Don’t believe the hype about how essential drugs are in severe cases…

Patients with more severe depression gain as much clinical benefit from low-intensity interventions, such as self-help books and websites, as those with less severe depression, researchers found. In a meta-analysis, patients who were more severely depressed at baseline had larger treatment effects with low-intensity interventions than those who were less depressed (coefficient -0.1, 95% CI -0.19 to -0.002), reported Peter Bower, PhD, of the University of Manchester in England, and colleagues online in BMJ. (read more) YES, THANK YOU...don't believe the hype about how essential drugs are in severe cases. … [click on title to read the rest]

lessons from a young monk

An early influence: while at university one of my professors of religion had a young Tibetan monk who'd been held and tortured for years by the Chinese visit our classroom...this young Tibetan man who had been tortured and imprisoned for many years exuded peace and joy and felt no hatred for his captors...his calm, loving and wholly genuine expression of equanimity and understanding of the human condition has stayed with me always. … [click on title to read the rest]

Aging gracefully: allowing the gray part 2

Close to a year ago I wrote a post entitled: Aging gracefully: allowing the gray. Since it's relatively short, I'm including it in full below before I make additional comments based on now having grown my gray hair!... So, mostly I've enjoyed this process this time around. But it sometimes gives me pause too. I wrote the little below blurb to share with girlfriends recently. Before I got sick I was still mistaken to be in my 20s pretty much routinely. The last time I got carded was the last time I was in a bar at age 42. … [click on title to read the rest]

Introspection is out, and outrospection is in

Outrospection is all about empathy. (hat tip to Smiling Buddha Cabaret) Introspection is out, and outrospection is in. Philosopher and author Roman Krznaric explains how we can help drive social change by stepping outside ourselves. Empathy can cause revolution it says. I'm in agreement. … [click on title to read the rest]

The pain of heartbreak and mourning

The pain of mourning and heartbreak is neurologically similar to being submitted to torture. There seems to be only one way to end that agony. Neuroscience calls it an "evolutionary jump" and Jungians call it the process of Individuation. The good news is, if you love, your heart should be broken at some point in your life. If not, your love may remain the innocent love of a child. Ginette Paris will demonstrate how neuroscience agrees with the basic tenants of depth psychology and will discuss how the process of Individuation begins with heartbreak. … [click on title to read the rest]

Human beings too are part of the animal kingdom

The reluctance to posit human traits in animals — for fear that one might be anthropomorphizing what are intrinsically non-human behaviors — is itself the expression of a prevailing anthropocentric superstition: that human beings are fundamentally different from all other animals. When it comes to discerning human-like communication in non-human species there is an additional bias: scientific researchers tend to over-emphasize the function language has as a system of symbolic representation and understate its importance as a means for engaging in emotional exchanges. Even though our understanding of dolphin communication is very rudimentary, I’d be inclined to believe not only that dolphins do call each other by name, but that they are also keenly attuned and adept in the combination of name and tone. After all, the utterance of an individual’s name generally signifies much less than the way the name is called — unless that is one is sitting in a waiting room and being hailed by a nameless official. Lucky for dolphins their exchanges never need to be straight-jacketed like that. … [click on title to read the rest]

That which gets labeled psychiatric illness is rarely one thing…we are holistic beings

There is no reason to assume that the medical and the spiritual causes are mutually exclusive. As deeply holistic beings they are almost always intertwined. The spiritual experience often needing support and attention from a physical/medical stance as well. What is dangerous is to assume that psychiatrists actually know a damn thing about true medical causes when it comes to psychiatric distress. Psychosis can be caused by all sorts of things...what it is not caused by is an imaginary chemical imbalance made popular by pharma, then medicated by said neurotoxic pharma. Such medications may dull the symptoms and even help people function in the short term but they poison and sicken the body in the long term and heal nothing at all. Psychotic symptoms can be caused by autoimmune disorders, celiac and other gluten intolerances, other food sensitivities, nutritional deficiencies, thyroid problems and the list goes on and's a very rare and unusual MD that looks for such causes or knows anything at all about how to treat them.Sacred illness may be both deeply physical/medical and spiritual both... … [click on title to read the rest]

Histamine intolerance round-up

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]

Dogmatic anti-meds stance can be dangerous

I've been wanting to write this post for a long time.

People on withdrawal boards sometime "cop" to having taken something to sleep in addition to whatever it is they're withdrawing from. When they do this they are invariably responded to with a scolding and warnings of gloom and doom. It's really a rather dangerous and knee-jerk reaction. Insomnia can truly be dangerous and ugly. And controlling others choices on how to take care of themselves is, well, another form of coercion much like we find when we are first told we need drugs. You must take these drugs/You must not take these drugs. Both commands deny choice to the individual. … [click on title to read the rest]

How languages shape our understanding of the world

There are currently about 7,000 languages spoken around the world. It is estimated that by the end of this century as many as 90% of them will have become extinct.

Some people might think that the fewer languages there are spoken, the more readily people will understand each other and that ideally we should all speak the same language. The divisions of Babel would be gone. But as rational as this perspective might sound, it overlooks the degree to which humanity is further impoverished each time a language is lost — each time a unique way of seeing the world vanishes.

To understand the value of language diversity it’s necessary to recognize the ways in which each language serves as a radically different prism through which its speakers engage with life. … [click on title to read the rest]

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