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Feel free to move about and explore the web site. Outlined below is an introduction to how and why the web sites, book, photos and other information were born as well as my thoughts about how our mental health and our hearts, souls and spirits are connected.
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We need help.
I would like to welcome everyone to my web site and invite you to take some time to explore if you are in any way interested in learning or helping yourself get in touch with your spirit and your life again. It is also about some new choices in the way that depression and other forms of emotional suffering or mental illness can be treated as well as some possible solutions to our suffering. While the main focus of this website is depression and mental health it also offers possible ways to get in touch with your spirit again as well. Even if you do not have any issues with depression or anything else, this site is set up so that we can expand our whole being and that includes the spiritual side of us in addition to the physical. Our emotional and spiritual wellbeing is just as important, if not more so, than the physical side of us. I feel that many have been neglected emotionally and spiritually in this world and that we could use a little help learning how to feed all of the different aspects of our lives and not just one side of us.
The purpose of this web site is to introduce you to new choices and new choices that you may not be aware of at this time that could possibly help you in your attempts to help your spirit. I did not know about many of these choices when I went searching so many years ago. I had to do some looking, spend a lot of time researching and studying and then using the different methods myself to see if they worked. Some of the methods did work for me and this web site and an upcoming book and resource guide are the outcome of my efforts. It is not my intent to tell you how to go about getting in touch with your spirit again but I would like to give you some new choices so that you are better able to figure out what would work for you as an individual in your own plan.
Depression is on the rise for perhaps many reasons and increasing rapidly in the world. While I feel that there is a real and serious need to address the issue of depression, spirituality and mental health in our world today, I do not feel that the cause is necessarily a chemical imbalance or that the symptoms have a physical basis in many instances. I feel that for many of us there is a definite lack of what I like to call emotional life skills as well as a lack of love and emotional support for ourselves. While I acknowledge that many people may have a physical or other reason to use the medication, I do not feel that a chemical imbalance is necessarily true for everyone. This is based upon my own efforts and personal experiences, along with some of the recent research done by doctors and other mental health professionals.
While some may feel that depression and other forms of mental illness are caused by a chemical imbalance, I personally feel that depression and other forms of mental illness in many, many instances are the result of our spirits trying to speak to us if we would just listen. While the mind is involved with our thoughts and behaviors, I feel that ultimately the symptoms are mostly coming from an attempt by the spirit to let us know something isn't working or that something needs to change in our lives. I feel that depression and other symptoms are a combination of our spirits trying to tell us that something is not working along with a lack of some very essential emotional life skills which we need to function in this world in a healthy way. I'm sure that there are as many reasons for symptoms of depression and mental illness as there are individuals but I also feel generally that if the mind, the body and the spirit are balanced in a healthy way in our lives that this balance can make all the difference in the way that we feel. That is the basis for my approach to my recovery but it all started with the belief that God did not make me defective in any way and that included my belief that He did not make me with a need to take medication for the rest of my life.
If you don't believe in God then perhaps some of the other choices on this site will help you.
The whole reason this site is set up in the manner it has been is so that people can choose what feels right for them. I am just presenting my story and how I went about recovering as an example and not how others should proceed in their own recovery plan. The whole point to having so many choices is so that people can choose what works for them or use these resources to hopefully find something that works for them or gives them hope. My recovery plan included God and still does to this day. Your plan may not. Mostly, this site is to let others know that there might be some choices out there that they have not tried or that they didn't even know were possible or existed. I had to search out these things myself and put them into some kind of workable program for me. It is all about finding and choosing what works for each one of us as an individual.
I also feel that there are many aspects of what one might call spirituality other than our connection with God in whatever way works for us. I feel that spirituality is also about whether or not we feel comfortable being ourselves, expressing ourselves, loving ourselves and others, respect for ourselves and others, self-esteem, confidence, feeling loved by another, our physical health, strength of body and character and our emotional and mental health, among other things. I feel that our spirits are healthy if they are healthy in all ways and not just one way. There is a lot of emphasis on the way that we look physically in the world today and it seems to me that the inside of us, our spirits that is, have taken a beating and that there is not much that feels sacred in life anymore, including ourselves. What becomes so special about life if we do not feel inside that we matter to anyone? How does life become special in a culture that is dominated by material goods and so much emphasis on how we look physically? That is where I feel that the depression and other mental illnesses serve as a way of us protecting ourselves in some way in a world that we either don’t know how to live in or in one where we no longer want to live.
Please know that I realize that all of you are doing the best that you can in your life. I know just how HARD life can be when you are in the depths of emotional pain that you cannot or do not know how to handle. I do know that taking your medication or drinking or drugs or whatever it is that you are doing is the best way that you know how to handle what is happening in your life. I know how hard it can be just to get up and brush your teeth, comb your hair, take a shower and get dressed so that you can do the best you can to face your day. Some of the things that I have to say may be a little harsh at times but this is not done with the intent to hurt anyone's feelings or make anyone feel guilty that they are not doing enough. I too, am still doing the best I can to get out what I feel is some very important information and I am a little rough around the edges at times.
My apologies if I seem uncaring or not sensitive to your situation. I do care about each and every one of you. That is why this site is up. I do know that people become trapped by life, by circumstances, by lack of money, by lack of choices and for other reasons that may make obstacles or life very difficult or too challenging to overcome. Maybe we just try to be happy no matter what because that is the best that we can do in our lives. That's okay. If and when anyone wants to make some changes, then maybe this site can help.
You will find that I put in a lot of material and quotes from other authors, researchers and doctors in addition to my own material, writing and research. That is because I want you to know that I am not the only one that feels there are other reasons for depression and mental illness than a chemical imbalance. I think that too many people, indeed millions, are suffering for there to be only one cause such as a chemical imbalance. While there may be some instances where the symptoms are related to a physical injury, I feel that the majority of people suffering are experiencing symptoms of the spirit talking or attempting to talk to them. I think that our own warning system is telling us that something is not working and needs changing but that is my personal opinion. Things are not working well in many ways in the world today and I feel that we are being squeezed and suppressed in many ways, especially spiritually. That is one reason that I feel that depression is getting worse all over the world. I think that we have lost touch with ourselves and our own spirits in this world today as well as with others and with our Creator.
I have spent too much time and effort over the last ten to fifteen years recovering using other methods to feel that we all have chemical imbalances. Indeed, this theory is under scrutiny and has been discredited by some mental health professionals recently but I did not know this until earlier this year. Based upon my own personal experiences, I feel that the symptoms and illnesses are the heart and the spirit trying to heal and cope with the wounding of the spirit or body of the person. I found that everything pretty much feels like it is back to normal (actually much better than ever) as far as my spirit, like I was before all of the trauma and lack of skills contributed to my symptoms and illnesses. I do suffer from some lingering physical and mental challenges like memory difficulties and slowness. I do not feel that I have any chemical imbalance and I do not know that I ever had one. Mostly, I needed love, emotional support and skills.
I know that medication has helped many people and I think that it helped to keep me alive when I did not know that there were other options available. Personally though, I feel that the medication is actually toxic to our brains and our bodies and that it has had some tragic consequences from its use, especially in young adults and children. I had a lot of side effects from the medications even though I was in my mid-twenties when I started taking anti-depressants. My depression, panic and other symptoms actually got worse and worse over the years instead of better. Although there were times when I did feel better it was pretty much a downward spiral. Medication may help us feel better but it does not help us deal with life any better and this comes at a price. It seems that we trade feeling better for a piece of our soul and spirit which is stuffed down or cut off from us. It is true that using methods other than medication to recover can take much longer but in my own life I feel that these methods served me much better. This is because these methods actually addressed and helped me to remove many of the causes of my symptoms. By removing the causes of the symptoms I recovered from the illness. While I still have some difficulties, my life is much healthier emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually than before. I still struggle at times because I am dealing with the more "core" issues but even those feelings are easier to look at instead of me denying, ignoring or medicating them away as I did earlier in life because I did not know how to handle them.
I feel that taking care of the physical body will help to ease some of the symptoms. For many of us, better nutrition might make a difference. I know that comfort foods make us feel better but I found that high quality nutrition makes a real difference in my mental state of mind. The foods that we eat have much more of a beneficial or detrimental effect on our bodies that we might realize and are also part of the solution. A balanced, healthy diet helps us to feel better physically, emotionally and spiritually than one loaded with foods with little to no nutritional value and highly processed foods. Exercise will help our bodies be stronger and us able to handle stress better.
I feel that until the symptoms of depression and mental [spiritual] illness are looked at for what they are, the causes discovered and the spirit is listened to and explored, no complete recovery is possible.This goes hand-in-hand with learning some new skills to help us be stronger emotionally and mentally as well as getting emotional support for ourselves, including supporting our own spirits. These are skills such as communicating and relating to others in a healthy way and involve dealing with conflict, working out problems, dealing with anger and other feelings, setting boundaries and being able to protect oneself and other necessary skills. I feel that alternative methods of treatment, education, learning new communication skills, coping skills, better nutritional habits and life skills, among other things, are some of the essential things that may help someone to overcome emotional pain. Changing one's diet might work for some while another might need to learn new skills and get exercise. Spirituality was a big key for me.
Each person is different and so is what they need to get better. I do feel though that getting in touch with your own spirit and with God and His love are definitely not to be left out. I felt better doing all of the other things but no real life energy until I made this connection with something bigger than myself. It was very much a relief to find out that there was someone bigger than myself who could help me.
A person with a strong heart has already won his or her own battle and is thus prepared for more when and if it comes. Until one can overcome the fear and the demons inside, they will run, ignore or deny what is happening or try to numb themselves in many ways from pain, anxiety, fear and other uncomfortable feelings.
This approach is an effort to help others, to let you know that recovery is possible and to show you that you can teach yourselves to have strength of the heart, remove unnecessary fear and to be brave in all areas of life. It is an effort to help you teach yourself how to connect with your own spirit. It would be adding a new set of skills to boot camp so to speak. We can no longer afford to operate only from a physical view of life. Our hearts and our spirits cry out from inside that there is another part of us that is required for life. They are trying to tell us we have become disconnected from our life source and ourselves as well as how to get back in touch with our hearts, our spirits and our Creator in a deeply fulfilling way if we will but listen.
Addressing only the physical part of the human being is no longer an option for it is the spirit part that is suppressed that is creating these symptoms of despair. Each symptom of "mental [spiritual] illness" is an attempt to convey some information about the self to the person and sometimes we only respond to distress or pain. If ignored, it gets worse. Depending upon the amount of the denial of the person's spirit by that person, for many reasons, the worse the symptoms will become. Of course the amount of protection will be different for everyone. Some may develop psychotic symptoms, hallucinations or multiple personalities, which are a form of protecting the self from harm or things that are too much for one to bear at the time. There are as many reasons for symptoms of mental illness as there are people and only the person knows what is happening inside. Like a puzzle, these symptoms can be explored and then put together into some kind of sense with safety, trust, compassion, understanding, love and support. This putting together is then part of what helps the person be whole again.
I would like to help you become aware that there are other choices available to assist you in getting better than the traditional methods of using only medication and sometimes counseling. Many times, counseling is not used. Many people only take medication. What I attempt to do on this site is to give you new choices and new opportunities that you may not be aware are available. How you go about your recovery is ultimately up to you but I would like to give you some starting points for information and resources that I never knew were available when I started looking for other ways to get better. Only you can decide what is best for you in your situation.
While I do not feel that this site addresses all types of mental illness, including the most severe kinds, I do feel that by teaching emotional life skills to ourselves and to our kids, as well as supporting our spirits, we could help prevent or reduce many murders and rapes, as well as domestic violence, sexual abuse, physical abuse, addiction and the like. I know that for me personally, I get emotionally stronger every day. I also know that I will never be severely depressed like I was for so many years. I will never suffer the emotional neglect, sexual abuse and violence that happened to me earlier in my life because I can now stand up for myself, state my feelings and opinions and set personal boundaries. I will never smoke again. I will not drink again. I will never do any drugs again. I will never take psych meds again. I do not have any cravings for drugs, alcohol or cigarettes. I am healthier emotionally and mentally and I can cope with more stress. I have better communication skills. I am no longer full of fear, hurt and rage. I eat better. I'm not perfect in any sense and I still have things to work on, but I do take better care of myself and I have more respect for myself and others. I may not be able to prevent horrible things from happening because I cannot control other people but if something does happen I will be able to deal with it better and in a healthier way. I do know that many of the problems that I had in my earlier life will never happen again. I will no longer pass those unhealthy habits on to children or to others. I have broken the cycle in my life.
I have done my best to provide you with a basic foundation for recovery on this site.Try to use these resources and the information on this site as an example of how to begin to get in touch with your life. I know that my interests and what I needed to get in touch with my own spirit are different than what you will need. I just did the best that I could to show you the basis for my program so that you could figure out how to put your own program together and see what I used in my life. I have some books listed here for those that like to read. I have web sites as well for those who don't mind reading and for information that I could not find on video. Lastly, I also have youtubevideos resourced on this site for those that don't care to read or would just like to listen for a bit. I have tried to make all of this as easy as possible for you to the best of my ability.
There are many, many more categories and resources in the Resource Guide in addition to those on this site. The Resource Guide is divided up into three sections and contains some suggested guidelines, resources in the form of books, web sites and videos on the Internet and covers topics such as anger, sexual abuse, alternative methods of treatment, nutrition, energy, sound, women, music, vibration, things to do for fun, color, light, self-esteem and many others. It also expands upon and adds resources to those already given on this site for depression, PTSI, abuse, addiction, parents and teens, among others. The Resource Guide and the book are almost finished. The book contains my story, suggested guidelines for a basic program and detailed explanations of all of the the steps I used in my recovery program and will be finished soon.
When you see a link to a song, an article or anything else, please consider it an invitation to stop for a moment, take a break, listen a bit or try to understand a point that I am trying to make. It is hard work sometimes to face our fears and such so I have attempted to lighten things up in many places by giving you a link to something that will give you a little break or bring some more awareness to you and your spirit. Music and other links inside the resource documents are not only to make a point but they are also to give you a little break from the information and study as well. There are so many wonderful, creative videos on the internet. Thanks to all for putting some great information and fun videos out there. Many times while putting the guides together I wandered into the music and other videos for a couple of hours just visiting with myself and how I was feeling, with the past and with what I hoped the future could be. Let yourself drift a bit sometimes or catch another wave that is coming by for a time to rest or even dive into something deeper. Listen to your spirit.
If you do not care for the music or other videos that I have put in this effort, please feel free to choose your own songs and other videos that reflect your spirit. Choose those that you feel would make the point better for you. Make your own guide to recovering your spirit which contains the resources that work for you. That's even better.
In attempting to serve many out there who come from a wide variety of backgrounds and different levels of life, there are many levels of understanding and strength of the heart built into this site. There are a couple of pages that may be too challenging for some people at this time since they contain current events postings and some postings about possibly disturbing social and other issues. Those pages have notices posted on the pages so that those who wish to avoid them may do so until they are stronger. There may be some who would like to read those pages but for those of you who are not yet strong enough you can bypass those pages for now. Don't let your pride or your curiousity get in the way and overwhelm yourself. The pages and the issues will be there for you to read later. Help yourself to be stronger in your own heart and then it will be easier to take a look around you at some of the bigger issues.
I have been working on this steadily for ten years or since early 2003. Prior to that time my focus for the previous five years was more about spirituality and a rearranging of my priorities since I was so ill at the time. From 1986 to 1996 things continued to get worse because the psych meds weren't working anymore and I self-medicated after that time in an effort to keep me moving and to help me stay alive. I did not know where to turn for help any longer. Finally, in 2003 I started searching everywhere I could think of in earnest for other solutions. I knew that I couldn't hold on much longer because the pain was excruciating. I didn't know how I was going to make it through the next minute, let alone the next hour or day. Forget about planning anything in the future. I simply could not focus that far ahead of me because of the pain.
I didn't know at the time what choices were out there as far as recovering and healing depression naturally but I knew that I had to try. Thanks to a small event of divine intervention at the library I was able to find my way through the maze and come up with a pretty workable solution. As you can see, I am still here and glad of it. I'm not 100% but I am so much better than I ever was before and I feel like me again. I would like to help you discover some new choices and give you some hope that there are other ways and that you can feel better. It will take some effort on your part but there is hope to be had still. Hang in there. Please do not give up.
Do you know that you might have other choices even if you have no money, are trapped or otherwise in a box? Even if there are some things that cannot be changed, there are others that can and we do have choices in our lives. Maybe we just cannot see them yet.
What if your life was really hiding another present inside for you? What if there were surprises to be found in that box? What if there was freedom as a result of all of that depression? What if there was life through the depression? What if the depression brought you to a greater understanding of yourself and others?
What if the depression itself could bring you to your life and to living instead of just surviving?
Consider the following statement:
Subtle grades of depression kill more people than all the other diseases of mankind combined. There is no antidepressant that will cure a depression which is spiritually based, because the malaise does not originate from brain dysfunction but from an accurate response to the desecration of life. The body is the reflection of the spirit in its physical expression, and its problems are the dramatization of the struggles of the spirit which gives it life.
- David R. Hawkins
Also consider this information:
There is no evidence that any psychiatric or psychological disorder is caused by a biochemical imbalance.
Peter R. Breggin, M.D., in his bookReclaiming Our Children, (Persues Books, Cambridge, Mass., 2000), page 139.
http://antipsychiatry.org/exist.htm , “Does Mental Illness Exist by Lawrence Stevens, J.D.
What have you got to lose by trying one more time or by trying something different?
I know that I was looking in the wrong places for too many years. I found answers when I started looking outside traditional treatments for depression and symptoms of mental [spiritual] illness. Take it easy on yourself. Try not to compare yourself with anyone else or compete with anyone else. This is your unique journey. This discovering and remembering took me my whole life to do for myself. Only look at what you can handle and do not try to do everything at once. Keep it simple.
I know that this web site contains a lot of information that could be overwhelming for you so I would like to make it even more simple for you. The best thing that I ever did was to let love and support into my life. I chose God instead of a relationship in this world such as a boyfriend or spouse, but get as much love and support as you can in your life. I also went seeking emotional support in group therapy and from counselors on a one-on-one basis. Sometimes it helps to get suggestions and input from someone with a different point of view.
If you do only one thing to get better, let love into your life.
Let someone love you and love someone. Love yourself. Love God and let Him love you.
Try to see the big picture. Just do the best you can on any given day.
My sincere appreciation for your interest and your support of this site. Thank you.
David R. Hawkins, Power vs. Force: An Anatomy of Consciousness, The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior, West Sedona, AZ, Veritas Publishing, 2004, pg. 231.
This is an active web site. I will be adding new materials and resources on a consistent basis so you might want to check back from time to time for new material.
I encourage everyone to explore and expand upon the resources here and to find what works best for you. Use these resources as guidelines and stepping stones and go from there. Please do your own research in addition to what I have on this site. I do not want you to just blindly believe what I have to say or have presented to you on this site to be true. That is why I have provided so many different resources and places for you to go for answers. Just because something is said on the internet, in a book or on television does not make it true.
I have done my best to provide you with current and up to date links. However, web sites come and go with regularity so if something doesn't work, let me know and I will get another up there on the same subject if possible.
If there is no active link it means that I want to convey a message but that I could not find a link to the authorized version or the owner of the copyrighted material, song or video. I have done my absolute best on this site not to violate any copyright laws and thus I have given you the source of any quotes or materials not my own. Accordingly, to the best of my knowlege there are no copyright violations on this site. The purpose of this site is to provide education and awareness to the general public.
FAIR USE NOTICE - Portions of this site might contain copyrighted material from forums, newsgroups websites, and other internet sources the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner, if any. We are making such material available to express views of none or all of the following: environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and information purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
I do not provide any crisis counseling or suicide intervention services. If you are suicidal, please seek immediate medical attention. There is some helpful information in the section on suicide. Please do not give up. I made it out and so can you.
Please remember that I am not a doctor or any kind of medical or mental health professional. I am a regular person who suffered for many, many years from severe, clinical depression, anxiety, panic disorder and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), now being called post traumatic stress injury. This is my effort to help others.
The information posted on this site is based upon my own personal experience and research and it does not cover every symptom or aspect of mental illness. I do not give mental health or medical advice nor should any information on this site be taken as any kind of medical advice.
DISCLAIMER: This web site is for information and resources only. The information contained in this web site is based upon the research and the personal experience of the author who makes no recommendations as to any kind of treatment or resource given. The information given here is designed to help adults make informed decisions about their health and the rest of their lives. The information is not intended as a substitute for any treatment that may have been prescribed by your doctor. The information is not intended as a substitute for consulting with your physician, mental health provider or any other health care provider. The author is not responsible for any adverse effects or consequences resulting from the use of any of the methods contained in this site or in any of the references or resources. All matters pertaining to your physical and mental health should be supervised by a health care professional. If you suspect that you have a medical problem, we urge you to seek competent medical help.
Thank you for your support. It means a great deal to me.