King's Business - 1967-03

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TALKING IT OVER with Dr. Clyde M. Narramore

Dr. Narramore, graduate of Columbia University, NowYork CItYi is a nationally known psychologist. Ho is tho director of one of America's largest psychological clinics— Tho Christian Counseling center in tosemead, California.


Q. / have been reading your page and listening to your radio program for two or three months now and I’ve decided to write to you. I am not going to give you my name because I don’ t trust you. In fact, I don’t have much faith in anyone, and I hate most people. I am a mother of several young children, and I love them very much. My husband is an alcoholic. My own mother died when I was a teen-ager. She was a Christian. A fter she died, there wasn’t anything to live for as far as I was concerned. 1 used to go to her grave and sit beside it every Sunday afternoon and wish her back; but, of course, it never hap­ pened. I wanted to go to the church people and tell them what I thought of them, and that their God was not merciful, and I wanted to just beat on them, but, of course, I never did. Anyway, I grew up and I went out into the world and got into different kinds of trouble and ruined my life. I used to get depressed when I was a kid, but it is nothing compared to what happens to me now. I get up in the morning and start my work and maybe an hour or two later I am so upset and depressed I could just die. Really, I don’t care to go on living. The kids and I started to attend a church about six months ago. It is a good church where they preach the Gospel and tell you how to be saved; but I cannot grasp it and I cannot get away from this awful feeling of depression. I feel that nobody cares anything about me. I feel I am in a great big world and everything is slowly pressing in on me. By mid­ morning, I find myself getting com­ pletely exhausted. If it is possible, could you talk about this letter on the radio, or dis­ cuss it in the magazine ? A. I appreciate your writing me and I can certainly sympathize with you. Don’t worry about not furnishing your name. I never men­ tion anyone’s name on the broadcast or in my writing. I always change

the basic factors so that there can be no identification. You say you cannot trust anybody. This, of course, is a symptom of a personality disturbance, or what we call emotional illness. You say you hate everyone. You state you had a very difficult childhood — that your husband is an alcoholic. You tell of your mother’s dying when you were thirteen, and that you used to sit at the grave and wish that she would come back. Then you began to show your hostility. You wished you could find church people, and beat on them because God had permitted your mother to die. It’s interesting that even at the age of thirteen you did not beat on anyone — you just wished you could. So you internalized your strong feelings — you directed them toward yourself. You say that since you have be­ come an adult, you have gotten into serious trouble and have ruined your life. This, of course, is all adding up to symptoms of depression. Depres­ sion is characteristically caused by internalized hostility. T h e r e are basic emotional needs that must go into every little girl’s life if she is to grow up to be a mature, radiant per­ son, and be able to take the bumps in life without becoming too dis­ couraged or depressed. But these basic emotional needs were evidently never met in your life. As a result, you naturally became hostile. This hostility has turned inward and, as long as it is there, your depression cannot be expected to leave. A Christian therapist can bring many spiritual factors into the coun­ seling sessions and thereby speed up and make permanent your recovery. I suggest you seek this type of pro­ fessional help as soon as possible. Life is challenging and interesting and it can become so to you!



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