The trouble with mental health

Trauma is a fact of life. It does not, however, have to be a life sentence.

Peter A Levine

I hate the term ‘Mental Health’, its used as an insult these days, ”Oi you’ve got mental health’ I heard one teenage boy shout at another the other day. Obviously not realising that if you don’t have mental health, whether good or bad, you’re probably dead.

I hate ‘Mental Health’ almost as much as I hate ‘Mental Illness’ but I don’t hate them as much as I hate the plethora of mental health diagnoses that have sprung up over the past 10 -15 years. And the psychiatric profession keeps them coming, they’ll have a field day in the post Covid-19 world with all sorts of disorders.

They come in acronyms, letters that disguise a malignancy of  profit chasing pharmaceutical companies, box ticking, overwhelmed and ill educated general practitioners, egocentric psychiatrists and underfunded therapy treatments that work but aren’t widely available.

  • BPD BiPolar Disorder
  • PDD Persistent Depressive Disorder
  • GAD Generalised Anxiety Disorder
  • BPD Borderline Personality Disorder
  • MDD Major Depressive Disorder
  • SAD Social Anxiety Disorder
  • OCD Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • PTSD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • ADD Attention Deficit Disorder
  • ADHD Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Anger
  • Hoarding
  • Loneliness

And there’s so many more, you can find more information on this kind of thing here

When I read that list, most of what I see, and that’s a tiny proportion and they’re all mostly the same, is an attempt to medicalise and profit from the messy business of being human.

The people who create these disorders are the same ones who diagnose them, and are the ones who also profit from them, in many different ways, from working with pharmaceutical companies in the creation of disorders that match the impact of the pills on our psyche to prescribing the pills they say will help you.

I stopped writing about this side of the ‘mental health industry’ several years ago because frankly it angers and disgusts me so much that people in a position of authority and influence, who also have a duty of care to their patients and clients are medicalising and stigmatising human behaviour and emotions to create a system to feed people into, a tick box exercise that has no room for consideration of individual circumstances and perspectives. I had to move on from there for the good of my own heath.

And yes, I know the medications can help some people feel better for a while but they never actually help people recover, they just stop them feeling quite so bad. And that’s okay for a while but you need more than that, we all need more than just to feel nothing or not so bad. The pills will never make a person feel whole, to be themselves fully in mind, body and spirit.

Part of the problem is the medical model, in fact its the basis of the problem because it treats people like we’re machines. This part isn’t working, then fix it by cutting it open/removing something/intervening in some way that’s an ‘outside in’ approach. Like a mechanic looking at a car engine.

This works in acute medical emergencies of course, that’s what this medicine was designed for. Break your leg or have a heart attack, then get to the emergency room fast. Break your heart, feel discouraged and daunted and have worries about life and your place in the world – then you have to be prepared to work through your pain, your grief, your rage, your fear.

In a way we’re almost as guilty as the industry that’s sprung up around mental health because we want an instant fix, a pill that fixes everything, a magic wand that when we wave it will make everything in our life exactly how we want it. Instead the pills we’re offered just numb us to the point where we don’t care anymore.

The medical model unfortunately informed the now well entrenched mental health model to treat our minds as machines, it treats us as something broken that needs outside intervention to fix things, creating fallacies like chemical imbalances and other now debunked theories.

Yes, chemical imbalances is only a theory, an unproven theory! Made up in a discussion between psychiatrists and pharmaceutical companies. And because it fit so well with the then current trend for pharmaceutical suppression of brain hormone uptake, the drug pushers ran with it and it quickly became established wisdom. A lie generally accepted as truth.

I’m not saying that we don’t experience poor mental health, of course we do, every single one of us. It’s part of being human. I had a nervous breakdown in 2010, or as my Dr, called it, a severe clinical depression. Nervous breakdown is a description I prefer because it describes perfectly what happened to me, I shut down, I broke down, I couldn’t continue as I was doing.

But here’s what I’ve learned since then, that breakdown was the pinnacle of a long slow process of one thing on top of another on top of another, made worse by a troubled childhood, by never having the supportive, encouraging environment we all need to thrive, by never doing any inward investigation and never learning how my mind works and what I need to do to keep it working well.

When you receive a mental illness diagnosis and it usually comes hand in hand with a prescription for pills, you’ll start taking them because you’re doctor told you to and you feel so bad and you don’t know what else to do. But, after taking them, you’ll find you either stop feeling bad but also stop feeling anything else or you’ll feel even worse, which is what happened to me. I felt even more wrong, off, unbalanced, unmoored, overwhelmed and physically I felt suffocated too.

Here’s the good news. There’s nothing wrong with you. There never was. You’re stuck in unprocessed trauma and your body and mind never learned how to move through that stuff. That’s what you need to learn, how to process your emotions, how to feel your feelings without reacting to them, without shutting down or suppressing and denying them.

When you’re able to do this, you’ll feel so different because you’ll know you’re feelings can’t hurt you, they rise, they feel uncomfortable for a while and then they ebb away. And sure sometimes you’ll still glimpse the bleakness of the pit of despair, I still do, but you won’t be at the bottom of it, holding a bottle of pills looking for a way out that they can’t provide.

I wrote so much about this years ago, I’ll find those old blogs, there was so much research in them, I’ll freshen them up, update them and repost in the next few weeks and months. But one thing I was always clear on is this, these diagnoses are only an opinion, your doctor’s opinion based on the symptoms you’ve described to him and his checklist for each of the possibilities. Speak to him on a different day, when he’s in a different mood and you might get another different diagnosis.

Any mental health diagnosis is at best an educated, considered response to your detailed account of your experiences, at worst it’s an uneducated, ill considered guess by an overworked GP. Its an opinion, nothing more than that. If you had a physical illness, then blood tests, x-rays and MRI scans would show it conclusively and a tried and proven treatment plan would be drawn up to aid your recovery.

They can’t do that with mental illnesses because the mind is still something science doesn’t understand and can’t explain. There has never been a scientist, a doctor, a psychiatrist able to say there’s the mind, this is what it is, this is how it works and prove it consclusively.

They still propose that our thoughts and feelings all come from our brain even though science has conclusively proven that assertion incorrect. Yes, the brain in our head does generate a lot of thoughts but our heart and gut brains generate an equal amount of thinking and feeling. Electromagnetic research has shown that to be true and this is nothing new, ancient wisdom handed down in old sayings show us that this knowledge has long been with us. Things like, ‘Listen to your heart,’ and ‘Follow your gut.’

If you’re feeling low, please check out the ACEs page on my website. It will open your eyes to what could be the root of your issue and its probably something you tell yourself you’ve dealt with already, it may be something you’ve never considered before. It will show you how you feeling like this has been programmed into you and there was little you could do about it.

But you can do something now. Ask for help to work through your past. Yes, even your childhood. And I know, you’re rolling your eyes at the ‘inner child’ stuff, I used to do so too, but you have to keep going back to that time and place because until you’ve processed the fear of that little child, you’re never going to be all of you, something’s always going to feel like its missing, wrong, off. And you deserve more than that, you deserve to live with all of you switched on.

I’ve been reading a great book by Rupert Sheldrake, just finished it in fact. ‘Science and Spiritual Practices’  And in it he talks about how he’s been ostracised by the scientific community because his work, rigorous scientific protocol following work, posits that the world is not purely mechanical in aspect. Shedrake believes there’s a greater force behind life in this Universe than the purely physical evidence of our 5 senses.

Many other scientists I’ve read agree with Sheldrake, including William Bengsten, who wrote The Energy Cure, a book I love.

I don’t believe you can live in this world of incredible natural beauty and not see a divine creative force at work. And I say this as someone who once considered herself an atheist and someone who still rejects organised religion as much of it was set up as a system of control and greed and certainly the monotheist religions are misogynist AF.

But I know there’s more to me than the body my consciousness resides in. I feel that divinity within me when I’m writing and the words flow from I know not where. The inspired ideas that come through to me about what I want to create and the excitement and enthusiasm they generate. That doesn’t come from me, it comes from my Higher Self, Source, the Universe, God if you prefer.

And just as in the bigger world, I see divinity in Amelia, in her intelligence and intuition, her display of love and trust. I see it in seedlings growing in the dirt, when I watch clouds scud across the sky, when I see a tree generating new growth from a chopped down stump.

I experience that divinity when I lay down my meditation mat and allow my mind to go quiet, I also experience it when I go to church. Yes, I still go to church occasionally, because I find such peace there, the stillness, the history of people communing with their God fills me up with amazing feelings of joy because collective worship is a joyous experience.

When we think of ourselves as humans in a purely mechanical way, we cut off the emotional and spiritual parts of ourselves that are just as important and need care the same as our physical body does. And not just self indulgence masquerading as self care – proper spiritual and emotional fitness programmes. And just as with a physical programme of fitness, its not easy but its damn rewarding.

I believe that is what has happened in most cases of so-called mental illness. We lost touch with ourselves, with our inner world, we cut ourselves off from that essential part of us, maybe in an act of self protection during trauma and now we don’t know how to find our way back.

One fantastic thing about going to see your doctor is that you’ve recognised you need help to overcome the feelings you’ve become bogged down in. That’s a great step forward. Next, find yourself a therapist who specialises in overcoming trauma, in reconnecting you to all the various parts of you that have been closed down and shut off.

You need to be you. Wholly and completely. That’s the only way you’re ever going to feel right, the only way you’ll feel switched on by life, it’s the way you’ll feel balanced, grounded and able to cope with life no matter what happens.

Because you being you, that’s beautiful and you are so powerful when you embrace all of who you are. You being you is perfect and its as it was always supposed to be.

Give yourself permission to be you. Feel your feelings, process your past, forgive yourself because you did nothing wrong back then, make amends for your mistakes and grow. Grow into being the best version of you that you can be,

You are an unique expression of life.

You are meant to be here.

You are loved and wanted.

So now its up to you, will you show up as you?


Cynthia xx

PS. Think what would life be like if your thought processes were upgraded so you became unstoppable. What would life be like if you were able to step up and show up as that best ever version of you that you know you’re capable of?

Picture yourself thriving in life, developing an instinct for making the right choices, knowing in your gut you’re always choosing the correct thing for you.

Imagine any addictions, old anxiety and fear melting away, no longer influencing your thinking, your behaviour, your decisions. You are free to make better choices.

Think how it would feel achieving your goals with far less resistance,  whether it’s earning an extraordinary income, being a rockstar in your business or career, or excelling in your personal relationships. You can do it, you have no fears about any of it anymore.

See yourself fully present and grounded, living with total fulfillment and satisfaction with how life is unfolding for you, with zero regrets, as you fearlessly carve your own path forward.

Want this now? Check out this page and get in touch to get started on living your ideal life today.







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