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i'm very interested in an integral holistic view on things. Below are some rough notes i have written & information i have accumulated on it all that i would like to make into a book at some stage -


There are various teachings about the subtle energy bodies, soul & spirit aspects to the Self. i don't think any of this information needs to be at odds with any other specific religious/spiritual teaching/system.

i really like this web site & it's descriptions of the 7 levels of the Self/Reality - http://www.energyreality.com/pgs/7lev.htm

Emotional Suppression/Unhealthy Emotional Expression leading to mental illness
Basic Model -

Layers of emotional 'mechanism' - (personal/interpersonal & transpersonal)

Psychosis/Mania (breaks through the depressed state, & seeks resolution/healing/integration)
Depression - [Depressed emotional/psychological state]
Denial - Invalidation/Trivialisation - covers -
Anger - Blame - covers -
Sadness - covers -
Fear - Ignorance (lack of understanding/healing) -
(original trauma(s))
i don't personally think these areas can be properly understood without some understanding of the esoteric nature of the Self.

Leaving aside the Higher Spiritual planes/levels -

The Spiritual/Psyche/Physical -

What can be considered to be the material realms (according to certain models (of many)) -

Corresponding centres - Awareness/phenomenal level -

Atmic limit
Higher & lower impersonal Self >
Crown - Atmic (Limit of Kundalini)
Brow & Throat - Intuitive
Lower & Personal Self >
Heart Centre - Higher Mental
[Mind Bridge]
Solar Plexus - Lower Mental
Emotional - Astral
Spleen - Etheric
Physical (Body/Brain)

Spiritual Emergencies: Understanding and Treatment of Psychospiritual Crises -

Discussion of each in below link -

1. Shamanic crisis
2. Awakening of Kundalini
3. Episodes of unitive consciousness (Maslow's "peak experiences")
4. Psychological renewal through return to the center (John Perry)
5. Crisis of psychic opening
6. Past-life experiences
7. Communication with spirit guides and "channeling"
8. Near-death experiences (NDEs)
9. Close encounters with UFOs and alien abduction experiences
10. Possession states
11. Alcoholism and drug addiction


Very short summation of some Theosophical ideas -

"Our essence is beyond space and time, aware of itself as a part of infinity. I'll call this Spirit

This essence puts a very small part of itself - the soul - into the world of space and time, incarnation, and so develops its consciousness through experiencing duality.
After hundreds or even thousands of incarnations, the soul is ready to merge into its spirit and continue its evolution in worlds beyond our imagination.

The soul itself creates another layer - the personality or ego - which is the vehicle of consciousness for the soul in one particular life time.

In Western culture the soul is strongly encouraged to forget its own identity, and to identify itself solely with its personality. This makes for a cheap, obedient workforce.

Spiritual emergence in this model occurs when identification with the personality/ego is broken, even for only a moment. The personality/ego has to come to terms with the realisation that there is much more to life than it had realised (made real).

Once this limited identification is broken, the ego will desire to return to its old way of life, yet usually has to concede it has a bigger purpose than it wants to know about. Consensual reality no longer works for it, so it must experiment and create a larger map of reality.

Often ego inflation occurs at this stage. The ego has a strong sense of separation, yet has had a glimpse of the immensity of the universal mind. It may then decide it is the messiah or God or a chosen saviour. As a spirit, it is indeed God, however as a soul and ego, it is still evolving to become God incarnate.

A spiritual emergence is a part of the evolutionary process when awareness shifts from ego to soul. With mindfulness, we can observe if our thoughts, emotions and actions arise from our ego - that strong sense of a separate me - or from the soul.

Eventually, the ego has had enough of suffering, and is ready to accept it is a part of a much greater being than it believed itself to be, and to be grateful for that."

The etheric body -

The etheric body, ether-body, æther body, a name given by neo-Theosophy to a vital body or subtle body propounded in esoteric philosophies as the first or lowest layer in the "human energy field" or aura. It is said to be in immediate contact with the physical body, to sustain it and connect it with "higher" bodies.

The English term "etheric" in this context seems to derive from the Theosophical writings of Madame Blavatsky, but its use was formalised by C.W. Leadbeater and Annie Besant due to the elimination of Hindu terminology from the system of seven planes and bodies. (Adyar School of Theosophy).

The term gained some general popularity after the 1914-18 war, Dr.Walter John Kilner having adopted it for a layer of the "human atmosphere" which, as he claimed in a popular book, could be rendered visible to the naked eye by means of certain exercises.

The classical element Aether of Platonic and Aristotlean physics continued in Victorian scientific proposals of a Luminiferous ether as well as the cognate chemical substance ether. According to Theosophists and Alice Bailey the etheric body inhabits an etheric plane which corresponds to the four higher subplanes of the physical plane. The intended reference is therefore to some extremely rarefied matter, analogous in usage to the word "spirit" (originally "breath"). In selecting it as the term for a clearly defined concept in an Indian-derived metaphysical system, the Theosophists aligned it with ideas such as the prana-maya-kosha (sheath made of prana, subtle breath or life-force) of Vedantic thought.

In popular use it is often confounded with the related concept of the astral body as for example in the term astral projection - the early Theosophists had called it the "astral double". Others prefer to speak of the "lower and higher astral".


The human being that lives on Earth and through understanding finishes the existence of his/her ego, opens his/her consciousness, which becomes diffused into the universe and in this way reaches the level of Great Understanding. After that, the human consciousness arranges all accumulated information into the level of Cognition that is completed by Enlightenment. After this process the human being turns into an energetic being and leaves the physical universe. He/she enters the higher luminary world of positive energies where the being continues to develop and learns to create increasingly higher and higher positive energies. The final stage is the conscious creation of the highest energy – the Absolute and becoming the part of it.

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Body/Mind/Soul - Spirit/Psyche/Physical view of Reality

Below is a very basic model of how i see reality - & does appear to be verified within a lot of writings/teachings.

Basically - Spirit/Psyche/Physical

Many writings discuss 7 bodies/initiations.

The Spiritual Realms

Manasic (Lower, Middle & Higher)


Creator/Created Worlds

Psyche/Soul -
Higher & Lower Mind

Language of Religion. Myth, Symbol, Analogy & Metaphor.

Astral (Lower, Middle & Higher)


Physical - Brain/Body - Biological Computer

All exists within environment.

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There is nothing new in an integral/holistic view - it simply takes the whole person/everything into account. The spiritual/transpersonal, the psyche/psychological/emotional, the social/environmental & the physical. Obviously a huge amount comes under each area. No one is wholly right or wrong - there is validity from many different perspectives - Lots of ways of framing an integral view, but simply that we're Mind/Body/Soul within an Environment.

i don't see why there needs to be a split between science & spirituality either - Both can co-exist - you can take an integral model. We have a body, emotions & mind - & we also are the soul/spirit (imo). Reality exists at many levels. i don't see a case of either/or - our inner life is interconnected with our physiology (biology), which is interconnected with our environment/circumstances.

Part of the problem i see within areas of the current 'mental health' system, understandings & approaches, is that there is far too much polemics (arguments), about what these experiences are/& aren't. From deterministic/reductionistic/materialistic biomedical psychiatry/medicine/genetics/neurology - to epigenetics/plasticity, spiritual emergency, depth psychology/the transpersonal, traumagenic models, formulation, & many other theories. i don't see the difficulty in taking all of it as having some validity - that no one totally fits any one model/theory - all the models are different tools or frameworks.

Other than the mystery & existence of life itself - Everything really is a representation - Myth. Symbol, Metaphor & Analogy, & best understood as such. Meaning/Truth is multifaceted & multi dimensional - people are unique/individual.
i think the frame of reference & dialogue is far too narrow within the entire mental health field/debate, both orthodox & alternative/survivor. There could be an integral view that considers comprehensive, encompassing understandings that acknowledge all areas of science, spirituality, psychology, biomedical, philosophy, mythology, the humanities - in fact every area of life & experience that impacts personal meaning & well-Being. Everything is in reality interrelated, interdependent, & interconnected.

Holistic, Integral/Integrated View of Mental Health

Body, Mind, Spirit & Environment.

1) Physiological, Biologic, Brain Developmental, Epigenetic, Brain Plasticity. Would include drug use/medications, diet & other impactors on physiology/biology. (biomedical Models)

2) Psychological, Emotional, & the bodies energetic systems. (Psychological Models)

3) Social, Environmental, Inter-Personal/Relational, Familial, Life Experiences. Stress/Trauma - 'What has happened to you?' (Social Models)

4) Spiritual/Trans-Personal, Past life/Karmic. Life Lessons, Soul Plan. Spirit Attachment. (Spiritual/Transpersonal Models)

All areas are interrelated - Bio/Psycho/Social/Spirit Model. Covering the 4 main areas of Life.
Differential Frameworks – multi-factored, comprehensive, person centred & individualised approach to understanding of non-ordinary experiences/mental health experiences/mental & emotional confusion & distress/psychic disturbance.

Overlaps exist within each field.

Life – Essence & Being – Beyond the Mind/Thought/Thinking/Language/Ideas/Concepts/Theories.


Brain Developmental.
Brain Structural.
Neurological Pathways/Patterning.
Early brain development 0-3/5 years.
Epigenetic & genetic mutation at conception.
Brain Plasticity.
Deep Brain States.
Limbic System.
Temporal Lobes.
Brain Shift.
Pathogens in utero.
Pre/perinatal experiences/conditions.
Nutritional issues.
Stress & trauma.
Organic Processes.
Drug/Alcohol use/Medications/Psychiatric Drugs.
Other Diseases Pathogens.
Biomedical & Alternative/Holistic.
Brain Circuits.
Materialism VS Energetic Living Systems.
Biomorphic Resonance.
CNS (Central Nervous System) & Mind/Brain/Body Integration.


Depth Psychology
Pre, Personal, Collective, & Universal Unconscious.
Realms of the Psyche.
Personality Types.
Supra Conscious.
Psychological Formulation.
Psychological & Emotional States.
States of Being.
Non-Ordinary States.
Altered States.
Normal range.
Axis 1 & 2 Disorders.
Existential Crisis.
Healing & resolution.


Supra Conscious.
Holographic Mind/Universe.
Beyond Mind/Zen no Mind.
Past Life.
Inter Life Areas (Soul Group/Partner(s), Guide(s), council of Elders).
Life Lessons.
Soul Plan/Path.
Free Will & Choices.
Spirit Possession.
Psychic Gifts/Phenomena.
Shamanic Opening/Crisis.
Spiritual Emergence/Emergency/Crisis.
Psychic Opening.
Ego Death/Loss.
Universal/Fundamental Consciousness.
Heart Brain Consciousness.
Energy Bodies.
Higher Self.
Self Actualisation, Realisation, Individualisation.
NDE & OBE Experiences.
Lucid dreaming.
States of Suspension. Transformations of Consciousness. Presence Awareness.
Energy & Layered Frequency Bands.
Parallel Processing.
Total Abstraction.
Memory Fields & Morphic Resonance.
Vibrational Integrity.
Zero Point Fields & Other Field Interactions.
Stabilisation & Control Issues. Combined Literal & Symbolic/Objective & Subjective States.
Other World Journeys.
Phases of Integration.
Hyper/Super Sensitivity.
Continuity Establishment. Archetypal/Individuation Issues. Entanglement.
Mass Mind.
Many Worlds.
Simultaneous & Matrix Awareness. Future Orientations.
Webs of Interconnectedness
Broader Range of Frequencies. Resonance Patterns
Internal Flow States.
Super Fluidity/Fluid Dynamics. Wave Patterns & Breaking Containment Thresholds. Embodiment Issues


Social Conditioning.
Familial & Wider Social Dynamics.
Human Being/Existential.
Stress & Trauma.
Media/Mass Media.
Cultural Beliefs/Traditions.
Natural World.
Introjection & Projection.
What has happened to you?
Global Issues.

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Some examples -


Diabasis / i-ward - https://michaelcornwall.com/tag/diabasis-house// http://www.madinamerica.com/2012/02/remembering-a-medication-free-madness-sanctuary/


Soteria - http://www.moshersoteria.com/


Windhorse Integrative Mental Health - https://www.windhorseimh.org/


Recovering Sanity - http://www.shambhala.com/recovering-sanity.html


Open Dialogue - http://www.mindfreedom.org/kb/mental-health-alternatives/finland-open-dialogue/ http://www.communitycare.co.uk/2015/02/12/open-dialogue-care-model-put-mental-health-social-work-back-map/


Quaker/Moral Treatment - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_treatment/ http://www.theretreatyork.org.uk/


ISPS - http://www.isps.org// http://www.ispsuk.org/


Crazy Wise Project - https://crazywisefilm.com/#about


Intimations (a small selection) -

Symbols of Transformation by Carl Jung
Unshrinking Psychosis by by John Watkin
The Exploration of the Inner World by Boisen, Anton T
Recovering Sanity: A Compassionate Approach to Understanding and Treating Psychosis by Edward Podvoll
Soul Centered Healing by Tom Zinser
The Psychology of the Esoteric by Osho
Worlds Beyond Death by Grant H Pealer
Journey of Souls - by Michael Newton
Exploring the Eternal Soul - by Andy Tomlinson
The New Regression Therapy - by Greg McHugh
Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and Its Attainment - by Rudolf Steiner


Are things changing? -




"Alternatives to mainstream mental health are now being taken seriously by the mainstream media, as evidenced by the New York Times August 2016 article, “An Alternative Form of Mental Health Care Gains a Foothold.” The recently published book Outside Mental Health: Voices and Visions of Madness (2016) provides both compelling alternatives and realistic hope for those who have been failed by mainstream mental health.

It has become increasingly mainstream to criticize psychiatry for its corruption by drug companies, invalid diagnoses, lack of long-term treatment effectiveness, and other scientific failings. Outside Mental Health reminds us that perhaps the most pathetic aspect “inside mainstream mental health” is how simplistic, boring, and reductionist it is—when our natures are so very complex, fascinating, and non-reductionist. Outside Mental Health restores the full range of color to our humanity."

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A few of the other alternatives & critics of the current system (some my repeat) -


[Outlines of Madness/experiences of Anomalous/non-ordinary states; from the understandings of depth/trans-personal/process orientated psychology & spiritual emergence/emergency. Of those who have pioneered & looked at holistic; & more in depth psychological/social approaches to Madness]

Toxic Psychiatry & other work by Peter Breggin.

Mad in America & Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker.

Madness Explained & Doctoring the Mind by Richard Bentall.

The work of R D Laing, Thomas S. Szasz & Gregory Bateson (double bind/Family Dynamics/social constructs/communication).

Dantes Cure by Daniel Dorman.

Agnes Jacket by Gail Hornstein.

The necessity of Madness by John Breeding.

The work of Arnold Mindell & process orientated psychology.

The field of spiritual emergence & emergency – trans-personal psychology – the work of Stanislav Grof. Also Isabel Clarke & Catherine Lucas.

The work of Daniel Mackler.

The Far Side of Madness, Trials of the Visionary Mind & The Self in Psychotic Process by John Weir perry; & Diabasis.

Loren Mosher & the Soteria Project.

Open Dialogue, Windhorse, & CooperRiis healing communities.

The work of Carl Jung – Symbols of Transformation (Collected Works Volume 5), Psychology and Alchemy (Collected Works Volume 12).
The Red Book, Psyche & Symbol, & many others.

Awareness Teachings – Anthony De Mello, Eckhart Tolle, Pema Chodron, John Kabat-Zinn, Adyashanti (& many others).

Healing from Trauma – Peter Levine, Dr. Clancy McKenzie, & Gabor Mate.

Quaker Approaches to Madness.

Moving onto the field of past life/inter life research (past life traumas/samskaras) – With Authors such as Ethan Vorley, Kubler Ross, Andy Tomlinson, Ian Lawton, Brian Weiss, Robert M. Schwartz & Dolores Cannon.

Theosophy & associated areas – including the authors Violet Starre, Alice Bailey, Vera S. Alder, & Joshua David Stone.

Those working in the scientific, environmental, medical, political, social, & economic arenas at the forefront of paradigm shift; & focused on systemic change. Such as Rupert Sheldrake, Alan Wallace, Terence McKenna, Karl H. Pribram, Michael Talbot etc (too many to list).


Paris Williams -
Rethinking Madness: Towards a Paradigm Shift in Our Understanding and Treatment of Psychosis


Joanna Moncrieff -

A Straight Talking Introduction to Psychiatric Drugs
The Myth of the Chemical Cure: A Critique of Psychiatric Drug Treatment
De-Medicalizing Misery: Psychiatry, Psychology and the Human Condition.

John Weir Perry -

Trails of the Visionary Mind
The Far Side of Madness
Lord of the Four Quarters
Self in Psychotic Process
Roots of Renewal
Heart of History – Individuality in Evolution

Richard Bentall -

Reconstructing Schizophrenia
Doctoring the Mind: Why Psychiatric Treatments Fail
Madness Explained: Psychosis and Human Nature
Think You're Crazy? Think Again: A Resource Book for Cognitive Therapy for Psychosis


Peter Breggin -

Toxic Psychiatry: Why Therapy, Empathy and Love Must Replace the Drugs, Electroshock, and Biochemical Theories of the "New Psychiatry".
Your Drug May Be Your Problem: How and Why to Stop Taking Psychiatric Medications.
Medication Madness: A Psychiatrist Exposes the Dangers of Mood-Altering Medications.
Brain-Disabling Treatments in Psychiatry: Drugs, Electroshock and the Psychopharmaceutical Complex.
The Heart of Being Helpful: Empathy and the Creation of a Healing Presence.
Beyond Conflict: From Self-Help and Psychotherapy to Peacemaking.

Irving Kirsch PhD -

The Emperor's New Drugs: Exploding the Antidepressant Myth.

Loren R. Mosher -

Soteria: Through Madness to Deliverance.
Models of Madness: Psychological, Social and Biological Approaches to Schizophrenia (The International Society for the Psychological Treatments of the Schizophrenias and Other Psychoses).

Thomas S. Szasz -

The Myth of Mental Illness.
The Medicalization of Everyday Life: Selected Essays.
Cruel Compassion: Psychiatric Control of Society's Unwanted.
Ideology and Insanity: Essays on the Psychiatric Dehumanization of Man.
The Manufacture of Madness: Comparative Study of the Inquisition and the Mental Health Movement.
Coercion as Cure: A Critical History of Psychiatry.
Psychiatry: The Science of Lies.
The Heart Too Long Suppressed: A Chronicle of Mental Illness.

Robert D. Hinshelwood -

Beyond Madness: Psychosocial Interventions in Psychosis.

Daniel Carlat -

The Trouble With Psychiatry: An Insider's Expose.
Unhinged: The Trouble with Psychiatry - A Doctor's Revelations about a Profession in Crisis.

John Breeding -

The Necessity of Madness: Explaining How Psychiatry is a Clinical Construct and Madness is a Metaphor.
The Wildest Colts Make the Best Horses.

Mary Boyle -

Schizophrenia: A Scientific Delusion?

Lucy Johnstone -

Users and Abusers of Psychiatry: A Critical Look at Psychiatric Practice.

David Healy -

Let Them Eat Prozac: The Unhealthy Relationship Between the Pharmaceutical Industry and Depression.
Dying for a Cure.

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Source for following - http://www.successfulschizophrenia.org/resource.html


In The Grip of Paranoid Schizophrenia - One Man's Metamorphosis through Psychosis

"Non-fiction autobiographical account by the author of his surviving 30+ years with Paranoid Schizophrenia. From onset and early years of illness through his eight-year delusion that he was John Lennon in a CIA covert operation that he was back from the dead, this book shows the intimate workings of a psychotic mind..... Includes portions of his U.S. Secret Service file and other documentation showing the story is true in how this untreated illness affects society, as well as the individual. Contains factual accounts of how the author finds wellness. An excellent, intelligent, and insightful look at the mysterious bizarre illness of Paranoid Schizophrenia."

Madness, Heresy and the Rumor of Angels: The Revolt Against the Mental Health System -

Seth Farber has collected seven true stories of individuals insulted and injured by themental health system, individuals who then fought back, broke free, and rebuilt their lives. He challenges the delusional belief system known as psychiatry.

Welcome to the Dance: Caffeine Allergy - A Masked Cerebral Allergy and Progressive Toxic Dementia -

Welcome to the Dance explains the biochemical imbalances caused by caffeine allergy and caffeine poisoning that are responsible for the diagnosis of mental illness, the symptoms of so-called mental illness. It tells the authors story and shares stories of other persons allergic to caffeine.

Exuberance: The Passion for Life -

Expert in the arena of mood and temperament, Jamison (An Unquiet Mind; Night Falls Fast; Touched with Fire) detours from her usual analysis of mood disorders in favor of the livelier side of personality. She examines the contagious nature of exuberance, which she defines as "a psychological state characterized by high mood and high energy," offering diverse examples that range from John Muir and FDR to Mary Poppins and Peter Pan. Having in mind the simply put idea that "those who are exuberant act," the author details the energetic efforts of scientists, naturalists, politicians and even her meteorologist father. (Review courtsey of Publishers Weekly.)

The End of Faith: Religion, Terror and the Future of Reason -

"Sam Harris delivers a startling analysis of the clash between reason and religion in the modern world. He offers a vivid, historical tour of our willingness to suspend reason in favor of religious beliefs--even when these beliefs inspire the worst of human atrocities. While warning against the encroachment of organized religion into world politics, Harris draws on insights from neuroscience, philosophy, and Eastern mysticism to deliver a call for a truly modern foundation for ethics and spirituality that is both secular and humanistic."

a Beautiful Mind -

a Beautiful Mind is a biography of John Forbes Nash, a mathematicla genius, prodigy and legend by the age of thirty. Nash suffered a catastrophic mental breakdown, slipping into insanity for nearly three decades, but miraculously recovered and went on to win a Nobel prize in economics in 1994. Read this amazing story....

Models of Madness -

Models of Madness summarizes the research showing that hallucinations and delusions are understandable reactions to life events and circumstances rather than symptoms of a biologically-based illness or genetic predisposition. Twenty-three international contributors: • critique the "medical model" of madness • examine the dominance of the "illness" approach to understanding madness, from historical and economic perspectives*• document the adverse role of drug companies • outline a range of research-based psychosocial treatment approaches, and*• identify the urgency and possibility of prevention of madness.

Warning: Psychiatry Can Be Hazardous to Your Mental Health -

In the last 20 years, psychiatry has changed completely. The vast majority of psychiatrists who used to counsel, now gather together lists of symptoms, such as depression, anxiety and compulsions, wrongly call them mental illnesses and claim they should be treated with the "brain drugs"-- Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, and Ritalin among them. Compassion, counseling and mental health have been reduced to tiny blips on the current psychiatric screen. This book brings together Dr. Glasser's ideas about mental illness and what you can do for yourself.

How to Become A Schizophrenic: The Case Against Biological Psychiatry, 3rd edition -

How to Become a Schizophrenic is divided into three parts. In Part I the author utilizes the ideas of Harry Stack Sullivan, Theodore Lidz, Gregory Bateson, R.D. Scott and P.L. Ashworth, W. Ronald D. Fairbairn, Anton Boisen and others--as well as his own experiences-- to construct a comprehensive theory which explains how and why people become schizophrenic.

Trials of the Visionary Mind: Spiritual Emergency and the Renewal Process -

This book examines what the acute "psychotic" experience stirs up in the psyche and how to empathetically respond. Understanding the function of mythic themes is reached through the author's historic investigation into myth and ritual of prophets and social reformers in various ages and parts of the world.

Mad in America -

Medical journalist Robert Whitaker reaveals an astounding truth: Schizophrenics in the United States currently fare worse than patients in the world's poorest countries, and quite possibly worse than asylum patients did in the early 19th century. Whitaker argues that modern treatments for the mentally ill are just old medicine in new bottles, and that we as a society are deeply deluded about their efficacy.

Punishing the Patient: How Psychiatrists Misunderstand and Mistreate Schizophrenia -

The underlying nature of schizophrenia is shrouded in mystery. There are no laboratory tests available to confirm a diagnosis, and psychiatrists have many divergent and contradictory theories about its cause. The central, confronting question posed by Punishing the Patient is whether people with schizophrenic systems have a right to refuse psychiatric treatment. This book is bound to lead to a re-examination of schizophrenia by patients, ex-patients, parents, psychiatrists, politicians, and the State.

Mistaken Identity: Surviving tragedy and misdiagnosis -

"When tragedy strikes... what happens if, when you seek the help you need, you are misdiagnosed and allowed to suffer from depression and anxiety for years on end while further lossses accumulate? This is what I experienced as a result of analytical psychotherapy and it's a timely warning...."

Blaming Our Genes: Why Mental Illness Can't Be Inherited -

After searching the whole human genome over and over agian for years, not one single gene has ever been found that causes any mental illness. How then have scientists convinced the public and fooled themselves that the inhereitance model of mental illness is valid? This book tells you how and why.

Rape of the Soul: How the Chemical Imbalance Model of Modern Psychiatry has Failed its Patients -

Using scientifically sound evidence, Rape of the Soul convincingly demonstrates that NO chemical imbalances exist for any so called mental illness, and that psychiatric drugs do not cure mental illness. Instead, this book explains how drugs "work" by blocking out emotional pain, thereby robbing the soul of its fullest potential for healing and wholeness. Also clearly demonstrated is the fact that psychotherapy is superior to drug treatment for all disorders, including schizophrenia.

The Bridge Between Two Worlds: A Shaman's View of Schizophrenia and Acute Sensitivity -

Not anyone can be a shaman, however we are all able to walk the path of the shaman and gain valuable tools to assist us in surviving the more dark and challenging times of our lives. The Path of the Shaman teaches us to stay balanced and grounded on this earth, to honour and understand the laws of nature and to keep our core self whole. Walking the Shamans path is a wonderful adventure once you learn the laws and tools to keep you protected whilst on your journey.

Blaming the Brain: The TRUTH About Drugs and Mental Health -

"Valenstein reveals how, beginning in the 50s, the accidental discovery of a few mood-altering drugs stimulated an enormous interst in psychopharmacology, resulting in staggering growth and profits for the pharmaceutical industry. He lays bare the commercial motives of the drug companies and their huge stake in expanding their markets. "

PCCS Books listing of Critical Psychology titles -

Escape From Psychiatry -

ESCAPE FROM PSYCHIATRY is a very powerful story! I am awed by Clover's strength and courage in being able to go back and relive all of her experiences of psychiatric abuse in order to write about what she went through. Her story is very important because it shows how the core of so-called "schizophrenia" often traces back to feeling desperate for love and yet very afraid of it. Mostly, however, her story documents how the pessimistic expectations that psychiatrists have for people who are extreme mental cases can become self- fulfilling prophecies for people who remain trapped as "patients" in the "mental health" system. When Clover found different people who gave her kindness, love, and hope, she recovered and healed. This is the kind of story that most psychiatrists can't stand hearing about because it shows how they contribute to the very conditions they claim they are trying to cure, and it shows that their beliefs about "chronic mental cases" can be totally wrong. --Al Siebert, PhD (Resiliency Center Director)

Mental Illness: Opposing Viewpoints -

"Renowned psychiatrist Peter Breggin documents how psychiatric drugs and electroshock disable the brain. He presents the latest scienttific information on potential brain dysfunction and dangerous behaviorial abnormalitites produced by the most widely used drugs including Prozac, Xanax, Halcion, Ritalin, and lithium."

Users and Abusers of Psychiatry -

"A radically different critical account of the day-to-day practices of psychiatry. Using real-life examples and her own experience as a clinical psychologist, the author argues that the traditional way of treating mental breakdown can often exacerbate people's original difficulties leaving them powerless, disabled aned even more distressed."

Reclaiming Our Children: A Healing Plan for a Nation in Crisis -

"From recasting our attitudes as parents and getting more involved in schools as volunteers, to restructuring class size, limiting homework, and fostering honest dialog about the pressures in our society, Reclaiming Our Children shows us the way to lasting peace with and among our children."

Your Drug May be Your Problem: How and Why to Stop Taking Psychiatric Medications -

"Psychiatric drugs are given upbeat names like antidepressent, tranquilizer, sleeping pill, stimulant, and mood stabalizer. They are prescribed to more than 20 million Americans to help with problem called 'depression,' 'anxiety,' 'panic disorder,' and 'attention deficit hyperactive disorder; But can these drugs do you more harm than good? Can they make you feel worse than you did before you took them or when you stop?"

I'll Carry the Fork: Recovering a Life After Brain Injury -

Death didn't find Kara Swanson the day the minivan careened into her own car, but the head injury she sustained changed her life forever. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is not a laughing matter, but the author presents her painful tale in an Erma Bombeck-like style that wraps the hard information in humor and gentle playfulness. Alongside Kara's inspirational sense of humor, medical and legal professionals offer technical input and practical advice to those dealing with or helping someone through the aftermath of brain injury. This funny and informative book will help countless others find their way to a new life, and know that they are not alone on the journey.

Natural Healing for Schizophrenia: A Compendium of Nutritional Methods -

An overview of the wide varieties of conditions which contribute to, cause, or are often mislabelled as schizophrenia. A reported 80-85% of individuals given nutritional treatment for biotype-based biochemical balances recover, or are greatly improved. Results gleaned from over 40 years of research by hundreds of physicians. This book is a must for any library.

Reality Therapy in Action -

"Sit with Dr. Glasser as he counsels a variety of clients and reveals the explicit core of his established counseling method, sharing his thoughts with you as the counseling proceeds."


In June of 1996, six people with histories of depression were brought together to discuss their experiences with, and opinions about "mental disorder." The result is a unique cinematic experience that will change the way you think about "normal."
Dancing with God Through the Storm: Mysticism and Mental Illness
Jennifer Elam, a licensed psychologist, describes her experiences hearing people's stories about God. She herself has had a personal experience that by some measures could have been considered psychotic. Read her letter to Successful Schizophrenia and why she has stopped practicing psychology until she can find a way to treat them without doing harm.

A Wrongful Death: One Child's Fatal Encounter with Public Health and Private Greed -

A book about the suicide of a teenage girl, Christy Scheck, in a mental hospital run by National Medical Enterprises.

Brain Disabling Treatments in Psychiatry: Drugs, Electroshock... -

"Renowned psychiatrist Peter Breggin documents how psychiatric drugs and electroshock disable the brain. He presents the latest scienttific information on potential brain dysfunction and dangerous behaviorial abnormalitites produced by the most widely used drugs including Prozac, Xanax, Halcion, Ritalin, and lithium."

Toxic Psychiatry: Why Therapy, Empathy, and Love Must Replace the Drugs, Electroshock and Biochemical Theories of the New Psychiatry

The War Against Children

Beyond Conflict

The Wildest Colts make the Best Horses -

"This timely book calls for a halt to the epidemic drugging of young people in our society today for so called ADHD (Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)." What to do when your child is labeled a problem by the schools. Includes "All About Children": Selected quotations compiled by Leonard Roy Frank.

They Say You're Crazy: How the World's Most Powerful Psychiatrists Decide Who's Normal -

"How are decisions made about who is normal? As a former consultant to those who construct the 'bible of the mental-health professions,' the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), Paula Caplan offers an insider's look at the process by which decisions about abnormality are made. Cutting through the professional psycho-babble, Caplan clearly assesses the astonishing extent to which scientific methods and evidence are disregarded as the Handbook is developed. A must read for consumers and practitioners of mental-health services."

Psychiatric Nursing: Ethical Strife -

Psychiatric nursing is fraught with more ethical dilemmas than any other area of nursing practice. This collection of reflections on ethical issues for psychiatric nurses and society features 'real life' everyday experiences of practitioners, and breaks new ground in the field of psychiatric nursing ethics. Features both new and seasoned writers with moving experiences to share. Read more about Psychiatric Nursing: Ethical Strife.

Insanity Inside Out: The personal story behind the landmark Supreme Court decision -

Read the story behind the late Ken Donaldson, the namesake to the Kenneth Donaldson Archives for the Autobiographies of Psychiatric Survivors. "Insanity Inside Out is a tragic story of fifteen wasted years, stolen from Donaldson as a result of involuntary commitment to a Florida state mental hospital. For fifteen years he sought to procure his release, to assert his sanity, to demand his constitutional rights."
Cruel Compassion: Psychiatric Control of Society's Unwanted

Re-examining psychiatric interventions from a cultural-historical and political-econmic perspective, Szasz demonstrates that the main problem that faces mental health policy makers today is adult dependency. Millions of Americans, diagnosed as mentally ill are drugged and confined by doctors for non-criminal conduct, go legally unpunished for the crimes they committ, and are supported by the state--not because they are sick, but because they are unproductive and unwanted.

Insanity: The Idea and Its Consequences

The Manufacture of Madness: A Comparative Study of the Inquisition and the Mental Health Movement -

Dr. Szasz examines the similarities between the Inquisition and institutional psychiatry.

Exploring Madness: Experience, Theory, and Research, Second Edition -

"Innovative and radical approaches to the investigation, understanding and treatment of madness. Included are personal and literary accounts, theroetical viewpoints, and research findings."

From Placebo to Panacea: Putting Psychiatric Drugs to the Test =

This new book contains devastating critiques of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), of drug studies and the placebo effect. This overview contains broad yet pointed critique of the various types of biases introduced by drug company funding of drug research.

Shock Treatment Is Not Good For Your Brain: A Neurologist Challenges the Psychiatric Myth -

"Seven painful first-hand interviews with victims of electroshock thereapy. With Dr. Friedberg's guidance, patients tell in their own words the frightening effects--pain, memory loss, confusion and fear--of this throwback to the Inquisition."
Schizo T-A-N-G-O: Disarming Madness

Wisdom, Madness and Folly -

The Far Side of Madness -

by John Weir Perry

"First published in 1974, this pioneering work reframes acute psychotic episodes in the context of visionary experience and describes the resulting innovative methods of handling them. This book recounts experiences of individuals undergoing visionary 'upheavals,' discussing at length the sense of messianic callings and programs, the renewal of the self and its relation to creativity, and finally a philosophy and method of treatment."

Going Crazy: The Radical Therapy of R.D. Laing and Others -

"Radical approaches to the art of soul healing from the experts. R.D. Laing, David Cooper, Claude Steiner, Joe Berke, Antonin Artaud et al debunk the sacred profession of psychiatry as practiced--and usurped--by today's medical Establishment."

Kundalini - Psychosis or Transcendence -

"Kundalini is a psychophisiological transformation process, which, under suitable guidance and conditions, can lead to psychological balance, strength, and maturity. If the process is not recognized when it occurs, its proper development may be inhibited, and its psychotic-like features exaggerated."

Schizophrenia: Medical Diagnosis or Moral Verdict? -

"This book breaks with the traditional uncritical acceptance of the 'disease model' of assumed schizophrenic behavior, and demonstrates its failure to explain the basis of norm-violating behavior. The authors provide a systematic analysis of contemporary schizophrenia research from paradigm to model to hypothesis, including the history of the 'disease model' and the origin of schizophrenia as a metaphoric concept."

Labeling Madness -

"How many people are sane but remain confined in our mental institutions because their sanity is unrecognized? And how many patients might be sane outside the psychiatric hospital but seem insane in it? This book shows dramatically that we can no longer treat the mentally ill as social lepers. Instead we must find more effective viewpoints and procedures."

Labeling Deviant Behavior: Its Sociological Implications -

"Schur studies the labeling aspect of mental-health to help place it in proper sociological perspective. He incorporates such questions as what does labeling assert and what does it not assert; its actual and potential contributions; its limitations; and how it fits in with other major approaches to the analysis of deviance and control."

Blue Jolts: True Stories from the Cuckoo's Nest -

"How does it feel to be labeled 'insane': to be institutionalized against your will; to awaken in a barren hospital room, drowsy and twitching from medication; to watch helplessly as the attendant turns the lock outside your door; to be denied employment for carrying the stigma of 'mental illness'? For thousands of people entering mental hospitals each year, scenes like these are not from a bad dream but a frightening reality."

Cry of the Invisible -

"This book seeks to give voice to two of the most silent groups in our society: the homeless, and psychiatric survivors. It represents one of the few times in history that we hear from such people first hand. What happens behind the walls of a mental institution is rarely publicized or revealed. The fact is there are startling inadequacies. First person accounts reveal the failure of the mental health system to ask the most basic questions."

The Right to Refuse Mental Health Treatment -

Part of the APA's series on "The Law and Public Policy, Psychology, and the Social Sciences."


Mind Freedom Journal (Previously called Dendron News). PO Box 11284, Eugene, OR 97440.

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Hope it's OK to post these Quotes -


"Those people who, through their expression of pain or confusion, fall into the arms of the 'helping professions', perhaps becoming psychiatrically diagnosed as psychotic or neurotic or 'inadequate personalities', have in my experience almost all arrived at their predicament through an entirely comprehensible, rational and (of course with hindsight) predictable process.

If you run over a pea with a steam roller you don't blame the pea for what happens to it, nor, sensibly, do you treat its injuries as some kind of shortcoming inherent in its internal structure, whether inherited or acquired.

Similarly, if you place the (literally) unimaginably sensitive organisms which human babies are in the kind of social and environmental machinery which we seem bent on 'perfecting', it can be no real surprise that so many of them end up, as adults, as lost, bemused, miserable and crazy as they do.

The only surprise, perhaps, is that so many pass as 'normal',"

David Smail
Taking Care


"Although outreach and crisis services are needed, without a 24/7 front end system sanctuary like Soteria, CooperRiis, Diabasis House, the Open Dialogue or the sanctuary - folks don't have a chance to avoid having their potentially transformative psychosis being aborted with medications and a Schizophrenic diagnosis being laid on them for the rest of their lives. Loren Mosher on alternative approaches to psychosis, was agreed that all the sanctuaries like Laing's Kingsley Hall, John Weir Perry's Diabasis House, Soteria, Burch House, Windhorse, the Agnews Project. And the med free, no restraints, no diagnosis, open door Ward sanctuary; plus the European and Scandinavian Open Dialogue places- well they ALL basically do the same thing. They provide the necessary and sufficient conditions for a person to go through a psychotic process and come out the other side-'Weller than well'- as Karl Menninger famously said. By being held in the healing crucible of a caring, open hearted setting, the psyche naturally sets it's own course and heals from the early wounds that made a dramatic psychosis renewal necessary in the first place. If instead, a person is labelled as having a diseased brain and medicated into emotional numbness and submission, then the energy and power and symbolic expression of the purposive psychosis simply falls back into the unconscious. Then whenever a loss or trauma happens, the person de-compensates into an ever more amorphous emotional and fragmented daze of so-called chronic psychosis where renewal and healing is far more difficult."

- Anon Forum Poster


"I have now, after long practical experience, come to hold the view that the psychogenic causation of the disease is more probable than the toxic [physico-chemical] causation. There are a number of mild and ephemeral but manifestly schizophrenic illnesses - quite apart from the even more common latent psychoses - which begin purely psychogenically, run an equally psychological course (aside from certain presumably toxic nuances) and can be completely cured by a purely psychotherapeutic procedure. I have seen this even in severe cases".

- Carl Jung

Jung & Schizophrenia

Eighty-odd years ago, Jung voiced his deep concern that the powerful, often vivid, chaotic and disturbing psychology of schizophrenia, which he had so painstakingly chartered and honoured throughout the many years he treated and healed schizophrenia sufferers, had not been given the respect and serious attention it deserved. He likewise lamented the appalling lack of knowledge of the psychology of schizophrenia among those of his own profession, a situation which has changed precious little today.

Sadly, however, Jung's vast body of invaluable work has fallen for the most on hostile ground and deaf ears, ironically in psychiatric circles, largely because Jung's respect for 'the reality of the psyche' and its religious, mythic and spiritual needs, dimensions and instincts poses a threat to the materialist bias that underscores drug-based, or biologic psychiatry, but also because his personally demanding and soul-centred approach to psychiatry is radically at odds with the detached 'illusion of expertise' on which biologic psychiatry's mask of authority, presumed sanity, and stagnant wasteland of 'brain chemistry' dogma are shakily grounded.

In place of dry textbook knowledge learned by rote, Jung gives precedence to living primary experience, hence his assertion that we understand nothing psychologically unless we've experienced it. In this sense, the people who know most about schizophrenia are the sufferers themselves, followed closely by those who have 'been there' and have pulled themselves out of a psychosis and so 'know the road'. Such folk, as invaluable 'wounded healers', can therefore often guide others groping along similar roads, or pull people out of the quagmires and tricky labyrinths of psychosis.

Equal Therapeutic Dialogue

In place of the practitioner's mask of fatherly authority, Jung puts the mutual vulnerability, openness, imaginal richness, honesty and trust of the therapeutic dialogue, in which patient and therapist confront one another on equal terms and through which both stand to learn and grow. In place of forced treatment, hasty consultations and toxic psychiatric drugs, Jung puts a trust in nature, unconscious wisdom and the healing which, residing in the 'patient patient', is catalysed and midwifed by the caring therapist. No wonder he poses a threat to those who esteem power, professional detachment, diplomas, diagnostic manuals and drug company profits over the empowerment, equality, freedom, healing and dignity of the patient.

Needless to say, there are other closely related and equally grave moral issues at stake here. For instance, imagine, if you will, that a reputable medical practitioner had come forward with evidence of a safe, natural cure for cancer, but that the medical establishment had ignored the evidence and, worse still, had kept the findings from cancer sufferers for fear of losing income and power through their monopoly over the provision of existing anti-cancer 'treatments', which do not heal. By the same token, Jung - and others who have followed in his wake - cured his schizophrenic patients with psychotherapy alone. The tragedy of the 'mental health crisis' is not only, then, that so many already fragile and wounded people have been damaged and driven to suicide; what is equally tragic is that all along, there have existed natural, re-empowering, healing alternatives to psychiatric drugs; alternatives which biologic psychiatry, the Government, Schizophrenia Fellowships and drug companies have in a morally disgraceful way ignored, or deliberately kept from sufferers and the public."


Acknowledging The Survivor: Exclusion, Trivialisation and Denial

Exclusion, Trivialisation and Denial; Society's refusal to Acknowledge, Honour and Integrate the trauma and human rights violations experienced by the psychiatric survivor.

By Grainne Humphrys.

In looking at exclusion I would like to use the systemic lens. That which is excluded creates imbalance and so, I believe, as a society we become imbalanced at a collective level when we refuse to acknowledge difficult and painful truths within our society. Nowhere is this felt more keenly than by the psychiatric survivor. As a so-called `civilised' society we collude in our collective trivialisation of both the violation of human rights of this marginalised minority group and the trauma, pain and silencing of this group. This I believe is our last great civil rights movement.

The `treatment' of distressed individuals with labelling and drugging is simply not acknowledged publicly by society at large, and if it is, it is trivialised and skimmed over. It is given lip-service but it is, by no means, acknowledged at a profound level. In order for survivors to deeply heal they need deep acknowledgement. This has not yet occurred publicly by the mental health professionals (bar a few) or the general public (look, for example, at the recent acknowledgement of abuse survivors in the Ryan Report, and the watershed and paradigm shift that created. This was painful but healing).

The book 'Deprived of Our Humanity' - The Case Against Neuroleptic Drugs, by Lars Martensson; should be compulsory reading for all people going into the psychiatric profession as doctors and nurses – though reading it may raise many questions around whether they want to continue working in that system. What is happening on a daily basis in many hospitals is barbaric and a crime against our humanity and it is simply not acknowledged. Why is this? Why does it feel so threatening for people to acknowledge this truth? By not acknowledging it, we are adding fuel to an unimaginable well of pain and a raging fire of frustration and anger. Perhaps we are experiencing collective guilt at witnessing and knowing about such violations (however much we push this knowledge to the back of our minds, it taps into our own fear about survival). Through our turning a blind eye though, we render the psychiatric survivor invisible. Perhaps it just doesn't feel safe to acknowledge their experience.

I would like to coin a new phrase; `lip-service-providers'. We are all lip-service-providers to the psychiatric survivor. I believe if the deep pain of survivors is truly acknowledged the house of cards will fall, the domino effect will be set in motion. It is not a pain many of us can identify with (though it does tap into our own pain of being human). Neither should it become a pain competition. The pain of the psychiatric survivor is, however, a very particular kind of pain; it is the pain of being silenced over and over again. It is the pain of being erased, tortured, silenced and rendered powerless. It is unimaginable for most of us, a violation of our basic human rights we take for granted. It is just not within our realm of experience and this too has to be acknowledged. In attempting to compare our pain we deny theirs and add fuel to a justified anger, we simply cannot compare or understand or fathom it, because it is not within our range of experience. It is another subtle way of denying their experience.

We want the psychiatric survivor's raw pain to be packaged into a more easily digestible form, a socially acceptable and `appropriate' way. It follows that we don't allow the sheer depth and range of their experience. It is not because the survivor doesn't have a voice, they do, but they are just not allowed to really use it in whatever way they so choose or wish to, or we will reject it. In effect, we cannot hold or contain their pain as a society or as a group. We collectively repress their experience due to our difficulty in facing and acknowledging this truth about our capacity for man's inhumanity to man. We re-package their experience and present it in a `safe' and `politically correct' form, brushing over it and side-stepping past it. We are repelled by their anger, it upsets our civilised sensibilities. It infringes on our safe bubbles of imagined democracy that we have created.

At a deeper level it is our failure to acknowledge the original trauma before people experiencing distress and overwhelm enter the psychiatric services that hurts vulnerable people the most though. We hurt them three times; by ignoring the original trauma and then by labelling and drugging (in effect, denying) the trauma. We then hurt them again by not allowing them to express their anger at this violation of both their human rights and their right to their trauma. We label the layers and I believe it is that is what we feel most guilt around because we collude with psychiatry. We all know collectively deep down and subconsciously that there is no such thing as `chemical imbalance' but trauma is taboo in our culture. This really taps into our victim/ perpetrator energy, our inherent fragility as humans, our fear of the unknown, our primal instincts. Our hiding behind a veneer of `respectability' separates us from those experiencing crisis and overwhelm. We don't want to look trauma in the eye. But acknowledging this trauma truth holds enormous power and depth of healing if we can do it. We do an enormous disservice to the psychiatric survivor in not revering and honouring their experience.

We need to search deep inside ourselves and our hearts as to why we feel so threatened by the psychiatric survivor's pain. This is not an easy emotional task, it requires deep and difficult work. Survivor's anger can be as much about not having their pain and experience acknowledged by us, as about the abuse of their human rights within the psychiatric system. This, to my mind, is the crux of why change and deep healing cannot occur because;

(1) We cannot fathom their pain
(2) We feel threatened in some way by this pain
(3) We deny it and put it into shadow

The facts are there, the recovery stories are there but we barely give the facts lip-service. We need to wake up to these facts. We get distracted by frameworks and models and politics and language and all the trappings of our minds. We have one set of rules for us and another for the psychiatric survivor. We skirt around the issues that really count (like acknowledging feelings). I believe this is because we are afraid of that depth of emotion. Indeed as a culture we trivialise our emotions and are afraid of them. We are governed by logic and rationale which moves us away from our hearts and the language of our souls.

Psychiatric survivors are not acknowledged. In fact, my feeling is that they are put into collective shadow and their pain is trivialised and even patronised. In order for us all to integrate as a society, we need to open our hearts and create a space for all those who have been excluded, put aside our own pain, to acknowledge their pain (that we cannot even begin to imagine because, quite simply, our human rights have never been violated to such an extent. This is a fact we need to acknowledge. This is our work, not the survivor's). I believe our difficulty in acknowledging the survivor stems from our fear of acknowledging our collective perpetrator energy. The survivor is a precious reminder of our ability to deny our perpetrator and how blocking this aspect off, we prevent integration and deep healing. The survivor has much to teach us, their lessons are gifts, but like all difficult lessons, many of us turn away and resist the challenge for true growth.

Labelling, forced drugging, coercion, incarceration is a barbaric violation of what we hold most dear, our human rights, our right to be human. The fact that it is then called `care' is a denial of what it really is. I stand in awe of people who survive this system. The way it is then glossed over and trivialised by people further adds to that denial. This actually fuels and reinforces anger (is it any wonder?) It excludes the survivor and their experience. It is a culture of covert abuse.

We should not pretend that we can understand or fathom this pain, be it lost years, chemical damage or unimaginable trauma, just as we cannot understand what it is to be in a concentration camp or to be a victim of war. We need to allow survivors their pain, we need to acknowledge it and bow down to honour it. This movement (of the soul) towards acknowledging a difficult and painful truth will ultimately heal us at a societal level and allow psychiatric survivors the journey home to their rightful place within society.

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Anyway - Just some 'random' stuff that i have come across concerning some of the alternatives & critics.


Am interested in other peoples perspectives, views & opinions on it all?


i do think that there could be far better approaches to mental heath used.

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Wow cpuusage that is one extensive reference list.

Thanks for sharing it.


I really liked this;

In place of forced treatment, hasty consultations and toxic psychiatric drugs, Jung puts a trust in nature, unconscious wisdom and the healing which, residing in the 'patient patient', is catalysed and midwifed by the caring therapist. No wonder he poses a threat to those who esteem power, professional detachment, diplomas, diagnostic manuals and drug company profits over the empowerment, equality, freedom, healing and dignity of the patient.


I liked this from Humphrys too:

Labelling, forced drugging, coercion, incarceration is a barbaric violation of what we hold most dear, our human rights, our right to be human. The fact that it is then called `care' is a denial of what it really is. I stand in awe of people who survive this system. The way it is then glossed over and trivialised by people further adds to that denial. This actually fuels and reinforces anger (is it any wonder?) It excludes the survivor and their experience. It is a culture of covert abuse.


I was wondering when this article was written.

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Wow cpuusage that is one extensive reference list.

Thanks for sharing it.


I really liked this;

In place of forced treatment, hasty consultations and toxic psychiatric drugs, Jung puts a trust in nature, unconscious wisdom and the healing which, residing in the 'patient patient', is catalysed and midwifed by the caring therapist. No wonder he poses a threat to those who esteem power, professional detachment, diplomas, diagnostic manuals and drug company profits over the empowerment, equality, freedom, healing and dignity of the patient.


I liked this from Humphrys too:

Labelling, forced drugging, coercion, incarceration is a barbaric violation of what we hold most dear, our human rights, our right to be human. The fact that it is then called `care' is a denial of what it really is. I stand in awe of people who survive this system. The way it is then glossed over and trivialised by people further adds to that denial. This actually fuels and reinforces anger (is it any wonder?) It excludes the survivor and their experience. It is a culture of covert abuse.


I was wondering when this article was written.


Thank you, all good if sharing information can help some people. The Humphrys article was some years ago i think, i'm Not sure exactly when? 2009 or before.


There is such a vast wealth of information & experience concerning 'madness'/non-ordinary states.


Gail Hornstein put together a very interesting list of first person narratives here -






i find it all a fascinating subject, & always have done. 

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Wilson Van Dusen, a clinical psychologist, categorized his patients' hallucinations, and came to believe that the work of Emmanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772), which categorized human experience as a series of interactions with spirits, was a model for Van Dusen's observations of hallucinations.


In an article at the John Mack Institute, Virginia Goodchild wrote -

It is possible, therefore, that the encounter experience is a contemporary form of an ancient mystical knowledge or gnosis, that is, knowledge that comes from the reality of visionary or revelatory states, that are also taking place in an actual "space" of the soul, or subtle vehicle. Such experiences also make it imperative that we expand our dichotomous worldview to include once again these other levels of reality, that in fact are by no means new, but recover an ancient multidimensionality.

Source - en.citizendium.org/wiki/Transpersonal_psychology

An amusing analogy -

Schizophrenia, Psychiatry and Mysticism


by Richard Gosden

Schizophrenia is to mystical experience as drowning is to swimming. Psychiatry in this analogy is like an over zealous lifeguard who can't tell the difference between drowning and swimming. Everybody he sees in the water is run over by his rescue boat, knocked unconscious and hauled out with a boat hook. Most of the people rescued, swimmers and drowners alike, are crippled in the process.

The lifeguard, who can't swim himself, denies that swimming is possible and claims that the crippling is actually caused by the drowning experience rather than the rescue. This is confirmed by raucous praise for the lifeguard from many of the crippled drowners and their relatives.

The crowd of spectators on the beach are divided. A few of them can tell the difference between swimming and drowning, but most can't. The crowd is persuaded by the drowners and their relatives to support the lifeguard's tactics.

Swimmers who aren't too badly crippled and who want to go back into the water have to learn how to swim without splashing so as not to attract attention. It's important for those who know how to swim to maintain the skill so it can be passed on. Eventually everyone will have to learn to swim so we can cross to the other side.

Common sense would indicate that an ability to swim should be a prerequisite for appointment as a lifeguard. Perhaps this will happen one day.



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Mystical Psychosis Jung and the Spiritual in Psychiatry

by Sandi Crain | Sciences 360

Mystical Psychosis: Picking Up Where Jung Left Off

"And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions"-Joel 2:28 (KJV)

"I felt like I obeyed God and there will be good out of this. . . I feel like He will reveal His power and they will be raised up. They will become alive again"-Deanna Laney after she stoned two of her children to death because God told her to.

"So habitual is the trance of ordinary life that one could say that human beings are a race that sleeps and awakens, but does not awaken fully. Because the half-awake is sufficient for the task we customarily do, few of us are aware of the dysfunction of our condition"-Arthur J. Deikman.

In the 1970s, Arthur Deikman (a professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco) introduced the term "mystical psychosis" to the psychiatric world. Himself a student of Zen, Sufism, and the Human Potential Movement of the 1960s, he sought to understand those who have experiences similar to mystical experiences but yet are not socially acceptable. The experience may be a psychotic episode brought on by extreme stress or substance abuse but may not be pathological. This could mean that the person guilty of killing because God told them to do it may never be tempted to do it again once the trigger for this altered state of consciousness is eliminated or at least understood by the subject who experienced it.

This particular field of research is not without precedence. Carl Jung, one of the father's of modern psychiatry, had no problem accepting mystical experiences in his work. As his peer and rival Sigmund Freud was exploring the psycho-sexual nature of humanity, Jung was delving into the spiritual and paranormal aspects of human nature. Jung, himself, was no stranger to unexplained phenomena. As a young man he was convinced his own stress and temperament caused a dining room table to crack down the middle (psycho-kinetic energy). And, throughout his life he experienced visions, premonitions, and telepathic communications. Although he didn't speak much about it until his career was well established, the spiritual and paranormal were always in his thoughts when he psychoanalyzed patients. So much so that he suspected those we consider autistic are in multiple dimensions at one time rather than fully in the 3-D physical world most of us are accustomed to.

Arthur Deikman and his view of "mystical psychosis" is a step forward from Jung's point of view. In a society in which Freud's animalistic view of human nature dominates, Deikman's work can be seen as courageous. We've been conditioned to believe that there is no unseen spiritual world. A person who has a truly mystical experience is obviously insane so why bother trying to understand that the person who thinks God told them to hurt someone might just be having an isolated spiritual breakdown?

Fortunately, the works of those like Jung and Deikman are respected in certain psychiatric circles. In 2003, the Dalai Lama and a group of Buddhist monks shared thoughts and spiritual expertise with neuroscientists and psychologists at MIT. Both groups walked away understanding more about the human mind. And, just this year (2009), The Center for Mystical Psychosis, founded by Rob Sacco, seeks to help others deal with the mystical psychotic experiences in their lives. In the exact words from their website, "psychiatrists can no longer afford to neglect the importance of mystical experiences to their patient's lives".

"True spirituality-the authentic religious journey-can never be an escape from life's problems. God, the sacred center at the source of all authentic spiritual journeys, must be met in the midst of life, not in the escape from life. Today we live in a global age-and age of planetary exploration and communications and new global interdependencies. Our spiritual journey-our search for life in God-must be worked out now in a global context, in the midst of global crises and global community. Our spirituality must be a global spirituality"-Carl Jung.


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Knowledge frameworks in medicine and health



A special problem is faced in the West, whereby people who have anomalous experiences were often assumed to have a mental health condition. However, survivors (of the mental health system) are rising up, claiming they want a more spiritual interpretation of their experiences'.




'Natalie Tobert, PhD, is a British medical anthropologist, who has done original fieldwork research in India, Sudan and UK. She has created a Spiritual and Cultural Equalities Training Resource for staff and students in medicine and healthcare'




Her most recent book is -

Cultural Perspectives on Mental Wellbeing: Spiritual Interpretations of Symptoms in Medical Practice -

"Providing much needed understandings of cultural differences in attitudes and beliefs towards issues such as illness, death and mental health, this book is a remedy against the cultural dissonance occurring at present between Western medical systems and their increasingly diverse patients, in order to facilitate integrated and suitable care."

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Russians Change DNA with Frequency Experiments -


"Esoteric and spiritual teachers have known for ages that our body is programmable by language, words and thought. This has now been scientifically proven and explained.

The human DNA is a biological Internet and superior in many aspects to the artificial one. The latest Russian scientific research directly or indirectly explains phenomena such as clairvoyance, intuition, spontaneous and remote acts of healing, self healing, affirmation techniques, unusual light/auras around people (namely spiritual masters), mind⬔s influence on weather patterns and much more.

In addition, there is evidence for a whole new type of medicine in which DNA can be influenced and reprogrammed by words and frequencies WITHOUT cutting out and replacing single genes. Only 10% of our DNA is being used for building proteins. It is this subset of DNA that is of interest to western researchers and is being examined and categorized. The other 90% are considered “junk DNA.” programmable by language, words and thought. This has now been scientifically proven and explained."

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Physicists Just Confirmed Evidence of A Possible Fifth Fundamental Force -


"A deeper look into studies that were previously conducted by Hungarian physicists has recently uncovered evidence of a fifth fundamental force of nature. If confirmed, it could stand as an explanation for dark matter."

The Universe Consists Of 11 Dimensions -


"Modern science is finally catching up to ancient knowledge. The universe consists of 11 dimensions. Michio Kaku‬ says “We believe, that our ‪‎multiverse‬ of universes is ‪‎11-dimensional‬. So think of this 11-dimensional arena and in this arena there are bubbles, bubbles that float and the skin of the bubble represents an entire universe, so we’re like flies trapped on fly paper. We’re on the skin of a bubble. It’s a three dimensional bubble. The three dimensional bubble is expanding and that is called the Big Bang theory and sometimes these bubbles can bump into each other, sometimes they can split apart and that we think is the Big Bang. So we even have a theory of the Big Bang itself. Now you ask a question what about the dimensions of each bubble. Well in string theory—which is what I do for a living; that’s my day job—In string theory we can have bubbles of different dimensions. The highest dimension is 11. You cannot go beyond 11 because universes become unstable beyond 11."

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"Whitaker explained that the pharmaceutical industry, tied financially to the APA through contracts between licensed research psychiatrists and drug companies, has supported a particular narrative in order to sell treatments. Psychiatrists, whose primary tools are drugs, do little to combat the misconceptions or outright contradictions supported by evidence.


According to Pulitzer Prize finalist author and journalist Robert Whitaker, substantial evidence supports one conclusion: The American public is being defrauded by the American Psychiatric Association and the pharmaceutical industry."

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It's a hard pill to swallow, that a drug you were taking was based on total pseudoscience. Also to have to slowly withdraw off said pill, that never gave me any real benefit, if anything just made me numb. It's just when I stopped taking it, I had horrible reactions. It tricked me into thinking it was my "underlying illness". Even though the symptoms were nothing I had ever experienced before.


It's surreal that in 2016 this statement is being said. 



“We have organized ourselves for a long time around the chemical imbalance narrative,” Whitaker said, adding that the time is now to begin taking the psychiatric establishment and pharmaceutical companies to task. “You, the public, need all the information.”


This is something that should have been known years ago. At least the information is coming out though, it's not just the psychiatric industry though. This whole world is a*s backwards, look at the food we eat, look at what we are doing to the environment. We are a world of poisoned people, poisoning others and our environment in an endless cycle. To be honest I don't even understand why I read articles like this anymore, it's not news to me. And the people it is news to. I have to ask, how long has your head been in the sand?

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i fought the system & treatment from day one & i largely don't agree with it all. i managed 8 years medication free but have ended up long term dependent on a low dose of one neuroleptic medication. The thing is there is a serious underlying condition with me, that i can't deny. i think with a small percentage of people there is a place for front end service & medication. But i agree with what you say, it's a very sick society - we are destroying the planet. There is a mass poisoning of society.

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Medicine's big new battleground: does mental illness really exist?

"The latest edition of DSM, the influential American dictionary of psychiatry, says that shyness in children, depression after bereavement, even internet addiction can be classified as mental disorders. It has provoked a professional backlash, with some questioning the alleged role of vested interests in diagnosis"


"It has the distinctly uncatchy, abbreviated title DSM-5, and is known to no one outside the world of mental health.

But, even before its publication a week on Wednesday, the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, psychiatry's dictionary of disorders, has triggered a bitter row that stretches across the Atlantic and has fuelled a profound debate about how modern society should treat mental disturbance.

Critics claim that the American Psychiatric Association's increasingly voluminous manual will see millions of people unnecessarily categorised as having psychiatric disorders. For example, shyness in children, temper tantrums and depression following the death of a loved one could become medical problems, treatable with drugs. So could internet addiction.

Inevitably such claims have given ammunition to psychiatry's critics, who believe that many of the conditions are simply inventions dreamed up for the benefit of pharmaceutical giants."

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Medicine's big new battleground: does mental illness really exist?


"The latest edition of DSM, the influential American dictionary of psychiatry, says that shyness in children, depression after bereavement, even internet addiction can be classified as mental disorders. It has provoked a professional backlash, with some questioning the alleged role of vested interests in diagnosis"




"We are not denying that these people are very distressed and in need of help. However, there is no evidence that these experiences are best understood as illnesses with biological causes. On the contrary, there is now overwhelming evidence that people break down as a result of a complex mix of social and psychological circumstances – bereavement and loss, poverty and discrimination, trauma and abuse."

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Evolutionary well-being


"Well-being and our adapted minds

The first time I came across the idea of happiness from an evolutionary perspective was in 2002, in Bjørn Grinde’s Darwinian Happiness. A year later I read John Price and Anthony Stevens’s Evolutionary Psychiatry, where they proclaimed: “Mental health results from the fulfillment of archetypal goals.” I was glad to see evolutionary psychology pay homage to Jung. In many ways, Jung, like William James (and Schopenhauer!), is a grandfather of the field. But the essential message of that quote — “mental health results from the fulfillment of archetypal goals” — has far deeper roots than Jung."

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These 13 Corporations Are “Big Pharma”: Their History, Crimes, and Products



"In our society, we often correlate legality with safety.  We use household products, spray pesticides, and religiously consume drugs such as ritalin, adderall, oxycontin, and prozac.

We consume all of this, but how many know who made the drugs, and where the corporations came from? Who produces the chemicals we trust on a daily basis?

These 13 corporations tend to be a blind spot in our understanding of history.

Tens of thousands of American toddlers are being prescribed Amphetamine; a result of this blind spot.

Neos Therapeutics is responsible for candy flavored children’s Amphetamine, sold as Adzenys. Shire created Adderall.

An understanding of Big Pharma is conducive to a big picture understanding of the world and power itself: it is an essential puzzle piece in understanding disease, hegemony, and health."

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The Inquisitorial Roots of the Insane War on Natural Medicine




Brendan D. MurphyGuest

Waking Times


"In case you’re not aware, there is a not-entirely-covert war being waged by mainstream medicine (ably funded by Big Pharma) against all forms of natural medicine. Anything that non-toxically and non-invasively stimulates or capitalises on the body’s own programmed and innate healing mechanisms is not to be tolerated. Not only is it not to be tolerated, but it is to be attacked as viciously as (in)humanly possible, demonized, and crushed forever more.

Have you ever wondered just how far back this antipathy and irrational fear and loathing extends?

Some of you might point to the Rockefeller family and the incredible job they have done in destroying the reputations of all forms of natural medicine, as well as crushing all competitors using every (despicable) method possible. You’d be right, of course, in acknowledging their role, however, the ancient mental programs – “legacy programs” – that inhabit such imbalanced people and lead them to act in such tyrannical and violent ways are much older than David Rockefeller. He merely inherited them from a bygone age.


How much older are we talking?


Remember a little thing called the middle ages? Yeah, we can trace these predatory mental programs and agendas at LEAST that far back in time – right back to the Inquisition. Those were the heady days of witch hunting, mass torture, and Satan lurking around every corner."

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Latest research on Anomalous Experiences (AEs)


"Surveys have consistently shown that a high proportion of the general population believe in or experience anomalous experiences (AEs), which have been defined as those that ‘depart from our own familiar personal experiences or from the more usual, ordinary, and expected experiences of a given culture and time’ (Braud, 2010, p.1).

Anomalous experiences can occur after negative life events and common reactions can include fear, anxiety, depression, and distress. Individuals may also have existential questions following the experience and some people report health and wellbeing benefits associated with AEs, and experience profound personal transformation and enhanced human potential as a result.

However, AEs are often interpreted as symptoms of a ‘mental disorder’ within the Western medical model of illness and cultural and spiritual explanatory models of psychological wellbeing tend to be dismissed.

I am critical of reductionist approaches to mental health and have a vision for a system that is more diverse and less pathologising; one that is open to different viewpoints and provides an integrative and holistic approach to supporting individuals who are trying to make sense of their AEs.

I also believe that there is a need to research the actual impact or interpretation of anomalous experiences and my aims have been to increase our understanding of these experiences as psychological, social, and cultural events."

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Open Dialogue is a collaborative non-hierarchical approach to mental healthcare -


"Open Dialogue, at its heart, is a collaborative non-hierarchical approach to mental healthcare which, by definition, means that the client and their network can find their own way to making their own meaning of the experience. The clinicians role is to create a safe space in which they can be heard and to listen and be present with whatever emerges non-judgmentally. For this reason, the very first families to receive this form of care in the NHS have felt a sense of liberation at being able to talk openly about what they strongly feel to be experiences of a spiritual nature. Finding their own understanding of the experience then enables them to integrate it into their lives and see the experience as a stage of growth, rather than a wholly negative “illness”, despite the pain and hardship that it may also, of course, have caused."

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There's this growing problem in the UK, & it's serious -


Report on the UK Government’s failing human rights record submitted to UN -


"A coalition of 175 civil society organisations has raised grave concern about the impact of the government’s welfare “reforms” and living standards in the UK, hate crimes, mental health, deteriorating prison conditions, stop and search powers and the Conservative’s plans to repeal the Human Rights Act, among other issues.

The organisations include Age UK, Just Fair, Inclusion (London and Scotland), the TUC, Unicef UK, Rights Watch, The Law Centres Network, Mind, the Mental Health Foundation and Stonewall.

A report calls on the United Nations (UN) to recognise evidence from the range of civil society groups and to ensure the UK Government, and the devolved administrations, are accountable for taking appropriate action and measures to redress many raised human rights concerns. The report authors caution that a high proportion of the 132 recommendations from the last United Nations hearings in 2012 have not been implemented."



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Disability assessments profoundly increase people’s vulnerability -


"The government have persistently denied any “causal relationship” between their welfare reforms and an increase in premature deaths and suicides, despite an existing correlation. Ministers have also denied a link between disability assessments and an increase in mental distress and ill health.

Figures released last year show that between December 2011 to February 2014, 4,010 people died after being told they were fit for work, following a Work Capability Assessment (WCA). 40,680 died within a year of undergoing the WCA, making a bleak mockery of any claim that the WCA is a real and valid “health assessment” of any kind. Or that our welfare system is “supportive” to those in most need, in any real or meaningful sense. Those people were clearly not at all “fit for work.” The figures were only released after the Information Commission overruled a Government decision to block the statistics from the public.

Research last year from Leonard Cheshire, a charity that works with disabled people, also showed that the assessments are making people who are ill more sick. Almost three quarters (72 per cent) said they found the assessment had a negative impact on their mental or physical health, or both. The same number described the face to face appointment as very stressful."

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Darren Adam: Stigma STILL Surrounds Mental Health There's been a lot of good work done to get rid of the stigma surrounding mental health - but Darren Adam explains why it's still there and still causing big issues. MPs have said that financial constraints mean it will be difficult for mental health to reach what they call "parity of esteem" with physical health problems. In other words, that mental health will never be taken as seriously as physical health. It's a situation that sparked a strong reaction from Darren as he explained why that was still a problem. "I do think one of the issues when it comes to this lack of parity of esteem between mental health concerns and physical health concerns, part of it comes down to stigma. Video in link:


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The Failed Quest for Biomarkers in Psychiatry


"A recent commentary by Ganesan Venkatasubramanian and Matcheri Keshavan notes that efforts to identify biomarkers in people diagnosed with psychiatric disorders have been overwhelmingly unsuccessful.

“Although, ‘concerted’ research efforts in the ‘decade of the brain’ and the years that followed have unraveled critical insights on the pathogenesis of psychiatric disorders, clinically translatable biomarkers in psychiatry are yet to be identified," the authors write.

A biomarker or biological marker is an aspect of an illness that can reliably and repetitively be measured quantitatively. They stand in contrast with ‘symptoms’, which are aspects of illness that are experienced and can be reported by patients. Even in areas where there has been substantial research investigating the presence of biomarkers like in Alzheimer’s disease and Autism, the search to identify a meaningful and clinically significant biomarker has been unsuccessful, which “reiterate the fact that the current status of biomarkers in psychiatry has significantly lagged behind in comparison with other medical specialties,” note the authors.

For instance, a recent publication which performed a systematic and qualitative review of clinically meaningful biomarkers for psychosis examined more than 3,200 studies and found just one study that passed the author’s threshold of clinical applicability."

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DWP issued guidance that made suicides more likely, then ‘lied’ to cover its tracks


The government has secretly made major changes to guidance given to “fitness for work” benefits assessors that has put the lives of thousands of disabled claimants at risk… and then “lied” about what it had done.

The changes appear to show ministers made a calculation last year that it was worth risking the loss of some lives in order to cut benefits spending and force more disabled people into their discredited back-to-work programmes.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) could now face legal action over its decision to bring in the changes without seeking approval from parliament.

The changes were exposed after DWP released figures last month showing the proportion of claimants placed in the support group of employment and support allowance (ESA) – and therefore not forced to take part in work-related activity – plummeted by 42 per cent between November 2015 and February 2016.

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