By Brent Potter, PhD — I am grateful to be alive during to see the apex and decline of evidence-based psychotherapy and psychiatry. Honestly, I didn’t think that I’d see anything like it in my lifetime. It was looking pretty daunting for a while, but we’re not only making substantial progress, but winning. — Please don’t mistake me—we have plenty more to do. We’re not in the clear yet, but we’re light years ahead of where we were roughly 20 years ago. … [click on title for the rest of the post]
I’ve basically stayed away from labeling people whether it’s toxic, bipolar, schizophrenic, narcissistic or borderline because frankly, labeling always “others” a person. We all end up with stuff that ain’t pretty in this culture and society, which is indeed toxic. That toxicity doesn’t leave any of us untouched. I prefer to deal with our communal shit in a way that embraces it all and recognizes the sometimes very messy and also painful, but also incredibly wondrous reality of being human. Ultimately the only person we can change is ourselves. I’ve seen the power of doing that in my life. Everything changes as we do. … [click on title to read and view more]
It’s okay to let your clients leave you without declaring them resistant to your care. They know better than you do when they are ready to work and with whom. It should not be assumed that just because they walk out of your office they are not finding their way even as they take that action. … [click on title to read the rest]
When we learn to trust ourselves then we know when and if we should proceed with a helping relationship. This is what needs to be taught as soon as someone begins to seek help. Really it should be taught from the minute we’re born, but instead we generally are taught to stop listening to ourselves as our parents too were conditioned that way. …
It’s okay to let your clients leave you without declaring them resistant to your care. They know better than you do when they are ready to work and with whom. It should not be assumed that just because they walk out of your office they are not finding their way even as they take that […]
It may seem like trivial semantics, but the mistake that mental illness is something concrete has led to an epidemic of mythology. Every day, someone is told they have a thing inside them called mental illness that must be contended with long-term in order to achieve health. What follows is people learn to see themselves as having ill experiences and well experiences, unlike the normal population who somehow manage to live without sick feelings and thoughts. This attitude can have devastating effects psychologically, as it assures a person that something is wrong with them at their root – their mind, and that they cannot live confidently in their understanding of the world. Physically this attitude can lead to injury, as it assumes and often persuades anyone diagnosed with major mental illness to take risky medications indefinitely as opposed to selectively, which can lead to long-term addiction and a wide range of disabilities, bodily dysfunctions, and disturbing behavior. And socially this attitude can create alienation, ironically reinforced by the attitudes – “You are chronically mentally ill” – of the very people who are supposed to be helpful.
So, what really happens when I embrace all these symptoms rather than fix (mask) them through psychiatric “treatments”? Hmmmm…. well, I very rarely have any of these symptoms anymore, and when I do, they don’t last nearly as long. To be honest, I can’t remember details of their recurrences anymore because they don’t stand out like they used to. They are no longer “bad” or “horrible” in my mind or my experience, so why make a note of them? It’s like having a rainy day. Who cares? It just happens. Anyway, my goal was never to make the symptoms go away. It just happened.
This is an email I wrote to people who had commented on this blog a couple of years ago on posts I wrote about my Lamictal withdrawal. I was seeking information. I’m sharing it here just as an update of sorts to the part of this blog which is my withdrawal journal. I still have […]
Turning Wheel: A Journal of Socially Engaged Buddhism, Publication of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship Summer 2007 download pdf scanned version In 1992 I was committed to psychiatric hospitals, suffering from voices, fear, isolation, and visions that led to a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder schizophrenia. Since then, these same experiences guided me to the deeper questions […]
Both Rossa Forbes and Kris Ulland posted little notes of appreciation to me today. Please check out both of their very inspirational and insightful blogs. Holistic Recovery of Schizophrenia, Rossa Forbes Borderline Families, Kris Ulland Both are mothers of adult children who have been labeled with psychiatric diagnosis. Both mothers have come to realize that psychiatric […]