Letter discussion with Alan #3

Below is the third in our series of letters in discussion with Alan.

To recap:

We continue with our limited series of letters and responses between adult replacement child, Alan, and Replacement Child Forum co-founder and psychoanalyst Kristina Schellinski.

Photo by - Gemma Evans

We thought our readers would be interested in this ongoing exchange about some specific issues facing Alan as a replacement child. These letter exchanges are not therapy sessions, or meant to replace professional counselling, but with Alan’s permission, we felt the insights expressed may be of help to others who may share some of the same concerns.

**If you are a professional therapist your additional insights concerning these letters would be greatly appreciated by our readers. Please write to us at letters@replacementchildforum.com.**

Letter #3 from Alan

On medication

I have tried a number of medications over the years. I have found anti-depressants not to be helpful. I tried Paxil, thinking this drug for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder would fit my symptoms, but it didn’t provide a difference. The only thing that has been helpful is a drug against anxiety: Kolonopin. It takes the edge off some symptoms. What are your thoughts on this?

Regards, Alan


I do not know about medication for this syndrome. I think the best is to become conscious, and to do introspective work. There is no shortcut. If one is too depressed to commence such work, anti-depressants may be a bridge but no panacea.

If despair and depression are so great that they call for medication, that is when it is so bad that one cannot start the ‘inner’ assessment without, then, yes, take the edge off with medication.

But do dive deep down, into your soul and see what comes up from there, from your unconscious, when you connect with what is there, within you. Slumbering underneath the replacement child condition is YOU, your true self, waiting to be recognized – by you. And here might be the pivotal point: this condition cannot be ‘healed’ materially, with drugs, but it can be ‘healed’ psychologically with insights. By understanding the symbols in this existential condition, by understanding the symptoms, however difficult these may be, the inner work can lead to growth.

I also suggest that many, but not all, your issues or anxieties may have arisen from the replacement child condition. I say this to counsel against identifying with the replacement child syndrome.  

Recently I summarized it like this:

I am.

I am not just a replacement child.

I am a replacement child that has worked it through.

Viewed from this perspective, suffering is an invitation to growth.

With best wishes,


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