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Mental Illness & Spirituality

Date: 07-30-12
Host: George Noory
Guests: Dr. Seth Farber, Dr. Andrew Newberg, Paul Levy

During the middle two hours, dissident psychologist and co-founder of the Network Against Coercive Psychiatry, Dr. Seth Farber, discussed how the Mad Pride movement developed in the last ten years as the successor to mental patients' liberation movement, and teaches that many forms of "mental illness" are actually spiritual experiences. Paul Levy, who had a spiritual awakening that was labeled mental illness, also joined the conversation. Farber labeled the Mental Health System, the "Mental Death System," as he believes it does more to harm people than help them. Early on in his career, he encouraged a young schizophrenic to get off the antipsychotic drugs he was prescribed, and the patient informed him about the mental patients' liberation movement (Farber noted that people who are on psychiatric medications should wean themselves off slowly rather than quitting abruptly).

"It's been my experience dealing with many schizophrenics over the years that the ones that stay on these drugs, don't get better, and they go from one crisis to another," he said, adding that the antipsychotic prescriptions were among the biggest money makers for the pharmaceutical companies. The overwhelming majority of schizophrenics (often called bi-polar nowadays) are not violent and get a bad rap because because of more sensationalized murder cases, Farber indicated.

Paul Levy discussed his transformative awakening that occurred to him in 1981, in which he entered an altered state and saw himself as part of the oneness of creation rather than separate from everything else. He was committed to a mental hospital, whereupon he seemingly healed a fellow patient of blindness, but the doctors wouldn't acknowledge this and suggested he was delusional. Humanity itself is in a collective psychosis, with people feeling they are separate from each other, Levy argued. But because psychiatry is based on the model of the separate self, a person that perceives otherwise, becomes pathologized, he lamented.

The last hour of the show featured Open Lines.

Communication Strategies

First hour guest, neuroscientist Andrew Newberg talked about communication strategies to build trust and resolve conflict. The human brain can only hold on to a small amount of information at one time, so it's generally more effective to be succinct in order to get your point across, he said, noting that when one person goes on too long, they become harder to follow. By paying attention to the person who is speaking to you, and trying to understand what they are saying, you can become more compassionate, Newberg continued. Further, our body language often conveys more than what our words are saying.

News segment guests: Doug Hagmann, Catherine Austin Fitts, Peter Breggin

Bumper Music

Bumper music from Monday July 30, 2012

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