To say in words, in labels, who I am, seems easy enough at first sight. I'm a fourty six year old woman, I'm working with horses, I'm a person who has experienced extreme states of mind, I've spent about 12 years at university, studying both this and that, I never graduated, and so on, and so on...

Is that who I am? - It's a perception. It's how others and I perceive Marian in this world.

"Sting, Ten Summoner's Tales, Epilogue," I wrote in my Facebook profile text. And that's maybe the closest I've ever come to capturing who I really am.

But, well, people want labels, and since I prefer to label myself to being labelled by others, here's some of who I appear to be in this world. In my own words. With my own labels.

I am a creatively maladjusted human being who has experienced some extreme states of mind - also termed "psychosis". I've been as lucky as to get the chance to go through these states of mind without the interference of psychiatry. Instead I've had brilliant guidance during my search for myself, that I, after closer investigation, am most inclined to see as a spiritual emergency, that may well be called a Kundalini awakening. Although the brilliant guidance probably doesn't agree, since its educational background in modern western psychology usually has a very hard time accepting these truths. Nevertheless, and disregarded some few blunders, that were due to this rather narrow-minded educational background, I'll always be incredibly grateful to the brilliant guidance that it respected my wish to avoid a personal acquaintance with the ultimately soul-murdering institution of psychiatry.

Spiritual emergency? Kundalini awakening?? Like Sean, I've been looking a bit closer at the phenomenon, and like him, I've reached the conclusion that these terms cover the same phenomenon that is termed "psychosis", "schizophrenia" or "mania" by modern biological psychiatry. With this one difference, that the latter pathologize the former, that the latter explain (away) an existential, spiritual crisis by turning it into a brain disease.

Individual differences, that some people use to delimit a spiritual emergency from "mental illness", are in my opinion only due to the presence or absence of trauma and suffering, previous to the crisis. Even if it's often people with a life story of trauma and suffering, who experience a spiritual emergency, there also are those, whose life story is not characterized by what our culture defines and accepts as trauma and suffering. Often only the latter people's experience is acknowledged as a spiritual emergency, while the former become labelled as "mentally ill". A distinction, I strongly disagree with.

To me, spirituality doesn't mean some airy-fairy-mantra-mumbling-inscense-stick-supernatural-esoteric-New-Age-mumbo-jumbo. I'm not religious. To me spirituality means the experience of the essence of (our) nature, of (our) being.

I am a member of MindFreedom International, a "long-distance-fan" of Freedom Center and I try to do some activism in Denmark.

I've studied Scandinavian, English and French literature, philosophy and theatre theory. For a living I work with horses. 

To forestall misunderstandings: I am not a Scientologist, neither do I have any affiliation to the Church of Scientology. Scientology doesn't only reject psychiatry in its entirety, but also psychology, which this blog, though having a critical look at it from time to time, certainly doesn't reject in its entirety, and, as far as I know, Scientology is neither especially fond of Eastern philosophy, such as Buddhism or Taoism. So, please! friends of psychiatry, do your homework before you try to devalue the critics' arguments with the eternal "You're all Scientologists!"

As for the concept of "anti-psychiatry", I can't and won't distance myself completely from this, unfortunately, rather controversial term. Psychiatry in practise is five things: drugs, electroshock, restraints/seclusion, lobotomy, and, in context with each and every one of these, coercion. I regard all five of them as violations against human rights, that need to be abolished. Read this, and get rid of your prejudices concerning anti-psychiatry.

What then about all kinds of psychotherapy and the like? Isn't that psychiatry, too? No. That is psychology, sociology, philosophy, spirituality, etc., which have nothing to do with psychiatry. Basically, I am not opposed to these, although I may be critical, especially towards branches of psychology, that advocate psychiatry's medical model, such as biopsychology.

Here's to the Crazy Ones

Email address: marian(dot)bgst(at)gmail(dot)com
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1 comment:

Natalie said...

I'm so glad to have found your blog by way of hopping around the MFI list and seeing some of your commentary elsewhere. I'm in the midst of writing about my own "spiritual emergency," and just this morning was trying to think of how to explain the terminology - seeing how I am also neither religious nor particularly "airy fairy." :) The best thing I could come up with was consciousness (or soul). "Essence of our being" sums it up perfectly! I look forward to reading more of what you have to say - thanks much for sharing your voice.