Continuing the theme of how we can't hope to find a 'cure' for spiritual and emotional issues in the biological realm, you might want to take a look at this post I wrote over onjewishmatters, exploring why Einstein is proving how misguided the pills approach to mental illness really is.
You can see the full article HERE.
There are many different ways of getting to know your own 'inner child' or younger self, and if this particular exercise doesn’t do it for you, there will be a different visualization, or method, that will unlock your ‘inner child’ door when you’re really ready for it, so don’t give up!
In the meantime, this is one of my favorites, as it gets straight down to business, and it also puts God in the picture, which instantly begins the internal healing process regardless of what else might be going on.
I hope you enjoy it, and I’d be very happy to hear any feedback, comments or questions you might have, so drop me a line at: email@example.com
The following exercise was inspired by the highly-recommended book ‘Connection’ by Efim Svirsky:
Find yourself a calm, quiet place where you feel safe, and where you won’t have any worries about being observed by other people, or interrupted. Then begin the relaxation process described below. You might also want to read it into your phone or MP3, and then play it back to yourself, so all you have to take of is the listening part:
> Focus on your breathing. Take three deep breaths, in and out.
> Make sure your arms and legs are uncrossed, and that you are sitting or lying down comfortably.
> Place your hands over your heart, and repeat three times:
“My heart is full of love, understanding and forgiveness for everyone.”
> With each breath in, focus on how you are being filled up with God’s light.
> With each breath out, focus on how you are letting go of any tension, nerves and anxiety.
> As you feel your heart start to fill up with light, love and forgiveness, extend your arms out, palms open, and feel how your soul is opening up to God, and good, and forgiveness.
> Bring your arms down by your side, and continue to breathe slowly and rhythmically.
> Allow yourself to relax even more deeply, and feel the relaxation move from the soles of your feet, up to the top of your head, and back down again, in a relaxing, soothing wave.
>> It’s time to go find your inner child.
> Without forcing the issue, find a younger version of yourself. Ask yourself: ‘Where is my inner child? I’d really like to meet him / her.’ When they show up, find out how old they are, and ask them a little bit about themselves.
> You can talk to your inner child the way you would talk to any other youngster. If you can’t find them, they won’t talk to you, or they are angry and aggressive in some way, try to reassure them that you are on their side, and that you are going to take care of them 100%.
(They may not believe you, which is when your work is really cut out for you…)
> Ask them why they’re upset, and really listen to them.
> Ask them if they know that there’s a Creator of the world, and see what they say.
> Tell them that God is there in the conversation with you, surrounding you both with love. Ask your inner child if they can feel God’s love.
(Often, they can’t, and they may even be furiously angry with you for suggesting that God exists and / or loves them).
. However they react, let them talk without trying to shut them up or intimidating them, because they are really you, and they are giving you some huge clues about how you really feel about things, and what might be keeping you stuck, squashed or miserable in life.
> If your inner child is upset or offended, try to calm them down and placate them. Depending on the age, you may just want to hug them, or put your arm around them, instead of talking to them.
> Give your inner child as much space, compassion and empathy as you can.
(This is often when people are shocked to find just how little empathy and compassion they actually have for themselves.)
> Do whatever you can to try to make them feel better. If you don’t know what that might be, ask them!
> Try not to end the conversation until you have moved the relationship with your inner child forward in some way. Try to solve their problem; try to soothe their hurt; try to placate their anger.
> Only once you’ve done as much as you can, are you ready to conclude the exercise.
> Depending on their age, either put your inner child on your lap, or give them a hug, and allow the light of the Creator to shine through you both, merging you together.
(This doesn’t always work the first time, especially if your inner child is particularly hostile or angry, but don’t give up. Sooner or later, they will soften.)
> You may now come out of the state of deep relaxation.
When we lose a loved one, it’s usually too much to take in that reality right from the beginning. There’s a mental grieving process that we have to go through over time, that enables us to deal with the magnitude and scope of what we’ve lost in a healthy way that won’t overwhelm us, or incapacitate us, with huge, often negative, emotions.
In many ways, coming to terms with the primary causes of pretty much every mental illness you care to mention is no different, because it also involves grieving for a relationship that was actually never really ‘there’, the way it should have been. Before we explore this idea further, let’s set out the basic ideas that have been proven by a huge number of scientific studies, as to what’s really causing mental and emotional illness.
In contrast to the never-proven theories about ‘chemical imbalances’ and ‘rogue genes’ being the cause of mental illness, this information has been repeatedly proven by any number of peer-reviewed, rigorous scientific studies.
So why is it being ignored, as the prime cause of mental and emotional illnesses?
It comes back to the idea of how hard it is for us human beings to face up to the idea of losing our loved ones. All of us need to feel that ‘someone’ is looking out for us, caring for us and protecting us. As young children, the thought that we are completely alone and vulnerable in the world is too scary to even contemplate.
When our caregivers are ‘good enough’ (and I hope to flesh out these ideas in more substance as we go along, as it’s crucial to understand that we’re not talking about ‘perfect parents’ here) – they give us a sense that the world is safe, that we’re seen, that we’re important, and that we’re loved.
When our caregivers are not ‘good enough’ – the opposite happens. Having a basic sense of safety and feeling secure is the basis of good mental and emotional health. When the very people who are beating us up, attacking us verbally and otherwise, bullying us, tearing us down, treating us like dirt, failing to ‘see’ us or nurture us – are the people we depend on to care for and protect us, that puts us into an enormously difficult bind, emotionally.
We desperately want to believe we have caring, ‘good enough’ parents, but that’s not the reality.
So many people start to lie to themselves about what’s really going on – because the idea of ‘losing’ their caregivers is simply completely overwhelming to a child, no matter how old they might be – and voila, you’re already well on the way to a host of mental and emotional difficulties.
It’s so much easier to blame all the problems on a chemical imbalance than on enormous problems with our parents, because when all is said and done, we all want to believe that our parents truly do love and care for us, and that their treatment of us is not responsible for our mental and emotional health issues.
But that’s not reality.
And for as long as we’re not really accepting reality, and we’re not acknowledging the root causes of our emotional difficulties, we can’t start to really solve the problem.
The second, much less prevalent cause of mental illness is experiencing some sort of acute danger or trauma. This can also have a huge impact on the individual, and can definitely contribute to mental illness. However, the research done on the incidence of PTSD in Vietnam veterans showed repeatedly that the vets who had already experienced chronic trauma as children were the ones who went on to subsequently develop PTSD as a result of their combat experiences.
By contrast, vets who enjoyed happy, secure ‘good enough’ childhoods very rarely went on to develop PTSD as adults, as a result of their combat experiences.
You can sum it up like this: if you enjoyed a caring, nurturing, secure ‘good enough’ childhood with your caregivers, you are very unlikely to develop a serious, lasting mental or emotional illness as a result of experiencing acute trauma as an adult. If you were already traumatized on some level by experiencing a chronically abusive or emotionally neglected childhood, your chances of developing a serious mental illness (or PTSD type response) after experiencing acute trauma as an adult is much, much greater.
So the first stage of the God-based holistic healing process is this:
Accept the reality of what really happened to you, and what you experienced as a child.
In the next post, I'll share a practical exercise that can help you start to get in touch with your actual experiences, as a child, and start to heal them.
Over the next couple of weeks, I want to start sketching out a God-based holistic healing process for overcoming mental illness that will provide you, the reader, with a practical blue-print to follow on your journey to regaining full emotional and mental health, well-being, and happiness.
All the ideas I’m going to lay out over the next few posts have been tried and tested in the real world, by real people who have managed to overcome enormous mental and emotional health challenges.
Many of the ideas are also girded in Jewish tradition and Jewish law, and have been shown to work over the course of many hundreds and thousands of years. And lastly, wherever possible I’ve also found scientific studies to provide an evidence base for the ideas and approaches I want to outline.
In a nutshell, the healing process I’m hoping to start sharing with you is NOT some faddy, flash-in-the-pan nice idea because:
There are still some gaps on the scientific research front, primarily because science still hasn’t managed to ‘prove’ everything that’s been readily accessible and known in the spiritual realm for millennia. But it’s catching up – and there’s a wealth of information already out that should be sufficient to prove the ‘scientific’ basis of the God-based holistic approach to healing mental and emotional health issues for anyone willing to be even a little bit convinced.
(There’s always going to be dyed-in-the-wool sceptics who no amount of facts or ‘proof’ will ever satisfy. Clearly, this approach is not for them.)
The other thing to tell you is that this is very much a work in progress, and that I value your input as I’m starting to pull it together. If you have an approach that jives with what I’m setting out here that has worked for you – and that I haven’t covered or mentioned – then please feel free to comment, or send me an email.
I’m not pretending to have all the answers. What I do have, though, is a practical alternative to going the ‘meds’ route to healing mental and emotional illnesses that I believe will work for most people, most of the time, once they make the mental ‘switch’ required to tackle the problem across all three levels of body, mind and soul.
So with that preamble out the way, in the next few posts I’m going to set out the main stages of the God-based holistic healing process.
Let’s quickly recap the main points we’ve covered over the last few posts:
Let’s leave the word ‘knowingly’ to one side for a moment, while we again look at some facts. A little while ago, the Nutrition Institute of America published a fully-referenced report called ‘Death by Medicine’, which found the following (all the figures below only refer to the US):
There are some very hard questions psychiatrists need to be asked, and need to answer:
So that’s the problem, in a nutshell. God-willing, over the next series of posts I want to start setting out some alternative solutions and approaches to the mental and emotional health issues that are currently plaguing our society.
The next, huge, reason why prescribed drug abuse is going through the roof is that many people have the distinct impression, often based on their own experiences, that psychiatric drugs actually work. People go to their psychiatrists depressed, hallucinating, anxious, suicidal, and after a few weeks on the meds, all their problems magically disappear!
There’s a few different things going on here, so let’s try to break them down.
The first thing to mention is the ‘placebo’ effect. In his book ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’, researcher Irvin Kirsch blew the lid off the SSRI claims that they were more effective than a placebo. The long and short of it is, they aren’t, and even when they do work, they come along with a huge number of very unpleasant side affects (more on this later.)
To put it another way, the power of the mind is so great that if someone with a mental illness (or other physical disease) believes that the drug they’ve been given is going to cure them, then very often it will – regardless of its innate therapeutic properties.
To quote Kirsch:
“Even the small percentage [16%] of people who ‘respond’ only to the real antidepressant do not get much chemical benefit from the medication. Most of their improvement can be explained as a placebo effect.”
So that’s one issue – but it’s not even the main one.
Even if we assume that there is some truth to the idea that the mood-altering drugs prescribed by psychiatrists work, at least for some of the people, some of the time, as you’re probably coming to expect, there’s a lot more to the story, and it’s by no means so clear-cut or encouraging.
In his book ‘Anatomy of an epidemic’, investigative journalist Robert Whitaker spent a couple of years trawling through all of the scientific studies that measured the efficacy of mood-altering drugs like Thorazine, Lithium, SSRIs, and benzodiazepines over the long term. Time and again, he found the following pattern:
I highly recommend that readers pick up a copy of Whitaker’s book for themselves, which clearly sets out the scientific proof and chemical processes that are underpinning all the information I’m giving you in this post.
In the meantime, let me just tell you about researcher Martin Harrow’s 15 year schizophrenia study. Schizophrenia has traditionally been thought of as the most difficult of all mental illnesses to successfully treat. In Harrow’s study, he followed four groups of people:
Harrow found that: “Over the long term, the manic-depressive patients who stopped taking psychiatric drugs fared pretty well, but their recovery took time” [i.e., normally a couple of years to really get over and turn their life around again]. But by the end of the 15 year long study, they were officially ‘recovered’ from their illness.
By contrast: “At the end of two years, [the manic-depressive patients who stayed on their meds] were now a little bit worse than the schizophrenia patients off meds” – and over the next 15 years, their illness, outcomes and quality of life continued to deteriorate.
At the end of 15 years, Harrow’s study showed that both the unmedicated groups continued to do significantly better than their medicated peers, with medicated manic-depressives experiencing worse outcomes than non-medicated schizophrenics.
So you can sum up the ‘psychiatric drugs work!’ argument like this: Like all drugs, there’s an initial benefit to using them, but this quickly evaporates, with patients’ mental health issues and symptoms actually worsening over the long term, making it harder and harder for them to function normally, hold down jobs, or forge relationships.
But that’s not all: the life expectancy of people regularly using psychiatric medication is between 15-20 years shorter than normal – and the number of physical illnesses and problems they experience before their premature death (affectionately known as ‘side affects’) is often enormous.
It’s not a secret that drugs, even prescription drugs, carry huge drawbacks. The question has always been one of ensuring that the potential benefit to the patient outweighs the potential cost. And who are the ones who are meant to be ensuring the globally positive, ethical nature of the treatments and medications they prescribe? The medical profession and psychiatrists.
Which is where the tale starts to get extremely murky, indeed, as we’ll cover in the next post.
So in the last post, we started asking why it’s not OK for someone to ‘chill out’ by smoking pot, but it IS OK for someone to take a hugely addictive valium or klonopin for the same reason, just because they got it ‘on prescription’.
Here’s some of the more common reasons given for why drug abuse is acceptable, if it’s prescribed by a doctor of psychiatrist:
Let’s go through these reasons one by one, to see if they really stack up. First up, the infamous ‘chemical imbalance’ theory of mental illness. Reams and reams has been written on this subject, but you can sum it up like this:
No chemical imbalance has ever been scientifically-proven to be the cause of mental illness.
That’s the cold, hard facts, and I challenge anyone reading this to send me a scientific study (or preferably, a bunch of them) that unequivocably disproves this. But you don’t have to take my word for it. Let me quote you some statements from the book, Blaming the Brain:
Edward Drummond, M.D., Associate Medical Director at Seacoast Mental Health Center in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, informs us: “First, no biological etiology [cause] has been proven for any psychiatric disorder…in spite of decades of research.…So don’t accept the myth that we can make an ‘accurate diagnosis’.…Neither should you believe that your problems are due solely to a ‘chemical imbalance.’”
Psychologist Bruce Levine, Ph.D., concurs: “Remember that no biochemical, neurological, or genetic markers have been found for attention deficit disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, compulsive alcohol and drug abuse, overeating, gambling, or any other so‐called mental illness, disease, or disorder.”
Charles E. Dean, M.D., says that people are “convinced that the origins of mental illnesses are to be found in biology, when, despite more than three decades of research, there still is no proof…The absences of any well‐defined physical causation is reflected in the absence of any laboratory tests for psychiatric diagnoses—much in contrast to diabetes and many other physical disorders.
“[T]here are no tests available for assessing the chemical status of a living person’s brain.” – Elliot Valenstein, Ph.D.
I know that this can be a lot to digest in one go. You can find a few more quotes HERE, and at the end of this article, you’ll find a few books I recommend – all extensively quoting peer-reviewed scientific research – to help you ascertain the facts for yourself.
But the take-home point is this: no-one has ever proved the chemical imbalance theory for mental illness, which is why there are no tests you can do to ‘prove’ you have a mental illness.
In the next post, we’ll take a look at the next common argument: “but the drugs actually work!”
One of the things that has puzzled me for years is the following question: How can a prescription make it ‘OK’ to take mind-altering drugs? As a kid growing up in the 80s and 90s, I was assailed with messages from the ‘Just say no!’ campaign, and my non-Jewish school was constantly giving talks about the dangers of doing drugs.
The message that came across was loud and clear: drug users are risking their health, and even their lives by using drugs. They won’t be able to hold down a job, and they’ll be social outcasts and economic failures, aka ‘the dregs of society’. It’s hard to think of a more scary prospect, for an aspiring Jewish yuppie…
But that wasn’t all: time and again, we were also warned away from drug dealers, those evil people who were making money and gaining influence over large swathes of naïve people, by getting them hooked on drugs.
Marijuana is bad!
Cocaine is really bad!
Heroin is really, really bad!
Sure, you’ll feel good, amazing even, for the first few times, but then you’ll quickly get caught in the ‘drug net’ where you’re using more and more gear for ever-decreasing returns.
I think you’re with me so far, yes? Drugs are B.A.D. They kill people, they take away their ability to function and think, they can have a seriously negative impact on their quality of life and will to live, and ultimately, they detract from the person’s essential humanity, or soul, encouraging them to act in all sorts of nasty, evil, selfish ways to satisfy their habit.
So now, let me ask the question again: why is marijuana bad, but Prozac is OK? Why is cocaine bad, but Ritalin is ‘good’? Why is heroin ‘bad’, but the incredibly addictive Ativan is readily prescribed at the drop of a hat?
What it is about the magic word ‘prescription’ that makes it OK, or even encouraged for people to start using mind-altering medications, many of which are seriously addictive, and all of which come along with a huge range of side affects, some of which cause irreversible brain damage and even fatalities?
Over the next couple of posts this week, I want to take a more in-depth look at what’s really going on with psychotropic drugs, and why the ‘drug trap’ is operating just as dangerously with psychiatric medicine, and putting milllions of users’ mental and physical health on the line, even if they are ‘on prescription’.
Right from the start, there's been rumours rumbling along that cell-phone use can cause cancer.
Well, someone just sent me an article that seems to be proving this point scientifically. You can read the full thing for yourself _HERE.
The basic idea is that cell-phones give off carcinogenic radiation for a radius of 10-15 foot around the phone - so even when you're not actually talking on it, it's still zapping you.
But that's not all: smart phones give off this sort of carcinogenic-causing energy ALL THE TIME, while the more simple, or 'kosher' phones only emit this radiation when you're actually talking on them.
A while back, I wrote some articles about how human beings function like an electric circuit, and how all sorts of things like wi-fi, microwave ovens and even FM radio can disrupt that normal functioning, causing all sorts of problems and diseases, God forbid.
You can read them below:
It's true that this is never the whole picture, and that God's in charge of the world, and really deciding who gets zapped with what nasty illnesses. But when God sends out his representatives to tell people to ditch their i-Phones - and they just get ignored or mocked for being 'backwards' - then it shouldn't be too big a shocker when the smartphone turns into a neurological bomb just waiting to detonate.