Oh my. I seem to have caught the bug from Philip at Furious Seasons. He is questioning if he is making any impact at all and considering ditching journalism and his blog. This would be awful as he is one of the only sane voices questioning the mainstream with a strong and credible voice, covering all sorts of mental health issues. To further complicate the feeling I have, David Oaks from MindFreedom, also a sane voice who had a dramatic recovery from schizophrenia years ago, was on NPR at Talk of the Nation, and though he made incredibly important statements he was drowned out by hysterical mothers and others who, though they did indeed have compelling tragic stories, see only drugs as an answer, they are crying out for alternatives but don’t even know it. See the blog of the nation for both the audio of the piece and then the comments for the continued drowning out of any sense of options in the world of mental health. As David said the answer is not drugs, drugs, drugs, drugs. And unfortunately these poor people have not been aware of any alternatives. The whole psychiatric industry and pharmaceutical industry must be questioned.
I feel for all these people with ugly stories. I don’t question the agony and pain they’ve been through. Their stories are truly heartbreaking. That is not the problem. The problem is no one is entertaining that there is any other solution than drugs. And drugs are so problematic. They often do nothing to improve the quality of life for so many individuals. And forced treatment is nothing but a profoundly humiliating experience. Both drugs and forced treatment did nothing but hurt me–I know personally the pains of both.
I have made many posts on what the other options and solutions are I will only quickly summarize here. The story of Soteria, diet and nutrition, (for more thorough resources on nutrition see also here, here and here) neurofeedback, treating those suffering with mental anguish with love, respect and empathy rather than fear and disillusionment. David Oaks, from MindFreedom also mentions peer support and advocacy. Yes, going to those who have come through the nightmare to live successful and often med free lives. For a moving story of recovery from “bipolar disorder” read Kim’s story. See Successful Schizophrenia. See Spiritual Emergency. See Alternative Mental Health.
In any case, I’m not ready to ditch my blog as Philip is considering, but I’m feeling like a tiny drop of hope for a better world for those with mental illness in a sea of bullshit. I cried my frustration last night. How does one make an impact?
In any case I woke up this morning feeling lighter. I went outside in the darkness with the stars and looked around the beauty of the mountains surrounding my house. I felt grateful. I have all I need and I have found better solutions to my mental health issues. Now comes the task of further healing myself and sharing the hope I feel in the midst of the painful life I am living right now. It’s all that. Pain and hope and love and anguish. We feel it all even at our best.