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]
Update: other regular authors who have dashboard access may be publishing while I continue to take hiatus. — The front homepage of the blog has been reorganized with posts that include collections so folks can peruse the archives more easily while I’m not actively posting. Please also visit the drop down menus for more access to the archives. (…) [click on title to read the rest]
There was a review/interview in the Guardian the other day. The author or editor subtitles the piece: “Do you believe you can think yourself well, changing the very structure of your brain over time through rigorous training? Norman Doidge does”… — that is an irresponsible and misleading understanding of what Doidge is talking about. This isn’t about “thinking” oneself well, it’s about developing new habits and the brain then develops new neuro-pathways which allows us to change our experience. This is also what Bessel van der Kolk is talking about when he speaks to healing trauma in, The Body Keeps Score. … [click on title for the rest of the post]
Psychiatry Must Stop Ignoring Trauma, says Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, Yes, please, and thank you for saying so! Of course psychiatry must not just stop ignoring trauma, it must stop retraumatizing the already traumatized. It’s clients. The very vulnerable people who seek help and end up being harmed further. Not only are hospitals and a lot of standard treatment horribly abusive the medications have been found to be further agents of trauma. It’s also true that coercion, subtle or otherwise, is the rule in psychiatric care and that the United Nations has also declared forced treatment to be a form of torture. … [click on title to read the rest]
What is split off, not felt, remains the same. When it is felt, it changes. Most people don’t know this. They think that by not permitting the feeling of their negative ways they make themselves good. On the contrary, that keeps these negatives static, the same from year to year. A few moments of feeling it in your body allows it to change. If there is in you something bad or sick or unsound, let in inwardly be, and breath. That’s the only way it can evolve and change into the form it needs. … [click on title for the rest of the post]
Can you see a theme here? Everyone has a reason that makes a lot of sense in the context of their life experience for the positions that they hold about these issues. I suggest we widen our hearts to recognize this fact. And that it’s possible to come to terms with our experience in the context of our lives in such a way we no longer feel the need to try to force others to our point of view because we come to recognize there are many legitimate points of view. … [click on title for the rest of the post]
I see all aspects of being human as existing on spectrums of sorts. All these spectrums interact with each other so that experience is like a kaleidoscope perhaps…endlessly varied from human being to human being and even within the life of a solo human being…no moment is ever repeated…we are new in that way in every instant. … [click on title to view more]
Below this post is a collection of links on that which gets labeled psychotic…information, resources, hope and inspiration to heal. This report: Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia – A Valuable, and Free, Online Report which was featured on Beyond Meds the other day is getting a LOT of attention in the UK. This is very exciting. Many are still very afraid to have this very important conversation…the quality of life of hundreds of thousands of people are at stake. … [click on title to read and view more]
Dancing is a practice and discipline. The ecstatic aspect can be light or dark. People might cry either in despair or in joy on the dance floor. Anything goes. You can curl up in the fetal position in a corner and cry or leap as high as you can while running in circles. I have spent time sitting cross-legged in meditation or laying on my back with my feet up the wall. Feeling the vibrations of dancing feet and loud music while lying flat on the floor is quite nice too. The practice involves letting the body do what it wants to do. All while wonderful music pulsates around us as well. It’s a liberating and lovely celebration every single time I partake and that holds true whether I’m in a good mood or not because this is a place where any mood is okay. It’s a safe and beautiful space to feel and emote as we need to among others who allow for that which is human to unfold to music and movement. … [click on title to read and view more]
Meditation is about seeing clearly the body that we have, the mind that we have, the domestic situation that we have, the job that we have, and the people who are in our lives. It’s about seeing how we react to all these things. It’s seeing our emotions and thoughts just as they are right now, in this very moment, in this very room, on this very seat. It’s about not trying to make them go away, not trying to become better than we are, but just seeing clearly with precision and gentleness … [click on title for the rest of the post]
Mental health-related stigma in health care and mental health-care settings: response to journal article
There is a study in the Lancet Psychiatry this month that looks at the high incidence of “stigmatization” towards those with psychiatric labels by MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS. I respond below the excerpt with a piece based on my personal experience of such bigotry in the ranks of those charged to care for folks with diagnosis. … [click on title for the rest of the post]
The way we consider and interpret our experience is critically important. Psychiatry and most of the mental illness system tells us we will never get better and that we will have to manage the disease of mental illness for the rest of our lives most often by taking toxic medications which can seriously negatively impact the quality of our lives and even kill us up to 25 years earlier than the rest of the population. It simply does not have to be this way. It’s often not true that people’s only option is to take dangerous medications for the rest of their lives and yet most people are not told about any options. … [click on title to read and view more]
“All disease begins in the gut.” – Hippocrates
What Hippocrates knew way back when is finding a resurgence today. There is a lot of talk of the importance of gut flora in the science media these days. Unfortunately the conclusions they come to generally involve excitement of new possibilities for pharma. Pharma is not the answer and there are people who know how to go about systematically healing the gut right now with information that’s been available for a long time but not utilized. I have been learning how to do this for myself now for close to a decade as well. It’s a fascinating adventure to come to intimately know the workings of the body/mind. … [click on title for the rest of the post]
A collection of links to other posts from the Beyond Meds archives that look at that which gets labeled “bipolar disorder” from different perspectives so that we might be challenged to think outside the psychiatric box. … [click on title to read and view more]
I would like to suggest an idea for consideration. Much of what is labeled psychiatric disease is grief that has never been expressed or properly felt, or validated. If we have unexplored trauma, then it’s likely we have unexplored grief too. Some of us need to begin a grieving process that never started in order to heal. Some of us have a life-time of grief that needs to be allowed and experienced. We can choose to challenge our culture’s fear of grief and the dark emotions and begin to heal and turn it around. … [click on title for the rest of the post]
Depression is always a mixture of many things…there is no such thing as a monolithic state called depression…the fact that people imagine that is the case, is a problem…a collection that reconsiders what we’ve been told. Here is a list of a few articles and posts on Beyond Meds that might help one consider what is called depression in different ways, because it is not just one thing. It is always a combination of many things in the life of every individual who gets the label. This is true of all psych diagnosis, actually. … [click on title for the rest of the post]
That trauma deeply impacts the body is something people are still just starting to understand.Those of us using yoga and other body/mind techniques to heal learn just how profound the body/mind connection is. Yoga has been a profoundly healing part of my journey for past traumas (both experiential and the iatrogenic trauma that psychiatric drugs imposed) and for rehabilitation after having been bedridden for a couple of years. The below information about yoga healing and integrating PTSD and past trauma is very important practice, news and research. … [click on title for the rest of the post]
Here Gabor Mate tells us the medical profession are the most difficult to speak to about what he’s learned in his work because they don’t recognize that so-called mental illness and most physical chronic illness is the result of childhood loss and trauma.
We don’t need anymore research he says. We know the cause of these issues.
He points out that the barrier to the health professionals is that they’ve not cared for their own trauma. This is clearly true. Many professionals are afraid of their own darkness. This makes it impossible for them to correctly recognize issues in their patients and clients. … [click on title for the rest of the post]
Anxiety is basically a clinical term for fear which everyone at one time or another experiences with or without a diagnosis of some sort of anxiety “disorder.” Psychiatry pathologizes much of the normal human experience and in opposing fashion fear and/or anxiety is often referred to in Buddhism and other alternative philosophies as normal. Which is why many techniques to cope with anxiety have been inspired by Buddhism. There are many methods to learn how to be with these normal feelings, whether they’re very intense or not. As individuals some of us may be more prone to more intensity than others. We can all work with whatever it is we experience. … [click on title to read and view more]
To refer to SSRIs as no better than placebo is misleading because while it’s technically true in clinical trials — they are also very different than placebos…they are NOT inert…they are very active and they make EVERYONE feel differently.
People who are very depressed like to feel differently. Different can sometimes feel better even if only for a while. Sometimes different feels much better and sometimes different feels really bad and even dangerous (think homicidal and suicidal–SSRIs are associated with both).
They are not inert and they will act in all manner of ways in different people. And, then of course, yeah, they also cause iatrogenic damage…often severe… … [click on title to read more]
For example I shared my histamine intolerance discovery with Judy Tsafrir, M.D, the wonderful psychiatrist with whom I share many interests, at Adventures in Holistic Adult and Child Psychiatry. After reading my posts she ended up changing her own diet. She wrote a lovely post about histamine intolerance and the relatively simple tweaks she made to her own diet that brought about so much relief. … [click on title to read the rest]
Perhaps one of the hardest parts of severe withdrawal syndrome and often a part of just about any and all withdrawal from psychiatric drugs is the insomnia most people face at one time or another. It can be so severe as to be quite dangerous. Learning to soothe and ease the body back into sleep or at the very least rest becomes an issue of survival.
All the below suggestions may be helpful to anyone dealing with insomnia from any source as well. … [click on title to read the rest]
If you’re not aware of just how brutal and coercive psychiatry can be, it’s well worth understanding. Some of it is so extreme it’s hard for those uninitiated to conceive of but, sadly, it’s very common. The bottom line is psychiatry, in general, at best, is subtly coercive. Drugs are generally presented as necessary rather than one, often far less than ideal, possibility for treatment. This means one is made to believe through somewhat more subtle coercion that they have no choice but to take drugs with very dangerous adverse effects that include disabling physical illness and very early death. … [click on title to read the rest]
On this blog there is now a nice collection of articles on Open Dialogue as it’s used in Western Lapland Finland with people who find themselves experiencing all manner of psychotic phenomena. The psychiatric hospitals are nearly empty there. The method can be learned and the results have been documented. People heal and go on to have lives that thrive. … [click on title to read the rest]
NOT EVERYONE IS SUBJECT TO PROTRACTED OR EVEN SIGNIFICANT WITHDRAWAL ISSUES. That said everyone needs to be aware of the risk so that every reasonable precaution can be made to avoid potentially serious issues. In the interest of informed consent we need to know what the risks are. Many psychiatrists are not telling people about these risks. What is worse is that psychiatrists don’t even understand the risks or recognize what they’re actually witnessing when they start happening. This level of ignorance is a criminal reality at the moment. Below the initial commentary is a collection of links with lots of information to better inform the reader on psychiatric drug withdrawal. Educating oneself and preparing for a safer taper goes a long way in mitigating the risk of serious protracted withdrawal issues. … [click on title to read the rest]
As a social worker and clinician working with “the seriously mentally ill” for many years, I never came upon someone who didn’t have fairly severe traumas in their histories. Yes, I can say those who I encountered who were in that particular labeled segment had a solid 100% rate of trauma in their histories. Mental illness in large part is a reaction to trauma. It’s quite simple really. When we start listening to people’s stories of pain rather than numbing them out and effectively silencing them with neurotoxic drugs we will start healing them. Until then people will remain broken. One of the most basic needs for a wounded human being to heal is to be seen. Recognized. Validated. Yes. … [click on title to read the rest]
I have seen far too many people in the care of social services and standard mental health care grossly retraumatized rather than helped when feeling their most vulnerable because people do not understand this loving, accepting and healing approach. It’s based in deep trust for the process of the individual who presents themselves in front of you. Listen. Love. … [click on title to read the rest]
Chemical imbalance myth takes a big public fall (no, antidepressants do NOT correct an imbalance of serotonin, nor do other psychiatric drugs correct anything at all)
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. So when it all came out in an NPR interview I pretty much just yawned. Yes, I’m tired and I’ve been steeped in some of this stuff for far too long.
So, I am now realizing that for the vast majority of folks this is shocking news. So…I will do a little round-up here for some of my readers who may not be so familiar with this issue. … [click on title to read the rest]
By Jon Keyes – Finding peace with the body can be a long journey. Those that are working on finding a way home often explore changing their diet and working with modalities such as yoga, tai chi, acupuncture, herbs, EMDR and EFT. These are ways of building strength and resiliency, of rebuilding the foundation from the ground up, of integrating and processing the deepest levels of sorrow but also transcending these places of fear and shame to come out again, to breathe and shine, to remember their underlying wholeness and holiness that underlies all nature, that can never be breached, that can never be taken away. Sometimes we must go away to protect ourselves. But when the time is right, the path home is available to us all. … [click on title for the rest of the post]
By Ron Unger … a video has just become available which, in 5 minutes, very coherently explains how a compassion focused approach can completely transform a person’s relationship with their voices and so transform the person’s life! … [click on title to read the rest]
Again and again I am told the ‘severely mentally ill’ are impaired and incapable, not quite human. I am told they are like dementia patients wandering in the snow, with no capacity and no cure, not to be listened to or related to. I am told they must be controlled by our interventions regardless of their own preferences, regardless of the trauma that forced treatment can inflict, regardless of the simple duty we have to regard others with caring, compassion, and respect, regardless of the guarantees of dignity we afford others in our constitution and legal system. I am told the “high utilizers” and “frequent flyers” burden services because they are different than the rest of us. I am told the human need for patience doesn’t apply to these somehow less-than-human people. And when I finally do meet the people carrying that terrible, stigmatizing label of schizophrenia, what do I find? I find – a human being. A human who responds to the same listening and curiosity that I, or anyone, responds to. … [click on title to read the rest]
I have shared Helen Fisher’s work before on Beyond Meds. She has done important work looking at how psychiatric drugs affect bonding and love. That post is here: Psych drugs damage ability to love/bond. I also consider in it what might be happening to young people who are going through sexual development while growing up on these drugs in that post. What I’m sharing today is much more generalized and not specifically about psychiatric drugs. There are a lot of details about romantic love in 21st century. I found it quite interesting and often quite optimistic while also taking a sobering look at the reality we find ourselves in. … [click on title for the rest of the post]
This issue comes up again and again among the folks I frequently hang out with online. People so badly want to find the perfect doctor and get very frustrated when again and again they are disrespected and/or given treatments that further harm them. I figured out a long time ago that I understand my body far better than any doctor does and the only MDs I’ll work with now (on an ongoing basis) are people who actually appreciate this. I never enter a new relationship with a health professional with any expectations as well. It allows for much less frustrating experiences. At the very best I’ll find a partner in my care…not someone who will tell me what to do without regard to my own particular experience. … [click on title for the rest of the post]
By Jon Keyes: Often when I work with someone who comes to see me I am at a loss of where to begin. Emotional distress such as depression, insomnia and anxiety often have so many tangled roots that it is hard to know where to begin. Distress often has its roots in multiple origins such as trauma, ongoing stress as well as poor lifestyle and dietary habits. On a deeper level, distress can be thought of as a singular expression of a larger pattern of disharmony that spans the globe due to underlying systemic problems of racism, poverty, colonialism and ecological devastation. If we think of the planet as one living organism, then emotional distress is a signal of systemic suffering. … [click on title for the rest of the post]