By Tia Cope

I’d like to talk about “Mental Illness”. Who is “Mentally Ill” in the modern world? Right now 1 in 4 Americans live with Mental Illness—from attention deficit disorder through schizophrenia.

But if you don’t have a diagnosis, don’t worry–The DSM 5—the Bible of psychiatry—contains nearly 300 conditions. I guarantee that every person in this room meets the criteria for 1–or 3. If you use Marijuana you qualify right now for “Cannabis” disorder. Have you lost someone you love? You have “Adjustment Disorder”–if you’ve been grieving for more than 2 weeks.

Just visit a psychiatrist, or your doctor, or their nurse, and in just half an hour, you will walk away with your own permanent psychiatric label and prescriptions for the corresponding drugs.

Drugs! Drugs! Drugs!

Oh drugs, drugs! We love the drugs! There are no good or bad drugs in
America. There are only POWERFUL DRUGS!!!!!!! There’s no need to feel anything anymore! So if you feel depressed you take Prozac or Zoloft or another Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor. Doctors say Anti-depressants are not addictive, you can stop them at any time, but so many people have such terrible withdrawal-depression and anxiety and the feeling that their brains are getting zapped by electricity over and over and over. Who wants that? Just stay on the drug!

The benefits outweigh the cost.

And if you develop mania, it just means that you have earned a really hot new label. You are now bi-polar–charismatic and artistic. We’ve had a bi-polar explosion in the age of Prozac. In a survey of the members of the Manic Depressive Association, 60 percent had originally fallen ill with depression which converted to bi-polar only after taking their first anti-depressant.

But the benefits outweigh the cost.

And you won’t have to work because bi-polar is the sixth leading cause of disability in the world! Also you won’t suffer long, any shrink will tell you, mental illness and its drugs take 10 to 20 years of off your life! So!

The benefits outweigh the cost!

After all, you are sick with a chronic progressive brain thing from which no one ever recovers. You’re BIG PHARMA’s fattest cash cow so one way or another you’ll be taking those drugs. You’ll be paying for those drugs with your life! So
who benefits and who pays the cost?

You belong to a group whose civil rights are forfeit—if your sickness is madness—they can throw you in the psych ward, shoot you up with medication, zap you with some electricity—who really needs their memories? No one cares because you’re crazy, and society is afraid of you, doesn’t see you, you’re a mess!

To think it all started when you went in for some help at the lowest moment of your life. And how do you get better when you’ve been through all that and you’re stuck in your own private Hell?

Just a “thing” nobody wants to see.

Well, this is what happened to me. When I got sick it started with a medicine—not a psychiatric medicine, but one I took to make more milk for baby. I took it for 2 months then I made my worst mistake.

I stopped taking it way too fast.

The withdrawal was horrific, the world went black, I couldn’t sleep, and I was trapped behind a kind of window. On the other side, my family, my baby, right there. But I couldn’t break through. So we went to the professionals who put me on some Zoloft, and then I didn’t sleep for two weeks–I had a manic reaction to an anti-depressant, so I was no longer Tia.I was bi-polar. Just a “thing” nobody wants to see.

I was terrified that I might hurt my baby accidentally because I just couldn’t sleep. And the drugs made me sick and sicker, and sicker, but they said it was psychosomatic—a symptom of my illness, and if I didn’t take them, chances were I’d kill what was left of me.

And I could have been trapped there, but I found a different label—psychiatric survivor. And there are thousands of us- non-compliant and drug free. I’m not bi-polar- I don’t know what that is. I’ll leave it for others to decide. But I don’t have any symptoms of a chronic progressive brain thing. I’m healed and that means there’s hope for you.

Now I’m not saying that the drugs should go away. If you’re sick, use whatever treatment helps you. But are we getting better with this medical model? The numbers don’t support it. Madness is exploding, disability rates are soaring, mental hospitals overflowing into prisons! When all the people of the world are at each other’s throats, and religion used for slaughter, and the planet’s life in danger—madness is a natural response!

Wild Horses

We need their unique talents, perspective, and sensitivity.

But we cannot afford to sink into despair. We need our crazy people. We need their unique talents and perspective and sensitivity.

We must wrap our arms around ourselves and each other, drop the violence, and get to work. Share your voices and your visions, feel emotions!

You’re important! Take your place in the glorious design of humanity’s evolution and we will plant a garden and live our precious short time.

Nourishing the nervous system.

Tia Cope is a healer, actress, vocalist, and mother. She teaches nutrition and homeopathic remedies such as Nourishing the Nervous System at Rhizome Apothecary. She is a writer and performer with the Shamanic Dolls and sings with Denver’s Riverside Drive.  For more information about Tia email