Mental Health And The Problem With Big Pharma

If you are reading this article, you are probably tired of the way this country has dealt with your mental health. Have you been shuffled from doctor to psychiatrist, and then told to go to CVS?  If so, you are not alone. Recently, a federal jury In Cleveland found that CVS, Walgreens and Walmart were responsible for contributing to the opioid crisis in Ohio. The case was a pivotal moment in the fight to end big pharma’s role in creating and perpetuating the drug crisis in America.

Corporate America doesn’t care about your mental health. The large pharmaceutical companies that make large profits from pain meds are creating addicts. Millions of Americans are caught in a medication loop. They are trying medication after medication which often leads to frustration, dependence and addiction.

It is because of this frustration with the pharmaceutical industry that more and more people are turning to alternative ways of healing to treat their problems. Tired of the endless spiral of seeking and searching, longing and wanting, many people are looking to treat their dis-ease with tools like meditation, yoga, breathwork, and Ketamine.

Let’s face it.  Maintaining your mental health in the 21st century is difficult.

Many people find mindfulness a useful tool to help with distress tolerance. Mindfulness helps cultivate a present centered awareness that is useful in learning to slow down. Being mindful means letting go of your negative thoughts and emotions. Like therapy, detachment is an art and not a science. Learning to detach takes time, focus, and discipline. Like therapy, it bears fruit with consistency.

If you are tired of the Western emphasis on the suppression of feelings and symptoms, you are not alone. It is for this very reason that the mainstream has incorporated many Eastern modes of alternative healing. Philadelphia offers a plethora of various types of yoga classes to help align mind and body. Whether you are chanting or doing a down dog, yoga offers gifts that reach far beyond the mat and way beyond strength and flexibility.

In addition to yoga and meditation, breathwork is another effective method to handle stress and to rewire the brain.  Some types of breathwork bear similarities to the results of Ketamine. In controlled settings, breathwork and Ketamine assisted psychotherapy can produce powerful altered states of consciousness.  Both modalities can help reach buried levels of consciousness and repressed memories.

The mind-altering effects of Ketamine can help some people reach states of transcendence that allow them to safely reexperience traumatic memories, often emerging from their “trip” with a new set of eyes.  Michael Pollan says that “sometimes you just need to be shaken out of your groove. To take a chance and surrender.” Pollan explains that we all have a choice about what to keep alive and what to release. Choosing to recalibrate often gives us the unexpected gift of a new lens through which to see.

Ketamine treats various conditions ranging from bipolar depression, treatment resistant depression, anxiety, social anxiety, anorexia, PTSD, addiction, and OCD. It used in palliative care to aid in fears around death, as well as existential conditions around the meaning of life. Ketamine is a unique and powerful medicinal agent. Recently approved by the FDA to treat refractory depression, Ketamine offers the field of medicine a ripe opportunity for both research and application. The Ko-Op in Center City, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania offers Ketamine Treatments through a collaborative of psychedelic clinicians You can visit their website here for additional information about the innovative working being done. 

In a world of stress and chaos, all of us ought to be aiming for resets. Resets are there to offer us new ways to view ourselves and the world, and new ways to cope. As Daniel Amens aptly says in his book of the same name, Change your brain, Change your life.

The stress of life calls for news ways to cope with the accelerated pace of modern society. Do desperate times call for desperate measures, as Hippocrates said?  Or do desperate times call for creative solutions that involve connection, expansion and resets. Ketamine, meditation, yoga and breathwork are some of the options aimed for these resets. All of these modalities can stand on their own or can be used to expand the possibilities for growth that exist within the psychotherapeutic space. 

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