In the mental health field people are labeled in the medical model as having "disorders." These may be personality disorders, emotional disorders, developmental disorders, behavior disorders, or other symptoms of functioning deemed to be abnormal and interfering with the individual's ability to function within societal norms. The field of psychology that focuses on analyzing what has come to be called psychological or psychiatric disorders is Abnormal Psychology. Abnormal means outside of the norm. This has nothing necessarily to do with right or wrong, healthy or unhealthy, but merely means a deviation from societal or statistical norms. Abnormal patterns may be unhealthy, but it's also possible for functioning deemed normal to be unhealthy and functioning that's outside of norms to be healthier than the norm. For example, gifted children are abnormal, yet they are able to function better in their areas of talent than "normal" persons. Another example is where persons in military service become unstable and don't perform as requested when asked to carry out violence toward others... to the military they are abnormal, but to other areas of society the military activities themselves are seen as inhumane and pathological. As we explore these issues it behooves us to be conscious of our own values and assumptions when attempting to make judgments about the behavior and functioning of others.
Using an example of behavior disorders, the most frequently diagnosed is ADHD or ADD, the label applied to those who appear to have difficulty concentrating and staying on task or difficulty controlling impulses and hyperactive behavior. The medical model assumes, based primarily upon a variety of correlation-seeking research studies, that these behavior patterns are due to an abnormal pattern of chemical activity in the brain. Consequently, in America and to a lesser extent in some other industrialized countries, pharmaceutical drugs have become the most widely used form of treatment for those labeled with these disorders. Rarely do physicians prescribing these medications do any physiological tests that yield any evidence of some chemical anomaly that would be compensated for by the drug. It is observed that in many individuals receiving the drug the person's mental state and behavior do indeed shift for a brief period of time. That is a short-term effect and not fundamentally any different from short term effects of using illicit or recreational drugs. Cocaine, caffeine, nicotine, and marijuana have all been shown to have potential short term effects of shifting brain activity to suppress ADHD symptoms as well as symptoms associated with depression or anxiety. Yet, because these aren't prescribed pharmaceutical drugs they are criticized by the mental health establishment who often point out that using these drugs can trigger psychiatric problems. This hypocrisy has much to do with money and politics and little to do with science or sound medical practice. All psychotropic drugs can foster psychological disturbances since they all impair normal metabolic pathways to create their effects. The short term effect may impress people, but the long-term, systemic effect is to impair natural biochemical systems, frequently leading to dependency and addiction and greater difficulty in recovering one's natural health and well-being.
We know that psychoactive drugs usually affect anyone taking them, and that the problem with supposedly "normal" people taking them is that after receiving some desired effect from the drug a withdrawal phase commonly occurs due to the body having shifted its own chemistry into a chronically imbalanced state to compensate for the drug. In that withdrawal phase the person's mood or behavior is often more unpleasant or disturbed than at baseline. Thus, psychoactive drugs are known to induce symptoms consistent with psychiatric disorders and to often aggravate physiological disturbances related to psychological problems. Fortunately for the medical model and those seeking to promote it, it is able to hide this withdrawal phase by informing the patients that they have a mental illness caused by a chemical imbalance and must take their medicine on a regular, compliant basis so they don't "relapse." Yet, symptoms induced by medication withdrawal can't be distinguished from symptoms attributable to a pre-existing dysfunction. If the goal is balance and health, the medications are logically part of the problem, not the solution.
What causes biochemical disturbances correlated with psychological problems?
This is a key question, yet it is largely ignored by modern medicine. Anything that can influence our body may influence our biochemistry, This includes our food, nutrition, air and water, all medicines and drugs, various forms of vibrational frequencies (sound, color, light, IR, UV, EMF, RF, ELF, etc.), social and psychological stress, thoughts and feelings, and their effects on our multidimensional energy system. If one wishes to promote health they may seek to reduce exposure to that which disrupts our system and increase input of that which nourishes and helps balance our system. Sunlight, exposure to nature, exercise, nutrients, natural foods, massage, meditation, and a whole range of natural phenomena are shown to help foster psychological wellness. Doctors, en mass, ignore that common sense and insist on trying to suppress the symptoms of distress and imbalance. They offer drugs to manipulate biochemistry without conducting any physical examination or lab test to support the idea that there is a biochemical anomaly to begin with. They also assume that a mental state and it's associated biochemical signs are chronic and not just something that can change rapidly as the person's thoughts, feelings, environment, and perception of environment shift. They have no proof that their dangerous treatments are truly needed, yet they have the power of suggestion, belief, and short term medicine effects to create the illusion that they are responsibly treating a medical problem.
In recent years genetics has been a focus of research on mental health issues, with attempts to blame genetics for a range of psychological "disorders." Researcher have failed to recognize the role environmental factors and consciousness itself play in regulating genetic expression. Most genetics research is focused on the small percentage of DNA that has been found to code for proteins in the organism. The function of the majority of DNA is unknown to most researchers, but recent research from around the world has shown that these other DNA segments respond to frequencies of sound and light and the electromagnetic spectrum, and genetic expression can be powerfully influenced by directly manipulating vibrational frequency input or by shifting one's thoughts and feelings, which are key to managing one's own energy field. Manipulating DNA at the superficial level of protein synthesis codes may not have the level of benefits expected by most conventional medical researchers. Future "gene therapies" will presumably be quite expensive and thus profitable for those who have already taken steps to control patents of human gene sequences. Instead of giving our money and power to those who follow the distorted views of modern medicine I think it behooves us to take responsibility for our own health and well-being. We can learn to live in harmony with our world and develop a spiritual consciousness that helps us overcome the increasing stresses of modern civilization.
There has been an explosion in the diagnosis and chronicity of mental health problems in recent decades. Part of this can be attributed to stresses and pressures of modern society (which challenges the notion that genetically determined chemical imbalances are the causal factor in these problems). Another factor is the growing prevalence of substance abuse and dependency and processed, non-nourishing foods. Not only do alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, opiates, amphetamines, and cocaine remain commonly abused substances, but pharmaceutical drugs have become increasingly common sources of chemical dependency and addiction. Thus, the government and health care professionals denounce one portion of substance abuse while promoting the other portion of substance abuse as therapeutic.
Approximately a century ago, Sigmund Freud, the pioneer of psychiatry in Western society became enamored with using cocaine as treatment for a range of psychological issues, as its short term effects were pleasant and it was being widely touted as benefitting a range of medical ailments. Over a period of years, Freud and others came to recognize that it was ultimately addictive and debilitating. Much the same can be said for modern efforts to use drugs to treat mental distress, though the vast majority of psychiatric professionals are less inclined than Freud was to confront the reality of the harm engendered by this approach to treatment. In our present era we actually have a wealth of empirical evidence to show the long term detrimental effect of pharmaceutical therapy, as outlined by Robert Whitaker in his book Mad In America, which explores the ongoing saga of psychiatry's embrace of one dysfunctional fad after another.
Fortunately, we also have a wealth of evidence to show what does help people handle stress and overcome mental, emotional, and physiological disturbances. The field of orthomolecular medicine and psychiatry has documented how specific vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, and enzymes can be used to help the body rebalance itself, with the need for these measures often being short term when external stressors subside, toxins in the body are cleansed, allergies are dissipated, and other levels of emotional healing occur. Schizophrenia, considered to be the most intractible and chronic of mental health disturbances by conventional psychiatry, has been often relieved by Vitamin B3 and other supplements which don't create the unpleasant and debilitating "side" effects of medications. Schizophrenia is more likely to go into remission in countries where there is no availability of medications, as treatments that remove the individual from stresses or help reintegrate the sense of self in a psychological or spiritual sense are provided.
Novel mind-body healing methods such as emotional acupressure (EFT and othe Energy Psychology techniques), EMDR (eye-movement desensitization and retraining), hypnosis, Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP, also referred to as Neuro-Hypnotic Repatterning), Shamanic soul retrieval and energy balancing, Biofeedback, and brainwave entrainment, have all been used to help heal those with psychological disturbances. The fact that these methods are often effective in cases where a person was previously told they had a chemical imbalance requiring lifelong medication therapy proves that physicians' beliefs and statements about medication therapy are often not accurate.
Jed Shlackman, LMHC, C.Ht.
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Criticisms Of Conventional Approaches To Mental Health Care (& Info On Natural Alternatives)
Your Drug May Be Your Problem: How & Why To Stop Taking Psychiatric Medications, by Peter Breggin, M.D.
Dealing With Depression Naturally, by Syd Baumel
Getting Rid Of Ritalin, by Robert W. Hill, Ph.D. & Eduardo Castro, M.D. (Neurofeedback & Other Holistic Treatments)
No More ADHD: 10 Steps To Help Improve Your Child's Attention & Behavior Without Drugs, by Dr. Mary Ann Block
Addiction Free, Naturally, by Brigette Mars
The Myth Of The A.D.D. Child: 50 Ways To Improve Your Child's Behavior & Attention Span Without Drugs, Labels, Or Coercion, by Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D.
Solving The Depression Puzzle, by Rita Elkins, M.H.
The Brain Chemistry Diet : The Personalized Prescription For Balancing Mood, Relieving Stress, & Conquering Depression, Based On Your Personality Profile, by Michael Lesser, M.D.
Clear Body, Clear Mind: The Effective Purification Program, by L. Ron Hubbard
The Crazy Makers: How The Food Industry Is Destroying Our Brains & Harming Our Children, by Carol Simontacchi
End Your Addiction Now: The Proven Nutritional Supplement Program That Can Set You Free, by Charles Gant, M.D. & Greg Lewis, Ph.D.
Toxic Psychiatry, by Peter Breggin, M.D.
The Ritalin Fact Book, by Peter Breggin, M.D.
Talking Back To Ritalin, by Peter Breggin, M.D.
Vitamin B-3 & Schizophrenia: Discovery, Recovery, Controversy, by Abram Hoffer, M.D.
Pharmacracy: Medicine & Politics In America, by Thomas Szasz
Blaming The Brain: The Truth About Drugs & Mental Health, by Elliot Valenstein, Ph.D.
Commonsense Rebellion: Debunking Psychiatry, Confronting Society, by Bruce E. Levine
The Instinct To Heal: Curing Stress, Anxiety, And Depression Without Drugs And Without Talk Therapy, by David Servan-Schreiber, M.D., Ph.D.
Mad In America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine, & The Enduring Mistreatment Of The Mentally Ill, by Robert Whitaker
Prozac: Panacea Or Pandora, by Ann Blake Tracy, Ph.D.
The Food-Mood-Body Connection: Nutrition Based & Environmental Approaches To Mental Health & Physical Well-being, by Gary Null
Depression-Free For Life: An All-Natural 5-Step Plan To Reclaim Your Zest For Living, by Gabriel Cousens, M.D.
Ritalin Is Not The Answer, by David B. Stein, Ph.D.
Potatoes Not Prozac, by Kathleen DesMaisons, Ph.D., Foreward by Candace Pert, Ph.D.
Prescription for Disaster: Hidden Dangers In Your Medicine Cabinet, by Thomas J. Moore
Natural Medicine Guide To Schizophrenia, by Stephanie Marohn
Natural Medicine Guide To Depression, by Stephanie Marohn
Natural Medicine Guide To Autism, by Stephanie Marohn
Natural Medicine Guide To Anxiety, by Stephanie Marohn
Natural Medicine Guide To Addiction, by Stephanie Marohn
Natural Medicine Guide To Bipolar Disorder, by Stephanie Marohn
DISCLAIMER: The information and resources presented on this site are not intended to replace the care of a qualified health professional. While the ideas presented here are typically based on extensive research, they are not intended to provide specific advice for any individual person's medical concerns. The resources on this site are for educational purposes; it is recommended that each individual choose a trusted health care professional for diagnosis and treatment purposes. The author of this site encourages visitors to educate themselves about the various theories and treatment approaches for health care issues, so that the safest, most effective approaches can be identified.