could get and got her doctors to write for drugs like Doriden, Quaalude, Librium, Fiorinal and others. Donna was a victim of incest. Her father used her and her sister as sex partners for years. At one point of her middle teens, she ballooned to 175 pounds. She was five foot tall. She hoped to make herself unattractive. Donna had serious sleep issues and episodes of traumatic nightmares.
Most of you are from backgrounds in which this is not a possibility. It certainly was not in my paradigm. That was why it took me so long to get it, even though she tried to tell me after marriage counseling one evening.
My point is that we all have patients with sleeping issues. If there are 39 million Americans in this group, how many of them get their Ambien from you?
Most pharmacists are not from the socio-economic group where this is prevalent, but there are plenty of us counseling patients who have been victims ourselves.
Paul Rogers was a brilliant psychologist who always looked at what got his patients where they are. He gave the example of seeing a potato in the root cellar as a boy. The potato got no sunlight, but it still tried to grow. It had white, plastic-looking shoots, all curled and malignant-looking.
Rogers said that the same thing happens to people who get no light. Some of them have been sexually abused. Many of them have nightmares and can’t sleep. They end up with us at the bottom of the funnel. How do you counsel them now?