Mentally Ill Online Pagan

This is a bit of an old post, and I’m not sure how exactly it came up while I was reading this blog, but BOY do I recognize the sentiments expressed within!!! I don’t think that anyone has ever said I should be barred from rituals because of my struggles with mental illness. That I know of; there’s always the possibility shit’s being said behind my back, I suppose! But I really doubt it. What I HAVE experienced a lot of is the advice to get off my meds. “You don’t want to be on that junk forever, right?” An acquaintance said IMMEDIATELY after I told her I had just gotten out of the hospital for suicidal ideation, and was now medicated and feeling a lot better. I was completely blindsided by her response, and I’m ashamed to say that I stammered out an “N-no, of course not! I’ll stop when I’m more stable.” Even through I KNEW it was a lie. Let me think, am I going to stay on the stuff that makes it possible for me to live a life with my crippling depression and anxiety, or am I going to rely on crystals and herbs and prayer and meditation in order to attain some vaguely-defined sense of spiritual purity. Nevermind that I had ALREADY been involved with the community for a while, and had used crystals/herbs/meditation/prayer for a good seven years at that point. And guess what? That’s not enough for some people, so yeah I’m going with science, because the Gods gave us brains for a reason, and the Greeks pretty much INVENTED the scientific method! Yeah it’s not a hard choice. I’m picking mental stability, thank you very much.
The Pagan community, the larger Pagan community, doesn’t trust traditional/Western medicine, in general. Big Pharma is only out to screw you and enslave you, they think. And even stranger, some of the more extremey of the so called love and light brigade claim that you can’t be Pagan and take medications for mental illness at the same time. Whaaaaaaaa. O.O I must have missed that line of the Delphic Maxims.

The Slavic Polytheist

Being a mentally ill “pagan” is all sorts of fun. (high levels of sarcasm here) Mostly because of all the people out there the broader community who all seem obsessed with how everything has to be “naturally” done, or go back to nature, etc. etc. ad nauseum, blah blah blah. And it’s not like this is anything new to experience or see going on; it’s not. Really, it’s rather old-hat around the pagan community, if you just take a few seconds to google or look up past conversations. And I’ve been dealing with the fall out of this ever since I was a baby pagan back at like 12 years old on Gaia Online (my very first experience with online pagans!).

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4 Responses to Mentally Ill Online Pagan

  1. Coyote from Orion says:

    Can relate… I am quite fascinated though by why I am not learning though 🤔😅

  2. Tell me about it. Personally, I think that many of these folks are either afraid or have undiagnosed mental illness. I got the Big Pharma lecture and the meds are addictive lecture. –Thank you very much poorly written NYTimes article. News flash – the meds replace the missing chemicals in the brain.

    I have been a mental illness advocate for a very long time. What the Pagans are doing is no different from well-meaning people. Mental illness is the crazy uncle in the basement or the crazy cousin in the attic. Leave it alone or you will get hurt. It is a moral failing, blah, blah…..

  3. Emily says:

    Thank you for reblogging. I have done something similar to your instinctive “I’ll stop taking the meds once I’m better” also. Sometimes that response still comes up for me, even though I know the same, that I need my medication to stay stable…so it’s definitely an ongoing process on all fronts, I think.

    • No problem! I’m glad to share, it’s something that needs to be talked about. There’s still that shame and stigma, and sometimes, like you said, it’s almost instinctual to respond with what someone wants to hear. I mean we are social creatures, and we WANT to be liked, so it’s hard to be THAT person sometimes, the brave one, the one that stands up and says “hey, this is not okay.”

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