I just completed a 42-hour Mental Health Coaching program through Light University. Though the information and training were fantastic, it is missing a major mental health recovery component. This program helped me empathize with and know how to help those suffering from a traumatic event or grief. I understand my son’s addiction, my mother’s mental illness, and my abuse recovery. The very last class about psychotropic medication by Dr. Curt Thompson made me realize I had a serious misunderstanding of the role of medication in treating mental illness. I also realized that I should have been medicated from the time I was a teenager. Note, I said “should have been.” Yes, medication would have helped me be a better person and not mentally messed up like I was. But the issues causing my mental illness would never have been resolved, just medicated. I have a problem with doctors who do not address and solve the underlying issues of why a person is sick.
My mother has been treated with all the psychotropic medications on the market for her entire adult life. I see the benefits of psych drugs, though. For example, when my mother’s doctor took her off a paranoia drug, several months later she was convinced the nursing home was on fire and she had to get out. She would tell me people are being killed and taken out in body bags every day. So, yes, I made sure she was given anti-paranoia drugs again, which solved the problem.
During my first marriage, a friend said, “I think you need to take medication for your depression.” I revolted and said, “No way, I don’t want to be on medication my whole life and have to see a shrink all the time.” Not only did I suffer, but my children suffered, so I now realize there is a place for medication in treating brain chemistry imbalances. I agree with Dr. Paul Meier that diet can resolve mental health issues. For example, I read a book called God’s Way to Ultimate Health by Dr. Malkmus and the benefit of eating raw foods, so I did the raw food diet, and my depression went away. And Dr. Curt Thompson is right when he said that it is necessary to treat the whole person. If a person is depressed because of an abusive situation, then address and resolve the cause of the depression first. The missing component in this coaching program is transforming painful memories, which is a major underlining cause of mental issues.
My mother’s mental illness came from the abuse and dysfunction of her home life, and other members of her side of the family had a serious brain chemistry imbalance. She has it coming and going, and so do I. I also suffered from the trauma of abuse in my childhood and then in my first marriage. The Mental Health Coaching program helped me see how messed up I was, and I could identify with many of the conditions discussed, including anxiety disorder, anorexia, and paranoia. I still have a love-hate relationship with food.
I must confess that I self-medicate for occasional depression since it is genetic as well. When my husband asks me if I am mad at him, and I am not, I know I am having depression problems and will take St. John’s Wort in the evening and 5-HTP in the morning. In a couple of weeks, my brain chemistry corrects, then I stop taking them. Or when my son went to jail, I became depressed, and I took St. John’s Wort and 5-HTP. For my anxiety disorder, I take Genexa (found at GNC). It helps me relax when I must go to the dentist or board a plane. It is chewable and all-natural, and I recommend it to anyone.
I do not think it is a coincidence that I just published a book describing my recovery from the traumatic events of my life called Breaking Mental Strongholds: Eliminate Controlling Memories. With God’s help, I recognized and broke 20 mental strongholds in my life, which helped me overcome my mental issues. God is still healing repressed controlling memories and unhealthy beliefs and will be for years to come. Had I resolved to medicate my mental illness, I would never have recovered and overcome the issues causing my mental illness. Recovery is possible when a person addresses and resolves the controlling memories from their past. My how-to book helps people do this. I encourage everyone to read my book who wants a layperson’s understanding of the source of mental illness and how to help people recover without psychotropic medication. You can order it on Amazon.
May God bless you richly in the coming year.