Mad Spiritual musings on diversity and inclusivity

I can disagree with your opinion… but I can’t disagree with your experience. Once I have a sense of your experience, you and I are in relationship. – Krista Tippett

I’ve been working on a project with Chris Cole and Ian Scheffel. We want to create community and support for all of us who’ve experienced madness as having significant spiritual significance. Whether we’ve been psychiatrized or not and whether we’ve considered madness in terms of the psychiatric labeling or not. That would include anyone labeled with psychosis, schizophrenia, bipolar, schizoaffective, or psychotic NOS. That would also include anyone who has had experience with altered states that have not been pathologized by psychiatry, by self or others. Perhaps by naturally delving deep in meditation or with the aid of psychedelic drugs or practices like holotropic breathing. Basically anyone who has experienced altered states and resonates with what we are doing are welcome.

Did your altered states have spiritual significance or might you be interested in considering how that lens might be applied? Then you’re welcome.  sign up on our email list that we might commune together.

So – I’ve been thinking a lot about how we’re going to bring radically different perspectives and experiences from the mental health worlds and beyond together for our project Mad Spiritual.  Here are some of my musings.

Mad Spiritual Collective is a community organized around the intersection of mental health and awakening. The principles of mutual recovery and decentralized authority are central to our mission. Our primary focus is to offer online courses that support recovery, healing and becoming awake. We welcome your involvement!

We’re all just walking each other home.
— Ram Dass

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Past work that deals with inclusivity and diversity in mental health on this site:

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For a multitude of ideas about how to create a life filled with safe alternatives to psychiatric drugs visit the drop-down menus at the top of this page or scroll down the homepage for more recent postings. 

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8 thoughts on “Mad Spiritual musings on diversity and inclusivity

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  1. I’d like to thank you Monica. I have discovered the red book and it has astounded several patients here. As for slowly and safely withdrawing, l’ll have to wait and see , l don’t want to risk behavior which is in any way dangerous for myself or others…

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  2. I have had an extremely powerful mystic experience at the age of 17, l will always remember it. Later in life l have had extreme behavioral problems when l came off antipsychotics cold turkey. I am now forced into taking these chemicals regularly which is a form of torture. I believe that l could wean from these chemicals slowly and reset my brain metabolism and have a relatively normal life. The problem would be to recalibrate my brain to achieve à homeostatic equilibrium without the drugs. It is really extremely unpleasent, this the word torture, to be sedated as l am. I am still looking forward à structure that would enable me to try and come off these terrible poisons. I am willing to pay, but as yet, my seeking has been in vain. Perhaps somebody out there knows of such a place, l would be extremely grateful.

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    1. Sorry to hear it’s been so unpleasant for you…most of us who have come off have done it with one another via online support…which is less than ideal and yet often all any of us have been able to find. I only suggest you listen and trust your body as to when the right time and place is for you. Hang in there. (this site, if you’re not familiar with it has lots of information about how to manage and find resources via online methods. Check the drop down menus for info)

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    2. this is what I often post at the bottom of posts that have to do with withdrawal:

      *it is potentially dangerous to come off medications without careful planning. Please be sure to be well educated before undertaking any sort of discontinuation of medications. If your MD agrees to help you do so, do not assume they know how to do it well even if they claim to have experience. They are generally not trained in discontinuation and may not know how to recognize withdrawal issues. A lot of withdrawal issues are misdiagnosed to be psychiatric problems. This is why it’s good to educate oneself and find a doctor who is willing to learn with you as your partner in care.  Really all doctors should always be willing to do this as we are all individuals and need to be treated as such. See: Psychiatric drug withdrawal and protracted withdrawal syndrome round-up https://beyondmeds.com/2012/12/04/psychiatric-drug-withdrawal/

      It’s become clear to me that whenever it’s possible that it’s helpful for folks who’ve not begun withdrawal and have the time to consider a carefully thought out plan to attempt to bring greater well-being to your body before starting the withdrawal. That means learning how to profoundly nourish your body/mind and spirit prior to beginning a withdrawal. For suggestions on how to go about doing that check the drop-down menus on this blog for ideas. Anything that helps you learn how to live well can be part of your plan. That plan will look different for everyone as we learn to follow our hearts and find our own unique paths in the world. Things to begin considering are diet, exercise and movement, meditation/contemplation etc. Paying attention to all these things as you do them helps too. The body will start letting us know what it needs as we learn to pay attention. 

      For a multitude of ideas about how to create a life filled with safe alternatives to psychiatric drugs visit the drop-down menus at the top of this page or scroll down the homepage for more recent postings. 

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        1. it’s not obvious to everyone. I can’t assume knowledge and hope to keep anyone reading this as safe as possible.

          there are no places for safe withdrawal in all instances. I tend not to make recommendations for that reason. Alternatives to Meds in Arizona has success with some people but those with really complex issues still don’t get their needs met. That’s because no one really knows how to deal with those of us who have very severe withdrawal issues. That’s the only one I’ll even mention with caveats. Otherwise…at this point in time….we’re largely on our own. I wish it was different. Finding people who will cooperate and learn with us in our local areas seems to be the best we can do. Many don’t find even that. We are trying to change that and it’s very slow going.

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