Are Drugs The New Mental Health Tool?

Red mushroom beside grass and sticks

Something To Think About

Drugs have such a bad ring to them. When one thinks of drugs, an image of DARE, bad high school kids and people in prison come into picture. This is because we have been conditioned by society to equate drugs with disapproval; we have been turned off to dispose the idea of consumption and view them as dangerous and destructive. But when it comes to alcohol and cigarettes, “Please! It’s on me this time.”

With Ketamine approved for depression and psychedelic clinical trials underway around the world, it begs the question, “Are drugs the new mental health tool?” And we are not talking about recreational use. We are specifically referring to medicinal use under medically-controlled environments. Can marijuana, psilocybin, LSD, DMT, Ketamine and others be used effectively to treat mental health conditions such as alcoholism, depression, anxiety, etc?

I hope I have sparked a new curiosity in you. Now it’s your turn to do your own research and convince yourself whether drugs have the potential to provide mental health benefits. Are we doing our due diligence by researching these compounds for therapeutic use, or is this just another excuse to legalize them and get high?

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Sad Sunset

Cloudy red sunset

When The Sun Sets, The Sadness Rises

Couple more hours ’till 7 pm . . . the sun approaches 5 pm and your sadness is thriving. You scratch your head wondering why this repeats year after year. It’s because it’s normal to not enjoy darkness; it makes the day feel shorter. Shorter means less fun. Less fun means more isolation. More isolation means you feel sad. Feeling sad means you’re in a rotten state of mind again. And the pattern continues down the rabbit hole.

The key is to learn to stay positive regardless of your environment. You don’t have control over what happens around you, but you have control over your mind. It’s when you lose control over your mind that you become most susceptible to outside forces. And when this happens . . . well, you become an easy target.

Keep a positive mindset handy at all times.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Embrace Sadness

Sad woman in black cardigan near trees

See Where Sadness Takes You

Don’t fret it. Don’t hide it. Don’t bury it. See where it takes you. See what it makes you feel. See what thoughts it brings to the surface. We all tend to shy away for sadness. We all tend to use the unconscious, immature defense mechanism known as denial. We all tend to carry on like sadness is “not me.” But it is you! It is us! There are times when sadness becomes prevalent and we have to stare it in the eye and tell it, “You’re back . . . what are you going to teach me this time?”

Sadness is not something that should bring you embarrassment; it happens for a reason. Your job is to find out that reason and learn from it. If you suppress your sadness, do you think that it’ll go away? Maybe only temporarily. Suppression means that you are consciously moving a negative emotion or thought into your unconscious and no longer dealing with it in the present moment. But one day, it’ll come back out and you’ll have to encounter it once more.

So why deal with suppressed sadness at a future date when you can just deal with it today? Don’t shy away. Sadness is here to teach you a lesson; learn from it!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

When Patients Split

Frustrated man by a window

I Want A Second Opinion

There are times when patients will blame their psychiatrist for worsening symptoms, “I don’t think the medication is working; my suicidal thoughts have gotten worse since starting the antidepressant; I want a second opinion!” Patients will split due to many reasons:

  • Age and immaturity
  • Lack of patience
  • Frustration and taking it out on their psychiatrist
  • Unconscious inner conflicts
  • Boredom with therapy
  • Drug use and getting carried away

. . . and many more. As a psychiatrist, you have to understand that it’s better to allow the patient to seek another provider’s professional guidance than trying to convince them to stick around. As a patient, you have to understand that we are not perfect and cannot always effectively help you with your problems. As a patient, you should also understand that seeking a “second opinion” does not mean that you will be satisfied and might actually set you a few steps back, because that means that you have to start all over with a psychiatrist who does not know you.

The best recommendation for psychiatrists is to stick by their professional expertise and utilize empathy as much as possible. The best recommendation for patients is to trust their psychiatrist and avoid making impulsive decisions based on frustration encountered in therapy.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

When Depression Haunts You

Man hugging his knee statue

Uncontrolled Depression

You may have experienced depression five or ten years ago but it doesn’t mean that you’re now in the clear. Depression can always reemerge like a deadly virus that no one expected to turn into a pandemic. That’s because unresolved depression can go unnoticed for years at a time, only to make itself noticeable unexpectedly. You may have been feeling depressed the whole time and not even know it; sometimes life has a way of keeping you distracted from your own feelings!

The last thing that you want to do is ignore your depression and bury it somewhere in the closet hoping to never having to deal with it; this is a recipe for disaster. Depression is not something that you sweep under the rug only to return to it centuries later. The symptoms of depression are too powerful to ignore and they will soon catch up with you; you will either seek treatment and recover or spiral down into a dark pit full of misery, alcohol or drugs.

So what is my recommendation to you? Don’t be afraid; don’t be shy; don’t be ashamed to seek help and talk about your feelings. What’s the worst that can happen? Nothing. You have everything to gain by opening up to a psychiatrist, therapist or psychologist and seeking treatment and better days. It’s time that you put your ego aside and seek the care that your mind, body and soul deserve!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

The Unpredictability of Psychosis

Grayscale photo of psychotic woman holding belt around neck

0-60 In a Heartbeat

One thing to keep in mind with psychotic patients is that their behavior is very unpredictable. They can literally be having a pleasant conversation with you for 5-10 minutes, and 15 minutes later, they are yelling, cursing, agitated, banging on the walls and demanding medications! You scratch your head and wonder, “What in the world? I was just talking to them and everything seemed to be going well!” Psychosis could care less if everything was going well; when it wants its patient to terrorize, it will unleash all of hell’s dogs to get its fix. This does not mean that you should always expect psychotic patients to become dysregulated and violent; just be aware that the chances of that happening are higher than with other patients.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

15 Self-Care Ideas to Help Improve Your Mental Health — Olivia Lucie Blake

It’s so important to look after not only physical health but mental too. As this period of time continues where there is so much worry, anxiety and stress.I think it’s even more important to look out for each other and acknowledge that we need to take time for ourselves. And don’t feel bad for it […]

15 Self-Care Ideas to Help Improve Your Mental Health — Olivia Lucie Blake

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7 Times When Anxiety Will Completely Ruin The Moment — Thought Catalog

1. After sending a text. Sometimes I’ll be in a good mood, ready to socialize, and will text a friend to check in on them. But by the time they text me back, my anxiety will overtake me. I won’t want to have a conversation anymore. I’ll be nervous the entire time I’m waiting for…

7 Times When Anxiety Will Completely Ruin The Moment — Thought Catalog

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7 Natural Ways To Improve Mental Health — Jenny in Neverland

AD – This is a paid advertorial but all thoughts are my own. Information in this blog post should not be taken as medical advice. I talk about mental health a lottttt on my blog. Most recently about how I’ve been un-diagnosed with my anxiety disorder and how my medication has literally changed my life.…

7 Natural Ways To Improve Mental Health — Jenny in Neverland

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I Am Free Of Pain

Topless sad woman holding head down with both hands

Positive Affirmation: Mental Pain

“I am free of mental pain because I have learned to manage my negative emotions and redirect my attention on the positive things in life. Whenever I feel sad, I allow the pain to surface without any hesitation, as I know that if I try to fight back, the pain usually persists even longer. I give my pain room to breath but I do not identify with it because my pain is not really mine; it just comes and goes like the foreign clouds in the sky. Just as I cannot feel the clouds in the sky but just observe them, the same applies to my emotional pain; I can’t physically touch it but just observe it from the sidelines. Just as I can’t make a storm go away, the same applies with my emotional pain; I let it take its course until it evaporates into the distance. I am free of pain because I have learned how to respect my mental health and take care of it on a daily basis!”

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)