Addressing Mental Illness

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Sitting here sipping on my favorite Jasmine tea with a touch of honey out of the coolest Batman mug; I started thinking that I should address the ever-growing issue of mental health and the occult. There are a couple of reasons for this; one, I, personally, have my own share of mental disorders that make everyday tasks unique and often difficult. Two, I have noticed a rise in mental illness around the world as well as an ever-present disregard of the governing bodies in regards of proper care and treatments for said illnesses.

Speaking from experience, everything from finding a mental health professional that’s not financially driven to write prescriptions for a million different drugs that, for those like myself, often make us feel worse than before and/or gives us new medical issues when trying to cope with the ones we already have. One of the many reasons why I took up herbs for healing as well as dietary adjustments, which have proven very effective. Also, the difficulties with having a service animal only adds to the already heavy straw pile on this poor little camel’s back.

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Finding work, looking after the animal’s personal needs, dealing with naive ill-informed rude people on an everyday basis, travel, finding a suitable puppy, training, gear, learning all the laws and regulations, and having to constantly educate not only establishment employees on my rights and the laws but anyone who can’t read the huge high contrast lettering on my dog’s vest and multiple patches all stating to not distract or touch him.

If you’re unable to work outside the home, like me, then you may be familiar with the struggles of getting any aid at all. Getting insurance, you’re roommate makes too much money for you to have insurance and you’re too poor to get private or even do sliding scale options. Finding financial programs to help out, you’re poor enough for them, but you have aren’t labeled as disabled by a doctor, which you can’t see cause you can’t afford the proper care, including state care. You’re denied Social Security Disability because you’re not damaged enough and not seeing a doctor, and due to that, you’re able to work a normal job. It’s a vicious cycle. The only reason I’m doing ok, for the most part, is because of my husband.

There are so many other stories out there just like mine. Now throwing in the whole occult and magickal aspects, we have to be extra careful of what and how we practice. I know how it must sound or what you may be thinking, “But, Willow, how can your mental illness affect your magick?” Well, if you’re not in the right frame of mind, your emotions are out of control, or you just can’t seem to stay focused you probably should take a step back before you hurt yourself or worse, someone else. Yes, you can cause damage with magick. Remeber that magick is all about bringing change in some way.

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Let’s say you have PTSD, as I do, and you’re doing some spirit-work such as communication or summoning. Suddenly your concentration is broken and you have a flashback or panic attack. You lose control of the energies in the ritual/spell, you’ve lost your mental imaging, and your own energy and mood drastically shift to the polar opposite of what you need it to be in your work. If that was a healing spell, congratulations, you just unintentionally dumped a ton of intense negative energy into it and possibly caused more harm than you were trying to heal. What if it was a protection spell? Well, great news, it’s now a curse possibly turning your target you’re trying to protect into a beacon for the nasties you’re trying to ward off.

You have to be extra vigilant and aware of your current mental states when you’re attempting something that could go horribly wrong if you have an episode. I learned this lesson the hard way when I accidentally set loose and enraged a spirit I was attaching to a protection charm. I had to do major cleanings and purifications on everyone in my home, the property and home itself as well as all the tools I was using in the creation of the batched charm. It was my fault because I thought I was mentally ok to work and skipped my meditation and grounding routine before working. These steps are even more imperative to someone who struggles with mental disorders or illnesses.

Know yourself and your current state beforehand. Not all work is to be avoided. For instance, I still do research, studying and the like. Working mainly on my own book of shadows and lots of shadow work (self-discovery and exploration magick). My blog posts can reflect as much being mainly fairytales lately due to some difficulties I’ve been dealing with on this side of the screen.

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So instead of trying to explain everything and how to work with yourself in an easy to understand way, I’m going to find some great resources for you guys and add them here as I find them. Being aware of the stigma towards mental illness, in general, is one step closer to helping resolve it. Remember, you’re not alone. Everyone has issues and not everyone you come across will understand your struggles. Just keep in mind that they may be struggling, too.

Be Well and Be Blessed.

-Lovegood

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