A Case Vignette and Discussion

Article by Stephan Simonian M.D.

A Case Vignette and Discussion

Lori, a 20-year-old girl, has applied for social security and disability.  She is unable to work and has been referred for psychiatric evaluation. Her story is as follows.  At the age of 9, her parents divorced and her father left the family. Her father was physically abusive towards her and her mother. After her father left, due to life circumstances, her mother was unable to stay with the children. She says that her mother was leaving them with friends and relatives who were reluctant to care for them.  Lori was getting furious at her mother for not being back on time and caring for them.  Soon she started to have difficulties at school. In 4th grade, her school counselor and teachers realized that she was in trouble.  She was crying in the classroom for no apparent reason and also started to have anger outbursts and violent behavior toward her sister and mother. She was also complaining of severe neck pain and her throat was tightening up . She was taken to the hospital on several occasions for the neck pain and for breathing difficultly.  The emergency room doctors told her mother that her problems were psychological and that her neck pain, throat pain and contractions did not have any physical reason and that they were unable to help. She was sent to a  counselor and psychologist and was treated for one year until her family relocated and she had to stop treatment.
At the age of 14, she started cutting herself and was hospitalized in a psychiatry hospital for 3 weeks.  She was back and forth with her father and mother because her mother was not able to handle her moodiness, anger, outbursts and crying spells.   She was sent to therapy again and continued her therapy for a few years. At the age of 16, she started drinking alcohol. She was getting alcohol from a homeless man who was living in their neighborhood and she also had a friend who looked older and was able to buy liquor with out being asked for identification.  She says, “Doctor, for a short time, drinking was making the sadness and anger go away.  You know Doctor, you don’t think about these things when you’re drunk.” She says that she was going to school intoxicated yet no one recognized it.  She stopped drinking around the age of 17 because “she got sick of it”.

About 6 months prior to this present evaluation, she was hospitalized again because of suicidal thoughts and cutting.  She was kept in the hospital for two weeks and was given different antidepressant medications, but her symptoms of anxiety and depression continued in spite of the medication. She complains that she always feels sad and angry and fantasies of killing others and herself  pass through her mind.  She describes herself as a person standing on the verge of a cliff, and with one little push, she could loose her balance and fall.   She says, “Doctor, nothing is helping, I am always sad.”  She dropped out of school after 10th grade because she could not cope with school.  Her mental status was unremarkable for any thought disorder. Her mood was sad and at times tearful. She did have self-deprecating thoughts and complained of intense anger and sadness.  Her intellectual functions and cognition were intact.
Now at the age of 20, she feels that she is unable to work and is asking for disability benefits.  There are thousands of Lori’s, who, as a result of a traumatic upbringing develop emotional symptoms that are classified and labeled by contemporary psychiatry and psychology.  However, contemporary psychiatry and psychology, as is evident in this case, and Lori is not an exception, is not able to effectively and fundamentally help these patients.
It is only a matter of time that Lori falls off of the edge of the cliff and kills herself, or even worse, kills someone else. This is an example of how childhood traumatization leaves deep emotional wounds in one’s soul and causes the gradual decay of a one’s life, a life that could be just the opposite, productive, happy, youthful, hopeful and compassionate.
This case and many other cases like this one, reflect the shortcomings of contemporary psychiatry and psychology. After two psychiatric hospitalizations and continuous treatment since the age of 9, with different psychologists and psychiatrists and various psychiatric medications, Lori is on the verge of suicide.  We can expect, as her history indicates, further deterioration of her condition and an unfortunate and catastrophic outcome. This puts psychiatry, psychology and social service institutions that are responsible to provide help to the population under obligation. The contemporary psychiatry and psychology that failed to restore Lori’s health should acknowledge and accept their shortcomings and look into theories and techniques that can promise better outcomes. Contemporary theories and techniques are often unable to go further than the temporary alleviation of the symptoms, which leaves our psychiatric system mired with unresolved cases like Lori’s and risks tragic outcomes.
We, in psychiatric orgone therapy, based on our theories, techniques and outcomes, are convinced that psychiatric orgone therapy can bring fundamental health to patients like Lori.   The techniques of psychiatric orgone therapy are able to penetrate deeper than contemporary psychiatry/psychology techniques and heal emotional wounds by healing the pathology of the illness and subsequently restoring health.
We are of the opinion that instead of discouraging psychiatry and psychology students from learning Orgonomy and keeping this knowledge hidden from them, the institutions that are responsible for their training should make these theories and techniques widely available for them and let the younger generation of clinicians decide its efficacy and observe its outcome.

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- who has written 51 posts on Journal of Psychiatric Orgone Therapy.

Dr. Simonian is a general and child and adolescent psychiatrist. He completed medical school in Shiraz University, Shiraz Iran. He completed his general psychiatric residency training and fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at New York Medical College, Metropolitan Hospital Center. Concomitant with his psychiatry and child psychiatry training, Dr. Simonian completed the New York Medical College Psychoanalytic School Didactic Courses, including his own required personal psychoanalysis. In 1990, Dr. Simonian started his personal psychiatric orgone therapy, Reichian therapy, with Dr. Morton Herskowitz and in 1991 became a member of the Institute of Orgonomic Sciences (IOS), an Institute which is dedicated to promote and preserve Dr. Wilhelm Reich's work. Dr. Simonian started his private psychiatric practice in Milford, Massachusetts in 1984 and he was a chief of psychiatry department of Milford Regional Hospital for several years. He started his practice in Glendale, California since 2003. Dr. Simonian is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

One Response to “A Case Vignette and Discussion”

  1. well, Thanks for posting! I really enjoyed the report. I’ve already bookmark this article.


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