by Will Hall, Monica Cassani, and Dina Tyler In the world of innovations in how we treat survivors of psychiatric crisis, Live and Learn Inc and Open Excellence/Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care do valuable work. Live And Learn is a research company owned by Laysha Ostrow that collects and analyzes data on the viability of alternative mental health treatments, and Open Excellence/FEMHC is a philanthropy started by patients' family members that channels funding into promising projects. They're colleagues with us in the broader "critical psychiatry" movement ((Will was one of the original founding board members of Open Excellence/FEMHC) and we've all known each other for many years. At the same time, after collaborating with Live and Learn and Open Excellence/FEMHC on a past project, we are left very concerned by apparent ethical irregularities, including possibly crossing the line into research misconduct and plagiarism.
We are by nature a sensitive species. Every last one of us. We learn through cultural conditioning to ignore and shut down what would be our highly sensitive natures -- our birthright. The conditioning we learn from our parents and our community (and the TV and internet and mass media) further encourages additional habits that appeal to us in particular. School furthers the conditioning. Later we develop more habits to reinforce the conditioning and keep ourselves numb. We use food (highly processed and toxic and developed to encourage craving), drugs (both legal and illegal), alcohol, video games, porn, TV, internet, shopping and the pursuit of more, more, more stuff to keep ourselves numb to the lies we've been told since the day we popped out of the womb. … [click on title for the rest of the post]
~~We all have genius within us. Many never access it. Genius, because of our social conditioning, is almost always frustrated and ahead of its time.~~
Western medicine with it’s penchant for suppression is a real political force. In suppressing the body’s cries we are also denying the psyche. ...
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. ...
Some of us have been on the front lines figuring out this stuff years before anyone was publicly acknowledging it. I am sharing this info and collection in response to the two recent @nytimes articles.
Healing to me does not mean returning to what one was before something went wrong. Wholeness does not necessarily mean normal. And even the word recovery is problematic because, frankly, I don't want what I had before. Who wants to go backwards anyway?
I see in retrospect that some core, vital part of me was always there during the drugged years, learning and remembering much that would help me in these years of coming off meds and now being med free. I no longer believe that I “lost” my life to drugs. This is, as Mary Oliver, puts it, my "one wild and precious life."
while the healing process may sometimes be radical and even violent as well as time consuming, ultimately when we've healed, we've also transformed in profound ways. Indeed, this is becoming my experience. …
My "chronically ill" body rewards my gentle persistent attentions with never-ending insights into the nature of being an embodied human. Healing is alchemy and it never ends. The sensitive body holds the entire world's pain, trauma, joy and madness within it. And yes, the suggestion is that most of us are not embodied. The conditioned self is disembodied. Coming to embodiment can be very painful.
**Deconstructing in order to construct. Kali at work** This has been my healing process - Kali action. -- The body had real (physical) structures for emotional/spiritual armor...they had to come down...that has been happening via an incredibly difficult heavy metal detox (and other toxins that are in the biofilm matrix). *** Samsara rule number one: it's... Continue Reading →