On Spiritual Emergency, Shamanism, Mental Illness, Therapy, and Anti-Psychiatry Sentiment in the General Pagan/Polytheist Community | Foxglove and Firmitas

Having an illness is not a weakness. It’s not something to be ashamed of. Seeking out help is a show of strength. And there’s a certain grace to the person who finds themselves having to do this over and over again in an attempt to find the key that will unlock relief for them.

Let’s stop romanticizing the dangers of things like shaman sickness sending a person out into the wild to freeze to death. Or, at the very least, if we’re going to pretend that we’d be better off in tribal society, let’s look at how our society, our little religious community, treats those who are sick… We still send them out into the cold to freeze to death. Only we do it with shame and perpetuating the myths that modern medicine is never the answer. We do it with turning our eyes away and not speaking up when we’re worried about a friend who seems to be having a particularly hard time…

On Spiritual Emergency, Shamanism, Mental Illness, Therapy, and Anti-Psychiatry Sentiment in the General Pagan/Polytheist Community | Foxglove and Firmitas

I wanted to share this quote (and the entire post, which you can read here) because it’s important for the pagan/polytheist community as a whole to read.  But I’m pulling out a different quotation from it than the others who have shared it on their personal blogs, because I’m coming at this from the perspective of someone whose shaman sickness/spiritual emergency took the form of a chronic physical illness (fibromyalgia) instead of a mental one.  Except, I don’t know if I can even say that, since many doctors refuse to see fibro as a physical illness, even with its primarily physical symptoms; many of them see it as a mental illness, a case of wires being crossed in the brain so that a person experiences pain where there shouldn’t be any.  (I understand their reasoning for this: they don’t understand fibro because although there are parameters for identifying it, it doesn’t show up in blood tests or any other sot of laboratory-provable way.  Therefore, they shove it into that great abyss wherein resides all other things that they do not understand: the brain.)

In addition to this, fibro is often accompanied by brain fog and depression (because who the hell wouldn’t be depressed when they’re in pain all the time and have trouble thinking clearly and remembering shit, when previously they didn’t?), and as a result they treat it with anti-depressants, and very rarely with opoids or other meds designed to actually treat the pain symptoms. (Since the pain isn’t really there, it’s all in your head, right?) My current doctor is leaving me on my Tramadol and Gabapentin because they seem to be working but she was frank about her preference for a “lifestyle” approach to treating fibro: sleep, exercise, good nutrition, and stress avoidance.  (She’s my doctor primarily because she readily agreed to support my intermittent FMLA usage–which apparently is not a common thing, but meshes nicely with her lifestyle philosophy; it’s hard to avoid stress if you’re working 8-10 hours a day with the general public.) I was doctor-shopping not too long ago (when my previous doctor decided to close her private practice and go work with “underserved” people; I would argue that chronic pain patients are also underserved but that’s neither here nor there) and found that many “pain specialist” doctors will tell you outright that they do not prescribe pain medication for chronic pain patients.  In what way are they purporting to treat pain, then?  (Not everyone is a freaking drug addict out to make you lose your medical license.  Seriously. There is such a thing as actual chronic pain, and it isn’t always just in our heads.)  In addition, most rheumatologists will not see fibromyalgia patients; I had a rheumy back when we lived in Philadelphia, but it turns out that was because I had the good luck (?) to also have cervical arthritis; I think she treated the fibro too just as a courtesy.

Anyway, my point here is that the medical community can be just as bad as the pagan/polytheistic community when it comes to certain conditions: if you have something they don’t understand or don’t want to deal with, they all but put you out into the cold to freeze to death.  In some respects, modern medicine really hasn’t progressed all that much since the historical examples given in Camilla’s post. People like to refer to fibromyalgia as a “fashionable” disease, and many of them roll their eyes a little if you mention having it (as if there is some kind of insider’s joke surrounding it), but it isn’t a joke and it isn’t fashionable; it is something people like me have to wage a constant battle to get adequate treatment for.  Along with the constant battle we fight to get our limitations taken seriously by bosses and co-workers, since we don’t look sick.  (It’s why it’s called an “invisible illness,” people.)

Since this is a spiritual blog, how has this affected my spiritual life?  Well, as I began this post by saying, it was my spiritual emergency; it was part of my breaking process that opened me to Odin and got my “godphone” working in general.  (And the medicine I’ve taken to combat it–whether anti-depressant or directly pain-related– has not in any way dimmed my signal clarity, by the way.) I’m not going to say He brought it on me (because I don’t think that), but He definitely used it to help Him get inside my head more quickly that He might otherwise have been able to. Whether this was the “madness road” or the “sickness road,” I can’t even say, because the pain I experienced prior to being medicated convinced me that I must have lost my mind; it started off with my not being able to stand up straight for a period of several weeks, and progressed from there. Waking and sleeping took on a different character than before, and the edges of reality were permanently blurred. Pain ruled my existence, and before medication there was only Odin to offer me respite from that. It was during this period that I split from my mortal spouse, Jo moved in, and my entire world shifted.  Lots of good things have come from the fact that this happened, but while it was actually happening I can truly say it was pure crap.

I continued to go to work everyday because if I didn’t I would have had no place to live and no way to feed my daughter and my animals; we frequently had to scrounge for change to buy food as it was. I no longer had a car at my disposal (and haven’t had one since) and we had to walk everywhere, hauling groceries in a shopping cart, while all the while I was in a state of constant pain and exhaustion. But possibly worst of all, when it began to occur to me that this was possibly some form of shaman sickness and I broached the subject with my spirit worker “community,”  I was quickly slapped down and told that what was happening to me wasn’t all-encompassing or dramatic enough, somehow, to fit that description–as if anyone else could presume to be a judge of how dramatic my inner experience was.  I suppose that since I didn’t quit my job and become a homeless person wearing nothing but newspaper, I just didn’t fit the profile–never mind that this, this exact experience, is what led to my being able to converse with gods, perform divination and seidhr, and spin enchantments into wool.

This, for me, is yet another example of how our communities have romanticized shaman sickness; if it doesn’t fit the exact parameters of how we think it works in a third world society someplace across the globe, it doesn’t count.  Also, if you don’t magically get well at the end of the opening process, or if you have to continue taking ant-depressants or pain meds to continue to be able to function, it clearly wasn’t shaman sickness–just plain old sickness. You end up caught between a medical community that isn’t sure it wants to treat you and a religious community that doesn’t think your experience is real or valid. If that isn’t being shoved out into the cold to freeze to death, I don’t know what is.  Good thing for me my god knows His way around in the cold.






24 thoughts on “On Spiritual Emergency, Shamanism, Mental Illness, Therapy, and Anti-Psychiatry Sentiment in the General Pagan/Polytheist Community | Foxglove and Firmitas

  1. I do not doubt that your experience with this is a major factor to your ability to access and rely on spiritual assistance. I would bet that other people would be more likely to view your experience if you were able to overcome your condition with your new path. Instead, I think you are splitting it into spiritual and physical by relying on medications that are re-wiring your brain through continued use. I hope you learn to work through the pain to overcome it without meds. Regardless of whether addiction is viewed as hedonistic or distasteful, addiction itself is something you are signed up for when you continue to take those meds. Drs. don’t prescribe them long term because there are serious risks. Even psychosomatic problems like tummy aches, back pain, and asthma are controllable with practice and the knowledge that your mind has the power.

    • THIS. THIS right here–this attitude–illustrates my entire point perfectly. Did you even read the original post by Camilla? I started to not approve this comment but I am just going to let it stand as an illustration of the problem. People can suffer from mental illness or chronic physical illness and take prescription medication without being addicts (and I have friends who will just LOVE your reference to asthma being psychosomatic). I suppose you’re a doctor, too?

      • Actually I have had problems with asthma and anxiety. I have helped my daughter through hers. I struggle and I search and I beg to differ with you on some details. I have only Hope for you and no judgment. I was trying to give you a different perspective since you seem to not understand why people weren’t validating your suggestion. This was not a response to Camilla’s posting. And yes if you take an addictive drug for long term, you will suffer the withdrawals of addiction without it. I am sorry that you are so offended by my suggestion. I am quite frank sometimes. I am not near you so there is only so much compassion I can accommodate, but I am trying to connect on the intellectual level concerning your problem. I’ve read journal articles about the prescription of antidepressants for any of their listed psychosomatic illnesses. Although not a doctor, I read doctor’s books and literature. I agree, It is insulting to sit in a doctor’s office complaining about tummy troubles and being given a script for antidepressants. Somehow they think that if it falls under psychosomatic, it can be solved in the brain. So they are wrong sometimes.

        • I’m not sure what you mean about people not validating my “suggestion,” however one of the people who I have heard propounding the “it’s only shaman sickness if you get well afterwards” bullshit actually has Lupus, thereby invalidating his own theory. (Perhaps he has changed his opinion since the writings he said this in; I wouldn’t know as I’ve stopped reading him). If you look at the anthropological studies of societies where shamanism is an active and recognized phenomenon, you actually find that the shamans do *not* necessarily get well and go merrily skipping on their way. They live on the outskirts of society and have to do a complicated dance (metaphorically speaking) to maintain their health, and I’m sure the measures taken include herbs (aka medicines). Do you think they avoid the ones that are psychoactive (and thus potentially addictive), or do you think they use whatever their spirits tell them to use, whatever helps to alleviate their pain and allow them to function well and do their Jobs? (The fact that I know damned well, from my own reading, that these shamans do not just “get well” is why I said “the way we think it works” in third world cultures, rather than the way it actually does. This was an ironic reference on my part to the fact that we romanticize shaman sickness. I’m guessing you missed the irony.)

          You want to know the truth? I don’t give an actual fuck whether or not anyone considers what I went though–and am still going through–to be shaman sickness. People can think whatever they want, and will; why should I trouble myself with that? (There’s a saying about opinions and assholes that applies here.) I know what I can do, and so do the people who come to me for readings, are helped by what I write on my blog, or buy the things I make. But that isn’t the point. The point was that people who have both chronic illnesses and spiritual awakenings are fucked from both ends, by both the medical establishment and their own so-called communities. On one end, they can’t get the care they need, are told their illness isn’t real, and are accused of being opiate-seeking addicts. (And by the way, regardless of its recent upgrade to a protected substance, in terms of opiates Tramadol is pretty small change, believe me. It takes the edge off my pain, and that’s about it.) On the other end, they’re damned for being opiate-seeking addicts by people like you who think everything can be solved by essential oils and meditation, AND told their spiritual experience isn’t real or valid if they can’t control their bodies 100% with the power of prayer and/or their minds. This doesn’t jive with the example of real third-world shamans who continue to be ill though, or of Mexican curanderos who work themselves into an early grave by using up their gift on others. Why couldn’t *they* just heal themselves, I wonder?

          • And actually, I’m stepping back from this too. It’s admittedly making me too angry, and it isn’t like I am ever going to convince you of anything. I’ll leave the field to others who may want to chime in. I have limited “spoons” and far too many other things that need doing besides arguing with strangers on the internet.

    • You know, this is infuriating and insulting on so many levels, but the one that stands out the most is: do you tell people with obviously physical illnesses to seek how to overcome it? “Oh, you’ve got congestive heart failure? Well, I hope you learn to work through it, and overcome it without relying on the medication that improves your quality of life.”

      People who are not the people suffering through whatever physical or mental, visible or not, illnesses, do not get to tell those who are what their priorities are. We don’t get to decide that a non-pharmaceutical approach is the way to go, and if you’re still suffering, you just need to train your mind. We don’t get to decide how they integrate their condition into their lives.

      In the interest of full disclosure: I suffer chronic migraines and depression. I have adjusted my life accordingly, and I am not on pharmaceutical drugs on a regular basis. (I also have gout, which I do have drugs for and use as flare-ups happen, because screw you gout, screw you.) I’ve altered my diet a lot to deal with the food triggers that happen. I know my limits and I honor them. I’ve gone the traditional medicine route with them enough to rule out tumors and the like. I’m careful. And I still get migraines that knock me on my ass for days at a time, with the lovely ‘migraine-hangover’ that lasts days. I’ve dealt with this for the better part of 30 years, and migraines aren’t something you can just be all “oh, it happens, whatever.” It is hell, and you investigate. You take an active role in your treatment and recovery. And let me be frank: “positive thinking it away,” does not fucking work.

      in the interest of further transparency: I’ve been with Beth since this shit began, and I’ll be blunt: the suggestion that this is something she can overcome brings with it the suggestion that she hasn’t been working, hasn’t putting her ALL into maintaining what quality of life she yet has. The most succinct response I have to this comment is: fuck you. These are people who are suffering, who deserve compassion, and this opinion that you have, that so many people have about those who are suffering, is utter, utter shit, is everything that is wrong with the topic of illness — physical or mental, visible or not — and it is utterly despicable.

        • Do I wish her a pain and med free life? Hell yes, of course I do. Am I going to tell her that if she just “overcomes” her pain, if she just “positive thinks through” the flare ups and the mental fog, the aches, the pains, she could have the life she wanted? Hell, no. What I am going to do is support her, to help her retain the quality of life she currently has. I’ve watched her go in six short years from working full time to having days when she cannot safely leave the house, for fear that her mental fog will endanger her life. Yes. I am afraid of her *dying* or getting seriously hurt, when she leaves the house. And this, just so we’re clear, was before the current medication she’s taking now, because it’s not as though we find one that works and then by golly everything is all better. I wish everyone was able to experience life without pain, that everyone was able bodied and able-minded. Interestingly enough, my wishing doesn’t make it so, and we need to deal with present circumstances while maintaining *realistic* hope. What we certainly do not need are people with opinions like yours spouting it this nonsense off, effectively shaming people into not doing fill in the blank enough to gain their own health and wellness.

          I’m done here. This is too close to home for me, and I cannot continue in a compassionate manner. May you never, *ever* have to eat your words.

    • Did you read any of that post? Read it again, and then again, and then read a few books on the actual research done into mental illness and chronic illness, and then maybe take a class or two with a professor who has been in the field for a minute. Then, meditate on how your words effect other people and how your right to an uninformed, ignorant opinion ends at your nose.

      May you be blessed with the opportunity to overcome what you call psychosomatic illnesses (which you clearly have no understanding of) so you can prove us all wrong and overcome them with sheer force of will. Until you do, however, kindly keep the stuff you just spewed to yourself, as it is part of the problem instead of the solution.

    • You know what else rewires the brain? Chronic pain. In fact, there have been studies where those in chronic pain left untreated lose brain mass that is measurable in MRIs. (Because science: http://www.jneurosci.org/content/29/44/13746.short)

      But please, as soon as someone can show me a double blind study that’s been peer-reviewed and not from a journal where people pay to have their papers published OR from people making money by selling supplements, I’d be more than happy to throw away all of my medications I take to manage my chronic illnesses (Ehlers-Danlos Hypermobility Type, Fibromyalgia, Celiac, Multiple Food Intolerances, and Psuedotumor Cerebri) and harness the power of my mind to heal myself… Because I would LOVE to eat a giant bowl of eggs, a bagel, go on a jog, and play with my daughter without worrying about if what I’m doing is going to hurt me in a way that makes me go to the ER where I’ll be treated like a drug-seeking idiot. I would love to garden without possibly going blind. I would love to take a shower without having to sit down for fear of cracking my head open. Because after 20+ years of trying to will it all away while fighting for diagnosis was apparently not enough time to become the chronic pain zen master…

      Or maybe it’s not actually in the head of a person with a chronic illness like fibromyalgia at all. And what if it is? The pain is still real.

      Because it’s not hard enough trying to explain to doctors what your diagnosis is and deal with how they treat you when you’re obviously more educated on the subject than them. If they believe you at all. You have to deal with every other person trying to victimize you for being sick and telling you that you’re just not doing the right things to be well.

      I pray those who don’t understand are never forced to. I wouldn’t wish this on my own worst enemy.

      • Since science is a process I stand at a vantage point of uncertainty concerning the nature of fibro-illness and how it can be managed along with the scientists. I think people should be able to get whatever medications they want to try, and for doctors to take patients more seriously. It is hard to gauge people though. We are all limited.

    • Someone needs to google opiophobia STAT.

      Why is it that you spiritual life-masters are so long on busybody advice and so short on compassion? I had one of your ilk after me when I was diagnosed with interstitial cystitis and actually *crying* balled up on my urologist’s floor in pain. For some reason y’all think that if people aren’t overcoming this, we need some more cheap platitudes and maybe a different “practice”. Spiritual success isn’t measured by overcoming pain or a chronic illness, it’s measured by whatever yardstick the person on a spiritual journey wishes to apply to it. It’s nice that you are apparently all enlightened and everything, too bad that enlightenment didn’t come with a dose of human decency.

    • Uh, no. Sorry, but no. Those of us who are fortunate NOT to live with chronic pain and are not medical professionals have no business instructing people with chronic conditions on how they “should” be running their lives and dealing with their specific health issues. Yes, some medications are overprescribed. No, that does not mean that everyone needs to stop taking meds, stat. People can be in unimaginable pain or even DIE without proper care, which can, and often does, include pharmaceutical treatment.

    • Even psychosomatic problems like tummy aches, back pain, and asthma are controllable with practice and the knowledge that your mind has the power.
      Well hot damn and sweet baby Jeeeezuz, we have the cure for cancer here! All the wasted medicine, the fake remissions, the apparently walking dead who did not “think through” their illnesses yet still remain, left behind I suppose. Ghosts, whisps of imagination!
      I’m gonna poke my fingers straight through YoungerBoy when he gets home because he is a figment! “Tummy aches”, a demeaning invalidating phrase for a plethora of medical conditions that science has not yet found a way to get folks to “think through”. Oh, the powerless minds! So abundant! (Because otherwise we’d all be completely healthy.)
      Do you recommend etheric gauze for sliced jugulars? Spirit casts for broken bones? No, of course you don’t.

    • This has to be one of the most smug and entitled replies that I’ve ever read on the Internet, and honey, I’ve read a lot.
      Are you even vaguely aware that if you tell someone that they can think their way out of asthma, and that if they avoid proper medical treatment, that they will DIE? That if they have an asthma attack for long enough, their breathing muscles will tire and they will stop working, the person will stop breathing, and they will die. You are not a doctor and you are NOT qualified to give out this kind of advice.
      What I’m saying is, way to go with some super shitty, dangerous, reckless advice. I hope you are not doing any pastoral counseling at any time ever, because your indifference to people’s health needs is disturbing. On your profile it says that you are a mother. FFS, I hope none of your children contract a severe illness, because you’re either going to eat your words or kill your child.
      Is there a mind-body connection? Yes, absolutely. However, the people I know who are /actual/ healers working with the mind/body connection [in my personal experiences with hypnotherapy] have never discouraged me from using western medicine. You know why?
      I’m not even gonna tell you how rude you are because I believe enough people have done so that hopefully you have gotten the point. Don’t even tell yourself you’ve hit someone’s trigger point of lack of belief in themselves. You’ve hit people’s trigger point of “what in the actual fuck, woman??”
      Let me reiterate to you again: YOUR ADVICE IS DANGEROUS, RECKLESS, UNETHICAL AT BEST, AND POSSIBLY ACTIONABLE AT WORST. I note that you are seeking a degree in cultural anthropology. If you are seeking employment as a professor or academic, I sincerely hope your school and future employer impress upon you that if a student comes to you with severe depression, that you MUST refer said student to appropriate healthcare, and “appropriate healthcare” does NOT mean thinking themselves better. A student who’s just been raped and is in absolute crisis does not need to be told to think themselves better. And if you think for a minute that you’re gonna teach college or do pastoral care and not run into a recently raped student, you’re deluding yourself.
      And for anyone else who’s reading this:
      All that crap above is absolutely why I am for training of clergy and laity leaders in things such as:
      1. where to find free and low cost health care
      2. where to find free and low cost medication and medical supplies
      3. crisis unit contacts and organizations for people have had severe trauma and/or depression
      4. free and low cost counseling centers for follow up care
      5. food insufficiency resources
      And let me reiterate one last time, because I absolutely do believe in holistic healing – if you go to a practitioner who tells you to stop taking your meds because their techniques will insta-heal you, THEY ARE A FUCKING QUACK. RUN, DO NOT WALK OUT OF THEIR OFFICE.
      Any reiki healer, hypnotherapist, chiropractor, etc worth a damn will tell you that you will get maximum benefit from conjoint therapy, and in my experience, this is the truth.

    • Next time my son eats at subway and accidentally eats a piece of lobster that his sandwich was cross contaminated with, I’ll just tell him it’s all in his head, and he’ll just breathe again if he just believes hard enough as his throat swells shut due to anaphalactic shock instead of calling 911. (granted I don’t have an epi-pen for him yet because we have been excellent at avoiding triggers so far. I might get one for him at his next Pedi visit though)

      I’ll just use my mind over matter to cull this wicked arthritis flareup I have that is making it damn near impossible for me to move. Literally immobile. Knees, hips, upper and lower back. Of course I’m only 35 so I’m “too young” to have osteoarthritis so it’s all in my head. Wow! *I think I can I think I can I think I can* Nope, I still hurt like a mofo.

  2. Reblogged this on Strip Me Back To The Bone and commented:
    Not to be confused with Camilla’s post of the same name. Beth’s post started as a response and took on a life of its ow. Read Camilla’s post, then read Beth’s. (And do please weigh in, in the comments, because oh my god, people. *People*)

  3. Pingback: Let’s talk about health and social services | Loki's Bruid

  4. When my son was five years old he began getting sick. For five months he had bronchitis and nothing would make it go away because he wasn’t rewiring his brain to work through the pain nor was he thinking himself healthy enough.
    He was really disappointing me with his inability of healing himself with his mind.
    So I took him to an allergist who diagnosed him with cough variant asthma which is why he was getting bronchitis. “Aha!” I told my five year old, “You see, it’s all psychosomatic! It’s all in your head and you must think the asthma away with more meditation!”
    And so every time he had an asthma attack that left his face bright red and unable to speak because he was coughing so hard, I knew that he hadn’t been thinking positively that day, but instead, willed an asthma attack. I’d refuse to give him his rescue inhaler knowing that his mind is more powerful than those addictive Western medicines and had him sit in the lotus position while envisioning himself not coughing. But his will power just wasn’t strong enough as he had been brain washed by the doctors to think that his inhaler would save him, which of course, led to his continuing bronchitis.
    You know, if he’d just listened to me that it’s all in his head and not an actual medical issue, he never would have gotten asthma to begin with. It took six years but we finally got his brain rewired to work through the asthma and even though his lungs have been permanently scarred due to all of the asthma attacks he created and he can barely walk 50 yards without being out of breathe, at least he didn’t get addicted to his inhaler and over came his “illness” with his mind.
    And if you believe this shit, I have beach front property in Oklahoma that I’ll sell to you.
    The truth is, the allergist was very aggressive with my son’s asthma and after six years of battles my son went into remission and is now playing soccer without so much as a sneeze, let alone a cough or wheeze. Because Western medicine works for REAL illnesses (asthma for instance) and the idea that if we all just think happy thoughts we’d all be cured is truly for the batshit crazy.

  5. I have my own rants, but they have been basically summed up already. Mostly I just want to send support.
    Chronic illness doesn’t just end (hey it’s called chronic for a reason). Sometimes all of the lifestyle changes in the world are just symptom management. It is the same with any medication. It is symptom management at that point. It doesn’t mean the illness is gone (or that it even can be), it just means that it doesn’t win, today…and sometimes for folks like me who have issues too, that can be enough for that time.
    It is something that is important to talk about and share though, because it help people who listen to learn, and with that comes change. (hopefully)

  6. I have my own rants but I’ll just say this: if my clinical depression and anxiety disorder were able to be Reiki’d away, meditated away, prayed away, etc, they would have been gone. I’ve dealt with my share of “bootstraps” mentality in the heathen community as well as do-gooder friends who were like “just try $HOLISTIC_HOOHA!” and that kept me from getting help for my shit for years. What finally actually helped me? Was getting my ass to a doctor and going on an antidepressant and an anti-anxiety med, and re-starting DBT. My spirits have helped me to be sure, but they wouldn’t be able to do much for me if I wasn’t addressing the brain chemistry and the behavioral issues getting in the way of cooperating with them.
    I also have celiac disease, which necessitates a gluten-free diet. I went through a pretty horrific gluten contamination reaction in April where I was sick for close to a month. There is no amount of willpower, mindpower, Super Speshul Shamanic Healing Powers, to overcome shit like that.
    I absolutely have experienced shaman sickness, that still doesn’t mean that I didn’t need help. I’ll go out on a limb here and say sometimes that is EXACTLY what you are meant to do, because then getting that help makes other pieces fall in place, like I found when I finally got my ass on medication and it was a volume control for the brain crap I deal with.
    Anyway, good post – and yes I hate how some medical professionals do not understand chronic illness like fibro, or clinical depression, etc, and will handwave it. It really sucks. I also hate how our community romanticizes this shit or thinks if it’s not insta-cured by the end of a season then it wasn’t really shaman sickness, FUCK that noise.
    (eh, sorry for the ranty swearing, I have a lot of Feels)

  7. I’m not a medical professional (in any way!), but I read in the past few months that fibromyalgia pain had been traced to problems with nerves in the capillaries. Someone out there is working on finding a physically traceable cause, and hopefully an effective treatment.
    As for meds & shamans – I agree that they would use anything that helped that they were guided to. My impression of shamans (as we’ve romanticized them) is they don’t work the regular 9 to 5 job anymore – sounds a lot like lifestyle accommodation and not like they’ve been cured.
    Finally, being dependent on a medication to function is not the same thing as addiction – at all.

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