The Denial of Mystery and the Use of Medication to Replace Personal and Social Responsibility

Ron Unger, LCSW

May 26, 2012

I believe the question of whether to medicate or not cannot be kept separate from the question of whether or not to consider individuals responsible for their own state of mind, as well as their behavior.  That in turn cannot be kept separate from the related question of what it really means for a human being to be “responsible,” and the question of how something that looks like “free will” emerges out of biological systems.

At this point in our culture, the majority of both the general culture and of the mental health industry have endorsed a paradigm that says that mentally healthy individuals are responsible for their mental activity, but that those who are “mentally ill” or who have a “biochemical imbalance” are not.  The latter are advised to try drugs to correct the “imbalance” and to try more drugs if the first ones don’t work.

What is missing in this perspective is any sense that people can take responsibility for their own mental wellbeing and behavior, even after they have been overwhelmed by serious problems of some kind.

I would argue that this abdication of responsibility occurs not so much because we are a weak and lazy society, but because we have misunderstood what it means to be responsible in the first place.  Because of this misunderstanding, when we try to be responsible, we are likely to do it in a way that makes us vulnerable to becoming overwhelmed, and then once we become overwhelmed we think this must be due to something wrong with us.  This follows from our cultural belief that being responsible for oneself should be easy and simple, and not require contact with anything deep.  The resulting sense of “something wrong with us” is then interpreted to be something chemically wrong, fixable by a pill, or perhaps by a dozen pills in an ever changing “cocktail.”

Simple systems operate in a linear, consistent and predictable manner. Many people associate “science” with boiling everything down to that which is simple and predictable.  Our culture tends to assume that things operate in this fashion.  But it turns out that only linear systems are consistently predictable, and non-linear systems, of which humans are an example, are not.  Humans become even more unpredictable when they have been perturbed by major events such as trauma, or if they have genes that facilitate creativity, or when they are going through certain developmental stages.

If we ourselves are a non-linear, unpredictable system, how can we take responsibility for controlling ourselves?  Certainly we cannot do this by applying any consistent formula, as any such formula could only work part of the time.  If our nature is to be fundamentally mysterious, then how can we know for sure what it is inside ourselves we are encountering at any given time, and  if we don’t even know what we are encountering, how can we respond to it in a way that allows us to be in control?

As a practical matter, responsibility is something that emerges in people over time.  When we are children, our minds are a mystery to us, and strange things happen within them all the time.  But we learn through a process of experimentation to respond to what is happening in our minds in a way that gives us a kind of control, within limits.  Later, when we encounter new life events or new changes within us, we find we are going out of control again, but we again experiment with responding to what is happening, and find a new kind of control.

After awhile, we may learn to take this sense of being “in control” for granted, and forget that it is just the outer layer of a mysterious process that we will never fully understand.  Then, when something changes radically changes inside us, maybe in response to some life events that we aren’t equipped to handle, or perhaps as part of a developmental process we don’t understand, we might be surprised to find that our existing ways of responding to ourselves don’t achieve a sense of being in control anymore, or even spin us further out of control.

What is critical at this point is how we, and others, interpret this breakdown in control.

There could be an interpretation that we are “bad” which means we deliberately decided to go out of control and cause problems, and we should be punished.  At the opposite, and more medical, extreme, there could be an interpretation that we aren’t responsible at all, but since we have no responsibility, we need something external to us to take control over us – whether that be institutionalization or just control through drugs.

There is another option however.  That is, we could make an interpretation that this lapse in self control is temporary, and that what is needed is experimentation to find out the best way to respond to this new and unexpected development within ourselves and our world.   In other words, we could repeat the process that allowed us to develop self control in the first place.

When we accept that both our minds and the world outside of our minds are mysterious, then we accept that we don’t know for sure what it is we are encountering at any time.   For example, we don’t know how much of what we see is because of our way of looking at things versus what things are “in themselves.”  But what we can do is take responsibility for investigating, for having an I/thou encounter with what we find, which means experimenting, and that includes being vulnerable and being open to doubting ourselves.  This means we consider the possibility that anything going wrong may be in our approach to what we encounter and not just in the “other,” or the fault may be in the way our conscious mind is handling things, we don’t just jump to the conclusion that there is an “illness” in us (or in the other) that needs to be medicated away.

What does it mean when a person can’t sleep, or has disturbing feelings, thoughts, voices, impulses or expressions?  Where did they come from?  What is to be done about them?  Must they be eliminated, or are they in some way a helpful contribution, an indicator of something that needs to be attended to?  When we can be curious about this, rather than have fixed answers, we can find solutions that match the particular person and situation.

Our culture needs greater awareness of the limits of our ability to make linear sense of things.  The presumption of linearity is a key factor that has contributed to making it so difficult for people to see that psychiatric drugs are harming people.  If something seems to make things better in a few weeks, then linear expectations would have us believe that the long term effect will also be good.  But within a highly non-linear complex system, there is no reason to trust this will be true – in fact, the very linearity of the interaction, always the same drug effect, is actually damaging to humans who are nonlinear systems that need instead sensitive interactions with mystery, interactions with other non-linear systems such as other people, creatures, ecosystems etc.  Drugs dull such interactions.

While “madness” may emerge out of the spontaneous experimentation of our minds, it turns out we need that same spontaneous experimentation in order to figure out a way of responding to what is happening in our minds.  The mental health system instead pushes drugs reduce such experimentation – this causes the madness to appear diminished, but it also impairs the person’s ability to really regain a sense of responsibility and self control.

It is interesting to observe that none of us are as “in control” of ourselves as we think we are.  Recent research shows that “by monitoring the micro patterns of activity in the frontopolar cortex, the researchers could predict which hand the participant would choose 7 SECONDS before the participant was aware of the decision.”

When we are aware of the limits of our own conscious awareness, we are more willing to be curious about what is happening within our minds, to learn about what is disturbing to us by interacting with it, forming a relationship with it, seeing what happens as we try various ways of responding to it.  So what we take responsibility for is not somehow knowing in advance what to do (which can only be done with linear systems, which are predictable and “straightforward”), but rather for being curious, open to feedback, open to learning what works and what doesn’t, and also aware that what seems to work at first may actually be making things worse – the trickster spirit is alive and well in complex systems, despite our culture’s desire that he/she be banned!

Traditional explanations of inner experience in terms of spirituality often cultivated awareness of mystery.  While it is not necessary to use traditional spiritual language or metaphors in order to develop understandings of ourselves, it is necessary, I believe, to acknowledge the reality of mystery if we are to effectively encourage a sense of responsibility within individuals and social groups.

Mystery and nonlinearity applies to our responsibility for interactions with others as well as interactions with aspects of ourselves.  Parents for example should be prepared for unpredictable kinds of interactions.  There is this expectation in our culture that if one follows some defined set of instructions, a “good” child should be guaranteed, unless of course the child has a biological illness like ADHD or bipolar!  This belief system creates incompetent parents, parents who feel they have to make a choice between believing that they themselves are “bad” as in they failed to follow the linear instructions that every “good” parent should know, or believing that their child is “ill” and that care should be turned over to the psychiatrist for diagnosis and chemical repair.

In contrast, a parent who is aware that his or her child is a mystery, and is a complex and inherently unpredictable non-linear system, will instead approach signs of trouble with curiosity and an open mind.  Such a parent will be open to feedback about what works with this particular child, and will always consider the possibility that if the parent and others communicated differently to the child, any problems might be resolved.  This does not guarantee a positive outcome, because in non-linear interactions nothing can be guaranteed, but the chances of success are much greater.  The child now lives in a world of human beings who respond to him or her in a way that models both self respect and humility, and out of such interactions, the child can learn to also have both self respect and humility, firmness and flexibility, etc.  Problems do not entirely disappear, but become manageable.

Competent therapists are able to help people restore this sense of mystery, this willingness to engage. But therapists are often instead like parents who believe there should be some set of defined instructions that should always work, and if the problem doesn’t resolve by using such tactics, then the problem must be a biological illness, and the therapist isn’t responsible at all.  Instead, what the person really needs is a medication check.

A responsible society would never be sure that particular “problems” exist within individuals; rather, it would always be open to the idea that it might be responding inappropriately to those individuals, and would be open to experimenting with doing things differently.  Such a society would take more responsibility for preventing trauma in childhood, preventing other traumas like homelessness, and preventing coercive mental health interventions that create more trauma.  And it would be aware that “quick fix” solutions could make things worse in the long run, and would take responsibility for noticing when that might be happening.

In the bigger picture, I believe we will never achieve this sort of responsibility until we accept our own mysterious nature.  We are all unfathomable beings, that is, when we look deeper inside we always find something that contradicts what we just said or how we have been representing ourselves.  But this condition we are in, where any time we “make sense” we are always leaving something important out, does not mean there is something wrong with us.  It just means that we are human, we are complex non-linear beings who cannot be reduced to a formula.  The more we believe we should be a certain way inside, the more likely we are to find something wrong with ourselves, and then to try to “straighten it out,” often with chemicals, and usually to our own detriment. The alternative?  Accepting that we are mysterious, and taking responsibility for learning to live with it, and with the other mysterious beings with whom we co-inhabit this planet.

Ron Unger, LCSW

Dialogues with Madness:  A therapist and educator specializing in cognitive therapy for psychosis, Ron Unger explores emerging understandings of psychosis and of efforts to change mental health treatment to support human rights and full recovery.

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15 thoughts on “The Denial of Mystery and the Use of Medication to Replace Personal and Social Responsibility

  1. Couldn’t agree more. I often contemplate how psychiatric treatment is constructed to bleed the patient of agency, as though reducing someone to utter dependence on both pharmaceuticals and the judgment of a doctor were the route to ideal mental health.

    • Good point. I think the problem is that if we see what someone is experiencing as “just sick” then we want to get rid of it, and in doing so, we tend to get rid of the person.

      If instead we see what the person is experiencing as mysterious, problematic but possibly with some good in it, then we experiment with responding to the person, and in the resulting interactions, the problems may be worked out.

      • “I think the problem is that if we see what someone is experiencing as ‘just sick’ then we want to get rid of it, and in doing so, we tend to get rid of the person.”

        Exactly my conclusion of a talk I recently had at a hearing about deaths in psychiatric “care” –both sudden, “unexplainable”, as psychiatry has it, deaths, and the reduced life expectancy of the labelled and drugged. If the “symptoms” psychiatry “treats” are expressions of being alive, and the “illness” is life, then the cure of course is death.

        Brilliant post, btw. I only have a bit of a hard time with the dandelions and orchids you mention in the comments. Maybe there are dandelion and orchid genes, but still, genes too are subject to environmental influence.

  2. In my experience, humanity in general lacks mastery in cultivating and developing response-ability.

    I think of “emergency responders”. In certain situations, some people know how to respond exactly and precisely.

    There are times when we can be self-reliant, or we can be the responder for another. There are times when our responses can be consequential. There seems to be too many times when we lack ability to respond either to self or other. In a word, “irresponsibility”.

    The purpose of “talk-therapy” is to talk, tell and share. We do that in order to receive a response. The way the response is delivered (and received) matters. One of my major issues with “the system” is having been forced to “disclose” and provide information, but never receiving accurate, proper feedback (response), or at least not in a language I could hear.

    We’re very good at scolding, “correcting”, fault-finding, etc. It’s usually “don’t say that, don’t do that, don’t think that way, don’t feel that way, don’t cry”. And then we unconsciously expect the person to automatically know what else to say, do, think or feel instead. One cannot abruptly stop (doing, thinking, feeling) – we’d become paralyzed or catatonic. But those so apt would be autonomous; self-empowered, “response-able” persons. Then there’s the continuation; the perpetual, never-ending repeating cycle.

    How often do we truly know how to respond, and provide for the needs of self or other? How often do we read the signs? How often do we interpret them correctly? How often do we not?

    “I just don’t know what to say. I just don’t know how to say it.”

    • I once went to a four day training in Open Dialogue work. A key skill they taught was the importance of responding to each attempt at communication. They admitted they often didn’t know how to make sense of what was being communicated, but saw response as crucial, because out of the resulting interaction, dialogue could be created.

      That which had no words, and so was being expressed in a “psychotic” way, would eventually find words within this process, and could eventually be communicated about more normally.

  3. Good essay Ron, denial indeed!

    I found the left-brained conceptualization rather long winded. It seems that the way we consciously manage our perceptions of both the “internal” as well as the external environment, is either in objectification or mystification.

    Seemingly, we do this to control raw internal energies that we all agree not to speak about, for the sake of group harmony. Or in non-linear systems terms, for the sake of maintaining a dynamic equilibrium.

    All that systemic unconscious communication which underlies our social interactions, remains “unspoken” as we communicate with a left-brain linear, cause & effect narrative, rather than the right-brain’s more expansive intuition.

    In our Western societies, being responsible seems to be more about “suppression” of raw internal energies, in fear of their contagious affect. Hence we see the suppression of spontaneous affect/emotion from early childhood on. By extension we see the suppression of disruptive behaviors with a chemical or electrical cosh, in adulthood.

    Our we coming to end of an era in Cartesian “clockwork universe” logic? That “I think therefore I am,” left-brain sense of self, which is essentially about suppressing our instinctual nature, our raw reactive energies, for the maintenance of homeostasis (dynamic equilibrium).

    In our essays and comments here on Mad In America, how many of us simply take for granted a “learned” left-brained understanding of ourselves with little to absolutely no awareness of our internal functioning? Consider;

    “Studies that ignore organism state are analogous to experiments of psychics which ignore time, and that the ubiquity of state-dependant organism changes reminds us that biological systems are highly dynamic and notoriously nonlinear.

    The concept of psychobiological state lies at the common boundary of the psychological and biological sciences, and as such it can go far to overcome the myopia of “Descartes’ Error,” “the separation of the most refined operations of mind from the structure and operation of a biological organism” _Damasio. At all points of human development, and especially in infancy, the continuously developing mind cannot be understood without reference to the continually maturing body, and their ongoing interactions become an important interface for the organizing self.

    The right hemisphere contains “a unique response system preparing the organism to deal efficiently with external challenges,” and so its adaptive functions mediate the human stress response. It and not the “rational” left hemisphere, is centrally involved in in the vital functions that support survival and enable the organism to cope actively and passively with stress. The right brain contains a circuit of emotion regulation that is involved in “intense emotional-homeostatic processes,” and in the regulation of not only the biologically primitive positive emotions such as excitement and joy, but also negative emotions of terror, disgust, shame, hopeless despair and rage.

    In poorly evolved right-brain systems of PTSD vulnerable personalities even low intensity interpersonal stressors could activate unmodulated terrifying and painful bodily-based dysregulation experiences of the individuals early history that are imprinted into amygdala-hypothalamic limbic-autonomic circuits. According to Valent, early handling and mis-attunements may be deeply remembered physiologically in later life in the form of disconnected physiological responses , emotions, and acting out, a description that Van der Kolk’s assertion that “the body keeps the score.”

    Exerts from “Affect Dysregulation & Disorders of the Self” by Allan N Schore.

    Is the epidemic of mental illness in America (highest in the world) as much a product of cultural heritage as any other casual factor? Why the myopic focus on brain chemistry alone, and the denial of the body and its feedback signals to the brain, in these profound dis-ease states we label “mental illness?”

    In our essays and comments, how many of us are really aware of our internal arousal needs, as we “act out” the states of being we call life? Consider;

    “Human beings have been designed over millennia, through natural selection and social evolution, to live with and to move through extreme events and loss, and to process feelings of helplessness and terror, without becoming stuck or traumatized. When we experience difficult and particularly horrible sensations and feelings, our tendency, however, is to recoil and avoid them. Mentally, we split off or “dissociate” from these feelings.

    These survival energies are organized in the brain and specifically expressed as patterned states of muscular tension in readiness for action. However, when we are activated to this level and are prevented from completing that coarse of action- as in fighting or fleeing, then the system moves into freeze or collapse, and the energized tension actually remains stuck in the muscles.

    In turn, these unused or partially used, muscular tensions set up a stream of nerve impulses ascending the spinal cord to the thalamus (a central relay station for sensations) and then to other parts of the brain (particularly the amygdala), signaling the continued presence of danger and threat. Said simply, if our muscles and guts are set to respond to danger, then our mind will tell us that we have something to fear.

    Our minds will stay on overdrive, obsessively searching for causes in the past and dreading the future. We will stay tense and on guard, feeling fear, terror and helplessness because our bodies continue to signal danger to our brains. These red flags (coming from non-conscious parts of the brain) will not disappear until the body completes its coarse of action. This is how we are made, it is our biological nature, hardwired into brain and body.

    My approach to healing trauma rests broadly on the premise that people are primarily instinctual in nature – that we are, at our very core, human animals. It is this relationship to our animal nature that both makes us susceptible to trauma and, at the same time, promotes a robust capacity to rebound in the aftermath of threat, safely returning to equilibrium.

    More generally, I believe that to truly understand our body/mind, therapists must first learn about the animal body/mind because of the manner in which our nervous systems have evolved in an ever changing and challenging environment.

    However, there is an almost violent schism lurking in our cultural zeitgeist. Lets face it; the fight against evolution by the proponents of “creationism” and “intelligent design” is not really about professed gaps in the fossil records; its about whether or not we are basically animals.”

    Exerts from “In an Unspoken Voice” by Peter Levine PhD.

    Until we face the reality of “what we are” rather than suppress our own nature for the confused sake of social harmony, we will continue down the same old weary path of “the more things change, the more they ….”

    Please excuse my long winded response, we are all on the same side, just confused about how and why.

    • I agree that it is important to look at the various kinds of ways we as human beings (also a form of animal) respond to experience that go beyond the conceptual and rational. Including what happens in the body is very important.

      I might have one disagreement with you though. At one point you wrote “In poorly evolved right-brain systems of PTSD vulnerable personalities…..” I don’t believe that people who are more vulnerable to PTSD should be described as having “poorly evolved” brain systems. Rather, I think that a lot of research shows that people who are more vulnerable to stresses are often people who will do better than average if they are raised without being subject to such stresses. This whole concept is discussed sometimes using the terms “orchid children” versus “dandelion children.” So whether one or the other sort of brain is “better evolved” depends on what sort of environment one ends up in.

  4. “orchid children” and “dandelion children” The research and the writer.

    I think its important for lay people to really scrutinize the realities of science research and theory, beyond the tendency to idealize an educated priesthood and science research.

    Is the kind of research pointed to in this writers re-hash of attachment theory, in “orchid children” and “dandelion children,” about a need for empirical evidence and a deeper understanding of human evolution,? Or is it just as much about the survival needs of the researchers and the writer?

    How would I make a living as a research scientist? Come up with “interesting” theories to study which fit into a popular and palatable plausibility paradigm, which will ensure “funding.” How would I formulate an article as a writer, which will attract and hold peoples attention. Same easy popular and palatable plausibility paradigm, perhaps?

    So maybe I would write this;

    “A year after the intervention ended, the toddlers who’d received it had reduced their externalizing scores by more than 16 percent, while a nonintervention control group improved only about 10 percent (as expected, due to modest gains in self-control with age). And the mothers’ responses to their children became more positive and constructive.

    Few programs change parent-child dynamics so successfully. But gauging the efficacy of the intervention wasn’t the Leiden team’s only goal, or even its main one. The team was also testing a radical new hypothesis about how genes shape behavior—a hypothesis that stands to revise our view of not only mental illness and behavioral dysfunction but also human evolution.

    Having felt the black dog’s teeth a few times over the years, I’d considered many times having one of my own genes assayed—specifically, the serotonin-transporter gene, also called the SERT gene, or 5-HTTLPR. This gene helps regulate the processing of serotonin, a chemical messenger crucial to mood, among other things.”

    (the chemical imbalance theory and the easy, popular and palatable plausibility HOOK for my article?)

    I then go on about attachment behaviors in Rhesus monkeys without mentioning either Bowlby or Ainsworth and their classic observations of secure and insecure, attachment behaviors in human children.

    Why would I do that, if I’m really interested in children’s behavior and better interventions for so-called conditions like ADHD? Well I guess most stories as well as most theories, work by way of what they leave out of the picture, as much as what they paint into it?

    Compare the 6% net gain achieved using this ADHD intervention with the 80% gains recorded in individuals with such a previously considered intractable condition like Autism, from Stephen Porges Polyvagal Theory and “The Listening Project.”

    A real science intervention not based so much on subjective observations and “interesting” theory, although it does validate the psychologists observations about human interactions. http://www.sundhedspsykologi.org/artikler/The_polyvagal_theory.pdf

    The Polvgal Theory is cutting edge science which is as revolutionary as Darwin’s theory of evolution and provides the solid evidence which will in time might redeem psychiatry from its diseased medical model.

    Porges paradigm shifting breakthrough, in his discovery of a third branch to our auto nervous system, validates what all therapists know about the person centered approach. PRESSENCE, seems to be what works in the human centered approaches like “open dialogue,” yet until Porges breakthrough what we’ve lacked is the how and why of its “unconscious” healing process.

    Beneath the “rank & status” idolization of education and science research, other healing professions are using this paradigm shifting breakthrough to great effect, although you have to give up the “I think therefore I am” notion that being human is all about the brain and the mind, to reap the benefits of this return of the BODY in our evolving understanding of what it really means to be human.

    “Deception is the art of plausibility.” _ CIA, 1960’s.

    Alas, I had to learn the hard way just how much I’d deceived myself, in my quick fix need of easy plausibility, and how I’d swallowed the “chemical imbalance” theory, hook, line and sinker?

  5. I don’t know what to think anymore. I’ve been told since I was fifteen to take anti-psychotics as the only option. Though from the start I opposed it and wanted more validation or some healthier therapeutic way to deal with stress and fear. I think they were normal responses to traumatic childhood events. Over time it has gotten worse, meaning I feel completely invalidated in most aspects of life, and my anxiety is bad all the the time when I take the meds, but goes away when I skip them. I can’t have philosophical conversations with most of my immediate family. I can’t express opposing non-mainstream views, or live any sort of alternative life style. I can’t be passionate, liberal, different, quirky…basically I can’t be me anymore. I’m afraid to open up or express anything to my therapist or psychiatrist because it will be shut down. I feel like God is an existential delusion. I feel shut up inside, closed off, I can’t drive because the pills sedate me too much but no one understands this.

    I’m treated like I’m just normal, but not when I am analyzed to pieces by doctors. I had a theory that I had Aspergers, but when I got Aspergers on the DSM test my therapist said it cannot be diagnosed side by side schizoaffective. I’m starting to feel depressed but never was before. I never had symptoms of mood problems or depression, mostly I just asked for anti-depressants to counter act the anti-psychotics, so they added a mood component to my disorder. I’m feeling suicidal, wishy washy, confused, tired, bored, numb, apathetic. confused. Did I mention confused? No matter how much people condition or I try to condition myself, my body or something has always rejected the notion that I am mentally ill to this degree. My stomach is literally sick over it and I feel angry a lot of the time. Internalized anger. My creativity is gone. I can’t paint, etc.

    My happiness feels like it’s unattainable. I’m never accomplished, I can’t do anything. But they want me here. They want me to fit inside this box that i can’t fit in.

    SO I tell myself. He’s right, the meds help. The medication makes you normal. The medication is why you function so well in the world. The medication saved your life. The medication is what makes you safe. the medication is how you sleep at night. it kills the fear. the medication did all of this.

    But none of it was the medication, it was all me.

    • “I’m afraid to open up or express anything to my therapist or psychiatrist because it will be shut down.”

      You’ve expressed yourself here, quite well.

      Maybe you are confused, but not entirely: “can’t be passionate, liberal, different, quirky…basically I can’t be me anymore.”

      Well, that’s what “recovery” is; it’s when you feel like yourself – found – and not lost anymore.

      There *is* a social responsibility to respond, to each other, even here in this digital world.

      Would you say that a response is good for you?

      Would you say that no response does or doesn’t matter?

      I remember in counselings and therapies that “expression” was important. Encouraged.

      But what happens when we express ourselves and receive no response or feedback? How would any of these bloggers feel, and what would they think, if their posts got plenty of readers (audience), but not one comment?

      I think it would break them. I think it would “impact” them. I think it would stump and confuse them, or anyone!

      I notice that “thumbs up” is like a form of currency in the digital world. “Like my status if … ” and it’s important because it makes people feel good.

      “The doctor will see you now”

      Maybe you’re afraid to open up to your therapist or psychiatrist because in that vulnerable exposure, will they even see you? And if they do, will they value you – or not.

      http://youtu.be/pSUGyZ9P09A
      Link ID: 3 Libras Lyrics – A Perfect Circle

      Song Artist’s statement of meaning:

      “Up until the mid twentieth century the mountain gorilla was considered a myth. Oddly enough, a legend not unlike bigfoot or the loch ness monster. The chance of actually seeing/experiencing this elusive shadow was as likely as finding one’s soulmate.
      Rare.

      Precious.

      Even once discovered they seemed unapproachable. The only way to get close to this magnificent creature was to become empathetic. Abandon all pretense and preconceptions.

      To bare an open throat.
      To collapse into the arms of vulnerability.

      All but extinct, these beings/moments are threatened by the black hearted.

      The cold and oblivious.
      The empty eyed profit seekers that overlook these

      Rare

      Precious

      Moments.”

      Maybe you’re like the magnificent creature, just waiting to be seen. I wonder if you’re land, air or sea …

      I’ll reflect you back to yourself:

      “But none of it was the medication, it was all me.”

      you are normal
      you function so well in the world
      you saved your own life
      you keep yourself safe
      you sleep at night
      you kill the fear

      In closing, from the blog’s main entry:

      “The more we believe we should be a certain way inside, the more likely we are to find something wrong with ourselves, and then to try to “straighten it out,” often with chemicals, and usually to our own detriment. The alternative? Accepting that we are mysterious, and taking responsibility for learning to live with it, and with the other mysterious beings with whom we co-inhabit this planet.”

      I hope you enjoy some comfort and joy, real soon. *smiles*

    • Hi alone, it really sounds like you are struggling with how all the people around you have bought into the current myths of the mental health system. They think of the drugs as only likely to help, never hurt, your mental health, and they forget that you are able to come up with your own responses to your difficulties. Further, because you got into problems in the past, they now see anything “different” that you do or think as being part of an illness rather than something coming from you that may turn out to be good instead of bad.

      It’s also weird you were told you couldn’t fit a diagnosis of “Asperger’s” and one of “schizoaffective” at the same time. In fact some people fit both, and some people within the Human Givens approach think there is an extra-high potential for creative accomplishment in such people, if they can find a successful way to manage their minds and emotions!

      Anyway, I hope you keep on doing your own reading and thinking, and I especially hope you find a therapist and others who can show a real interest in what happened and what is happening with you.

  6. Juist stumbled upon thuis interferon article. Two remarks:

    The denial of red is the denial of mystery is just one of the manny dreamboat quotes in a Carson novel that you will know I suppose,

    John Keats pointed out in a letter that he compered life with entering chambers. In that the third chamber was the chamber of mystery. It’s a letter worth reading.

    Mystery is traditionally a place were poets and maybe young girls dwell.

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