Dr Phil Helps Jessica Buchanan With Her Feelings Of Helplessness


Dr. Phil: Erik Wanted To Go Save Jessica

At the same time Jessica Buchanan’s husband, Erik, felt nothing but love towards his wife, he was utterly enraged by the pirates and it was this rage that moved him to action. Early on, however, these feelings caused nothing but frustration because, though he wanted to run in and rescue her, there was ultimately nothing he could do. He got a call from the FBI that pleaded with him to not do anything foolish that may get both of them killed.

Jessica is not angry about Erik not being able to do much. She understands that all he or she could do was wait it out.


Erik Felt Like He Had Failed As a Husband After Kidnapping

Dr Phil Helps Jessica Buchanan With Her Feelings Of Helplessness

Jessica Buchanan got help from Dr. Phil and started getting better.

During the first week following the kidnapping, Erik felt terrible feelings of guilt. He thought he had failed his promise he made at their marriage had been broken and that even if Jessica were to come out alive, he couldn’t even be certain that she would want to be with him. Soon after her rescue, though, Jessica absolved him of all responsibility.

A variety of dark thoughts crossed Erik’s mind at this time. He was afraid that Jessica would be killed, violated, accidentally killed or even sold into slavery. She was at the mercy of nothing less than animals, and there was no way for Erik to predict any favorable outcome.


Jessica Buchanan Got Pregnant Soon After Rescue

With her hormones undergoing changes in response to coming back to a clean state of living, her pregnancy was a very stressful time. After not sleeping or eating normally and being constantly sick, a pregnancy added only more stress. Jessica said that she doesn’t think she has had a night of uninterrupted sleep in a year and a half.

Dr. Phil: Jessica Buchanan Needs Help

Though Jessica Buchanan is back at full physical health, she has been left with quite a few emotional scars. She has nightmares where she is being chased and yet cannot run. She fears that she will not be able to properly protect her son. She finds that she has a lot more things that trigger rage now, too. Small things like the sight of unfolded laundry can cause her to become angry at Erik. She is angry that any of this had to happen to her at all, and she has no outlet for this anger. The pirates that captured her are no longer alive. She can’t take her aggression out on them. Jessica is lost.

Jessica Buchanan Gets Help

Dr. Phil thinks that Jessica Buchanan, after being out of control for so long at the hands of her captors, has developed not only depression, but learned helplessness. After being out of control for so long, your mind eventually gets to a point that it doesn’t believe it can do anything, that it is always helpless. This causes a behavioral shift. Now, she becomes obsessive compulsive about small things like the aforementioned laundry because when things like this are in order, Jessica has an illusion of control. Jessica cannot go too far into happiness or sadness, leaving her in a depressive grey area that robs her husband of the Jessica he married and the Jessica her son needs as a mother.

Ultimately, Dr. Phil offered his help. He wants Jess to have a genuine sense of freedom and peace for both her husband and her child.

To hear more about Jessica Buchanan’s story, check out her book Impossible Odds.


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