Spirituality And Madness

The legalisation of psychedelics for mental health treatment in Australia seems likely to present quite a few challenges to the psychiatric profession. They are going to have to come to terms with the fact that for many people, spiritual experiences play a significant part in their mental health.

Australia’s recent legalisation to legalise psychedelics for some mental health conditions has really opened a can of worms for the psychiatric fraternity. The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) are already calling out in alarm that they are not ready and need more time to figure this all out. What they aren”t yet saying is that they probably never will figure it out unless they are prepared to dramatically rethink some of their ideas. If they ever do that it could a have global impact on the entire field of psychiatry.

Main stream psychiatry is based on what is known as the biomedical model which these days assumes that all mental illness is a brain disease. Psychedelic experiences are therefore considered to just be hallucinations resulting from brain disorders.

Since ancient times, psychedelics have been used by various cultures to induce mystical or spiritual experiences.  How is the psychiatric fraternity going to get around this conundrum? It is a bit far fetched to administer drugs that are well known to induce these mystical/spiritual  states accompanied by the modern equivalent of traditional spiritual practices while at  the same time declaring the results of  these procedures to be a brain disease.

Transpersonal and humanistic psychology dates back to people like Carl Jung, Abraham Maslow and many others who have been saying for a long time that trying to understand and treat mental health without considering spiritual aspects, doesn”t make much sense. These views have typically been ridiculed and ignored by the biomedically oriented psychiatric fraternity.

Here is an article entitled “When Minds Crack, The Light Might Get In: A Spiritual Perspective on Madness” It was published in Mad in America in 2017 and written by Ron Unger. Ron is one of the unsung hero”s of  the contemporary transpersonal psychology scene.  Click here To read this article


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