I agree with your belief that the main reason for SA is not genetics. I think it was easier for my Mom to blame it on genetics than consider that the way she raised me could have been partially responsible. I dont blame her and it was not beneficial to my recovery to try to figure out why this happened to me.
Chris, the last sentence in your above quote is a mistake a lot of people make. Many people believe, as apparently you do, that it is "not beneficial to my recovery to try to figure out why this happened to me". Understanding how one has come to acquire SA is actually the first step to recovery. It is a crucial step. I go into great detail in some of my posts in my main thread of why it is so important (I'm trying to keep this post from being too large and that is why I won't go into a long explanation here). Having said that, I will agree it is possible to improve over one's SA without looking into the cause of it. However, that way is doing it the hard way. It can take much longer - 3, 4, or 5 years or longer - to eliminate one's SA (that is IF someone is able to eliminate it in that fashion). And sometimes, trying to do it that way doesn't eliminate it at all. Now of course I am not including medications in this discussion. Medications can quickly suppress SA but not cure it, and thus the drugs can make it appear one has had great progress over their SA when instead it has only suppressed it.
I'm certainly glad you were able to overcome your SA (I'm assuming you are completely over it). It looks to me that through sheer hard work and determination you were able to overcome it. It is my opinion that if you had a full understanding at the time of what caused it ... understood how toxic shame was involved ... did the inner work that such people as John Bradshaw, Dr. Robert Glover, and others advocate ... and then began to put into practice what you learned by interacting with others bit by bit, then I believe you could have recovered faster than you did. And you could have done it all without drugs (medication). That is my belief.
As far as the documentary 'blaming chemical imbalances', you may also want to consider how the documentary was made. It was sponsored by Freedom From Fear, but I believe they got the money to do it from the makers of Paxil.
Yes, it does seem to me that, in the end, everything can be traced back to money. lol.
I was able to overcome SA primarily through self help books about cbt. I still had some issues, so I decided to get on Paxil and did that for one year. The medication was very helpful, but I believe that my cbt skills were necessary and enabled me to get off the meds successfully. Meds are a great thing, especially for those with more severe cases of SA. I just wish people would go to the meds as a last resort and always include cbt as part of the process.
I have to admit that I had never tried taking medications for my SA (back when I had SA. I don't have SA anymore). But from everything I have read about SA medications, it seems the medications just suppress SA instead of curing it. I've heard some people say it just "dulls the senses". However, I HAVE tried cbt and, to be frank, it did not cure my SA. I will say that it did temporarily make me feel better. But within a short time period my SA came back as it was before. The problem with cbt is that it did not address my core problem; it only tried to work on the symptoms. That is why I only temporarily felt better from it. It wasn't until I learned about toxic shame - and then healed my toxic shame - that I cured
my SA. And it didn't involve taking drugs of any kind. Instead, it was all about solving the core issue of my problem.
And so, in regards to cbt, I am not a big fan of it. I know it helps some people, but it seems that, from what I have seen with SA, that in more people than not, it either didn't help them at all or it only temporarily helped them (as it was the case for me). But I do think there is benefit with any
therapy, and thus cbt has apparently helped you. And I am glad you have gotten better over SA. I just think that for most people it is best to work on the actual core issue that is causing there SA than it is to work on the symptoms (as cbt tends to focus on). But if you are able to make something work for you to help you get better, then of course that is a great thing.