Emotional Pain and the Possibility of Finding Hope
The human need to not be left alone when we are suffering is very great. During such times our very basic human needs for being valued, seen, heard and cared about arise as we are at our most vulnerable and are dependent on the goodwill of others.
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..."
We Are The Ones
My public writing has brought my mother and I closer together than we’ve been in decades. There have been disagreements. But now, my almost ninety-year-old mother tells me she reads everything I write. She recently told me that she’s glad I see things so clearly.
Don’t Go Back to Sleep
You may think I’m slow on the uptake when I say this. And maybe I am. But I recently came to the realization that products or lifestyles that are vigorously marketed and promoted are bad for you.
Yesterday, Dr. Daniel Fisher emailed and asked my thoughts with regard to “recovery”. Even before I walked away from prescription-pad-only psychiatric work, others asked me about this. Other treatment providers, designated patients and family members asked what I thought they could expect to happen next and what they should do to make things better. I told them that chemical interventions are not the only, or even the essential, tool for recovery.
Where Do Messages of Hopelessness in Mental Health Care Come From?
The vast disconnect between prognosis (as predicted by mental health providers) and actual outcome (as reported by psychiatric survivors) forces us to ask the question: Why send messages of hopelessness when they are so often untrue?
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.
Many Small Actions Bring Big Results
We poison ever growing numbers of children with chemicals known to cause aggression and suicidality. We routinely drug children with these so they’ll sit still and be quiet in classrooms. Now, we drug babies for crying and 3 year olds for acting frightened while locked away from their families in day care centers. Those unsuccessful in school environments are incarcerated. It 's a well-worn path.
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?
Common Sense, Deferred: Lessons From the “Fresh Air” Fight, Part Two
How and why the right to fresh air is continuously blocked by money, politics and ignorance. Plus, personal reflections on how nature heals.
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.
Common Sense, Deferred: Lessons From the “Fresh Air” Fight, Part One
How does a straightforward, common-sense idea - guaranteeing the elemental pleasures of fresh air and access to nature to those in inpatient and residential psychiatric/mental health facilities – repeatedly fail on a policy level?
Prayer and Hope, Part II.
Since I accepted the Project Management gig where I work most of the time in the DFW Metroplex in Texas, I've gone through rough...
The Biochemical Basis for “Mental Illness” – Finally Solved!
I wanted to explain to you the biochemical and genetic and epigentic basis for all "mental illness." I want you to know that I...
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.
The Pond, Learning and Humility
What an amazing ride I’ve had in the past few days on the tsunami of commentary from my previous post. While it’s been fun (dare...
This morning I remind myself to point my eyes forward. I tend to want to re-do the past and try to make bad things...