Wanted: Your recovery story

at-the-end-of-the-tunnel

“The light at the end of tunnel was just fine and dandy, it was the tunnel at the end of the light that bothered me”. (Stuart Wilde) **

Have you recovered from depression, anxiety or substance abuse? Could your story help others rise up from rock bottom and better manage the challenges of life?

I’m looking for people to interview for this blog who have recovered or are recovering from mental health issues or substance abuse. In particular I’m looking for people who have taken a holistic road to healing: those who have explored therapies such as counselling, exercise, alternative medicine, herbs, yoga, spirituality, support groups or other health modalities.

If you’re interested in participating or would like to know more comment below and I’ll reply shortly. What if you’re story was exactly what someone else needed to hear?

I look forward to hearing from you!

(* * Photo caption quote by the late Stuart Wilde, a quirky and comical self help author popular in the 80s and 90s. I think many of us are afraid of the tunnel at the end of the light but as Robert Frost said “sometimes the only way round is through”.)

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If you like this blog please consider supporting me by checking out my favourite mental health expert: Dr Kelly Brogan MD (Holistic Psychiatrist).  I’m an online affiliate of her 44 Day Vital Mind Reset Course. It’s amazing!! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Reach for the better feeling thought

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Keep calm and reach for the better feeling thought. I like this! There’s always a better feeling thought when you’re in a funk.

In my experience, what works best is to go one step up the “better feeling thought” ladder. Massive leaps don’t work as well and leave you feeling like you’re lying to yourself.

For example say you’re feeling stuck in a rut with your work and not getting along well with your boss. You might be thinking “what a jerk” .. “he’s freaking anal,” “this isn’t fair” “I feel trapped” etc..

All those thoughts are valid and you might think them automatically. However, you might be feeling very distressed and like you urgently need to change something, to feel a sense of relief.

When first practicing the art of searching for the better feeling thought you might try to jump to a fantasy like “maybe I could walk out tomorrow and find a new job within a week” .

This might be possible for some people, they might have the confidence/ situation to pull this off successfully. For many this might be too large of a mental leap. Their inner critic might rebut “As if I’m going to find a job in a week” .. “I’ve got to pay rent next Tues” etc etc, until they’re spinning out in a negative thinking cycle.

Instead the better feeling thought might be “I have the power to improve my situation, even if it takes some time.” or “my boss is a psychopath and everyone thinks that, I don’t take it personally”,  or “I can handle this for now but I’ll start dedicating time each week to looking for a new job”.

Maybe they might just want to look at their work in a different light; look at it as a means to an end and what life goals it’s serving:  “I’m making headway with my goal to travel overseas, I’ve got three more months until my awesome trip.” You get the drift.

Right now as I sit here writing this blog I’m house sitting at my parents place. Waiting for them to return early, any moment now, from a holiday they cut short because Mum hasn’t been feeling well. She’s been getting chest pains and recent heart test results showed up some abnormalities.

I wouldn’t be human if I wasn’t concerned about this. But still there are better feeling thoughts available to me. “I can offer a small gesture of kindness when they arrive home, offer to buy some groceries or make a meal.” .. “I’m there for my Mum as much as I can be and that’s all I can do” etc etc

There’s always a better feeling thought. A reminder to self as much as anyone else.

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If you like this blog please consider supporting me by checking out my favourite mental health expert: Dr Kelly Brogan MD (Holistic Psychiatrist).  I’m an online affiliate of her 44 Day Vital Mind Reset Course. It’s amazing!! 

More Doctors smoke camels

camels

Smoking is healthy … recommended by Doctors! … Wow! We used to actually believe this was true! Early objectors to smoking, those that raised safety concerned were considered a fringe alternative: paranoid worry worts, a nuisance minority.

Until slowly but surely their concerns gained traction, and much research was done. The smoking lobby fought back and after a long battle we eventually came to the current consensus reality point of view that smoking is unhealthy.

History shows us how our consensus reality is ever changing as we learn more and more about the nature of reality.

When it comes to mental health some people, like Dr Peter Gotzche (co founder of Cochrane) have heavily criticized the widespread use of SSRIs. His book “Deadly Medicine and Organised Crime,” was a real eye opener and sparked my initial interest in this topic.

For those who don’t know Cochrane is one of the largest global research initiatives with 37,000 contributors from more than 130 countries, working together to produce credible, accessible health information that is free from commercial sponsorship and other conflicts of interest. They systematically review research to help professionals and patients make the best informed choices possible.

Despite Dr Gotzche’s incredible evidence-based contribution to mental health debate, much of the wisdom in his book is not applied in general practice. That is, SSRIs are still promoted as an integral part of managing depression and anxiety… without question.

New information is emerging and people are unwilling to look at it! According to Dr Kelly Brogan it takes up to 20 years for new research to filter down into actually applied practice on a day to day GP level. It doesn’t mean the new information is bogus or untrue, it just means it still hasn’t found it’s reach into the popular view.

That’s why when it comes to managing your own health it I think it’s totally valid to do your own research. That’s not to suggest getting absolutely obsessed with every possible danger, risk or drug conspiracy theory. No, don’t do that. Just do what it takes to find the treatment you feel is right for you… to find that Doctor, therapist or therapy that feels like it’s in alignment with your inner truth.

That’s all you can really do.

 

 

 

Tomorrow, a mystical land

“I’ll do a blog tomorrow… who cares if I skip a day,” I thought to my self earlier, and then  I saw this…

tomorrow

Ok, ok. I get it. Tomorrow never comes. And sometimes we don’t 100% feel like doing something but should probably just do it anyways! So here I am people. Carpe Diem!!!! Another blog post that perhaps 1 random person might see.. but nevertheless, I made a commitment to myself to do a blog a day for a month!!

Don’t get me wrong, so far I’ve really enjoyed delivering a daily dose of sanity. But today was busy.. I packed in quite a bit and now I just feel a bit ..meh.. end-of-the-day-can’t-be-bothered.

But still, something must come forth. Some tidbit of mental health truth, some tiny portal into wellness. What could that be?

… Hmm.. how about Janson Silva? A hit of his applied megathinking that morphs into a kind of passionate free flow word salad rant that is somehow still extremely articulate. I really dig this dude. “Why are we so fucking sad” he asks reflecting on the world health organisations’ recent announcement that “DEPRESSION is now the world’s most widespread illness.”

And to explore this question further, maybe Dr Kelly Brogan’s musings on spirituality and mental illness might provide some insight. Could the key to this illness be that we really need to care for the soul a little more?

That’s all I’ve got today folks. Be well. Peace x

 

EFT tapping

Years back when I lived in Darwin I went to see a Dr about a sore throat. It was a bog standard bulk billing place and the Dr was a sweet dutch lady who had a gentle bedside manner.  I told her I had been a bit run down from moving house and working 2 jobs.

She prescribed me with some antibiotics but said I could fill the script in a couple of days if the sore throat didn’t go away. I asked why not take them right away and she mentioned something about antibiotic resistance and if they over prescribe them the treatment can be less effective when people really need it.

She also told me to look up something called EFT tapping for “stress”.. she must have sensed that I was going through a difficult time.  I heeded her advice and delayed the antibiotics .. a few days later the sore throat was gone and I was feeling better.

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EFT Tapping points photo source

Intuitively I always had this feeling that when sick I should give my body a chance to fight the illness naturally before taking a script. I’m not sure where I got this idea from since I was raised by conventional parents; firm believers in allopathic medicine… except when it came to the dentist.

My Mum was always horrified when my Dad would announce he received a filling without anesthetic… “Good God! Why on earth would you do that?” she would ask, “isn’t it painful?” … “I prefer to feel the pain and what’s going on” he said.

Strange but something I understand (yet find difficult to articulate why).. Later I tried this brutally daring approach at the Dentist and found it wasn’t really that painful and much preferable to the weird numb feeling you get after an local anesthetic. I would not attempt this on more complicated procedures though!

Anyway, I digress, back to the dutch Dr and her suggestion to try EFT. I looked it up at the time and it turned out to be a sort of tapping version of accupunture whereby you tap certain meridian points rather than poking needles in them.

It’s freely available on the internet so I tried the method a few times, but didn’t think much of it. I did think it was unusual for a medical Dr to recommend something so alternative but it was one of those quirky suggestions I didn’t mind hearing about.

Years later I was feeling nervous about giving a presentation and it just randomly popped into my mind. I looked it up and there were literally hundreds of videos on tapping for different emotional problems including public speaking nerves. I tried the technique again and it really did chill me out!! I gave a killer presentation and was amazed.

Now this sort of therapeutic tool, to my knowledge has not been extensively clinically trialed.. at least it wasn’t back then so I could never be sure if it was really doing anything or just igniting the placebo effect.

Once you learn about the placebo effect and how powerful it is you start to not care whether it’s actually working or if the power of suggestion is doing it’s trick. Either way you feel better and get the desired result.

That’s why I feel there’s no harm in trying a non-invasive technique like EFT for something like public speaking nerves or general stress. I’ve been doing some Brad Yates videos recently which I found very relaxing!! Here’s a link 

The other thing I like about EFT is that you express your emotional issues; fears worries, negative thoughts etc whilst tapping. In that way you give them a voice, or to use the analogy of my Dad at the dentist “feel the pain and what’s going on” whilst the procedure does it’s job.

Whilst other interventions like good old “Dutch Courage” aka downing a lunchtime wine pre-presentation might cover up the nerves like an anesthetic, EFT seems to get to the root somehow and recalibrate things on a more fundamental level.

Have a chilled day people.


If you like this mental health blog please consider supporting me by checking out my favourite mental health Doctor: Dr Kelly Brogan MD (Holistic Psychiatrist).  I’m an online affiliate to her 44 Day Vital Mind Reset Course. It’s amazing!! All proceeds go back into my wellness and continuing to write this blog. 

Doctors’ pills give you brand new ills

Joni Mitchell nailed it when she wrote the lyrics “Doctors’ pills give you brand new ills
And the bills bury you like an avalanche.”

Still you might find me  popping a few pills here and there if I think I really need them.. like for that pesky tonsillitus that won’t go away, for example. But more often than not I try to maintain wellness through lifestyle medicine: eating well, exercising, journnaling, self-pychology etc..

Recently I came across an amazing holistic Dr – Kelly Brogan (psychiatrist) who wrote a New York times best seller on Depression. I loved it so much I decided to become an online advocate for her work!

This article sums up some of the info in the book “Depression Starts in your Gut” a must read for anyone suffering mental health issues. She also has a wonderful course on treating depression and anxiety without drugs. 44 Day Vital Mind Reset

 

Death as a side effect

Years back I was prescribed a medication for gastric reflux which was later taken off the market because it caused too many deaths… a particularly troublesome side effect I hear.

day of the dead artwork

Day of the Dead artwork (by Source)

Despite the horror of that realisation, I’ve still placed my bets on conventional medicine at times when I felt I really needed it.. (like that time when I had bronchitis for 3 weeks and no amount of morning yoga headstands or my housemate’s reiki would get rid of it. Go figure!) I’m grateful for the times where a prescription worked it’s wonders. (or was it the placebo effect).

But sometimes pills don’t deliver on their promise (especially if they kill you) and so you have to dig deeper and ask important questions like why is this happening?…. do I want to treat the symptoms or do I want to find the cause?

In my case I discovered I had food allergies and a weird strain of parasites which I may have contracted overseas!! It took many years for this to be uncovered but eventually I found some answers.

I can’t remember the last time I experienced gastric reflux, and what’s more I actually found I really like gluten free bread and almond milk!! As mentioned before I’ve become a promoter of Dr Kelly Brogan MD, because I’m a huge fan of Holistic medicine.. I think she represents a new breed of Drs willing to dig deeper and ask important questions. Here’s an interesting article on the placebo effect!! Really enjoyed this one!

What is the Placebo Effect, by Kelly Brogan MD

Volunteering as therapy

I came across this beautiful piece on volunteering as a tool for healing, written by a volunteer recovering from Bipolar. A really inspiring read…

Watching the World Go By

I spent months confined to my bed when I was tapering off of my medications. I was alone in my own small world without much connection to the world passing by outside my bedroom window. One month after I took my last dose of my last medication, I knew I had to do something to pull myself from the confines of my pillows and sheets. What began as a tool for simply getting myself out of my bed and out of the house, whether instinctively or not, became a way for me to connect with the greater fabric of humanity. It gave my life purpose and meaning, and through those means it accelerated my healing…. READ MORE HERE

volunteers

It’s no measure of health..

It's no measure of health

“It’s no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” Jiddu Krishnamurti, philosopher/ writer/ speaker. 1895 – 1986

I tend to agree with Krishnamurti that our society, is on mass, very sick. Consider this: 62 of the world’s richest people own the same as the 3.6 billion poorest people. If that isn’t a recipe for global depression then perhaps this is: We’re losing an area of forest as large as 20 football fields every minute.

By the time you finish reading this  blog post, an area of forests 100x greater than a football field will have been destroyed (source). To top it off we’ve got an insane ex reality T.V star (aka Trump) with access to the nuclear bomb codes. Ding ding! The world has gone mad.

oxfam poverty

statistic sourced from Oxfam  www.oxfamamerica.org

So knowing all of this how does one become truly sane? How do we cultivate wellness and contribute to global healing whilst we’re at it?

There’s no easy answers to these questions but I do believe that it’s important to address our own personal problems in the context in which they live. If 1 in 4 women of childbearing age is on antidepressants we have to ask ourselves are we collectively depressed for good reason?… are we all feeling an ecological sense of doom? …. powerless to the economic powers that be? Hopeless about our brothers and sisters living in poverty?

It may not be wise to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders but then again burying our heads in the sand hasn’t really solved anything.

I believe to truly get well, as individuals and as a society we need a whole body/ whole society approach: Mind/ body/ sprit/ planet. If that seems overwhelming to you, perhaps it would be easier to heal this together, with the support of a community.

Dr Kelly Brogan offers an online support group for those who sign up to her 44 day Vital Mind Reset Program. She’s a holistic psychiatrist who’s offering a broader treatment perspective and one that’s really helping people to not only achieve health but establish a deeper connection with the truth.

She also offers  free e-book “Change your Food, Heal your Mood” 

Almost a quarter of Australian teenagers suffering symptoms of mental illness

I was reading an article on ABC news today that said “almost a quarter of Australian teenagers are suffering symptoms of mental illness”. I’ve also read on Dr Kelly Brogan’s site that 1 in 4 women of reproductive age are on an anti- depressant (in the US.. not sure what the Australian statistic are on that.. but I imagine it’s up there)..

This is an epidemic of magnitude to say the least. When this many people are suffering a mental illness you have to ask yourself what’s really going on here? Are we over diagnosing the worried well? Are we over prescribing psychiatric medications to people who might be better served implementing some lifestyle changes? Or are people, on mass truly reaching a psychological tipping point?

Personally I believe it’s all of the above. Collectively, we are getting increasingly stressed, depressed, adrenally fatigued and well over it! .. and in this mad brew of evolutionary miss match big Pharma are cashing in on people’s misery. It breaks my heart!

The good news is that a new breed of Drs are emerging, offering a broader more holistic approach to treatment, or “Lifestyle Medicine” as it’s been coined. We need more of this! Dr Kelly Brogan (Holistic Psychiatrist) is one such person who I believe is a game changer in her field: debunking myths and offering a powerful scientific alternative.

She offers a free E-Book here which I highly recommend. In a world obsessed with the magic-pill-quick-fix-band-aid approach I’m so relived someone like Dr Brogan is shining her light of evidence-based truth!

not a single study