Who’s to blame?? The epidemic of “over-drugging”

The recent alarm over the possible over use of prescription medications to treat mental health disorders has become a central topic among mental health specialists. According to Professor Sir Simon Wessely, the president of Britain’s Royal College of Psychiatrists, the blame for this issue should not be placed on the psychiatrists, but rather the public. He attributed the problem to parents, teachers, advocacy groups, and improperly run government health services. Wessely told The Times that 

“Medicalisation is not often done by doctors. In areas that are more accessible to public debate it’s almost the other way around. Now we see a huge rise in support groups, we see pressure brought to bear to bring in labels.”

Wessely seems to think that those who are potentially mentally ill, especially children, are being “diagnosed” by teachers, parents, etc before they even reach a psychiatrist’s office. 

What are everyone’s thoughts? Does this just go back to the core issue that mental illnesses are still painfully misunderstood in this country? Or does it fall into what others might label as an obsession for a “quick fix”?

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Peace & Harmony

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I wanted to share some of the peace and serenity I am feeling on the beach this beautiful day.

Ego says, “Once everything falls Into place, I’ll find peace.” Spirit says, “Find your peace, and then everything will fall into place.” –Marianne Williamson,

Can Counseling Do Some Patients More Harm Than Good?

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     A recent government led study known as AdePT (Adverse Effects of Psychological Therapies) provided results that may be shocking to some. The study concluded that some counseling or talk therapy can actually make patients worse. Now upon first hearing this it sounds rather odd, right? Aren’t we always supposed to encourage ourselves and those around us to see professional help, often times through therapy, for mental health issues? While these results seem contradictory to what many of us have been told, they make sense if you think about it. The study was not absolute in saying that therapy or counseling is harmful to those seeking help. Instead it pointed out an issue that has had a rising presence in the news lately: the QUALITY of the therapy or counseling. It seems very reasonable to infer that if a severely depressed individual goes to receive treatment from less than qualified therapists that they can actually leave feeling more depressed.

     I am by no means encouraging people to stop seeing their therapists or use this as another reason to refuse going. I think this study is an eye opener that therapy and therapists don’t come in a one size fits all package. It is crucial to someone’s recovery and ability to function that they take the time to find a therapist or counselor that is right for them. It was personally discouraging for me to sit through countless therapy sessions and feel like I got nothing out of it. While it is highly unlikely that anyone will walk out of any counseling session and “feel all better” immediately afterwards, it will be apparent when you find the right person to help you accomplish your goals. Take the time to find someone you are comfortable with, and maybe even someone that isn’t afraid to share about themselves as well. After all, talking to a robot that just nods occasionally isn’t exactly helpful. Don’t be afraid to question the person you are seeing about their qualifications, success rates, etc. After all…It is about YOUR well being.

Check out the link to the article on the AdePT study. 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/may/26/misjudged-counselling-psychological-therapy-harmful-study-reveals

A dog’s life

One of the many things I love about animals is their resilience and ability to retain a good disposition no matter what. Throughout my years volunteering at shelters I have seen so many dogs that have been abused or used as ploys in the cruel entertainment world of dog fighting. What always amazes me is that many of these animals still have a gentle and kind manner about them. They still wag their tails and provide those around them with a source of joy and comfort. About 6 years ago on New Years and emaciated puppy approached my grandmothers house. The puppy proceeded to go to every window in the house and cry until I was able to sneak out and check on it. She was a stray puppy that had bite wounds and was so thin I could see every bone in her body. She may have possibly been used as bait in dog fights. I was able to convince my mother to take the dog in. My brother named her puddles. We never would’ve guessed she would grow to the size she is today

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Puddles reminds me to appreciate the little things in life. Whenever I get down I just can’t seem to dwell on negative emotions when I am around her. She will even bring me many different stuffed animals to cheer me up. She lives for the daily walks I take her on. I’ve grown to greatly appreciate them as well. Maybe there’s a little something we could all learn from our pets.

Spiritual thoughts

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Like many, the topics of religion, spirituality and ideas of greatness beyond ourselves have always been of great interest to me. Throughout my recovery and just as I make my way through life in general I have discovered that these nagging questions and desire to embark on my own spiritual journey are not things I can ignore. I stumbled upon this wonderful quote by Rumi and thought I would share it. I have spent so much time fretting over which religion or place of worship was the right fit for me, or where I would feel most welcome. Then it dawned on me..how selfish of me. How selfish it was of me to try to condense this concept of God or a greater being into a specific set of ideals and procedures just so my human brain could comprehend it all. But that’s not the point of spirituality is it? It’s not about having all of the answers or separating right ways of practicing spirituality from bad. It’s about recognizing that spirituality should not be limited to a faith of our choosing or a place of worship we visit once a week. It’s about seeing that little bit of goodness that is in everyone and everything around us. It’s about the goodness in ourselves and our infinite capability to do better and be better. To me, spirituality is about freedom and expansion. Not constraint.

Poerty: My Monster

Throughout my recovery I have discovered that it is not a matter of if “my inner demons” will resurface, but rather when. With my past two of my main issues have been self harm and disordered eating. It’s strange…because as much as I hate the way those things make me think and what they make me do to myself and those around me, I find some level of twisted comfort in them. I  think we become accustomed to surviving each day with these parasitic disorders. I decided to make a plan of things I would do instead of falling back into the trap. One of those things is writing. I put all of my anger, frustration, sadness, and insecurities on paper rather than letting them control me once again.

 

Hello there my friend

It’s been awhile hasn’t is?

I thought it was the end

Of this dark tango we do

 

Do you want to dance?

You know I get lonely

Please put me in your numbing trance

I just want it all to stop.

 

I slowly take a hit,

Deeply inhaling the smoke,

That I just can’t seem to get

As deep inside me as your are

 

With you it’s always the same

You’ll always want me

But others play these petty games,

Of desire and disgust.

 

I’ve grown fond of this place

It has a comforting darkness,

Where I can finally show my face

Without frightening someone else.

 

You, my little monster, are always there

Even when I think you’ve left me,

You return when no one else cares

You’re always so eager to see me.

 

No one else takes the pain away,

But you, you take it all.

Oh please, little monster, will you stay?

You’re all I really have.

Value of Religion

Source of Inspiration

places of worship

Religion–tool of man
sometimes a key
too often a weapon.
Beware how you thrust
the sword of truth.

Does God really require
us to have rituals,
doctrines, religious practices?
Does the Divine want us to
pray in a certain direction,
count beads, observe dietary
restrictions, wear certain
clothes, beat a drum,
light a candle?

What does it take for us
to learn to love God,
each other, ourselves?
There is not one part of any
religion that has value if
we do not know compassion,
no ritual that is worthwhile
if our hearts are closed.

Yet all religions have value
if we practice them with
a loving heart,
the desire to draw
closer to our Creator,
to truly know the
Oneness of us all
with All That Is.

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Good Reads: Thought for the Day

I love simply being able to curl up with a good book and read for pleasure. Today was rainy and somewhat dreary so I decided to go through some of my old books and look at some notes that I had made. I came across the book “Bohemian Society” by Lydia Leavitt. I was immediately drawn to a quote I had highlighted. The quote reads “Would it not be well to teach and train the human mind to the belief that any act committed which is injurious to ourselves or our fellow creatures is wrong, because the act in itself is wrong and not because we are going to be punished in the future.” I love this quote because it makes us think about why we do the things we do. True morality is not doing a good deed or refraining from a bad deed simply because you fear punishment if you do not, but it is rather the innate understanding of the impact each of us can have on this earth- be it positive or negative. Do we do good deeds simply for the recognition or for reward? Or is there a deeper desire within each of us to spread positive energy out into the world? Rather than living in a society where people refrain from harming themselves or others out of fear of the consequences, wouldn’t it be incredible to live in a society where everyone WANTS to refrain from harming themselves or others simply because it is the right thing to do.