I have been teaching at the Foundations Freedom and Recovery Conference this week at Hotel del Coronado, San Diego, CA. Wanted to share with you some feedback from a first time conference attendee who came to find out what help is available for loved ones who suffer from addictions….
“First of all I thank God that he led me to come to this conference and thank everyone who organized and planned this conference. I learned so much and met so many good people. I had a wonderful opportunity to attend my first 12-step meeting. Most of all I met Durga and had a chance to participate in her teaching and class. I will try to implement her teaching to my current practice when I return home. I plan to return back to this conference next time again if situation allows me. I can’t thank you and everyone enough.” J.J. MD
I see so many people in recovery blossom with the work they do, it is a miraculous transformation to witness. We are simply following the flowers, watch how they do it!
Happy Spring – rise up and shine
We are having a wonderful Yoga of Recovery retreat down here on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. Teaching the first session to the guests, The 6 Tenets of Yoga of Recovery – the roots of our addictive behaviors, one guest commented at the end of the session… “This is the most intelligent discussion I have ever heard on addiction.”
It is such a joy to share vedic wisdom with people in recovery.
Jan 2012, the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) opened the “Yoga Room” The first of its kind in the country, located in Terminal 2, adjacent to the Terminal’s Recompose area. It’s equipped with hardwood floors and Yoga mats.
First DSM (1952) had 106 disorders, the number has almost tripled. Are we getting sicker, or is something else at play?
The DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) is widely regarded as the bible of psychiatric diagnoses. Its authority extends not only to this country’s schools, prisons, court system, and health-insurance industry, where it is daily invoked, chapter and verse, but also around the world, where it is highly influential in defining mental illness. It’s currently in its fourth edition, and a fifth is due out in 2013. With each edition the number of diagnoses greatly increases, and the thresholds for meeting them are routinely lowered. The number of people who can be defined as mentally ill has grown to the point where Darrel Regier of the American Psychiatric Association says that mental disorders affect some 48 million Americans in their lifetimes. That’s one in six people. And he’s basing that judgment entirely on DSM criteria and language.
Behaviors once understood as reactions to one’s environment and upbringing are increasingly seen as innate conditions of brain chemistry, resulting from problematic levels of neurotransmitters, especially serotonin. Lane suggests that because of the open-ended language in the DSM and the wide range of behaviors it pathologizes, anyone who is shy, as he was as a teenager, now risks being diagnosed as mentally ill. The new disorders were “obviously music to the ears of drug companies,” he says, “insofar as they massively increased the market for their products, which the media greeted with incredible enthusiasm.”
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately one in four Americans suffers from a diagnosable mental disorder. Our society has gone further than any other in classifying unwanted behaviors and emotions as diseases demanding medical — and often pharmaceutical — treatment.
Emotional distress is highly individualized, and we shouldn’t come to any general conclusions about it. ..
People who have been taught that “mental illnesses are brain diseases” see psychiatric patients as dangerous and unlikely to recover. And those in crisis are often understandably reluctant to consult mental-health professionals, because the stigma of mental illness is so severe: it’s possible to lose your job, your home, and your family as a consequence of being diagnosed with a mental illness. In cultures that take a social view of emotional distress, by contrast, people more readily seek help because they aren’t as likely to be ostracized and are assumed to be capable of full recovery.
The World Health Organization did an international study comparing outcomes for patients diagnosed with schizophrenia in “developed” countries — including the U.S., the United Kingdom, Denmark, and others — and in “developing” countries such as Colombia, Nigeria, and India. To their astonishment, they found that outcomes were much better in the developing countries. As often happens when a study produces unexpected results, the findings weren’t believed at first. So the study was repeated a few years later with a more stringent definition of what constituted improvement for the patients. The results were the same.
Two hypotheses have been put forward to explain these findings. One is that developing countries don’t use medications over the long term because they can’t afford it. Without long-term medication, patients don’t become chronically disabled. The other hypothesis is that people in developing countries are more likely to be cared for at home and be a part of their community, rather than being isolated or sent away to a hospital, and this helps them recover.
Well said, this comment on Whitney Houston’s death in the NY Times