What would you do if you were suddenly diagnosed with diabetes? Would you easily accept the diagnosis? Would you change your lifestyle? Would you take insulin shots if the condition had progressed to that level? Would you share your diagnosis with your friends and family?
I am thinking that most people would answer yes to most of these questions. Now change the word “diabetes” to “mental illness” and “insulin shots” to “psychiatric medication”. Does anything change for you?
February has been designated Mental Health Awareness Month by the NHL and its seven Canadian hockey teams. Those of you who know me or have followed this website and blog know I am a hockey fan (Vancouver Canucks) and I am proud that my team is advancing the cause of increasing education on mental health issues.
About 20% of us will experience mental health challenges at some point. That is seven million Canadians and sixty million Americans. These are significant numbers! Yet we are afraid and ashamed to have an open dialogue about this topic. It’s as though it’s a crime or personal deficiency to have brain chemicals out of balance!
There are many, many approaches to improving mental health, from dietary and lifestyle changes, curbing substance use, getting counselling, taking medication and vitamins, to having Angel Therapy, energy healing, aromatherapy and the myriad natural and alternative healing techniques available to us.
As you can surmise by the name of my website, I am all for natural healing. Yet I also believe that traditional and non-traditional methods are complementary and there is a place for both. By all means, pray and ask for angelic help, but do that alongside a good check-up from a trusted physician. Are we an over-medicated society? I think so, but that doesn’t mean there is no place for pharmaceuticals.
Years ago, I knew a natural practitioner whose specialty was iridology, and his wife got breast cancer. Together, they explored many natural options. It was with great disappointment and a sense of failure that they finally opted for the unpopular treatments of radiology and chemotherapy.
My opinion is that the natural treatments were not working, and the traditional treatments worked. To my knowledge, this lady is alive and continuing to live a happy and productive life. Why feel guilty about turning to traditional treatment if it gives you the desired result?
It’s the same with mental illness. For mild depression, yes, talking about it to someone, listening to positive affirmations, getting a relaxing massage, asking for angelic help, cutting out sugar or having long-distance energy treatments might be enough to turn it around. But to someone who has debilitating clinical depression or schizophrenia, those are empty words.
I have experimented with anti-depressants periodically over the last twenty years. They had never worked for me. Then I experienced a significant trauma last year that sent me into a tailspin. I was so disappointed in myself, judging that I of all people should have enough tools to get myself out of it. I felt guilty and felt I had failed.
Finally, I asked for a referral to a psychiatrist to help find the right answers for me. For me. I was already doing all the natural healing methods I knew and I still was having a hard time coping. With the doctor’s help, I found a low-dose medication that has minimal side effects and yet makes me feel like myself. It took away over thirty years of constant exhaustion, which helped my work life and my productivity at home. It has been - and I mean this literally – a Godsend.
I have people in my life with diagnoses of schizophrenia and bipolar and they are completely dysfunctional without psychiatric medication. They are also among the most spiritual people I have ever known. I believe that mental illness and spirituality are related in a way I do not yet understand. One friend had visions of future events that actually occurred (when she was not suicidal). Another could work with energy in amazing ways and spoke of the wing chakra (when he was not psychotic), which was something I’d never even heard of until then.
I have searched the internet and my favourite spiritual teachers’ work and have yet to find anything that addresses mental illness and spirituality. I think this is a huge area that may bring amazing insights and wisdom when the right people explore it.
So let me sum up my ideas by saying I am not a proponent of randomly medicating oneself. I prefer to use my thoughts, energy work and aromatherapy to deal with a headache, rather than an aspirin. But what I feel strongly about is not feeling guilty or being condemning or judgmental when you or someone else comes to the decision to take psychiatric medication. Many have fought it and thought it through long and hard before “giving in”. Imagine how hard it is to receive a diagnosis with a stigma, such as mental illness, and then experience more stigma for taking medication for it. Double whammy!
I am finally at the place where I do not care what people might think about my disclosure, and I am hoping it might help others. An added bonus for me is that my Angel Readings have come much easier, and I am a happier and more confident person in all areas. As I said, the medication makes me feel like my true self. Let’s use every tool and technique available across the whole spectrum of healing, from allopathic to naturopathic and everything in between, to give each of us access to the life we were born to live.
In closing, please check out the websites below, courtesy of the NHL and the Vancouver Canucks:
Hearts, cherubs and flowers. Cards, chocolates. Romance at its peak. We all have symbols that come to mind when we think of Valentine’s Day.
The history of this lovey-dovey day goes back two millennia, with a number of saints with this namesake who are now associated as one with this date. The historical link continues through the romantic musings of Geoffrey Chaucer in medieval times. Today, we know that Valentine’s Day has the highest sales of fresh flowers, second highest sales of cards and among the top special days for chocolate sales. Ka-ching!
So let’s get away from the consumer madness for a moment, and go back to the romance. Here is a reading from Doreen Virtue’s Romance Cards: a message for couples, a message for singles, and a self-care message for everyone!
Let your friends help you. Often when we pair up, we go off into our own little world with our new-found love. This cards reminds us that it is healthy to keep our friends around us, whether we are single or couples. A girls’ or guys’ night out gives us a bonding experience with our friends, so we can go back to our loved one with a new energy and something to talk about. It keeps our primary relationship from going stale. It also keeps the pressure off of one person having to meet all our needs, which is a pretty tall order, don’t you think? How nice to have different people for different needs, so we don’t need to rely on one person. Although today is sort of designed for couples, count the blessings of your other friendships, and plan a day to honour them very soon.
Some singles are completely satisfied and at ease with their status and others feel incomplete and especially left out today. The card for you today, dear loves, is True Love. Don’t get caught up in the world’s definitions and expectations. Your love for self transcends all those, and is the most important relationship you will ever have. Get to know yourself deeply and truly love the being you see in the mirror. There are a million or more ways to express that love and appreciation of self. Explore some today. Maybe you’d like some flowers or chocolate today; by all means, buy some! Or light some candles, cook a fancier-than-usual dinner or treat yourself to a sumptuous dessert. If you are your own true love, what could you do today to express that sentiment? (By the way, all this is true for you couples as well!)
3. Everyone. Regardless of your age, sex, beliefs or other statuses in life, this message is for you. Forgive and learn from your past. True freedom only comes with total forgiveness of self and others, of all events and situations. As you release and heal the past, you experience more love in your present moments. This means in your relationships with everyone around you, with the situations in your life, with your view of the world and your relationship with the universe. As you grow and learn, you will begin to see that love is truly everywhere. You will never again seek love; instead you will experience love in every moment. There is wisdom in the old saying that looking for love is like a fish looking for water: we are immersed in it, it flows through us, it is all there is.
Happy Valentine’s Day to you, your loved ones and your beloved inner child. Celebrate!
I'd love to hear what you did for yourself or others this Valentine's Day!
I am a Mystic Angel with some Fairy energy whose Life Purpose is to learn, teach and share the esoteric and mysterious.