Comments by Monica Cassani

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  • actually since you’re into recommending books you might actually take a look at the one I mentioned above…it’s very well done and by an academic…I’ve actually corresponded with the author since the writing of this piece and he agreed with my critique as well…someday people will include psych survivors in the list of people most oppressed and at least he acknowledged it even if he didn’t include it explicitly in the book. Anyway, it might appease your clearly academic interest in these things.

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  • “mindfulness is not dangerous or risky IF it is properly understood in terms of what exactly it is,”

    this kind of attitude is blame the doer , meditator (patient) too…WE must be doing it wrong. Bullshit. That’s how systems keep on harming the most vulnerable…over and over again. Every human being has agency and knows what they should be doing and how. Healing is getting in that groove and learning to do it the way that makes most sense to us. We discover ourselves and no one else.

    ” … and how it can benefit different people in different ways.”

    and yes, some people should SKIP it … that’s the whole point, we’re all different

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  • you sound like a new age ad. complexity is the ugly and the wonderful…folks who are hurting need to be met where they are. this article is written for a very particular audience. going around talking gleefully about the wonderful when people are in acute pain (most of the folks I work with) is simply out of touch. I’m not arguing with what you’re saying…I’m saying that my focus is different and it’s appropriate for who I’m working with and (more importantly) for those professionals that might be working with them. People really do get harmed by those teaching mindfulness all the time. … time and place is very important. My work spans the scope of it all…lots of stuff on neuroplasticity etc…AND people still don’t make it and die and crash and burn if they’re not aware of the stuff I focused on here…and we get hurt by people who only talk about the “potential” of humanity…one must know when and where. Always.

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  • thanks for your comments! The article says explicitly more than once that this is a 24/7 deal for me…and that sitting meditation isn’t even necessary and sometimes counter-productive. My favorite mindfulness practice at the moment is ecstatic dance. I’m with you…and yeah, when I walk too…for me now it’s all the time. Eating is another great time to practice…one learns so much about food and the body that way.

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  • this argument is a silly distraction–it’s true the planet will survive but humanity is bringing about mass extinction by nature of its behavior on said planet – the crisis you speak of can be averted and altered by coming to consciousness as a species…throwing in the towel because this has happened six times is a choice you can make as well. It’s not one I’m willing to make. …planet will survive…”lower” life forms will survive… I’m with anyone who hopes to help humanity and other species to also survive and thrive all of us together.

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  • Sorry you found the article distressing. I’m playing with language and it’s certainly not everyone’s cup of tea. I hope you find something you can share with others since, we do, clearly agree the topic is important. It’s nice if we can appreciate that we all carry our message in different ways to reach different people…that’s what makes human beings wonderful…we’re all different! …and there are, indeed, other people who speak to this issue in different ways. I’m not the first to speak about language in mental health and how it’s highly problematic. I’m sorry I can’t think of anyone to recommend offhand. Goodluck.

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  • You may want to check out the work of Gabor Mate…all those who abuse drugs have trauma histories as far as he’s concerned and he makes a very compelling argument. Having also worked with those with substance abuse issues most of my career I’m in complete agreement with him. People do not display addictive behaviors if they don’t have a history that includes emotional pain/trauma.

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  • I hear you humanbeing. And I feel ya too. I’m sorry you’ve dealt with such trauma. and I agree some comments and this article are pretty disturbing…

    still, we need to stay clear about facts to be as credible as possible. denying the lived experience of folks who have found marijuana to be a horribly traumatizing and destructive experience isn’t a good idea in my opinion.

    Read my comment below…you might get a kick out of it.

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  • I think alcohol is one of the most destructive and useless drugs there is. There is little to no medicinal value for example. Marijuana and cannabis have huge medicinal value…so, of course, these questions are legitimate and yes to questions 1 thru 4.

    Alcohol is a brain deadening substance and marijuana is a brain enlivening substance…it brings consciousness to people while alcohol removes consciousness…so I think that’s why alcohol is embraced. It doesn’t threaten the status quo like cannabis does.

    that psychosis is the result of the altered state that marijuana creates on occasion isn’t actually bad in and of itself…what is bad is that there are so few people who know how to help people through such potentially deeply healing crisis. (chew on that everyone!)

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  • no, it’s not bullshit and there is lots of documentation about marijuana (thc) triggering psychosis. I’m very familiar with the phenomena via the work I’ve done with clients for several decades now as well as knowing friends who’ve been impacted that way. I remain very open to appropriate use of cannabis (both thc and cbd) but to claim it doesn’t cause psychosis in some individuals is simply wrong and doesn’t help anyone’s credibility. The real risks involved need to be acknowledged if there is any hope for appropriate and safe usage for those who can benefit. CBD actually calms psychosis in many individuals and can help heal the nervous system….it need not be taken forever. That’s what is nice about herbs…they actually work with the body to heal it…but most people take both CBD and THC the way western medicine has made them think about substances…forever. Which truly isn’t the way any healing herbal medicine should be used in most cases.

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  • this appears to be a very poorly researched article. there is quite a lot of study looking at how CBD and THC interact and how they are each medicinal and when.

    I’ve spent time in CBD groups on facebook and the results for quite a lot of brain injured and neurologically damaged folk is pretty phenomenal some of the time. there is lots of evidence to it’s being very supportive to the nervous system….

    no attempt to speak how THC and CBD differ is also pretty irresponsible and suggests a complete lack of knowledge about how these substances are being used.

    in states where THC is not legal CBD is gaining ground and it certainly comes in all sorts of dosages…

    this article made very little sense to me in terms of what I’ve learned and experience among folks who use cannabis products.

    in the end these products are herbals. like all things they are not appropriate for everyone all the time but they are, at least some of the time, also saving lives. … most notably children with severe epilepsy respond very well to CBD…

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  • I’m sensitive to EMF and need to be really careful about wi-fi, phones etc. I cannot use a smart phone at all. We went back to wires for computers and don’t have cordless phones etc in our home. Made a huge difference. There are a lot of things in our environments that sensitive folks have problems with. It’s an issue of over-stimulation and it affects folks anywhere on the spectrum and also a lot of people who are drug injured by psych meds and others who deal with sensitivities associated with various chronic illnesses and autoimmune issues etc. One can develop better tolerance over time by healing issues with the body I’ve found but it’s still something some of us need to be very careful about.

    Another author here on mad in america named drug damage that acts like autism “pseudo-autism” — I noted a long time ago now that I have a lot in common with autistic folks too. Sensitivities get manifested in a lot of different ways these day.

    See: When Modern Medicine Made Me More Autistic – Mad In America


    “Pseudo-Autism” as a result of psych drug injury (another consideration in protracted withdrawal syndrome from psych meds) – Everything Matters: Beyond Meds

    Anyway, back to EMF’s not just the screens that are a problem…when I shifted to a non-attached keyboard (stopped using the keyboard that came with my laptop) … that helped me so immensely it blew my mind. I am by no means alone in this…I know lots of folks impacted like this.

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  • wow, yes, I understand all that you’re talking about. I have benefited hugely from having my mercury amalgams out as well, though I’m still involved in a very intense detox process of not just mercury but other heavy metals and fluoride and infectious bacteria, yeast and viruses from the gut etc. Metals and bad bacteria etc hang out and make matrixes (biofilms) and then it’s hard to eradicate them…but yeah, those are all things that make hypersensitivity issues worse. I don’t get too explicit about it in these circles because most people simply don’t believe it or seem ready to consider it either. I do refer to my detox process quite often on my website and have shared one or two articles touching on biofilms even here on Mad in America. Unfortunately most people do not understand how the health of our bodies impact our minds and how our environments are truly toxic especially to us sensitive folks. Thank you very much for sharing your experience Fred.

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  • you two sound like you have what is sometimes called a sacred marriage…one that challenges you both to the hilt that you may heal and grow. you both are lucky to have stuck it out and learned…and of course you’ve both lived through hell because of what your wife had to heal…my spouse too, has been extraordinarily supportive in a situation that was nothing less than hell for a long time. thank you for sharing.

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  • thanks CatNight. those are all good suggestions and you raise some important questions.
    As to the question: How can we do this better? — that underlies all the work that I do. Part of what I do is education in the hope that we will, as a community, learn and start to practice doing this better. I’ve seen some positive changes in the 10 years I’ve been doing this…we have a very long way to go.

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  • hi Brett,
    no this was not a response to anything on this site. it actually arose as a result of my last encounter with a (radically) alternative practitioner in which the same sort of stuff played out. … I did confront her and spoke very much like I did in this piece…I told her we were involved in a dance…neither of us was to blame exactly but perhaps we could learn from it…she was somewhat defensive but she did acknowledge a lack of experience…it went far better than it would have with someone in the system…that’s for sure. It felt like she was willing to learn from me.

    but to answer your question about mental health professionals perpetrating here as they do in the system…YES…I’ve seen them perpetrate all over the place and critical psych circles are sometimes the worst, because, frankly, when you have some expectation that someone is a ally and then they are energetically just as toxic as anyone in the system, it hurts in a whole new way…and it does happen a lot in my experience.

    I’ve experienced it a lot among the critical psych circle of professionals I participate in. As a survivor with professional experience I have spent a lot of time with a lot of critical psych professionals in virtual spaces…it’s not a comforting thing for me…and in fact I don’t do it so much anymore…it got to be too painful and felt like bashing my head against the wall too often. I like to take care of myself and I’m still healing. I don’t need the constant angst…though, clearly I cannot stop doing this work either… 🙂

    and again…I want to reiterate there are good, wonderful people who get it everywhere too…and I always am willing to help people get there too…if they’re willing to honestly dialogue.

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  • there are wonderful people in the world…some of them are even in the system…I know some very good people offering sanity in the midst of that chaos…

    on a side note…the two people “professionals” I’ve found most profoundly healing for myself are a massage therapist and a cranial sacral therapist…neither one of them have any conventional psychology training…I’m sure that’s one of the reasons they’re so good…but I also know and have met lovely people who do have that background…friends and colleagues mostly…not anyone I’ve worked with as a client.

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  • yeah, it’s pretty nuts to expect anyone to just completely trust random strangers the way the system expects people to…it’s counter to any reasonable self-care in fact…by nature we know very well who we can trust or not…we are intuitive beings but our conditioning has destroyed this capacity…the system encourages people to continue to ignore their insights and intuitions. the entire system is a house of cards — built on top of a mountain of bullshit.

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  • I felt like sharing another thought I had on this. A professional who saw this article on social media took issue with what I said yesterday. Today I was thinking about that and I ended up tweeting my thoughts. Here they are strung together in a paragraph:

    when you bring light to oppressive behavior it’s always those guilty of it that are triggered by it and who get all bent out of shape…. hence mental health professionals who perpetrate against the most vulnerable get pissed off – just like white people claiming they’re never racist. And to be clear, I know I’m racist…as a privileged white person in institutionalized white supremacy it’s impossible not to be… Same is true of mental health professionals who claim system isn’t inherently violent – if you don’t see it, you’re in deeper than those who do…

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  • glad to hear the work has been helpful to you. we all rely on one another (I did too) since professionals (of all kinds, including alternative folks and folks critical of psychiatry) basically know nothing at all about what we actually go through once our autonomic nervous systems are shattered.

    that is, of course, a generalization but it’s largely accurate and many of us never find a professional that is helpful to us. This is a travesty and a large part of why I continue to do this work. This dearth of help for us must change.

    My best to you on your continued efforts.

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  • if anyone is interested I did a short little post at beyond meds…it deserves much more but I don’t have the energy to put into it now. I have been noticing similarities with autism for many years…so have some of my friends. of note is one man who works with autistic folks and has this same psych drug injury manifested much like mine.

    the article at Beyond Meds:
    “Pseudo-Autism” as a result of psych drug injury (another consideration in protracted withdrawal syndrome from psych meds)

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  • oh wow, I love this. Pseudo-Autism…I noticed a long time ago in my recovery process from psych drug injury that I had much in common with folks who identify with the autistic label. I always had some manner of these issues but the drug damage put them on steroids, and yeah, added some heinous qualities to the picture. I have to say that while they are indeed challenging and awful at times there are many gifts and I continue to heal from the heinous aspects of it all.

    And yes, gut and microbiome issues are central to that picture. For me early over-use of antibiotics also played a large part as well as later multiple infections.

    Thank you so much for expressing this variant and injury from your experience. I find it very helpful and validating too.

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  • Just came upon this quote…this is what self-healing is about…it’s truly outside everything we’ve learned within this “cultural operating system.”

    from Terrence McKenna,

    “You are not naked when you take off your clothes. You still wear your religious assumptions, your prejudices, your fears, your illusions, your delusions.

    When you shed the cultural operating system, then, essentially you stand naked before the inspection of your own psyche…

    and it’s from that position, a position outside the cultural operating system, that we can begin to ask real questions about what does it mean to be human, what kind of circumstance are we caught in, and what kind of structures, if any, can we put in place to assuage the plan and accentuate the glory and the wonder that lurks, waiting for us, in this very narrow slice of time between the birth canal and the yawning grave.”

    -Terence McKenna

    yes, from that place too we can ask, “what do I need to do to heal?”

    so, yeah…it’s also a conundrum as to how people get there…good “healers” are folks who help you find that place…that’s why the presenting symptoms aren’t necessarily (though they might sometimes be) significant.

    also…no one with psych drug damage doesn’t have severe issues with sleeping…I don’t sleep like a “normal” person anymore…that’s for sure…but I go with what my body is doing and that’s okay. It’s truly a shift in perspective and paradigm.

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  • with the kind of healing we’re talking about presenting symptoms aren’t really the issue…so part of this is also making a leap…probably a leap of faith when it doesn’t make any sense…

    also, everyone’s trip is truly different…I have all sorts of “symptoms” … I don’t think in those terms anymore, however…so it’s not something I explicitly talk about all that much anymore…

    I still can’t make long term plans or commitments (even into next week, or quite often tomorrow)…why? because my body demands I do stuff to continue healing…the “symptoms” are all healing movements…it doesn’t make sense to concentrate on them beyond in the immediate moment because often the body is telling me what is next on the healing agenda…

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  • I would also go as far as to say I gave up my *self* in order to heal…surrendering is a total thing…and that is, in the end, a process too…and like you said above…everyone gets there in their own way…

    there is no right or wrong…truly…we do as we do…we watch and learn…that’s the best any of us can do.

    love to everyone here…thank you so much for this conversation.

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  • no one relies totally on themselves…we read and get data somehow…our bodies interact with our environment and gets information etc…if it be only the food we put in our bodies (food carries consciousness, too)…we are intimately connected to all things and nothing can be done in a vacuum.

    that said, I no longer seek professionals at all…of any stripe…I do stay open to whatever arises, always, however…for that is how life-force speaks to us…through all things in every moment.

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  • hear hear to intuition!! it’s amazing what the body knows when we listen…this is the source of all the mind-blowing stuff I’ve learned (and yeah, Rebel, you’re right about something you brought up earlier…this is our inheritance…it’s what we’re SUPPOSED to be…if we hadn’t had our core-selves conditioned out of us from the moment we’re born…and in this way we come out ahead of pretty much everyone in society…”normal” is a highly conditioned and unconscious state of being!)

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  • Fiachra,
    I hope you find ways to heal even with whatever it is that still plagues you…healing is not always about everything working as it once did. That is also true. My best to you that you find ways to ease the suffering you still face daily. I too have many issues I am still learning to work with and further transform…

    I also have capacities I never had before…that I am grateful for…of course it’s come at a great cost and it’s devastating to me daily to feel into the destruction that is happening everyday among us.

    I wish I knew how to help everyone. None of us know how to do that…

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  • there are many outcomes for everything always…he’s pretty unequivocal about it causing permanent damage most of the time and I can’t imagine anyone hearing that in the throes of the aftermath of a nasty withdrawal believing that it will be completely hopeless and futile to even try to get better…all of us feel that way in any case…to be told that we will be permanently injured in such a state may very well be a death sentence. I am serious about that. It’s a reckless thing to say given it’s simply not true across the board. people need to KNOW they can get better.

    I was bedridden and nonverbal and had over 50 symptoms EACH OF WHICH would have been disabling all on it’s own for a couple of years. I was homebound for about 5…I’m not some ridiculous pollyanna….i have lived through years of one of the worst tortuous hells a human being can live through. I’ve helped 1000s of people get better in the time I’ve been doing this work and healing myself. I didn’t do that by telling people they would have permanent brain damage.

    I speak explicitly about it being a brain injury but I have come to witness neuroplasticity in action far too many times…with multiple miraculous healings (my own included) to think that generalizing about permanent damage is anything other than reckless and frankly, ignorant. Though if you tell people in your care that they won’t get better I bet you’re not going to see much improvement among the people you’re supposedly trying to help.

    I also have never claimed to have a crystal ball and shit happens…people die coming off these neurotoxic poisons…I do not sugar coat anything and yet, I know and have seen many transformative healings…holding many possible outcomes and thus the present experience of the people we are serving is very important. People come through this and get healthy. That I know. It helps if we believe we can do it. It actually may be necessary to believe we can do it. That doesn’t also mean that some people may not…it’s simply not a reasonable generalization to talk about permanent damage being the norm.

    Oh…and I was on the drugs for 25 years…a monstrous cocktail of ALL the classes of psych drugs at higher than what is considered maximum therapeutic doses. So yeah…I’m your worst case scenario…in the above article…and yeah, my outcome was also pretty worst case scenario for some time…and I’ve found healing that blows my mind daily… everyday, my mind is blown away by what amazing healing machines we are. Amazing creatures of nature…part and parcel of all that is around us.

    And Rebel, PTSD, from forced treatment is also part of my history…that can also be transformed…it’s not an easy thing to do and I’m sorry that you too have been subject to such violence. PTSD from being heinously sick continues to be slowly transformed for me as well…once the trajectory is obvious there is some joy in the process even while some issues remain. Post Traumatic Growth really does happen…it’s really possible. I’m sorry so many people don’t have circumstances that seem to allow for such things to happen and that is why I continue this work that more people might have the resources and environments required to get healthy. Resources include everything internal within us as well as external … we need profound supports and that is largely what is lacking.

    and YES we are the only authorities on us! and that part is clearly something that is part of your process…so I say, you’re doing it right…we do, certainly, all have our own paths. And so your experience is absolutely just as valid as mine and everyone else’s going through life…

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  • I too find this repeated talk about permanent brain injury to be extremely unfortunate as well as irresponsible. It’s clear to me that many of us not only heal but transform into something healthier and more whole than we ever were before psych drugs. Forget recovery…there can be much more, much better than whatever we were before psychiatry. Please stop stripping people from having hope…you are listened to and people trust what you say. This is a destructive narrative you’re putting out there. Things are plenty bad without adding that as icing on the cake from hell. When you say people cannot get well it’s yet another injurious story…like we when we were told we had to be on drugs for the rest of our lives. That, too, was a lie.

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  • my experience with auto-immune disorders is that it’s the body screaming to get attention because of all the toxic assaults (physical, environmental, social and psychological, pharmaceutical etc etc…all really) it’s had to put up with for decades…as I listen to it’s deep wisdom I not only heal the iatrogenic damage, but the auto-immune issues, too are diminishing. I agree with Kelly. The body doesn’t make mistakes…we just don’t listen to it far too often and it will get sick when we don’t.

    To be clear: we don’t learn to listen because we are actually taught to IGNORE the body. When we learn to listen to the body once again we find that we can come into alignment with all of life in ways I sure as hell had no idea even existed until I was forced to start paying attention (once I was bedridden so sick I couldn’t move or speak)

    Once we listen we learn that the body has wisdom that far exceeds anything we learn intellectually. Incredible healing wisdom….learning to listen is key. And yes, Kelly, suggests some ways to start doing that.

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  • To refer to SSRIs as essentially no better than placebo is misleading because while it’s technically true in clinical trials or in the ways they’re referring to in such analysis as the above article — SSRIs are also very different than placebos…they are NOT inert…they are very active and they make EVERYONE feel differently (one way or another).

    People who are very depressed like to feel differently. Different can sometimes feel better even if only for a while..those folks who like it turn that difference into a “positive” placebo. Sometimes different feels much better and sometimes different feels really bad and even dangerous (think homicidal and suicidal–SSRIs are associated with both).

    The fact remains SSRIs are not inert and they will act in all manner of ways in different people. And, then of course, yeah, they also cause iatrogenic damage…often severe…placebos don’t cause long term disability and brain injury.

    The placebo meme is therefore overused and extremely misleading….it makes it sound like SSRIs do nothing at all which is absolutely not true. They are potent psychoactive and neurotoxic drugs. They can sometimes make people feel better and sometimes they make people violent, suicidal and homicidal. That’s quite a feat for something that’s referred to as a placebo, eh?

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  • also the “survivors” karis is talking about is someone I know…two people actually from Washington State…the only reason they even know I was banned from benzo buddies is because I wrote about the experience…they took the part about the amazon links and made it a big deal at the time as well…they were not members of that board so they only info they got was from me and my post…the real reason they banned me was for being critical about all drugs…which is something we all agree on here, I think…

    I wrote about benzo buddies here: if you want to take things out of context and embellish it like those other folks did…I can’t stop that.

    I’m really sorry this comment section has devolved like this. My best again to Get it Right. xo

    (I will not engage any further on this topic)

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  • the only site I’ve ever been banned from is Benzo Buddies. They banned me because I was outspoken about ALL drugs being problematic and they therefore called me anti psychiatry and found that to be offensive…

    they also used the links to amazon as a reason to block their users from linking to my site (which they’ve since stopped doing…for the last year or so they no longer block links to my site and their members do link to my site with some regularity)

    This was the reason they gave for banning me…this was cut and pasted…

    “Sorry Gianna, you are banned from using this forum!
    Your membership has been permanently suspended for refusing to remove a url to an anti-psychiatry site, from your profile. As well as a long history of moderation issues. (that site was Beyond Meds)
    This ban is not set to expire.”

    Increasing my earnings is a pretty funny way to talk about the very small amount of money that comes in. They said they wouldn’t allow links because of the Amazon links…again…I stated above how much money comes from those links.

    Also Robert Whitaker apparently didn’t have an issue with the links because they’ve not been removed. I told him I was fine with them being removed as they weren’t intended for this site when the piece was published.

    Anyway, thank you Get It Right. It’s really sad when folks attack others who are helping folks…and also trying to survive…and I don’t make enough to survive from this…not even close and I’ve not quit…I keep on doing it because it’s not a choice. It’s what I do and what I love. How lovely if we might find ways for it to sustain us financially too and support one another in doing so. So far few of us have found ways to do that. I’m not sure why it should be wrong to find ways to survive.

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  • I’m happy to take the affiliate links out of this text. I am not the editor here I did not post my article here…the piece was cut and pasted from Beyond Meds and then posted by the editor here at MiA…I don’t think either one of us thought about the links.

    Take it up with the editors here. I had not read the line you just quoted above. I have no issue with complying with Mad in America’s guidelines and the links can be removed to be in keeping with that.

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  • and yes — NO to PROTOCOLS…I totally agree with that…that’s why I put quotes around the word protocol and said it CHANGES DAILY…that is not a protocol…it’s responding to my body in every moment…

    the reader had asked me what my “protocol” was so I entertained the question by using the word ….

    we need to respond to the body…each of us as we see fit for our own body. this is one the most fundamental things I say again and again…

    none of us is alike…

    we can still learn from each other…I’ve been informed by literally thousands of people now…yes, we the people…and science and sometimes doctors too…I will get good info from all over the place…and suggest others do the same…it’s like a puzzle and every single one of us has a different puzzle to solve.

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  • we’re sharing what is working for us…that is what you seem to be suggesting. (also 93 people saw fit to share it on Facebook…it also appeared on Beyond Meds which impacts the response here…it was shared another 171 times there) … suggesting folks do find it helpful.

    this is happening in my body right now. I don’t know exactly what is happening…the science suggests what I’ve shared…it’s happening in other people too with whom I interact online in chronic illness circles

    I don’t care what is actually happening. I know I ‘m getting better…all the time and I know that this path is the one I needed to get well. It’s not necessarily for anyone else and I say that again and again.

    the fact is some people are more gravely impacted by iatrogenic injuries than others. this is not a hard fact to grasp…and it’s the reality.

    you seem to have an inherent contradiction in what you’re saying.

    I make no money whatsoever for thousands of hours I put in writing and researching. I will not apologize for affiliate links. They are such that if someone follows them and buys ANYTHING at all from Amazon I get a (tiny) percent. It doesn’t matter if anyone buys what I link to.

    I really want to know how people expect us to survive when we work full time for this movement but don’t ask for money from the hundreds of people we help.

    I find your line of reasoning insulting. It’s ridiculous as well as completely unrealistic to expect us to survive in a capitalistic society and have no source of funding. It’s more than ridiculous it’s ungrateful and hateful both as well.

    I have never charged anyone for any of the hundreds of hours I’ve spent helping folks directly one on one to heal and find freedom from psychiatry.

    You clearly don’t want me to continue healing if you won’t allow me to try to survive in the very limited ways we can do that.

    Amazon has never brought in more than $120 in a months time and generally it’s more like $50 – 100. This is my work. I have to find other ways to survive right now because Amazon is not cutting it.

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  • it’s possible, yes. I can’t know for sure (we never really do with this stuff) but I definitely was calling a lot of detox symptoms a reaction to foods…for a long time before I began to understand what was going on. Raw garlic has a very strung anti-fungal property…very strong…and so does ginger…Garlic though is actually commonly recommended as an anti-fungal with candida and you can get it in pills etc.

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  • I’ve not used that strain and certainly having a lively mix of multiple strains that our particular bodies like is very important. Again…the research cannot possibly figure out what every particular body needs nor can it research all the many thousands of different strains. Also the idea of patenting bacteria is rather ludicrous…

    The DDS-1 strain you’re is a strain of acidophilus…and acidophilus is a very friendly strain for most people and it’s almost always part of yogurt, for example…(generally an unpainted variety 😛

    But we need a whole lot more than just acidophilus in our guts if we want them to be happy. There are a lot of strains that have lots of research. I found one that was very helpful to me that way. L-plantarum. It’s in many supplements and it’s also naturally occurring in many veggie ferments.

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  • oh, another point about supplements. We can know exactly what we’re getting. When folks are hypersensitive we can feel the difference between probiotic strains. Some may trigger us while others don’t. For example being that I’ve had histamine issues I needed to find histamine degrading or histamine neutral strains rather than ones that further create histamine. I can’t control what is in a food ferment…I can know very well what it in a supplement. This knowledge is very helpful. As I am able to take in more and more probiotics my sensitivities are diminishing…I believe it’s related. 🙂

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  • fermented foods and supplements both have been helpful for me. for three years my sensitivities became so severe I couldn’t tolerate fermented foods OR probiotic supplements. I needed to heal my nervous system first which was a challenge because a healthy nervous system relies on a healthy gut!! I was in a catch-22…I used herbs to get my nervous system in a bit better condition and then I tolerated supplements BEFORE I tolerated fermented foods…I continue to use both foods and supplements because I need both at the moment. As my health continues to improve these needs will continue to evolve…anyway…just pointing out that individual needs are going to vary and in some instances supplements are very important.

    In general I’m the get everything from real whole foods gal but there are times that targeted supplementation (not just with probiotics) is critical…usually for periods of time, not forever.

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  • Me too Alex…absolutely essential. As usual those of us who are busy getting healthy can’t wait around for the research. Our bodies are wonderful instruments which will guide us to even the right strains of probiotics just for us…imagine that! It’s certainly my experience. It takes time and attention to learn to listen but the body is a wonderful guide. I can feel probiotics…almost communicate with them really. They are truly little beings that populate our guts and help or hinder us…it’s a very good thing to get to know them if we want to get healthy.

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  • Wow, that seems unnecessarily reactive. I’m not sure what an “entrenched user” is in your mind…but as a medicine I would most certainly suggest minimal usage of any cannabis product with long term maintenance use being problematic (for anyone who gave it a shot). Medicine, if used to actually HEAL shouldn’t be needed forever and in my mind if cannabis is being used in that way, then it too shouldn’t be needed beyond a time-limited healing process. I see people healing all around me…it’s a lovely thing. Options are good.

    And to be clear…I don’t consume alcohol or any form of cannabis or any other intoxicating substance (including caffeine). — at one time or another I’ve tried all of them but it’s been many years since I used any of them

    cheers man…you need some

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  • Hi Sandra,
    I agree that recommendations shouldn’t be made…about any drug, medication or herb…

    discussing how things may or may not be helpful is the way to go in general! that’s what informed consent is all about.

    having lived with severe hypersensitivities (which are finally clearing up now, five plus years out from the withdrawal) I’ve learned that recommendations are dangerous…across the board. Everyone should always be able to make decisions based on the (always) limited knowledge we have and trust their own bodies and sense, too). We never know what is best for someone else…our bodies are all too individual.

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  • Jon, as Will gets into above, the strain matters. CBD, unlike THC doesn’t cause anxiety even for folks who’ve been injured by psych meds most likely — although we can get radically sensitive to just about anything as you know. It may, though, cause sleeplessness which is just as bad and perhaps worse for that population since in the long run that would loop back into nervous system chaos…lack of sleep never a good thing. While it’s in the body, though, it’s got a very wakeful calm for many. I did some research once this piece was published. It is calming, but not sedating and for some causes insomnia even as it calms (also brings wakeful clarity, according to some accounts)…which still makes it inappropriate for the folks you’re caring for…but not for the reason indicated.

    I was shocked to learn that there are strains of marijuana where the CBD out ranks the THC 20:1 which means the THC is essentially non-existant. It’s THC that causes both the drowsiness that makes it a sleeper for some and the paranoia and psychosis like symptoms it brings out in others or the famous “high” effects that the general user gets. Rather fascinating stuff.

    This is an interesting report from a user found on this page:

    Most HELPFUL
    a year ago
    “Some reviewers report that medicine with high CBD and low THC don’t get you “high” but that isn’t the whole story. This makes it sound like the medicine doesn’t alter the user’s internal and/or external experience, which isn’t true. Many people report that these high CBD/low THC medicinals bring on immediate relaxation, a sense of well-being and a very gentle tingling sensation. This has certainly been my experience….”


    From Project CBD:

    Sleep Disorders
    In the United States, approximately 70 million people suffer from insomnia, insufficient sleep or another sleep disorder. CBD has been mistakenly described as sedating. In modest doses, CBD is mildly alerting. Cannabidiol activates the same adenosine receptors as caffeine, a stimulant. But several patients with sleep issues report that ingesting a CBD-rich tincture or extract a few hours before bedtime has a balancing effect that facilitates a good night’s sleep.

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  • Hi Zagoorey…
    I had a lot of auditory processing problems too. It is also, yet another, way the autonomic nervous system is impacted and then affects the way we perceive sound. My issues are virtually all gone. It’s not true that you cannot recover. This is what western medicine likes to tell us. The brain damage need not be permanent and simply is not in all cases. It helps to believe that you can heal and to spend time with people who have healed. That is what I’ve done and how I’ve come to know that healing is possible.

    I have not spent time in medical circles pretty much at all. I found a couple of people I could occasionally bounce questions off of who have medical degrees but who were not beholden to western medicines doom and gloom around these sorts of issues.

    What I did was approach the problem exactly as I say above. These were fear based issues that have real physiological and biological correlates, but that with observation and then taking action from what I learned I was able to heal. I can only suggest you read some of the linked to articles or if you’re not drawn to more of my work then the general advice I give everyone is simply to find that which makes sense to you…anything that gives you hope and follow it. I found that my heart knew the way out. I believe that yours very well may too. All I can say is trust and believe that you can heal and see where whatever tiny kernel of faith in that possibility brings you. I can’t help create that for you but perhaps you can see if you might consider it’s possibility. If I healed, is it possible that you might too? (I was bedridden for 2 years and couldn’t even speak for most of the time)

    I’m sorry you’re hurting and I hope you’re able to find your way out of the maze. My best to you.

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  • I’m glad it feels helpful to you sandgroper.
    I ultimately think that what the drug damage allows for is a completely unfiltered experience of primordial terror…it allows us to experience, again, unfiltered, the terror of humanity and so it’s still something that can be worked with and healed sandgroper… For me that meant and continues to mean allowing it. As counter-intuitive as that may seem — allowing and listening to it is also allowing healing. I hope you can feel better too. take care.

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  • I don’t use the word God (routinely) because I think it unnecessarily alienates a lot of people…I think God is exactly what I am talking about when I talk about all that is etc. God could care less if you name it or not IMO…but this is exactly why I avoid the word…I prefer avoiding theological discussions. 🙂

    That said you’ll see that when I post stuff from different world mythologies and religions God, does, indeed pop up quite often on the blog…in personal conversations it’s a whole different story…I will be what life force (God) needs in whatever circumstance…that means I really don’t care what words come out of my mouth as long as I communicate love.

    There we go…my non-dual understanding of the world is revealed.

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  • I’ve been thinking about this a lot. I agree that emotions are constructs. You know in Buddhism and in most mind/body therapies now (many of which do, indeed, take trauma seriously) they talk about not attaching to the story line. I talk a lot about how helpful it is to reframe one’s story. Ultimately the goal is to let go of the story because, yes, not only are the emotions constructs, but so it our very sense of self! And then, yes, at a certain point no-self can certainly let go of the concept of trauma as well.

    Timing, however, is critical.

    One needs to respect people’s processes and what they actually believe at any given time because that is how one heals too…by respecting themselves…in my experience it seems there are many windows in to this human experience and they all have validity at the right time and place…more or less depending on who is evaluating them.

    thanks for the article!

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  • Oh, I’m sorry, Laurie, I’m really tired right now too so I’m not responding very cogently…here I am answering in bits. I’m not completely out of the dark either…but I wanted to say, there are people who can listen and are willing to…and I find more and more as I’m willing to hold my own pain…it’s kind of a catch-22 but in surrendering to the reality it seems to be healing me…growing me up even. I can parent those parts of myself and heal…and as I do that I meet more and more human beings who can hear me…everywhere…give it try. It’s a process…and one has to watch it unfold…there is no making it happen. Best to you.

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  • thank you Laurie…

    what I try to get across is that protocols are not possible once the system goes haywire…recovery is a personal journey. … we do need assistance, but it’s not with protocols…protocols are not generally flexible and can and do harm folks when they run into care providers who simply tell them what to do…regardless of the discipline or methods.

    the only possible protocol (and it’s simply not really one at all) is to help people in deeply meaningful ways to learn to listen….that can be done in part by someone willing to HEAR them first.

    that’s kind of it as far as I can see…and it’s really what all of humanity needs as well. we all need to learn to listen. …that would in fact put an end to the harm that has befallen us all…if we lived among a population that knew how to listen we wouldn’t be harming one another in this way to begin with.

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  • I am largely in agreement with you, yes rebel. We cannot expect anyone to get this and we do need to take care of ourselves. But we are not alone…we have each other and there are many thousands of us. And indeed, everyone is like us too in some way…in the end everyone really does need to check inside and be responsible for themselves…if a true and deep individuation and maturation is to happen in the human being…and the magic is that in that process we find connection with the entire human race and all of life and being. This process can hasten in a profound healing and transformation if we see it through.

    Eventually we do find that we have all that we need within us. At the same time we find that we all need each other as well. Paradox.

    Your comments about intuition…I’ve written a lot about that…a piece here on Mad in America: Internal Guidance

    and another related: Believe and know:

    thanks rebel…and here’s to the “funny feelings” that help us out of this maze we find ourselves in. my best to you as we continue healing, growing and learning.

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  • both/and – not – either/or … both our bodies and what happened to us and then a whole lot of other stuff too…yes, you’re right, we will never know why…holding everything in that light is good. I think it’s good to understand ourselves as beings impacted by everything about being in this animal body on this planet. Flip flopping from one extreme to another doesn’t get us anywhere. Neither will denying that our physiology (or alternately our traumatic histories) are meaningless. It all matters and none of it is meaningless and we will also never really know exactly what is going on. Everyone finds their way through the maze in different ways…sometimes underscoring one thing more than another by necessity…because that is all any one person can handle at a time. Respecting how an individual finds their way is the most important thing it seems. There are as many paths to wholeness as there are human beings.

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  • your situation is one of typical hyper-sensitivity (as well as chronic pain) that is common among folks with protracted withdrawal issues. it does diminish over time and there are many different ways of coping in the meantime. different people find different things helpful.

    the links in the above post may be helpful to explore.

    Also here is a list of posts on Beyond Meds that deal with chronic pain:

    if you scroll down the page that link brings you to you might find information that may be helpful. I found that reframing my experience while also learning coping skills helped a lot. That is in essence what I continue to do even now.

    I wish you the best. Perseverance if nothing else will get you through the worst and in time it all diminishes and we become more able to respond to what is happening to us.

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  • I just posted this on Beyond Meds Facebook page…in part as a result of this conversation:

    “I take the radical perspective that as human animals we have the capacity to know all manner of things by instinct. It is in our DNA and manifests via intuition. This is not magic. It is not a super-power. We are “psychic” by nature. It is our human inheritance. We have forgotten how to access our very nature. That is all. And as complicated as we might like to make the conundrum we are faced with right now, it’s also pretty simple. We need only pay attention.”

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  • it’s not based on just my experience but also the 1000s I have the honor to interact with online…those with both physical and mental health issues….

    the chronic illness circles have a spectrum of the entire population on them including many with psychiatric diagnosis….there is actually a lot of research that already backs this up as well…and we do read it in tandem with learning to listen to and experience our bodies and knowing instruments that can lead us in the right direction to heal.

    all the things you mention are also critically important…but not more or less. of course different people need different things at different times…that’s true. when I suggested a starting point I meant in a clinical setting where those things are considered…in the end every path is unique but all these things are parts of what make us human animals on a planet intimately intertwined with everything including the bugs in our guts.

    I personally don’t need studies to know what I know. My body knows and so do the bodies of 1000s of folks I’ve interacted. You certainly don’t have to believe us, but you will not silence us. Healing is too critically important to wait around for the establishment to get their heads on straight. Still as mentioned above I do utilize the science that is already available and there is actually quite a lot. Data helps the intuitive process. I’m not anti-science, I simply don’t rely on it alone.

    Internal guidance and intuition are real things that can lead us to what we need…and that, does, also, indeed look different for everyone. And so we may differ here and that is just fine.

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  • Thank you,
    Tending to the gut is one of the most fundamental issues that everyone who lacks general well-being, whether physically or mentally manifested can do to build a foundation of wellness.

    This doesn’t change the fact that “shit happens” in our environments bpdtransformation …what it does is help provide an internal capacity to better meet that shit.

    My own healing journey has made it profoundly clear that healing the gut and optimizing diet is a place to start in tandem with understanding trauma (what happened to us) … in tandem because they are inseparable, truly.

    Everything matters…when starting the process of unraveling how it all fits together in our own idiosyncratic lives having a healthy body matters. One cannot have a healthy body without a healthy gut.

    **as a side note, my gut’s health was destroyed by (completely unnecessary) longterm antibiotic therapy for (mild) acne in my teenage years. In my own trajectory it’s clear to me now that this set me up for everything that followed…prior to the psych meds, the antibiotics were the gateway into general dis – ease which led to drugs (psychiatric and others too) and more drugs which ended up destroying my wellbeing. It’s been in healing the gut with optimal diets and probiotics etc along with becoming drug free that I have found well-being once again.

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  • I love Dr. Judy Tsafrir … she’s a lovely human being who is willing to learn from non-MDs (there are truly very few such people…alternative or otherwise)…we’ve exchanged information on a number of occasions.

    I’m glad your daughter benefits from Orthomolecular (and I’m glad that others do too)…in the end that is what matters…that people are able to live better and healthier lives…if she is in the hands of practitioners that care about her and listen and she is happy to be there that is a wonderful thing.

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  • me neither Ted. This makes me want to cry…and it is why I don’t seek this shit out anymore. I know it’s happening. I work to do what I can in front of me…what I’m called to do in every moment…supporting and educating those who seem to find their way to me…You too are also clearly doing that which you can. I avoid masochism when I can. I think we all do what we can and we all have different gifts and skills. And so we move forward. I think you’re right in some circles it’s getting worse…I also think that more and more people are becoming aware because of the work we do…so that in other circles new ways of thinking are taking root. The split down the middle remains, though, obviously.

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  • Similarly, I’m now reading all types of credible-sounding websites and articles, all reporting with great certainty that supplements and vitamins are (1) Amazingly beneficial and absolutely essential for good health (2) Of little use, basically a waste of money (3) Totally useless and often harmful. Which is it???

    it’s none and all of those things depending on the situation…discernment is the most important thing to develop on this journey…I decided to develop my own rather than rely on professionals and it’s served me well. We really do have within the the capacity to do that…and when it’s appropriate that discernment will also let us know who to trust on those occasions a professional is called for.

    I agree, though, the information age is overwhelming and learning to take care of oneself is no small thing.

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  • and lastly I should say…I saw 3 different orthomolecular doctors…some quite well known and all of them made me ill … I gave up on that route … especically when they behaved like other psychiatrist and blamed me for the negative responses I had to the synthetic nutrients they put me on.

    so there you go…I did give it a shot. several shots. it didn’t work and I ran into some of the same ugly behavior in standard medicine…and it seems to me it’s because they were, in the end, still totally caught up in an allopathic mode of medicine that for me is unhealthy and not at all recuperative.

    I didn’t lead with that fact because I like to share what works…but the fact is my body did not like Orthomolecular supplementation at all. I got some of the popular ortho diagnosis and all that too….my body/mind/spirit had other ideas about how I should heal…and hence here I am.

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  • while some loss of nutrients in the food supply in general seems to be true there are so many intensely and densely nutritious foods that this isn’t really a sound argument for not getting most of our nutrients from diet if we so choose…it’s possible to learn to eat the right mixture of foods for ourselves…optimal diet is unique to everyone.

    that said, as Alex points out we’re all different and these foods are also not all available to everyone (for a lot of different reasons) and some people will simply have other paths to follow that doesn’t make learning to get all their nutrition from foods feel like an imperative. This is legitimate and totally fine. This is my path. One of whole foods and learning and knowing the body in this deep and intimate way. It is my path and it is what I share with others who want to know it. It is what I am coming to know on a cellular level. It is not necessary for everyone to know or experience this. It remains true for me and I’ve watched many other people heal from all sorts of illnesses. My path took me hear because I developed severe intolerances to virtually all supplements. I HAD to learn to do without and now I know it’s possible. Someone who doesn’t need to learn this won’t learn it…that’s all good. We are endlessly diverse.

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  • the issue in my mind is that what happens (too often) with supplements is that an allopathic approach to health is maintained rather than moving towards the dynamism of a more holistic approach. This is to be expected in our culture unfortunately…but the more we start understanding the whole the more supplements and drugs, too for that matter, will be used in a sane and more profoundly healing way…rather than as modes for maintenance. Our bodies can do amazing things and shouldn’t need much help from such substances if we are feeding them and tending to them appropriately from the get go. As it stands now we are relearning what our ancestors already knew. How to eat and nourish ourselves.

    I still use a couple of supplements and never say never to just about anything. My body has had to lived in a challenged capacity for many years. I do whatever it needs to heal. It’s an incredible resilient communicative animal that I am coming to deeply love.

    Learning to be in correct relationship to my body is a wonderful journey.

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  • yes, of course, I agree. I’ve needed targeted supplementation at certain junctures too. But with foundational good diets less people would ever need to resort to synthesized nutrition and I move towards being able to avoid it completely myself. Once healing is achieved much of it can be let go and in some instances all of it…that’s the point I’m making.

    herbs, too, are nutrient powerhouses. most nutritionists (in general) don’t have the foggiest idea how to use them. I eat them as a whole food. I harvest them and when I can’t get them fresh I buy them dried and organic. They remain whole real food.

    we have a lovely garden with about 10 different herbs and veggies that tend to be prolific like zucchini, green beans and tomatoes….I love the garden more than I can say.

    In the end I am always pragmatic. Sometimes psych drugs are appropriate too given the reality we live in today.

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  • yes, beautiful madmom.

    food works this way in my life too. I know most of the farmers of the food I eat. Food is love. I think this is another reason I’m not keen on supplements (though there is a place for them, no doubt) …it really takes away from what you speak to here though madmom…if the importance of food isn’t underscored too.

    and once one has a profoundly healthy diet supplements too can largely fall away for most people. This too is true.

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