Tag: emotional distress
43 and Finding Wellness: Attending to the 4 Bodies
My personal and professional experiences have taught me that the only way to address mental health is holistically. If you are struggling with anxiety or depression, I believe it is necessary to attend to all of your bodies—physical, mental, emotional and spiritual—in order to achieve wellness.
Duke Psychiatrist: America is Having a Nervous Breakdown
In this interview for AlterNet, Allen Frances describes the various political, social, and psychological factors that led the U.S. to elect President Trump and create the national...
The Winding Road and the Importance of Going Sideways
The winding path is very often the only path that a human being can follow. It has to become an acceptable path. We have to stop pushing young kids because WE want them to be somewhere without regard to what they are ready for.
“Sometimes Embracing Emotional Distress Is the Best Medicine”
“An unfortunate side effect of the biological revolution of psychiatry is in perceiving emotional discomfort as undesirable or bad, something we shouldn’t feel, something...
“Can Personality Traits Affect Use of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction?”
A new article in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine finds that MBSR, which combines yoga, meditation, and body scanning, may be especially...
It’s as Bad as You Think: The Gap Between the Rich...
Many of us in the U.K. are mad - mad with anger at the injustice and cynicism of a political system that is turning the gap between rich and poor into an unbridgeable chasm. Mad with anger because the most vulnerable in society are now paying the price for a political ideology - neoliberalism - with their lives. We are mad and angry because they are blamed for failings that are not of their making, but which originate in the system under which we live. 'Psychological' assessments, online cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and other forms of 'therapy' are being used to force unemployed people with common mental health problems back to work. Mental health professionals responsible for IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) have been relocated to help 'assess' and 'treat' claimants.
Six Ways You Can Really Help Prevent Suicide
The first time I tried to kill myself, I was 14. I won’t go into the indignity of being involuntarily locked up, time after time, until I satisfactorily convinced the staff that I wouldn’t harm myself or attempt suicide again. (I was lying.) The system taught me to lie, to hide my suicidal feelings in order to escape yet another round of dehumanizing lock-ups and “treatments.”
Symptom or Experience: Does Language Matter?
Of all the beliefs that I have had about my experiences, the belief that I was ‘schizophrenic’ was the most damaging. In adopting the story that others told about me, and abandoning my own sense-making process, I held on to a belief that both hid my traumatic life experiences and rendered them irrelevant. Does it matter if we sometimes slip into the language of illness when we all agree that these experiences are meaningful, personal and have value? Yes. It does.
Opening the Dialogue: Can Families and Survivors Heal Together?
If we believe that emotional problems are primarily disorders of the brain, then perhaps taking a “fill-in-the-blank” medical history is sufficient. However, if we believe that emotional crises and dis-ease are problems that exist between people, in our sticky or not-so-sticky web of relationships, then whether families, survivors and those in crisis can heal together is a much more relevant, if still complicated, question. Perhaps the most honest answer to this question is: “It depends..."
Man Jumps, News at…?
It is time for a new understanding of suicidal feelings and actions. Perhaps a more open dialogue, without fear of sirens and police and involuntary hospitalizations, would have made a difference for one young man here in Asheville last month. Perhaps more public local conversation would have saved some of the 45 lives we lost here in Buncombe County in 2010. Perhaps a more public and safe national conversation would have saved some of the 22 veterans who died from suicide every day in 2010.
We Are All Adam Lanza’s Mother (& other things we’re...
I do not understand how we can continue to avoid the conversation about psychiatric medications and their role in the violence that is affecting far too many of our children, whether Seung-Hui Cho, Eric Harris, Kip Kinkel, or Jeff Weise (all of whom were either taking or withdrawing from psychotropic medications) or the scores of children and adults they have killed and harmed. It is not clear what role medications played in the Newtown tragedy, though news reports are now suggesting there is one.
Building a Bridge to Hope
Hope heals. Thousand of years of experience and, more recently, numerous hope studies, prove this to be true. Yet hope is still a 4-letter word in many mental health settings. How can we build a bridge to hope from hope-stealing physical and emotional pain, hopeless diagnoses and prognoses, and hope-numbing side effects?
I Believe Most of us Have a Broken Heart, Not a...
Some of you might know me from co-founding The Icarus Project, an online community, real-life support network, and alternative media project by and for people living with the complex gifts that are too often labeled as “mental illness.” Some of you might not know that I'm also a poet. I've been asked to share my work here on Mad in America. This first poem I'm going to offer you is about trauma and resilience; the ways that the world breaks our hearts, and the ways we survive to find our voices again.
What Are We Recovering From? Making a Case for Recovery
Is “recovery” a useful concept or is it overused, co-opted or simply not an accurate way to describe the process of learning to work with and through madness and life’s challenges. Mother Bear Community Action Network explores these arguments and makes a case for recovery.
What To Do With Advocates Who Refuse To Learn About Drug...
I get a lot of ideas from other advocates from online forums like the Alternatives Facebook discussion group, where we have a gathering of about...
Shanghai’d in Recovery
I am honored to share the story of one family that has learned about the power of language, hope and letting go with love so that every family member can grab on to a life worth living.
Whose Recovery Is This?! Helping Families Heal
Last night I had the privilege of attending my first Family Den with other Mother Bears like myself—parents, spouses, siblings and adult children. All of us have family members who have experienced mental health challenges. All of us had a story to tell.
How can parents help kids who don’t want help?
Let's not keep missing the main point of the SAMHSA stakeholder discussion We have to LISTEN to people that have opposite points of view...
The Cause and Solution for Emotional Distress
Hi, I'm Corinna West, a psychiatric survivor. I was very ill one time and now I'm not. That's the short story. The slightly longer...