Some of you may already know this, but for those of you who do not, May is Mental Health Awareness month!!!!
I always love this month, not only because May is historically quite beautiful here in Saint Louis, MO, but also because mental health is my ‘jam!!!!
Mental and emotional health is my thing; it’s one of the things that I most love to give
energy too in both my personal and professional lives!
And I didn’t know this, but Mental Health Awareness month was started in 1949 by the Mental Health America organization and has consistently been celebrated since then, in the month of May.
So, this has been happening for a very long time. Way cool.
I guess it’s just only becoming more noticeable as mental health is becoming less
I was talking the other day about mental health diagnoses, and how, as a licensed mental health clinician, I believe that people are often mis-diagnosed with mental health illness as a result of the limitations of our western approach to medicine.
Let me explain.
In the western approach to medicine, there is an over-emphasis on pharmaceutical
intervention and treatment interventions based upon what the managed care driven
systems *deem* evidence-based and they are willing to reimburse.
Providers want to deliver the outcomes that insurance companies recognize as
legitimate for reimbursement.
What this means is that insurance companies are dictating clinical treatment and
interventions based upon evidence based outcomes in order to receive reimbursement.
And because of this limitation, sometimes there is no language to apply to situations
where a person might not necessarily have mental illness, but they are struggling.
Especially if it is not of an evidence-based type of struggle.
I tend to agree wholeheartedly with Carl Jung, who believed that most of people’s
distress was related to the fact that they had lost connection with their spirit.
Unfortunately, one losing their connection with their spirit is difficult to quantify or speak
about in any sort of evidence-based way that an insurance company would recognize.
That said, it looks a lot like depression, Bipolar, anxiety and can manifest in a myriad of
ways such as through addictions, adjustment disorders, low functioning, hyperactivity,
difficulty concentrating or following through, forgetfulness and so on.
Bottom line, when you’ve lost your connection with your spirit, you are going to struggle.
And the longer your struggle goes on, i.e., the longer you miss that the real issue is
disconnection from your spirit, the more intense the difficulty in your life becomes.
It happens this way because that’s the only way you’re going to recognize that something important needs to happen if we’re going to find the peace and satisfaction that everyone is looking for in their lives.
Sadly, our mental health care system does not have the language or perspective to
understand this and so instead uses mental health diagnosis to dictate how a person
must be clinically treated in order to “manage” their symptoms and have a functional life.
To be clear, I’m not saying that mental health diagnoses are a bad thing.
I know that for many people, having a paradigm or a lens through which you can
understand more about what’s going on in your life, can help you feel less alone, less
overwhelmed. It can bring you relief.
Part of being human is to crave certainty and information in order to understand.
What I am suggesting is that rather than quickly putting a mental health diagnosis label
on your struggle, what if you were not mentally ill, but rather undergoing a deeper
evolution in your essence?
What if your struggle was about growing into the next dimension of your aliveness?
You know the story about the caterpillar and why it’s so challenging for them to get out
of the chrysalis, right? It’s because the struggle to get out of this tightly enclosed space is
exactly what has to happen to get the blood flowing in their wings so that they can fly...…..into the next phase of their life as a butterfly.
What if that is what your struggle is really about?
What if you’re really starting to become a butterfly right now and you are breaking out of
your own emotional chrysalis, that has been very important and necessary for you to get
to where you are at this critical moment in your life?
What if instead of breaking down, you are actually breaking open?
And that this breaking open has to happen in this way, at this time, for reasons that your
brain may never, ever know. Your heart will and does though. I promise.
All growth is counterintuitive. It’s going to look and feel exactly like the opposite of what
you think it will be.
Trust me, I know from both personal and professional experience on this one.
Even though this struggle is the next step in your growth, and the exact thing that has to
happen in order for you to find your way back to who you were designed to be in this
lifetime, you still get to have feelings about it for sure.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, scared, anxious, confused, uncertain, uncomfortable, stuck, irritable, or just downright agitated, it sure as heck sounds like it’s your time to grow. Reach out.
Each of us has to have connections in our growth process. That’s the only way you’re
going to get to where you need to go in order to reconnect to your spirit.
It’s in finding your way back to your spirit, in this next phase of your growth, that your
peace and satisfaction will follow.
#timetogrow #caterpillar #butterfly #transformationcounselingllc
Kate is an INFJ-3 on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Enneagram.