Originally posted on Joanna Moncrieff:
In the light of the much trumpeted claims that recent research has identified genes for schizophrenia, it is important to review the track record of this type of endeavour (1). Despite thousands of studies costing millions of dollars, and endless predictions that the genetics of schizophrenia would shortly be revealed,…
Shame: a painful emotion caused by a strong sense of guilt, embarrassment, unworthiness, or disgrace
I think of shame as an unclean emotion. It’s laden with ideas of unworthiness and inferiority that are separate from the root emotions. These ideas attached to emotions, make shame extra tricky to sort out. Pure emotions without the baggage are much easier to deal with, process and integrate. It’s worth thinking about shame and how we experience it. … [click on title to read and view more]
by Ron Unger
This sounds like a weird question – everyone knows that psychosis is often very disabling, and antipsychotic drugs are widely recognized for their effects in reducing psychosis in at least most people, and most often taking effect in just a few days. And when people become psychotic again, it’s often understood that it’s because they “weren’t taking their meds.”
But what if it’s trickier than that? What if “antipsychotic” drugs make things better in the short term, but make long term problems worse? How would we even know? … [click on title to read and view more]
The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures. It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth in numberless blades of grass and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers. It is the same life that is rocked in the ocean-cradle of birth and of death, in ebb and in flow. I feel my limbs are made glorious by the touch of this world of life. And my pride is from the life-throb of ages dancing in my blood this moment. … [click on title to read and view more]
by Robert D. Stolorow
The DSM5, the most recent version of psychiatry’s diagnostic bible, makes it possible to classify grieving that endures beyond a rather brief span of time as a mental illness. … [click on title to read and view more]
I’ve not read the below book, but I like the way it’s talking about food, because although I’ve needed to change my diet in all sorts of radical ways during this healing process I find myself in, I actually do have a practice around food that looks much like what this quote from this book speaks to. I am actually quite flexible within the restrictions I have no choice but to impose while my body heals. I am not generally afraid of food and I routinely introduce new foods as I heal. It’s been an amazing and lovely learning journey in so many ways. When people have very real food intolerances finding one’s way back to moderation and flexibility can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. One thing I’ve needed to do is not care what others think. I have some very real intolerances and there really are foods I cannot eat for the time being. That is okay. It is real. We can still find what flexibility means for us even if that is the case with some foods for us. … [click on title to read and view more]
Wow. Just wow! A wave of gratitude arriving on the shores of a radical earth based faith that is lived, a faith that is in and of itself, nature being natural. Nature engages constantly with itself like this.
I’ll share here that there is this heartbreak in me, a general sadness and despair I feel about many of the issues we face as a collective earth and as a human species. The suffering on this planet often overwhelms me. I sense along with many other animals that whether by natural events or by our own human hands, probably a convergence of both, this earth our home and everything that lives on it is in for massive changes and challenges in the next century and we will need new ways to engage on this planet if we are to make it without devolving into a big ugly mess. And yet life goes on! Even if nature shakes off the current natural inhabitants, life will go on in some new way and so we live on endlessly. … [click on title to read and view more]
You’re invited to celebrate Unhappy Hour. It’s a ceremony that gives you a poetic license to rant and whine and howl and bitch about everything that hurts you and makes you feel bad.
During this perverse grace period, there’s no need for you to be inhibited as you unleash your tortured squalls. You don’t have to tone down the extremity of your desolate clamors. Unhappy Hour is a ritually consecrated excursion devoted to the full disclosure of your primal clash and jangle. … [click on title to read and view more]
Sitting still in meditation may be the common image that comes to mind when one thinks of Buddhist practice—but just as important is cultivation of awareness through movement. … [click on title to read and view more]
Anger is an emotion many people have so much trouble with that what happens is that is they end up denying that it’s how they feel and also then, in turn, become unable to be present to it in others.
This is not an effective way to heal if one has good reason to be angry. In fact it becomes impossible. Most people have good reason to be angry. We live in a culture of abuse and trauma and we’ve all been hurt. We also see a world where forces that feel much bigger than us are hurting many 1000s and millions of people all over the world. We also watch as our world and planet is being destroyed. So many good reasons to be angry, yes. And so many good reasons to be totally and completely aware of what is going on around us. We need to get it together! The world is a mess and it’s a mess because of us. Human beings.
So, what do we do about it? … [click on title to read and view more]
This is my interpretation of spiritual experiences or special graces: Those to whom more is given, more will be expected – meaning, grace is shoring us up for what is down the road. I was always skeptical of special graces because the generosity they elicit seems to gear us up for some trial ahead. Special graces make us fearless and reckless in giving all and doing all. … [click on title to read and view more]
By Jason E. Smith
The journey of the hero begins with a call. Something in the life of the individual feels in need of a change.
It may be a job, a relationship, or a system of belief — some aspect of life that once felt meaningful, but no longer seems to provide sustenance for living.
For example, you may find that one day you look up from your desk at work, see all the activity taking place around you, and ask yourself that most dangerous of questions: Why?
“Why am I doing this? What’s it all for? Is this all my life is about?”
When you hear yourself asking these questions, you are hearing the call. … [click on title to read and view more]
Originally posted on Birth of a Patient:
Today, August 25, 2014, is my one-year anniversary of coming off psychiatric medication. This is a celebratory post about a separate but related accomplishment, and part of my assembly as a man off meds. I took my first driver’s license exam at the age of eighteen. I walked…
I still practice the philosophy I wrote about in this piece. It’s been very helpful and continues to be helpful and I wrote it when I was still gravely ill in lucid moments really. I by no means am always so equanimous about all this, but practicing being with what is, surrendering to the moment of that which is, therefore, inescapable, for me, is truly the best way through this and also clearly brings healing. It’s a paradoxical stance really. In accepting what is completely without resistance there is a flow that allows for change and healing both. Some people didn’t like this post because I talk about embracing illness to the point of accepting it may always be. This is frightening to many people. Yet it was important for me to really explore that possibility in order to deeply accept what is right now. This continues to be the case even as I continue to improve in numerous ways. … [click on title to read and view more]
Sometimes we refer to our instinctive wisdom as “gut feelings.” Maybe we don’t know why we feel the way we do or how we know the answer to a question. We just do. Some of us chalk it up to instinct or a sixth sense while others discount the phenomenon altogether. Could there be a scientific explanation? The answer may be the vagus nerve, a physical link to the mind-body connection. … [click on title to read and view more]
There are good doctors out there that understand what has happened in the medical system. This is an opportunity for both lay people and professionals to learn from some of the most cutting edge medical practitioners who understand that we are holistic beings and that medicine as it’s widely practiced is very harmful. This is the future of a medicine that can truly heal rather than harm. … [click on title to read more]
You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world. You don’t know what it is, but it’s there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad.
Do you know what I am talking about ? … [click on title to read and view more]
Learn your theories as well as you can, but put them aside when you touch the miracle of the living soul. Not theories but your own creative individuality alone must decide. … [click on title to read and view more]
It’s important to consider what the right kind of care for those with mental health issues is because the fact is much of what is considered state of art now makes many people worse. Blanket calls for more available care isn’t enough if we don’t also think about what better care looks like.
Pushing for making mental health treatment more accessible is not helpful if the available treatment is just plain bad as it is for the most part now. … [click on title to read and view more]
I repeatedly talk about how what works for me may not be appropriate for anyone else when I talk about healing. This extends out to our entire lives and spiritual pursuits too. I have also written about how important it is to respect where people fall on the spectrum of psychiatric drug use as well. SEE: To my friends and readers who still take psych drugs (and to the whole spectrum of folks on and off meds too)
This is the fundamental reason that coercion in psychiatry is so profoundly harmful too. People all have their own way to find. And we know this deep within ourselves. This is why our idiosyncratic experience is only that. To generalize it to others is arrogant and misguided. Just as the psychiatrist didn’t know what was right for many of the readers of this blog, we too do not know what is right for anyone other than ourselves. … [click on title to read and view more]
This information may not resonate or be appropriate for everyone, but it’s information that should be shared with people in mental health settings so that they might choose to delve into (or not) these body/mind mysteries if they feel so inclined. That would also entail creating safe (residential) places where people could delve deeply into these realms and perhaps not appear functional to the world for some time. That is what deep healing sometimes demands. Our culture doesn’t create such deep healing places right now. Without such deep healing places people will continue to be harmed by psych meds when perhaps, if they knew there were other ways of delving into and healing the body/mind complex they might choose those ways. The choice needs to be created. For now far too many have no choice. … [click on title to read and view more]
I think there are more people in the state of oneness than we realize. For everyone we hear about there are thousands we will never hear about. Believing this state to be a rare achievement can be an impediment in itself. Unfortunately, those who write about it have a way of making it sound more extraordinary and blissful that it commonly is, and so false expectations are another impediment – we keep waiting and looking for an experience or state that never comes. But if I had to put my finger on the primary obstacle, I would say it is having wrong views of the journey. … [click on title to read and view more]
It could be argued that at the heart of Jungian therapy is the aim of experiencing and living an authentic life.
That is not the language that Carl Jung used, but it does express a central idea of his psychology, which he called ‘individuation.’ Put very simply, individuation is the process by which individuals become more fully themselves.
Individuation involves differentiating oneself from conformity with collective values, which does not necessarily mean rejecting those values. Rather, it means the ability to choose the values by which one will live instead of merely living out social norms in an unreflective and unconscious way.
In other words, the individuation process is a deepening and maturing of one’s individuality and sense of authenticity. … [click on title to read and view more]
WE who cannot make our peace with a social order dedicated to plunder and destruction are mentally suspect…
WE who cannot make our peace with a social order dedicated to plunder and destruction are mentally suspect, because responsible adulthood entails setting aside the childish notion that the world can be transformed into something within which a decent person would want to live, in order to concentrate on the supremely important matter of reproducing an increasingly imperiled social order dedicated to getting and spending. This is the reigning definition of sanity in our times. God help anyone who insists that social and political reality, not personal attitudes and reactions, is what needs to be adjusted. … [click on title to read and view more]
During these times I was unable to sit upright in bed. I was only able to walk to the bathroom and rarely to the kitchen. My muscles became totally atrophied. I was too weak to hold a toothbrush up to my mouth and therefore went a couple of years without doing what most people consider simple acts of hygiene. I wrote with the laptop propped on my knees and my head propped up a bit with a pillow. Writing was a lifeline that helped me continue. It’s been a source of great joy to find out that my keeping this blog has helped so many others.
This is not my reality anymore. I am up and out of bed. I practice yoga daily. I dance, I walk and I cookand run errands and do chores. I have not achieved perfect functioning. I still can’t make firm commitments or travel. Still I can enjoy many things in life and I’ve developed a deep appreciation for what I’ve been through and how much it has taught me. Life is a wondrous thing and simply being alive is a reason to be grateful as far as I’m concerned. … [click on title to read and view more]