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Feeling Intense Emotions like Depression Doesn’t Necessarily Mean You’re Crazy, It Means You’re Human.



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“The thing about people who are truly and malignantly crazy: their real genius is for making the people around them think they themselves are crazy. In military science this is called Psy-Ops, for your info.” –David Foster Wallace, ‘Infinite Jest’

When we utilize critical thinking and question whether what society tells us is true or not, we are called “paranoid.” When a major tragedy strikes, we are conditioned to automatically accept what authority figures and the media tell us without question, lest we wish to be cast into the tainted demographic of society known as “conspiracy theorists” –basically, a manipulation of the term “free-thinkers,” insinuating a person’s open mind is instead a psychologically deranged prison. When we feel sad, we put on brave faces like we were taught to do; and we certainly do not let others see us “break” down, as to do so would be socially unacceptable. We fail to realize this, in reality, is the very definition of weakness. The truly brave thing to do would be to embrace and listen to our feelings, otherwise known as embracing our innate human nature. Rarely do we consider that by repeatedly denying ourselves the opportunity  to “break” down and feel our emotions in their entirety, we are simultaneously sealing our fate to break down on a chronic basis in the future, as the accumulated negative energies within us from our repressed emotions will eventually reach full capacity and burst.

When we fail to thoroughly work through and resolve our emotions, their energies remain stuck within us and accumulate until all we feel is their collective darkness, as there is not much room left inside us for anything else. This, of course, is quite frequently the working definition of “chronic depression.” Since we masked our sadness and anger so many times, we seemingly have no root cause for our chronic depression. Once repressed emotions from various experiences become piled up within, it is close to impossible to distinguish one from another and trace each one back to their origin. As a result, there is no identifiable root cause of our now unrelenting depression –and rightfully so, as there are many. Of course, the doctors we go to when such depression befalls us typically only lend to the notion that there is no root cause, and in no way promote healthy methods of taking responsibility for the management of our emotions in the future. However, they nonetheless claim they can help us –and they do, they help us to further gloss over uncomfortable feelings by placing us on psychiatric medications such as anti-depressants. Unfortunately, anti-depressants not only take away feelings of sadness, they to some degree take away all feelings in general.

When it really comes down to it, the choice to escape darkness is at the same time the choice to escape light. To knowingly opt out of painful emotions is to unknowingly opt out of pleasurable ones as well. Unfortunately, this numb state of existence promoted by modern day society is all too easy to fall victim to –especially when medical experts we quite literally trust with our lives tell us it is a correct and healthy way of being, generously giving us substances to feed our desire to not feel pain of any sort. So, who and what is really crazy here?

“Our education from the start has taught us a certain range of emotions, what to feel and what not to feel, and how to feel the feelings we allow ourselves to feel. All the rest is non-existent.” –D.H. Lawrence, ‘A Propos of Lady Chatterley’s Lover’

Since we are taught from a young age which feeling are acceptable to feel, what emotions are safe to express, what heart driven behaviors are appropriate to act upon without deviating from the “norm,” doing otherwise seems incredibly dangerous and can easily invoke paralyzing fear. However, subduing parts of ourselves by cutting off certain feelings and prohibiting emotions from arising past a certain level is the truly dangerous thing to do. It prevents us from fulfilling one of our primary obligations in life –to give birth to all parts of ourselves, to emerge into the world as beings alive in every sense of the word, and to then share with the world our unique gifts stemming from the deep sense of luminous aliveness radiating within.

Allowing Ourselves To Fully Feel

How do we go about allowing ourselves to feel our emotions in their entirety though, and how do we do so without letting ourselves become consumed by the negative energy of the more painful ones? For starters, we stop telling ourselves that feeling any emotion too intensely is wrong, because perhaps there is actually no such thing as feeling TOO intensely, there is only feeling something intensely and not knowing how to then work through those feelings. Perhaps it is not the feelings themselves that are the problem, but our inability to deal with those feelings. Perhaps  there is no clearly defined right or wrong way to feel, there is only feeling what it means to be alive in its entirety. And whether or not those feelings are painful or pleasurable will not matter much in the end. What will matter is we can rest assured that we did not take life for granted, knowing we seized every opportunity to fully live.

Next, we must cease to resist strong emotions out of fear, often resulting from a subconscious awareness that surrendering to them will inevitably change us within on a deep level, as anything of depth in life always does –and we certainly must stop worrying that allowing profound changes within may cause others to no longer accept us. After all, any love with conditions is limiting, and thus does not embody the true definition of love. Those who do not love us unconditionally and who hold a firm picture of how we should live our lives do not serve our true nature, and should in no way be allowed to influence who we are or what we do or do not become. Ultimately, we must die to the false belief that a way of life that is safe even exists. As Michael Meade so eloquently put it, “a false sense of security is the only kind there is.”

Once we dissolve the fear of allowing ourselves to fully feel due to the desire to be socially accepted and the like, and begin the process of feeling our emotions in their entirety and journeying deeper into our hearts, we often run into the problem of subconsciously resisting from fully engaging in the process because it is uncomfortable at times. However, at this stage of journeying deeper into our hearts to reclaim our capacity to feel, it is crucial to acknowledge that the only reason we feel this discomfort is because we have been conditioned to believe we should avoid discomfort and pain –much less take responsibility for working through our pain, especially when emotional in nature- at any cost. Basically, we must become comfortable with being uncomfortable. A strange thing happens when we do this –feeling uncomfortable begins to dissipate entirely, as we have given ourselves permission to feel and surrendered to its existence, thus dissolving its power over us. No longer feeling uncomfortable over, well, the act of feeling in itself, sends a signal to our subconscious minds that there are really no “good” or “bad” emotions, there are just emotions. In this, we learn “good” and “bad” are merely a matter of subjective perception, and  many of our perceptions regarding what is good and bad are actually not our own that were born out of our own self-discovery and life lessons, but are ones that were instilled within us from a young age via conditioning from others.

It is our inherent birthright to explore life and use our personal experiences to formulate our own perceptions in life. In order to cultivate such experiences, the manner in which we live must stem from the deep sense of aliveness within that can only be accessed when we feel intensely and allow ourselves to be flooded with passion. Inevitably, this leads many to find there is really no such thing as “bad” feelings, in the sense that they are intended to harm us. Rather, the feelings we once revered as “bad” are intended to deliver specific messages to us, signaling certain areas in our lives are not in alignment with  the true nature of our souls.

Beginning to work with our feelings rather than against them, and exploring them to unveil the messages they are attempting to reveal, is the process of working  with our different ego states –not dissolving our egos entirely, but transforming them. Eric Berne, who developed the idea of Transactional Analysis and Structural analysis, was the first to really bring to light the idea of observable egoic states within individuals –the parent, adult, and child egoic states. Using this theory, we can begin to identify the different ego states within and learn what role each one plays, essentially allowing us to work with and nurture the expressions of all of them rather than suppress them. The ultimate goal is to bring to surface and heal the fragmented parts of ourselves we have repressed, and essentially reintegrate these parts of ourselves into the whole. You can learn more about this process and the different techniques for working with ego states and reintegrating fragmented parts of the self into the whole to cultivate a healthier internal state here.

To feel is to be human, to be alive. To not feel is to be less human, to be less alive. This is a grotesquely reckless way to live, as it involves taking life for granted. In fact, it may be one of the most damaging forms of abuse humans are capable of inflicting upon themselves. I in no way expect you to accept my words and the concepts they shape as absolute truths. In fact, I beg of you to do the exact opposite –to consider them, but not adopt them, and instead go out and find your own personal truths.

©2015 The Mind Unleashed, Inc, all rights reserved. For permission to re-print this article contact [email protected] , or the respective author.

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Stroke Victims to Be Given Psychedelic Drug DMT in First-Ever US Clinical Trials



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The hallucinogenic drug DMT (dimethyltriptamine) could provide crucial aid to stroke victims by minimizing the damage inflicted on victims’ brains as they are rushed to the hospital, according to researchers.

Canadian company Algernon Pharmaceuticals has laid out plans to microdose participants in the first clinical trial of its kind in hopes to help stroke victims’ brains recover faster through a “rewiring” process, reports Metro.

A stroke occurs when blood supplies to a part of the brain is drastically reduced or interrupted, starving the vital organ of fresh oxygen and nutrients and setting in motion the death of crucial nerve cells. In some cases, stroke can even lead to death. About 795,000 people suffer from strokes annually in the U.S.

However, researchers at Algernon argue that DMT could play a key role in staving off the worst effects of stroke by sparking the growth of new neurons, effectively turbo-charging the healing process.

In the first-ever clinical trials of this kind in the U.S., DMT will soon be administered to stroke patients in the back of ambulances. While the doses will be far too small to trigger any sort of hallucinations, scientists are claiming that the microdoses will still be sufficient for conferring benefits.

The Phase 1 trials could begin as soon as next month, if they receive a green light from authorities. It could still take years before the drug receives approval for human use.

Algernon CEO Christopher Moreau is hopeful that the drug will prove its ability to help heal the brains of those who suffer from a stroke.

“Since we’re dealing with stroke patients, we will be using the sub-hallucinogenic dose, which in pre-clinical studies has still shown to improve neuroplasticity,” Moreau explained.

“It will help the brain heal even though patients aren’t having the psychedelic experience, and we really don’t want that if your patient has just had a stroke,” he continued. “The sooner you can start to treat post-injury the better.”

However, the drug could likely have its limits.

“DMT may not benefit hemorrhagic (stroke victims), we don’t know, but we’re hoping it won’t cause them any problems because then we don’t have to wait for the CT scan, we can treat in the ambulance,” Moreau added.

DMT – also known as the “spirit molecule” for its extremely potent hallucinogenic properties – is one of the main psychoactive compounds found in ayahuasca, a brew consumed in shamanistic rituals that has been used for centuries in South America before finding its way into North America and Europe as a recreational drug popular at music festivals.

Experts and users of DMT have said that the drug has a similar impact to such other psychedelic drugs as LSD and psilocybin or “magic” mushrooms. However, the psychedelic experience or so-called “trip” from DMT is much shorter in duration than either of the other psychedelic drugs.

Studies of DMT have shown that it does have the ability to improve motor functions, and in tests on brain-damaged rats it helped trigger the formation of new brain cells.

Moreau claims that studies have shown that within hours of a stroke, the brain attempts to rewire itself – and that DMT may potentially accelerate the process.

At present, patients have little recourse in the immediate aftermath of a stroke because doctors seldom know what type of stroke someone may be suffering from. While ischemic strokes involving blood clots require blood thinner as treatment, hemorrhagic strokes require more invasive treatment.

However, the wrong type of treatment for a stroke could be fatal for patients.

Algernon hopes that if the first phase of trials prove successful, regulators will approve the more widespread usage of the treatment. In the second and third phases of the trial, Algernon hopes to continue DMT treatments over the short and long term to prove the efficacy of the treatment.

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U.S. Files Lawsuit Against Walmart for Role in Fueling Opioid Crisis



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In a new lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Walmart corporation has been accused of helping to fuel the opioid crisis by knowingly filling out thousands of suspicious subscriptions and failing to report the orders to authorities. The DOJ says that the company could be facing billions of dollars in civil penalties if the court rules against them.

The lawsuit claims that Walmart was being investigated for years due to its lenient policy on opioid prescriptions. The company is being accused of violating the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) at its pharmacies and its wholesale drug distribution centers.

Walmart responded to the lawsuit and the allegations with a statement denying the charges, insisting that the lawsuit is based on “a legal theory that unlawfully forces pharmacists to come between patients and their doctors” and “cherry-picked documents taken out of context.”

The DOJ claims that Walmart “knowingly filled thousands of controlled substance prescriptions that were not issued for legitimate medical purposes.”

The company claimed that they did actually report cases to the DEA, and suggested that they were being blamed for the DEA’s own failures.

“In contrast to DEA’s own failures, Walmart always empowered our pharmacists to refuse to fill problematic opioids prescriptions, and they refused to fill hundreds of thousands of such prescriptions. Walmart sent DEA tens of thousands of investigative leads, and we blocked thousands of questionable doctors from having their opioid prescriptions filled at our pharmacies,” a statement from the company read, according to CNN Business.

This lawsuit is just the most recent of many actions that the DOJ has carried out against large corporations that played a role in the opioid crisis. Earlier this year, OxyContin producer Purdue Pharma pleaded guilty to three federal criminal charges for the role that it played in the ongoing opioid crisis.

Justice Department officials said that the company will be pleading guilty as part of a settlement worth over $8 billion. 

In the settlement, Purdue will pay $225 million directly to the government and will give up an additional $2 billion to the government through criminal asset forfeiture. The company also faces a $3.54 billion criminal fine, but this money may not be collected due to bankruptcy. Purdue also owes $2.8 billion in damages to cover lawsuits that victims have brought against the company.

The company will be pleading guilty to three federal charges, including conspiracy to defraud the United States and violating federal anti-kickback laws. The company admitted to pushing doctors to prescribe more opioids than they would have otherwise. Investigations into dozens of companies are currently ongoing, and more announcements are expected to come in the following months, with the potential of more charges against corporations that have yet to be named.

Some critics of the industry feel that the lawsuits do not go far enough, pointing out that most people would be facing harsh prison sentences if they were accused of selling drugs to the extent that these companies did.

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After This Mom Lost Her 1-Year-Old Son in a Car Crash, Health Insurers Left Her $175k of Debt



Car Crash
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(TMU) — It’s no exaggeration to say that the United States health care system is in the grips of a major crisis.

Despite the country being the wealthiest in the world, over 34 million people are uninsured while even more are underinsured. Thousands of Americans die of preventable illness every year while many struggle to afford their expensive prescriptions, yet U.S. health care remains a multi-billion dollar industry that rakes in major profits year after year.

And while the crisis has been reduced by mainstream media to an election year talking point—or an issue of “the market” versus “socialism”—the health care system has a life-and-death impact on Americans from all walks of life.

Such was the case for Michelle DuBarry, a Portland-based writer whose tragic experience with U.S. health care reveals all that’s wrong with a system that upholds corporate profits rather than human life.

When DuBarry’s 1-year-old son died after he was struck by a careless driver along with his father Eric, rather than being left to mourn she instead “sat at his bedside, his tiny, stitched-together body hooked to a million incessantly beeping machines, straining to recall what our deductibles were.”

Doctors had attempted to save the baby’s life but after two surgeries and one night in the ICU, he succumbed to his injuries. However, his death was only the beginning of a bereaved mother’s unimaginable ordeal at the hands of heartless health insurers and the bureaucracy that serves it.

DuBarry was already in dire straits because she was a new hire at her job and having worked less than a year in her position, she wasn’t comfortable taking days off. After all, if she lost this job then she could kiss her health insurance goodbye.

But a week hadn’t even passed before the hospital where she lost her son served her and her husband’s home with a lien. Having just lost their son, DuBarry and her husband now had to look at the possibility of losing their home.

In effect, the hospital was saying “Sucks that your son is gone, but we did our best – time to pay up!” Additionally, DuBarry’s husband couldn’t receive any treatment from his primary care doctor because not only would his supposedly “good” health insurance not cover it, but his doctor wouldn’t accept payment from the auto insurance company either.

Eventually, they only had to pay $5,000 following the death of their child and they still had a bit of cash from the auto insurance company on behalf of the reckless driver who killed the child. But once the health insurers realized that DuBarry and her husband got $175,000 from the auto insurance company, they did what any good predator would do: they sent their legal team to seize the funds leaving the grieving parents penniless.

DuBarry and her husband had no option to go on family and medical leave, so they did what good Americans are supposed to do: they went back to work toiling away to cover their mortgage and bills despite the catastrophic loss of their baby boy.

And while the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” is often touted as a major benefit to millions of people who would otherwise lack health insurance, it did precious little to help DuBarry and her husband after their devastating hospital visit.

DuBarry told her story on her personal website, explaining:

“In 2010, my husband Eric and our son Seamus were struck by a careless driver in a crosswalk near our home. Eric sustained minor injuries, and Seamus died the next day after enduring two surgeries and a night in intensive care. Our hospital bills totaled $180,000, and though most of it was covered by health insurance, we still had thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket medical expenses.”

They “soon learned that our health insurer was entitled to reimbursement out of these funds, effectively reducing our settlement to $0.” Due to these experiences, DuBarry began organizing to fight for a bill that would match the laws in many other states where the injured party is “made whole” for all damages from the at-fault party’s insurance prior to the injured party’s medical insurer getting paid. The bill was finally signed into law last June and DuBarry sees it as her late child’s legacy.

Michelle has now joined the growing legions of Americans demanding a universal healthcare system. While the plan has been lambasted by the right, as well as by Democratic Party bosses, many experts have hailed the plan as far more practical and less expensive than the status quo.

People across the globe were floored by DuBarry’s exceptionally American ordeal.

One Twitter user commented:

“In Canada, all that would have been free, and not only that, you wouldn’t have even needed to think about it. Our complete medical is paid from our taxes.”

While another wrote:

“All public health care is free in Australia. Can’t understand why USA unwilling to do the same. It’s just a cost the government meets.”

While Americans on both sides of the political divide—both “conservatives” and “liberals”—often revel in patriotic pride over the alleged greatness of the United States and the supposed “freedom” that citizenship offers, this woman and her husband found out that there simply is no choice under a private health care model. Instead, the health insurance industry is out to squeeze every last dollar from those who are suffering.

Why is it so hard for so many people to imagine a model where our health and happiness is protected rather than the profits of a small handful of health insurance corporations?

By Elias Marat | Creative Commons |

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