Q. What is a detox crisis?
A When anger is suppressed toxic amounts of endogenous neurochemicals accumulate in neurons in the brain. The neurons periodically eject these toxins during detox crises, which manifest as excitatory nervous symptoms. See the list in the section Self help measures for recovery in The biology of Emotions article. And see the section Toxicosis in The toxic mind article.
Q. What is redirecting?
A Redirecting is consciously directing anger during a detox crisis mentally, and if possible physically, toward past abusers, not in person, but for example by pounding on a bed while thinking of past abusers.
Q. How do I know when to redirect?
A Redirect at the first sign of an excitatory nervous symptom until you relax.
Q. What if I can't remember anyone who ever abused me in childhood?
A Write an account of your relationships with early caretakers, and you will recognize many people who caused you to suppress anger.
Q. But I love my parents and am grateful to them?
A You are not getting angry at their souls but at their sickness, at the memory of their emotional neglect. They too were innocent children who had to suppress their justifiable anger. When you have released all your anger you will have forgiveness, love, and gratitude for them.
Q. Do I have to relive the traumatic experience of childhood abuse?
A No, and don't try to do this. The abuse is not what damaged you, but the suppression of justifiable anger when you were abused or emotionally neglected.
Q. What about people who abuse me now?
A When people abuse you now you are likely to over-react because your anger, which may now be rage, is a mix of anger that was suppressed in childhood and your anger at the current abuser. Mentally redirect anger using the self help measures to your parents or early caretakers. Then if appropriate, calmly confront the person, by saying something like, "I was uncomfortable with..." If you over-react anyway, and feel guilty, recognize the guilt as anger turned inward and do some redirecting.
Q. I was raised to believe that anger was bad. How can you say that all anger is justifiable and healthy?
A If you look at any newborn child who cries out in anger for care, you will see that it is part of the fight or flight reaction, a God given gift for survival.
Q. What is the difference between anger and rage?
A Rage is the release of toxic amounts of neurochemicals that store repressed anger.
Q. What is misdirected anger?
A When neural pathways that store memories of early relationships are clogged up with the excess neurochemicals that store anger, the anger released during a detox crisis is likely to be diverted though the Wrong Neurons, so to speak. See the illustration in The Biology of Emotions article. This means we may misdirect anger toward someone who is innocent or partially innocent or inward toward ourselves as guilt or even suicidal thought. This is an unconscious process, but now that we understand the need to redirect, we can consciously direct the anger to past abusers, and in doing so help to clear the clogged neuralpathways. See the section Vicarious Detoxification Crises in The toxic mind paper.
Q. Who besides our parents are past abusers?
A All persons who acted similarly toward us in attempts to suppress our justifiable anger. See the list in The biology of emotions article.
Q. I am on antidepressants, will this interfere with my recovery?
A Follow your medical doctors advice about all medications. Give him/her a copy of The toxic mind article and ask him to help you withdraw.
Q. I am on prescribed sedatives, will this interfere with my recovery?
A Follow your medical doctors advice about all medications. You will probably crave these until you are post flood. Then ask your doctor to help you withdraw. Withdrawal from sedatives can be dangerous and should always be done under medical supervision. If you use alcohol or food to calm yourself, do some redirecting before you turn to these. If you use them anyway and feel guilty, do some more redirecting.
Q. What is codependency and why do you call it our primary addiction?
A Codependent relationships are formed unconsciously with parent substitutes for the purpose of setting a stage to re-enact the childhood relationships and get the anger out. The behavior of these parental substitutes is stimulatory and triggers detox crises. Other addictions to food, alcohol, drugs, and psychologically stimulatory activities such as sex, shopping, gambling, etc. also trigger detox crises. These addictions will linger until the toxicosis is gone. See the section Addictions in The toxic mind article.
Q. I have been diagnosed with a specific psychiatric disorders. Will this self help cure my illness?
A Yes, all the symptoms of the various disorders are detox crises. They differ only because the toxicosis may be more intense in certain areas of the brain that control certain functions, for example in areas that control motor activity in persons with Parkinson's disease. See the section Unity of Disease in The toxic mind article.
Q. Why are my mood swings getting worse, and I sometimes over-react?
A During a detox crisis you are releasing neurochemicals that have a strong antidepressant effect and you may feel a manicky kind of high. You are also releasing sedative type neurochemicals that will then have a depressant effect and may cause prolonged heavy sleep. You may over-react and misdirect anger at partners. If you have an abusive partner, find a safe place to do the redirecting. If your partner is supportive explain that you may misdirect anger for a while, but that this will clear up in time.
Q. Why do I have nightmares?
A Nightmares are intense detox crises, and opportunities to do some redirecting when you awaken.
Q. What about psychosomatic illness?
A 'Psychosomatic' is a misnomer, 'neurogenic' is more accurate. Your thinking does not cause peripheral symptoms. During the detoxification process in the brain there is periodic over- and under-stimulation of the pituitary and other control organs. This causes a number of problems, such as hypothyroidism, and these problems, unless there is irreversible organic damage, will clear up in time. See the section Psychosomatic disorders in The toxic mind article.
Q. What about diet?
A Gradually change your diet to mostly raw foods, whole fruits and vegetables, and don't over cook meats. Avoid stimulants, processed foods, sugar, dairy, bread and cooked grains. When you are post flood your body is likely to react to toxic foods and you may have acute, but minor reactions to toxins, both from food and the environment.
Q. Should I make an effort to socialize and get a new job?
A Focus on your recovery and hold off until you are post flood before making major changes in your life.
Q. What does it mean to be post flood?
A Post flood is not a sudden point of cure, but an arbitrary point chosen as a goal, when about 95% of the repressed anger is gone, and mood swings are minimal.
Q. How long will it take before I am post flood and fully recovered from emotional disorders and addictions?
A You can become post flood in a few weeks to a few months. This depends on your situation and how much effort you are able to put into using the self help and on whether you have already begun to speed up the detoxification process in other therapies or by dietary changes. There is what I call the 'muddy basin' period after becoming post flood, which can last a good year or more, or perhaps will linger indefinitely. During this time your anger when triggered in current interactions will have less and less to do with the past and more to do with the current interaction. When it is mostly about the current interaction it is very important not to stuff it, but to recognize and release it. Otherwise you may re-experience symptoms. Continue to use the self help measures and calmly confront in current interactions if you feel it is appropriate.
Q. What is a detox crisis?