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The Origins Of Mental Illness And Extreme States

Love this by Dr. Dan L. Edmunds. In a world where the majority are unable to see the bigger picture and therefore have little compassion for extreme states and mental illness, this is exciting. Gives me great hope for change.

SG x

What is termed “madness” or “mental illness” is for some the only means for expression of their being lost and confused in a world which has caused them deep hurt and pain. Such is not disease but behavior with metaphorical meaning. There has been received through life mixed messages and placement into situations where regardless of the option they chose they felt damned. They seek to break out from the reality which has only caused them distress. The development of hallucinations and delusions are all metaphors for the very real demons they have encountered in a disordered society.

The inner mind, the voice within us, becomes amplified and becomes “possessed” with the demons coming forward from the trauma and distress which has been encountered. Rebellion against the system of things becomes self-destructive as the person seeks to send a message to the world of their distress, but it remains unheard. Each coping mechanism that has been employed has often led to failure and not brought them out of the unlivable situation that is their life. However, the catharsis of this pain and grief can go in two directions – it can be misery and existential death, or it can be transformative.

Through the pain and struggle, through the breaking out of the “typical reality” one can journey through various modes of altered consciousness. Many deemed “mad” speak of the supernatural. They have sought every attempt to reach out and create meaning. If they can be helped by a loving, supportive network to navigate through this state of confusion and the various realms of altered consciousness towards rebuilding and reconstructing a life of meaning, then they can come forward to a recovery that gives them valuable insight about human nature, who they really are, and the reality of the impermanence of this life and the world around us. They will find that suffering is inevitable, and in that suffering is the state of the world that is mired in greed and attachment. The ones deemed “mad” have accomplished a rare task – they have completely detached. But this detachment is only from the typical standards of the world. They remain haunted by the visions of their previous life.

They cannot escape it, and thus they become anxious and paranoid that something or someone will pull them back to that painful existence. At times, rage comes forward as the reaction to challenges, but who would not be outraged if their voice was suppressed and they became the scapegoat for the problems of their families or those around them? Those deemed “mad”, feeling always alone, depart to a world where they remain alone from people, yet may create for themselves beings who give them comfort and solace. This is really the end of their search, to simply be accepted and loved. But here too lies a problem, for when their lives have been devoid of love and they receive unconditional love, it becomes like an overwhelming fire that consumes them. They have never been loved, so how can they respond to an outpouring of love?

When all they knew was that oppression and coercion was said to be because “we love you”, when “love” really was only about control, how can the person then understand genuine love? Once again, the confusion sets in. To reach the person who has been deemed “mad”, we cannot overwhelm. Our sincerity will not be enough, for their trust has been shattered time and time again. It is only through entering their world for what it is, by joining in, and learning to speak the language of madness, that we ourselves can begin to understand the experience of these individuals. It is only by this joining in that the person may have the chance for the journey known as “madness” to reach a transformative movement towards discovery.

Dr. Dan L. Edmunds.

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PSYCHIATRY ALMOST DROVE ME CRAZY

 

Great article by Paul Levy (a pioneer in the field of spiritual emergence, and a healer in private practice) regarding psychiatric abuse (psychiatry’s invalidation of trauma and protection of the abuser). Psychiatry makes the sane ones.. the sick ones, the invalids (the in-valids).

SG x

I am a survivor of severe psychiatric abuse. There was a year or so in the early 1980’s when I was in and out of psychiatric hospitals at least four times. During my visits to the hospital I was in the midst of a spiritual awakening that I was struggling to contain that was triggered and complicated by extreme psychological abuse at the hands of my father, who was a very sick man. I was suffering so deeply from the psychic violence perpetrated upon my mother and me by my father that it was making me “sick.” One of the most difficult parts of my ordeal in the hospitals was not being listened to by the psychiatrists, either about the abuse by my father or the spiritual awakening. Spiritual emergences/emergencies oftentimes become activated because of a deep experience of wounding, abuse, or trauma. In its initial stage, a spiritual awakening can look like and mimic a nervous breakdown, as our habitual structures of holding ourselves together fall apart and break down so that a deeper and more coherent expression of our intrinsic wholeness can emerge. The spiritual awakening aspect of my experience was so off psychiatry’s map that it wasn’t even remotely recognized. Instead of hearing me, about either the abuse or the awakening, I was immediately pathologized and labeled as the sick one. Being cast in the role of the “identified patient,” I was assured that I was going to be mentally ill for the rest of my days, as if I was being given a life sentence with no possibility for parole, with no time off for good behavior. The fact that I wanted to dialogue about this and question their diagnosis was proof, to the psychiatrists in charge of me, of my illness. The whole thing was totally nuts. Fully licensed and certified by the state, the psychiatric system’s abuse of its position of power was truly unconscionable. What the profession of psychiatry was unconsciously en-acting was truly crazy-making for those under their dominion. I was lucky to escape the psychiatric world with my sanity intact. Many others are not so fortunate.

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The vagus nerve, emotions and the difficulty with mindfulness practices

“It’s a beginning of understanding why traumatized people have such a hard time with mindfulness and why mindfulness in principle doesn’t work for traumatized people”  Van der Kolk had sent many of his highly traumatized patients to do mindfulness exercises with Jon Kabat-Zinn and found that many of them were returning in a state of upset and agitation”

.“As they became silent and started to pay attention to themselves, they get overwhelmed with the physical sensations and they would flee, because being mindful means that you get confronted with your internal world.” In other words, the sensations of the internal world can be so intense that, lacking the tools to work through those sensations, people dissociate during mindfulness exercises. This is not limited to mindfulness exercises but happens in other types of movement, meditative, or healing practices, such as qigong, yoga or massage”.

 

healing from the freeze

“Now, many people who don’t know a lot about trauma think that trauma has something to do with something that happened to you a long time ago. In fact,the past is the past and the only thing that matters is what happens right now. And what is trauma is the residue that a past event leaves in your own sensory experiences in your body and it’s not that event out there that becomes intolerable but the physical sensations with which you live that become intolerable and you will do anything to make them go away.” (Bessel van der Kolk)

Last week, during a two-day deep cleaning/paint prep binge (see the kitchen ceiling to the right!), I listened to a recorded talk by Bessel van der Kolk given at the May 2011 22nd Annual International Trauma Conference. The title of van der Kolk’s title is a mouthful: “Putting neuroplasticity into clinical…

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Psychiatric Diagnosis is a Fraud: The Destructive and Damaging Fiction of Biological ‘Diseases’

Great article!

SG x

By

“Life is pain, Princess. Anyone who tells you different is selling you something.”
– Dread Pirate Roberts, in “The Princess Bride”

Everywhere you turn, you see “OCD, ASD, MDD, ADD, ADHD, BPD, GAD, PD, SAD, PTSD, NPD,” etc. The problem is not limited to this acronym soup, but the pseudo diagnoses they represent. Patients today get stained by the specious medical diagnoses of biological psychiatry. And furthermore they are brainwashed to believe that these fictitious brain ‘diseases’ are genetic. Biological psychiatry treats people like they are mechanical objects, renaming them almost as they are re-branding products. The one I like the best is the renaming of ‘manic-depressive’ to ‘bipolar.’ Instead of a name which accurately describes the states of suffering, it was turned into something mechanical — a battery with two poles. We’ve gone from something human to something Frankensteinian.

But fear not; we have psychoactive drugs that will correct the imbalance in your genetically damaged brain. We have antidepressants for your depression; Benzodiazepines for your anxiety, amphetamines for your ADHD, anti-psychotics for schizophrenia, antidepressants for your OCD, etc.

Sadly, I have heard many stories from patients that began when they received their “diagnosis.” They are told they have a disease. “It’s not your fault,” they are told; “it’s genetic.” For the lucky few it may take only a few years to discover that their biological diagnosis is bogus, then to find their way to a good therapy, and/or continue on their journey.

We are sold a bill of goods where it is believed that taking drugs could possibly attend to the incredible complexity of human suffering. How did it happen that within a generation such a delusion captured the public imagination and currently holds sway? Young people have said to me, “You’re a psychiatrist and you do psychotherapy? I never heard of that.” Initially, I was shocked. Now, I get letters all the time from people who ask me if I know any psychiatrists in their town who don’t give drugs.

There have always been two competing currents in psychiatry — Psychodynamic (fundamentally psychoanalytic) psychotherapy  vs. Somatic psychiatry. Now there is only one. For the story of somatic psychiatry, see — “Do No Harm: The Destructive History of Pharmaceutical Psychiatry and its Bedfellows — Electroshock, Insulin Shock, and Lobotomies.” This gives the true story of somatic psychiatry. Its practice has been to act directly on our brains — shocking them, reaming them out with ice picks — and now reaming them out chemically. Somatic psychiatry has always done great harm, but its sordid history has gotten lost in the amnesia of time. But make no mistake; pharmaceutical psychiatry is the current incarnation of somatic psychiatry. And we are doing harm all over again.

Regarding the psychoanalytic, there have been many very good therapists; illuminating writers like Fairbairn, Winnicott, and Harry Stack Sullivan, as well as important understandings about attachment. And there were many excellent teachers. Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of problems due to faulty psychoanalytic theories which interfered with responsiveness to our patients. Nevertheless, I am suggesting a new paradigm in the psychotherapy tradition.

The Psychotherapy of Character” is a specialized form of human engagement that repairs the damage to one’s personality by acting on the play of consciousness in the very way that it formed in the brain in the first place. It is an art and a science that bridges the old divide between psychotherapy and the brain. To put it simply, human struggle is purely a human problem. It is derived from the consequences of deprivation and abuse in our formative years, followed by additional struggles that result from our adaptations to the ongoing traumas of life. Psychotherapy promotes the recovery of a person’s “Authentic Being” through genuine and trusted engagement with the therapist. Mourning the pain of this inner play heals our symptoms and our suffering.

The specious enterprise of healing ‘brain diseases’ is based on a faulty understanding of neuroscience and the brain. The biological orientation has mistaken parts of the brain for the whole. Separate elements of the brain operate mechanically, and are not the cause of psychiatric symptoms. The parts all work in concert to create the Play of Consciousness. The truth is that memories of trauma, stored throughout the limbic system, the amygdala, and the hippocampus, are the seat of our suffering and symptoms. The invisible replay of the scenes in the play generate our symptoms. Our genetic temperament gives form to the symptoms — phobias in one person, or obsessions in another. And when the trauma is mourned — as when, watching a tragic play, we undergo a “catharsis” — we sit with the pain, and the brain changes all on its own.

Psychiatry has always been a poor stepchild of medicine. In doctorly circles it was demeaned and disrespected. The somatic psychiatrists wished to achieve status, and if they invented medical diseases they could put on their white coats and qualify as “real scientists.” Real psychiatrists, however, never cared about this. They understood that psychiatry is different where the medical model does not apply.

When I was a psychiatric resident in the early 70’s, it was fully understood that psychiatric diagnoses are not medical and they never have been. At best, a diagnosis was a short-hand understanding that was intended to be an aid to the therapist in highlighting pertinent issues. All that mattered was the true story, the actual history.  That is to say; ‘his story,’ or ‘her story.’ Each patient would lead the way to whatever needed attended to. Ultimately the ‘art’ of psychotherapy is about feeling, caring, and meaning-making.

A good psychotherapist does not need to be a doctor, but there are certain experiences in becoming a doctor that helped shape me in a positive way. The experience of dissecting a human body changes a young medical student forever and plunges him into the secret mysteries of life.  To be in a position to make informed life-and-death decisions for patients breeds a sense of responsibility. It changes a young doctor powerfully. To learn about the mysteries of the body and the life-course of diseases, to understand about life-altering conditions such as cancer, immunological diseases, asthma, heart disease, real neurological conditions, etc., provides important experiences in grappling with the full spectrum of human experience. Eventually all people get sick with something. It was important for me, for instance, to have evaluated a “psychotic” man, and recognize that he had late-stage syphilis, not schizophrenia.

The core paradigm of the Psychotherapy of Character is a unified field theory of human consciousness and how the brain actually operates that is consonant with neuroscience, myths, dreams, religion, art, and Darwin. The medicalization of the human condition did not begin with psychiatry; humans have been looking to nature — herbs, tree barks, trepanation (drilling holes in the head) — for cures of psychic distress since civilization began. However the cause of much of the psychic distress we sought to relieve is really to be found when we look inward, to our selves, and to civilization itself. “Psychiatry” refers, after all, literally, to the “medical treatment of the soul.” Which begs the essential question of what a “soul” is, where it resides, and by what means it can be addressed. In my understanding, as the patient mourns the pain of his inner play, he writes a new script infused with his own authenticity and his own capacity to love. This is his soul, or in my terms his ‘Authentic Being.’

When I was a resident, a senior psychiatrist who was influential in the alcohol world announced that alcoholism should be referred to as a ‘real’ disease. He explained that since people make moral judgments about alcoholism, shifting the metaphor to ‘real’ will help them not blame themselves or be blamed by others. He said that this was just an innocent shading of the truth and will help people. I objected, because it wasn’t a disease. Truth matters. Words matter. About a decade later medical insurance came into play; it wouldn’t cover alcoholism because it was an addiction (which it is), not a disease. In 1987, to deal with the insurance issue, the AMA redefined alcoholism into a disease. Do I smell money here?

But the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous have always been a spiritual practice. “When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically.” When alcoholism was referred to as a physical disease, it was understood as a metaphor. Then people actually started to believe the ‘disease’ concept. When brain scans showed differences in the brains of people who were chronic alcoholics, this was taken as proof that it really is a disease. (It didn’t matter that when people stopped drinking, their brains returned to normal.) The brain reflects behaviors, it doesn’t cause behaviors. Once the disease model was accepted as an established fact, researchers found pseudo-evidence that alcoholism is also genetic. Though not true, it has become accepted as fact.

Psychiatric diagnosis has followed the same trajectory as alcoholism. Each diagnosis in turn has been constructed by somatic psychiatrists as a disease, in each case building a similar house of cards. It doesn’t seem to matter that the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry and its influence-peddling in academic psychiatry has been exposed as financially and scientifically corrupted and manipulated. The drug companies have engaged in study suppression, falsification, strategic marketing, and financial incentives.

Take, for example, the antidepressants: the chemical imbalance theory has been discredited, but this didn’t alter the fact that the theory is still believed. Never mind that antidepressants don’t actually do anything constructive, apart from the fact that people believe they do (which has also been proved). And in their wake a lot of harm has been done (see “No, It’s not the Neurotransmitters, Depression is not a biological disease caused by an imbalance of serotonin” ).

The brain reflects. It doesn’t cause. Time and space don’t permit me to go through the entire DSM-5, but each ‘disease’ is  a work of fiction. Brain scans showing thinned areas of the cortex in “affected” regions of brain which correlated to a “symptom” are taken as proof of genetic disease. This cannot be so, or therapy would not magically reverse the thinning, as we know it to do.

A so-called landmark study, all over the press, is that a gene related to eliminating connections between neurons in adolescence is the “cause” of schizophrenia. Since neurons are eliminated in adolescence, the new theory is that an overactive gene variant is responsible. This theory is believed, then taken as a major breakthrough. But it doesn’t prove anything. Conclusions, in the absence of real mechanisms, or solid and comprehensive explanations that fit every instance, end up creating a false and speculative fantasy that is then taken as “knowledge.” Once these conclusions are established, they become reified and operate as beliefs. This one is already (falsely) established, as if it has been actually been proven that schizophrenia is biological (see- “‘Evidence-based’ Psychiatry is ‘Evidence’ in Name Only, A call for the science of psychotherapy has taken a wrong turn”).

Here are two random — yet typical — examples that popped up on Google: “Genetic Discovery Could Lead to Development of New Bipolar Meds.” The research indicates that abnormal variations in PDE10A19 might (my italics) impact signaling of cAMP by engaging with another protein, restricting that protein’s activity and its signaling. “Once we understand how this protein helps neurons remain healthy, we might (my italics) be able to develop medications to treat neurons when they function abnormally, such as in patients with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.” These leaps are delusional. In addition, one study then uses a previous study as a fact and extends them. There is nothing here but a house of cards.

And how about this one, “Biomarker Could Lead to Earlier Detection in Women of Mental Disorders”:

“A newly identified biomarker linked to mental illness in female psychiatric patients could lead the way for a simple blood test for improved interventions and treatment, (my italics) according to a study in EBioMedicine. … overproduction of XIST has been found in female patients with mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, and schizophrenia. About half of the female patients had abnormally higher levels of XIST and other genes related to the X chromosomes, which could (my italics) indicate that overproduction of XIST and genes from the inactive X chromosome are common denominators in the development of psychiatric disorders in patients … in the general population of female psychiatric patients.”

This study has already taken as fact that these three conditions are diseases in the first place. There has never been a study where these assumptions ever turn out to lead anywhere.

We have to stem the tide of somatic psychiatry and bring sanity back to psychiatry. A recent article by Peter Kinderman, “Mental illness mostly caused by life events not genetics, argue psychologists” challenges the waste of research money in England which has been based on the assumption that the cause of human struggle is biological. We need to do this in America, and worldwide. Our understanding of human suffering needs to return to a legacy of caring and wisdom. Our children’s futures — all our futures — depend on it.

Robert Berezin, MDRobert Berezin has been in private practice and taught psychiatry at Harvard Medical School for thirty years. He is the author of Psychotherapy of Character: The Play of Consciousness in the Theater of the Brain and Do No Harm: The Destructive History of Pharmaceutical Psychiatry and its Bedfellows. He blogs at www.robertberezin.com.

 

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You Are Not Mentally Ill..

You may feel confused.

You may feel conflicted.

You may feel frustrated.

You may feel silenced.

You may feel undervalued.

You may be invisible.

You may feel powerless.

You may feel oppressed.

You may feel disenchanted with your life.

You may feel angry.

You may feel bitter.

You may feel unsafe.

You may feel exhausted.

You may feel trapped.

You may feel unwell.

You may feel betrayed.

You may feel terrified.

You may feel anxious.

You may feel sad.

You may feel lonely.

You may feel alone.

You may feel despondent

You may feel grief.

You may feel traumatized.

You may feel unmotivated.

These are your feelings..

and your spirit is suffering.

A spiritual illness… not a mental illness

You can heal your spirit.

Healing takes faith & baby steps

Sending love

~ SG x

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The Real Cause Of Bipolar Disorder

This is good and easy to understand video by Sean Blackwell. I experienced a spiritual crisis/ transformation/ awakening 12 years ago. (more below..)

Check out this video. Worth the 9 mins. Tell me what you think..

Thrown into utter spiritual confusion

The crisis I had was sudden and started after doing yoga and eating clean. It was surreal, traumatising, terrifying, lasting for 14 days during which I was a constant state super heightened awareness/ intuition and having visions while awake. I was living alone at the time  .. thank goodness. I was staying in a hotel in my city.

I started manifesting my thoughts, seeing the historical past, archetypes, potential future in people, my life etc.. like a big screen movie projecting before me. It was huge, too much to explain really but I was so terrified by what I saw I couldn’t eat, digest and had emotional diarrh (let’s not mention that!!)

The visions stopped when I returned home to my family but I wasn’t the same I was unanchored by the experience. I keep relatively quiet about it, aside from those I thought could understand or at least not judge me. I’knew’ not to talk to my family about it, my father was a staunch atheist and would consider me crazy and my mother a staunch Catholic would consider me a heretic (yes, even in this age…) as parts of my visions did have some history relating to the Roman Catholic Church, the inquisition etc..

I was never hospitalized, nor did I take meds or talk to mainstream doctors purely because I didn’t trust them. I felt they were the last people that could help me in this spiritual state. I was lucky to have a friend to talk to that didn’t judge my crazy experiences.. Even though I didn’t understand what was happening and neither did she, at least I could express my utter confusion.. so grateful for her.

I was traumatized, deeply deeply confused, and out of body for a couple of years after the incident, and went on to have more experiences at a later date.

I now see it as transformational, my spiritual awakening and an amazing gift, and I’m so grateful I had some non threatening support. Shame it was just so intensely confusing on my mind!

It took me many years to understand it and integrate it, it took baby steps and lots of helpers along the way… some good, many not so good..

I went on to make some big changes in my life, left my 28 year relationship, healed my childhood and started to understand my historical trauma. I sussed out my gifts, simplified my life and let go of the people who stressed me out.

I am now starting to do the work that is important to me and my crisis pointed me in the direction.

SG x

 

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Letting Go Of Illness

 I believe the day we are ready to let go of our illness is the day we heal.

Healing comes when you’re ready to let go of the need of your ‘mental illness’ label and step into your power and purpose. Your generational history is the fire that feeds your soul.

~ SilverGirl