Can a Cambodian Cow Facilitate Healing?

One of the best book I have read on mental health has to be Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions by Johann Hari. I can strongly recommend the book, which focuses on a ‘radical’—and very sensible way—of viewing depression and overcoming the problem.

Depression is NOT caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, as is argued by drug companies and many biologically-oriented psychiatrists and large numbers of doctors. Moreover, there is little, if any, ‘genuine’ scientific evidence that ‘antidepressants’ alleviate depression. Johann Hari talks about social factors that cause depression and considers new socially-related ways of alleviating the problem. I will be talking about the book more in a future blog.

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‘Recovery and Renewal’ by Baylissa Frederick

recovery-book-coverRecovery and Renewal is essential reading for anyone trying to withdraw from benzodiazepines and anti-depressants. In fact, it of considerable value to anyone recovering from dependence and addiction.

‘This widely successful book is recommended for anyone in the throes of withdrawal, and for family, friends, professionals and other carers who will be able to better understand the experience and will be well equipped to give support. Doctors, counsellors, rehabilitation staff, recovery and mental health organisations will gain invaluable insight critical to providing best care.

‘Recovery and Renewal’ is regarded as a ‘lifeline’ and readers are inspired by the author’s courage and determination. It gives all the validation needed to eliminate the stress that doubts and uncertainty of what is taking place may bring, and does so with the reassuring feeling of one’s hand gently being held.’

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‘Psychiatric drugs are doing us more harm than good’ by Peter Gøtzsche

'More than 53m prescriptions for antidepressants were issued in 2013 in England alone.'This excellent blog appeared in The Guardian recently. 

‘As with benzodiazepines in the 1980s, the UK is prescribing SSRI antidepressants at a staggering rate – and to no good effect

We appear to be in the midst of a psychiatric drug epidemic, just as we were when benzodiazepines (tranquilisers) were at their height in the late 1980s. The decline in their use after warnings about addiction led to a big increase in the use of the newer antidepressants, the SSRIs (selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors).

Figures released by the Council for Evidence-based Psychiatry, which was set up to challenge many of the assumptions commonly made about modern psychiatry, show that more than 53m prescriptions for antidepressants were issued in 2013 in England alone. This is almost the equivalent of one for every man, woman and child and constitutes a 92% increase since 2003.

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‘Invisible Pain’ by Jonathan Keys

‘In my practice as a therapist I often work with people who have been seriously hurt by the practice of psychiatry, either directly or indirectly through family members. Many of them started taking psychiatric drugs for moderate depression, or for some anxiety, or for panic attacks. But as time went on, their doses went up. More meds were added. By the time they realized the drugs were making things worse, they were already stuck on a large cocktail of psychiatric drugs.

The side effects worsened and became intransigent. Increasing depression, lethargy, loss of libido, confusion, mental fog, weight gain, lowered immunity and poorer sleep became the norm. Drugs were added to combat the side effects, leading to more side effects. At some point the realization settles in that the psych meds are causing tremendous suffering, are causing iatrogenic illness.

The sad part about this common story is that when the person finally decides that the psych drugs have caused deep harm, and that they want to stop, the road towards coming off these drugs is long and arduous.

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‘It’s quite all right, I’m well’ by Theresa

Cliffs of Moher in County ClareLet’s continue Theresa’s blogs on WITR, this one from a few days after the last (13/05/2010). 

‘Ya know…? I sometimes wonder about my state of mind. Not in the way that I did in the last days of drinking, when I kinda knew that I needed to be sectioned. I mean that I am still looking at myself with a straight head and thinking, ”Huh… fancy that.” I am surprised at myself, and it just sometimes makes me look twice.

In my opinion, I am very healthy mentally. But I may just be seeing it that way, as a man with two broken legs getting out of his wheelchair and limping on crutches for the first time, who may start picturing the marathons he’s gonna run even though, in reality, he has got a lot more physio to do. Like I feel liberated after my time caged in with a desperately ill mind.

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