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A More Comprehensive Guide To Overcoming Depression -- Be A Free Thinker!

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Depression And Mental Health From A Different Perspective:

My name is Elzbieta Pettingill, and I had suffered from major depression for many, many years. In my late 30's, I was finally able to overcome my severe depression, and my suicidal tendencies that tormented me for nearly 3 decades. In the midst of not only being totally depressed, but also in the midst of living a life far away from what I dreamed of it to be, -- I succeeded with transforming myself, and not just on a spiritual level, which played a big, -- if not the biggest -- part of my healing process. All this experience gave me a new purpose in life, which is to help others to do the same. 

Initially, I created this website mainly for people who suffer from depression, and for those who found themselves being affected by a second-hand-depression, which involves watching endless suffering of close ones, who were diagnosed with this "mental disorder," without being able to do anything to help. 

As the website kept progressing, I realized that its content can be helpful to anyone who is searching for an authentic, and therefore lasting happiness. 

Having been diagnosed with major depression and post traumatic stress disorder myself, I was able to overcome my condition eventually, but not entirely because of the help from the health care professionals. I overcame my depression and my suicidal tendencies partially thanks to the medical professionals, -- which saved my life several times by pumping my stomach, --  and, not because, but despite the "help" from the mental health care providers. 

As well intended as the industry of the mental health care providers might be, at least in my experience, they were not always helpful, and many times, they proved to be even harmful. In my book called "Life Realized," I describe in detail the scene that takes place in the emergency room, in which a psychiatrist who was assigned to treat me because of my suicide attempt, wrote in my medical records, -- in the space designated for diagnosis: -- "Born to lose." He then, in a God-like manner, based on such "clever" nailing of my condition, indulged himself on prescribing his suggestions for the treatment of such loser, otherwise known as me. His recommendations included that my boyfriend with whom I was living with at that time, not only should not marry me, but should also brake up with me and kick me out of the house, for his own good.  

I believe that the main reason behind the general lack of success of the mental health care providers is that they tend to look at things from a rigid, scientifically-based point of view. In doing so, actually the most important aspect of curing the disease (mental or physical) -- the spiritual aspect -- is being ignored. 

Personally, I believe that depression (any kind of depression; major depression, bipolar, seasonal, post-traumatic depression), as well as any other kind of "mental" disorders such as  PTSD, anxiety, borderline personality disorder, just to name few, are really not "mental" disorders. I believe that if we absolutely have to call it a "disorder" that the more accurate term would be a spiritual disorder, or better yet, a spiritual condition.  

I believe that the use of the term mental is not only inaccurate in these cases, but it also helps to create a negative judgment, from which a bad stigma around these conditions arises. From my own personal experience of overcoming the major depression, I can say without a doubt, that the healing of the spiritual aspect of my condition was the most important thing that led me towards the successful recovery. 

Mental Illness Stigma  


In the old days, if a wife dared to question her husband and his decisions, if she dared to simply express her opinion freely, and if her way of thinking did not match that of "the man of the house", she could run into a risk of being locked up in a mental institution, against her own will. We may think that as a society we had evolved, and that these kinds of outrageous practices do not take place anymore in the world we live. The denial we live in though does not change the reality. As I described in my book, after my suicide attempt, I was locked up in a mental facility against my will, where I spent almost 2 months. The bill from the hospital of almost 100,000 dollars was picked up by the collection agency and it went straight to my credit report, ruining my perfectly clean record. While in the hospital, I was forced to take all kinds of anti-depressants, which were continued to be prescribed to me when I was undergoing the outpatient therapy later on. The irony here is that not that much longer after, I intentionally overdosed on all those anti-depressants they gave me, and I almost didn't make it that time. My point is --  naming depression and other disorders as a mental illness doesn't really do any good to those who are affected by it, and the only ones benefiting from it are the health institutions. It gives them the upper-hand over such "mentally ill" individuals. It gives them the power and the right to have control over anyone they "diagnose" with "mental illness." Are those professional mental health care providers behaving really any different from those old fashion "men of the house" who believed to be entitled to do whatever it pleased them, with their spouses? 


Lets put some things here under the microscope, shall we? What is mental health? Here is what The World Health Organization defines a perfect mental health as:                   



   
      
And what about the mental illness, what is it considered? It is considered to be the absence of mental health. It is considered to be the disease of the mind -- the opposite of mental health.

I see plenty of inaccuracies in that statement made by The World Health Organization.


Inaccuracy #1:  (...the individual realizes his or her own abilities)

I'll have you know that while still struggling with depression, I was fully engaged in writing my book. Sure, I might had doubted my work at moments, but over all I did not question my ability to write even though I was writing the book in English, which is not my native language! Over all, I was able to see my writing skills as a gift.

Inaccuracy #2: (...can work productively and fruitfully)

Really? This statement implies that only mentally healthy people are able to work productively. Then what about that time when shortly after I was rescued by the firefighters from the overdose on sleeping pills, I joined the firefighting academy and became a volunteer fire fighter myself? What about the praise for my dedication and my outstanding performance I received from the fire chief? This was only few months after my suicide attempt, and I was obviously still depressed, or as the "experts" would define; mentally ill. What about my A's I received on my Emergency Medical Technician exams? Or about the fact that I was able to pass the National Registry of EMT, which isn't the easiest thing to do, on my first attempt?

Which, by the way, brings me to the following inaccuracy:

Inaccuracy #3: (...is able to make a contribution to his or her community)


Well, I think my previous notes contradicted this statement already,
but just for fun, let's explore some more.

To the right, you see the picture of me when I went to Kenya. Completely broke financially, (as if that wasn't contributing to my depression already) I went to Kenya, on my own, without any organization, (with $400 in my pocket) to help homeless children, within just few weeks from having a miscarriage. No doubt I was depressed then, but that didn't stop me from contributing to others, now did it?

Below is one of my videos from when I was there.


The other important thing is, something which everyone should know and remember, is that just because someone is smiling doesn't mean that person is mentally healthy, just as much as it doesn't mean that a person who's depressed doesn't smile a lot.


A Word For The Mental Health Professionals:


We, "the mentally ill" can become more than proficient in hiding our feelings, and the main reason we tend to do that, is because of the bad stigma and the judgment we receive from others, often from those wearing white coats... Even if you restrain yourself from saying it at loud, we can see it in your eyes and your facial expressions. Depressed people have that gift of reading other people's faces. That gift is often crafted by the practice of constantly trying to please others in order to gain approval, acceptance, in other words love. The society looks up to you, and they take your opinion as a fact, without questioning it (which isn't right). You have a moral obligation, if not professional, to arise to the high standard that is expected of you. Let's be fair; you enjoy the effect those few letters such as MD, or PhD next to your name tend to have on people (nothing wrong with that, you've earned it) but you forget sometimes that with such high prestige comes even higher level of responsibility. So next time you're tempted to analyze the patient in front of you, and to put all kinds of labels (in your mind and on your note-pad) on what's right and what's wrong with that patient -- think, think deeply, and then...think some more.

Here is a new definition of the word "mentally ill' that I would like to offer you, if I may:


Mentally ill -- an individual who is more than often misunderstood (misdiagnosed) by the society, especially by those "high in ranks," -- highly educated such as doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, etc. An individual who is pitied and looked down on by others. What commonly might be referred as a "mentally ill," is usually a person with not only true feelings (which she or he tends to hide from the fear of being not accepted) but also quite often, is a person who might even posses a higher level of sensitivity, which is a sign of a highly evolved being. Because of how often they are misjudged and mistreated, -- and because they know how much it hurts to be judged, -- the "mentally ill" often tend to be very compassionate and very understanding individuals. A "mentally ill" person is more than often very gifted, very talented, smarter than average, even though that is not how he or she is viewed by others, and especially not by the so called Establishment, -- formed by a group of elite, whose sole desire was not to help, but to have control over other human, and non-human beings. "Mentally ill" people pose an imaginary threat to others who believe to be superior to them; -- because of how much more intelligent from "mentally disturbed" they think they are, and that is why, more than often they are victims of a harmful labeling containing words like; of unsound mind, mentally unstable,  delusional, narcissistic, even psychotic.


Because in some instances, the "mentally ill" speak in a different manner, - the type of manner which isn't conformed by the general educational system, -- because of that they are assumed to have a lower level of intelligence. Also, because of the gap in the spoken language (even though it may appear that the origins of such language are the same) the communications between "mentally ill" and the so called "mentally healthy" health care providers, appears to be broken.


The "mentally ill" people, also known as mentally insane, crazy, nuts, wacko, coo-coo, loonies, more than often turn out to be geniuses in disguise. 


Remember that.


I admit that sometimes I can still get carried away by the anger towards the establishment. Sometimes I have to remind myself that even the doctors whose judgment had hurt me in the past, and whose tactics I see hurting other people the same way, are just human beings, like everyone else on this planet. And just as anyone else, they should not be judged. Many of them, I'm sure might even know what's like to be depressed from their own personal experience with this condition. I'm sure that, most of the times at least, they did and continue to do everything they think needs to be done, to help. My intent here is not to bash anyone, -- my intent is to open the eyes and the minds of anyone who is willing and ready to do so. I understand that everyone does their best, given the information one might have the access to. And this is what I hope to accomplish here; -- to provide a different view, from a different perspective, on such complex issue as mental health is.



If you are interested in reading an article called "The Real Problems With Psychiatry," which I just recently read online, click on the link. It is an interview with Gary Greenberg, who is a practicing psychotherapist. It will blow your mind! 









4 comments:

I couldn't agree more with your statement. I got here since I read one of your articles posted on Wake-up World (I think). I'm a psychology student myself, and even though I'm studying this career, I'm afraid I'll become one of those people full of knowledge inside and no heart or real care for their patients at all. I've not experienced therapy with a a psychiatrist myself, but for what I know, the teachers I've got and the things I've read and seen, your issues are pretty common among mental health establishments. Thanks for writing this, as I'm struggling with depression myself, suicidal thoughts and other physical illnesses right now (due several reasons), it's very helpful and hopeful to read someone else's testimony.
Have an awesome journey.
DD

Thank you DD for writing this. It does mean a lot to me to hear so much honesty in someone's voice. :) l Love it!

I can so relate, I've been on wards where I have been shouted at, judged on sight because of BPD and the list goes on and on. I also consider myself to be compassionate sensitive to things around me and sometimes feel spooked by how blind people are. I'm suffering with suicidal thoughts again after feeling I had come along way in recovery.

Your blog is very useful, I am truly to this blog which is specially design about the Overcome Trauma.
Great job.


Wesley Chapman on Impact Theory

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