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Earthing and forest bathing…it does a body/mind/spirit good

(old post sharing again by sticking it to top of blog today) — Spring has returned and I’m so happy to be able to start freely walking barefoot on the ground again. I’ve posted this a couple of times before and it seems a good practice to introduce to new readers now that weather will allow, so I’m posting it again. There is science behind my incredible and unstoppable need to walk barefoot upon the earth!! Every day that weather permits I do this. I walk barefoot on the earth. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

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Professional denial is a form of retraumatization

Anyway — any mental health professional that doesn’t recognize that the mental health system is rife with potential abuse and harm is dangerous to those who’ve already been harmed and to many who may yet be harmed. There are many folks in the system at this point that actually do understand the reality. Times are, indeed, changing. I see lots of reason to hope. I have many friends who are working in and out of the system as knowledgable and competent professionals. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

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Just Breathe: listen to the children

Watch it, please. It’s very lovely. The inspiration for “Just Breathe” first came about a little over a year ago when I overheard my then 5-year-old son talking with his friend about how emotions affect different regions of the brain, and how to calm down by taking deep breaths — all things they were beginning to learn in Kindergarten at their new school … [click on title for the rest of the post]

anatomy

Anatomy of an Epidemic now just $1.99 — please read it (Kindle)

Right now, the Kindle edition of Anatomy of an Epidemic is on sale for $1.99. It is a must read for anyone who has any interest in psychiatry and mental health in America and therefore the rest of the world. The United States sadly exports this dangerous system of care all over the world. … [click on title to view more]

lithium

Lithium Carbonate (the pharmaceutical) is a dangerous drug

Granted, everyone should already know this, but these are serious and disturbing statistics that bear repeating since Lithium is still touted to be the gold standard in the treatment of those labeled with bipolar disorder within the psychiatric establishment. There is something seriously wrong with this picture. A third of patients who have taken the common psychiatric medication lithium for over ten years have developed “chronic renal failure” from the drug, according to a study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. … [click on title to view more]

inside out

Disney Pixar comes out with emotionally intelligent animation

This is pretty amazing. I’ll let it mostly speak for itself. I will say that the way that the human beings emotional “parts” are depicted in this film is also a legitimate way of understanding hearing voices (that get labeled psychotic) too if we consider the phenomena to be a spectrum. Everyone has parts and internal voices. Some are perhaps just louder than others. I’m interested to watch this movie’s roll out and the response from the public. … [click on title to view more]

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It Gets Better: the series

The It Gets Better Series — Last year for several weeks I republished old posts from the days when I was bedridden and unable to speak. I posted them with the contrast of the current commentary that reflected how much health I have found in the last few years of coming back from a severe iatrogenic injury caused by psychiatric drugs. Today I’m collecting those posts so that I can add this page to the drop-down navigation menu. When I put it into the archives above I will title it “The It Gets Better Series.” So that is what you will want to look for in the future. For now I’ve given it a different title because I wanted to underscore the fact that this blog has helped me in profound ways too. It’s never been a one way street. … [click on title to view more]

ecology

An ecology of mind: how do you describe a living human being?

Wonderful talk on the holistic nature of reality and how we so often deal with the pieces rather than understanding the whole. How do we come to know and not know in the context of this reality. A reality that is dependent on a multitude of relationships with all the multitude of parts. How do we hold this all together?

What does it mean to think differently? … [click on title to view more]

meme

When you know you’re right…

The only (sarcastic) photo meme I’ve ever made…found this in my files today. Sharing it for fun. I never actually posted it in a public place when I made it a few years ago. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

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When the body says no

Only an intellectual Luddite would deny the enormous benefits that have accrued to humankind from the scrupulous application of scientific methods. But not all essential information can be confirmed in the laboratory or by modern statistical analysis. Not all aspects of illness can be reduced to facts verified by double-blind studies and by the strictest scientific techniques. “Medicine tells us as much about the meaningful performance of healing, suffering, and dying as chemical analysis tells us about the aesthetic value of pottery,” Ivan Ilyich wrote in Limits to Medicine. We confine ourselves to a narrow realm indeed if we exclude from accepted knowledge the contributions of human experience and insight. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

brain

Emotional “dysregulation” is plasticity

My favorite MD is an unusual man of great insight who is also a scientist and researcher. This is a man who has never told me what to do and only supported my process by being witness and offering insights when and if applicable. I found him later in the drug withdrawal journey, after I was off the offending drugs that harmed me. I was still bedridden. He certainly saw the worst of my iatrogenic injury. He once said to me that those of us who have the most extreme reactions to the drugs are actually the most likely to heal and transform. He said the the mere fact that we are so profoundly injured by them is proof of our highly neuroplastic brains. And while the healing process may sometimes be radical and even violent, that ultimately when we’ve healed, we’ve also transformed in profound ways. Indeed, this is becoming my experience. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

Jean-Vanier

What does it mean to be fully human?

A lovely man worth getting to know a bit. The 2015 Templeton Prize Laureate, Jean Vanier, speaks on the Big Question: “What does it mean to be fully human?” … [click on title for the rest of the post]

mindful

Healing after Trauma: Ten Steps Forward, Nine Steps Back

By Will Meecham – Ten years ago it wasn’t uncommon for me to be depressed and near suicide for days on end, with few ‘breathers’ between episodes. Nowadays I feel down only occasionally and for brief periods. Even better, my baseline is more optimistic and enthusiastic. Rather than living with a stubborn low-grade depression and rare hypomanic lifts, I now enjoy a background state of sweet (if slightly sad) acceptance with occasional hours of serenity–or even bliss–during meditation. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

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Herbal medicine, Extreme States and Transformation

By Jon Keyes- We live in a world that is disconnected from this way of looking at plants/herbs and see them as either fairly useless or often as a capsule to ingest to gain a desired effect. When I work with people who are recovering from trauma, I often do the simplest thing possible, I have a cup of tea with them. Just the act of siting down and sipping a gentle tea brings connection, warmth, a movement towards increased stillness and trust and away from the noise and the overstimulation of the modern world. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

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Experiences of hearing voices: analysis in the Lancet

I got an email from one of the authors of this study in the Lancet. This is scholarship carried out by folks some of whom have lived experience which is very exciting. Nev Jones sent the email to thank me…but really she is thanking the readers of Beyond Meds who responded and took part in this study. So thank you to all who participated and here is an excerpt and link to what you helped create. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

immune

Mental health, immune response and inflammation

For the most part I remain on hiatus, but I wanted to share the below article because I’m learning about immune response right now and I think it’s important to share it. When I say I’m learning it I mean that my body is revealing the truth of it to me. Our bodies hold information to heal us. We all learn different things because we’re all aspects of the whole. I’m sharing what I am receiving through my healing experience. This information needs to get out there and every single one of us that understand (in whatever way it comes to us) can help it go society wide. I have personally found that my body goes into an immune response when it’s visited by a trauma trigger. The trauma remains foundational. The immune response is secondary to a trauma in the history of the person. It would be a mistake to consider the immunological aspects without also looking at trauma. This is why there is so much auto-immune illness in circles of folks who’ve been psychiatrized. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

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