Beth Thomas and Her Journey to a Healthy Mind

Sometimes it's hard to be hopeful about family and friends that experience troubling mental health issues. Beth Thomas's story shows us that recovery is possible when treated properly.

I am a big fan of crime documentaries and crime books. Recently, I was searching for a crime documentary to watch during an ordinary Saturday evening, and a title grabbed my eye.

“Child of Rage” is a documentary about a girl named Beth Thomas. I watched it all with one breath. The documentary has an original interview of Beth, a six year old girl who openly spoke for her desire to kill her brother and her adoptive parents. 

The conversation went a little like this…

Interviewer: Who is afraid of you Beth?

Beth: John (her brother)

Interviewer: Why is your brother afraid of you?

Beth: Because I hurt him so much

 

What happened to Beth Thomas?

At the age of 1, her birth mother passed away. Beth and her brother were left with their birth father. He neglected children’s well-being and caused them severe trauma. He physically and sexually abused Beth.  When she was 19 months and John 7 months, they were adopted by Tim and Julie Tennent. They were unable to have biological kids and decided to adopt two. They knew little things about their past. After some time, Beth started to show some psychopathic symptoms. She did not appear to have a conscience to her psychiatric doctors.

In the “Child of Rage” documentary, Beth describes without any emotion and in detail her desire to kill her brother and her adoptive parents. Beth explains how she was ready to maximize any opportunity to hurt and kill other people.  She admits how she forcefully pushed her brother down the stairs and smashed his head against the floor. To be safe, her parents locked her in her room during the night.

But, it was one specific event that made them seek help. Beth killed four pets and squeezed a nest of baby birds to death!  It was a call for help.

 

What happened during treatment?

Beth’s case was studied by Dr Ken Magid, a clinical psychologist and later she was treated by Connell Watkins. Soon, she was diagnosed with reactive detachment disorder (RAD), which is a disorder caused by a lack of love and nurture at an early age. After she was diagnosed, Dr Magid suggested she had to be temporarily separated from her family and be placed in the care of experts.

Beth was placed in a controlled environment under Connell Watkins care. As time went by, she started to feel empathy and compassion. She even felt remorse for the way she had treated her brother and her family.  

The treatment saved her. It gave her a second chance to start life. Beth now is 33 years old and works as a nurse. 

 

Why is this story fascinating?

Beth’s story gives professionals a sense of hope. Her case shows how two responsible parents in the first place and proper treatment by specialists, can give some people a second chance at life. Beth deserved a second chance. She had experienced trauma in early childhood causing her behavior problems, but proper treatment saved her by giving her a second chance to be a better person.

 

Picture: Shutterstock / ID: 2036344241


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