Steps Forward: Integrative Mental Health is Gaining Ground

Emma Bragdon, PhD
31
1024

The downside of over-relying on psychiatric meds for treatment is that people limited to just using them for treatment are not getting better — more of them are on disability for mental health reasons, and increasing numbers are disempowered by the long-term effects of psychiatric medications.

Now we know we need to rethink psychiatry and our responses to madness — but what is the best name for the improved model of mental healthcare we are reaching for? We need both a model of care and a brand that empowers a change to optimal mental and physical health and uses the full spectrum of effective, evidence-based treatments.1

The term “Integrative Medicine” has been gaining ground in universities and healthcare centers which incorporate integrative therapies, e.g. Jefferson-Myrna Brind Center for Integrative Medicine is part of Thomas Jefferson University, and Duke Integrative Medicine is part of Duke University. New training is available, e.g. The Integrative Health and Healing specialty of the Doctor of Nursing Practice at the University of Minnesota prepares graduates to work with individuals, families, communities and health systems in developing integrative approaches to health promotion, disease prevention and chronic disease management.

The “integrative” model of care implies we assess and treat the whole body-mind-spirit as a unit within the social system, using an integrated systems response. The brand “integrative” also suggests we take the best of diagnostics and treatment protocols from all cultures and weave them together into an improved model of care. An example is “Open Dialogue,” a systems approach to psychotherapy developed in Finland. Practitioners from the USA have been trained and can now amplify the success of treatment for US families in which one person has symptoms of severe mental distress.

Gaining Traction

On September 18, 2017, a gift of 200 million US dollars was given to the University of California, Irvine, to create new buildings and new programs dedicated to forwarding the model of integrative healthcare. $55 million will go to create buildings, including one named the “College of Health Sciences.” The balance of $145 million will be dedicated to new educational programming, endowing 15 faculty chairs, subsidizing research in promising integrative modalities, and expanding the clinical facilities that offer integrative healthcare to patients.

Susan and Henry Samueli (left) were the sole donors who worked with the university to create the vision and commit to its manifestation. They perceive it as a powerful positive step toward changing the delivery of “medicine” across the nation.  Click for the press release.

Although “mental health” was not mentioned in the formal announcement, this large donation is bound to lead to more changes in both the training of psychiatrists as well as the delivery of mental healthcare at UC Irvine. The Samuelis had already funded an integrative clinic at UC Irvine in 2001, the Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine, which is part of UC Irvine Medical Center (acknowledged by US News and World Report as one of the best hospitals in the USA continuously for the last 17 years). At the Samueli Center, different kinds of practitioners currently coordinate in teams, making many approaches available to each unique patient, such as homeopathy, acupuncture, meditation, massage, nutritional counseling and epigenetic micronutrients to overcome genetic issues. Each of these alone or working together has led to improvements in mental as well as physical health.

Challenges to the Concept

There’s no question that the Samuelis’ gift could do a tremendous amount of good — $200 million will go far to jump UCI up into the front ranks of academic medical institutions. But its pedigree also will bring a lot of scrutiny into whether the university is maintaining its explicit commitment to scientific rigor.”

–Michael Hiltzik in the LA Times

Unfortunately, there are journalists and influential MDs who still believe anything that goes by the name of Integrative Medicine is just selling snake oil. In other words, nothing under that umbrella is scientific, the people who put faith in the model are being duped, and because the gold standard of research has not been sufficiently applied to all the methodologies — “integrative care” has no legs to stand on. John Weeks pointed to those taking this critical position regarding the integrative medicine movement in an article in the Huffington Post, clearly articulating their anti-science stance.

The Los Angeles Times gave voice to this point of view in an article by Michael Hiltzik about the Samueli donation and the changes to come at UC Irvine’s medical school that make it appear, to the author, that quackery is on the march and it’s only the lure of money that suffered UC Irvine to change its programming to please the Samuelis. The suggestion is that once the money is transferred, the University will come to its senses and return to a more realistic program.

Many elements are missing in his slamming integrative medicine. Here are three: First, dollars to subsidize research on integrative techniques have not previously been readily available — in large part because the government has preferred to subsidize research on psychiatric medication, not because of the inherent weakness of integrative methods. The quantity of gold-standard research is increasing because earlier research shows it works.  Secondly, recent meta-analyses of research articulating the problems with psychiatric medications2 3 demonstrate the fallibility of our current drug-based standard of care. (Perhaps we should consider that over-reliance on psych meds is a form of snake oil because it only treats symptoms and not root causes, and thus overlooks the real problem!) Thirdly, consumers are asking for integrative methods because they are finding them to be effective and have fewer side-effects than more mainstream medications.

As more money becomes available to fund more studies on integrative methodologies, and more excellent research is accomplished over time, the preceding critiques by journalists may well collapse.

Certainly, one of the greatest challenges to a more robust acceptance of the integrative model has been the difficulty in measuring the impact of subtle therapies like energy work. Subjective self-assessment of symptom reduction has been used, but more qualified studies are needed.

Finding Definition

How UC Irvine defines “integrative” medicine during its expansion will certainly impact how integrative healthcare is accepted as more mainstream. UCI’s recent press release says,  “It’s a philosophy that makes use of all therapeutic approaches, healthcare providers and disciplines to achieve optimal health and healing. Our integrative approach to healthcare is aimed at prevention and balance. Instead of reacting to symptoms as they occur, we seek to uncover the root causes of illnesses and disease before they negatively impact your life. Thus, integrative medicine:

  • Focuses on the whole person
  • Is informed by scientific evidence
  • Brings together conventional and alternative approaches in a coordinated way
  • Reaffirms the importance of the doctor-patient relationship”

In future, I hope they will add more of a focus on root causes to their definition of addressing care as well as prevention, as other integrative practitioners usually do (see below).

UC Irvine asserts they will be doing everything they can to undergird the integrative clinical work with research demonstrating its effectiveness. This sponsoring of research may be the most important step in forwarding integrative methodologies to professionals and academics.

Application to Psychiatry

When the integrative approach is applied to psychiatry and psychology one can find a whole new way of practicing as a healthcare provider and a whole new way of being treated as a patient, or “client.”

Self-proclaimed integrative psychiatrists, aka holistic psychiatrists, are trained in using psychiatric medications and certified by the appropriate authoritative boards as psychiatrists. In addition, each practitioner has also branched out and acquired training in other effective modalities as well. Integrative psychiatrists may specialize in such things as detoxing from heavy metals and allergies that may have caused mental imbalances, using micronutrients to overcome genetic anomalies associated with mental illnesses, or even making use of shamanic practices such as soul retrieval to nurture wellbeing. These are modalities they didn’t learn in medical school but relate to training they had independently. The patient of these psychiatrists is more apt to receive protocols tailored to their unique needs and philosophies. The close working relationship with the practitioner is valued as an important part of the therapeutic process. The practitioner is doing far more than just monitoring and dispersing medication, and may never even use psychiatric medications.

The research that has already been done showing the positive effects of integrative psychiatry rarely makes it into mainstream media and press. We don’t often hear about the positive impact of the mutually-respectful provider-client relationship practiced in integrative psychiatry. This kind of relationship empowers the client and leads to increasing self-determination. It is rarely seen in more conventional psychiatry. The success of integrative modalities such as mindfulness meditation and neurofeedback is rarely referred to even though functional MRIs and brain-imaging techniques have clearly revealed their effectiveness.

Integrative Psychiatry Coming of Age

Progress is being made to forward the integrative approach in psychiatry although currently there is no national or international certification for integrative psychiatrists.

The program that comes closest to providing that training is at the University of Arizona, under the direction of Andrew Weil, MD, a luminary in integrative medicine. Although Weil is not a specialist in psychiatry, the training he offers covers elements of mental health such as how to moderate anxiety and depression using integrative protocols. Some leaders in psychiatry have also trained and become certified by the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine (ABIHM). This reveals their dedication to an integrative model but is not specific to psychiatry.

The best program in integrative psychiatry that is available and specific to psychiatrists is Scott Shannon’s “Master Class.” Unfortunately, at this time, it occurs only once a year and only with a small group of under 20. Dr. Shannon’s class seeks to train psychiatrists in the “masterful application of the following elements:

  1. Skillful use of green pharmacy (natural remedies, including healing herbs)
  2. Ability to identify and treat physiologic root causes of mental health symptoms including gut health, inflammation, hormone imbalance, toxins, mitochondrial dysfunction, nutrient deficiencies, etc.
  3. Appreciation of the role of trauma and its treatment. Trauma is a toxin that poisons a person’s relationship with others. The health of the parasympathetic nervous system depends on the capacity for nourishing relationships.
  4. Facility with a palette of mind-body treatments
  5. Commitment to lifestyle change as a cornerstone of treatment including diet, exercise, stress reduction, and sleep hygiene.”

Dr. Shannon can offer Continuing Education Credit (CMEs) to psychiatrists via the University of Colorado Medical School so participants gain credit for taking the Master Class; however, they do not obtain a certification.

The American Psychiatric Association has a Caucus that is interested in Complementary and Integrative Psychiatry. It is led by an energetic visionary and highly-respected psychiatrist, Lila Massoumi, who fosters the growth of an integrative model of psychiatry. The Caucus’ webpage offers a directory of integrative psychiatrists for consumers seeking an integrative model of care. Dr. Massoumi is a contributing author to the newest textbook on Complementary & Integrative Treatments in Psychiatric Practice.4

All of the leaders above are breaking ground and ushering in a transition to new ways of practicing psychiatry and psychology that rely less uniformly on psychiatric medications. We can also find some echoes of this movement in select advocacy groups, like Mental Health America. They offer a guide to Complementary and Alternative Medicine5 with the suggestion that they can be very effective. Those of us seeking viable alternatives to the strictly pharmaceutical model of treatment can benefit from this movement to an integrative approach.

Educating the Public

I met Robert Whitaker in 2012 over our mutual interest in finding and writing about effective alternatives to the current standard of mental healthcare. At that time I was wondering, “How do US consumers get informed about optimizing mental health?  Are they aware of the integrative model?”

Typically we head to google to ask questions such as “What is psychosis?” “Am I depressed?” “How can I stop feeling anxious?” When you google these kinds of questions, you will see that most information sites aimed at answering these questions are sponsored by pharmaceutical companies and medical and consumer groups aligned with pharmaceuticals as the best standard of care. Almost all are limited to promoting the pharmaceutical approach.

I felt called to add to the conversation about improving mental healthcare by informing people about a more integrative approach. “Integrative Mental Health for You”, IMHU.org, an online learning platform, thus began in 2013. It is part of the Foundation of Energy Therapies, Inc. (FET) a not-for-profit organization dedicated to being a public service and also independent, i.e. free of special interests and lobbies. Fortunately, those looking for more information on integrative therapies now have several websites to turn to. Mad in America’s Continuing Education courses, for one, have added both depth and rigor to the online courses on components of an integrative approach.

Please join me in becoming an advocate of integrative mental health. Let’s not confuse it with complementary, holistic or alternative branding which might dilute its uniqueness.  Let’s reach out to appreciate the pioneering, qualified integrative practitioners in our communities. Let’s share information about the strengths of the integrative approach with others and lend our support to the expansion of this initiative. There is plenty of research to share about the effectiveness of the integrative approaches. (Craig Wagner’s Choices in Recovery6 is one new book that is very well referenced.) Let’s join together to come out of the collective hypnosis of the press and conventional psychiatry that continues to equate psychiatric medications with the best, or the only viable, treatment. Integrative psychiatry has gained a foothold and is gaining ground. The generous donation by the Samuelis and the vision of UC Irvine is certainly a giant step forward. Actions we take to advocate evidence-based integrative approaches will add more power to the brand as well as the movement.

*A special thank you to Craig Wagner for reading the first draft and making recommendations!

Show 6 footnotes

  1. Williams, P. Rethinking Madness, 2012.
  2.  Goetzsche, P. Deadly Medicines and Organized Crime: How Big Pharma Has  Corrupted Healthcare, 2013.
  3.  Whitaker, R. Anatomy of an Epidemic, 2011.
  4. Gerbarg, P (Author, Editor), Muskin, PR (Editor), Brown, RP (Editor). Complementary & Integrative Treatments in Psychiatric Practice, 2017.
  5.  Mental Health America, Complementary & Alternative Medicine for Mental Health, 2013.
  6.  Wagner, C. Choices in Recovery, 2016

Support MIA

MIA relies on the support of its readers to exist. Please consider a donation to help us provide news, essays, podcasts and continuing education courses that explore alternatives to the current paradigm of psychiatric care. Your tax-deductible donation will help build a community devoted to creating such change.

$
Select Payment Method
Personal Info

Credit Card Info
This is a secure SSL encrypted payment.

Billing Details

Donation Total: $20

31 COMMENTS

  1. A big problem is demonstrated by your first paragraph. Once doctors have destroyed people’s physical health through “mental health” treatment, you’ve got this “integrative care” to further blur the issue. I wouldn’t quite equate the selling of toxic substances with the selling of snake oil.

    Significantly the APA, in some of its annual conventions, has been talking the same way, about this “integrative care”. Same problem, you destroy people’s physical health, and then come up with this gobbledygook. We’d be better off not destroying people’s physical health in the first place.

    Thomas Szasz called “mental illness” a myth. If “mental illness” is a myth, a metaphor, a figure of speech, then so is “mental health”. This “bio-psycho-social”, and, by extension, mind body spirit thing is confusing all sorts of issues. If we are going to exonerate the culprits, what better way than to obscure the issues, deepening their deception with ever more excuses.

    It would be wrong for a doctor to encourage cigarette smoking. Okay. “Mental health treatment” is wrong for the same reason. That treatment is mostly a matter of behavioral control through psychiatric drugs. “Integrative care” is not going to end the practice of drugging patients. “Integrative care” is going to encourage it, because then, once they’ve affected physical health in a negative fashion, they can “treat” mind and spirit.

    You want good health? Scratch “integrative care” and all confusion of the issues. Get rid of the “mental health” destroy physical health movement. “First, do no harm!” There’s good health for you.

    • I tend to agree. “Integrative mental health” gives credence both to the DSM and to the concept that psych drugs are a legitimate “medical intervention,” which they are not, at least beyond acute/emergency care. While “integrative medicine” is an improvement over the allopathic-only standard we’re all used to, it still privileges MDs, drugs and surgery as the “real” interventions, and is mostly an attempt to coopt alternatives into the Big Healthcare machinery. This is bad enough for physical heathcare, but when we go to “mental health,” it is an outright disaster. “Integrative mental health” is a way for psychiatry to maintain its dominance and avoid any real accountability for its dishonesty and the harm it continues to do.

      • I would tend to agree with you, Steve about integrative medicine “privileging” MDs and drugs. However, I looked up Susan Samueli’s background and was gratified to see this:
        “She developed an active consulting practice in the areas of nutrition, homeopathy, and Chinese herbs and subsequently received a PhD in nutrition from the American Holistic College of Nutrition in 1993 and a Diploma in Homeopathy from the British Institute of Homeopathy in 1994.”

        Homeopathy is supposedly one of the two most controversial subjects on Wikipedia https://www.huffingtonpost.com/dana-ullman/dysfunction-at-wikipedia-_b_5924226.html My experience with what homeopathy can offer when it comes to mental “illness” has been most encouraging.

        • I honestly have no beef with Susan or her efforts. I’m simply commenting on how this kind of intervention seems to go, based on too many years of watching “promising new treatments” become marginalized by this process. It is very encouraging to see homeopathy, naturopathy, chiropractic, acupuncture, etc. reach some kind of mainstream acceptance. But the MDs and their drug company allies are still in charge and will make sure they stay that way, and that’s the real issue I think is not dealt with by this approach. I know you agree with me there, but I just wanted to clarify that point.

        • I have seen moments where acute use of psych drugs have brought a completely incoherent person into a state where communication was possible within 20 minutes. I think that’s good medicine. But it’s kind of like pain relievers. A person comes in with a broken leg, you use opioids to help bring the pain under control. THEN YOU MEND HIS LEG! You don’t prescribe opioids for life because he has “excessive leg pain disorder!”

          • ^^^^^^ “I have seen moments where acute use of psych drugs have brought a completely incoherent person into a state where communication was possible within 20 minutes. I think that’s good medicine.”

            So you look at someone who is incoherent as having some sort of a problem which needs to be fixed?

            You are simply taking advantage of the fact that said person is not in a position to be able to defend themselves, and then assaulting them with a chemical which in some way suppresses whatever they are experiencing.

            That’s horrible, and I hope people recognize it as a medical assaultive.

          • I’m glad some have benefited that way Steve. Unfortunately they injected me with a megadose of Haldol that made me truly psychotic and spastic with daily seizures. I was already feeling weird from 3 weeks without sleep on an anafranil trip. Haldol made it 10 times worse. Instead of saying, “Gee, the Haldol doesn’t seem to help. Let’s try something else,” they told me to get used to taking these horror-inducing pills till I died and gave me some cogentin.

          • The drug they used is called Inapsine. It is very fast acting, and as a result, you can see if it works in 20-30 minutes, and it’s out of the system in several hours. It is (or was) used mostly in ERs for acute cases, often people on meth overdoses. It could certainly be used coercively, but it seemed to be very helpful as a temporary intervention in a crisis situation. Got some people quickly to a place where informed consent became possible, at which point, any perceived coerciveness could be dispensed with completely.

      • ^^^^^ Still based on the idea that the patient has some sort of defect, needs the doctor to correct it, and at core the problem is one of refusal to submit to injustice without complaint.

        People need to learn to stand up to the mental health system and the recovery movement, recognizing it as the lethal threat which it is. It preys upon those who are already the most compliant.

  2. “Integrative Mental Health”?

    And money going into new buildings at UC Irvine? Does that have anything to do with Rick Warren and the Saddle Back Church and his mental health ministry?

    This is all a huge step backwards, further propagating the idea of mental health, and therapy, and recovery.

    We should be fighting back on all fronts, and eliminating licensed psychiatry and psychotherapy, and looking for ways to incarcerate the practitioners. And of course we should eliminate those drugs.

    Psychotherapy and the mental health system:
    http://www.antbusters.com/images/American_Roach_-_4.jpg

  3. Lets find out the details of this $200 Meg new building, like is there any connection to Rick and Kay Warren, trying to use the suicide death of their son Matthew to further evangelize. Then organize an opposition campaign. It is hard to picket university campuses, because they are not fully open to the public. But picketing at the gates and identifying the people behind this will be very effective.

  4. Susan and Henry Samueli, sole donors, $200 Meg?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Samueli

    http://www.samueli.org/about-us/leadership-staff/

    http://www.samueli.org/funding-priorities/integrative-health/

    http://drwaynejonas.com/

    https://www.forbes.com/profile/henry-samueli/

    Samueli looks suspect to me, like Gates and the Walton’s, supporting stuff which looks like the charter schools movement.

    I believe there is going to be some connection to this. I have seen that in their videos they draw upon UC Irvine people.
    http://hope4mentalhealth.com/

    http://saddleback.com/watch/media/what-is-a-saddleback
    “Second Chance Grace Place”, meaning that you screwed up already.
    “Everyone needs Recovery”, this is the new Original Sin.

    Evangelical Christianity merging with the Recovery Movement, this should be really scaring people.

    And then, http://hope4mentalhealth.com/

    Expanding further to the mental health arena. People should be fighting back by all available means.

    Henry Samueli and Rick Warren are both extremely prominent in Orange County:

    https://www.pressreader.com/usa/los-angeles-times/20090308/282995395781868

    A message from Aaron Kheriaty, MD — Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Director of Medical Ethics Program, University of California, Irvine
    http://hope4mentalhealth.com/watch/media/small-group-mentoring-model?categoryId=1

    The Gathering on Mental Health and the Church
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0Ysnb2o85I

    So it appears that often Integrative Mental Health seems to mean Religious Mental Health, or Mental Health Religion.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRCuOTyP34g

    WE MUST ORGANIZE TO EDUCATE PEOPLE AND TO HELP THEM DEFEND THEMSELVES!

  5. This reads like ad copy!

    When it comes to psych drug withdrawal, I have seen as many people harmed by “integrative approaches” – like rapid detoxing, use of “herbs” and “natural supplements” that agitate serotonin (tryptophan, St. John’s Wort, 5HtP). As many harmed as helped, in my reckoning. (I use “natural medicine” but I only consult with my practitioners to make my own choices – but not everybody can do the level of research that I do)

    But – I guess 50/50 is a lot better than Psychiatry’s record. I agree with all here that as long as you’re using DSM you’re causing harm. If they can provide safe, drug free places to be extreme, that would be good. In fact, that’s my BASIC CRITERION for a good “integrative mental health centre.” Safe drug free space for emergencies.

    I seem to recall that the NHS in Britain and places in Europe went this way – and it resulted in tighter regulation of supplements (some of this is good, some of it is just plain stupid, like the way Australia has “practitioner only” herbs and supplements, because they are “too strong” for the general public to handle, when they are non-toxic – especially compared to the drugs they hand out like lollies). Eventually, Britain and Europe found that the health system was being rorted by homeopathy and other “edgewise” practices, and stopped paying for them.

    I see Emma’s comment on flower essence as a first go-to in Cuba. That’s interesting, and difficult to run trials on, as, like homeopathy, the formulas are very individual. N=1 doesn’t make for a good study. Australian flower essences are very interesting – but also very subtle. Someone in a full crash emergency might find them “nice” – like eating a good meal is nice – but not a solution. If you could help 30% of people with these, and prevent drugging – that’s a start.

    Since 30% get better within a few months of their event with no intervention, however, I’d be hoping that the numbers of people kept out of “the system” could be higher.

    But – egads – God reached out and “saved me from schizophrenia?” Oh dear.

    Additionally – who pays for this? Is this a free clinic for the poor and downtrodden? Or is this a pay-for clinic for the rich and famous? Or – after reading a few links – is this just a “Clinic for Spreading the Gospel?”

    • I am very sick now. Physically, not mentally. I recovered by disobeying my shrink and weaning myself off psych drugs.

      I daresay there are many like me who are truly sick and disabled from decades on drugs. I have a good friend who is still “compliant.” At least as sick and tired as me and her mind is going though she used to have an IQ close to 140. I guess I escaped just in time.

  6. “integrative approaches” just means that they are going to go even further in taking over your life, because that way they can make a more convincing case that you are the one who is at fault.

    We need to stop Healing and Recovering, and start politically organizing and fighting back.

    And how much is Rick Warren and his ‘Hope For Mental Health’ ministry entwined in this? I suspect that it is hugely so. 20,000 local congregation, and then these workshop kits for other churches, all designed to make people believe in ~~Mental Illness~~, and that they need to run to Warren, and to his idol, for protection.

    Right here, the first seriously suspect thing I have found about Henry Samueli. He is involved in
    https://thinktogether.org/

    Encountered this before. Their idea seems to be that low income and minority children are a social hygiene menace, but they can be saved. So it supports the themes which underlie schools privatization. If some of these children can be saved, then that further shows that the rest of these populations have no one to blame but themselves. Seems designed to support Social Darwinism, Racism, and Eugenics.

    It sounds similar to the Nazi Germanization program, where some Jewish children were transformed into Aryans and adopted. It was an offshoot of Lebensborn.

    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-quot-lebensborn-quot-program


    Ultimately, one of the most horrible sides of the Lebensborn policy was the kidnapping of children “racially good” in the eastern occupied countries after 1939. Some of these children were was orphans, but it is well documented that many were stolen from their parents’ arms. These kidnappings were organized by the SS in order to take children by force who matched the Nazis’ racial criteria (blond hair and blue or green eyes). Thousands of children were transferred to the Lebensborn centers in order to be “Germanized.” Up to 100,000 children may have been stolen from Poland alone.

    One of the main people behind Think Together is Irvine Co CEO Donald Bren, the richest and most powerful man in Southern California, according to the LA times. Think Together seems to be trying to prove that low income and minority children need to be culturally rescued.

    Samueli’s parents survived the holocaust in Poland. If we had been organized, it should have been possible to avert this $200 Meg new building. It should have been possible to talk sense into them, even if that meant trying to work through Jewish organizations and to put pressure on them.

    And though we can’t protest on the UCI campus, we could protest at its gates and actually reach far more people. We could convince UC that each new patient is likely to result in one more plaintiff.

  7. This whole thing seems counterproductive. If psychiatrists forced us to chain smoke 5 packs of cigarettes daily to treat SMIs (Too bad Big Tobacco never thought of this and teamed up with Psychiatry and Big Pharma!) and encouraged us to take Vitamin C it would make as much sense.

    I had been reading how dangerous psych drugs were and how they did not target parts of the brain gone berzerk as I had been told they did. During this time I attended Day Treatment. A well-meaning but clueless case worker told us to take good care of our health, exercise, eat right, sleep enough, and keep taking our “meds.” I thought, So much for taking care of our health! Not out loud of course.

    • FeelingDiscourage wrote, “suffer horribly ”

      People have to feel their pain. There is no alternative to that.

      That there is some way to escape is a bogus concept. Its the main reason that Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and the Recovery Movement can be lethal.

      And then people use psychmeds, street drugs, and alcohol to escape. Also extremely harmful.

      People must face their pain. That pain is their primary compass and their connection to the world and to lived experience. Pain, and anger, are what should drive us to good. But these are also where Psychotherapy, Religion, and the Recovery Movement attack.

      That you can live without facing your pain is a ridiculous delusion. But it is one that keeps people using the chemicals, the therapy, and the religion.