I think people don’t know how to listen without going black or white. People who are not fans of prescribed psychotropics (drugs / meds for mental health) like myself, a Psychology PhD, will never recommend you to stop medication right away. We want you to become aware of the research that exposes how people in my field, psychiatry, medicine and industry keep getting rich at your expense, but we will never tell you that stopping medication immediately is the way to go. We want to tell you about publication bias and scientific corruption. We want to tell you how the whole world has been fed with ugly omissions and how we all become blind in front of people who wear white coats. This is something probably outside of mainstream debates, but you can find all the research and data you need in the book “Lost Connections” by Johann Hari.
As someone who struggles with her own wellbeing and knows a fair bit about mental health history, I find it sad how people conform to a role of victim these days. I won’t even touch on the overuse of labels as the only way to get “love” from others. Yes, you know what I’m talking about! I would be lying if I said that I never caught myself benefiting from the attention we get when we are sick. I don’t mean we do it deliberately, more often than not we don’t. We do it unconsciously, we do it without the awareness of our deepest intentions, because we socially learned that people feel morally and emotionally obligated to treat those who are sick with kindness.
No, don’t stop your meds right away because your system is by now already high on them and you would go through a process of withdrawal, just like it happens with any other chemical habituation. Do try though to look out for different answers that can actually release you from the suffering you face everyday. Make peace with your childhood, get sunshine, connect with others, get a job that gives you joy, meditate, create, go into the woods, dare to dream. You see, we need to correct our way of living, that’s where most problems start. Drugs can’t do that for you. They might help you survive daily, but you won’t be feeling whole and you won’t know what wellbeing feels like because psychotropics mess with your ability to feel emotions.
My take on mental health and wellbeing has been, for a long time now, the claim that we need to mend our collective consciousness and be humans again because, believe it or not, we lost the connection with our humanness. That’s why we live miserably with the world literally in our pocket. That’s why we go on through the days and week after week feeling drained and empty. Yes, some of us are already aware of how important self-care and wellbeing are to mental health. Some don’t know or choose to ignore, however, how our social and institutional structures have been transforming us into robots and automatic machines, disproved from feelings and humanity. In that perspective, you are not allowed to melt down after losing the one you love and you are not allowed to stay depressive after being bullied at work.
It’s time to wake up and stop tolerating the idea that “it’s life” and that there is nothing we can do about it. It’s time to stop the disempowerment of people who probably grew up believing that there was something really wrong with their brains and way of responding to life. I have been one of those too. The ugly truth is that we, as human beings, have been evolving in a climate of uncertainty and mechanists. Many of us were told that it is wrong to feel sad or angry. Many of us were told that it is wrong to be you, because being you means being an overload of many different things at the same time and the system doesn’t like that. The system likes us to be who they want us to be, obeying sheep.
It’s time to claim back our natural way of being. I don’t mean it’s time to be cavemen again. I don’t mean it’s time to get rid of technology and all sorts of pharmaceuticals. I’m saying that it’s time to become conscious of where we are right now. It’s time to really pay attention and reflect consciously on the way we have been taught to live life. It’s time to immerse ourselves more in nature and it’s time to be really present when we sit next to someone. It’s time to see that we barely breathe and our shoulders and neck get so tight that it’s impossible to avoid a headache. It’s time to be, because when we simply are, life automatically changes for the best.
This is my take on mental health and wellbeing. I formed this opinion, if you wish to call it that way, based on my experience as a human being, the books and cultures I learned from, and on a good amount of clients that I failed to help because they were blindly attached to their diagnosis. We can’t help or offer help to people who don’t really want to get better. We must respect them, because their refusal means something very important. Their attachment to a negative narrative is just a symptom that they don’t know they are worthy of living life in their own terms. They are the first ones to label and tell the whole world how dysfunctional they are. It’s a big frustration of mine, the amount of clients that I had to let go because their will to be unwell was far greater than the will to change. I know that because I’m a patient myself – the mind is hard to discipline and self-examination is a very complex art. That’s why while we don’t actualise ourselves as a Buddha, we need to seek support from people who know what they are doing and who understand human nature.