By Sarah Knutson – Treating Trauma is an Urgent Public, Not Personal, Need

Treating trauma is a community problem, not personal.,

A woman is beaten in the United States every 15 seconds. Society pays the cost in mental health budgets. courts , cops, corrections, substance abuse, and children’ services. The real social cost of trauma has been well known to people who work in those systems for years, but there is no consensus about what to do, or how to build political support, for treating trauma.

treating trauma is essential. People like Cheryl Sharp and Shery Mead are bringing the role of treating trauma in mental health to the forefront, nationwide. Shery

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By Imogene Joseph – We can’t choose handicaps, but can choose limitations

A blind person did not choose to be blind, but can choose limitations blindness places on his life. That’s even more true of limitations caused by emotional distress. We can’t prevent the trauma that triggers it, but can choose limitations it imposes on our lives. Many people enjoy reliving their negative experience. To see their experience as somehow positive would seem would absurd to them.

There’s a saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”

If you’re not ready to see or accept that we don’t choose to be blind, crippled, or post-traumatic, but can choose limitations such

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A Tale of Two Spiritual Emergencies

This is an article you all may find of use on spiritual emergencies. 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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Clif Wright – Mental health talks that just focus on problems limit us

I mean to be helpful, clumsily sharing some of the most powerful things I know:

1) that its all about personal responsibility 2) that everthing we need to deal with whatever is challenging us is alresdy there,and 3) the “focus on problems” conversation we’re having mostly keeps us from the power to solve problems

I’m certain now that people most readily believe what they come to discover for themselves.

I’ve discovered (been shown) that the usual conversations we have about the biggies we face are usually circular or dead end debates, mostly about whose right, who’s or wrong, etc. –

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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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Jared – My Schizophrenia Recovery Story

Editor’s note: We got this recovery story from Jared, the webmaster of He’s a true mental health escapee or psych survivor, but we were his first contact with the recovery movement. We’ll repost his blog here with mental health civil rights information in brackets. This will be an interesting note to show the difference between mainstream mental health information, which was all Jared had found to this point. He’s progressing rapidly, though, now that he’s got contact with advocates who know a different type of schizophrenia recovery story.

We Fall to Gain a Frame of Reference – My Schizophrenia

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By Yvonne Smith – Why Mental Illness Labeling is Harmful

Editors note: This is an essay written by Yvette McShan taken with her permission from a Facebook discussion group. For a comprehensive treatment of this topic, along with many personal stories, check out

Labeling is Harmful because It Costs People Rights: Parental rights Right to bear arms Right for employment in certain fields. Social stigma.

Introduce yourself to a prospective mother-in-law with a mental illness label. Tell the police that you are X disease, and you want them to know. It’s dangerous being known as a club members of the DSM.

I do not hide that I am in

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UnDiagnosing Unplanned UnConference schedule

Next week we are hosting a conference in Cincinnati in partnership with Paul Komarek of Defying Mental Illness. He’s helped me come up with conference planning details. This has been an exercise in delegation for me, because he has more of a mental health provider point of view and I have more of a psych survivor point of view. But I also am not in the city and I’m still processing the last of my spiritual emergency so I have to guard my energy levels.

Paul Komarek’s description of the conference:

Doing, Thinking, Feeling: To move beyond emotional distress we

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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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Medication users call for respect from psych med critics

Editors note: We recently got challenged by one of our supporters who is a medication user and wants people to stop invalidating medication users. We are going to intersperse our challenger with data to make sure people can weigh both sides of the story.

Our challenger:

Psych med critics who practically say all psychiatric medications are bad for everyone all the time –dismiss the experiences of apparently millions of people, who take psych meds, as merely personal anecdotes. Psychiatric survivors talk about their negative personal experiences with psych meds all the time.

So, yes, there is another side of the

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How to Talk to Computer Programmers

Editors’s note: Many people think that building websites and computer programming is hard. Most programmers say that anyone can do what they do. But then why aren’t we doing it? Well, it does take some time to learn. These are questions and ideas to keep in mind if you are planning to hire a computer programmer or take a programming class. This was taken from an email to us by a volunteer programmer who helped us at Startup Weekend.

I would definitely encourage you to attend a conference on computer programming.. Even if you never personally utilize the technical information,

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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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Does Coming Out About Mental Illness Reduce Stigma?

PRO: What most mental health advocates usually say.

This was taken from a local NAMI person in an email on a listserv:

Surely those who encourage and care about you change lives best, whether they are a peer or not. Some people are indeed lucky to have caring and talented professionals and other recovery helpers. I think this happens much more than we realize.

The reason I say that is stigma is still so pervasive. I believe we meet folks every day who are closet consumers. In my work and private life, I’ve met countless individuals who have a serious,

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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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