Mental Illness and Coping - Mental Health Coach A.J. Mahari - Coaching for People with Mental Illness and/or their Loved Ones
Mental Illness as it is referred to these days is chalk full of black-and-white, all-or-nothing stereotypes and stigma. Most this stigma comes from society in general, media, even many facets of the mental health care delivery system, biopsychiatry, and the pathologizing of people. What is true about mental illness and what is myth? What does it even really mean to be referred to as mentally ill? Is mental illness the opposite of mental health? Seems almost like a logical conclusion doesn't it? Only problem with that, however, is that in order to understand mental illness as the opposite of mental health, first, there would need to be a definitive and universally agreed upon definition of mental health - there isn't.
There is No Such Thing as Normal
Because it is true that there is no objective "normal" that is agreed upon or known by any group or profession that can actually stand up to intellectual and critical questioning, how is it then, that psychiatrists, the creators of the DSM's can so define what is and isn't normal? Against what, really, do they measure, "abnormal" and for what purpose, really?
If you dare to not just follow the conventional, albeit, not necessarily rational or independently quantifiable notions of the mental health profession that normal and abnormal can be measured by their subjectively decided upon polarity to each other, quickly not only will you actively engaging questioning such a black-and-white paradigm (rather like the traits that they use to define personality disorders, don't they?) that is made out to be so complex when really it is overly simple, but you can instantly become empowered. That's right. Empowered. Empowered to realize that you can learn coping skills, gain insight and awareness, change and/or compensate for difficulties or challenges or aspects of your thinking/perceiving, feeling, acting/behaving, experience in and of life and relationships that will pave the way to much more effective coping, balance, and even wellness in your life.
The 1990's were coined "the decade of the brain". For it was in this decade that biopsychiatry, the medical model of psychiatry met with a powerful partner and an incredible marketing campaign that has convinced millions of mental health consumers that mental illness is a "brain disorder" or "brain disease" without any substantive actual proof whatsoever. This information was first put out the American public and mental health profession by way of seemingly irrefutable "brain studies" that made these claims in the name of science. A science of smoke and mirrors that has been a great source of misinformation. Firstly, you need to know that the studies that came to the unproven conclusion that mental illness is a "brain disorder" and therefore medical and therefore then can be treated with medication was fronted by many in psychiatry who were well paid for the use of their names and reputations. Psychiatrists long since having been shunned by medical doctors as not really doctors found a way to act as-if they were really medical doctors after all. How? Along came the pharmaceutical industry, largely, initially in the United States. What is known as biopsychiatry today is nothing more than a front for Big Pharma. Big Pharma has an obvious agenda, and it's not curing or even helping the mentally ill. No. It's making money selling unproven, often not tested enough drugs - drugs that often have worse side effects than the mental illness they are given to people for - in the name of the results of supposed studies that they funded that mental illness is a "brain disorder" requiring medication. Amazing isn't it really? Then Big Pharma with tons of money being made off of mental health consumers who believed the scam of biopsychiatry has become a dominant marketing force with drug commercials, again especially in the United States on the air round the clock, on the internet, in print media as well. The message is that if you have a form of mental illness you need these drugs. When really the reality is that you are far better served by traditional talk therapy and/or Life Coaching, Social Workders, that is to say, being listened to and supported, validated, and given feedback from those whose mission it is to help those with mental illness learn to cope and actually find recovery. People who cannot prescribe medications and most of whom wouldn't even if they could. Why? Well, becaus we know just how much real measurable healthy change is possible without medication. We know and understand that the marketing campaigns of Big Pharma fronted by biopsychiatry and the propaganda about mental illness being written into the DSM-IV now is not in the consumer's best interest.
Coaching is a Very Practical and Helpful Process To Create Healthy Change
Because there is no magical pill now, has never been, and will not ever be when it comes to what professionals define as mental illness, it is important that you research this for yourself. This is why mental health coaching, like the services that I offer, can and are helping people to empower themselves and change their lives. Simply because the answers and coping tools and skills many need to learn for more effective coping and functioning are not based upon what is wrong with you. They are based upon who you are as a person facing challenges in your life that have more to do with the way you think and how that leaves you feeling which has a lot to do with how you processed and perceived your experience than it does with anything to do with the hard-wiring of and in your brain. This means that what you have learned to think, feel, react to and so forth, you can unlearn. You can replace what you've learned that no longer works for you with tools, skills, and techniques that will work for you.
Taking a postive-psychology based and philosophical approach to mental illness that stresses its role and place within the realm of human experience versus the pathologizing and stigmatizing stereotypical narrow point of view of many mental health professionals and biopsychiatry in particular, my mental health coaching, empowers people to create healthy and lasting change in their lives. Labels truly belong on jars - not on people. There is a spectrum of human traits that along with varied human experience creates a mix that can mean pain and suffering and being out of balance in ways that leave people experiencing human traits - human traits that psychiatry pathologizes and decides arbitrarily are unwanted ways of being in the world - in more intense and extreme ways. This coupled with shame, feeling worthless, not feeling good enough, feeling broken or too damaged and having low self-worth and low self-esteem can be addressed amazingly well in mental health coaching. Each new way you empower yourself to think about your experience and past perceptions is step toward creating lasting change that will improve the quality of your life and of your relationships.
I have been described by many as an expert in the areas of coaching and counselling in which I work with clients. What makes me an expert? Well, not really the University degrees I have, but even more so, my real life experience. I am a person who was labelled by psychiatry as having a few "things" that they thought were "wrong" with me and that they thought I'd have forever. They tried to put me in their little diagnositc category boxes and shove medication at me. I refused the medication. I refused to be shoved into a box and told that I'd live within the confines of it for the rest of my life. No one has to live within the confines of any mental health diagnosis, taking pills that block you from the very awareness that you need to improve your life. If you believe the box they stick you in is who you are, you may well remain stuck in that way of experiencing and perceiving life. You don't have to, however. What you think creates your experience. You can change what and how you think. You can learn new ways to think and you can come to understand who you really are and what that means for you in your life. You can empower yourself. You don't have to stay stuck. Limits are just challenges to be overcome. They are not limiting in and of themselves. Limits imposed upon you by the judgment of another, in any area of life, only have power if you let them have it. Take back your power. Learn to cope more effectively. Learn to challenge negative thoughts, perceptions, feelings, and experience. Let me help you to become your own brain mechanic. It is so possible!
I was also the child of a borderline/narcissistic mother and a borderline/narcissistic father (alcoholic too). I am still an adult child of one BPD/NPD (co-morbid) parent living, my mother. I was the scapegoated child as so often chosen (consciously or unconsciously) by BPD and/or NPD mothers, let alone co-moridly both.
Many of the journeys my clients are on are journeys that I have taken. That's not to say life is perfect for me, no, however, I have managed quite well to heal and recover from my family of origin (not just immediately family either) and their dysfunctionally abusive toxic relational dynamics. It's not really about "relating" or "communicating" in families like the one I came from. Going no contact was very helpful at a certain point in my life. It was undertaken by me to heal me. As years passed since my recovery in 1995 from BPD, sexual abuse, psychological/emotional abuse, physical abuse, and the legacy (on-going as of Jan 3, 2016) of my Narcissistic/Borderline Mother) of a family of origin taught by my mother to scapegoat me as manipulated initally to do so by her lies and victim mentality.
It is possible to heal and recover from Narcissistic (and Borderline) abuse of parents, partners, (any relationship type really) and be the you that you are meant to be and move forward not being caught up in family of origin drama, chaos, pathology, hatred, scapegoating, attempts to blame, to shame, to leave one (I'm "it" in the Family of origin from which I came but to whom I never belonged) behind and to, in many cases, for life, punish that scapegoat as an abject projection of the narcissist/borderline mother's (parents') own self-hatred. I help people to gain awarenesss as to why they are repeating old patterns in their adult relationships and what to do about it.
As a life coach I provide a caring, compassionate, safe, confidential, non judgemental, validating and supportive relationship within which clients can feel empowered to explore their present-day needs. I essentially act as a human mirror for my clients. I share with my clients an outside and unbiased perspective as to what I observe in listening to their feelings, experiences, and concerns.
If you would like to get more information about my life coaching sevices on the above listed issues or an issue in your life that isn't listed above please contact me at: ajmahari.ca/contact