My Take on Modern Mental Illness

Our current way of dealing with “mental illness” is exceedingly limited. Not only do we over-label, we over medicate, and most people, behind their masks, are hurting. Quality “solutions” are few. I wonder how many kids and adults are now medicated in this country and around the world? I’m not anit-meds since I’ve seen some very helpful results when used by a solid psychiatrist. But, sadly, when in pain, most folks are labeled, then given medications by doctors who are overworked, undereducated/qualified about the long term implications, and who are bought and sold by big pharma. Thus, people don’t get the real help they need. Because people prefer quick-fix, over the hero’s journey, they are vulnerable to doctors giving them band aids. The hero’s journey can take years of challenge and support to heal our maladies and to uncover who we are. And, since we are a “pain-adverse” culture, we are not really willing, or often able, to make the journey our soul requires. The smart ones know the “splits,” crises, and pain many of us encounter are part of our path.

Even given our ineptitude to truly help people, something exciting is happening. Many folks are frustrated with the lack of long-term results given by western psychology and medicine and willing to stretch way outside the box. For example, last week, ShamanTube posted this article I put up a couple of years ago (it’s a brief excerpt from an article featuring Malidoma Patrice Some). Within 2 weeks, over 30,000 people read it and there’s been a massive wave of people who feel seen and acknowledged by this article. To me, the mini-viral response speaks to the longing to find another way, a new way, or perhaps an old way, to deal with the psycho-spiritual mind-body split which leads to the label “mental illness.”

Let’s raise the collective consciousness higher here and keep calling in new modalities, “medicines,” and healers that move beyond band-aids and truly address the core issues that facilitate deep, lasting transformation as we move toward wholeness—our birthright. To the courageous ones who know inside their hearts, that there’s another way, it’s coming–someday. Perhaps in this lifetime–a bridge between shamanism and psychiatry, which will treat the most difficult of “disorders.” May it be so.

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