we can’t separate

we cantIf we want to understand what leads to people becoming ill, and how better to help them heal, then  “we can’t separate the brain from the body and we can’t separate the person from their environment”.

Western allopathic medicine is not the only medicine, though it is  the only one that insists on doing this.

Whilst it has undoubtedly brought some great progress it has also found itself limited when it comes to understanding the kinds of chronic illnesses that now prevail.


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4 Responses to we can’t separate

  1. Eta Bereznai says:

    Kevin, Over simplification in my mind and within this context refers to the perceived causes of mental health challenges that are often sited as physical/heredity, or emotional, or environmental to name the most widely used. The tendency to overgeneralize is harmful to the cause of recovery oriented dialogue. We being complex creatures, mental health problems are likely any one of those or combination thereof for individuals experiencing a “disorder”. The causes may well vary from individual to individual, as do the sources of regaining wellness. We really do not seem to know! The more theories and research results one reads,proving different theories and healing methods, the more that becomes evident. We have much to learn and must keep an open mind as there is more research, as well as compilation of lived experiences and recoveries. It was my mistake to use the word Recovery Movement of which I am generally a hopeful supporter so loosely. I should not have painted the members of an entire movement or belief system with the same brush.


    • Hi Eta
      thanks for expanding on that .
      I’m With you entirely…

      The only thing we do really know is that,
      really, we don’t know very much at all.

      if we can get to that place, it is also a very good [perhaps the only] place we can begin to learn…

      Something I’ve noticed is that “the mental health system” seems intent on finding the one answer to everyone’s problem -and within that system, the different factions and specialties and professions compete vigorously for their favourite ideas to win some kind of game of thrones.
      I am convinced all that nonsense ill-serves those people who need help. It seems to me that helping people heal is what the system should be for but that seems to be only a minor concern: The needs of institutions, careers and fiefdoms, foundations and big corporations are all served well, yet it seems those for whom the system is [ostensibly] funded get to live out in the back-lane with the trash and the rats.

      I do believe that so long as “the mental health system” prioritizes this waythen it will continue to fail miserably.

      I’m especially troubled by simplistic ideas that all people need to is take drugs, or all people need do is stop taking drugs. I find that level of dogma-weilding helps no one except those projecting their own crap on everyone else and there is much of it about right now.

      I do believe that understanding what people need to live well is simple -people need the same things round the world, in all walks of life. Even if “science” does have a hard time grasping that we do know at least that much intuitively. “Science” is not the only way of knowing.

      We do each each have a unique, personal mix of what works for us, we do each have different priorities – and they are not fixed but dynamic and constantly shifting- but it is always the same stuff, at least the same stuff in broad, general, human terms.

      To use an analogy the same list of ingredients can make an infinite variety of dishes yet “the system” currently only offers junk-food and poisons.

      What gets called “mental illness” is really complex, way beyond the capacity of any narrow perspective to grasp and claim any kind of authoritative, exclusive “knowing”.
      Even this last year I know several people who have, after years of struggle with “mental disorder” diagnoses and years of searching found help from doctors specializing in areas like sleep disorders, epilepsy and other conditions, for which as i’m fond of saying
      “real medical” conditions with real medical tests and real doctors who know reliable ways of working with people to help them relieve suffering and live fuller lives…

      I regard personal recovery as not so much about fixing people as about each person finding their own unique mix… it is a tough journey, even tougher without help and can be made very tough indeed by well meaning help that doesn’t help or even makes things worse, much worse – but choosing an orientation toward being curious and finding it and fighting for it is also a non-too-shabby way of approaching life….



  2. Eta Bereznai says:

    Yes, and that is what makes this issue so complex. Our society’s oversimplification and commitment to a specific approach and or theory regarding mental health crisis, be it on the part of the recovery movement or the pharmaceutical/biological approach, seem to be part of the problem and stand in the way of true progress.


    • Hi Eta
      I wonder if you can you explain what you mean by “oversimplification and commitment to specific approach” by the recovery movement?
      I don’t know what “the recovery movement” is but no one I know says recovery simple, no one says its easy, simply that it is possible and there are many ways to get there -and a bumpy road at that.
      – and indeed more people do recover than don’t.


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