Healing can sometimes hurt

Healing

I’ve discovered that healing sometimes hurts…like when severe burns are healing it’s hell. It’s the same coming back from psych drug withdrawal syndrome, a sometimes grave and disabling iatrogenic injury. It can be a heinously awful experience. I’ve also learned that practicing surrender to that which is allows me to learn from the pain and the more I surrender the more the whole process actually makes sense. So, yes, now I intuitively know all sorts of things about healing and life and living and humanity and so I can profoundly trust what is happening most of the time even when I still feel shitty. It’s pretty darn cool. … [click on title to read and view more]

Altered states in meditation

path-with-heart

The third principle in working with altered states can be called Awareness of the Dance. When such experiences arise, the practitioner’s primary responsibility is to open to the experience with a full awareness, observing and sensing it as part of the dance of our human life.

We may become frightened by altered states, so that as they arise we resist and judge them: “My body is dissolving.” “I have prickles all over.” “I’m burning up.” “I’m too cold.” “The sounds are too loud.” “My senses are too intense.” “I cannot tolerate the many inner pains or waves of energy.” Through fear, aversion, and misunderstanding, we can struggle with them for a long time, trying to avoid them, change them, get through them, or make them go away, and this very resistance will keep us caught in them. … [click on title to read and view more]

The ever elusive but perfect psychopharmaceutical cocktail…

cocktail

When psych drugs clearly do not work from the very beginning, instead of calling it quits and utilizing the many other possible natural options that exist to assist a person in mental distress and trauma there is instead a belief in some totally elusive but perfect (as well as completely deluded) med “cocktail” that simply must be discovered.

And so the med merry-go-round begins…an ever-changing combination of psychopharmaceuticals. I ended up trying over 40 drugs by the end of my psychopharm career. I was often taking 6 or 7 at once. Even for folks who find combos that are tolerable for a time generally that will change too and so med-merry-go rounds are often episodic and repeated over and over again. How many combinations can a creative MD come up with? Rather endless ones, really. It’s a never ending carrot that is dangled in the front of psychiatric patients. … [click on title to read and view more]

What is Love? What is Trust?

jack and david

Jack Kornfield and Brother David Steindl-Rast are two of my favorite men in the world (along with Gabor Mate). Love seeing them together here. At the Greater Good Gratitude Summit, the renowned authors and religious teachers define love and trust, and explore the relationship between these two critical concepts … [click on title to read and view more]

Mad in America Film Festival

mad head

Tickets are now available for purchase through our website here.

From October 9th through 12th, 2014, Mad in America will be hosting its first International Film Festival at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, Massachusetts, USA. Our mission is to foster the pursuit of social justice and human rights by bringing together an international collective of voices, perspectives, and artistic presentations that challenge the current mental health system and explore alternative understandings of “mental illness.” … [click on title to read and view more]

When withdrawal is the hardest part (sure as heck was for me)

withdrawal

Benzodiazepines are the most recognized psych drugs to have serious adverse withdrawal issues and still people are harmed in the tens of thousands. SSRIs and other antidepressants and neuroleptics and “mood stabilizers” all have potentially very serious issues as well but it’s less recognized. Please get information before taking any of these drugs. One class is not necessarily worse than the other. It really depends on the individual and knowing who might be most harmed by which drugs is simply not known. It’s a game of Russian roulette to take psychiatric drugs. If you want to spin it more positively you can call it the lottery…some people are happy they took these meds and seem to come out unscathed. This is the complex reality of these drugs.

It will be nice when it’s made clear that all psych meds can cause similar painful and debilitating withdrawal syndromes because even though they work by different mechanisms of actions they all potentially impact the autonomic nervous system in a way that results in similar harm. … [click on title to read and view more]

We human beings desire and long for true intimacy

intimacy

On the one hand, we human beings desire and long for true intimacy, we desire to love and to be loved, probably more than anything; more than great success, or beauty, more than fame or possessions, or great wealth or anything else at all that we may feel we desire. We seem to be hard-wired for this. It just seems to be the way we are made. We long to love and be loved, we long to have true intimacy in our lives, and when we feel we do not for some reason, our lives make little sense to us and don’t feel very meaningful or fulfilling, no matter what other exciting and fascinating things they may be filled with… … [click on title to read and view more]

It gets better: Revisiting the withdrawal symptom list

better

**Most of the “symptoms” from the below post are now gone. To call them symptoms is another one of the ways language cannot do justice to experience. At one time a significant number of them were so severe they would have been disabling all on their own. In conjunction with one another they created a disability so completely acute and alienating that most people, unless they’ve experienced it, cannot imagine it. … [click on title to read and view more]

You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented

black rose

You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive. … [click on title to read and view more]

Things we don’t talk about — Red tent: the film (for women)

red-tent

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I’m involved in my local Rent Tent group. I am finding deep healing among several largely non-professional groups in my community. My yoga community is one source, my ecstatic dance community is another, and women’s groups including the local Red Tent group is also bringing great light, joy and healing into my life.

There are ways to find healing communities that we ourselves create. Every human being can potentially create their own version and it may or may not look anything like mine or anyone else’s. I share some of the elements of mine, not so that it can be copied, but so that folks can start imagining how much more is out there besides the medical establishment that is failing so many.

Please, if what helps me doesn’t strike you as interesting or helpful, trust that your path may look completely different and still be just right. … [click on title to read and view more]

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