Posts tagged ‘mental health’

Improving Online Mental Health Self-Help Culture

Online mental health self-help culture has its pros and cons-  most of these are also true of other medical conditions and disabilities- particularly ones that are less well-understood or acknowledged by mainstream health care professionals and institutions. These are some observations I’ve made after long-time participation in autistic adult & neurodiversity communities. Note that I am far more familiar with helping adults with autism & parents of kids with autism than say, people who have bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.

Pros:

* Spread of good information about mental health, self-help techniques, both mainstream & alternative mental health resources

*More access to information & support particularly for people in under-served populations- uninsured, low-income/working-class people, people of color, GLBTQ individuals, folks with disabilities in addition to mental health issues, people in countries or regions that have minimal or non-existent mental health care

*People finding community, sometimes pride in neurodivergent, mad, disabled and queer identities.

*More understanding for family, friends, community members and mental health professionals

*Advice on how to navigate healthcare/social service/education bureaucracies, and less conventional ways of accessing basic needs (barter, sharing, crowd-funding)

*Peer supported/confirmed self-diagnoses for people who might have a harder time accessing formal diagnosis. Sometimes a person later gets an official diagnosis, services and accommodations.

Cons:

*Spread of bad information on mental health, ineffective or inappropriate self-help techniques (either for everyone or for specific individuals) Framing either mainstream or alternative mental health structures/techniques as either 100% good or bad.

*Professionals & family members who are otherwise unaware of the broad range of mental health self-help communities may see more extreme factions and assume they are representative of the whole. But this is a problem with every subculture, internet or otherwise- especially if something is either unfamiliar or someone is already prejudiced against it, they will pick the most extreme version of it, and that’s the part that becomes most well known, even if it’s a small minority. (This is why respectability politics never works!) And if some part of the media gets involved, well St. Dymphna help us!

*False self-diagnoses that lead to a person to engage in self-help and self-medicating that harms them, spreads inaccurate information about a condition to others. (I’d add “uses self-diagnosis as an excuse- but those of us with official diagnoses are so frequently told that “we’re just using X as an excuse, it’s all in your head, not real, that didn’t exist in my day, blah blah” that quite frankly I doubt that many people specifically seek neurodivergent labels for themselves while knowing they are not accurate. Yes, sometimes there are hypochondriacs or maybe even trolls that try to infiltrate communities. But this is not something people seek out to be “cool”.

*Confusion by both participants and outsiders between  identities and subcultures perceived as unusual/eccentric- such as- otherkin, multiple systems, various alternative spiritual beliefs & practices, gender & sexual minorities that *do not* by themselves indicate a person having mental distress issues vs. assuming that if this person claims this identity they must necessarily be mentally ill, add extra stigma helping.

How to we increase positive results of our communities while reducing negative results?

*Self-care and knowing your limits- do what you need to do to take care of yourself, mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. If that means taking a break from these communities- both online and in-person support groups, fine!

*Figure out clear boundaries for what you are and aren’t willing to do to help others- a therapist can help with this.

*Get out and be social, hang out with people who are supportive but don’t have mental health/substance abuse issues themselves

*Get lay-level training about how to deal with mental health crisis- both for yourself and others from orgs like National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) Note: I know some of my fellow activists don’t care for NAMI- I am just suggesting them as a baseline, you don’t necessarily have to agree with them on everything to learn from them.

*Suggest and redirect people towards groups that focus on resources in their area (I’ve often encountered pleas like “I’m about to become homeless/lose X type of benefits etc” from people without them telling us where in the United States they are, let alone where on the entire frickin’ planet!

*Encourage people to seek out in-person help in their local area, and not wait til things have gotten to an emergency level (or what they perceive as an emergency!)

*Recognize when/if you have a Savior/Martyr/Compulsive Parent Figure Who Must Help/Adopt all the Lost Puppies & Orphans type mentality. Helping people is a wonderful thing! It can also become an addictive and dysfunctional behavior!

*Learn about Minority Stress Theory, and particular issues facing various minority groups that can affect them while accessing mental health care. Learn about different cultural views of mental health

*Share information about how to get professional help, while being understanding of concerns people may have about doing so.

*Moderators of different communities/fora should talk to each other to share information about problematic individuals. Even if some of their behavior is related to their mental health or neurodivergence, that is not an excuse for breaking rules that are clearly stated, being disruptive, or harassing and bullying other people. Hence why, in these communities in particular to clear rules that all participants agree to, and steady & active moderation. Confidentiality is also a must.

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May 30, 2015 at 3:05 am Leave a comment

Finding my Path Again

As Paganicon approaches, I find myself re-evaluating my (rather dormant!) spiritual path. I think for the past year, with the depression, it’s kind of like I’ve been wandering through the mists and need to find the path again, only to find it rather hidden and overgrown. I need to do some weeding, replace broken pavement stones and such. Being a caretaker of an old house, these home maintenance analogies come very easily to mind!

My main focus has had to be managing the depression, becoming active and involved with my communities in a sustainable manner that helps me get away from sitting at home alone stewing in my thoughts. One aspect of that has been becoming a Director of the Bisexual Organizing Project, a way to give myself a job (even if unpaid) with responsibilities that helps me develop my self-confidence and skills. The next step is to psych myself up enough to start looking for work again. I don’t have a specific idea of what I want to do, mainly Please Not Customer Service!!! Or at least not certain types. This time I would like to network with other people with disabilities- particularly learning disabilities/autism/developmental disabilities, and perhaps their family members and so forth.

Anyway, I am ignoring spiritual approaches that others do that don’t seem helpful to my situation (the Put the Gods first type stuff) and looking for ones that do seem helpful. I am looking for spiritual practices that might help me build up my confidence, reduce my anxieties, and re-direct negative though patterns in positive directions. I am not sure if I believe in magic, but if I’m not mistaken there are magical techniques that are more about changing how you think than changing the world around you. Without being totally, The Secret and the power of positive thinking can totally solve your problems!!!

I am also trying to back away from more intense and extreme versions of activism and social justice stuff. I’ve noticed that I feel good about going to meetings and doing things in person, but online discussions have a tendency to get really negative and depressing, so I am avoiding or at least being more selective about participating in them. In particular, climate change/Big Environmental Problems OMG!! are things I avoid, which is difficult because it’s also a big thing at Unity Unitarian. I have sat through at least two sermons about environmental destruction one of which listed in detail all the types of species that were endangered or going extinct that made me cry. It was like, yes I get it, humanity has messed up, and all this bad stuff is happening, but there wasn’t much space in the sermon for redemption, and oh here’s something small and manageable that you can actually do. It just fills you with despair, not a desire to be active. There’s also a lot of elitist baggage involved which is really alienating to someone who doesn’t have much money.

The other political area that I have to get away from for sanity reasons is the anti-capitalism and anarchism. I am not an anarchist, but I hang out with some of them online, and they can be cool people with whom I agree with some things. But a lot of the stuff they write I have to avoid, it’s like drinking a giant depression dose. I am skeptical of capitalism in many ways, and I realize it has a lot of problems but I kind of need to set that aside and well believe in it enough to go find a job, keep it etc. It seems like we’ve gone to the opposite extreme of Keeping Up with the Joneses, to a contest of who can intentionally live the simplest life on the least amount of money, involving the least amount of working for “The Man” and feeling morally superior to people who have regular jobs. When I signed up to be Pagan, that didn’t mean signing up to be poor. Wanting a decent job does not automatically make me Scrooge. I feel like we can’t have real discussions about these things because there is too much political division. Well that was long enough. More on the path development thing another day!

March 6, 2015 at 11:24 pm 7 comments

What I’ve Been Doing Lately

  • Went to annual Bisexual Organizing Project meeting in January, was thinking of signing up to be on a committee or two. There weren’t enough people running in the board election, so I threw my hat in. I won. At-large director, one year term.
  • This an unpaid position, but it has important responsibilities, and involves training, so I figured it would not only be a way to serve my community, but also gain some skills & non-profit experience, so I’d make it my job.
  • Helping plan the BECAUSE conference, April 17-19th serving as the liaison between board & University of Minnesota Queer Student Cultural Center, who is hosting the event.
  • (Tentatively) Will be on a panel presentation about neurodiversity and bisexual & trans* identities
  • This week was busy.
  • Monday- went to a hearing about minimum wage laws (an exception to it for tipped workers)
  • Tuesday- long awaited therapist appointment (had to do some bureaucratic wrangling to get back on Medical assistance) Depressing & anxiety has been getting a lot better- the increasing sun is helping!
  • Wednesday- Wellspring Weds. at Unity Unitarian, delicious dinner and discussion of a book about Unitarian Universalist involvement in the Civil Rights march to Selma (50th anniversary of this March is coming up)
  • Thursday- BOP board meeting
  • Friday-chilling
  • Saturday- Take Action Minnesota‘s annual meeting, then BECAUSE planning meeting.
  • Today I chilled and cleaned the house.
  • Tomorrow, I will *finally* be doing another Erik’s Ranch tour of the St Paul Cathedral, plus a reporter from the Pioneer Press will be there, so hopefully that will lead to more tours!

March 2, 2015 at 6:46 am Leave a comment

Self-Care as Spiritual Practice

The next Pagan Experience prompt is to write about a particular personal spiritual practice. I’m coming up blank, since for the past several years, I’ve been pretty much an armchair philosophical polytheist with agnostic leanings (or agnostic with polytheist leanings?) I think, and read and write, and rather obsessively collect information about religion but don’t use it! I think the problem is that I’m an extrovert, and I don’t feel very motivated to have a solitary practice.  Introverts get their energy from being alone, while extroverts get their energy from other people.

I have sometimes questioned this, being an Aspie and all, but my partner (himself an introvert) reminded me “Nope, honey you are definitely an extrovert.” I’m just a social butterfly that doesn’t fly straight…that’s OK so are a lot of Pagans! I actually think introverted Pagans might even be in the majority, that may be one reason why there are so many solitaries. Being an autistic extrovert though, means I do need to pace myself and sometimes take breaks from social activity to avoid over-stimulation and potential emotional and sensory burnout. For right now, self-care is my spiritual practice- working through emotional issues and getting it together to be a Healthy & Responsible Adult ™ That does not have to mean being perfect, having The Right Career (if such a thing exists!) Just start with trying as best I can to live a healthy lifestyle, eat, sleep, hygiene, exercise, keeping the house clean, social time.

A writing project I have been working on in relation to this is the Self-Care Virtues series of posts. It started because I felt the Nine Noble Virtues and similar virtue systems with a heroic, warrior focus left out people who need to focus on simply taking care of themselves- folks with disabilities, including mental illness, chronic illnesses, people taking care of loved ones with such issues, people living in poverty, in jail/prison or mental institutions and so forth. Some people need this temporarily, others will need it much of their lives. This is my own project, but if it helps and inspires other people to use it and perhaps write similar posts with other religious or cultural frameworks, I’d really like to hear about it, so please link if you have your own additions or comments.

January 15, 2015 at 9:59 am Leave a comment

Love Thyself

Since the Pagan Blog Project has discontinued, the Pagan Experience has popped up as its “heir apparent”. The first prompt for January is to write about one’s intentions or resolutions for the new year.

My main intentions are to re-direct and be mindful of negative thought patterns, not feel bad about them but to direct them in a more positive direction. Meditation and prayer are ways to help with this especially mantras or affirmations.

  • I intend to get more exercise- planning on going to yoga classes
  • Get crafty- art therapy!
  • Re-connect with old friends, make new ones
  • Enjoy/value relationships more
  • Love self, take care of self, before taking care of others

January 15, 2015 at 8:26 am Leave a comment

For the Record

(This is a response to a couple comments I blocked, mainly to keep this as a safe space- if folks want I will make them public.)

I am a member (out of thousands) in Heathens United Against Racism, not a leader. So flattered to get your attention, Mr. Irminist! I’m waiting on hearing back from the leaders in regards to accusations that have been made. They are making inquiries. I did vote in favor of the pronouncement against Irminfolk, but I hadn’t heard of the group before, so I didn’t have some previous grudge or anything that diabolical. By the way, the inclusion of “Aryan” as a ethnic label in your by-laws was a nice touch. Does that include people from India or Persia? I’m in ADF, so I know all that obscure Indo-European stuff.

Ryan Smith, one of the leaders, publicly identifies as an anarchist (different from communist, FYI) so he’s not really into ordering us around like we’re his little minions or flying monkeys. We have people with a range of political views, and different countries as members of the group. Including Europeans.  And people with Germanic ancestry that have been told, sorry but you’re just too brown. Nothing personal. But you only require 7/8ths “Ethnic European” ancestry, right? Does that include Jews, just wondering?

I am not sure if anyone in HUAR is directly involved with Philadelphia Antifa (antifascists) Personally I am not connected with them, or any other anti-fascist skinhead group and I don’t really agree with their tactics. I most definitely prefer non-violent political action, and direct action/protest used sparingly.

I identify primarily as a Druid/Celtic polytheist, but have been exploring Heathenry, in part due to the major German and Scandinavian cultural influences here in Minnesota, and heck, my aunt is a Norwegian professor (Lutheran not Heathen but she humors me 🙂 In particular, Urglaawe (Deitsch heathenry) and Vanatru (a very UPG-based form) interest me.

I am an advocate for mental health awareness, being that I struggle with depression & anxiety myself, and I often tell people to *not* refer to racist/homophobic/sexist etc. attitudes as forms of mental illness, mental retardation since that is pretty insulting to people who actually have those conditions. The comparative friendliness and inclusiveness I’ve encountered in HUAR towards people with disabilities is in contrast to many online and offline Heathen groups- particularly ones calling themselves “folkish”. Obviously we won’t see eye to eye on matters of race, but perhaps you will re-think how to throw around words like “delusions” and “crazy”.

Religious and private organizations do indeed have the right to restrict membership according to their own criteria in the United States. As far as I’m aware, HUAR as a group at least does not advocate for changing those laws.

Religious organizations are restricted from endorsing public candidates for office, but not against advocating for various issues. Growing up in the United Methodist Church, my parents were very active in peace and civil rights movements, and now I belong to the Unitarians.

Personally I am more interested in educating people about cultural issues- and educating myself than in helping out the Southern Poverty Law Center keep track of All the Scary Racists Hiding in Bunkers ™. I kinda doubt you fit into that category anyway.  I don’t have a giant White Savior complex, and I am not plagued by white liberal guilt. Go psychoanalyze someone else, in fact I already have my own therapist, thanks! Oh wait, psychoanalysis was invented by Jewish guys. Shucks!

I do not represent an organization, political or religious. I am one woman with a blog.

December 13, 2014 at 10:30 am 3 comments

Black Lives Matter Responses

Crystal Blanton’s call for a response from Pagan & Polytheist communities has been met with many statements from organizations & individuals listed here on the Wild Hunt blog. I’m happy to add any further statements from people of any tradition, ethnicity that are anti-racist and specifically that this about the lives of Black/African-American people. I’m proud to see organizations I’m a member of of, like ADF and Heathens United Against Racism, come forward at this difficult and divisive time and stand up for what’s right. I’m disappointed by the statement given by the Covenant of the Goddess nationally- which was much too generic in nature, and I don’t blame Ms. Blanton and her coven for resigning from CoG. I’m not a member of CoG but I have attended many of their rituals over the years, and have been grateful for them providing rituals in local, bus accessible, handicap accessible locations (which a lot of other Twin Cities Pagan groups *do not*!) I’m hoping that the Northern Dawn Council, our local CoG chapter will write & release a better statement. (Shall I get off my duff & join?)

There are also some incidents going on with mistreatment of American Indians- in particular Corey Kenosh, a 35-year-old unarmed man who was killed by police. I don’t want to steal the thunder from the Black community, but this needs to be acknowledged as well. American Indians are a smaller group, and many people aren’t as aware of the American Indian Movement. I’m originally from Montana- where “No Indians” signs on stores were once as common as “Whites Only” signs in the South.

Here’s an Open Letter from LGBTQ organizations on the Bisexual Organizing Project’s website

A Commitment to Realignment & Resignation– by Crystal Blanton

Caer Jones- gets into an explanation here of what’s wrong with the CoG statement, and writes her own.

These events are showing me, more than ever how huge the gulf of understanding of racial issues is between Black and white Americans. I am seeing many of my fellow white folks who are getting it, but just as many who are not, though it is hard, please folks we need to educate the people who don’t get it. Some of them won’t listen, but some of them will. One great first step you can take is by reading the book the New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander, if you already haven’t.

Personally I have not said much as I’m trying to focus on getting over depression and finding a new job. Information & emotional overload does not help with that. I still care about what’s happening, but sometimes you have to take care of yourself first before you can deal bigger problems!

Here’s also something my Dad wrote on Facebook:

“I think we need to get beyond recent specific incidents that allow critics to pick through facts of the case to try and demonstrate that racism was not a factor. We need to look at the larger problem. Our society continues to be animated by subtle and not subtle racist attitudes.

People of conscience no matter their faith system must be aware of the many strata of racism in and around us and find ways to witness against it. Few things are more difficult. It must begin with self awareness and, well, transcendence. If we are afraid to speak out then we must ask ourselves why. We must be willing to risk social consequences. We must be courageous.

Within any meaningful faith system we can find wisdom and truth that can inform us. And maybe we can employ beliefs unique to our own faith that can motivate like minded folk to acknowledge the greater truth that has seemed hidden from us.

Citizens, believers, cannot easily reach the right conclusions with no outside help. So faith groups can help by offering training; by giving participants insight about what is happening around them; and suggesting specific actions they can take.

Grand juries can fail to indite but that is a technical legal process. I doubt anyone believes those officers INTENDED to commit murder. But in the mix of things going through their minds at the moment they pulled the trigger or choked the victim was race in the equation? I think it is difficult for any critical thinker to say NO!
Now that state bodies have ruled limited as they are by facts and law, the federal Justice Department can ask did these officers as individuals and as part of the law enforcement collective violate the civil rights of these men? We can hope and expect that the answer will be yes. But then we cannot just move on and wait until the next injustice presents itself. No matter the answer we are called to continue the struggle against institutional white racism.”

(Virtual hug) Thanks, Dad!

December 12, 2014 at 12:42 am Leave a comment

More Solstice Shopping Ideas, and a Rant

My fellow bloggers have come out with some of their own shopping guides here’s a list-

Of Thespiae- Solstice/Boeotian New Year Shopping Guide

Serpent’s Labyrinth- Independent Store Recs

Raise the Horns- Pagan Things Made by Pagans for Pagans

In addition to Ruadhan’s Boeotian calendar- here’s an Anglo-Saxon one

Wild Hunt- Winter Solstice Gift Guide

Several people have given Cara Schulz crap for writing this on Black Friday or criticized it having too much mainstream stuff on it. Still I thought it was a pretty good list, even if I’m not spending much myself this year or any year- how many Pagans do I need to buy gifts for? Not very many! Mainly what I will be probably doing this year is making copies of family photos to distribute. Not sure what to get the in-laws- they have 2 of everything they could possibly need.

I don’t need any more freaking lectures about the Evils of Consumerism & Capitalism. I was raised by hippies- I knew about Buy Nothing Day before Black Friday. My UU church even has a Black Friday service protesting consumerism. I’ve worked retail in the past, hoping I won’t have to in the future, and am definitely on board with the movements to unionize/raise wages and just generally treat the peasants of Walmart, McDonald’s et al. like real human beings. I am trying to get over depression, which I’ve been struggling with for the past year, and get my butt in gear to look for job, and finish learning to drive so I can get my license. My fiance bought a second car, thereby freeing up the old one for me. Those are our Yule presents this year. Before you call us wicked planet destroyers, remember I’ve been a non-driver all this time (age 32)  and while the public transit system is pretty good in the Twin Cities, it does create major barriers to employment. It’s my stubborn streak of left-wing idealism & counterculturalism that holds me back from achieving my goals, and this is continually reinforced by hanging around Pagans. Doesn’t mean I’ll give up on hanging with Pagans but I am trying to fend off the toxic messages. The ghetto mentality. The stick it to the Man mentality. I don’t judge other Pagans who live in poverty, esp. due to disability etc. While I disagree about Sam Webster about many things, I do agree that yes, we need more folks in our community who can support themselves financially and their community– but to do so we need a community has its act together enough to be worth supporting. We should not be making people feel bad for working a job that might not be for a company that meets your political/ethical approval, or for having kids (which capitalism actually *discourages* contrary to what the militant childfree types claim) or for owning a car, when you cannot get by in 90% of this country without a car. Doing those sorts of things does not automatically make you an evil sell-out, claiming that it does not build community.

November 30, 2014 at 8:07 am Leave a comment

Comparing Autism & Borderline Personality Disorder

Recently, Pride in Madness posted some memes from a Tumblr called “Shit Borderlines Do” and commented on how they related to her own experiences. I noticed some similarities with autistic traits and commented about this, and someone else responded wanting to know more about autism and how it might overlap with BPD. I will preface this by saying that I am not that familiar with Borderline Personality Disorder, I’ve know a couple people (in-person or online) with that label, I get the impression it’s a newer one that is somewhat controversial (but then isn’t every mental health label?) Links for more info on BPD at the bottom of the post.

“You notice the slightest difference in how someone treats you, and it bothers you for days on end”

The autistic or obsessive-compulsive version of this would be more likely to be “a school or work policy, procedure, or the way objects, furniture etc. are arranged changes without explanation, and it bothers you for days on end”

“Just constantly feeling f*cking guilty for things that you know logically aren’t your fault” PiM mentions that her tendency of compulsive apologizing for random things. Because of my long of offending people without realizing it, messing up due to clumsiness, ADHD spaciness, etc. I tend to do a lot of pre-emptive “just in case” apologizing. It’s very insecure and paranoid. Which has the additional effect of making my apologies for actual serious things seem less sincere.  Some autistic or OCD people will develop a certain way of doing things that they believe they “have to do” or Bad Things Will Happen- like our own personal superstitions. This is a sort of coping mechanism for putting something tangible under our control for a world that seems out of control.

“Feeling so much of everything so very deeply that it’s overwhelming”

I suspect that the reasons folks with BPD have this problem may be different than for those on the autism spectrum, though for person with both it may be a combination. For autistic folks, often sensory input (noise, lights, smells, touch) and constant social interaction can often lead to feeling emotionally overwhelmed and having what we call a “meltdown”. In contrast, I get the impression that people with BPD are to some degree picking up on the emotions of others and internalizing/amplifying them.

General Info on BPD

Psych Central description

Nat’l Alliance on Mentally Illness description

BPD & Autism

Apparently women and girls with ASD (whom as I’ve discussed before, are often later diagnosed) are often mis-diagnosed with BPD. BPD still may be a more accurate label for some people, and some people may have both.

Borderline Personality Disorder- a correct diagnosis?

Similarities & Differences between ASD & BPD

October 14, 2014 at 1:21 am 4 comments

What Do Healthy Spiritual Communities Look Like?

(Note: this advice is coming from my experience dealing with Pagan/magical/New Age communities, however much of it is relevant to other spiritual/religious communities as well as secular ones)

Healthy Friendships

If someone is mostly a negative influence on you, remove them from your life. Cut off contact. Make friends outside the Pagan community, in secular settings who are positive and supportive. Look for friends, who while they may not have everything in life figured out, in general have fairly stable lives that they are holding together. If you have friends who constantly ask you for help, a place to sleep, store stuff, money, rides etc. but do not seem to be doing much to improve their situation *when it is within their power* and keep giving excuses, seriously re-evaluate these friendships. Make boundaries that you are comfortable with.

Personally I have a limit of having one friend at a time that I help with serious issues (mental health, looking for jobs/housing/healthcare/childcare etc) I focus on referring them to services and giving them someone to talk to (about non-professional level appropriate things), while drawing the boundary of not allowing my health or finances to be dragged down by them.

True friendship requires give and take- much like relationships with our gods and spirits. There are times when a good friend needs to give more support to a friend in need, but everyone must use their own judgment about how far that support should go.

Healthy Leaders/Elders/Clergy 

How is the status/title/power of this person determined? By the person and their claims? By a group, or a broader community? Is it based on fame and trendiness or more on hard work and learning, regardless of how glamorous or not?

What boundaries does this person have over their personal life- choices in career, relationships to family, expectations of being public with their religion, being able to take care of health? Are the expectations they have of themselves, or that the group members have of them the same, and are they realistic and sustainable?

What responsibilities do they have towards members of their group or community?

What responsibilities do the members have towards them?

What responsibilities do the members have to each other?

Do the members have stable/sustainable lives outside of the group (i.e. their basic needs are taken care of, personal difficulties they have do not drag down the rest of the group.

What is the stated purpose or mission of the group, and does it live up to that mission, or clearly seem to be working towards it in a realistic way?

This was originally titled Recovering from Toxic Pagan Communities, but the topic drifted a bit..

To be clear about what I am talking about:

*Recovering from dealing with dysfunctional individuals, groups and relationships within Pagan, Heathen, polytheist or occult/magical and New Age communities.

Not:

*Having difficulties with one’s spiritual path development- a “crisis of faith”, Dark Night of the Soul, etc. can be related to this but is a separate issue

*Recovering from mental health problems, past abuse/trauma, alcohol & drug abuse (or coming from families with such problems) This are important and need to be dealt with (and hopefully helped by healthier spiritual communities!) but if nothing else I’m drawing a line between “problems you had before you become pagan” and “problems that were mainly exacerbated or originated due to bad behavior among Pagans- i.e. abuse of drugs/alcohol in community, abusive relationships, discouraging of getting help for health/financial or other problems (or of only using spiritual/magical/alternative techniques) I will address these matters when relevant…

October 7, 2014 at 11:54 pm Leave a comment

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