Most non-psychotic disorders have their origins after the first 24 months of life, and they operate in a delayed posttraumatic stress disorder mechanism.
Non-psychotic depressions have their origins between 24 and 34 months, and the trauma that sets the stage for the later development of these disorders is what the infant/toddler experiences as a separation from mother. This separation can be totally innocent. Perhaps thirty percent of the time, the separation is simply the birth of a sibling. Other times, it can be a working mother, or a family moving to a new house and mother busying herself trying to make the new place look like home. The mother also might be hospitalized or could even become drug addicted or very depressed herself.
Separation from mother to a baby or toddler is more overwhelming than war trauma to a soldier, because, for as long as mammals populated the earth, separation from mother has meant death.
We have proven the origin of non-psychotic depression with a very simple study. We used one trauma for which the age of origin is known and recorded. We surveyed 27 patients who had one sibling less than three years younger, and who also had a serious disorder. The 13 with psychosis had the sibling less than 24 months younger, and the 14 with non-psychotic depression had the sibling between 24 and 34 months younger. That is like tossing a coin 27 times and calling it correctly every time. That’s one over two to the 27th power, or one chance in 134,217,728 of an error by chance alone. Further calculation revealed an estimate of one chance in 50 that another trauma would be involved (Arab J Psychiatry, November, 2012).
The neuroanatomical changes, and the changes in neurotransmission, are the result and not the cause of the disease process. Biological psychiatry has misled everyone on origin of these disorders. They have made the egregious scientific error of presuming correlation means causation – which it certainly does not. The biological changes along with the anatomical changes in the brain are the result and not the cause of the disease process.
Non-psychotic depression depends on a partial return to the earlier developmental mind/brain/reality that existed at the time of what the infant/toddler experienced as a threat of separation from mother. This is simply a delayed Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.
Anxieties, Phobias, and Panic Attacks
Phobias and panic attacks can have very early ages of origin, but we are lacking sufficient data to categorize particular months. These phobias and panic attacks differ from the separation-from-mother fear, and, therefore do not necessarily cause a return to the entire earlier gestalt. Many anxiety disorders can be traced back to the Oedipal/Electra stage of development.
While we have not determined the full age range-of-origin of phobias, we know they can be very early. A young toddler can be frightened by a butterfly, and then develop a phobia for butterflies. One person who was set outside in a bassinette as an infant, developed a phobia for rats and mice because one started eating his face. In a sense, this becomes a posttraumatic stress disorder, although would not be categorized that way without the history of what caused it. Perhaps many phobias are partial PTSD flashbacks to some early trauma that is forgotten, but if they were separation-from-mother traumas, this could be a partial return to the entire earlier gestalt, the earlier mind/brain/reality/feelings/behavior/chemistry/physiology/body movements/level of affective expression and anatomic sites in the brain that were active and developing at the precise time of the original separation trauma.
Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)
This is a disorder that has become more prevalent in recent years, perhaps as a result of the working mother in America and the latchkey children, many of whom were frightened to come home to an empty house, and their fear was translated into hyperactivity. Part of the “epidemic” of that diagnosis could relate to the massive promotion of this as a clinical entity for the sale of new medications to counter ADHD.
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
People have become more aware of this diagnosis as a result of soldiers returning from combat with symptoms of hypervigilance, terrifying flashbacks, and inability to function and inability to be in an environment with sudden sharp loud crashing noises, or literally anything that causes their mind to race back to the terrifying experiences of war. This is not something new. Freud described this nearly a century ago and called it “war neurosis.” There are many treatment modalities that have been developed to treat this condition, including the programmed dream and EMDR.
Treatment: Separation Process
Click on the link below for further information
on each of the following challenges:
- Non-Psychotic Depression: Delayed PTSD from 24 through 34 months age of origin
- Anxiety, Phobias, and Panic Attacks
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: (ADHD)
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: (PTSD)