‘My Story: How I Was Healed From Depression’ by Douglas Bloch

It was great to recently hear from Douglas Bloch who asked if I might include his Story as posted on his website. Great idea, Douglas!

‘In his book, Prayer is Good Medicine, physician and researcher Larry Dossey maintains that praying for oneself or others can make a scientifically measurable difference in recovering from illness or trauma. It is one thing to understand such a healing intellectually; it is another to know it from experience.

Such an experience came to me in the fall of 1996 when a painful divorce, a bad case of writer’s block, and an adverse reaction to an antidepressant medication plummeted me into a major depressive episode.

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I Am Not Anonymous: Lucas’s Story, ‘Seconds and Inches’

Lucas-Text-1024x681(pp_w1000_h665)My name is Luke Mosley, and I am in long-term recovery from alcohol and drugs. By that, I mean that I haven’t found it necessary to pick up a drink, a drug, or any other mind or emotion altering substance since November 10, 2010. And for that I am truly blessed and eternally grateful.

I say “I haven’t found it necessary,” because for the first 27 years of my life, I lived in emotional and spiritual bondage. More than simply having a drug or alcohol problem, I had a problem dealing with life in general.

What seemed to be day-to-day challenges to most other people were crippling burdens to me. Call it social anxiety. Call it restlessness or irritability. Call it being overwhelmed.  Whatever labels my concerned family, friends, teachers, doctors, or therapists applied, they never quite identified that “thing” in me that just felt off.

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‘Are you recovered or recovering?’ by Veronica Valli

Unknown-1Here’s a great piece from one of my favourite bloggers.

‘It’s time to address a somewhat contentious issue in recovery circles. The matter of being either a ‘Recovered alcoholic/addict’ or a ‘Recovering alcoholic/addict.’

I am a recovered alcoholic and have considered myself one for many years. Let me explain why.

If you have read my book or read any of the posts on my blog, you will know that I predominantly believe that alcoholism is a manifestation of a spiritual condition. Alcoholism is not caused by external factors although they most definitely contribute.

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‘Is Recovery the Right Word?’ by Dolly Sen

omeka-net-4762-archive-fullsize-757b9035f7beee79de9361dc5997f5bfExcellent reflections by Dolly Sen from an Archive of Mental Health Recovery Stories.

‘The problem with the Recovery Model is that it is a medical term, and is expected to sit safely and warmly in the medical world. The recovery model says you need to look beyond the symptoms and see the person. But the whole relationship between service user and professional is regulated by the symptoms, depending if your symptoms go up or down, decides what treatment you get, if any at all.

It is also assuming that there is an illness to recover from. That the mental and emotional pain is not a very human and very appropriate response to trauma, that it has to be pathological, a sickness.

If that wasn’t enough, it then puts you in a system where people blow out your candle and then ask you to get better, or it takes your candle away and then asks ‘where is your light?’ You won’t find a better example of catch 22 than in psychiatry.

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‘Traditional Healing and Psychosis vs. the Promises of Modern Science’ by Jonathan Keyes

PdxJonMad in America just keeps getting better and better. I strongly recommend keeping an eye on this excellent website. Here’s a fascinating and important blog from Jonathan Keys.

‘As noted by Robert Whitaker in his book Anatomy of an Epidemic, the World Health Organization reported that the prognosis for someone experiencing psychosis is far better in developing countries than in industrialized countries

Mr. Whitaker and others posit that this is  due to the treatment models used in the developing world, as well as to debility and chronicity caused by psychiatric drugs themselves.  I think this is undoubtedly true.

A number of other reasons for the disparity in outcome have been suggested.  Some have put forward the idea that there has been a rush by consumers to apply for this disability money, leading to an increase in apparent chronicity.  While this is quite possible, I doubt that this alone explains the large gap in outcomes.

Other researchers have suggested that family and community support networks are often stronger in developing countries and that there is perhaps more tolerance and acceptance of people with psychotic tendencies.

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‘The healing journey revealed (trauma and transformation)’ by Monica Cassini

rsz_51rm8b-t6hl_sy344_pjlook-inside-v2topright10_sh20_bo1204203200_I want to introduce to a wonderful blog, Beyond Meds, by Monica Cassini and a highly recommended book which I am just due to start reading. Here, Monica talks about Peter Levine’s book ‘Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma’:

‘I finally have the book Waking the Tiger, in my keep. It’s been on my list to read for a long time. I’ve read other works by Peter Levine and have posted about some of it on this blog, but I’ve not read this classic by him yet. I posted about his new book on Friday.

Quite wonderfully and like a good omen, when Waking the Tiger arrived in the mail a few days ago, I flipped the book open and landed on a page with no thought whatsoever. I read from the first place my eyes fell. It made me cry tears of relief as some of what he speaks of is already happening (see below), the rest of the healing I await, knowing in my heart that this is how it works and that, yes, there will be a gift in all of this pain I’ve been experiencing. The deep validation I got from reading his words was much appreciated. Like a signpost along the dark  and unclear jungle path.

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Surviving What?: Too Many Funerals

Attendance at too many funerals affects the physical, spiritual, social and cultural wellbeing of Aboriginal people.

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Adam’s Moment of Clarity

Adams Story 2What’s it like when you reach that point when you say, “Enough is enough, I have to change.” And you do change! The moment of clarity that triggers the journey to recovery. Here’s what my close friend Adam had to say in his Recovery Story.

‘Eventually, I ended up living in a caravan in Palm Beach, near Rockingham. I had sold my car for $50, which bought me two dope sticks. I got around on an old pushbike from the dump, but ended up selling that. I was just drinking and smoking dope to get blottoed, and often would wake up to find myself covered in vomit. The caravan, like me, was a mess. Eventually the dope ran out, then the money.

I contacted the Salvation Army in Rockingham and they said they could temporarily house me in a house in Mandurah. As far as I remember, I walked to Mandurah, carrying two black garbage bags containing my few possessions, $10 and a cask of wine.

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Brad’s Recovery Story: “A life beyond my wildest dreams’

Following a life of crime, fighting and drinking, Brad started his recovery journey after  a spiritual awakening and being told that alcohol wasn’t his problem – it was him.

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Paul’s Recovery Story: ‘Doctor Knows Best’

After years of taking opiates whilst working as a medical doctor, Paul has become a new person through residential treatment and the 12-step programme.

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