Saturday, December 20, 2014

Are You A Hater of the Psychiatric Profession?

Are You A Psychiatric Profession Hater? 
Could This Be Your Way of Stigmatizing Mental Illness Without Even Knowing You Are?
Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Why are so many professional and clinical counselors afraid of psychiatric nurses or psychiatrists.  In counselling school I heard regular bashing of these last two professions (but I still love all my past class-mates and colleagues).  The counselors perspective (assumption) is that the psychiatric profession only want to prescribe pharmaceuticals, and they are closed-minded to therapies that are not research-based.  In other words, the professionals of psychiatry are narrow-minded in the wellness of their patients/clients; they follow protocol and don't steer away from that system.  It was even recommended by some life and business coaches to stay clear from that direction because of their concept of healing the mind.

Over the years, I continued to hear this sort of a rant, but I wasn't convinced.  I never am, convinced, by someone else's rant unless I investigate it for myself (and isn't that what we should all be doing--checking out the facts for ourselves).  If you know me at all, you know that I am always up for a challenge, and I am not one to just take the opinion of another.

As the years passed, I would welcome others talking about their concerns and beliefs regarding the psychiatric profession.  I wanted to hear it all from nutritionists, ministers, other psychiatric patients/clients, and many counselors.  There was this anti-psychiatric era in the air, but in the end, what I have concluded is simple.  Not everyone can function without medication; communication is simply not enough.  Just like not every nutritionists form of eating to heal is a standard prototype for all, and not all forms of therapy work for everyone.

I know I am only one case study, but I had my own experiences, too.  I, at one time, was convinced that it was me that was causing the problem in my head.  If only I could solve the problem (as so many self-help gurus tell you that you "should" be able to do), I'd be clean from depression and anxiety.  I tried meditation, nutrition, doses and doses of vitamins, yoga, reading spiritual scriptures and prayer, acupuncture, colon cleanses, herbal therapy, aromatherapy, Thai massage, staying positive, changing my way of thinking and attending various workshops and lectures on different ways to heal the mind, communicating endlessly, being social, etc., etc., and etc.; anything that was a form of healing.  I started to feel guilty and shameful when I thought about resolving to take any kind of medication.  Eventually, passing through the highs and then the lows drained me to the point I could not function anymore.  I, too, was tired of spending thousands and thousands of dollars on these so-called natural forms of healing; then, when they didn't work, I felt guilty about it--like I must be the cause!

Psychiatrists (and psychiatric nurses) are there to heal, and they do have the power to prescribe medications to individuals (with bipolar, schizophrenia, cyclothymic, or major depression) that, especially, need it; that is their job as is psychotherapy.  Who are we to judge that patients/clients with mental health issues don't need medication?  Most arguments against psychiatry are based on outrageous claims without any scientific research; it is usually about who did what to whom gossip.  I won't deny that other countries may treat mental illness differently, but I am staying close to home--North America.  I, also, don't deny that there are bad apples in the psychiatric profession, but there are bad apples in virtually "every" profession; so let us not stigmatize the psychiatric profession thinking that because they have the power to prescribe medication to help the patient/client that that is the only form of therapy they are open to.

Let us also remember that alternative healers are in the business to make money, as are psychiatrists, psychologists, ministers, counselors and life coaches; that is how we survive and pay our bills.  So, of course, each one of us will sell our product(s) as being the best and most effective; however, I got tired of spending thousands and thousands of dollars on healing products that did not work, and I finally stood up for what worked for me.

If we are to solve mental illness, let us ALL stop stigmatizing it including stigmatizing medication and one of the professions that support mental health.  The anti-psychiatry movement (or other groups of professionals), some religions, and some natural healers that only believe in the almighty "natural" way of healing without medications have based their assumptions on hearsay.  (I am not condoning that all of the alternative therapies don't work; they just didn't work for me for mental health).  Furthermore, who are we to judge what form of healing works for the individual!  Everyone's genetic make-up and environment is different.

Wake Up to Live is about awareness in every aspect!  Not just particular areas you like or prefer.  Wake Up to Live is about eliminating the biases; although it is difficult to do in any profession, we must Wake Up to Live, and be responsible for our actions.  Wake Up to Live and be aware how you are stigmatizing mental illness; we all do it in some form or another.  Be sensitive to the cause.

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh
 
 

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