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Arjuna Nagendran

Doctor,

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What experiences have made you more comfortable with mental health disorders?

What things make you fearful of mental health disorders? And what experiences have made you more comfortable with it?

In the quest to dispell stigma, how can we help our society grow out of its fear?

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    Oct 20 2012: It is a sad fact that self actualization and spiritual evolution grace many people only after experiencing some level of horrific experience - often involving life threatening issues. Steve Jobs commented on this in his awesome Stanford address, and there are some studies that suggest that accident victims may experience more life satisfaction than lottery winners. I almost feel like calling them accident winners and lottery victims though, given the five year outcome in terms of self actualization.

    When bad things happen to us, we have a tendency in our society to overly medicate ourselves and protect ourselves to the extent that, sure maybe the drugs allow us to continue moving through life being a good citizen, but I worry we will not gain the life lessons we need to learn from our own lives. How many of us reading this right now are on anti-depressant or mood altering drugs? This can result in mental illness. Some call this "soul loss", and they attempt to cure this condition through a soul recovery. That is an approach I am very interested in personally.

    Our pharmaceutical industry is paying our elected officials to ensure that they continue making huge profits by selling more and more drugs, which I think further exacerbates the issue and gives us a "prescription" for disaster.

    In some cultures, notably many indigenous cultures, the crazy people are the shamans giving the culture wisdom and healing. Interestingly, finding yourself called to being a Shaman is somewhat of a curse as well.

    There is an interesting movement called the "Mad Pride" movement - about legitimizing the spiritual process some of us feel called to go through as our life's learning process.

    With all of that said, I totally support using any healing modality possible to cure mental health disorders. My main point, is that it is the very full experience of life itself which has made me more comfortable with mental health disorders.
    • Nov 5 2012: Life is for living. Life is an adventure. If it were easy they would never call it adventure. I am, in my own belief, right where my deity wants me to be, because as I grow and develop through it I will be able to minister to and console and edify those who see me or may be going through a hard time. To build up another is a calling from God. To strengthen the weak and help the downtrodden...but how do we empathize with such if we never experience it for ourselves? I'm beginning to think of this life on earth as a boot-camp for a later existance.

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