cloudy flowers monica cassani gianna kali

State of mental health care

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]

martha-graham

There is a path for every one of us. And we’re all different.

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]

fear

Fear is life force… (in clinical circles it’s often called anxiety) – also an IT GETS BETTER post

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]

no self

Living in oneness

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]

twirl

Carl Jung on living an authentic life

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]

design

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]

dandi

It gets better: Extreme sensitivity to noise, touch, movement, commotion etc…

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]

chemical-imbalance

Chemical imbalance, huh?

Beyond Meds and anyone who’s actually paid attention to the science for the last many years has known that the serotonin myth about depression and how antidepressants work has no evidence to back it up whatsoever.

Embracing this critique doesn’t mean there is no biological factor to that which gets labeled mental illness…we are holistic beings, so of course there is biology involved too. What it means is the answer does not lie in the biological reductionism that psychiatry most often espouses and makes up stories about. Everything matters. Until we start attending to the individual as part of the whole of life, intertwined with everyone and everything, we’ll continue to harm. … [click on title to read and view more]

Robin Williams

Depression is not a Disease but an Indication that Human Consciousness needs to Change

Originally posted on Voces del Tierra:
What Dreams May Come-Robin Williams  RIP After hearing the sad news of Robin Williams and his suspected suicide, I am really tired of hearing some people refer to depression as a ‘disease’. It is not a disease, but more chemical and emotional imbalance of the brain, normally affected by…

mentalhealth

Professionals/experts and clients/patients: as human beings we are all peers

If people could come to see that we are all “peers” (regardless of our role in any given relationship –professionals or client/patient etc)…we are, first and foremost, all members of the human race, struggling to understand this mystery called life… then professionals and experts (of all stripes) might stop imagining they are in any sort of position of “knowing” anything at all about what might be in the best interest of those they profess to want to help. Real service starts with a deep respect for the mystery of the person who is in front of you, whether it’s a friend, a child, other family member or a “patient.” Service is only truly honest and therefore effective when it is completely free of coercion…that can only happen from a deep place of humility and a surrender to the unknown. … [click on title to read and view more]

trauma

Trauma and The Soul: A psycho-spiritual approach to human development and its interruption

With beautifully synchronistic timing, yesterday, I just posted about Donald Kalsched’s first book, The Inner World of Trauma. The Inner Life of Trauma was a most fundamentally important book for me and it seems many others. Today I found this lovely interview on a friend’s blog about his second book, Trauma and the Soul. … [click on title to read and view more]

twitter

Twitter as therapeutic agent — a video with Monica Cassani, editor at Beyond Meds

Below is an interview about how twitter helped me heal and transform when I was struggling with a grave and serous long-term chronic illness. I often refer to that time of my life as a dark night of the soul. See: Monica’s story: the aftermath of polypsychopharmacology and Dark Night of the Soul posts During the period of time I’m discussing […]

trauma

The Inner World of Trauma

I will be using the word trauma to mean any experience that causes the child unbearable psychic pain or anxiety. For an experience to be “unbearable” means that it overwhelms the usual defensive measures which Freud described as a “protective shield against stimuli.” Trauma of this magnitude varies from the acute, shattering experiences of child abuse so prominent in the literature today to the more “cumulative traumas” of unmet dependency-needs that mount up to devastating effect in some children’s development, including the more acute deprivations of infancy described by Winnicott as “primitive agonies,” the experience of which is “unthinkable.” The distinguishing feature of such trauma is what Heinz Kohut called “disintegration anxiety,” an unnameable dread associated with the threatened dissolution of a coherent self.” … [click on title to read and view more]

robin

Suicide Prevention for All: Making the World a Safer Place to Be Human

By Leah Harris
Like millions, I am sitting with the fact that one of the funniest people to grace the planet has died by his own hand. Robin Williams’ death has hit people of my generation, Generation X, especially hard. After all, his face flashed often across our childhood screens. Mork and Mindy episodes were a source of solace for me as a little girl, as I bounced around between foster homes and family members’ homes, while my single mother cycled in and out of the state mental hospital, fighting to survive. I could laugh and say “nanu, nanu – shazbot” and “KO” and do the silly hand sign and forget for just a little while about living a life I didn’t ask for.

“You’re only given one little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it,” may become one of Robin Williams’ most famous quotes. I was always struck by how he moved so seamlessly between wacky comedy and the most intense dramas. He was so magnificently able to capture the human experience in all its extremes. He threw all that intensity right into our faces, undeniable, raw, frenetic. He showed us our own naked vulnerability and sparks of madness and gave us permission to laugh in the face of all that is wrong in this world. … [click on title to read and view more]

dark

Call depression what it really is… in memory of Robin Williams, RIP

We are all reeling from the death of Robin Williams. Suicide shocks. Always. I feel as though a tsunami gestalt process has begun as a result of this particular human being given his social position. I wish it didn’t come to us this way.

I want to bow deeply in honor to this funny man and thank him for his time of service on this earth. Thank you Robin Williams.

I also am posting a few thoughts that have arisen today and some information about suicide so that we might learn to be profoundly present to the pain of others…that we might learn to support those living with suicidal feelings … [click on title to read and view more]

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I Was Born to Do This

Originally posted on Madhupa Maypop:
May my words, in their own small way, help restore faith in the human process of becoming and help mend the brokenness of our hearts and psyches… This is my most personal blog post ever.  Please be forewarned that it is very long.  I still need to comb through and…

cure (1)

Many dangerous drugs have been used to therapeutic effect

Many dangerous drugs have been used to therapeutic effect I don’t ever deny that…there is a time and place for most things under the sun.

Pharma dangerously, for capitalistic purposes, pushes drugs that should be used once in a blue moon to the masses…harming 1000s and killing many as well. … [click on title to read and view more]

journ

It gets better: A Portrait of Poly Psychopharmacology

This is the first of the “It gets better” series. The “It gets better” collection will be a series of republished posts from when I was gravely ill from the psych drug withdrawal process and the following protracted psychiatric drug withdrawal syndrome. So many folks out there are now going through the heinous process of finding their way through psychiatric drug withdrawal syndrome and other iatrogenic injuries from psychiatric drugging.

While many find their way through after weeks or months, for others it can take years to really get out of the deep disability and darkness it creates. I’m going to start reposting my personal pieces from those difficult days, so that people can see how far I’ve come and find hope that they too might come out of that darkness and find some peace and joy again. I know it’s possible from my own experience and from the many who have found healing and wellness again on this journey ahead of me and with me. … [click on title to read and view more]

who am I

Be aware that you are a link in the chain of being

You live in contraction, thinking of yourself as an individual. Where do the terms “me” and “mine” find meaning? When you really look into yourself you cannot say the body belongs to you…

You are what you absorb. You eat vegetables, fish.. and these are dependent on light, the sun, warmth. The light is related to the moon… and the stars are all related. There is nothing personal in us. The body is in organic relationship with the Universe. … … [click on title to read and view more]

asheville

Asheville Community Yoga: my partners in healing

I’m sharing info about this yoga studio for multiple reasons really. I’m happy and honored to raise their profile on the internet so as to help support them. They are truly in service to the community and so I too want to give back. Also, it would be lovely to see such studios opening up all over the country and the world. I hope that this post might plant seeds so that this sort of vision can be replicated elsewhere. So many yoga studios don’t seem to have the true spirit of yoga. Yoga has become a part of popular and hip culture, so that in some circles the yoga as lifestyle and philosophy gets lost. We need more yoga studios that are, as this one is, deeply in service to the community.

Number two is that the folks in the video talking about how yoga and the community there at Asheville Community Yoga are real people talking about their real experiences. I, too, have found that being part of that particular community and practicing yoga regularly, both, has radically helped support my healing process.

Three, I want to again, talk about how yoga has helped me in my life, in general. It literally raised me from my bed, where I had been bedridden for 2 years. My muscles were completely atrophied. I started with leg and arm lifts and turning my feet and hands in circles. Serious baby steps. And now I can do all sorts of stuff. … [click on title to read and view more]

treatment r

Treatment resistant mental illness? or Iatrogenic (drug-induced) illness?

What gets called treatment resistant mental illness is often drug iatrogenesis…people made worse by drugs…it’s a sad loop to hell.

What happens is that the drugs make people worse. Different drugs are added to the cocktail and it spirals out of control.

People are made to believe it’s something inherently wrong with them and not the drugs causing more symptoms and exacerbating existing ones

This is a tragedy when it happens. It happens a lot. Sometimes we figure it out and get off the drug merry-go-round and find our selves. … [click on title to read and view more]

ayla

My life-bound friend…

Really love this. You can download it from soundcloud and there is a whole playlist from the artist here. … [click on title to read and view more]

inquiry

On sanity and self-inquiry

Getting sane with inquiry means what was a minuscule awareness of my thoughts became a broader awareness of thoughts. It’s like being in a dark room with just a flickering light. Perhaps I’ve always been aware of this light, but when I started doing inquiry I began to investigate these flickers of light. What is it that is aware? What is hiding in the shadows where my beliefs are? I was the caretaker for a mansion full of beliefs that I imagined defined my identities and the vast majority of these were painful. Well, actually all of them were painful! … [click on title to read and view more]

Photo courtesy of Toni Birrer(CC ShareALike)

Carl Jung’s Words of Advice for the Depressed

From Jung’s point of view there is a hidden intention in depression. It “forces us downwards.” This is not, as it might sound, a punishment for arrogance, but rather a consequence of having become cut off from the human, instinctual part of ourselves. … [click on title to read and view more]

laci

Sexual objectification: a mental health issue too

All forms of inequality can lead to trauma in various ways. Trauma is associated with most of what gets labeled mental illness. When people routinely feel a lack of acknowledgment it’s not good for anyone. How we treat others also impacts us. So this is an unhealthy reality for both men and women. It’s part of our culture that is generally traumatizing in far too many ways. Coming to understand these patterns and recognize them helps us disengage from them as well. Paying attention begins the process of change. One can be mindful of gender inequality too. Being mindful is a skill that can help elucidate our entire lives.

What is sexual objectification and why is it a big deal? In this video I give a (very brief) overview of our culture’s sexual objectification problem and how it contributes to gender & sexual inequality in every sphere of life — as well as perpetuating rape culture. … [click on title to read and view more]

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