The biggest issue we face: #WorldMentalHealthDay

I have faith. I have faith in that which animates us all. It’s bigger than any one of us and yet we can find it all within us too.

The biggest problem in mental health treatment is the idea that anybody need be treated at all. What people really need is a safe space to be who and what they are. Once people are in a safe place they simply need to be supported in trusting their own process.

When this is done right everybody’s path is going to look radically different. Cookie cutter mental health treatments are not particularly effective at best and harm many people, sometimes profoundly, at worst. Any mental health program that doesn’t understand that everyone is radically different as an element at its core is going to be destructive on some level for a good number of people.

Most treatment programs for those who get labeled mentally ill have components that are mandatory for everyone involved — this is generally a form of violence unless people whole-heartedly want to be told what to do in every moment…which may, on occasion, actually be a good thing for some people some of the time. It certainly was not for me and isn’t for a large and significant population of those of us who’ve been subjected to the system. I remind you I speak as someone who both was subjected to the system and who also worked as a professional within the system for many years. I’ve seen the chaos which is the system from both sides in very intimate ways.

Finding our own personal sovereignty towards an egalitarian society full of sovereign beings is what healing is all about. Authority over others is violence.

All human beings need such support from the moment we are born. As we grow up we start giving it to ourselves and those around us too if we are pursuing health and well-being.

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“It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti

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I can’t call the current system of care a “mental health system” when it’s so clearly one that generates, encourages and sustains mental distress and pain. And so I’ve often referred to it as a mental illness system. Here I’m underscoring that as it’s important that we make big changes if we want to help not only the most vulnerable people in our society, but also society itself. We create one another. None of this happens in a vacuum.

Below is a list of posts from Everything Matters that look at the system from many different perspectives.

The below are pieces written specifically about the divide between the professionals in the system and those who are subject to their care and/or abuse.

Other significant pieces:

Having well-being in general is simply about learning to live well. It really doesn’t need to called therapy or need medical intervention most of the time. What a concept! Here is a collection of self-empowering ways to view our health and well-being from a holistic standpoint. This list does not begin to be exhaustive. There are as many ways to wellness as there are human beings. The below list of links all include additional collections of links on the topic they cover.

People are recovering and thriving in spite of what psychiatry tells them everyday. Sadly many of us had to disengage ourselves from a system of “care” that harmed us gravely in order to do it. Non-compliance saves people everyday. This needs to change. It’s dangerous and tragic both.

If you would like to know more about coming off meds as safely as possible start here:

Also, both, parts of the below talk below:

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*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

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. 

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About Monica Cassani

Author/Editor Beyond Meds: Everything Matters

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