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Old 03-08-2013, 10:33 AM #91
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Default Re: People Can Recover From Mental Illness.

I've read this thread a few times now. MI is not a choice, but then again, it strikes me as odd that recovering is a choice. No one wants to be this way, and based on what I've read, it leads me to think that if I don't recover, then its my fault? for what? not trying hard enough? ha!
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:42 PM #92
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Default Re: People Can Recover From Mental Illness.

You can choose to make lifestyle changes that will reduce symptoms. You can make mindset changes that empower you to get the best help possible. Also many of these people end up taking natural supplements.

I know I am not 'recovered' but Im capable of reducing my symptoms and taking minimum doses. I can learn to deal with stress in positive ways. Im not helpless to this disorder. I think that counts as a success, and I think everyone can get there. A 'recovered' state is different for everyone.

I see recovery as a state of mind/empowerment.
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:49 PM #93
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Default Re: People Can Recover From Mental Illness.

Responsability and accountability...really freak people out.

We don't even know exactly what causes mental illness but we do know we can help ourselves. There is a lot of talk about neuroplacicity right now, maybe we can heal our brains...and is that a bad thing? Is recovery a bad thing and why? Cause we might be a little more powerful in this than we think? I say thats a really good thing, far better than no power.

Dan it really isn't that black and white and it isn't a blame game its about getting well and having a life that you are content to live out. No one said its about blame. Why can't we make changes without blame?
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Old 03-08-2013, 02:04 PM #94
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Default Re: People Can Recover From Mental Illness.

The Art of Self-Acceptance

by DR. LARRY BERKELHAMMER on DECEMBER 28, 2012 in MIND-BODY, POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY

Today’s article is a guest post from Dr. Larry Berkelhammer, who has learned the power of mindfulness and self-acceptance, even through his own diagnoses of several chronic illnesses. Dr. Berkelhammer has spent 19 years teaching clients how to manage their pain with mind training techniques. His background is in psychotherapy, applied psychophysiology, and applied psychoneuroimmunology.


Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson once complained to his physician that he felt depressed. The doctor recommended a long sea voyage. Emerson took his advice and at the end of the journey wrote in his diary: “It didn’t work; when I got off the ship in Naples, the first person I met was myself!”

Resistance Breeds Persistence

The uncomfortable or frightening thoughts, mental images, sensations, or emotions that arise naturally within all of us have the potential to do tremendous harm, but only if we try to resist or reject them. When we resist or defend against them, and employ strategies to avoid the discomfort they generate, instead of feeling relief, we feel more stressed out.

Giving up the struggle to resist or avoid unpleasant thoughts, sensations, and emotions is not a nihilistic acceptance of suffering. In fact, acceptance of what we don’t want serves to reduce the suffering that results from the fear of experiencing those unpleasant thoughts, sensations, and emotions.

Brain Droppings

Brain Droppings was the name of a book by George Carlin, one of the most intelligent comedians in the last hundred years. Our painful thoughts are nothing but “brain droppings.”

We can think of these thoughts as simple secretions of the brain; like the secretion of hormones, enzymes, and other information molecules, they are natural physiological processes.

Once we recognize that uncomfortable thoughts, images, sensations, and emotions are harmless secretions of the brain, we can begin to allow ourselves to fully experience them. The more we do so and accept the experience, the stronger we become psychologically and physiologically. Self-acceptance can only be found when we are willing to live in full contact with our inner subjective experiences.

Mindfulness Practice

Mindfulness practice is inherently conducive to self-acceptance because self-acceptance is a byproduct of the mindfulness skill of recognizing thoughts as transient mental events or constructs.

Applying recognition and acceptance skills, in turn, leads to mastery & wellbeing, and we become more willing to fully experience our inner subjective events. It is a self-reinforcing system. When we allow ourselves to accept our inner experiences, we gain confidence that we can handle them. This, too, leads to increased self-acceptance, mastery, and wellbeing.

Living Our Personal Values

If we’re involved in activities that aren’t in harmony with our personal life values or that seem meaningless, we become self-critical instead of self-accepting. But if we live each day so that at the end of it we feel good about how we lived it—if we have a sense of satisfaction that we made someone else’s life better, for example—it’s only natural to believe that our life has meaning. Self-acceptance, mastery, and wellbeing are products of such a way of life.

The Usefulness of Fears and Aversions

Approached mindfully, our fears and aversions serve a purpose that deepens self-acceptance practice. The key is to view them as interesting growth opportunities rather than as things to reject and avoid.

Over time, we become less likely to attempt to reject those parts of ourselves—and this, too, contributes to self-acceptance. When we increase our awareness through increased perception, we find fewer things about ourselves that engender aversion and fear in the first place.

A corollary to this is that when we engage in mindfulness practice over time, we generate fewer of the negative attributions that create aversion and fears.

Chronic Illness and Acceptance

Because fears and aversions naturally arise when we live with chronic medical challenges, these conditions can offer opportunities to learn how to live with greater acceptance of our experiences and of ourselves. Cancer survivor, psychotherapist, and mindfulness teacher Elana Rosenbaum put it this way: “It became clear that the more I could let go and accept these limitations the better I felt and the freer I became. The more I lived in the present moment as it was, rather than what I wished it would be, the happier I felt.”

Unpleasant Emotions Can Guide Us

The greatest value of unpleasant states is that they help us identify our values and needs. For example, anger can serve to inform us that we are fused with the belief that the situation or other person should be different in some way. Sadness can let us know that something we value was lost, or not achieved or acquired. Shame tells us that we are self-judging ourselves as flawed.

If we fail to accept all these rich inner-life experiences, we are practicing self-rejection rather than acceptance.


Link: The Art of Self-Acceptance | The Psychology of Wellbeing
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Old 03-08-2013, 05:00 PM #95
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Default Re: People Can Recover From Mental Illness.

The Primary Sources of Unhappiness

MAY 9, 2012 at 7:14 PM

Cognitive Fusion

The mental state of cognitive fusion is one in which we confuse our thoughts and beliefs with reality; we become so identified with them that we lose the ability to see them for what they are—inventions of the mind. Our thoughts are fleeting, insubstantial things, products of a brain whose business it is to continually manufacture them. If we cannot “unhook” or “de-fuse” from them, they become a kind of cognitive quicksand that drags us toward suffering. Applying this idea to our experience of illness and health, if I begin to experience, for example, intermittent blurring of my vision, I may begin to fear a brain tumor. Having the thought is not the same as having a tumor, but if I am cognitively fused to the idea, it can feel dangerously real, even though the truth is that the only thing I can say with certainty is that I’m experiencing intermittent blurred vision. Here you can easily see how cognitive fusion with thoughts that evoke fear causes terrible emotional distress.

Experiential Avoidance

Experiential avoidance is two-pronged. First, it means avoiding any thoughts, feelings, emotions, or sensations we find unpleasant. It also means avoiding taking actions that are life serving in an attempt to avoid such unpleasant emotions as fear, anger, embarrassment, or shame.

Attempts to avoid experiencing unpleasant thoughts and feelings paradoxically lead to more of the very thoughts and feelings that we don’t want to experience and it even gives them greater power. Furthermore, attempts to avoid unpleasant thoughts and feelings deny us valuable opportunities to learn and grow by meeting our discomfort head-on.

The Dominance of the Conceptualized Past and Future

Part of the human condition involves creating concepts. We do this in the hope that they will provide us with understanding and even a sense of predictability. Concepts are essential to our survival and to the ability to live a full life. Unfortunately, the human condition also includes cognitive fusion with our concepts. Without mindfulness practice, we are unable to step back from these concepts and see them as insubstantial mental constructs. In such a fused state, we fall victim to regret about the past and worry about the future.

Attachment to the Conceptualized Self

Narcissistic personality disorder is an extreme example of what we all experience throughout life. It involves fusion with the belief that we are a certain way—a certain kind of person. Like the conceptualized past and future, the conceptualized self (also known as the ego) is not intrinsically bad; in fact, it is essential for life. The problem arises when our self-concepts are challenged and we are unable to immediately step back from them and see that they are nothing but brain secretions, or as comic George Carlin termed them in the title of his book, Brain Droppings.

Inaction and Its Companion, Impulsiveness

Many of us hold ourselves back from doing things that would enhance our lives because we’re afraid of embarrassment, shame, or failure. On the other hand, some people, especially those with bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder, act impulsively in order to avoid the same very uncomfortable feelings. We all do this to some extent, and for most of us, mindfulness practice is one of the best antidotes, because it allows us to embrace our fears and take action that is in harmony with our personal life values even while experiencing uncomfortable emotions.

Lack of Clarity about and Contact with Life Values

It is impossible to live a rich and rewarding life until we begin to live in full contact with what matters to us most. But in most cultures throughout the world, a large segment of the population becomes so fused with societal values that they are unaware of their own personal life values. Instead, they unquestioningly value what their culture deems worthy. For example, in the 1970s it became out of fashion in the U.S. to nurse one’s infant. Cultural values are commonly in conflict with scientific evidence.

Like many people, in my family of origin I was expected to adopt the family’s religious and cultural values; my own were not accepted. In modern Western culture, this problem is ubiquitous in schools, in the corporate world, in government, in all religions, and to varying degrees in every area of work and play.

Sometimes it’s easiest to recognize these societal values in the details of unwritten rules we followed in the past—practices from which we’ve since distanced ourselves. For example, I remember a time when you couldn’t play tennis without wearing white and men couldn’t play golf without wearing those silly-looking plaid pants. Though these values—in this case, definitions of propriety—may not be terribly important in the scheme of things, they are indications of the extent to which societal values can guide the choices we make and the way we live.

One way to increase happiness is to allow ourselves to fully experience whatever we are thinking and feeling from moment-to-moment, and to do this while living by our personal life values.

Link: The Primary Sources of Unhappiness | Larry Berkelhammer
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Old 03-08-2013, 11:19 PM #96
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Default Re: People Can Recover From Mental Illness.

So, what I should do, is stop taking my meds and see if I can overcome my type I Bipolarity by myself??? I would like to talk to this schizophrenic psychiatrist, though..
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Old 03-09-2013, 07:42 AM #97
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Default Re: People Can Recover From Mental Illness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HipsterPat View Post
So, what I should do, is stop taking my meds and see if I can overcome my type I Bipolarity by myself??? I would like to talk to this schizophrenic psychiatrist, though..
you don!t have to stop and whatever you do don't stop cold turkey (and then mistake withdrawals for "illness").

But realize that those pills are just... mind altering substances and influence how you feel... but don't have effect on you as a person. Cause that lies in *you*. And as much as you might be told by the profession that your brain is broken and you will never ever ever ever be able to live to the fullest and will need to be on meds for the rest of your life even if they make you feel horrible, because you need to be on them. You can do a lot for yourself. You are much stronger then you believe.
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Old 03-09-2013, 10:05 AM #98
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Default Re: People Can Recover From Mental Illness.

My point was, is that stopping meds is very dangerous...
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Old 03-09-2013, 10:14 AM #99
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Default Re: People Can Recover From Mental Illness.

It's very dangerous to stop cold turkey, yes. It's not that dangerous if you do it preferably under doctor's watch (sadly, not too many doctors are willing to go that way), slowly, carefully, having developed skills and build some support net.

Worst thing that can happen is you will go on back on them if it becomes too much.
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Old 03-09-2013, 01:13 PM #100
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Default Re: People Can Recover From Mental Illness.

Please DO NOT go off your psychiatric medicines with any help!!!
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