My name is Daniel Mackler and I am a musician, filmmaker, Youtuber, and writer based in New York.  I also worked for ten years as a psychotherapist in New York, though I ended my therapy practice in 2010.  My creative work focuses on the destruction of our natural environment and the causes, consequences, and significance of childhood trauma.  I see childhood trauma as ranging from the extreme, which is common, to the mild, which is so much more common that few even notice it at all, much less call it by its proper name.  I view the norm in our culture as being highly traumatized and I view the average, and even above-average, childhood as being extremely traumatic – and the average parent as lacking both awareness of this and deep empathy for the child.

I see our world growing more pathological, confused, polluted, overpopulated, and disturbed by the day – and I feel that to stand by and say nothing while we destroy our planet is, at the least, irresponsible.  Yet I write with great hope – both for individual healing and for the collective healing of our world.  I seek to offer a new perspective – on relationships, on manifesting the best of ourselves, on the potential value of celibacy, on parenting, on the pathology of the family system, and on the future of our species.

Of note:  I recently made a page for older comments from this welcome page to my website, because the hundreds or perhaps thousands of comments were making this page terribly slow to open!!  Also, if you do leave a comment, please consider this:  1) If you type in your full name, it will show up on search engines, so if that concerns you, please only use your first name or use a pseudonym.  2) I don’t always have the time or energy to reply to comments, especially if they are very long.  I love your comments, I read them all, and I wish I had more time and energy than I do!!  And I wish you all the best!!!  Thank you, everyone!!! –Daniel

63 thoughts on “Welcome!

  1. Hi Daniel, I have been watching your YouTube video on self therapy lately, they are really helping me to regulate myself and make sense of the world around. In the videos, you have emphasized a lot on doing journaling, I tried doing it, but I don’t know why I found it very hard to journal, especially writing everday. Is there any alternative to journaling or any how one make journaling their habit?

    • I am not Daniel, however reading your comment compelled me to respond. Journaling is a habit that I developed about 15 years ago. It really was extremely difficult to get into it. Now I can’t really begin my day until I’ve done some journaling. Highly recommend slogging through the initial phase of resistance.

  2. Hello Mr.Mackler. I just watched your video on psychosis and childhood trauma on YouTube. My heart is literally beating out of my chest right now. My older brother has experienced 3 very traumatic episodes of psychosis since the pandemic and it has really beaten him down. He is currently on medication and like you said it numbs all his emotions, he is not the same. I remember a little after his first episode, he vaguely mentioned something from his childhood. I so very much want him to be happy, his joyful self again. Please, can you recommend a resource that we could use online with him. We live on a small island and we do not have much capable phycologists. He is also very reluctant to go to one. I worry about him every single day. He is my best friend. Is there anything we can use. Is your book about childhood trauma helpful? Is there anything thing else that you think with be interactive and get him to open up. I would sincerely appreciate your help and advice. Thank you so much for that video again. It was like a light bulb went off. Thank you.

    • Hi Fleurette,
      Greetings! My self therapy book probably would not be a good fit, as it wasn’t intended for people who are in psychosis, unless a workbook like this was something he was really really interested in. However, have you watched my three movies on healing from psychosis without medication? Here’s a link to them and all sorts of different languages: https://wildtruth.net/films-recovery-schizophrenia/
      I think this would probably be a much better place to start, and if he’s willing to watch them he might be able to take the ball from there.

    • I ve discovered your channel few months ago I liked your perspective in various topic . Keep going wishing to see more topic on your channel thank you

  3. Hi Daniel!

    I just want to say your videos are so genuine and honest. I found your channel two weeks ago, and since then, I have watched a lot of them.

    A big hug to you from Rio!

  4. Hey Daniel! I hope you’re well and safe. I wanted to get your take on something. I was talking to a spiritual person about their experience being in bliss. I found out that I was also in bliss when I grieved for the first time. I think what we had in common was a found unconditional love to the self.

    My unconditional love was based on knowing how I was wronged and how everything I do is influenced by that. Something woke up in me and I took my side for the first time in my life. But talking to him I found out that my unconditional love was based on a foundation. A foundation that claimed to understand everything and draw back every mistake in my life to childhood trauma. And so that feeling of bliss, the freedom to do anything my authentic self wants disappeared when I couldn’t draw back some mistakes or during the process of healing and understanding. And alot of traumas resurfaced.

    The spiritual person I was talking to unconditionally loves themselves just because it exists. They said things about being infinite and therefore the unconditional love would be truly unconditional. Which baffles me. I was in that state accidentally and it was really good.

    However I did make mistakes in that state. I was rude sometimes. I was reckless. I was critical of everyone in my inner dialog. And I was scared it wouldn’t last sometimes. But I was free. I could feel me talking and thinking on my feet. And I could see through people in ways I couldn’t at all before.

    So Was the freedom real? Will I feel it again if i did the work? Is spirituality a short-cut? Am I torturing myself to earn something that I already have?

    • Hi Rosie — good questions…but I don’t know if I have any answers here… this sounds like a great opportunity to journal to help figure it out! That is at least what I would do if it were me

      • I gave up hope for living until I saw your video on bpd. My psychiatrist gave me the diagnosis after my 10th suicide attempt. I’ve been in the icu and went missing on several occasions where I lost hope and overdosed in the bush. I got taken to a hospital in Orillia, Ontario where I was given meds and told to take them and told to take dbt. I read up on dbt and don’t think it’s a good idea and will only make me worse. I’ve been prescribed 10 different medications from Zoloft, Ativan, tranadone and amibilfy I’m getting no better I’m hanging on by a tread and my psychiatrist doesn’t believe me. What can I do Iim scared I can’t hold on much longer.

  5. Hi Daniel, I found your YT channel and, like a lot of people I imagine, I then proceeded to binge watched as many videos as I could.

    I was going to write a comment on one of your videos but decided against it. I wanted to ask you your thoughts on the pandemic. Isn’t it a classic case of denial? In this case mass denial. Encouraged from above, I believe. Like the climate crisis, we collectively decided (or have been encouraged to decide) that it was just too inconvenient, that we are sooo over it. No one has yet been able to explain to me how C19 just went away. So now kids face a future of reduced life expectancy and chronic illness. A recission in Germany has just been attributed to loss of productivity due “record sickness rates.” Doesn’t the idea that denial is a maladaptive coping mechanism apply even to this? Maybe it is just too hard to talk about publicly now. I even have a feeling of guilt for raising this with you (just like I do when I raise it with my family, even though 9 times out of 10 I keep my mouth shut.) I find it very interesting and extremely depressing.

    All the best

    • Hi Jason — greetings. And thanks for your comment. I’m not sure what to say about the pandemic, except I traveled a lot throughout it, and I saw that basically every country’s leaders handled it in different ways, some diametrically opposed to other leaders… That was a wake-up call for me…. Definitely how leaders in at least many of the cases were led by something that wasn’t truth…

    • Well expressed, Jason.
      Denial has become such an entrenched coping mechanism. Even with the pandemic. When the reality is presented it is ignored. Fear was the weapon that beat the masses into submission and blindness.

  6. Hi daniel!
    I’m here after watching most of your videos ig enough to get the basic ideology and goal. I know this isn’t typical to the kind of videos you make but it would really be of great help if you could make a video or anything of help on HOW TO DEAL WITH THE TRAUMA OF LOSING A PARENT(who was exceptionally good for their kid). A close friend of mine lost her very loving father who she considered her best friend recently and is still very vulnerable to things and the after math of his death. I want to help her resolve it before she puts a lids over it and pushes it down and later in life gets a “diagnosis” for it. It would be of great help.
    Thank you! Love your work.

  7. Daniel,
    Thank you for your videos. Really, really helpful. I love you!
    I won’t tell you my story except to say that to give out this real info on trauma and healing from it is AMAZING and so genuine. I’ve never had a better therapist than you!!!
    From a fellow musician,
    God bless you! You are beautiful.

  8. Hi Daniel, I had never heard of you before, but had been searching for videos on Alice Miller. Her book, The Drama of the Gifted Child had been recommended to me by an old colleague. I think Judith Herman had mentioned her in Trauma and Recovery, and I believe that Gabor Mate mentioned her in his most recent book, The Myth of Normal. I am somewhat ashamed to admit it, but I have been a social worker for over 30 years in NYS and have been a therapist for many years. It’s only in the last 10 years or so that I have really looked into early trauma. I have come to believe that the number of adults of all ages that are walking around very much affected by early trauma and have no idea of the connection with challenges in their lives is beyond anything we could imagine. I know that former Vice President Al Gore has called climate change an Inconvenient Truth, but I personally feel that early trauma for many many people walking this earth is also an Inconvenient Truth. A few years ago, I viewed Gabor Mate’s brief course on his approach, “Compassionate Inquiry” and part of it consisted of a multiple day training he did in Vancouver, BC. The number of people there and those selected to come up from the audience and talk to Gabor appeared more like a pilgrimage of trauma survivors rather than a training, and the pain in the audience was palpable. I watched your video where you related why you are no longer a psychotherapist, and I identified with every reason! I think it is likely the rare psychotherapist that does not agree and identify with your reasons, and this is the reason why one must have the passion to remain in the field despite the challenges that you mentioned. It is not a bad thing to have one’s passion leave them, as we are human and sometimes we change over time. We grow and our priorities sometimes change. Perhaps that was true for you. But, perhaps you have found a better way to reach out to others and provide a compassionate voice. As a fellow social worker, I just wanted to say thank you, wish you all the best, and hope to learn some things from you! Take Care! Bob

  9. Hi Daniel,

    I was watching one of your videos about people who have been diagnosed with a mental illness but often purported to have good childhoods. It got me reflecting. I’ve been thinking on a lot of my childhood, and reading a lot of my previous journal entries. Oftentimes in those entries I would be at such a mental rock bottom, but still I would say something along the lines of “I am an awful awful monstrous person who is incapable of love, my family were on the whole good people who loved me in ways that I could not receive because of who I am blah blah blah”. Really self-harming mindset that I can now see comes from, actually, a whole torrent of abuse in my life. In your videos, you say that a lot of your clients would only begin to realise how rough their childhoods were when they really began to review things in like the tenth session of therapy. I just wanted to leave a message to say that I really do agree with your point that actually so much stuff is from trauma rather than “biology”, just from a lot of personal experience that I have documented through the timeline of how my perspective has changed in my journal entries. From the previous really self-hating, self-harming mindset I had been in for practically my entire life, my most recent journal entry is the following, which is now, when I am in a much healthier place mentally:

    Why did I think I had a good childhood? It wasn’t because I was actually safe or happy. It was because I perceived my parents and siblings as better than me in character, which made me equate that to having a good childhood, despite their flaws. It was me thinking that since everyone is flawed in character, the fact that I perceived them to at least have fewer flaws than me (with my rock-bottom abused self-esteem) made me wrongly equate that to having a good childhood.
    Meanwhile, I had used a lot of defences and psychological dissociative strategies to MAKE MYSELF constantly safe. So it did feel like I was safe most of the time. What I mistook was the causes of that safety. My parents weren’t the ones making me finally perceive my childhood as safe, I MYSELF was the one who made those conditions safe for me, through various compensatory strategies/adaptations, in response to my unsafe parents’ dynamics and environments, to the point where it was so automated and reflexive I had forgotten that my parents were the source of my original dangers. And to have these strategies/adaptations constantly in the background and normalised – it was only then that I was constantly safe, as long as I had those defences in place.
    But the fact that I needed to use these strategies constantly…. Does not mean that my childhood was safe and good. I thought it was NORMAL to have these strategies to survive, I thought it was a rite of passage, because I was a child who didn’t know better, who didn’t have a frame of reference on others who could be safe without them.
    But these strategies that kept me safe were also not healthy for me in so many other ways, preventing me from being real, dynamic and spontaneous in other aspects of my life. And often, it harmed me and others when they weren’t in use for protecting me from what they were originally an adaptation towards in an unsafe childhood. In fact, I identified so much with those adaptations/protective strategies, they were fully a part of my self-concept, my identity, what I thought my personality just naturally was like. These defences to me are still so difficult to let go of – currently it feels like if I do, the change of my sense of self, the person I present to the world, would be so jarring and unsettling I wouldn’t know what to do with myself. I think it’s because if I let go of these defences I call a huge chunk of my personality, it would be like a whole dam breaking, and I fear I would drown in those waters known as deep uncertainty. Like, who am I? What habits and frameworks am I supposed to rely on now to feel safe? Am I allowed to just be who I am in every moment, no matter how different or dynamic, instead? Is it safe? Do I trust and love my self and independence and individuation enough to feel safe there? There will be this huge dam breaking moment if I let go of those past adaptations and “personality traits”, where now I need to actually be responsible for my life and self in every waking moment, and everything is up to me. It’s like the most gigantic step up in terms of responsibility and self-reliance, self-regulation. I think that’s why talking about childhood trauma is only really safe and accepted by people when it’s done incrementally. Like the more you uncover and process and no longer need to act according to those traumas, the more responsibility for yourself that you need to take on. That is most effective… maybe incrementally, so it doesn’t feel like all safety is just pulled from under your feet?

    In your opinion, and perhaps from your observations from how your clients do in therapy, would you say that for some people this is the case? Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on stuff like this in the first place, it’s really helped me so much.

    – Mary

    • Mary, normally I wouldn’t reply to a long description of one’s difficulties with becoming more conscious of the reality of one’s situation, however, you have explained the challenges involved so articulately and succinctly that I just had to let you know that your understanding of the problem with, the terror of, facing the truth of trauma and hence the denial of it is right on! The only place one can locate support, comes from within. One just has to trust it. Hope you continue to journal your heart out and perhaps , you might have memoir material.
      Thank you and blessings!

    • From a stranger, thank you for sharing this. It hits exactly on what I’m struggling with and why I’ve been refusing to let some big issues drop with my parents and my freedom seems to be on a collision course with my “parents”. Who don’t feel like parents, but tormentors for what they put me through. By a stroke of luck, being re-traumatized by my parents in the last year or two jolted my mind to remember more childhood trauma and abuse on multiple levels from my parents. Me confronting this as an adult feels like I either free myself by going my own way and leave my family behind or continue the cycle by being in the same old toxic family system that refuses to change and see any wrongdoing because there’s always an excuse (we had it worse, it wasn’t that bad, you’re not remembering it right, that didn’t happen/I don’t remember).

      Anyway, wanted to say thanks again, reading your post resonated with me on a level where I felt utterly alone in the world. All the best.

  10. Hello Daniel, first of all Thank you for your beautiful existence, work, engagement, art and brilliant mind.

    Second, do you know the works of dr James Davies like “Cracked: Why psychiatry is doing more harm than good?”

    And third I would like to ask you if you agree with what I have written below:

    The naming issue – importance of language Psychology vs. psychiatry.

    List of medical specialties by nomenclature: endings: gr. -logía, eng. -logy “study of”: Audiology and Phoniatrics – fields of Otolaryngology
    Podology and Podiatry

    Endings: gr. -iatreia eng. -iatry “treatment”

    Geriatrics – from Greek gēras ‘old age’ + iatros ‘doctor’, on the pattern of paediatric . There is a distinction between geriatrics and gerontology. Gerontology is the multidisciplinary study of the aging process, defined as the decline in organ function over time in the absence of injury, illness, environmental risks or behavioral risk factors. However, geriatrics is sometimes called medical gerontology.

    Pediatrics – Greek words: παῖς (pais “child”) and ἰατρός (iatros “doctor, healer”).

    Obstetrics – From a Medical Latin obstetricus (“belonging to a midwife”), from Latin obstētrīx (“midwife”). Field combined with Gynecology

    Phoniatrics – Phoniatrics and audiology is one specialty within otolaryngology. Psychiatry

    Podiatry and podology – here is the same problem as with psychology and psychiatry

    Other endings and file names, e.g.: Surgery Emergency medicine Internal diseases, internal medicine Infectious diseases Orthopedics

    1. Why has the name ‘psychology’ not been adopted by medicine as the name of the field? Why was another name invented for the field that deals with topics of the psyche?

    2. Why don’t we have ‘otolaryngiatry’, ‘endocrinoiatry’, ‘oncoiatrics’, ‘uroiatrics’ and so on? If we create the name ‘socioiatry’, will we create a branch of medicine dealing with the treatment of society? If we add “iatry” to geology, will we create the profession of an earth doctor?

    3. What would happen if all psychology were transferred to the medical field? Is full medicalization of the psychic world the right move? I don’t think so, so…

    4. For the logic of naming maybe we just transform psychiatry into a clinical psychology? Quote from Wikipedia: clinical psychology – a branch of applied psychology dealing with the prevention, diagnosis and therapy of mental and behavioral disorders, i.e. disturbances in the regulation of human relations with their environment. What about disturbances in the regulation of relations between the environment and the individual? Does this already belong to sociology, or maybe ‘sociatry’?

    5. Why can’t a psychologist or a psychotherapist write a sick leave from work? Why can’t they have the ability to write a sick leave and I have to rely on the insight, judgment and will of a group of people I don’t trust?

    The conclusions of Allen Frances – “the lead editor of the fourth edition of nt the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (universally known as the DSM-IV), the guy who wrote the book on mental illness, confessing that ‘these concepts are virtually impossible to define precisely with bright lines at the boundaries.’ ‘There is no definition of a mental disorder. It’s bullshit. I mean, you just can’t define it.’ Frances argued (in Gary Greenburg’s 2013 book about the DSM-5, The Book of Woe) that these labels are still crucial to treatment, and he warned, ‘If you puncture that noble lie, you’ll be doing a disservice to our patients . . . . A lot of false beliefs help people cope with life.’ Have Allen Frances just said that you can treat delusions with delusions? …

    https://www.wired.com/2010/12/ff-dsmv/ https://www.madinamerica.com/2023/01/acknowledge-psychiatry-religion/

    In summary my main ideas are:
    1. Transforming psychiatry into clinical psychology
    2. Meeting of whole world’s Psychological Associations with Psychiatric Associations and Patients Associations to conduct joint conversations about Mental World and Mental Health.

    • Thanks Agnus,
      Appreciated! I like your ideas — thank you. Sorry I don’t have the energy to comment more. Also, I don’t know the work of James Davies…
      Wishing you well!

        • Hey Daniel,

          I think of you as my role model, at times where I feel disconnected from myself and not really hearing much of myself, and so I hear you. You’re the one person I’m likely to trust in this world. Because of your authenticity and honesty and your beautiful soul.

          I’m longing for freedom. Total freedom of the baggage that’s occupying my mind and body. When and how does it get better for you? I know healing isn’t linear. Is it at least exponential? How do I assess my progress, and is it going to be okay one day?

          • Hi R — thanks. Hmm…how long does it take to heal and feel more free??? I really do not know — it’s so different for everyone…. I still have my bad and painful days — both so many more good ones than bad ones. Really wishing you the best, Daniel

  11. Hi Daniel,

    I’ve been following your videos for a month and wanted to reach out. I’m currently facing a challenging situation where my family consistently tries to draw me back into a toxic environment. They often use guilt, citing reasons like my mother’s illness or my parents’ age, to persuade me to return. However, their lack of attention when I speak (preferring TV or alcohol) has led to a build-up of repressed anger on my part.

    My so-called ‘friends’ aren’t supportive either. They simply advise me to forgive and return to my family, possibly because they’re in similar situations. Even my sister and her boyfriend make me feel guilty for not caring for our parents, who ironically expect me to parent them. They dismiss my concerns about our age difference, insisting I should take care of them regardless. I find this expectation unreasonable.

    I am 26 years old, presently attending my second university where I am studying medicine, a field I didn’t choose and find traumatizing. The sight of blood and injuries often triggers panic attacks in me.

    I’ve been seeing a therapist for 10 months and have lived alone for three years. My therapist is understanding and offers a certain level of support without judgment. However, I often feel like my progress is slower than I’d like. Despite making some advancements, I’m at a stage where I desire to live on my own terms. I frequently find myself self-critical for not moving fast enough, a sentiment I think stems from my father’s habitual criticism of me.

    I’m also contemplating getting a dog for companionship. My tendency to isolate myself, stemming from a pattern of choosing abusive relationships and a lack of attraction to healthy individuals, is something I’m trying to address. I apologize for unloading all this here; I’m seeking a different perspective to better understand and manage these emotions, especially the anger I’ve repressed so far.

    • you don’t have to do anything if you don’t want to with family, school, career, anything in life. but from perspective seems like you need to find a way to process these feelings. sitting w them, journaling, somatic movement, etc. you’ll find a way that resonates. you deserve to feel free, show the love you need to yourself. my heart is with you ciprian

  12. Hello Daniel,

    What do you think of Antinatalism? This idea seems to be gaining popularity and seems to align somewhat with your worldview. Very curious your thoughts!

    Thank you,
    Buck Kirtland

    • Hi Buck,
      Thanks for the question. My basic point of view is that most people aren’t fit to have children. I’ve made some videos about that and also written about it here on this website. However, I don’t want humanity to go extinct. I love my life and love humanity. I just don’t want to see more children traumatized, and I think there are too many people on this planet. My ideal is that people heal their childhood traumas and grieve, and the more they do this the more fit they become as parents. My goal personally is to parent/heal myself. What’s your point of view? Daniel

  13. Hey Daniel,

    when a new video comes up I feel great that you’re out there doing your thing. Your videos inspire and comfort me so much. Forever grateful.

    Can you consider talking about objectification of self and others? More specifically, the idea of finding safety in having sexual energy floating in relationships. Flirting with everyone even in platonic relationships. Or finding oneself always in these situations.

    It’s so subtle it goes unnoticed, or deliberately not mentioned, only felt. Mentioning it would be setting a boundary and it would often lead to blame and accusations. i think it relates to your videos on sexual abuse of sons by mothers. And it can be related to pretty privilege as well. Would love to hear if you have more to say about it.

    • Hi Daniel,

      I viiewed on of your recent videos on your experience of parental neglect and fighting.

      You mentioned your parents’ contrasting personalities.

      Do you ever think about what kind of alternative partners (if any at all) would’ve been better suited to your mother and father instead of having chosen each other and made their own and your lives so painful?

      • Hi Robert,
        My parents weren’t suited to be in a relationship with anyone. They were too immature to be healthy partners. They needed to work on themselves…

  14. Hi Daniel
    I know my mother was a narcissist but a covert narcissist, so there were many distortions of love. There were moments in my childhood where she seemed loving, how would I know these moments came from a manipulative and controlling place of a narcissist and not a heart centred, genuine loving space?
    I get confused with whether she was actually genuinely loving at times..
    Thank you for your work!

  15. Hello,
    First and foremost, Happy New Year! I have questions to ask you. As a former therapist, which influential figure in modern psychology has inspired you the most in your personal life and practice? Freud? Jung? Next, what is the meaning of dreams? For instance, a recurring dream I have is falling in love with a man which makes sense because I’m a gay man myself. What is the meaning of these reoccurring dreams? And, what is the psychology of the ‘law of attraction’? Can we truly train the mind (and the subconscious) to enact our deepest desires? Thanks! Love your work!

    • Hi Rudy — well, I would say Alice Miller influences me most in the psychology field. If you search for her on my website and my Youtube channel I say a lot about her — her strengths and weaknesses… I also write a lot about dreams on this website and talk about them on my Youtube channel too — if you search for dreams here or there you’ll find a lot about that! About your other questions…I’m not sure…
      All the best — and thank you.

  16. Hey Daniel, just wanted to say your videos have helped me a lot lately. Thank you.

    What are your thoughts on third culture kids/growing up abroad? When I was 6, my control-freak parent dragged me to another country to both get me away from family/friends and spite them. The cultural isolation, bullying I received and questionable parenting seriously messed me up. I’ve spent my adult life trying to reclaim myself and understand the child I really was.

    I’ve met other people who have similarly been dragged all over the place by their parents due to their careers/whims and while it can broaden cultural horizons, I’ve seen it do a lot of harm to young minds. Do you have any thoughts?

    Best wishes, Owen

    • Hi Owen,
      Sadly, I’ve seen some people get really messed up by their parents removing them from their cultural or social milieu and dragging them around the world — kids always having to start over in new cultures and with new friendships…and sometimes fail pretty miserably to do so…
      I’m wishing you the best!

  17. The past six months have been a really turbulent period, in an overall good way. I’m nearly 19 now and the past year is the first I have spent properly present, after repressing all my feelings due to a childhood of emotional neglect. Although a there is a lack of healthy adult role models in my family, your videos have been a tremendous help in the procress of making sense of my past and beginning my healing journey. Thank you so much for the work that you do. Your authenticity is admirable and I hope to one day reach such a point in life as well. Godspeed!

  18. My name is Kai, and I’m from Pakistan. My therapist diagnosed me with psychosis, delusional type. I believe I have it, but the therapist did not help me recover. During our sessions, it felt like she was trying to get rid of me. After the fifth session, she claimed I was healed, though I still don’t feel okay. What should I do?

    • Hi Kai,
      I’m really not sure what to do. If possible I would avoid taking psychiatric medications, or if you are taking them and don’t like them and wish to quit be very sure to taper quite slowly. The best thing I think is finding safe and respectful people to talk with. Often that is not easy, but I think it is very helpful — whether they are therapists or not. All the best, Daniel

  19. Hey Daniel,

    I wanted to ask what your opinion was on leaving home at a young age. For all my life I’ve wanted to adventure and see the world but the way my life is heading I’m doubtful that things will work out. My parents are somewhat conservative and to them, it’s obligatory that I be religious, go to school, and provide for them until they pass. I have siblings that I’ve watched grow older and I know that they’re not happy with how they live. I wanted to take things slow but as the days go by I feel more and more discontent with my life. I’ve been thinking about just running away from home, I feel that the environment I’m in is making it harder for me to move forward. But I also have the fear that I’m not thinking straight and I might just be desperate.

    • Hi S,
      I’m not sure how old is “a young age.” I think under 18 is too young, personally — certainly for most people. But I think once a person is of majority age it can be very healthy and eye-opening to have some life adventure away from home — often far from home. The main thing is that the person does it in a safe and intelligent manner — have some money saved, avoid drugs and alcohol while traveling, maybe travel with a friend, or make sure to make some friends along the way!
      Wishing you the best,

  20. Hi Daniel,

    I first came across your work in 2015 via your interviews with Jake of The Voluntary Life, and then I read Breaking With Your Parents, which was one of main influences to confront my parents and move through the individuation process towards my Authentic Self. Have also read many of Alice Miller’s books (joelbein.com/books). Very grateful for your courage, self-expression, and impact on my journey. 🙂

    I just released a 3-part podcast series Questioning Your Parents (https://open.spotify.com/episode/32pXWbMHvRTbBUZXjNSwQJ?si=oG91GvMGQamtta5o_U0zJw) for my new podcast. I deeply desire to create a healthy and wholesome world for humans, from the inside out and bottom up. I would love to interview you on the podcast to talk about these topics that nearly no one else is talking about on the planet.

    Are you interested?


    • Hi Joel,
      Thanks for the offer!! However, I must admit that I don’t have the mental energy for it at the moment. I haven’t been giving any interviews lately. Maybe at some point in the future, but not right now…
      Meanwhile, thank you also for your kind words —
      and wishing you the best!

      • I see, thank you Daniel. Perhaps I’ll plan to reach out in a year or two and see how you are doing. Or if you are ever feeling eager to do interviews again, feel free to reach out to me at my email address.

        And you are welcome. Forever grateful for your courage.


      • Hi!
        Sorry so many leave you lengthy confessionals, leverage your site to self-promote and have missed the message you left therapizing behind and now pursue things that fill your tank, not empty it. I was wondering if you have elaborated more on the benefits of celibacy somewhere? I recently re-read A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson; who is running as a Dem for president again, and she discusses the detriments to the soul of sex without love in our lives. I agree. No words describe this other than a form of self-rape we do to ourselves in this hook-up culture in 2024. Are we returning to apes as a culture?

  21. Hi Daniel,

    I’m writing this to ask about the process of becoming more mature. I’m 19, and feel a lot like a kid. I’m still dependent on my father in some ways, and for a long time have been out of school and a job, spending a lot of time at home. I feel very afraid of people, and have trouble really openly interacting with anyone, and always feel suspicious or mistrusting. I feel like I always just let things happen to me, and let the important things in life fall away, when maybe there was more I could do, but I just don’t trust myself either, and really don’t value myself. Is becoming mature something that happens through action? I think it is, but I just feel so inadequate, I can’t even message my friends or get a job. I don’t want to strive for the wrong things in life, and I hate that I’m falling behind many of my peers, and I recognize that the things that come out of my mouth are so often underdeveloped and childish, and I don’t know how to change that because I can barely think without being overwhelmed, running away from my issues, and wasting another day. I hope this isn’t a misuse of this platform. I know I could think on and on about this, and I assume you would recommend taking small forward steps, but I don’t know what to do, or what to let guide me in this life, and unfortunately I’m very afraid.

  22. Hey Daniel, i donated some money, watched many of your youtube videos, today i confronted my parents and it went better than expected, they are much older than me 70/73y and i’m 33y, my mom gave me no privacy and castrated me sexually, she still acts in a sexual way when i have a girlfriend.. i have had many addictions.. most damaging one is paying for sex, i still am in the grips of this escaping behavior.

    Some things i left unsaid not because i was afraid but because i didn’t found a proper way to communicate, first time i saw my father cry.

    Sometimes i feel i’m overreacting, i feel bad now for listening to you and that they didnt traumatize me and you brainwashed me!

    But maybe its my stockholm syndrome talking.

    Wish you the best.

  23. Hi Daniel! I just discovered your YouTube videos a few weeks ago, and really feel you are a Friend out there in the world. What you are doing is of such value that I wouldn’t know where to begin. I’d like to offer you something, however small, in return: I like the way you employ the little riff at the end of each of your videos, and was reminded of John Sayles’ movie “Passion Fish.” Have you seen it? “Crumb” and “Rosetta,” among others, have passed through my mind watching your content as well.

    To Freedom!

  24. Hey danial,
    Hope you’re doing well.

    I’m in a bit of an intellectualizing pickle. What do you think about intellectualizing as a way to escape true grief and pain?

    Someone like Alice Miller, for example. She knew all the facts. She still had major blind spots in her life.

    I read in her book prisoners of childhood, the sentence “reduced to mere intellectual insights” and it kind of spoke to me. After going through an awful event were I felt deep shame. Still do. I lost me again. I feel the connection to myself is kind of weak now. It’s confusing and awful to fall into this intellectualizing trap like I use my knowledge of things like repetition compulsion to ease my shame instead of feeling it. Cause it’s unbearable. But I’m kind of lost in thoughts like a loop. And I feel kind of lost from myself and retraumatized.

  25. Hi Daniel,

    I would like to wish you a wonderful New year and a happy birthday month for your child of inner beauty.

    You have made a very big difference in this past year of mine. Knowing a kindred soul is out there who questions things and is walking this path too makes it feel less lonely. Your books have guided me and your songs soothed me.

    I am on the path to grieving my childhood, where it’s “hell to be honest” and quite lonely for a time. But a journey I would not foresake for anything. My inner child, my true self is worth reaching for, embracing and knowing.

    I am glad 2023 led me to your work.
    This year I journey onwards toward truth.
    And I wish you all the best on your path.


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