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!!

242 thoughts on “Welcome!

  1. Hey Daniel! If you have the time, out of curiosity I’d like to ask: had you ever had clients with selective mutism during your time as a psychotherapist? I ask because I had it as a child and it made for some traumatising interactions with my parents. I’ve read it’s not a disorder that is caused by trauma but I’ve grown rather skeptical of that claim, especially seeing as a lot of child abuse/neglect in society never even registers as trauma to people in the field. It’s incredibly rare to see this disorder mentioned at all anywhere so I couldn’t help but wonder if you have any thoughts on what could make a young child suddenly develop this disorder out of blue.

    Regardless, thanks for your videos, as they’ve been very helpful in untangling my trauma and making me aware of a lot of the corruption in the psychiatry field I didn’t know about!

    • Hi Alex,
      Yes, I had clients with it, and once a friend who had it intensely as a child, and also I had it a few times in my life as well. I don’t know about what caused my friend to have it (though his father did abandon him and his mother), but I did see in the case of my clients and in my own case that it was definitely trauma-based. It wasn’t safe to talk — to speak my mind — to express my feelings, to be me. Being me was dangerous and going silent, beyond conscious control, was safer for me. When I felt safer (by getting away from the awful people and also by healing my traumas) I could talk again, without a problem. I saw the same with clients. There is also a person in my film Take These Broken Wings (on youtube) who was selectively mute for a while. It seemed pretty clear it was trauma-based in her case too….


      • Whoa, that is actually fascinating, because from my personal experience escaping my parents ‘cured’ my selective mutism too – and I definitely recall instances where I’d receive angry and rejecting confrontations from a parent about the fact I refused to talk about ‘why I’m like this’ which needless to say made me freeze and go nonverbal even more out of fear, because I was afraid speaking would escalate the situation even more. Many thanks for your response – I’ve been meaning to check out your documentary too, and this is gonna be an additional reason to do so now as it’s so hard to find people with similar early experiences and it can feel isolating at times. Very surprised to hear you struggled with this too!!

        • Hi Alex,
          I think I should make a video on selective mutism. It’s a good topic and I think it’s more common than people realize. Also, the woman in the film of mine that was selectively mute was in the middle of a deep psychotic break, and, come to think of it, I’m not sure if she was actually selectively mute, but maybe mute all the time — for a period of years. But I think the film also makes it clear that her issue was trauma related. Meanwhile, sending you good vibes! Daniel

          • If making a video on the subject truly interests you then I think it’d be a fantastic idea – there are such little resources and info on selective mutism as it is, and I feel like there’s got to be a lot of people affected by it who would really appreciate the visibility of a more (in my experience at least) stigmatised anxiety disorder like it. Especially considering current data seems to be reluctant to consider trauma to be the cause of the condition!

            Appreciate the vibes, take care. 🙂

  2. Hello Daniel,
    I was hospitalized twice with psychosis. I was diagnosed bipolar. I take olanzapine now. I like what you say about trauma being part of it because I totally see connections to trauma in my psychosis. I know you are against pills. If I go off the pills, what is the alternative? What do you think I should do for recovery? Thanks

  3. Have you heard anything about psychedelics triggering a dramatic increase of intelligence? Experienced it after taking ayahuasca to say a Genius level even it eventually went away 3 months later but dont see much on it out there. Some say its kundalini but idk much about it.

    • I have never heard of that, Andrew. I’ve heard of people have very altered perceptions of themselves, though, after ayahuasca (and have experienced that myself). Meanwhile, what you’re describing sounds a bit like the book Flowers for Algernon — a classic book. In that case the main character was mentally retarded to begin with, though — different from your case. But still, it was a very interesting book — worth a read if you haven’t seen it.

  4. Hi Daniel, I always see things as simple and valueless. Like, if I eat my favourite ice cream while enjoying it and after a while I get thoughts like ”uh! It’s just ice cream”. If I see a beautiful starry night I would be very amazed while seeing it. But later I get thoughts like ”uh! it’s just a starry night.. Nothing else”. These type of thoughts also make me very sad and depressed as I see everything as simple and valueless. I get thoughts like ”uh! it’s just a ‘physical thing’ it will die over time.I don’t need to show love/interest towards that. It is just temporary”. Also I get thoughts like ”uh! All things are temporary. no need to show interest/love towards them”. So how do I deal with these?

    • Hmm, Tim…good question…. Off the top of my head (I’m fried right now, too much work) I’m not sure what to say. Maybe others can contribute here. Also, I really welcome others who read these comments to feel free to jump in and answer as best they can. I know there’s a lot of wisdom here!

    • Thanks, Daniel, for inviting responses from your “Wild Truth” community!
      Hello Tim, I feel that what you are expressing is very valuable. Without context the beauty of the starry night is just what you said . The sadness may originate from a place that needs, indeed requires aforementioned context. Don’t try to push away your insights or even try to stop feeling sad. Kierkegaard, who followed every idea to its “illogical final point,” loved his melancholy as he felt it was a genuine consequence of his stellar insights.

  5. Hi Daniel, when you were psychotherapist have you ever trained in doing forms of therapy like EMDR, psychodynamic therapy, cbt etc?. And have you ever perform any of these therapy to any of your client at that time?

    • Hi Guiso,
      Psychodynamic therapy, yes, and some CBT — though I more just followed my own path and not any prescribed method. EMDR, no. I tried EMDR myself a couple of times and didn’t like it — didn’t do anything for me. I’ve talked to some people who have said it’s helped then and others who said it overwhelmed them and made them feel worse — even to the point of psych hospitalization. Daniel

  6. Hi Daniel, thank you for your video on why you ended up leaving your job as a therapist. Have you seen/experienced severe burnout, and do you have any suggestions on what to consider before stepping away from the field? Appreciate your time.

    • Hi Marty– severe burnout, no. I was heading in that direction, though, before I stopped. Suggestions — well, maybe fewer clients, more breaks. Or a big break… More fun things. More focus on one’s own needs and not just the needs and feelings of others…

  7. Hello I’m currently working on a research paper for an English class about certain questions that we have about the profession we want to enter. I chose psychology because to be honest with you I have a fascination about this field of study and I enjoyed having my lecture in class. My question to you is (and I hope this isn’t a bother) If our mental health is as important as your physical health shouldn’t health insurance providers cover therapy sessions for us? Why is therapy labeled “so expensive”? Is the salary of a therapist excused? should they make more, or should they make less?

    • Hi Daniel,
      Hmm…perhaps I’m not such a big fan of therapy anymore… I often think therapy is too expensive, though I think if a therapist is really great then maybe it’s worth a high cost. But I think, and this is based on my experience, that most therapists are not very good and really are just running a racket. They really don’t have much to offer people for their mental health struggles and sometimes are just downright bad and hurtful. And so much of the mental health system nowadays, especially when it comes to people with more serious problems, is about putting people on drugs. And the people who fund the system use that very argument– “our mental health is as important as your physical health”– to get more people put on the meds. I think it’s awful… And a lot of times the therapists themselves are the conduits to get people stuck on the drugs. It’s part of their training and very hurtful…
      But a good therapist who really knows how to help a wide variety of people — very rare and very wonderful. And often, from what I’ve seen, these people charge LESS money. It’s because they have more of a heart.

      • Wow. Found your site looking up projective identification on YouTube. It’s very helpful to hear you say this, having been a therapist.

        After a truly hellish time working with too many trauma therapists, including a very famous and very expensive one who forgot her own protocol because she was looking through the eyes of my mother introject, I have concluded psychotherapy (and particularly trauma therapy) is inherently flawed. It depends on one party to be unerring and experience no cognitive distortions. The profession encourages the narcissistic viewpoint that in the case of any relationship difficulties, the client is automatically wrong and the therapist is almost never projecting on the client. I believe this idea is totally false. I think therapists develop countertransference, aren’t humble enough to work through it, and terminate their clients for their own convenience all the time. ALL THE TIME.

        I believe the therapists doing the particular protocol that harmed me are empathetic and begin “receiving baby’s transmissions” of how my abusive mother felt and thought about me when commencing the protocol. The therapist is very prone to confuse this information with their own perceptions of the client — and then the therapy is doomed. Worse yet, the therapy is harmful when performed in this state, so the clients are left destabilized and never knowing what hit them. Many times the therapist walks away feeling like they did something good for the client (must be something wrong with THEM that the therapy didn’t work!)

        I’m doing my own art, music and dance therapy at home from now on. I will never trust a therapist again. I’ve been harmed so much more than helped. Most of the growth I’ve experienced has come from figuring out what the therapist should have on my own.

  8. Dear Daniel,
    Thank you for your thoughtful work.
    I am an ACSW who will have acquired the requisite 3,000 hours for licensure in a few months.
    I wonder, when you were working as a psychotherapist, if you ever had days, one of which I had today, when you felt like an inept therapist?
    Although you did list the (perhaps adjacent) enormous responsibility as a reason, you did not list occasions of feeling inept as being one of the 6 reasons you stopped being a psychotherapist; but it is certainly a reason that – when it happens – leads me to want to exit the profession. Mostly I feel as if I’m helpful – which is the whole point of the job – but when I feel the opposite of helpful, it feels horrible and discouraging.

    • Hi Sara,
      Yes, sometimes I surely felt inept — but that was more early on in my work. I think I shared about this in a few videos, but I can’t exactly remember where. Later in my work I did sometimes, perhaps even often, feel that I wasn’t necessarily helping people in a way I could clearly see, but that didn’t necessarily then translate in my mind to my being inept. Sometimes I felt instead that they were just very stuck — or perhaps that I just wasn’t a match for them. Or perhaps I felt that they just needed more time — or I needed more time to think out creative solutions. But early on I did often feel tormented at feeling inept — especially when I read books by grandiose therapist-healers of their “wow” successes, and also had supervisors who admitted no flaws or weaknesses…tiresome and sad… Anyway, wishing you the best! Daniel

  9. Hey Daniel, have you heard of the work of Lloyd deMause?

    https://psychohistory.com/articles/the-history-of-child-abuse/ is a speech from him, it seems he convincingly concluded that sadistic cruelty towards children has been the rule throughout history.

    In particular, one idea of his is that children are used and abused as “poison containers” that parents can dump all their toxic waste into.

    His observations perfectly match with what you talk about. It really is a pity that the entire topic is not discussed much, and parents are somehow thought to be naturally benevolent, which is not supported by history at all.

    Thanks again for all that you do!!!

    • Hi Charles,
      Yes, I do know his work and I read a couple of his books. I found them mostly excellent. I also exchanged some emails with him about fifteen years ago, before he died. But unfortunately I never met him, even though we both lived on the same island — Manhattan.
      And thank you for your kind words–

  10. Hi Daniel, what type of therapist you were? Clinical psychologist? Childhood trauma therapist or just truama specialist? Also when you were therapist you also had clients who had problems like anxiety, depression, ocd, phobias, ptsd etc Instead of childhood trauma?

    • Hi Shriya,
      My license was as an LCSW — a licensed clinical social worker. But that really told nothing about what type of therapist I was, as it was only a license. I worked differently with each client I had. I always thought about trauma with my clients, but some people didn’t want to talk about their traumas (or didn’t realize they had any) and I didn’t push the subject. I also worked with clients of all sorts of problems — pretty much everything imaginable. I also focused on working with adults.

  11. Hi Danial, I have been following your channel in YouTube for the past few days, it is quite interesting!
    I actually knew your channel from a search on YouTube, about studying psychology, and I found out that you have the same background as me, I am a biologist also, but I have a huge interest in psychology. But my problem is that I cannot differentiate weather my interest is result of an actual interest or unresolved trauma, I am now deciding between a very good Phd position in my field, or studying psychology on my own, if you have an interest and time to advice me I really appreciate it.

    • Hi Salwa — Hmm, I’m really not sure what to say! Perhaps journal about it more to figure out what your motives are?

  12. Hi Daniel,

    First of all’ i’m kinda surprised that you consistently reply to most people here which i guess it’s not always easy
    Secondly, i have a few unrelated topics that i’d love to hear your response:

    1. i’ve noticed that throughout a a few of your videos you mention that it is really stressful for you to sit and film your opinion and truth publicly for people to see. While i intuitively get that, as personally beginning my own healing journey just 2 years ago, there is a part i’m almost not ready to except. How are you, such a profound and strong person that talks so much about healing trauma and went through so many internal and external challenges, is still very stressful about talking his own truth?

    2. you were born in 1972 and you’ve mentioned that you used to go a lot to nature around you. We’re you also “raised by TV” for a period in your childhood? or watched a lot of it at least? i’m mainly asking since i was born a lot later than you (1995) and for me TV and cartoons were a big chunk of my childhood, which mainly were like a continuation of the pacifier and a great distraction from the pains of trauma and neglect. Later also i slowly transitioned to the computer and internet as a main distraction which still lingers to this day. This force of convenient distraction is a one a still struggle with, but on the other hand i find that by remembering or stumbling across old shows and cartoons recently helps me a bit digging up the past. Did you ever experience anything similar?

    3. Generally i’m noticing more and more that it is very hard to live in our modern world and society when trying to stop dissociating. Not just on the interpersonal level of interactions and honesty with other people around you, but also almost everything else. For example, i’ve watched a short video about the conditions of chickens in farms that produce (chicken) meat and farms for eggs. i’m already trying to be maximally vegan but just watching that was soul crushing, and the only way yo actually keep consuming these stuff is to completely dissociate. Together with the state of the world of collapsing climate and ecosystems, pointless wars, silly corruption and neglect of even basic infrastructure (in many countries) and so many other problems – is both depressing and anxious. i guess i mainly vented here but if you have any suggestions on how to deal with trying to learn and live your truth in such a background it would be helpful.

    So thank you Daniel for being who you are,
    with warm regards,

    • Hi Roman,
      Sorry, I’ve hit that point where at the moment I don’t have the energy to reply… I did my best to reply to your other comments, though!
      Thank you for your kind words, also!

  13. Daniel,
    Hi there! I see how often and how quickly you reply to messages on your website, and I wanted to thank you for how much effort and energy you put into answering questions!
    I just wanted to ask you what your opinion is on the phrase “it’s better to be alone than in bad company” in the context of having healthy friends? I ask because I moved to a new city at the beginning of the pandemic, where I didn’t know anyone. It was also around this time that I started my healing work, and I haven’t been able to find any friends in my new city that I feel are really healthy and on board with being honest and true. Is it better to hold out for people that are honest and true or are possibly unhealthy friends better than no friends?
    Thanks for all you do!

    • Hi Ricky,
      greetings! Yes, sometimes I have some extra energy and time to respond (and sometimes to respond quickly). Sometimes not… Hmm, I think I actually addressed that topic in a video on friendships. I know for myself I do spend a lot of time alone if I don’t have good friends, but at other times (especially when I’m traveling in foreign lands) I make friends that I might not otherwise have. Also the same when I was younger — some friends were better than no friends!! But I have some pretty bad friends at certain points, and when it comes to that, nowadays, I’d definitely rather be alone!!
      Warm greetings,

  14. Hi,
    I want to know resources on how to deal with Schizoaffective disorder bipolar type. I’ve been taking meds since 2007 and can’t afford to get an alternative psychiatrist. Are there any books specifically to deal with the disease (Schizoaffective disorder bipolar type)?


  15. Hi Daniel Nice to meet you, I have a problem.(also sorry for my bad english)
    When I was young I slipped and fell on the floor. It fractured a bone in my finger and was very painful. After a few days it was cured. But I am now experiencing the following:
    1: I feel anxious that something painful like this Or something more painful than this will happen to me in future. And if anything like that happens then after that I become so much sad and will go into a state of extreme depression for sure. I also become again anxious too. I get a sudden shock feeling when i remember about that physical pain i experienced that time.
    AND from there on, I start feeling anxious towards “physical pain” And get sad and depressed whenever I think about other people’s huge physical pain they’ve experienced.
    2. I also feel depressed whenever I think about the Physical pain I have experienced at that time. Whenever i see any disturbing scene in news or at tv i gets triggered and then i goes into a state of sadness and depression. somedays ago i saw a documentary of hiroshima bomb exploding in japan.were 6000°c of heat hits people and whenever i think about those peoples physical pain they’ve experienced at that time, i becomes so much sad and depressed. Sometimes these things also pop up in my mind in the form of images were those small babies and peoples screaming and crying in that physical pain. some weeks ago i saw a video titled “ancient brutal torturing methods” it made me even more triggering and my condition became even worse. i also gets triggered and become depressed and sad when not only think about physical pain instead, when i hear or saw other physical problems too like Vomiting,dying without getting oxygen etc etc…! i gets triggered whenever i hear or saw some words like “unbearable pain” or “unimaginable pain”.I feel sad and depressed whenever I think about the person who has experienced the biggest amount of physical pain in this world. I also get scared when I think about these kinds of things
    If there is anything in this universe worse than physical pain,I feel anxious and depressed when I think about it.
    These kinds of thoughts are unacceptable and unbearable for me.
    I want to get treatment but I don’t wanna take any kind of medication. I hate that and I will never take that. no matter what ! . Anyway now I start feeling ”HOPELESS”.
    I feel like there would be no treatments that will work for me. there will be no solution for my problem. I feel like therapists are bad. Forms of therapy are useless. my mind started saying something like “There will be solutions to only some problems, not for all”. I am really losing hope now. Now what will I do? Will there be any solution?

  16. Hello, I need urgent help. I took invenga sustenna for 6 months and it has destroyed my life, it took away all my dopamine and now I can’t sleep. Without sleeping I might get a heart attack or a seizure soon. My psychiatrist says it can’t be invenga but prior to get the injections I was fine and sleeping well. They should have never given me those injections. Can you help me?

    • Nina — well, Invega is an antipsychotic and lots of people coming off antipsychotics experience insomnia. If you google “Invega withdrawal side effects” you’ll see insomnia there, so I don’t know what your psychiatrist is talking about. It’s also possible you came off too fast. I’d recommend checking out the Withdrawal Project: http://withdrawal.theinnercompass.org
      They might be able to be useful to you. Wishing you the best,

  17. Hi daniel, I have 11 questions about psychotherapy and so on… Please answer in detail each question wise if possible.
    1: I often heard that many people say that therapy and meds don’t work. So what shall those people do?
    2: Is there any evidence that Therapy ever does much for anyone ?
    3: I heard that Therapy and psychology just gives a “positive effect” for people and it doesn’t solve any problem. Is that true? 4: psychology/therapy isn’t focused on diagnosing mental problems so that they can be solved. just talking about one’s daily life and the problems they experience on a day to day basis endlessly…!
    one guy commented that ”it just enables people to have emotional issues by putting them under a magnifying glass without fixing them”..like ”talk therapy” where someone talks about their problems and the therapist mainly listens without helping figure the person out from any problem. So is it all true?
    5: Most therapists have no idea what it is like to go through hardcore problems and to live a life full of pain and suffering and thus they cannot possibly even begin to help people. Is this true?
    6: Are the effects of medication or therapy permanent? and why?
    7: One article said that for some people some therapy can make things even worse. So what do they do?
    8: If therapy is very effective then when is medication prescribed?
    9: Do therapists ever felt like they don’t have a solution for someone’s problem? If yes, what to do in this case?
    10: I watched your video ”why i quit being a therapist”. so as our mental health industry is so broken, it means therapists and forms of therapy are bad and useless?
    11: Finally, how can we find a good therapist?

    • Hi AV,
      I’ll answer your questions as best I can (briefly), but I also want you to know that I’ve answered a lot of these questions in my videos.

      Here are two playlists of my videos that should be very helpful to you, or at least some of the videos on the list should be helpful:

      a playlist about psychotherapy — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0Fi32LbXHA&list=PLRHLaIzKomTiyUtDGwvzc9YjcM3K9sdMG The first video in the playlist is the one you mentioned, so you can skip that one.
      A playlist about doing self-therapy — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c95sfyv-M8M&list=PLRHLaIzKomTjZpFsYI0NPnHUteoRHLTiL

      And also a video of mine that goes into detail critiquing psychotherapy: https://youtu.be/G2-p4A7Bl6s

      So now I’ll answer your specific questions briefly.

      1: I often heard that many people say that therapy and meds don’t work. So what shall those people do?

      My answer: Well, I think in terms of effecting permanent change in people, and in their outlook to life, and their personalities, medications never work. They sometimes help people cope a little better for a while, and sometimes a long while, but often have terrible side effects even in the people they “help.” Good therapy, on the other hand, can work to effect permanent change, but it’s just very hard to find a good therapy. What worked for me is self therapy, and I provided my playlist on that above. I also have a self-therapy book for sale on this website under the book tab.

      2: Is there any evidence that Therapy ever does much for anyone ?

      My answer: Yes, there are quite a few studies showing how it helps people, even people with really serious problems including psychosis. I made films about the people in psychosis helped by therapy: http://wildtruth.net/films-recovery-schizophrenia/

      3: I heard that Therapy and psychology just gives a “positive effect” for people and it doesn’t solve any problem. Is that true?

      My answer: This can definitely be true of bad therapy. And bad therapy, unfortunately, is very common.

      4: psychology/therapy isn’t focused on diagnosing mental problems so that they can be solved. just talking about one’s daily life and the problems they experience on a day to day basis endlessly…!
      one guy commented that ”it just enables people to have emotional issues by putting them under a magnifying glass without fixing them”..like ”talk therapy” where someone talks about their problems and the therapist mainly listens without helping figure the person out from any problem. So is it all true?

      My answer: again, this can DEFINITELY be true of bad therapy, which is very common.

      5: Most therapists have no idea what it is like to go through hardcore problems and to live a life full of pain and suffering and thus they cannot possibly even begin to help people. Is this true?

      My answer: This is true of many therapists who have very little real life experience of their own. There are many of these therapists out there. There are also therapists who have suffered terribly in their life and are miserable people but have NOT learned to solve any of their own problems. These are therapists who are to be avoided. They have the experience of misery but not the experience of the solution. And there are many different varieties of solution, not just one.

      6: Are the effects of medication or therapy permanent? and why?

      My answer: I think this is just a rephrasing of questions 1, 2, and 3. But yes, the whole point of good therapy is that its effect is permanent — the person grows and changes and learns how to better deal with life’s problems. But also medications effects can sometimes, very depressingly, be VERY permanent— sometimes the NEGATIVE SIDE EFFECTS of medication are permanent. This is called neurological damage.

      7: One article said that for some people some therapy can make things even worse. So what do they do?

      My answer: Yes, sometimes therapy can makes things worse for people. I recommend self-therapy, or maybe trying to find a better therapist.

      8: If therapy is very effective then when is medication prescribed?

      My answer: Therapists and psychiatrists recommend medication when they have no other idea how to help people grow and change. When I was a therapist I myself never recommended medication. The dangers are too great and the act of recommending is a sign of failure of the mental health professional.

      9: Do therapists ever felt like they don’t have a solution for someone’s problem? If yes, what to do in this case?

      My answer: Yes, for sure this happens all the time, even with good therapists. They then either can keep trying to help the person, or they can try to recommend another therapist — or perhaps some completely different thing. Also, sometimes people are very stuck and are unable to implement changes in their lives. This requires more creativity on the part of the therapist.

      10: I watched your video ”why i quit being a therapist”. so as our mental health industry is so broken, it means therapists and forms of therapy are bad and useless?

      My answer: I would say most therapists are bad and useless, yes. And the mental health system is terribly flawed.

      11: Finally, how can we find a good therapist?

      My answer: That can be a real challenge. I never found one for myself, and I think I’ve tried maybe four or five therapists myself. But ultimately I think the best therapist for each of us is OUR OWN INDIVIDUAL SELF. That’s why I like self-therapy. However, I did make a video on 12 ways to find out if our therapist is good or not: https://youtu.be/xz3rsX63epE

      I hope this helps a bit!

      • Daniel, Thank you so much for your detailed explanation. it helped me a lot. Also thank you very much for fast reply.

    • Hi AV,
      Maybe you could share your questions here? Your name is anonymous so no one would know who you are, myself included. And then others might also benefit from seeing your questions and my answers.
      Wishing you the best,

  18. Hi Daniel, thank you so much for putting yourself out there, creating your videos and sharing your personal stories. That is so courageous of you.
    I am so so aligned with you at all levels. Thank God that I found your channel because talking about parental abuse has so much stigma, everyone makes me feel guilty, forces me to forgive even the therapist and I am not able to.

    So I can totally relate with your experiences and your thoughts on breaking up with your parents.

    I am very much interested in learning counselling skills. Do you have any online course or any videos where you teach it? Would love to learn from you. I just want to learn as a life skills not to start any professional practice or anything but just for myself and whoever shares their traumatic stories I should be atleast able to listen and create a safe space for their emotions. After spending almost a decade of my life in finding answers to my suffering through all forms of spirituality, religion, meditations etc; it’s only now I found my answer in Psychology.
    Hence, I want to learn these skills, is their anyway that you teach it?

    Thank you once again from the deepest part of my heart. You have given me so much direction towards rest of my life and can see that I have found a role model in you. I resonate with your thoughts on being childless, intentionally single and celibate. They were going on my mind since many years but couldn’t share with anybody. Also it is received with much ridicule. I am in my early thirties and its only now I think I am becoming the adult grown up women.

    Take care, kind regards
    Kimaya, Dublin, Ireland.

    • Hi Kimaya,
      Thank you! Alas, I don’t have any online counseling courses or anything like that. Just a lot of videos sharing my point of view… I’m also not sure how I would teach counseling, as mostly I learned how to do it through practice — and through listening to my clients and doing a lot of journaling and listening to my heart. I also did a lot of reading, though a lot of it was not very useful and just made me more insecure…
      Well, I’m wishing you the best on your journey!!

  19. Hi Daniel, I have been watching your videos for years and i bought your book and i respect you a lot. I had to break away completely from my parents 10 yrs ago (both textbook narcissists) and this is the only way i feel mentally healthy but I have realised i am a bit of a loner – and i tend to attract low quality friends or none at all – i was looking for a therapist to help me change this but all i find are scammers or bad ones. I live in the UK – could you recommend me a good therapist? Can be located anywhere in the world – i am looking for online therapy. Many thanks, L

    • Hi L,
      Hmm, unfortunately I don’t have any therapists to recommend! I used to years ago, but I no longer do.
      I’m sorry about that, and I am wishing you only the best,

  20. Hi! I’ m Sofia, I’ m 24 years old and I ‘ m from Italy. I suffer from extremely strong chronic anxiety (24h/7). 4 years ago, after a Trauma ( I lost control , I got in danger and I got super scared) I developed a very weird psychosomatic illness. I’ ve seen 30 doctors, neurologists , psychologists and psychiatrists. None helped me! I can’t “live” in this way anymore! I feel hopeless .. I can’t live anymore if there’s no cure for this!! I have also very strong anxious hunger.. I don’t sleep at night.. my psychosomatic issue affects mainly my brain.. and my head. It’ s a nightmare. What do you suggest me to do? Maybe Cognitive behavioural therapy?? Psychoanalysis was useless for me !! I don’t know what to do

    • Hi Sofia,
      Hmm, I’m not sure what to suggest, but I can shared what worked and didn’t work for me. Therapy never worked in my case, though I have known quite a few others who were helped by therapists (and I was a therapist and did help some folks). The key is finding a therapist who is really good. Most are not. I think sometimes the school of therapy may be less important than the quality and personality of the therapist. What worked for me (as you may have gathered if you looked more at my website) is self-therapy — self-healing — studying my past, making sense of my history, and going LOTS of grieving (and taking distance from my traumatizes). It’s been a long process but has helped to liberate me significantly.
      I am wishing you the best!

      • Thank you very much for your reply Daniel!
        I think I will meet a couple of people who treat their “patients” following the 5 biological laws of Dr. Hamer and following Quantic energy principles. The work on unsolved conflicts and traumas , in order to overcome psycho-physical issues. I think studying the past and our own history is very important. Thank you again!

  21. Hi again,

    Many of your videos address the fact that we don’t live up to our full potential, that our potential is robbed from us by our parents and society at large. And I fully agree with you on that. Our world could be so much more interesting and colorful, so much more meaningful.

    But I can’t help wonder: what would it actually LOOK like if someone lived up to their full potential? In a purely theoretical world where just one single child is allowed to fully blossom – intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually – how would that child spend its time? What would it do on a day to day basis? What would that child contribute to the world? Would it become an artist, a musician, a computer scientist?

    And is there anyone who you look at and think, “this person is a lot more spontaneous and connected with their emotions, and just more real and honest than most of the population”? In other words, is there anyone alive today or in history who you believe is some kind of working template for how an authentic human being should be? Or do you believe we’re all way too imperfect? Of course, even such a model human being would be deeply flawed in reality.

    My request, Daniel, is for you to start making videos addressing this hypothetical. And it really is a hypothetical – because I think there’s no way for us to really know. As you’ve talked about, we’re stuck in a world where children aren’t allowed to fully express their emotions, to fully act on their spontaneity. We’re trapped in a world where we’re disconnected from each other and from nature. So the best we can do is imagine. And I’m very interested to know what kind of world you imagine, what kind of evolved human being you imagine. Perhaps in your future videos, you could incorporate some more artwork and photos to give us an idea of your vision.

    I ask the same of myself, by the way: If I were living at my full potential, what would l be doing right at this very moment? Should I live like a hedonist, drifting through life seeking pleasurable experiences? Or should I live like a romantic, seeking out adventure and art and music? Or alternatively, should I seek stability and practice discipline, by doing things like weightlifting? Should I strive for a rich social life involving many different people, or should I settle for solitude? The answer would depend on who I ask. It’s very confusing to be one person and have so many different ways of being to choose from. There are different parts of me that are drawn to each of those ideas – the hedonist, the romantic, the self-disciplined, the social butterfly, the solitary.

      • Thanks for considering the idea for your future videos. Creating such videos would be akin to becoming a fantasy writer for a day – dreaming up a fantasy world. Anything goes, it’s totally up to the limits of your imagination, and I’m curious to see what you’d dream up, should you go down that route.

        My criticism of the video you linked is that again, it has a heavy focus on the don’ts and wouldn’ts in our hypothetical enlightened world (drugs, alcohol, procreation), and while I do agree with many of those points, the video is a repetition of all the ideas already present on your channel. A bit of a change could be refreshing in my opinion.

        Best wishes,

  22. Hi Daniel,

    i really appreciate your work and piercing voice of truth, which since a friend sent me one of your videos a year and a half or so ago i truly feel different. i started piecing my troubled past and to grieve the pain and anguish, but there’s complication that i’d love you to give your advice or opinion:

    Apparently, like some therapists you’ve mentioned in some of your videos, i went too hard and deep into my own traumas. it was and still is so exciting to actually see with my soul eye some authenticity, truth, creativity and so much growth potential. Alas, i haven’t done enough preparatory work of building self love, care and having a safe environment. i currently live in an almost perpetual anxiety and fight or flight and unfortunately a lot manifests for me physically in the body. mainly digestion problems and stomach poisoning like events.

    i don’t regret anything but i am beginning to wonder if its okay to take an “emotional vacation” with prescription anxiety medication. my initial response to the idea was like yours that you mention a lot: psychiatric medication is just comfortable numbing dissociation. but lately it feels too much and it rips me apart. probably the “psychedelic self therapy” attempts a while ago were mostly disastrous in the short to mid term healing and lately i’ve hit a huge “trauma mine” that i know has to be dealt with, but again, i feel wholly unprepared. Also, i did think of taking a vacation abroad but currently it’s a bit hard given life circumstances and trying to save money so i’ll have some economic independence in a few months.

    So what do you think? is it a decent temporary compromise? trading some inner progress to relax a bit and build some resiliency?

    i hope you’ll respond and if you want to make a video about this topic \ question, i wouldn’t mind at all.

    Thanks for being you,
    with warm regards,

    • Hi Roman,
      Thanks for your message. The problem with prescription anxiety medication, that is, benzodiazepines in the modern world, is that often they’re FAR from a “emotional vacation.” They have an extremely high risk for tolerance and dependency. So many people get hooked on them quickly, with devastating results. There are thousands of accounts of this on the internet, and even the drug labels themselves say they’re not to be taken for more than 2 weeks, and in many cases even that is FAR too long. So I wouldn’t risk it. From what I’ve seen in myself and others, much better to slow down the intensity of the healing process, exercise more, try meditation, mindfulness — anything before anti-anxiety meds!
      Warm greetings,

      • Thank you Daniel for the reply.
        i had an intuition similar to yours but wasn’t aware of HOW bad the Benzo class drugs can be. i have 2 small follow-up questions if that’s okay:
        1. after talking with a friend whose also going through a similar healing process (though with somewhat of a competent therapist) and she suggested maybe looking at SSRI or general anti-depressants. With those i’m even less comfortable, both by the aspect of calmness by dissociation, potentially terrible adjustment & withdrawls and potentially not applicable for my “vacation period”. i know it might sound a bit of a silly question but i’d prefer to be more thorough with my knowledge and concerns.
        2. i think this is the more important one for me is should i continue journaling? i know this is highly personal and everyone is different, while for me it is almost integral to the healing journey itself. The “problem” with it is that often times i found myself writing stuff that not too slowly lead me, sometimes new places and other same ones, to the marshes surrounding the trauma’s and the dales of wounds. And like every journey in to those, there are a lot of uneasy thorns to say the least. On the other hand, journaling became slowly closer and closer to a habit for me and it kinda bums me to “let go” temporarily of this connection with my inner self.
        So should i stop journaling in the meantime? reduce the frequency? or just try to veer less into the “deep waters”?

        Thanks again,

        • Hi Roman,
          I personally would not want to take SSRIs– they’re associated with all sorts of nasty risks of their own…both for those on them and those trying to come off (and sometimes long after withdrawing). You can read about all that online… And journaling — only you can decide if it’s working for you. It certainly works and has worked for me. But not for everyone…
          Wishing you the best,

          • It may seem like journaling is a pain and perhaps even a waste of time, but, I guarantee you that if you begin, you will feel the benefits over time.

  23. Hi Daniel and the wildtruth community,

    Tonight I decided to do a little experiment: go on youtube and search “schizophrenia Nepal” (Nepal being my home country.) There are a handful of relevant videos that come up, and watching them is quite interesting. It shows these doctors/medical experts describing what to me sound like symptoms of a very frustrated, emotionally abused child.. The doctors will list symptoms of schizophrenia such as “loud verbal outbursts” and “child won’t listen to parents’ commands.” One video depicts a young man who hears voices of a fatherly figure, berating him in Nepalese that he’s too stupid, that his grades aren’t good enough.. I can relate to that very much, because IT ACTUALLY HAPPENED!! Schizophrenia my ass!!!

    What’s fascinating is how all of these videos are from the past 3 years – I can’t find a single “Nepal schizophrenia” or “Nepal mental health” video on youtube before 3 years ago. It seems like the great lie and scam that is conventional “mental health” and psychiatric medication has finally crept into my country of Nepal. I feel like I am the only one who can see this perspective, having watched Daniel’s videos first. Very very bizarre. It seems like some crazy luck that I discovered Daniel’s channel last year. This really puts into perspective how utterly fringe our ideas are here in this community.

  24. Hi Daniel,
    could you please make a video on that, in how many ways you felt abandoned from your parents?
    I am experience these feelings in so many ways cause of their denial, not being available for any type of guidance, questions about a life, questions about their parenting, their emotional rigidness. They are so disconnected from reality, from introspection, from future. I just don’t know why is that.

  25. Hi,
    Daniel, I used to watch this popular YouTuber named Vsauce, and he has a video on why human beings are morbidly curious – why we’re so drawn to things that are awful, grotesque, and terrifying. He basically thinks we’re “hardwired” to be drawn to the morbid. I don’t even want to watch the entire video, because I can already tell what his argument is: that humans are these innately screwed up, nasty creatures who have this horrible, violent side to us, for absolutely no reason that science can discern. That same old argument we get from mainstream psychology. Nowhere does he mention childhood trauma or the possibility that we might all be traumatized – those aren’t very flashy subjects that would get lots of views. His video has 7 million views and 178,000 likes. Most people in this world are in complete agreement with the idea that human beings are innately screwed up creatures.

    Watching this made me quite appreciative of your videos and your taboo belief that we’re all traumatized in various ways that we don’t even know about, from a very early age. I’m inclined to agree with you that human beings are, innately, creatures who are incredibly empathic. I agree with you that our fascination with horror movies and crime dramas is likely a way for us to relive our traumas, a way for us to observe what happened to us in our histories. I think your view actually offers an explanation for our morbid curiosity, whereas Vsauce and mainstream psychology can only conclude that we’re all born to be monsters. This makes me realize how unique your view is, and how most of the world isn’t ready to take what you say seriously at all.

    Here is Vsauce’s video in case you’re curious: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbdMMI6ty0o&ab_channel=Vsauce

    The guy strikes me as one of those creepy, obsessive psychologist/researcher types who would go to any lengths to study people. And I spend a lot of time in various places on the internet – it’s like an echo chamber for views that are already mainstream. My advice is to not spend too much time on the internet – you’d probably lose hope in humanity’s future pretty quickly. Nobody seems quite ready for an era of mass grieving, except in your little niche community online.

    • i like your thinking and concur with your conclusions. In my experience, we are all traumatised and yet few people want to hold their parents accountable and start addressing the core of the problem facing humanity.

      Maybe its no bad think when we eventually wipe out the majority of the population to have a hard reset, a little like Daniel talks about in his license to procreate article. It does sadden me though my children’s children ( if they choose to have them, one has said she’s not interested) will be impacted.

  26. I don’t think you are ostracized by your peers; I think you are peerless. I think you are a pariah: You are a pariah because you are a radical. Not only that, your ideas are extremist. You are radical in that your ideas strike the root: They cut deeply to the heart of the matter. Extremism would be the application of methods which will shock, awe, deviate, and demolish as a means to an end. To my view, radicalism and extremism are incomplete without each other. Extremism without radicalism is disruption for disruption’s sake; radicalism without extremism is impotent idealism.

    I agree with you enthusiastically. In fact, I’ve thought some very similar things even well before I discovered your material.

    Consider the logistic implications of a world wherein there is a mass movement of breaking away from the family system. It would not just help the world. It would fuck the world. It would rape the world right in its operationality.

    The family system (very) effectively functions as a conditioning mechanism in service of what is broadly considered to be “the world,” but is in reality simply society. As such, the family system is a microcosm. A lot of talk about narcissism in your comment section. Traditional, conventional parenthood is the consummation of narcissism as it operates as a unilateral, self-perpetuating function of the ever-creeping, ever-escalating power dynamics of the ultimately only two separate classes of the socially integrated: the controllers and the acquiescent. The moneyed shot-callers inhabit a culture of determined psychopathology. The masses inhabit a culture of enabling. In social climbing, envy is embodied. Becoming a parent is the epitome of socially “making it,” because it is the ultimate “playing out” of entitlement (a hallmark of narcissism!) In wicked perversion, parents categorically eschew the reality of agency. They deny the reality of ownership. They own not any behavior, neither their own nor their children’s. Any and all efforts to condition their children’s minds and behaviors are excused without regard for harmfulness or severity. They are merely (pathetically, meagerly) doing what parents do in order to ensure that their children do what children do. Needs are not considered because needs are grossly mistaken. To parents, to controllers, needs are no more than obligations to acquiescence to ongoing operations.

    Consider a group of radicals who has developed a literacy of needs. Consider the power of numbers. Consider the notions produced by radicals in concert: They are extremist.

    What would they do? They would become satisfied with nothing less than the targeting of children. They would target children with a message of and an opportunity for agency. That’s what your idea of deep healing does, isn’t it? It restores agency via the restoration of True Selfhood. To recruit allies solely from the 18+ demographic could only ever be a Sisyphean labor. Once such a faction is healed and cohesive enough to be proactive, to preclude children from the recruiting pool would amount to a circle-jerk. Your own words attest to this: It is children who Love as True Selves. I won’t spell out those particular indications any further. I’ll just say that the dereliction of such a movement would amount to the same abandonment of real responsibility that so does parenthood.

    You or anyone might disagree that a mass healing movement would necessarily have to enact a mission of extricating children from their family systems in order to actually live up to its responsibilities. That said, consider such a scenario:

    As historical neglect and abuse trauma perpetually produce the psychopathological ills of society, which themselves produce the operational aspects of the global society, there is nothing else which could so disrupt society. Nothing. Not a collapse of the power grid, or a collapse of the food supply, or a collapse of governments, or a nuclear holocaust or any other genocide, not anything. In fact, such cataclysms could never produce an actual armageddion. All they could ever do is, in desperation, further entrench the pathological dynamics of leverage-based narcissistic entitlement, for violence and deprivation are the linchpins of our traditional, conventional, societal order.

    What this says is that the masses would rather produce mass war than live up to the actual responsibilities they inherit as parents, as rightful stewards of new life. What that means is that any movement which aspires to heal the broken bonds of the family system would be met with a broad, vitriolic, violent hatred the likes of which recorded history has not seen. They would be targeted with violence from both independent actors and states.

    Therefore, such a movement would need (need!) to be equipped with a capacity for every type of violence: physical, emotional, and psychic. You have said it yourself that your healing process has been profoundly painful. It has required your sacrifice and your distress. In your Work, you transform the world, you radical.

    That’s what makes you a Hero! Please, please, PLEASE do not deny that fact, Daniel. I’m a connoisseur of radical ideas. I know what I’m talking about. You are like something out ov a Myth! You are an inspiration!

    A personal note:

    I get that I’m too intense; I really do. I embrace that. It’s how I’ve extricated myself from my family system in the face of severe, chronic illness and resulting disability, the kind which can result in dependence. I was deprived of each and every conventional opportunity. I’m not going to tell you my story. I’m saying that I did not just have my mind and heart stolen. I had my body ravaged. I know from experience how ugly it gets. And so do I impart ugliness. Sometimes I impose it. Sometimes I reveal it. Always I live in it. Always have.

    You have hope for the world. I have hope for you.. I hope that you will dive deeply into the esoteric sciences. I hope that you will study astrology, tarot, and whatever else with scientific pursuit in the vein of hermetic asceticism. You’re already an ascetic, as am I. Don’t stop. You’ve already identified the follies of new age ideology. You’d have no problem sussing out the scientific from the fantastical.

    Jah Bless!

    • Hello,
      If I may chip in here with my 2 cents, on the subject of removing children from their family systems: Ultimately yes, I do agree with you. Removing children from their family systems is, in the end, the logical consequence of our view that all family systems are screwed up, selfish microcosms that are designed to prepare children to fit into a screwed up, selfish society.

      However, if one day people like us decide to remove children from their family systems, we have to really, really understand our earliest childhood traumas, and be absolutely certain we’ve healed from them. I’m talking traumas that go back all the way to babyhood. We have to figure out how to compensate for the fact that we didn’t have gentle, nurturing parents when we so desperately needed them as babies. How do we even go about doing that? We in our community would have to become better parents than the kids’ biological parents. Would we really be ready/willing to do that? What if people in our little community simply want to live and enjoy life, and don’t want to child rear? If we don’t take up this responsibility of A) healing our deepest, earliest traumas, and B) providing amazing parenting for these children, and we simply take the children away, then we are no better than the screwed up, selfish parents that we are removing the children from. We’d be traumatizing the children even more.

      So in a nutshell, I agree with you, on a purely hypothetical level.

  27. Daniel,
    Ever notice how the most “progressive” people can be some of the most judgmental? And nobody gives a damn about men – everyone thinks we deserve to be in homeless shelters and work in sewers.

  28. Hi, Daniel –

    I’m hoping you might be able to guide me in the right direction on a topic. I’ve had really bad luck in psychotherapy, both CBT and psychoanalysis-based stuff. I recently figured out why: Alexythymia.

    I have issues putting words to emotions, which makes it tough to talk about them, and oftentimes leads to therapists pathologizing me and projecting their own sh!t onto me. I literally could write a book (maybe more than one) about my off-the-wall experiences with ‘competent’ therapists.

    I often get into weird situations where I become the therapist and my therapist becomes the client, sometimes willingly and sometimes not. With my last therapist, she wanted to use me as her therapist. As such, I received her vulnerable narcissitic transference when I was neither qualified nor prepared to receive it. Things got out of hand, and I had to escalate the matter to her therapist, who happens to be none other than Otto Kernberg! You can’t make this stuff up, even if you tried! 🙂

    Anyway, I’m stuck and lost currently. There is minimal data out there on how to treat alexythymia. As I’m very sensitive to ‘overly emotional’ thinking, which seems to affect the vast majority of therapists, I think I may need a therapist who is ‘normal’ like me. Is this even possible? 🙂

    To be clear, although I feel I am normal in the sense that I by and large lack pathological thinking because I am so logical, I’m also ‘not all there’ in the sense that I lack the basic drives, desires, and goals that most people have.

    Any guidance on next steps would be greatly appreciated.


    • Hi Michael,
      Well, since I’m not a big fan of most therapists, by and large, as therapy never really helped me, I’m more a proponent of self-therapy. I have quite a few videos on the subject on my YouTube channel, and also a self-therapy book that I wrote with a friend. Not to self-promote, but maybe these could help you?
      Wishing you the best!

    • Hey I dealt with something similar after my drug induced symptoms, i felt like my emotions were very limited. I did however, feel a lot of somatic sensations (tightness in chest, numbness around me, tight shoulders, localized areas of somatic pain of an emotional nature, I just couldn’t easily name them. I did psychotherapy for a long time and had some successes, but still I dealt with that. I decided about 3 years ago to focus on trauma therapy modalities that focus on the body to release trauma, have you heard of somatic experiencing? I would highly suggest you look that up, it takes away the need of understanding your emotions and rather, creating a level of tolerance to what it is your feeling as a sensation or emotion so I can be released. Hope it helps. It’s a very powerful and even recognized therapy by modern psychology. Hope this helps.

  29. Hello Daniel,

    i have searched for an specific answer of my question. That quetion is: Are so called ,,pedophiles/hebephiles” made this way, rather than born this way, and i have never even found an interresed of other people in founding out, if so called ,,pedophiles/hebephiles” are made this way, all i found was ignorance, extreme hate and extreme anger against so called ,,pedophiles/hebephiles”. I wonder if so called ,,pedophiles/hebephiles” can heal. And yes, i watched your video on this subject, but you showed little to no interressed to go against the status quo, in finding out if so called ,,pedophiles/hebephiles are made this way, and if yes, how can they heal?

    • Hi Marquis,
      Sorry for my delay in replying, as I’m presently traveling and mostly off the grid. My personal opinion is that pedophiles are not born that way, rather are shaped to become that way by their own childhood experiences. I think many if not all have had their own sexual boundaries violated as children, physically or emotionally or both, though from what I have gathered many are deeply dissociated from many or most of their own childhood experiences and emotions (and their feelings of powerlessness and betrayal from childhood) and part of their unhealthy sexual urges are an expression of unconsciously acting out their own childhood violations. I think I wrote about this some in my book “Toward truth.” I can’t remember if I’ve spoken about this in videos. As far as healing, yes, I do believe that people can heal from this, but it would require massive excavation of one’s childhood history and massive grieving. From what I have observed, most people, whether they’re pedophiles or not, are not very interested in doing this, as it is so protracted and difficult and painful, and in the case of pedophiles that’s probably why so few heal. But definitely I do believe that healing as possible. All the best, Daniel

      • Thank you for your replay Daniel,

        My thoughts exatly Daniel, but given how biased sociaty is against pedohiles/hebephiles , it’s gonna be extra difficult for them to heal from their sexual deviation, because, pedophiles/hebephiles are more likely to sexually harm a child/teen, if sociaty drill this misinformation in them, that they are born this way. They give pseudoscientific ,,reasons” like: ,,uglyness”, ,,low IQ”, ,,shortness” and so on, basically saying they have an lowlife gene and therefore schould be looked with a scorn, but they never go against this status quo, because they are afraid of losing their hate object and are afraid of being proved wrong.

        The video i was mentioning was: Intergenerational Sexual Abuse and Living with Perpetrators on your Youtube channel with the release date : 02.22.2019

        Yesterday i couldn’t find my comment, therefore, i thought it was deleted, i then wrote another comment in wich i complain about the ,,deletion” of my comment, but the comment wasn’t deleted, so never mind the comment where i complain about the ,,deletion of my comment.

        Best regard

  30. Hello Daniel,
    I’ve been watching your videos for a while now and for the most part I largely agree with the things you have to say, specifically on the topic of family systems and parental abuse cycles. I realize you probably get so many people asking you to make a video about such and such or asking for your thoughts on such and such but I am particularly curious about your take on this subject – teen pregnancy and how this affects everyone involved, so I thought I would ask here.

    As the child to a teen mom who did not plan for me but decided to keep me, I struggle with how much accountability to place on my mother. I know logically that she’s failed me in a lot of ways and I know logically that she needs to be held responsible, by me, for what happened to me as a child and what that shaped me into now. But it’s hard for me to look back at a 16 year old girl in a relationship with a 20 something year old man who got swept into the life that she did, and feel resentment towards that version of her. She was a child raising a child. How could that have ever ended in anything but failure? Not to say all teen moms are bad or incapable of being good mothers, but fundamentally, they are children. In so many ways they’re not ready to become responsible for raising a human being. They aren’t even finished growing themselves.
    So in my mind there’s a disconnect between the version of her at 16 -25 and the version of her nearing her 40s. I wondered if you had any thoughts on the subject because to me it feels more complicated than a situation where 2 fully grown adults conceive a child. Thank you for reading if you do!

    • Hi Spencer,
      I like the topic a lot! I’ll put it on my list and the next time I start recording a batch of videos I’ll see if I can come up with something that has some value!
      Thank you for sharing the idea, and I send you warm greetings,

  31. Dear Daniel,
    I’ve been struggling my whole life with the impression of myself of being weak and weird. I never knew exactly why that was. So my narrative became: I’m a fraud, not good enough, useless. Well, having this ideas about myself I tried hard, really hard to generate some steadiness.

    Okay, before I tell my whole life story, I’m gonna tell you where this is about to be going: Ultimately I want to comment about your book “breaking from your parents” and end with a small idea-apposition related to one of the last chapters, namely the chapter 20 and 21.

    Alright, so I said already, how I felt experiencing my almost 29 year long life. I could go into more detail, but I guess I don’t need to, because to people it’s clear what that means. But it was hard and rough! There has not been any love I experienced and the romantic relationships I experienced in my youth and my marriage at the very beginning of my 20’s, which lasted 7 years, was more a sideshow of what happened at home, living with my single-parent mother, which was and is totally mad and sadistic (and I really do mean that just in an objective way).
    After almost dying a few times per year from 15 y.o. to 26 y.o., cause of suicidal thoughts and actions and a hell of an alcohol use, besides cocaine later on in life, I somehow made it out. With 27 I moved to another city, I finally wanted to study – after working since I was 15 (besides school, then later full time in thousands jobs). I never understood how someone, who people described as smart, humorous, emphatic and open minded could not make any progress in life and struggle with drugs and alcohol, depression, anxiety and what not.
    When everything fell apart two years ago and I realized, that something was not right with my wife and my whole family, I completely broke down. My wife, which also physically attacked me in our flat, she just left the key in the lock one evening I came back home after working. And she didn’t open anymore, besides that I found my clothes all over the hallway. So I collected it all and I had no other chance than going back to my mum, which lived back then about 30 miles away. I’ve had no friends anymore, because I believed my wife, that they were bad people and wanted just to use me. I was at a point, where really I could not tell anymore, if up was up and down was down. I had no sense of intuition anymore, I felt empty.

    My mum led me in when I arrived there with garbage bags full of my clothes, but back then I already told my mum, that I believed, that something with her was wrong, because she acted sometimes – I can tell you – like a psychopath. But really. She mistrusted me and I did not talk to her just a few words.

    The next 14 days was hell. I felt like I was falling apart. I felt like I was dying. I just lied there the whole days and nights at the couch at my mums flat and watched cartoons. When I felt, that I died inside, somewhat after 10 days of lying there, somehow I felt a force inside of me. Within 4 days I inscribed to a uni far off and talked with my mum about it, I knew how she was working to get her to pay me the flat. I had to make her the main hero in this act, so I did.

    I moved, half a year later I filed for the divorce. Even though I had my own flat for the first time in my life, I was suffering extremely, because soon I started to try to change my mum and my sister. I tried to open their eyes, but they of course were in denial and blame-shifted me. I fought with them my e-mail-wars half a year. Then I decided to break from them, from everyone in my family, cause all of them are in this denial and in this almost psychotic condition of snow-white-queen-land.

    Somehow my mum still pays for my rent and I’m happy for that. I figured out I’m an undiagnosed adult on the autism spectrum as well nowadays and got diagnosed. Well, nowadays my life is better.

    But somehow I was never able to do something fun for me, to play a game, to read a good book, to paint or draw, but I was also unable to learn. It somehow didn’t work. Maybe for one day, then again it was impossible, I’ve had severe mood swings and emotional irritation. That was a mess, I felt still defective. So I started to work besides uni in a marketing company, with the money I bought myself food, but mainly I bought books. I’ve bought so many books, so many scientific and not scientific books about trauma, childhood trauma, narcissism, therapy models, addictions. Somehow I was not able to read a good novel like I used to read Victor Hugo, Fontane, Thomas Mann, Tolstoi and so on – but I was able to read books about trauma and psychological stuff. I spent a few salaries on books until now and my book-shelf looks like I’ve studied psychology. Recently I came across your book. I’ve been reading with time and at one point I made a two months break from it, because I felt I couldn’t handle it anymore.

    Now im done with it and somehow this book really explained me the inner logic of this process very clear. I’ve read the same stuff in scientific books, with theories and what not, but I didn’t get the emotional response in myself. With your book I’ve got that.
    It is a real treasure to have been reading it.
    What I wanted to mention, just as a food for thought: In chapter 20 and 21 you deal with the possible change parents could go through and you discuss the question, if you’d go back to them, e.g. when they are dying. You concluded in, that you don’t know about that really, it felt like you were indecisive. After reading your book, I put it aside, and stared at my wall for a bit while I was processing it. And then I knew, that for me, I also had these thoughts, I asked myself the same question and I was not sure what to answer. So I went to my laptop and just started to answer this question by writing it down. I came to the conclusion, that I would not (of course you never know how stuff is going to be happening, but anyways you can have a rigid thinking about how you want to be) go back to them, well in my case it’s just one parent (and the rest of the family). When they die, then they die. They’ve had their chance to connect with me I guess 26 years, but because of my whole family I decided to believe what they’ve told me and that was, that I was useless, stupid and so forth. When I was 8 y.o. I wished in a period of time every morning on my way to school, that a car hopefully catches me when I cross the street, so I don’t have to come back home never again. Ther was violence and terror in my mum. I asked myself: What about the good things she did and does? She doesn’t do them for other people, she doesn’t pay me rent to support me, she is doing that, because she is in a quagmire. She has to do that, because otherwise she could not sustain her distorted view of herself and her world. She is not doing it for me, she is doing it, so she can continue living in snow white land. That means, that she doesn’t love me like the rest of my family. And the possibility that she wants to go out is zero. She doesn’t want to heal, she doesn’t want to live in reality (like all the rest of my family), because she lost it, she and everyone else in my family lost their identity and they don’t even know about it. I think there is no way at a point in life, that you can get it back, because in their eyes this is like walking into a sword, they just die then. They became what their parents forced them to be and created this fantasy world. There is no coming back.
    I first thought, that it would be hard to really, in all honesty, until the deepest layer I’m possible to get down to in myself to admit that. But somehow it wasn’t. And all that happened just a day ago – all these thoughts, but I feel, that there is no inner voice anymore, which is not even a voice, but more of a voice, that is camouflaging in form of a feeling. There is no anger anymore. There is no thinking about all that. Of course right now, because I’m writing this comment, but it is not popping up on its own. I feel different. I’m still exploring this feeling slowly, because I don’t want it to go away again. What I know now, after reading your book, is that I really don’t think I need their love, not even on the deepest level inside of me. I don’t. And so they are irrelevant to me. All this topic is irrelevant, it feels. It feels like right now I’ve said enough, because otherwise it’s a waste of my time and outside I can see a beautiful sunny day and its Sunday, so I of course want to walk through the nature and enjoy this life. I don’t mind anymore. I do feel, that I really don’t. I feel like one of the dogs of the Pawlows experiment, which somehow walked over that line where they used to get shocked, but I don’t get a shock. I’m confused, but I think I realize, that that means, that I can go wherever I want to go and do whatever I want to do. Experiment is over. Dog walks out and enjoys running across the fields – towards my life.
    That is what I wanted to add to these two chapters, that are my thoughts about it.

    Thank you so much for writing your book. You gave a 28 year old guy from Germany the nudge to get it right! That is really something big!
    I wish you the best and if you ever come across the very west of Germany, feel free to come around and have a conversation!

    • Thank you Julian!
      Very intense — I appreciate what you’ve shared. Thank you for your kind words.
      And I wish you only well.

  32. Hi Daniel,

    I’ve been watching your heartfelt videos for years now -all through my rocky college years and young adulthood. Thank you for sharing so much!
    I know you feel that there aren’t many useful therapists out there, but perhaps you might know of one in NYC? (I wanted to contact you privately but couldn’t find your email address 🙂
    Kind regards!

  33. Hello Daniel, I wonder if you have an opinion about complicated situations when the family kind of loving you from their twisted perspective about the real you, all while you have awareness and knowledge about the family sickness

  34. Hello Daniel,
    Your videos have been very helpful. Could you create a video about racism, sexism, homophobia, and other position-based forms of hate/oppression? Something I learned from your videos is that people don’t allow themselves to feel their own feelings or think their own thoughts when they depend on abusive people or systems for survival. I’d love to hear your thoughts on what this means in terms of interpersonal family dynamics as well as dismantling oppression on a societal level. What do you have to say about dealing with family members who have harmful ideas? What if those ideas are harming members of the family in practice, such as sexist marriages, gendered expectations for children, racism in transnational adoptions, etc?

    Thank you

  35. Hello I need to talk to someone who can really help an ill man. A father and a person above all.
    Hola pudo disculpas por la consulta que nada tiene que ver. Pero me gustaría saber si hay algúna abogada/o que pudiera informarme sobre una persona con esquizofrenia desde niño. Al que no se le da tratamiento correcto. Que hoy día está en Chile y por múltiples problemas y mal tratamiento. Negación de el mismo sabemos como es la salud en Chile hoy fue encarcelado a 3 años de prisión. Estuvo con prisión domiciliaria por meses. No se le permite ver más a su único hijo. Intentó suicidarme en múltiples ocasiones desde adolescente. No recibe y le niegan tratamiento correcto. La justicia negó su enfermedad cuando hay toneladas de informes médicos uruguayos y de allá. No tienen posibilidad economica de conseguir abogado allá. Y no tiene absolutamente nadie. Su madre vive acá y está de agregada viviendo no puede y no consigue un abogado que pueda guiarle por lo menos apta que sea tratado correctamente no se debe encarcelar a un enfermo mental crónico de toda su vida. Y practimanetne ponerlo allí a que se muera. Porque es lo que va a suceder. Cuando estaba fuera de allí. Se apor amdre, padre hermanos lo sacaban de su estado con apoyo etc. Ahora está empujado directamente a morir.
    Disculpen pero como justo ingrese al link donde veo documental sobre esquizofrenia y no puedo escribir
    Quizá alguien de aquí. Conozca sepa o pueda darme un contacto para jn abogado. La madre vive en mdeo. Tiene graves problemas de. Salud y no le permitieron ayudarlo. En Chile fue básicamente negado su estado con todas la s pruebas la abogada que lo defendió. Ni siquiera expuso todos los ar hivos médicos de años
    Tiene 33y sufre desde los 7.
    Perdonen se que no es para esto. Pero tmbn se que no está bien y quizá alguien sepa o me pueda contactar. Por lo menos que sea si encerrado pero en jn lugar acorde a un enfermo mental

    • Hola Antonella,
      Saludos desde Nueva York. No se que yo puedo hacer para ayudar, pero hay un grupo en Chile que tiene muchas personas muy inteligente, y probablemente ellos tienes ideas para Ud. En facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Locospornuestrosderechos
      Yo los visité en Santiago hace 6 años y ellos estaban fantásticos…
      Espero que les puedan ser útiles.

  36. Hi Daniel,

    I suffered a nervous breakdown/collapse response and was hospitalized in 2013. The collapse was disorienting and was the result of being in a constant flight mode from childhood (constantly staying busy, “achieving” etc). The symptoms of depersonalization and disconnection was disturbing to say the least and still lingers to this day. I feel like I’m interacting with the world behind a pane of glass. This was my entry point into figuring out what the hell happened to me and it wasn’t until I met a very rare therapist when I was able to slowly begin putting the pieces together and breaking the denial of my childhood (unfortunately she moved away before we could get to any integrative work). My dreams and other experiences have led me to suspect I was abused before I had language, approximately 2 (I do have a ton of adolescent and adult traumas, but I was well dissociated before they occurred so the impact wasn’t as intense). This is extremely frustrating in terms of finding a competent therapist, because most say “well the past is the past.” I’m aware the dissociative symptoms I experience are the result of unintegrated trauma, but trying to connect to those split off parts of myself is mind numbingly frustrating.

    One day I had done some grounding work and was focusing on the sensations in my feet and legs. I did this for a few days straight and one morning after I woke up I felt this energy begin to travel up my left leg and I was terrified of it. It moved upwards and it wasn’t an ideal place to let it flow so I had to tense my body and curl up to shut it down and went unconscious. This made me aware that the trauma I’d experienced was split off in my body into my left leg/lower half.

    My question to you is, do you have any knowledge of trauma getting split off into the body? There’s a part of me that’s scared to allow that energy to flow again, but I’m realizing it’s probably the only route in towards healing. A part of me would prefer to be with another person, but it’s not something I can make come up on command. Most therapists I’ve worked with focus on talking, but I sense it’s limited in this situation.

    I look forward to hearing from you!

    • Hi Alex,
      It sounds like your healing is right on track. Yes, trauma surely can get trapped in parts of the body, and I think it happens or has happened very commonly to lots of people (myself included), and most are quite unaware of it. Most therapists too, I believe… I’m not sure exactly what to say, though. I am definitely wishing you the best on your healing journey!! I hope you treat yourself very gently. Gentleness goes a long way!!
      All the best,

  37. Hi, Daniel! I’m commenting for the second time here, and overall I still think that your videos and the essays on this website are very helpful and they immensely helped me grow and process my trauma (I will be forever grateful for that help). But I want to be a bit critical here and say that I am disappointed by the direction you are taking in some of your videos. For example, your video on joy left me mostly depressed and disappointed. I think emotional growth should be about appreciating little things even in ordinary life and not necessarily extraordinary things like travelling to remote locations which would be a joyful experience for most people (my very unhealthy father is very joyful during his trips to other countries). The video on joy felt like you are bragging about your travels – and I understand that that wasn’t your aim, but if you put yourself in the shoes of people who can’t really afford to travel than I think it’s easy to understand why it might have come across this way. The point is not that I think you should hide your love for travelling, not at all! But the fact that you focus so much on extraordinary experiences from your travels is deeply alienating to me, because like most people, I lead an ordinary life and try to find enjoyment in simple things, not fighting cangaroos in Australia (that’s a joke :)). I hope my criticism is fair – I’m scratching my head thinking about whether it is, and I think it at least partly is. I think it’s in a way connected to a broader criticism of your views I have developed, namely that on your channel you almost completely ignore the topics of capitalism and privilege, including your own privilege. It’s really weird that you talk about the ecological destruction of our planet without ever talking about capitalism which is the direct cause of the problem. It’s like talking about the invasion of Ukraine without ever mentioning the Russian army and Vladimir Putin.

    Despite my criticisms I wish you all the best!

    • Hi Mateusz,
      Thanks for your comments. I would say that I most definitely appreciate the little things in life too, and often find joy in them. But for the sake of making the point about joy in that video I just chose a particularly “high intensity” joy experience. And I don’t think I was bragging, just sharing.
      Wishing you the best,
      P.S. I think capitalism is a rotten system of human economic interchange, and is a reflection of our species’ overall lack of healing from trauma. Exploitation of self and others is normal and expectable for traumatized people, and until we heal our traumas more as a collective whole we’ll almost certainly continue to have economic systems that continue to reflect this… Sad…

      • While Mateusz makes a great point about enjoying the small things, I don’t blame you for wanting to take regular vacations away from the toxic, materialistic, capitalistic cesspit that America can be, in order to experience other cultures. Plus, unlike most tourists, you are courteous and frugal, and also impart your wisdom onto the people you meet. I say take as many vacations as you need to, whatever you gotta do for your mental health.

  38. Hi,

    I just wanted to say thank you for being such a keen observer, and speaking such profound yet simple truths, Daniel – truths that I wish were obvious to the rest of the world. This post is basically about how I agree with you on pretty much everything – from how we distract ourselves, to how we use politics as a way to vote for better parents. I do apologize for posting here again so soon, but I felt compelled to say thank you. I discovered your channel maybe 6 months ago, but I’ve been re-watching your videos and it really struck me just how much I’ve needed them to cope in this world which has very nearly driven me to insanity. Like you, a lot of what my parents do is considered normal, since we live in a world where people only recognize the most extreme forms of abuse and turn a blind eye to anything else. If you don’t have a diagnosis, then society expects you to just get a job and move along.

    I’m amazed by how right you are on so many fronts – how your thoughts so closely match everything I’ve ever observed about people and their reluctance to examine their own childhoods and the way their parents treated them. As others have said before, it takes a lot of bravery to go on camera and talk about all these nasty, toxic family dynamics. I can only imagine how many haters you have, all of whom are caught up in or perpetrating these awful family dynamics themselves. I’m so grateful that you’re brave enough to not let them silence you, because I don’t think there’s anyone else talking about these things. If it wasn’t for your videos, I’d still feel alone and crazy.

    It’s disturbing just how early the abuse can begin, from the moment the baby is in the womb. You mentioned this in your video on Mr. Peterson. A father can for example feel jealous of the baby, viewing it as competition for the mother’s attention. I’m absolutely certain my own father was like this, and sabotaged me even before I was born. I don’t even want to think about how common this must be in our world, across all cultures. And that’s just one example of the kind of abuse that’s overlooked by society. Quite frankly, most people in our world are too stupid to recognize the abuse for what it truly is. And what about parents who abandon their kids to go to work, and let technology (tablets, TV) raise their kids? I’m sure most parents do that in this day and age. Why does nobody see how awful that is? Why is that completely normal and acceptable?

    It’s disturbing to me how eager people are to distract themselves. We’re supposed to go to work, we’re not supposed to mull on our feelings for too long. It’s considered normal to spend a whole weekend obsessively cleaning your car, power washing your driveway, trimming your front lawn, absentmindedly humming away the whole time. And it’s exactly these lawn-trimming, car-washing suburbanites that call people like us lazy. We do literally anything we can to distract ourselves, and it’s considered completely normal. I used to pour hours into this mind-numbing video game where you just click on a virtual tree all day to chop it down to level up your character. That game has millions of players who also pour hours into it. I’m talking thousands of hours that each person puts in, probably completely zoned out. I also used to distract myself by doing math competitions in high school – a huge distraction that everyone saw as productive. This phenomenon of people distracting themselves is by far the true epidemic that absolutely no one will talk about. From re-watching your videos, I realize just how often you hit the nail on the head.

    And what about people’s fascination with politics and politicians? I think your views on politics are bang-on. People who go out there and vote for politicians do so without realizing they’re trying to vote for the mummies and daddies they never had. They talk about politicians like they’re trying to pick and choose traits they wish their parents had. Is that politician a good communicator? Is that politician open-minded? Because daddy sure wasn’t a good communicator. People are so quick to talk about tariffs and trade deals, but how come we don’t start from the bottom-up and take a good, hard look at how parents and society so often destroy the creativity and awesome potential of young human beings? And I do share your view on how wonderful our potential is – our empathy, thought processes, intelligence, creativity. If we had healthy family dynamics to begin with, maybe we’d be a sovereign species – maybe we wouldn’t even NEED to elect leaders to make decisions for us. Why the heck does nobody see this? Why are we in a state of such deep denial? I lose hope every time I think about how much people are in denial.

    So thank you once again Daniel. It’s just uncanny how much we see eye-to-eye. I’ve gone my whole life without anybody who “sees” any of this. I wonder if those of us who watch your videos all share a similar personality type. It’s a miracle that I have access to your channel now, after an endless amount of distracting myself in countless ways. And you do such an excellent job at articulating everything, I can’t express that enough. Your channel is truly a gift. I saw the video where you address young human beings of the future, if we ever manage to get our act together. I truly can imagine people of the future looking back on that video in reverence. I really do wish we’d get our act together, because I see our denial-plagued species as being so incredibly irresponsible. I’m sick of humanity’s BS.

    • Hi Eric,
      I am really not sure, mostly because I didn’t even have a name for the “type” of therapy I was doing. I often think that the mental health field gets very focused on the “type” of therapy, and would probably do a lot better to focus instead on the quality of the specific therapist. In every type of therapy that I’ve seen, there are a some good therapists (usually very few) and some bad ones (usually quite a lot).
      Wishing you the best!

  39. Hi Daniel,
    I am living a life I don’t want to live. I’ve had childhood trauma plus I faced sexual harassment twice by fellow mates and experienced parental favoritism too. Friends took advantage of my low self-esteem and all that lead to major depression. Sometimes, I question myself that maybe I am a bad person that’s why I’m suffering, Come on how can so many people be that bad. it’s maybe me who is the evil. I never found a single person who said me that it was not my fault. Last year I had my first psychotic episode.
    I want to ask you one question, What if all the mental illnesses on the planet are just symptoms of one illness? Bipolar, schizophrenia, ADHD, or any illness are just symptoms of one disorder that all the human race is suffering from? The war, killing each other or fighting for boundaries, etc are just symptoms of the same one disorder?
    I’d love to hear your opinion.

    • Hi Pranami,
      Sorry to hear this… My opinion is that the root of most mental and emotional problems (the ones that get labeled as mental diagnoses) lies in people’s childhood — the unresolved traumas, sometimes considered even normal and mild, that people suffered long ago…
      I am wishing you only the best on your journey!

    • BiPolar, Schizophrenia et c et c is not a MENTAL ILLNESS: it is a human mechanisme in order to heal PAST TRAUMA…

      The Western Society a.k.a. The Pharmaceutical Industry and the SCIENCE has made IT a “mental illness” in order to enslave them further in more mental slavery, situation, stifling et c et c…

      Thnx for sharing your trauma. Please do not kill yourself…even hoe hard you suffer…Please find the “KEY OF LIFE”, which is hidden somewhere INSIDE YOU

  40. Hello again (commented here a few times in the past).

    Daniel, I have lived an extremely chaotic and trauma filled life, to the point where it feels impossible to recover. I won’t go into details here, since it would take a whole novel anyway.

    I would love to have a therapist who could grasp the full extent of how bad my situation is. I live in Canada, and the mental health system up here seems really basic and utterly clueless. They only care about things like addictions and would never take childhood trauma seriously. Nobody here talks as openly as you do – Canada has a culture of keeping up appearances of normality. I want to be able to go to a secluded forest and just scream my lungs out, as you once said. I want to be surrounded by people who want the same. Canada is the last place on Earth I need to be. I really think it’d be cool if you visited Canada and looked at some of the family dynamics here.

    My dream would be to move to the US someday to find a great therapist. If not a therapist, then a community, or at least one person who gets it. I don’t know how that’s ever gonna happen, but I need to find SOMEBODY who can at least relate to the hell I’ve been going through my whole life. I know the US is mostly full of people who aren’t trying to heal, but paradoxically it seems to me that Americans are doing the most healing in online trauma-centered communities. It seems to me like it’s mostly Americans who are opening up online. Right now I have no money and probably no way of getting into the US.

    • Hi Pat — thanks for sharing this. I appreciate your perspective — I didn’t exactly think of America this way but you may be right! Wishing you only the best– Daniel

      • Thank you,

        To be honest, maybe the reason America has a relatively high number of people trying to heal is that America is unfortunately the most screwed up, violent place to begin with. But then again, there are so many messed up family dynamics all over the world..

        I would say that America is a 90-10 split. 90% of people are oblivious to their own traumas, 90% are trying to run from their traumas by making a lot of money for instance.. And some of that 90% are wandering around sensing something is wrong – the conspiracy types – but they never once examine their own childhoods.

        That 10% however, seems to be far more than what any other country has. So in a world where everyone is clueless, America’s 10% comes out on top in my books. I feel like there wouldn’t be anyone noticing and saying the things that you say if they weren’t American.

        Cheers 🙂

        • I think your figure of 90-10 when it comes to people healing definitely varies based on where you live. I live in Omaha, Nebraska and I’ve been fervently searching for allies in my healing for almost 3 years to absolutely no avail. So if are ever able to make the move to the States, areas with higher populations may give you a higher chance at finding allies.

          • This is true! Rural areas are appealing to me due to the calmness and greenery, but the payoff would be that no one’s interested in healing or having these sorts of conversations. My priority would be finding healing allies above all else – wherever they are is where I wanna be.

            I highly recommend the following online forum:

            It’s an online community for anyone with childhood trauma. I think anyone who watches Daniel’s stuff would benefit from that forum. It’s how I’ve been coping due to not having anyone like me here in Canada.

    • Hi JM — hmm, I read Steppenwolf about thirty years ago and maybe should try again. I read most of Hermann Hesse’s books, but the only two that I really loved were Siddartha and Narcissus and Goldmund, and I’m no longer sure I would like Narcissus and Goldmund too much anymore. But when I was twenty I really loved it. Wishing you all the best too!

  41. Hi Daniel, after about a year I came back again to a documentary called “A Beautiful Madness (2002)” about John Nash, an American mathematician, a Nobel Prize winner, who also suffered from schizophrenia.
    I’ve searched your website on this documentary (or a movie “Beautiful Mind (2001)”) in hope of finding your thoughts on it, but without luck.
    If you find some time for a few words, it would be great!
    The thought that John Nash in one point decided to stop listening the voices inside of his head is for me questionable.
    Personally, my interest on this topic is provoked by personal events on my workplace 8 years ago, after which followed a few weeks of paranoia.
    Also, I’m also fan of a movie “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden (1977)”.
    Thanks a lot for your work, I’m not missing one YT video of yours, but here I’m not very often.
    Please keep your good work and please stay around.
    Greetings from Germany

  42. Hello Daniel, I only just discovered your Youtube channel in the past week, but I am enjoying them immensely. Listening to you and reading your blog and information, we share some common interests and similar upbringing. I was intrigued by your opinions on psychotherapy and found your views very refreshing. I am currently raising a 14 yr old troubled teenager, and have been searching for answers on how to raise her better. My oldest daughter is 18, with autism and other developmental difficulties, but for the most part, she has recovered from autism and is on her way to a happy, creative life. She is a lot like Temple Grandin. My focus now is on the 14 yr old. She suffers from extreme depression, cuts herself when upset, likes to look goth, and portrays herself as tough, but she is actually very fragile emotionally. My opinion of her, in order to help clarify my difficulties with her, is she acts very narcissistic at times, and she reacts in a narcissistic way to any parental discipline, no matter how gentle, she is easily offended and always seeks revenge or justice in some way. I know this is partly due to her age, but she has been difficult to raise since she was school age. She is my biological niece, and we adopted her at age 2 and have had custody of her since age 2. The past few months have been difficult with her. She basically has learned she can “tattle” on us whenever she is angry at us for any perceived ‘offense.’ She has gotten CPS called on us 3 times because she tells her angry stories to new, young teachers and her (in-training) therapist over how mistreated she thinks she is. Its very hard for us to cope with and embarrassing when we have to explain ourselves and defend our innocence since there isn’t any truth to her stories, but she makes us sound horrible when she goes to school and complains and then she complains to her ‘new’ therapist who doesn’t even know us at all. Our solution was to stop allowing her to be alone with these adults and now we go to family therapy where we can all talk and be heard. Now she is angry and says she won’t talk in family therapy and she wants to be able to ‘go one on one,’ with her own personal therapist. We cannot trust her at this point and we are just trying to listen, and show empathy towards her. She always has negative viewpoints and complaints about everything. Anger seems to be her default emotion, or else she’s crying over how depressed she is. She’s been hospitalized briefly last fall and it helped somewhat, but her mental issues are hard to treat and she is very resistant to a lot of my ideas and suggestions. She often acts happy around other people, like her school friends, teachers, guidance counselor etc. and she acts very sweet and polite to the world, but at home, she treats us badly, including her sister. Anyway, your videos have been helpful and I can relate to a good bit of it. I once wanted to be an ‘Art Therapist,” but there are no college programs in the south that teach it. I used to live in New York and there were art therapy clinics in various places. But I mainly stay home and help my kids, take care of pets, and do painting. Both my kids are into art. I live in Florida and mental health services here are very poor. I also live in a small town in a poor county, so the people that live here are generally uneducated types of blue collar workers. This area is known for cattle ranching and the beef industry. Any Dr. or therapist here is not the best quality in my opinion. You have to seek help in a big city in order to find better. This place is very redneck. My daughter calls it, “Yee-haw Florida.” We are ‘misfits’ in this part of the US. (educated, better income etc) My background was I grew up in a home with a lot of trauma. I have 3 sisters who had various mental issues and 2 were diagnosed with schizophrenia, bi-polar, etc. I noticed you have a documentary about that as well. My sisters today would be diagnosed differently, probably with autism, cognitive disabilities, etc. Anyway, glad to have run across your videos and web site. I needed something like that because few people have lived with mentally ill family members, (or at least fess up to it) so your story is one that is familiar to me.

  43. Hi Daniel,
    Havent been to your pg in a bit, so glad youre still sharing in YT w/ us! Thank you so much for the work that you do, and all the support you offer, being so brave, and helping us process!
    I have a question, but its hard for me to formulate it, or be concise..I feel like there are altered states, spaced out states etc, and there are drug withdrawal induced states that appear very similar, not sure if they are or not, but…Do you have any comments about how they may or may not be different (helpful hints +). Do you have any advice in how to be supportive in the latter, especially if someone does not tend to taper off? Am i out of bounds here?
    Forgive me if my question is rude pls. Thank you again.
    PS: i love Mr Pig! OmG))) …Thank You! Thanks for making him adorable, being that hes so terrifying!
    Sincerely grateful

    • Hi Veronica,
      Hmm, I’ll have to think about it. While I have in the past helped some folks get through drug withdrawal (I’m assuming you mean psych drug withdrawal), I’m not sure if I have a good answer to your question…. Have you seen, meanwhile, the website The Withdrawal Project — I think they’re pretty good! But I think the altered states with psych drug withdrawal just sometimes last, for some people, a lot longer than more regular altered states… Meanwhile, I’m glad you like Dr. Pig. It was fun for me to make those videos — though he did make a lot of folks angry and uncomfortable!!
      Warm greetings-

      • Thank you Daniel, for taking the time. Wonderful link! Whoa…Pricelesss. Thanks a million.
        We all need and deserve the truth in palatable way))) And not filthy lies that perpetuate calamity. Thank You again. Wishing you the best always, V

  44. Hey Daniel!! Been a huge fan of your vids since 2013. You have such clear thinking and analytical perspective, not including your vast experience as a psychotherapist once upon a time. I actually had the chance to work with a therapist from your documentary ‘take these broken wings’ for many years, and she helped me a ton until I reached the point where there was nothing more she could could do. In the past 3 years I’ve experimented with holotropic breathwork, emdr, somatic experiencing, and right now I do a form of generational trauma healing with eft and the institute for the study of peak states. I know a lot of this work is at the fringes of what’s evidence based and accepted, but I keep meeting more and more people who said enough to psychotherapy and began using trauma therapies and healed by leaps and bounds. I’m wondering if you’re ever going to document your thoughts through the new avenues beyond ‘chemical imbalance’ and the thesis that trauma is stuck in the body which eventually resonates in our behaviors, thoughts and feelings. I have been hoping for that since you have such a strong following. I highly recommend the textbook emdr for schizophrenia and other psychoses. I’m certain you would be glued to that book, a lot of the same things you documented are there, plus some incredible trauma healing techniques for proper in extreme states of consciousness. Be well man, and thanks for your voice and existence.

    • To clarify, I’m not sayin you follow the chemical imbalance theory, that would be dumb, I’m saying we’re finally seeing more accepted evidence based theories and models that say that’s a flawed model and the new trauma healing, theory and models through evidence based practices su as emdr and somatic experiencing are helping that become the norm

  45. Hi Daniel,

    Just wanted to stop by and express continued gratitude for the work you do and share with us all. Hope you are doing well and staying warm!

    Best wishes,
    — Nicholas

  46. Hi Daniel,

    I became aware of your “Roll On, Big Pharma” song just a day ago and have listened to some others by now (good stuff). I’ve also found your YT channel and watched some of the vids (good stuff again).

    Are you aware what your family name relates to? It’s obviously of German origin and the word “Macke” means quirk/mar in German (at least when it comes to behaviour/psychology). Not that I think you’ve one but I thought it’s a bit funny considering your relation to the topic and just wanted to let you know in case you don’t already.

    Keep up the great work you’re doing, please!

  47. Hello,

    i have a question related to something that you mentioned in one of your videos. I don`t know if i got it right, but as far as i understood you said somethink like 99% of children are beeing traumatized in some way by their parents.

    I read some books of Arno Gruen and he wrote something differently, he was talking about a 1/3 rule, but it was related to obedience, which is for me a big symptom of trauma. From what i understood he said 1/3 of people are very bad off and very bad traumatized by their parents, another 1/3 of people is more mixed, so they have some traumas but they also have resources and 1/3 is usually quite good off, they get raised with a lot of love and empathy. I don`t know if thats true. But i wouldn`t agree thats its really 99% as you say, or even if thats true, i never worked as a therapist, sorry, i would say there is also a percenteage of people which only have smaler wounds, which don`t have such a huge impact on their life, like others and therefore i wouldn`t really count them.

    I don`t know if you have time between all the questions you get to answer to this. I mean i see this, the more i heal, i see wounds or unresolved issues in other people, but i wouldn`t say its almost everyone.

    • Hi Jens,
      I think certainly some people are raised better than others, and some a lot better, but from what I’ve observed no one escapes trauma, and certainly not a third of people. I think the issue I’ve seen is that a lot of people aren’t so sensitive to what actually constitutes trauma — literal trauma — in a child. From what I’ve observed a huge amount of trauma goes right under most adults’ radar… Daniel

      • For me its like the question is where you draw the line. I mean life is not only about healing traumas for many people. Sometimes things just have to be done no matter how horrible you feel. Do you know what i mean? Also it would be better if everyone would heal their traumas but i made the expierence that especially the people that are really bad of don`t even know they have some or they don`t want to know. Sometimes their ego doesn`t even allow it to look into these traumas. I don`t know. You also mentioned that in some religion there is also circumcision which will cause traumes in babys, i would totally agree with that. But its just the way everyone is raised, you know its so normal. Is there anything we can do about it?

        • I am sorry i didn`t wanted to bother you with this too much, i am just trying to make sense what happend to me in my childhood and what i have been going thru in the last 12 years of my life which was basicly a lot of griefing traumas but finding out that i still somehow had to make a living and it was horrible for me to have to do both at the same time. And now i can see many people arround me where i think they have serious issues going on, but they refuse to go seek a therapist probably because they don`t suffer enough.

  48. Hey Daniel. I hope you read these comments you keep seeing how many people you are helping. I am 32 female a transracial international adoptee from the 70/80s craze of Americans adopting abroad. Because i am here we can all guess it did not go well lol. You are the first person i have encountered who has the same passion as me about speaking out about family dysfunction and critism of the family cult systems that exsist. You are brave and full of courage and those of us who appreciate that authenticity you talk about, are giving you a standing ovation. Thank you sooo much for using your life to try and educate us!!

  49. Hi Daniel,
    Do you think chronic traumatic encephalopathy is a real disease ?? Or is it a new labeling to the sports person’s who too suffer from depression, anxiety etc … as the rest of the population ??

    Is cte complete bullshit or do we need to stop playing contact sports ?? Most of the people has occasional head collisions or hits to head …….. does that mean they will develop cte in future ??

    What do you think?? Please do reply …

    Thanks daniel

    • Shanmukh,
      Hmm, I always assumed it was real, but I’m no expert for sure! I generally think, though, they getting smashed in the head repeatedly for any reason is probably not a good idea! Daniel

  50. amazing how they do this mindf*ckery, sometimes hard to decide online it is kinda AI or some psychopath horde droid, but obviously the “science” and the billionaires put a lot of effort and money in it….
    really worth to laugh only these surveillance, manipulation, blocking, mess-around, stalker etc. maniac, king complex psychos….

  51. Hi Daniel (and everyone else reading this).
    First of all,I want to thank you for being who you are and for opening my eyes to what my family actually has done to me,especially since I started feeling that something was wrong about the way I perceived my parents even back when I was little and was never able to put my finger on it,so thank you for giving me new tools to improve myself.
    Secondly,I have around 60 pages left of your book “Breaking from your parents” (which,to my shame,am reading illegaly for free,hope I’ll get it in physical form someday) and I’m considering presenting it in front of my class (since I’m first year in college,so I believe there may still be some hope here),although I’m not too sure if it will really help/interest someone and if I’m ready for possible consequnces.While I think I’ll probably go through with this regardless of your opinion(s),I’d still like some inputs or even anectodes from anyone willing to share or give their thoughts on this.
    Wish you all the best!

  52. Hi Daniel,

    I’m in the midst of a breakup with my partner. Luckily, it doesn’t feel like a crisis. I feel that a normal grieving process lay ahead. However, there’s a thorn in it that has me very unsure about myself. A part of the breakup involves my partner feeling like they are a “caretaker” to what they’ve identified as their BPD boyfriend (me). In fact, her therapist (who uses CPT approach, worksheets, etc.), is the one who suggested BPD without having met me. My partner approached me about this since we’ve been having issues seeing eye to eye in the relationship. In an effort to be responsive I forwarded the topic to my own therapist who uses an IFS approach. My therapist strongly disagreed with that assessment and added that it was a little strange to have a diagnosis like that so leisurely plopped into my lap, especially without any one-on-one contact with my partners therapist. I told my partner my therapists opinion but my she seems to be at least somewhat still convinced anyways. She finshed a book on partners of BPD rapidly and showed up saying, “I have to move on.” Now, of course there are many other parts/reasons for calling it quits. Some of them have been present for a while. They make sense and the breakup certainly isn’t out of left field. But again, it’s this BPD thing that has me feeling confused.

    I saw your video on “A Critique of Borderline Personality Disorder” and appreciated your perspective. I personally think diagnoses aren’t helpful for me. Especially in this day and age it feels less like a lense of validation and more like a weapon, “Oh you have this? Well I have that too! or I have this other disorder which is worse!” In my experience, most of the time, talk of diagnoses or disorders is a non-starter for any real discussion about childhood trauma. It feels like it quickly turns into some weird contest of who’s hurt more and who’s supposed to talk and who’s supposed to listen. I leave going thinking, “What the heck was that conversation???”

    I guess my question would be, “What to make of all this?” I go online and look at the traits of BPD and think, “Well I can certainly relate to most of these.” Exceptions would be self-harm, suicial ideation of threats, and violent or aggressive behavior (including verbal) But if it’s such a “difficult” disorder to diagnose then how am I to know? Should I trust my inner voice that rejects labeling everything? Or should I squeeze more out of this? I suppose the most unsettling part of all of this is the recurring detail I’ve read that BPD is apparently “incurable.”

    Anyways, thank you for your time. I appreciate any thoughts you might have.
    If anything, I continue looking forward to your next topics on YouTube!


    • Hi Nicholas,
      I reject that label of borderline personality disorder also! And I think it’s terrible when a therapist tells someone that their partner might have this diagnosis. A really rotten thing to say, as far as I’m concerned. Very insensitive. I know it’s easy for me to say, but I hope you can just figure out how to disregard what that therapist said. I’ve had some similar things happen to me, and I admit that I found them very unsettling and painful. Wishing you only the best, Daniel

    • I to have been diagnosed with BPD and reject that personality disorder. Because of trauma from family members who are dramatic it makes sense that people would diagnose me with BPD. Have you looked into your family history?

  53. I’ve been reading an Allen Carr book on internet addiction, trying to make sense of how Allen’s ideas fit into the broader pitcure of healing from childhood trauma. I had the idea to make it into a little speech, like the ones that you have been uploading on YouTube! Here’s the script so far:


    If you’ve ever read an Allen Carr book, you’ll have heard that an empty feeling, a void inside can be what tips a person into addiction.

    Another author who talks about voids and addictions is Daniel Mackler, although with different vocabulary. Here the void is called childhood trauma, and the addiction is called dissociating.

    It is Mackler’s view that the first step to healing from childhood trauma, is to let go of the denial that you had a good childhood, and to stop all forms of dissociation. This is a very broad view of addiction that includes things like work, romance, and having children, just anything that will stop you from thinking about your inner sense of loss.

    Allen Carr’s method to curing an addiction asks clients to “start with a feeling of elation.” This feeling of elation that is so crucial in Allen Carr’s method, could it be just another veil of dissociation?

    After quitting smoking, Allen Carr worked nonstop to rid the world of smoking. Even after being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, the final few months were spent working nonstop to finish a new book, leaving no time for loved ones. [There is an interview clip by Allen’s widow talking about the dissapointment that they didn’t get any time to spend together, somewhere on YouTube.]

    Where did Allen’s void go? Is it enough to be a happy non-smoker if you live your life running away from your inner void?

    Yes, it is much better to no longer have the addiction, but it would be even better to direct the extra energy towards looking into the void (or, working to heal the trauma), which will become very difficult to access in a state of elated dissociation.

    After all, the void does not fill itself. If it did, nobody would fall into addiction in the first place.


    This was pretty fun to think about. Thank you for all the wisdom that you spread!

  54. Hi Daniel,
    This is just an appreciation post. I’m in my mid-30s and have only recently come to understand that I’m not who my parents (and family) have always told me I am, at all- and to start to pick apart years of trauma. I’ve been working with young women trying to help them overcome trauma specific to (or aka) female socialisation for years, but somehow never really turned the lens inward until now. I’ve found your videos and writing extremely helpful, moving and quietly radical. It takes courage to critique the sacred institutions of parents, family, therapy practice- and even if I disagree with some conclusions, I think you’re doing something really valuable.

  55. Watch some of your videos and bought your book Toward Truth. Love your stuff. Thank you for the effort. Keep it up and stay safe!

  56. Dear Daniel, Thank you for all that you so generously share. You are my number one favourite Youtuber. And I have tons of faves. Your number one fan.

  57. Keep up the great job, Daniel Mackler. The need for us all to break out and away to heal together, as a society, from parental abuse and neglect to restart with proper families, is there. It is clear for us who have been through the suffering of the crazyness and carelessness of those who were supposed to love us the most. I am unsure about to what extent is us, the ones who have and are suffering this kind of situation, or everyone because the sickness is widespread and systemic. But you are right, if only we were listened, if the shame were on the abusers and unloving, sick ones, everyone, including them, would benefit. Be all right, you are not alone in this. I am through the process too, with kids of my own, so with even more responsibility to do it as perfect as humanly possible.

  58. Please sorry, my main interest is to share knowledge about meaning of life in order to prevent suffering and self-destruction of people. Author is a biologist from Saints Petersburg: Vladimir Antonov. He is researching Spirituality for decades and discovered amazing stuff, also psychical self regulation which is healthy to do for everyone. We, as he says, have not only physical heart but spiritual. If you’re skeptical, google hearthmath institute. My task is to inform you, after that do as you feel right.

  59. Hey,
    I’ve written about how dreadful and parent-oriented Canada is. I’ve found a video where they use modern MRI equipment to effectively lobotomize this woman to “treat depression”. Notice how the comments are turned off. They just casually assert that they know the exact area of the brain that causes depression, as if it’s that simple – and that it can just simply be nuked with an MRI. So yeah, a modern day lobotomy. I only see the insanity of this because I grew up in the US. I’m getting more and more terrified of Canada.

  60. Hey, Daniel.

    I’ve been watching your videos for a couple of weeks now, and it’s been fascinating and scary, to say the least. I struggle with anger a lot, like I can lose my temper in an instant, and by the time I realize I’m angry I’ve already hurt myself and others. Since I started journaling, I’ve realized that it’s mainly because of the abuse I endured from my father when I was a kid. He wasn’t physically abusive, since my mom didn’t allow that, but the emotional abuse I was subjected to was, to me, very traumatic. So much so, that I really hate myself, and feel like I’m worthless. And since I didn’t have the space to actually feel and express my anger appropriately, I forced myself to repress it in order to avoid rejection. As a result, I have a really hard time recognizing healthy, appropriate anger.

    I wanted to know if you could perhaps give me some advice on how to deal with and embrace anger. I feel like I’m stuck.


    PD: English isn’t my mother tongue, so hopefully I was able to convey my thoughts in an understandable manner.

    • Hi Paola, I did make a video on anger, but now exactly on how to deal with it… I think your question might be a good topic for a future video, though at the moment I’m swamped in my life. I do have a self therapy book available for a lot price (hopefully!!) through this website. Maybe that would help some??? Sorry to be so brief now!! Daniel

      • Thank you, Daniel! It’d be great if you made a video on how to deal with anger. And I’ll check what you’ve shared on your website. Once again, thank you for taking the time to reply to my message.

        Best wishes,

  61. hi Daniel,

    I have also broken from my parents/ they have broken from me, and watch your videos on the subject. I have a wife and baby boy of 6 months and don’t believe they have a right to see my child.
    Can you do a video on this topic. It seems to me that grandparents think they have an automatic right to see grandkids. At this point they are not going to see my son unless they change and make things right
    with me. Is this a fair attitude. I feel that my father stole cheated lied and manipulated me over and over and im just sick of it and don’t think that is a good influence on me or my Childs life. My mother also partakes in his
    lies and takes his side so she is out also. I think that if one of your parents is out they both should be in general if of course they agree on it. My dad is 80 my mom 76. My sister has also had enough and I believe is not communicating with
    them any longer. she has two kids and has just recently cut them off from the grandparents also. They are 13 and 10yoa and have had been exposed to the abuse from grand parents in the past. No sexual or physical abuse. Just emotional and controlling with money mostly. They have a significant amount of money of think they can control us all with their promises of money.

    thanks in advance

  62. HI Daniel,
    I’m a huge fan of your work and philosophy. Thank you for making those YouTube videos, books and blog entries, they’ve all really helped me.
    Anyways, I’m currently experiencing transference with my current psychologist, who i’m being forced by my parents to go to. I’m just wondering if you have any advice on dealing with transference as it is really intense, and my dissociated and insecure psychologist refuses to honestly talk about these things with me, leaving me alone in the dark.
    I’ve started meditating, journaling, reading, stopping porn, improving my diet, and getting some exercise in but as a 18 year old NEET with social anxiety, jealousy, confusion, anger and depression, breaking away from my unhelpful parents and having true financial freedom isn’t that easy to have, and is even harder when my psychologist is in my head 24/7.
    Thanks for any suggestions and taking the time out of your day to read this.

    • NSP— Sorry for my long delay— life! I don’t have the best advice specifically for you, except maybe talk about it with the therapist and if they are not helpful perhaps take some distance from them? Or Journal more about it? Engage in more self therapy? I don’t know if any of this will help. But maybe. Maybe this is a good topic for a future video for me to do! Warm greetings,

  63. Hi Daniel,

    I first encountered your name long long time ago, just when I was researching stuff on Alice Miller. As I have never found a therapist that could help me, I was wondering if there are any that you could recommend as I know you do not practise psychotheraphy anymore yourself.

    • Hi Paulina,
      Greetings! I’m sorry to say that I don’t have any therapists to recommend right now. I just don’t feel comfortable doing that. But I am wishing you the best on your healing journey. Daniel

  64. Hey Daniel, I agree with much of what you say in your new video “A pre-recorded message to the children of 2100”. I like how you mention that technology won’t help heal our traumas, even though we are constantly sold the idea that technology is the cure-all, by people like Elon Musk for example. In my opinion, Elon is the type of fake, corporate person who represents the modern era.

    But my question for you is this: what gives you so much hope that the people of 2100 will wake up and suddenly be kind to nature, suddenly have the awareness to try healing their traumas, when people before them have failed to do so for thousands of years? I’ll use our current era as an example: As a young-ish person myself, in my early 20s, I personally feel that people who grow up in 2021 are just as likely, if not more likely than their parents, to not care about the destruction we’re doing to nature.

    (In what I’m about to write, I don’t mean to invalidate your negative experiences with your own generation, or your parents’ generation. Your lived experiences are valid and I won’t write them off just because I haven’t experienced them.)
    I worry that the future will be the opposite from what you predict. From my perception, kids today don’t have many honest figures in their lives who communicate the things that you do. Instead, we live in a world filled with people who only care about money. As you mentioned, technology is so pervasive, and it has in my opinion jeopardized our ability to connect with nature, and it’s even dulled down our language – our ability to communicate the nuances of our traumas using sentences and paragraphs. Nowadays, it’s all about writing short, snappy twitter posts, and that’s not a good system for communicating traumas in my opinion. I feel as though people are getting more judgmental. For instance, I would be much more comfortable opening up to someone from an older generation, because of my feelings that younger people today are more judgmental.

    So yeah, I am curious to know why you feel as though the future generations, who will inevitably be more technological, will be the point where humanity finally wakes up and finally cares about nature. I want to hope the same as well, but from my experiences around people my age and even younger, I just don’t see it.

    • Actually I’m starting to see it.. Just getting a glimpse at my own lost potential as a young person, and how terrifying that glimpse was. Being blind to others displaying their brilliance as a way to defend myself from the awful sadness of me not getting to live up to my own potential.

      Maybe you’re right Daniel, we may have a future of geniuses like one couldn’t even imagine coming from our mere, silly 3 dimensions. I just hope that when that day comes, empathy won’t be a thing of the past – that I won’t be left in the dirt anymore like I have been for my entire life.

  65. This is in German Sorry
    Leider mußte in Schweden das Healing Home Konzept geändert werden
    Nun sind Einige hier in Planung eines Healing Homes ähnlichen Lebens

  66. Omg…I believe this is me. (See video “treatment of attachment-based parental alienation”) I am the targeted parent. I can honestly say “I really don’t understand why this is happening to me” please watch this video. I know for a fact my ex used at least some of these tactics: https://youtu.be/ezBJ3954mKw. I’m not saying that I didn’t make mistakes, i did. But I was never abusive and have been accused of abuse, without any specific examples showing abuse.

  67. Hi Daniel.
    I have been a longtime viewer of your youtube channel, and I have spent the past 6 months abstaining from smoking marijuana, where I often found your videos to be a place of solace and comfort. When I was having a really rough time, I would worry that I was going crazy and that I was all alone in the world and nobody understood me. Then I would watch one of your videos, and be instantly calmed down. Probably because in my sober state, I totally agree with your perspective on the state of the world, healing, and the issues that come with medications (dulling the grief and healing process).
    Although I did manage to abstain from smoking weed for 6 months, for the most part I had a terrible quality of life. I was often being knocked around by extreme emotional highs and extreme lows. As time went on, these states grew stronger and stronger, leading me to become quite dangerously close to committing suicide. I went off the rails – jeopardised the security of my job, lost a lot of money by being painfully indecisive, didn’t want to socialise with anyone, felt distrustful towards many, and generally saw the world as a dark and gloomy place. I recall you mentioned this phenomenon in one of your videos: the healing process leading someone to a state where they can’t function in society anymore – that is exactly what happened. And hearing you talk about that saved my life at one point also.

    As this state of dysfunction grew more erratic over time, I simply had to smoke weed for my survival. It was either that, or commit suicide. And alas, the weed worked, all of my emotions dulled down, and the voice of reason sprung forth into my consciousness to save my life. I have decided to occupy this ‘dissociated state’ by smoking a small amount every 2-3 days at night. It is true that my healing process has been paused for now, but having this distance from my state of being enveloped in my traumas, I can think a little more objectively without my own biases.

    Which leads me to want to you ask you questions, ones I have wanted to ask for awhile, but my sober emotional state would not dare to ask:

    ‘Do you think there is more merit to a healed person than somebody who voluntarily chooses to bypass the healing process?’
    I held onto dear life that going through with the healing process would amount to a greater quality of life, but it was a living hell for me that almost led to my self-destruction. I tried many things to make the process smoother: daily self-journaling, clean diet, exercise, early wake ups, plenty of sunshine, no distractions. These things made it all a bit easier, but I can’t help but wonder if it’s also okay just to say: screw it! nobody cares about what we do anyway.. so why not just live a non-courageous/ un-healed/ easy/ dissociated life.

    ‘Are there any examples of people who have adopted the process of healing and come out ‘better’ than everybody else? ‘
    I know the word ‘better’ is vague, but you know what I mean. I would assume that you would think of others differently who choose to avoid the process of healing. In my current dissociated state, I am guarded by the horrors of the world and my history, living a fiction perhaps, but I am also not harming anybody either. I don’t take advantage of others, or live in a way that poses any harm onto myself or others. If anything, the sober shackles of my trauma would put me in a position of being more harmful to others: I would literally drive a car more poorly, and would be awfully forgetful about important things.. because I was way too.. present? present in how I was feeling all the time, it really did make my behaviours more physically dangerous to myself and others.

    ‘Do you think you are really healed or more healed than when you were a child?’
    I am sorry if this question is triggering, but I have to ask. I have noticed that in almost all of your videos, you talk about how your parents betrayed you. Or how the healing process has made you become someone who is much more emotionally volatile to events that happen in the external world. Are these the behaviours of somebody who is at least 90% healed? Again, I am sorry if this question is thorny to answer. While I recognise my questions are quite personal and maybe aggressive in nature, I really am more curious than anything. I want to believe that healing is the right way to go.

    Take care Daniel, you have been a great source of support for me and many others. I commend you for sitting through all those uncomfortable feelings to make your videos be published for the world to see. Cheers mate

    • Hi Nath,
      Thank you for sharing all this, and your questions are good. The problem for me is that I’m almost entirely off the grid right now and simply don’t have the time to give your questions in the proper time to reply. The main thing that jumped out to me though, in my moment to reply, is that the first most important thing is to survive and not die! Also, when we take away something that might be a bit of a crutch, like weed or something like that, if we don’t replace it with something better and healthier then life can get really awful, and often life can get really awful even in spite of this. In my case I have spent a lot of time in my journal and also on working and also on having friends. I’m really wishing you the best! Daniel

  68. Hi Daniel
    Wow, I just found out about your You Tube channel and I am totally hooked. I appreciate you candid and sincere expression of your thoughts. I think you are a gift to so many people. You’re one of those “who would you wanna sit down and have a beer with” and hope (honestly) I could meet you in person. I am partly NY based too. I have been through therapy. as well. I had no complaints about any one of them but I do sense the “heaviness” in their demeanor. Half of the time, I sense they were not really “with me”. I did not take it against them and in fact I was secretly empathizing with them in real time during my sessions. I do that by trying to be an “easy patient” whatever that means. I can completely relate because I’m also in the medical field (I treat cancer) so I am always in front of people who needs help. I know how difficult it is to be in a position of strength when deep inside, you have demons hounding you. Thankfully, I handle my emotions pretty well in front of patients and it has not compromised the care I give. Looking forward to more videos.

  69. Hi Daniel,

    I’m sad to say I was assaulted about two weeks ago by a homeless man, maybe 50 years old who appeared to be in some kind of psychosis. When I had walked past him 20 seconds prior he claimed I “shot him with a gun”, and in retaliation had followed behind and blindsided me with a blunt object. In reality I hadn’t acknowledged him at all; he was shouting in a disorganised way and I blanked him as to not invite further interaction (which I remember felt callous at the time!).

    I was very lucky to be in a public place; a witness immediately called the police, and in amidst the chaos I managed to get a clear picture of the guy. The police were quick to arrive but the man had fled the scene. My interaction with them was mostly positive; I gave them my details/ statement + the photo and they gave me a lift to the hospital which I’m grateful for, though as with your story I found it quite surreal to overhear being referred to as ‘the victim’.

    While waiting in A&E I found myself thinking about your mugging story and deeply empathising with it. In particular I was profoundly struck by how much empathy you showed the men who robbed you; I’m not sure I could have been so charitable given their apparent agency in the matter. In my case though, it was clear to me within the first 10 seconds or so of being assaulted that this guy needed more help than I did.

    I’m at a crossroads right now; the police have gotten back to me asking if I want to proceed with a prosecution and I genuinely don’t know. I’ve since recovered emotionally (I think (: ) and physically minus a scar in my eyebrow that required a bit of glue. I don’t think someone who is prone to random violent outbursts should be out on the streets, but I’m uncomfortable with the idea of setting off a chain of events if it leads to him getting lost in a system without the help he needs. This happened in the UK so I appreciate that the protocols might be different, but any insight you might have, moral or otherwise would be greatly appreciated.

    Kind regards, Michael

    • Michael, I’m so sorry to hear this! But I thank you very much for sharing it. Yes, unfortunately, I relate to it very much. At least I am grateful that I was not physically assaulted in my case. I am not sure what insights I have right now, as I am thinking about these things all the time and have not come up with a good conclusion. Someday I hope to make some more videos on the subject, when my case is resolved at least. Sending you the warmest greetings. Daniel

  70. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7wpoDvFsXY&t=248s&ab_channel=DanielMackler

    “Everyone has the right to work.” Really, united nations? As beings here on Earth, one of the things we fundamentally deserve is to do labor? These people who call themselves world leaders, and the ordinary people who support them are the most uncool, boring things the world has ever churned out. This proves how backwards the world is, that we don’t even question “the right to work”. We are told we should be grateful for the opportunity to work 9-5 jobs, because people in poorer countries don’t have this fundamental “human right”.

    I love your ideas for what our rights should really be, and how you believe children should be the main recipients of these rights. If society actually cared about us as human beings, the fundamental rights for children that you’ve named would be our commandments. Those children would go on to create an awesome world where we not only appreciate and enjoy nature, but also where we don’t hinder our own creativity and potential to be kind, loving beings. This could be an amazing world to live in.. But clearly, adults and institutions like the UN have always had other plans, since the beginning of time. They are not our guardians, but rather our rulers.

    • Hello Pat,
      I have a slightly different interpretation of the “right to work”, but maybe I am wrong. The way I see it is that in order to live, we all have to make a living, we all need money in order to survive, unless of course you are born to a family of means and everything is taken care of. I would assume that even those who absolutely love and enjoy their jobs still would want and need to be paid. Unfortunately, there are instances when someone who needs a job in order to live are “prevented” (not sure if that is the right word) by others who have something against that individual. For example, you got fired for something you did, you’ve already been punished by losing the job, and yet someone wants to punish you more by ruining your reputation so no one will hire you. I believe that’s where that right comes in. The person who is doing that to you is therefore violating your right to have a job. If that person doesn’t get a job, there will be consequences…he may be evicted or lose his home and become homeless, he loses health insurance and a family member may suffer and even die because there is no money to buy medicines. I can go on and on…but you get the idea. Perhaps you put yourself in that situation…. someone violating your right to have a job and you become jobless and your savings run out and there is no one to help you, not a friend, not a relative. What would happen to you? Anyone of us can be in that situation.

  71. Hey again Daniel!

    Just saw your video “A Critique of Jordan Peterson”. I’m not super familiar with him (I have a tendency to gloss over the antics of the really famous folk, and prefer to let everyone else obsess over them).

    I live in Canada myself, but I grew up in the US. I had the following thought after watching your video: if the world sees Donald Trump as the face of the US (and therefore holds the US up to all the same scrutiny), then maybe we should look at Jordan Peterson as the face of Canada.

    I’ve noticed that parents here in Canada love putting their own kids last. I see parents who drag their bored, exasperated kids around on the bus to complete their own agendas; parents who dump their kid in daycares run by nannies who are completely aloof and see it as just any other job; parents who scold their kids for showing any sign of a facial expression that would indicate disagreement. I see parents who are kinder to strangers than they are to their own children, right in front of their own children. You’re probably thinking that none of these examples are all that different from what you’ve no doubt seen countless times in the US, but to me it really does feel like Canada has a nation-wide culture of lame, pathetic, lousy parenting.

    And I find that this is reflected in the adults I’ve interacted with in my 11 years here in Canada. When I think back to my childhood in the US, and when I observe Americans on youtube and even people from other countries like the UK, I notice that you people on the outside have this bizarre ability to smile genuine smiles and laugh genuine laughs. You guys tend to be more spontaneous, less afraid of expressing yourselves, less dull, more creative. You guys seem to be more connected to your own playfulness; more empathic. But I suppose things have been changing for many years, even in other countries – cellphones are taking over the world and turning everyone into Canadians- I mean drones. Nevertheless, I find myself dreaming every day of visiting the US again, and perhaps a new country as well. I’d better do it before it’s too late, and all the things and people I love in this world get replaced by walmarts and cellphones and condos and fancy cars.

    So that sums up why I think JP should be the “face” of Canada. Intelligent, professional, calculating, sure. Just like Canada prides itself as being, especially in contrast to its slightly rambunctious neighbor. But as for me, I would rather hang out with a country who’s kind, genuine, capable of being fun and playful.

  72. Hi Daniel,

    I was wondering if you had any thoughts on how music is, or can be, integrated into a traumatized musicians journey.

    I entered college as a piano performance major in 2010. Just before that I won a competition playing a movement of a Rachmaninoff piano concerto. To this day, it has remained my crowning achievement. But everything started to drift after that. I became unfocused on my studies and craft, not to mention important responsibilities by the end. I was instead fixed on finding that “one true love.” None of them worked out. Also, since school is usually only a 4 year go people would graduate and move on. I somehow took this personally. “They left me. I’m not valuable enough, etc.” Then I began coping using marijuana and alcohol. I eventually saw that I had totally lost track of my life. This is when some self examination unearthed the realization that I started playing the piano when my parents stopped paying attention to me. They drifted into their room with their own substances. I would play that they would come out. And when they did and I had some legitimate complaint about what was going on they would contest, “You’re wrong. You’re so ungrateful. Just be productive.” Family and others only listened if my mouth was shut but my hands were on the keys. “He’s so smart. He’s so talented.” they would say. Then later in college I spent many a night “practicing” and waiting for a familiar face to show in the practice room window. If it was a friend I’d be happily distracted for a while. If it was blonde hair I felt I was saved.

    Now, I’ve worked through some 12-step material. I’ve been doing therapy consistently. I journal on occasion. I play on occasion but I listen endlessly. Rachmaninoff continues to be my favorite composer. And sometimes I feel when I play that things are in harmony, that I’m grounded, that I can cultivate this relationship with my instrument again. But it only lasts so long. I get tripped up with these questions: Do I have to heal all of my trauma before I can move forward with my music? Can they be done simultaneously? How can I untangle the part of music that is wrapped up to that lonely child who needed it to cope, to get at least some form of attention? How can I take the part that was genuinely in awe at the sounds and the feelings I was hearing coming through the music of Beethoven, Chopin, Mozart, John Williams, Pink Floyd, etc, etc.?

    I watch your videos all the time. I’m deeply appreciative of what you have to say as it often seems to tap into what I’ve always known yet suppressed. You mentioned “action” in your last video. I hear ya.


    • Hi Nicholas,
      I’m not sure I have a clear answer for you. My own experience of playing music (folk music, guitar, singing), while not remotely at the level you did it, has been healing for me, in that it is a chance for me to explore my feelings and thoughts and also just to relax and have fun. I considered having fun to be a key tool of the self-healing process. I wrote about that in my book on my self-therapy. That has been something that has been important for me with music: to enjoy it. To just work to find the joy in it, and not to use it for any other great purpose, except perhaps as a way to express myself more. I see music, at least for me, as an adjust to my healing process. But nothing, not even music, is more important to me than just figuring out my history, retrieving my buried feelings, grieving, getting away from the toxic people in my past… But what I have found is that the more I have healed the more I feel more inspired, especially in a healthy way, to create music. To just play for the joy of it, and for no other reason. Sending you greetings on your journey! Daniel

    • Hi Nicholas,

      If you are able or willing, I would love to talk to you. I come from a family of performance artists in classical music, my grandparents especially, had large careers which is part of my family dysfunction. Please let me know.

  73. Hey Daniel I have a question I enjoy your videos from 6 years ago about not having children you make very valid points I feel the same way honestly can you go deeper into that subject in terms of growing as an individual because I know a lot of people are having children in there early 20s and beyond .

  74. Hello again. I’ve commented here before, and this time I want to thank you for making the video titled “Why I don’t recommend ayahuasca for healing psychological trauma”. I think it was quite responsible of you to make that video, considering there are some youtubers out there who are really pushing drugs like ayahuasca and DMT, such as a certain podcast host whose name I won’t mention. In that podcast, the host mentions all sorts of psychedelics, but especially ayahuasca and DMT quite frequently in a highly glorifying way, and maybe a few times I’ve heard him add in a couple words of caution as an afterthought. He’s probably talked in detail about those substances hundreds of times in his videos, but I don’t recall him ever recommending that anyone should try building a foundation of safety and good mental health in your life first.

    I know I have a lot of trauma, much of which was recent trauma mixed in with all my childhood trauma. I would love to deal with all that trauma in as healthy a way as possible, if only I had the right people in my life and a good therapist. I have suspected that drugs like ayahuasca can really put you through a very awful hell, like you mentioned that guy you had to comfort was going through. That’s exactly what I picture would happen to me, perhaps a thousand times scarier. I can’t even imagine what it was like in his mind.

    I can’t help but be curious about these drugs – I’m mainly interested in the visuals, but I sure hope I never use them with the state my mental wellbeing is in. Thanks again Daniel for showing a lot of compassion and responsibility and making that video.

  75. Daniel, hi. I first saw your work when my daughter was experiencing psychosis and I was researching OD. I have watched that video multiple times and forwarded it to countless people. Thank you for that. Today I saw your video on bipolar disorder. It was uploaded to the lithium withdrawal group on Facebook, which I participate in while stopping lithium, 21 years after being given a bipolar diagnosis. I found it excellent, and have forwarded it to my daughter who has also been given that diagnosis.

    I am writing now because I have recently finished a draft of a book on how I recovered from so called bipolar disorder. It is based on my conversations with a psychiatrist (who also works as a psychotherapist) over the last 10 years, and is drawn from his comprehensive notes of our sessions. I was startled at how many of the issues that you raised chimed with my own experience, and would like to invite you to read my book and to provide a testimony. Is that something you would consider doing? My email is below. If that is something you would be happy to do please drop me a note.

    With gratitude for what you create.


    • Hi Jim/Daniel:
      My attention span is somehow “damaged” and my eyesight is less. After watching some videos about C-PTSD Daniel’s first video popped up: “my 6 reasons why I quit bei g a therapist”…

      After watching a few of Daniel’s other videos I chose to click on his site and here I am. I only want to cry and at the other side I am also happy.
      That first video of Daniel told me for the first time that there are people who cares and understands APA is BeeAs and the Pharmaceutical Industry is multi dollar Company “killing” people by keeping them in a “Zombie Pose” even Kaye Jamison in the Hopkins Hospital being BP diagnosed (Kaye no offense please).

      My mom became catatonic in the rice field in Spring 1968. I am 7 years old then! When the ambulance came my mom punched my father in his face. My mom was then tie wrapped in the ambulance and I did not see her for 9 months. When she was released she was mute (year 1969).

      During my childhood until my 12th years there different kind of sexual abuse.

      At age 14 I become a Jehovah’s Witness (year 1975) and a year later I was in Europe.

      In 1999 I am 38 and “dying”, if I do not speak out now I will be dead man. I have 3 children (14f, 12m, 8f). On Saturday 5th I spoke for the 1st about the sexual abuse. Two male elder JEHOVAH’S Witnesses and the mother of the children.

      During this there is “button switch on sound” between my 2 ears and started crying and laughing simultaneously (is that possible?)

      instantly I became Bipolar…other would say not my words…

      Other things happened too. During this time I become a man of 105: I couldn’t stand up straight and my body was aching.

      I requested for a follow up, but elders refused. Jehovah’s Witnesses are encouraged not to seek help through therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists. All is of Satan and from the world.

      My view point was in 1999: God will heal me. He is the only One who know my past life.

      There is was no help at all. My past had overhauled me and could not concentrate at my job anymore.

      The 4 things what was ruling me were: GUILT, FEAR SHAME, AND DOUBT…

      On Sunday 6th June i could joke about “x” Jehovah’s witness would frown upon.

      After a clash on Sunday 12 September 1999 in the conference room with the fellow elders I burst out crying, ran out the room fetched a younger fellow chinese brother and dived in the library a nd closed the door and started singing song number 13, while crying through…It is about the jews, Egypt, river Jordan life and death.

      After arriving home that day Sunday afternoon I packed some little stuff and went off. I sat in the car and a bunch of good bye notes for the 3 children and their mother. With lots of instructions, such as never look for me. I am happy where I am going. The instructions were in different envelopes which they had to open at certain time. All put in one envelope I dropped it in the mail box.

      Preaching and crying and singing (Composed my own lyrics Satan is an oppressor who causes depression).

      Some hours later I was still singing and singing at the door of an CIRCUIT OVERSEER. After singing half an hour the door went open and they invited…they did not ask why I behaved like this, but returned me home the same night.

      September 15th 1999 I was forced to swallow HALDOL. Within 24 hours me being BiPolar was gone.

      My manic disappeared. And my Depression was -100.

      The HALDOL was crippling my mind, my thinking, et c et c….

      Is this what doctors and psychiatrists have studied for? Is this what Pharmaceutical Industry is developing and making chemical pills?

      The only place where I was happy, was work place. And was also now “stolen” from me as I stopped working from September 13th.

      Happily there was a man which I trusted and I had appointed with him in his office room on Friday the 17th September at 15.00pm.

      He was a psychologist and a social worker. His name is Theos. I was not afraid of this man. This is the only man that cannot harm me.

      Theos had scheduled 1,30 hours for me: 15.00pm-17.00pm: I cried 1 1/2 hours while talking about the sexual abuse. Only with this man I could talk that my legal wedded wife was not my wife, but a kind of stepmom, an older sister who had a mother role with whom I was married.It was an incestuous relationship in a religious context where divorce was prohibited…

      The next week September 24, i had my 2nd appointment with Theos. I asked Theos how his next appointment was on the 17th of September as he had a get to gather with colleagues after my appointment. Theos told me the following, I quote: ” I was so tired of listening to you, that did not go to my next appointment, but went straight home to have a rest.

      Jim/Daniel…for the first I heard someone can get tired from listening. But Theos listened. Woow.

      will be continued


  76. My Ludditism will be the end of me. Thank you for your book on separating from family, and your online lectures. Besides you, the process of suffering, to some extent even with the few good therapists I’ve seen, has not really been understood or wisely advised. It’s been a final step in the grieving process–and discovering I’d just naturally been spirited enough so as to weather the entire storm, which included psychosis. I only wish I could share family photos on here, as well other images. Thank you.
    I’m hoping to soon launch a Youtube channel, with my spouse, a Registered Nurse, The Professional Patient. I’ll be doing psych. coercion etc. he’ll be advising on patient rights and medical stuff, where relevant. I hope to include your material some way.

  77. Daniel, is there a guide out there, book or video, that helps people like me who have lived in cities for over a decade, finally just escape and start being closer to nature, in a world that doesn’t seem to really care about nature anymore? I have no money, no survival skills; all I have to my name is a fear of not fitting in with people who HAVE been fortunate enough to grow up around nature. I’ve never had the exposure to nature I’ve always craved ever since I was a kid. I didn’t have parents who cared about nature, but only cared about money (I’m sure you can relate to this). How the heck do I get out of the city, after years of letting the city life corrupt my passion for the outdoors?

    • Good question… Hmm, I don’t know of such a guide book. If you find one could you share it her??

      • Hi,
        Maybe it’s uncharted territory and I’ll have to end up writing one myself.
        It seems that having a good chunk of money saved up is essential, to purchase land in the woods to build a cabin on. For someone like me who has no experience constructing anything, I’d need even more money to buy the cabin itself, already built.
        It seems a little ironic to me that to escape society, which is centered around money, you need money.
        Maybe one possibility is to try meeting other people who also want to abandon the urban life and we can all pitch in towards building something. But I dunno, I value my solitude and that’s part of the reason why I’d do it anyway – to be alone.
        Another roadblock is the comfort I’m used to, of course. I need to convince myself really deep down that I really do want to live out in the woods, and probably have no internet access or very limited internet access. It’s hard for me to do that when much of my life is centered around using the internet. I don’t like to admit it, but I can barely go walk in the small bit of woods in the park for 1 hour without having my mind on going back home and being on the internet.

        • There are many who have volunteered at animal sanctuaries and such….many near woodland. Organic farms take people on who are willing to learn and work part-time… It’s a start..

          • Thank you, yes those farm stays seem to be very trendy. I’ve thought of giving that a try. I suppose a good way to get experience, but hopefully one day I could have a peaceful little home of my own. I have to be honest, I see myself more as a tree and plant lover than someone who could constantly be helping animals. Each to their own right?

  78. Hi Daniel!
    Thank you for the documentary (Open Dialogue). It’s was fun watching it.
    This is where I found the video:
    (The website (link) belongs to a NGO here based in Leipzig, Germany, which offers Open Dialogue for people (like me) to survive psycho.-social crisis .)
    Wishing you the best. Good luck.

  79. Daniel. Hi. I know you arent big on labels but i have one im ok with. It describes my experience that many therapists havent been able to realate to. Dissociation. Outside of self. As if im watching a two dimensional movie. Detached from feelings and cognitive abilities throttled to zero. Result of a trauma and a subsequent issue with a therapist for which she lost license. So im looking for a new therapist. What modality would be best? Somatic experiencing?? Idk. Any direction appreciated.

    • Hi Wa Jaur,
      I never recommended therapy much based on modality. I think what’s more important (this is just my personal opinion) is the quality of the therapist. I wish I had good referrals but I don’t. But I think the quality of the therapist, the humanity of the therapist, is much more important than the modality. A bad therapist with a “great” modality is still a bad therapist! Daniel

  80. Hi Daniel,
    I have been labeled with schizophrenia and I would like to know what my options are in getting weened off meds.
    Who can I trust?

  81. hello daniel
    maybe you can make a video of school traumas? what i have heard from people there is a lot of traumas caused by the times in schools, and a lot of people carried unresolved traumas from there, for entire life

    Many thanks

    • Hi Adi,

      Good subject, for sure. I did mention school at least twice in videos, once here specifically related to a specific school trauma I experienced: https://youtu.be/xVjLbyMYLfE

      And once here more in general, though I can’t remember if I talked about traumas here: https://youtu.be/5o-dPKDIJNk

      But I am thinking of making more videos about this…

      Thanks for the idea.
Wishing you the best,

    • Hi Daniel,

      Just to say a big THANK YOU for The great film about open dialogue in Finland, which I’ve just watched, excellent work, beautifully put together, great contribution, keep it up!

      Gratefully, Gordon Barclay (exUK NHS consultant psychiatrist, now private trauma therapist)

  82. Hello, I’m not sure where to start but my son needs help. He is 20 and was diagnosed with drug-induced psychosis four years ago after three very traumatic experiences within the month or so before he did acid and didn’t come out of his “trip”. When he didn’t improve from that, they diagnosed him with schizophrenia. There was some trauma as a baby at the hospital, he had a couple of experiences in elementary with his peers, and his dad was verbally abusive which translates in to mental, emotional, and psychological abuse. I’ve begged him for these four years to seek help for all of this trauma but I have also been wrong and sent him to hospitals and forced him to comply with meds. After seeing one of your videos I’m left feeling absolutely terrible for him and how I’ve handled things. He is convinced he’s just fine but he isn’t and he is in desperate need of help; the right help. Please guide me in finding him the help he needs.

    • Hi Melisa,
      I’m very sorry to hear this. Hmm, it sounds like he and you may have very different ideas on what he thinks he needs, even now. It’s always different for me when a parent reaches out to help their child. Of course I feel for you and for him, but at the same time I’ve seen repeatedly and learned repeatedly that unless someone wants help for himself or herself, someone else’s idea of the “best” help (including my idea too) doesn’t really mean all that much. It’s always much better if someone does the reaching out himself or herself — in this case, if your son reaches out. That makes things a lot easier — and yet, still, in this modern mental health climate, it’s still very hard to find good, respectful help. However, he might be interested in such websites as http://www.madinamerica.com and https://mindfreedom.org, or perhaps even he’d like my antipsychiatry video playlist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tiC-8suDDaI&list=PLRHLaIzKomTgmKD0F9TZOaDuqxzBpItuN But if he’s not interested in it, then I really don’t know what to say, because at that point things coming from a parent, or from anyone, when he’s not specifically asking for it or for help, might well just come across as another violation… I am really wishing you both the best, though!! Daniel

      • Thank you for your reply. That’s definitely the situation and so the cycle continues. I will share the info you shared with me with him. I’m trying to give him info in hopes that he figures it out; that said, he does not want my help at all so in turn it is a violation. It’s never ending it seems but hopefully he comes around to getting help. I will do my best to not push it or even speak of it too much.. I just miss him terribly and want him to be ok. Thank you again for your reply. Take care.

    • Melissa!

      I went through the same thing at age 21.
      I’m 28 and I’ve healed quite significantly. Psychotherapy and trauma therapy were crucial. Send me an email at s.leal@utexas.edu. I’d love to be a resource to help

  83. Hello, Daniel:

    I find your videos to be enlightening, your discourse very intelligent, clever, deep, authentic, unique. Listen, I want your feedback, please, if you don;t mind. I graduated from college with a master degree in counseling psychology in 2007. I never used my degree to get employment. My experiences in college with hypocrites, backstabbing professors, and also my horrific experiences with evil, psycho “therapists” I met seeking help for my clinical depression, made me hate that profession. I was told the most horrible things by those people. I was great at providing therapy during my short-term internship, but I was so traumatized with the stuff I was told by wicked counselors and psychology professors that I never ever wanted to be a counselor. What do you think, Daniel: was I right when I refused to work as a counselor? I’d appreciate your opinion. Wish you peace. Thank you !

    • Hi Melissa, It sounds like you probably made a good decision. I think it’s possible for someone to be a good therapist in the mental health profession, but it requires a lot of different factors to help. I think it’s probably easier in some places than others. I myself much preferred working in private practice, also, but it took a lot of years of working in some stressful and awful places to build up to that. I feel lucky I didn’t lose myself along the way. I think it’s easy for many therapists to lose themselves — often, I think, the kindest people can lose themselves the quickest. Sending you warm greetings–Daniel

      • Hello, Daniel:

        Thank you for your kind response. I found many counselors sold their souls to the Devil, figuratively speaking, they lack compassion, empathy, treat people who desperately need help as second-class citizens. I endured a lot of emotional abuse by those “healers”, and that fact made hate the profession. It’s true I could have been different kind of therapist in private practice, but at what price? First I had to work for the system for 3 years and see all the corruption, hypocrisy, experience the burnout. I think that subconsciously I wanted to become a mental health counselor to “empower” myself, lol: I didn’t need it. I believe I made the right decision.
        Many blessings to you.

  84. I saw your “take” on Jordan Peterson and personally I think he’s a psychological fraud who ONLY wants to confirm the supposed virtuousness of his own psychological repressions. Some people can’t clean their rooms because they are so effed up with dependency needs or existential emptiness (hoarding). Ordering them around won’t help but its sooo easy to pontificte and get people to love u through mass hypnosis and never ever get any true feedback. I ACCUSE this Peterson guy of being like that. And the idea of obeying your parents without comment is medieval and horrifying. But its no wonder people eat this stuff up, they are the newest generation of ABUSIVE PARENTS. This creep should be locked up. Ever notice he can’t seem to CHILL or even smile??

  85. Hello Daniel,

    I’ve been following your material since mid-February when my father fell victim to a violent crime himself. It put him in critical condition for a week. Thankfully he has been recovering well. Now, we’ll see how he moves through the psychological trauma of the event. That said, I’m deeply sorry to hear about your recent experience. As I’ve felt increasingly validated and connected absorbing your material it made my chest clench to hear your story. I wish you the very best moving forward. Your vulnerability is inspirational.

  86. I noticed while watching your latest video on the mugging how anxious you were. I have a friend who suffered from depersonalization after smoking fake marijuana. I wonder if there is anything you know about depersonalization, its intensity, similarity or connection to anxiety and depression, if it is real. Any thoughts?

    Also, you posted the first video the same night I got broken up with by my girlfriend, and the things you feel (confusion, anxiety, anger, depression) are like what I have been feeling. Though our situations are very different, I feel comfort in going through this with you. Thank you for your transparency throughout this process and for facing your insecurity/fear.

    • Thanks for sharing Alexander. Hmm, I think there probably a connection between depersonalization and dissociation and shock. I’ll have to think about it more. I definitely felt somewhat depersonalized after my mugging — almost like I was floating outside my body. I was in shock… I think I am still partially in shock now… Greetings to you, Daniel

  87. Hi Daniel. Im curious. We have tons of mental health people come in store. Mft phd psyd etc. They all claim they are forgoing traditional methods in practice to treat people with tarot astrology and crystals yet touting mft phd or lcsw. Somehow crystals bypass the work. Have you noticed? Isnt that disturbing??…as a psychologist

  88. Dear Daniel,

    My interests, channeled through the algorithm(s) of YouTube, recently revealed your videos to me.

    I grew up Catholic, the religion of my parents, but now live my life on terms that make more sense to me than Catholicism does. As a result, I can sometimes see more clearly not only the bad but also some good aspects of the religion now that I am no longer bound by it, at least not bound in the way that I was as a child, teenager, and young adult.

    One good aspect can be found, I think, in the Prayer of St. Francis (who to some extent broke with his parents to become a friar), particularly as sung by Sinead O’Connor (who like me has “broken away” from Catholicism). That is, the idea of being “a channel of … peace,” I think is a good one, notwithstanding the song’s imperfect way of communicating this idea (i.e., in the patriarchal language of Catholic theology).

    I mention all of this because I just listened to your very peaceful song “I Wanna Find a House” wherein you sing of being a “channel of sincerity to all.”

    Do you feel, as I do, sincerity in O’Connors’ rendition (link posted below)? Or do you find its insincere of her to sing the prayer of a religion that she has on some level left (which I think is a risk that she has taken)?

    With the above in mind, is there a place in the house that you want to find for imperfect language/belief, if it can fuel a critical but friendly form (such as a prayer fueling a singer’s performance as its content)? Or would the house only function with a certain quality of input?


    Peace and sincerity, H.

  89. Hey Daniel,

    I watched your video on going to prison, the video where you drank from the cup.

    At the start you said prison can be a complex place for some people, well I was one of those and after being falsely imprisoned with the intention of defamation by the ‘victim’ and police.

    Do you know of a resource library I can see to filter in some of my experience in the right terms as right now it’s just a jumbled mess of thoughts and experiences.



    • Hi Cameron,

      Sorry to hear this. Hmm, unfortunately I don’t know of any resources like this — it’s not really my area of expertise. I just looked at a few websites and they didn’t seem quite right to me… Either very religious or very technical, or rather harsh… I wish you good fortune on your search — I wish I had more to offer. And I hope my video was of some value. Daniel

  90. Hey Daniel,

    I’m wondering if you have any thoughts on Soteria houses? I know you did that documentary in Finland, right? Was that a Soteria house? Any thoughts on the one in Vermont or others in the U.S.?

    Thank you!!

      • Wow! Many thoughts I see!

        You mentioned that at Soteria-San Jose there might be “disruptions”/disruptive behavior from the residents, but usually would last days or weeks, as opposed to Alaska where it would might last much longer. I wonder if you noticed any pattern there with the amount of sunlight, if the darker months seemed more difficult or the opposite or whatever.

        I hope that Soteria-Vermont were able to apply some of what you’d learned in Alaska. I think I’d like to work for them or another Soteria house or somewhere like that someday. Maybe even try to start something new, who knows!

        Thank you, I now have many ideas in response to your writing!

        • I don’t know if it was light-related. I think more likely it was because so many people were going through heavy psych drug withdrawal at Soteria-Alaska.

          • Yesyes, that makes sense, and your work in Scandinavia would probably give you some idea as to whether that seemed to be “a thing” or not. It’s probably just my bias as someone born and raised a little closer to the equator!

    • Hi Sarah,
      Rethinking Psychiatry recently invited Voyce Hendrix of the original Soteria House to talk, and the recording of this excellent presentation is at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDLCAeReWEKv8zMaKwACUtQ. Our next talk with be with the Soteria Vermont folks (a Sunday in April, I believe–sign up for our occasional newsletter at RethinkingPsychiatry.org to be notified about our talks), and we plan to have Susan Musante (of the now no-longer Soteria Alaska, and where Daniel and I met) and folks from Soteria Israel talk at some point after.
      What’s your interest in Soteria Houses?

      • Grace,
        Thanks so much for your reply!
        I’m about to graduate a masters in counseling program, and I am looking for work!! I think my dream has been for a few years to work at something like a Soteria house. I’m acquainted with some of the GIFRIC folks and had a fantasy of moving to Quebec City and working at the 388. I thought I should probably know French for that though, and I do not know French..hah. I stumbled upon Soteria-Vermont in my googling fantasy of living in Vermont and just searching for jobs in the field there. It looked perfect! I only found out about a month ago from my mentor that Soteria is a whole international network. I am in Chicago and will probably have to stay here for a couple of years, but I will watch the video you’ve shared, sign up for the newsletter, and attend the next talk you all are giving. Thank you again so much for sharing it all!!!

  91. Hi Daniel,
    Thanks for your website and videos.
    There’s one mystery I can’t quite figure out and that’s how to experience my true self. I have experienced it a few times over the last couple years. As for grieving, I find it near impossible to grieve. Is there any other way you can help us understand how to shed our false self and experience our true self on a more permanent basis?
    Many thanks for any suggestions.

    • Hi Richard,
      Greetings and thank you. I actually recently recorded a video on this very subject. It’ll probably take me a while to edit and feel comfortable enough to put up in public, and maybe I’ll have to re-record it, but I very much like your question!! Sending warm greetings — Daniel. P.S. in the meantime all I can suggest, potentially, is more journaling…more self-investigation…

  92. Hi Daniel,
    I have known your essays and videos for a long time and there is a question I’ve been wanting to ask you. If I understand you correctly, a key part of your philosophy is remembering childhood traumas and grieving them, and yet you hardly ever talk about how it – the remembering – is to be done. I don’t remember almost anything of my life before around the age 12. I have tried journaling but so far it hasn’t been very effective. I have brought back a few (very few!) memories, but I still don’t know all that much about my relationship with my parents, aside from the very general stuff. I could ask them, but they are dishonest and I wouldn’t count on getting to know the truth from what they tell me. I think my lack of knowledge about my childhood is preventing me from grieving properly, and yet I have no idea how to go about remembering more. Is there any advice you could give me?
    PS Thank you for your videos and essays, they have been very helpful to me despite my lack of memory.

    • Hi Mateusz,
      Hmm, I’m not sure what to say. A few thoughts: perhaps continuing to journal might help. Sometimes it just takes a lot of time, years even… Also, if stuff is blocked from memory, often, from what I’ve seen, that suggests that there are a lot of painful feelings attached to it. Sometimes forgetting keeps the pain away. So that’s another reason that it can take a lot of time — time to build up inner resources, a stronger, more stable inner world. I think I’ve talked about this in various videos over the past few months, and I recently made a couple that addressed it more, but it might take me a while to edit them!! But I’ll keep thinking about it. Warm greetings! Daniel

    • Hi Daniel, I want to you to hear my story. I know that you are not a therapist anymore. But as you were therapist 10 years ago and had some knowledge on the field of therapy and other areas, I want you to hear my story and tell me if my condition is treatable. (Also sorry for my bad english).
      My story is when I was young one day, I was playing with my friends and at that time I suddenly slipped and fell on the floor which led one of my finger in my right arm to break. And that pain was very severe. After somedays it healed. But after that incident I started Fearing ‘physical pain’ upto now. I start feeling fear that something painful like this or something more painful than this will happen to me in future. Whenever I go outside I starts feeling anxious that some painful accident may happen to me. Whenever I remember about my that bone broken incident I suddenly gets scared and I cry a lot and even feel depressed. I sleep with fear at night. Because I always gets anxious that something physically painful may happen to me.
      As iam going through this kind of situation and when I watch any brutal murdering scenes at news my condition gets even worse and I suddenly gets sad and scared I get anxious that that same thing may happen to me in future.
      So what are treatments available for this? I don’t wanna take any Medication. Are there any other effective treatments options available for this?

      • Hi Ena,
        Hmm, I’m not sure exactly what to recommend. But I would guess — and this is just speculation — that your injury might be connected to earlier things in your life, earlier painful things that happened, probably emotional. That is the way I view situations like yours. Earlier things get re-experienced through a more recent experience like the breaking of your finger. All the emotions come out and get put on the experience of the broken finger. It’s possible therapy could help — though often therapists are not very good and don’t offer much help. Self-therapy might help as well. I have some info on this on this website and also in my videos. I really do wish you the best! And I also agree that avoiding medications is probably VERY wise. Of course, many mental health professionals would be quick to give them to you, and give you alls sorts of reasons and diagnoses and other things “proving” why the meds will help. I do not think they would, and could also cause terrible side effects. Daniel

        • Daniel, it is just so refreshing to “know” someone who just flat out rejects the treat symptoms with meds paradigm.

  93. Hi Daniel,

    I am currently studying psychoanalysis (it is a part of the college degree in my country with clinical psychology) and I was wondering if there was a time in your life where theories stripped the “life” out of you. When studying a concept, like the Imaginary, Symbolic and Real from Lacan or some defense mechanisms like projection, I start noticing patterns in my daily life that make me very uncomfortable. I used to be extremely emphatic, but now I seem to see things from a “mathematical and rational” perspective, taking the “humanity” away from daily life. It is not a black and white thing, but a good part of it is being blocked.

    • Hi Daniel,
      Well, I have no problem studying theories if I feel they are connected to reality and are useful to me, but so often what I’ve seen with psychoanalytic theories is that they don’t qualify as that!! Sometimes they just strike me as downright wrong. And I have found Lacan undecipherable, and I felt stripped of life after reading about five minutes of him, so I can hardly imagine being forced to take him seriously in an academic program where I’m being graded!! Wishing you the best!! Daniel

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