Ever feel like you’re going crazy? Silly question, right? We’ve all felt a little overwhelmed at times, COVID-19 notwithstanding.
Emotions Do Not Equal Psychiatric Disorders
As humans we seem to feel better when we can label whatever it is that bothers us. Medical and psychiatric disorders probably top that list. However, if someone has a panic attack (if it really IS a panic attack, in the first place) it doesn’t mean she has PTSD. If the guy is normally happy-go-lucky but seems sad and won’t talk it doesn’t mean he has chronic depression or is bipolar.
SIDE POINT Here’s one of my pet peeves when untrained people decide to diagnose others… or themselves. f you had a car accident yesterday and you’re out of it, you do NOT have PTSD from the car accident. There’s a waiting period—a designated length of time before PTSD can be diagnosed. 24-28 hours ain’t it.
Western medicine has some amazing ways to help us heal. Unfortunately, well-meaning medical professionals all-too-often prescribe the pill we think we need without the necessary training or expertise to be prescribing psychotropic medications. Here are some staggering statistics of which the mental health community is sadly too familiar:
“General practitioners prescribe 90% of benzodiazepines (calming agents such as Valium, Xanax and Ativan… 80% of antidepressants… 65% of ADHD drugs… and 50% of antipsychotics—even though primary care doctors have little training in psychiatry or the medications they are prescribing.”—Allen Frances, MD, Duke University School of Medicine, Bottomline Magazine, V.62/9, May 1, 2021.
Are you anxious at times? Down in the dumps, have the “Norwegian Blues,” or otherwise sad a lot? Do you ever feel like you’re about to explode or crawl right out of your skin? If so, a pill might help the symptoms, but without addressing the cause by changing our thinking we are bound to repeat the same symptoms over and over again.
It may be time to call or enlarge your support system. 15 minutes per day of meditation is a great place to start. Focusing on what’s right instead of what’s wrong is the basis for “Change your thinking, change your life.” Lifestyle changes can cost little yet provide so much more relief than toxic drugs.
Sympathy and empathy may have their place—when we observe situations from the “high watch” about which Emma Curtis Hopkins taught, they usually don’t. What does work—and is so often lacking in the world—is compassion, knowing the Truth, and moving past what is perceived as the problem. Spiritual Mind Treatment, affirmative prayer, is another amazing tool. Professional help or coaching are two more of countless options toward healing.
Help is there and guidance is a given for us all by a universe can’t help itself. Reach out to others. As one wise teacher once said, “You’ve suffered long enough. Are you willing to try something else?
Rev. Dr. Terry Drew Karanen a retired, ordained minister with 30 years in spiritual counseling. He is a licensed social worker in private practice with a master’s degree in social work from Temple University in clinical practice specializing in health/mental health, and holds a doctor of divinity degree from American Institute of Holistic Theology. Terry is also an award-winning author—you can find his books on Amazon.