What’s the Harm in Taking an Antidepressant?

Theatre Faces

By Kelly Brogan, MD, ABIHM

We know that all drugs have side effects. That’s just part of the deal right? But is it really possible that an antidepressant can cause a sane person to act like a cold-blooded criminal?

I imagined my audience would be wondering as much as I arrived to an unseasonably chilly day at King’s College in London. I was there to share what I have learned about the medications that I so dutifully and faithfully prescribed during the early part of my career, and also about the deep potential for healing depression in simple, safe ways, according to the latest science.

The day before my flight, I had received an email from a man who I would choose to invite on stage with me that day. His name is David Carmichael and he wrote:

“I took the life of my 11-year-old son Ian on July 31, 2004 in a Paxil-induced state of psychosis and was charged with first degree murder. I was judged to be “not criminally responsible on account of a mental disorder” in September 2005 and received an absolute discharge from the forensic psychiatric system (in Ontario, Canada) in December 2009. I’ve been off all prescription drugs since September 2010. Prior to our family tragedy, I was a physical active sports consultant with no history of violence or mental illness.”

He told an audience of clinicians and patients, that day, about how it is that a normal citizen, prescribed a seemingly safe medication for work-related stress, goes on to commit a heinous act of violence against his beloved child. This academic classroom was heaving with grief when he finished his description of events.

This must be rare, right? Totally anomalous?

Wrong.

It has become my contention that the Russian Roulette that is played with each new prescription of psychotropic medication violates the physician’s most primal tenet – first do no harm – and does so in the absence of anything approximating informed consent.

Violence as a Side Effect?

Thankfully, we are often given multiple chances to wake up to a greater truth. It’s becoming easier than ever. With grassroots platforms like madinamerica.com, the information is out there, when you are ready to look beyond main stream media to what the real victims are claiming.

The truth about antidepressants and violence is also in the most recently published literature, including a critical review, hot off the press, by Carvalho et al where the authors dive into the research on the supposed safety of SSRIs and SNRIs. In this document, they present an evidence-based horror menagerie of ways in which a simple antidepressant can derail your life if it doesn’t take it. Leaving patients with new medical diagnoses, antidepressants prescribed often for difficult transitions in life like divorces and deaths, carry documented risks that your doctor cannot possibly tell you about because if they knew of them, they would put down their prescription pad immediately.

Let’s take a tour. Neatly summarized here, the adverse effects of antidepressants can sound like that droning voice in TV ads that we are inured to because we have been told these “side effects are rare, and outweighed by the benefits.”

But the benefits are shockingly limited so, let’s take a closer look at those side effects…

The Risks That Made Me Quit Prescribing

Having always represented antidepressants as safe and effective to my patients, I put down my prescription pad after learning 3 facts about psychiatric medications:

  • They result in worse long-term outcomes [1]
  • They are debilitatingly habit forming [2][3] [4]
  • They cause unpredictable violence [5][6]

These insights were apparently just the tip of the iceberg. Several years into the horror stories of patient experiences and new relationships with grassroots activists, I am left wondering. What on earth are these meds? How could biochemistry have ever manifested molecules capable of derailing, distorting, and suppressing the human experience to this extent?

With more unknowns than knowns at this point, the signal of harm is growing and patient alignment with this model of care, diminishing.

I pulled some choice phrases from the paper for your further enlightenment below but suffice it to say that many of these side effects are major gamechanging problems if not life-ending tragedies that render the placebo-level performance of these medications totally unacceptable.

Gut disturbance:

“Some of the most frequently reported side effects associated with the use of SSRIs and serotonin noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) include nausea, diarrhea, dyspepsia, GI bleeding and abdominal pain.”

Liver toxicity:

“Two main mechanisms may be involved in antidepressant- induced liver toxicity, namely a metabolic component and/or an immuno-allergic pathway. A hypersensitivity syndrome with fever and rash as clinical manifestations, as well as with autoantibodies and eosinophilia, and a short latency period (1–6 weeks) point to a predominantly immunoallergic pathophysiological mechanism, whereas a lack of hypersensitivity syndrome and a longer latency period (i.e. 1 month to 1 year) points to an idiosyncratic metabolic mechanism.”

Weight gain:

“Notwithstanding the complexity of the clinical scenario, compelling evidence indicates that the use of most antidepressants may increase weight in a significant proportion of patients.”

Heart problems:

“SSRIs and SNRIs may promote a decrement in heart rate variability (HRV). Although the impact of the effects of antidepressants on HRV remains to be established, data indicate that a lower HRV is a significant predictor of incident cardiovascular events.”

Urinary problems:

“SSRIs can cause urinary retention by acting on central micturition pathways. Serotonin may increase the central sympathetic outflow leading to urinary storage, and at the same time inhibits parasympathetic flow, which affects voiding.”

Sexual dysfunction:

“…a significant body of data shows that antidepressants may differentially affect sexual function in multiple aspects, leading to reductions in libido, arousal dysfunction (erection in males and vaginal lubrication in females) and orgasmic dysfunctions.”

Salt imbalance:

“The mechanisms of SSRI-induced hyponatremia remain incompletely elucidated, but these agents can act by either increasing the release of antidiuretic hormone (ADH) or increasing the sensitivity to ADH resulting in a clinical picture similar to the syndrome of inappropriate secretion of ADH.”

Osteoporosis/Bone weakening:

“The use of SSRIs has been associated with a reduction in bone mineral density (BMD) and a consistent higher risk of fractures.”

Bleeding:

“All serotonergic antidepressants have been associated with an increased risk of bleeding. The most likely mechanism responsible for these adverse reactions is a reduction of serotonin reuptake by platelets, although other mechanisms have also been implicated.”

Nervous system dysfunction:

“All kinds of EPS [extrapyramidal symptoms] are seen in patients taking antidepressants, but akathisia appears to be the most common presentation followed by dystonic reactions, parkinsonian movements and tardive dyskinesia…Headache was one of the most common side effects associated with the use of antidepressants in a large retrospective cohort of adolescents and adults.”

Sweating:

“Most studies indicate that approximately 10% of patients on SSRIs may develop excessive sweating, although the incidence may be higher for paroxetine.”

Sleep disturbances:

“The SSRIs and venlafaxine are associated with increased REM sleep latency and a reduction in the overall time spent in the REM phase while sleeping.”

Mood changes:

“Many patients taking SSRIs have reported experiencing emotional blunting. They often describe their emotions as being ‘damped down’ or ‘toned down’, while some patients refer to a feeling of being in ‘limbo’ and just ‘not caring’ about issues that were significant to them before…Furthermore, an activation syndrome in which patients taking antidepressants may experience anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, aggressiveness and impulsivity in the first 3 months of treatment may ensue.”

Suicidality:

“The incidence of suicide and attempted suicide has been a frequently underreported adverse outcome across antidepressant RCTs.”

Overdose toxicity:

“Patients with MDD are at increased risk of suicide and overdosing of prescribed medications is a common method used to attempted suicide.”

Withdrawal Syndrome:

“These symptoms include flu-like symptoms, tremors, tachycardia, shock-like sensations, paresthesia, myalgia, tinnitus, neuralgia, ataxia, vertigo, sexual dysfunction, sleep disturbances, vivid dreams, nausea vomiting, diarrhea, worsening anxiety and mood Instability.”

Eye disease:

“A subset of patients taking SSRIs reports nonspecific visual disturbances…SSRIs may increase intraocular pressure and lead to the emergence of angle-closure glaucoma…A nested case-control study found a higher likelihood of cataracts after exposure to newer generation antidepressants.”

Hormonal imbalance:

“Long-standing increases in peripheral prolactin levels are occasionally observed in patients using ADs, including SSRIs [208] ; hyperprolactinemia may have deleterious health consequences (e.g. a decrease in BMD [bone mineral density] and hypogonadism).”

Pregnancy/Breastfeeding risk:

“Most of the data describing the presence of birth defects associated with SSRI use have been based on observational studies and drug registries. Therefore, the clinical significance of these data is questionable.”

Cancer risk:

“Preclinical studies have found that antidepressants can increase the growth of fibrosarcomas and melanomas, and may also promote mammary carcinogenesis.”

Whew! Now that’s depressing. And why don’t you know about these? Because your doctor doesn’t. I recently learned of a patient who was prescribed an antidepressant simultaneous to an antibiotic “just in case the antibiotic caused depression or mood changes”. We are trained to treat these medications as a “why not” application of pharmacology, and the truth is that, as the authors state:

the history of toxicology reminds us vividly of the lag that often occurs between the first approval of a drug for use in humans and the recognition of certain adverse events from that drug.”

Taking these risks seems all the more unnecessary with the robust outcomes of lifestyle medicine – multimodal, multi-tier interventions that are low cost, immediately available, and side effect free. As the authors conclude:

The findings of this review suggest that long-term treatment with new generation ADs should be avoided if alternative treatments are available.”

I would have to agree and affirm that these “alternative” treatments are indeed available. These treatments offer not only resolution of symptoms and elimination/avoidance of meds, but an entirely new experience of self. This is not about getting “back to normal,” it’s about integration, evolution, and vitality. I’ve been working for several years to make self-healing toolkits available to everyone considering an antidepressant or looking to come off of one for less than the price of one doctor visit. Check it out!

* * * * *

[1] http://www.power2u.org/downloads/AnatomyofanEpidemic-SummaryofFindings-Whitaker.pdf
[2] https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/371865
[3] https://www.madinamerica.com/psychiatric-drug-withdrawal/#/home/
[4] http://kellybroganmd.com/stop-madness-coming-psych-meds/
[5] http://kellybroganmd.com/homicide-and-the-ssri-alibi/

First published on MadinAmerica on November 6, 2016: https://www.madinamerica.com/2016/11/whats-harm-taking-antidepressant/

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Posted in anti-depressants, Depression, drugs, health, medication, mental health, research, suicide

SCIENCE CONFIRMS THAT PEOPLE ABSORB ENERGY FROM OTHERS

Spiritism

OCTOBER 10, 2016  by DAVID VANALLEN

 

Have you ever felt like being depleted of energy when with a person? A bad vibe often surrounds this experience.

According to science, everything is energy and humans are no exception to this rule. In other words, people are also subject to energy transformations.

The University of Bielefeld, Germany carried out research showing that plants can absorb energy from other plants. The study, led by the German biologist Olaf Kruse, examined energy behavior in algae, particularly in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. The results, published on Naturesite.com, revealed that this plant has another source of energy in addition to photosynthesis – energy absorbed from other algae.

The science that studies energy behavior in living things is called bioenergetics.

According to Olivia Bader-Lee, a physician and therapist, who followed the results of this investigation, our bodies behave like sponges, absorbing energy that surrounds us. “This is exactly why there are people who feel uncomfortable when they are in a certain group with a mixture of energy and emotions.

She explains, “The human body is very similar to a plant that sucks, absorbs the energy needed to feed your emotional state, and can energize the cells and increase the amount of cortisol and catabolize, feed the cells depending on the emotional need.”

This is a major reason why people are subject to mood swings making them feel nervous, stressed, angry, anxious, sad, but also happy, optimistic and amused.

As reported by Bader-Lee, man has lost this important connection with nature over the centuries. She also believes that this exchange of energy could be extremely beneficial for humanity in general.

Taken that a spirit is also energy, paranormal phenomena are nothing but expressions of different energies.

Despite the fact that every ancient nation was well aware of this phenomenon, science has somehow chosen to ignore the issue. There are barely a handful of scientists at present who can tackle this issue, with the majority of their fellow colleagues still ignoring it for fear of criticism and rejection by the scientific community.

Via peacefulcentury.net re-published on

http://reflectionofmind.org/science-confirms-people-absorb-energy-others/

  • Many people who are gifted with psychic abilities are extremely sensitive to others energies. I am often asked the question, “How can a person continue to be sensitive but not pick up others’ energies? It’s exhausting and sometimes a real downer!” Jill Leigh, Director and lead teacher at Energy Healing Institute gives a dynamite course on “Embodiment and Grounding in Spiritual Emergence” which gives practical tools to calibrate your energy field so you are not overly influenced by others’ energies. More info on http://university.imhu.org/courses/69/about

 

Posted in Energy, paranormal, research

Our Fear of Psychic Phenomena

I just returned from a fantastic conference: the 2nd International Medical Spiritist Congress, “The Dawn of a New Era in Medicine”, October 1-2, 2016, at George Washington University in Washington, DC.  The roster of speakers was world class–almost all of them were MDs and PhDs with superb presentations.  The event hall was modern, comfortable and centrally located in a highly regarded university auditorium.  The weather was perfect–early Fall with bright blue skies.  The conference was an extraordinarily well-organized, professional acknowledgement of the importance that spirituality plays in  health and longevity…but the event was not well attended.  I wondered, “why?”

One of the speakers, a prolific, published author and researcher, Etzel Cardena, PhD, spoke about “The New Psychology of Anomalous Extraordinary Experiences”.  He cited statistics on how many people all over the world are having these non-ordinary states of consciousness (NOSC)–as the psychiatrist, Stanislav Grof, calls them.  Cardena explained that 8-15% of people are having experiences that conventional psychiatry would classify as hallucinations (eg hearing voices, seeing things that others don’t perceive), and that these inner experiences can be very beneficial.  They can expand a person’s self-awareness, enhance connection to other human beings, the natural world, and spiritual dimensions,  and generate energy and enthusiasm for life.  Curiously, he said, hallucinations only occur to .3-.7% of those who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Maybe the term “hallucinations” should not be used so freely to explore non-ordinary experiences as we immediately associate that word with something that is not real.  Instead, Cardena’s term, anomalous experience (AE) is preferable.  Rather than suggest something “abnormal” like a symptom of mental illness–it suggests something out of the ordinary with great positive potential.  Amazing to think that 8-15% of people of all ages and socio-economic conditions are having these experiences that conventional psychiatry would term hallucinations and thus dub psychotic!  Think of it: A person who is hypnotized who has an inner experience of a past life experience which dissolves a long-term phobia, a meditator in an intensive retreat who feels overcome with bliss in feeling one with the Creator and all life, aka Cosmic Consciousness, a child under 6 years old who can talk about the family she had in a most recent past life, a medical intuitive who can diagnose a patient at a distance and be fully accurate in labeling an illness without ever seeing or talking to the patient or his family and healthcare providers.  These are experiences that expand our knowledge of human potential and benefit the person having them–they are not indicators of psychosis.

Cardena has being doing his best to forward the knowledge of anomalous experiences but has run into obstruction when it comes to other scientists accepting his research and publication.  I want to recommend your reading an article he wrote, published in 2015 (see below) to see into the fear of anomalous experiences that is so prevalent in our world.  Why is this important?  A statement made at the conference: “It will be mystical experience and the empathy for each other which it generates that saves us from planetary suicide.”  If so, we must stop crushing our exploration  of anomalous experiences and non-ordinary states of consciousness.  We must withdraw our fear and fully empower those brilliant souls who are bringing us closer to the territory we need to enter.  It’s time the conference on spirituality and health be full to overflowing with students, healthcare providers and the general public so we can move to higher ground in our own wellbeing and collectively, together, with the planet.

The Unbearable Fear of Psi:  On Scientific Suppression in the 21st Century

Author, ETZEL CARDEÑA, PhD

was published online December 15, 2015 in the Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 29, No. 4, pp. 601–620, 2015, 0892-3310/15

Free Download: http://www.academia.edu/19814867/The_Unbearable_Fear_of_Psi_On_Scientific_Suppression_in_the_21st_Century

The paper describes various examples of blatant attempts to

suppress and censor parapsychology research and those who are doing it.

The examples include raising false accusations, barring access to journals,

suppressing papers and data, and ostracizing and persecuting scientists interested

in the topic. The intensity of fear and vituperation caused by parapsychology

research is disproportionate even to the possibility that the psi

hypothesis could be completely wrong, so I speculate on the psychological

reasons that may give rise to it. There are very few circumstances in which

censorship might be appropriate, and the actions by parapsychology censors

put them at odds not only with the history of science but with the history

of modern liberal societies. Appendix 1 is an Editorial censored by the

then-editors of the Journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

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Posted in anomalous experience, hallucinations, Meditation, mental health, non-ordinary states of consciousness, Psychiatry, psychosis, spirituality, Spiritually Transformative Experiences

The Epidemic of Drug Overdoses in the USA: Ibogaine Can Help If We Allow It

From 2000 to 2014 nearly half a million persons in the United States have died from drug overdoses. In 2014, there were approximately one and a half times more drug overdose deaths in the United States than deaths from motor vehicle crashes. Opioids, primarily prescription pain relievers and heroin, are the main drugs associated with overdose deaths. In 2014, opioids were involved in 28,647 deaths, or 61% of all drug overdose deaths; the rate of opioid overdoses has tripled since 2000.”– January 1, 2016 Center for Disease Control, http://tinyurl.com/honbk3b

No other state has gone as hard at the opioid deluge, beginning when Governor Peter Shumlin last year devoted his State of the State address to what he called a “full-blown heroin crisis.” Since then, Vermont has emerged as a national leader on the issue. But also since then, heroin use and its related deaths have continued to rise. And no one — not the governor, not health workers, and not recovering addicts — can say with certainty if the tide will turn for good.”—April 6, 2015, Brian MacQuarrie, Boston Globe, http://tinyurl.com/h364phb
Numbers of AddictsThe statistics are terrible. The numbers stand for overwhelming human pain and financial expenditure. The addiction often leads to criminal behaviors, inability to work, the need for disability and welfare for families as well as children lost to foster care when parents are unfit for parenting responsibilities. Here in Vermont, we are ardently searching for a remedy.

Early July, 2016: A bill just passed through Congress and is onto the US Senate to pave the way for more addiction treatment and prevention programs, but the bill has no budget and provides no money to put towards these initiatives. The bright spot? It is some movement in the right direction. It also would allow physician assistants and nurse practitioners to prescribe buprenorphine, an opioid that can help wean people off stronger drugs like heroin while greatly reducing the risk of overdoses.

Many people who need treatment for addiction are going without because the health system does not have the capacity to respond to the epidemic. In addition, some people cannot afford to pay for treatment because their insurance policies do not cover it.”  -New York Times, 7/12/16, Editorial Board, Congress Is Voting on an Inadequate Opioid Bill

Iboga plantThere is no quick fix…but there is a new possibility for interrupting addictions that is proving to be extraordinarily helpful when used appropriately. The legislature in Vermont is considering doing a 3 year pilot program with this natural medicinal plant substance that has been used in West Africa for initiation rites for centuries: the Iboga plant. Research in the last 4 decades shows that it can be extremely effective (http://tinyurl.com/heo7zmd).

The alkaloid extracted from iboga’s root bark that makes it effective medicinally is called “ibogaine”. Those who have used it go on an inner journey replete with visions and return renewed, refreshed, and with no desire for their addictive substance and no withdrawal symptoms. They are ready to make new choices—free from addiction.

The “trip” lasts 12-36 hours and the visions typically follow a format of “life review” similar to what is reported by near-death experiencers. Most importantly, there is a neuro-chemical drama going on in the physical brain that dissolves the neural pathways that represent and support addiction.

Do all people finish with their addictions in this brief period? No. Reportedly, 60-70% successfully maintain a life after ibogaine in which they do not return to their previous life of addiction to alcohol, opioids, heroine, crack cocaine, or other substances. The other 30-40% find it too hard not to return to the lifestyle they know, structured around contact with other addicts who share a way of living that feels familiar, like home base. Some return fully to addiction; others more moderately. But, the success rate with ibogaine is at least 100% better than what is accomplished in other addiction treatment centers.

Ibogaine treatment also requires less time and is thus more economical. Those who transition out of addiction can return to the workforce more quickly. Fewer need to be on disability. More can become dependable and take on the responsibilities of family life. They do not have a dependency on ibogaine or want or need more.

The problem with using it is this: Ibogaine has been classified by the US Drug Enforcement Agency, DEA, as Schedule 1. They see it as having no medicinal value and potentially creating more abuse. Only 5 other countries outside the USA forbid the use of ibogaine-some European countries and Israel. All the rest allow it. Are we behind? Are we ignorant of the positive impact? Are we too hooked on pharmaceuticals to see value in natural substances that have been successfully used for centuries?

Just across our borders, in Central America, one can find places to take the extract in a set and setting that is constructed to stop addiction. These places assess each person uniquely from a medical standpoint, prepare each person physically and psychologically, compassionately supervise each one during the experience, and do aftercare to help with integration. Each of these steps is vitally important to success.  safetyring

I am not an expert in this field; I am just learning about it. But, as a person who lost a father to addiction, I know the grief and pain associated with this scourge. As a psychotherapist, I have made every effort to assist families struggling to find a way out of the paralyzing maze that addictions bring to family life. As an educator, I am in touch with the poor prognoses that come out of addiction treatment centers—and the huge financial burdens some families take on for inadequate or unsuccessful treatments. Addiction treatment centers often charge $30,000. per month for treatment that take several months and may be only 30% successful. Some clients at these centers leave addicted to a new substance—an opioid pharmaceutical, like methadone or buprenorphine, that is expensive but less toxic than heroine. That is not a cure.

 

ibogaine leads to healingIt’s time the DEA come up to speed and recognizes that ibogaine has been proven to have an immense therapeutic value and does not cause addiction. It’s time we explore using this natural medicine to not only bring us out of the epidemic we are suffering from, but create more humility, self-awareness and self-responsibility–and more freedom to choose a sustainable life. Can you name one pharmaceutical that does that?

 

 

 

——–Sign up for the IMHU newsletter to the right and receive an announcement for the brief course we will be offering on ibogaine treatment. You will be introduced via unique video interviews to Bill Smith, an ex-addict, who speaks about his personal experience, as well as Dan Engle, MD, a consulting psychiatrist at one of the world’s best ibogaine treatment centers in Mexico. Registration is available now: http://university.imhu.org/courses/73/about

 

 

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Posted in addiction, health, ibogaine, mental health

Free Gifts: Happy 3rd Anniversary!

June 2016 marks the 3-year anniversary of IMHU! I am happy to say that we have consistently received fabulous feedback for the courses and presentations we offer…and the Certification Program for “Spiritual Emergence Coaches” has taken off amidst shout-outs of praise. IMHU now offers 18 courses—most of them online, with more on the way from our fantastic faculty and guest presenters. We also offer Continuing Education credit and CMEs for licensed providers for most courses…We are truly celebrating now and, looking forward to a bright future.

In the spirit of gratitude during our Anniversary, please look at our GIFTS to YOU this week by scrolling to the end of this blog. We’re giving back! Gifts are valued at $47, $50, and $100 USD!

Thank YOU for your support!!

Recent Feedback and Our Thanks to Our Supporters

 “The webinar series on Helping Support People in Spiritual Emergency helped me integrate my spiritual emergency more than anything I have ever done or read. Profound Thanks.” …(from a peer support specialist)

“(I had) the opportunity to widen my scope of knowledge about the differences between Spiritual Emergence and Emergency and to increase my understanding of alternative treatment/helping models in other cultures…The lecture materials are stellar and I enjoyed the resources that followed each lesson. Emma is a fantastic teacher.” —Linda Ruthen, MSW

“We so need what Dr. Bragdon has to teach us. I recommend her courses highly and without reservation.” —David Anick, MD (psychiatrist)

 A BIG thank you to all of the students who have come to us—trusting in IMHU to deliver—in spite of our being new to the scene. We understand this is evidence of the need for more qualified education about Spiritual Emergence phenomena as it has been outside the range of conventional mental healthcare and education in psychiatry and psychology. Without YOU we would not be here!!!

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We measure our success in contributions we make to the peace and wellbeing of individuals on their personal journeys as well as solidifying a model that can contribute to the need to make changes in the way mental healthcare is delivered. We are trying to respond to what has been identified by the press all over the world: there is more mental disturbance now than ever before so clearly we need to make some changes in the way mental healthcare is accomplished.

We also measure our success in our ability to sustain ourselves financially. In 2015 we operated in the black—quite an accomplishment for a fledgling online school! In early 2016 we’ve been able to upgrade all of our systems so as to deliver our courses and live webinars with the best technology available…with no debts.

In the last couple of years I’ve been invited to speak at live conferences and online summits and teach in USA, Mexico, Brazil, Ireland, UK, Holland, Spain and Australia. My books are currently being used as educational resources all around the world inspiring individuals, students of psychology, and licensed healthcare providers to broaden their perspectives on spirituality and wellbeing. Deep thanks to those who put forward those invitations and served the manifestation of these events and references—it’s a joy to be sharing what I have been focused on for 30+ years!

The success of IMHU could not have been accomplished without the generosity and steady guiding hands and hearts of our Board of Directors: Paula Sellars, Bo Sasnett, and Phil Roth. Craig Wagner also graciously donated a year of his time before turning to focus on the publication of his new book, Choices in Recovery (Highly recommended!).   The skills of our part-time staff: Nancy Heidt (bookkeeper), Maggie Ellis and Kristen DeMay (web-designers) have also been essential to our success. Thank YOU!

IMHU has also gained immeasurable comfort, encouragement, and guidance from individuals: Ted Esser and Kenneth Sloan at the Grof Foundation, leadership at the International Spiritual Emergence Network and Spiritual Crisis Network in the UK, Yolaine Stout and Marie Grace Brooke of ACISTE, David Lukoff at the Spiritual Competency Resource Center, Judith Pentz, the people at Commonwealth Educational Seminars, Spiritual Emergence Network of Australia, Intentional Peer Support of VT, Ruth Buczynski of National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine, Robert Whitaker of MadinAmerica.com, Gina and Bob Nikkel of Foundation for Excellence in Mental Healthcare, Lauren Spiro of Emotional CPR, Marjorie B. Thomas of Ivanhoe Broadcast News, Elza D’Agosto at Spiritist Group Love and Light, Vanessa Anseloni, host of Kardec Radio, and other coordinators of Spiritist Societies in the USA–Daniel Santos, Kirsten DeMello, Marcelo Netto and Fred Gouveia as well as my associates in Brazil, Drs Dagmar Ramos, Jeziel Ramos, and Sergio Vencio. Mark Foster, DO, Julia Summers, Joanne Kuchera at New Health Solutions Group, Krista MacKinnon of Families Healing Together, Olga Louchakova at Sophia University, Meg Jordan at CIIS, Mark Wentworth and Leigh Allison at Mundesley Hospital, and Dabney Alix of Shades of Awakening have been generous with their support, as well. I deeply appreciate your kindnesses.

When IMHU began, the original idea was to have prominent faculty who would teach courses online under our umbrella. All who were asked said “Yes!” enthusiastically—and we have seventeen Faculty. But then I had to learn the technology of giving online courses myself first before I could show them how! Most of our faculty have now been interviewed and these interviews have become part of courses offered at IMHU as well as our A-V library. We look forward to more of our faculty teaching their own courses under the IMHU umbrella in the future—now that the technology is a known, friendly entity!

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We at IMHU thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your thoughtful giving of yourselves—and we look forward to continuing to be mutually supportive in the future.

GIFTS: For the next week, June 14-21, IMHU offers you

  1. Free for one week (usually $47usd)…Introducing “Six Integrative Psychiatrists Who Can Help with Spiritual Crisis: 2016”. These are MDs who are models for a new kind of psychiatry practice that takes a very cautious approach to psych meds. (They did not pay us for advertising and we do not have any financial relationship with them.) A fantastic way to learn about pioneers, a new way of practicing psychiatry and psychology, and what these kinds of psychiatrists have to offer. Click here to get your discount and join the course now. Click here to get more information about this very special course.

      2. A coupon worth $50. That reduces the fee for this Summer’s Online Webinar Series on How to Effectively Support Someone in Spiritual Emergency.    Click Here for the direct link to this timely                              discounted price. More information is at imhu.org/courses/spiritual-emergency

  1. A $100. reduction in fees for the unique November 13-21 tour to Brazil for Healthcare Providers to learn about the Spiritist Community Centers and Hospitals—from the psychiatists, psychologists, nurses and mediums who work there. Contact EB@IMHU.org if interested in one of the few places that are still available.

ALWAYS FREE

Take advantage of our other 3 free courses! They will remain free to you when this week has passed…as well as the free guided “Meditation for Higher Consciousness”. Brief free video interviews with our faculty and guest presenters are available at imhu.org/a-v-library.

Please remember, IMHU offers partial scholarships for those who are financially challenged. See the page: IMHU.org/courses for more information. We realize that many people who are in crisis now or have recently been in crisis are seeking information they can use; at the same time, they are financially stretched. We do our best to help out.

Be well—stay connected—and have a happy Summer here

and Cozy Winter down-under to our friends in OZ!

Emma Bragdon

Founder/Director

Integrative Mental Health for You

EB@IMHU.org

Happy Anniversary IMHU!

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Posted in Anniversary, Free
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