Liza Faith Casey’s Easter Reflection –2013

Easter is Sunday, March 31, this year. “Tonight marks a milestone. I’m setting up an Easter/spring display at the antique mall booth I’m opening. This outward display of rebirth represents substantial personal growth in the last year.

Easter basket

Last Easter, I had a relapse. Wellbutrin caused mental confusion; I got lost on a simple, route I know to a friend’s house. Her cell phone directions didn’t compute. I missed most of the dinner, after plans to come early and help set up and to give her a special hostess gift. My friend and her family graciously invited

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A Tale of Two Spiritual Emergencies

This is an article you all may find of use on spiritual emergencies. http://www.spiritualcompetency.com/jhpseart.html The high points are a list of types of spiritual emergencies, like loss of faith, loss of a teacher, need for growth, mystical experiences, etc. the difference between psychoss and spritual emergencies: being coherent and willing to talk about the experience, sudden onset, and stressors beforehand the difference between regular spiritual growth and spiritual emergencies – the second interferes with daily functionin

Corinna West and I have each gone through different kinds of spiritual emergencies this past fall and winter. Corinna called hers a spiritual emergency

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More tools to help with spiritual emergency

Editor’s note: One of my mental health advocate friends sent me this from the East Coast to help me through my spiritual emergency and said that I could repost it.

My encounters with spirits and demons started in 1996. The first visual hallucination I had was claiming I saw the face of Jesus come out of the T.V after saying a prayer. The next one was of a demon face that transformed right in front of me at the psychiatric ward I ended up in when I envisioned the end of the world prophecies coming true.

It’s a long story

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10 tips for parents of children who hear voices

These tips were posted by Jacqui Dillon on Mad In America. They were originally generated when Oprah Winifrey decided to do a show on “childhood schizophrenia.” The tips were compiled by an international organization of people and children who hear voices. One of their representatives hand delivered a letter to Oprah along with these tips asking her to recommend other approaches besides a disease model for here show on children who hear voices. Oprah made no acknowledgement of them on her show. She just took that opportunity to say that all children who hear voices should be given psychiatric medications

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How Forgiveness Heals Your Wounds

(Author’s Note: It occurred to me that this could be turned into a Wellness Wordworks blog. I have written it for a couple of friends — including the one talked about in the story — and my therapist. But this could be inspiring for WW readers.)

Liza still wasn’t sure exactly how her young friend Mike had inspired her to forego her 11-year grudge against her dead mother. To her therapist, she could only keep saying, “I don’t know.”

Charles Johnson, The Homeless Poet, holds up some of art about how forgiveness heals

Mike’s gracious forgiveness of Liza’s sins–

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Accepting Fate Is Good Unless It’s Really Giving Up

I have Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS). It has no treatment, cure, known cause, or hope. Accepting fate is the key to my serenity. good attitude, and great quality of life. I live one day at a time to the fullest, still write, and work with Wellness Wordworks and my faith community. I have wonderful friends and supporters, and I’m just fine with accepting fate.

For me, accepting fate is choosing life in accordance with God’s command, not giving up. Accepting fate, staying active, positive,and productive, not boo-hooing over it, is the key to my good attitude,

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Ann Burgess – We all need to contribute to society

It is critical to remind each other and ourselves as often and with as much charitable love as possible of how “whole” health requires being a critical cog/voice/contributer to something greater than ourselves. I have not yet found the basic ways to “realistically” ever be a parent quite yet.

I have not totally given up, it’s not all that matters to me, but I’m getting a little bit old to be a brand new parent. This is in spite of getting younger in so many practical ways as I learn more about how to contribute to society… As tough as

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Bonnie Castro – People, Not Treatment Models, Change Lives

Editor’s note: This came from a discussion in an email group for all the peer support centers in Missouri. Bonnie Castro is a peer support specialist.

Some Peers Change Lives

So many folks in the system right now still remain in the “life is limited” stage despite consumer-run programs or clinical services that are offered to them. It’s not the services destroying the system so much. It’s the people delivering those services that change lives.

Recovery Rocks 2011 – Conference with many peer specialists where Bonnie was a speaker

I have met case managers that are really good

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Some Non-Demonimational Tools for Removing Spiritual Beings

Editor’s note: This information came from a person in Kansas who works with spiritual emergencies and gave me some advice about removing spiritual beings. She also says to check out the STAR center resources, and the Spiritual Emergency blog. She emailed me throughout my recent spiritual emergency and gave me permission to share her suggestions without identifying information.

You can read about my story here and how I went about removing spiritual beings: http://corinnawest.com/spiritual-emergency/. It was tough to coordinate both a Christian and a non-denominational approach, but I found it both useful and essential. Unfortunately, the Christians weren’t supportive of

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Christian Tools for Handling Spiritual Emergency

Recently I went through a Chrisitan spiritual crisis and was helped in a big way by my church. I was also helped by a non-denonimational perspective through my Christian spiritual crisis, and that blog is coming next. I wanted to post both points of view because I don’t think that they are in conflict. This both / and is one of the most valuable things I figured out. Both views can be true at the same, exact time, and not necessarily contradictory. This blog is reproductions with permission of emails from my church Intercessory team who helped me through it.

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Why I Stay Home on New Year’s Eve

It’s a good idea for people who deal with emotional distress to be extra careful with alcohol, tranquilizers, and amphetamines, whether they take psychiatric medication or not. Roughly half the people with mental health diagnoses have co-occurring substance addiction. It can make a temporary, transformative problem much harder to get through, because you must also deal with the addiction.

The pros and cons of psychiatric labels and medication are not the subject of this blog.

The assumption in psychiatry has always been that people “self-medicate” their moods with addictive alcohol or unprescribed drugs before they seek psychiatric help. In sickness

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How Can Day Treatment Graduation Become Possible?

Though most adult day treatment programs in mental health centers have adopted recovery language, they are still, at their roots, mostly day care. They often discourage, and create barriers to day treatment graduation.

The people themselves are often unwilling to risk reducing or weaning off their medication, losing their benefits, or re-entering the work force, and their providers don’t want to help them, don’t know how, or don’t want their clients to risk having setbacks the clients clinicians will have trouble dealing with..

But many studies have shown that supported employment programs move people toward recovery, jobs, and day treatment

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Do some people really need meds?

Do some people need psych meds?

I know someone who had a seemingly bona fide diagnosis of schizophrenia, including psychotic symptoms, which was caused by trauma. He evidently needs to do more to deal with the trauma, yet has also apparently needs psych meds to quit experiencing psychosis.

In another case, I worked as a home health aide with a man with schizophrenia whose cause for schizophrenia I did not know. But it was clear to everyone around him that he needs psych meds to quit talking about bizarre stuff (like us supposedly trying to poison his dinner, or

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Cliff Wright – Lonelieness and isolation are a choice

Editors note: In one of our discussion groups, the question came up: What do you suggest for people who have a lot of loneliness and isolation? Don’t go out much? How do you know an ideal amount of social interaction for someone to have?

Corinna: Afraid of crime is one reason I’ve heard for loneliness and isolation, though the fear of crime probably affects life quality more than the actual risk. Another reason I’ve heard for a lot of loneliness and isolation is that people might not like to be around people – being an introvert. I guess the different

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Psych med weight gain and women’s self-image

Like every woman in this culture, I’m surrounded by images telling me what is beautiful and healthy. From supermarket magazine covers, to Hollywood starlets, even to the women anchors who deliver serious news and analysis, the unanimous Message is that you will only be successful, attractive, popular and in charge of your life if you’re thin or fit the typical women’s self-image.

While being overweight and obese do put you at greater risk for lifestyle illnesses (though there is still debate about whether being slightly overweight really does carry danger), the types of images we

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