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Mental Illness and Transcendental Meditation in a Small Town


GeoBQn

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Fairfield, Iowa is an unusual place. It is a small Midwest farming community, but it is also home to the Maharishi University of Management (founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi) and a large Transcendental Meditation community. In the last several years, there has been a large spike in suicides. This article explores how a combination of small-town stigma and TM's culture is both covering up and exacerbating the problems posed by mental illness.

http://littlevillagemag.com/suicide-in- ... awareness/

I find it interesting that this is one of those areas where conservative fundies and the far-left intersect, dismissing the reality of mental illness and the benefits of psychiatry/psychology.

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Fairfield, Iowa is an unusual place. It is a small Midwest farming community, but it is also home to the Maharishi University of Management (founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi) and a large Transcendental Meditation community. In the last several years, there has been a large spike in suicides. This article explores how a combination of small-town stigma and TM's culture is both covering up and exacerbating the problems posed by mental illness.

http://littlevillagemag.com/suicide-in- ... awareness/

I find it interesting that this is one of those areas where conservative fundies and the far-left intersect, dismissing the reality of mental illness and the benefits of psychiatry/psychology.

JW how you know this is a fundie area? I didn't see any mention of that in the article, although there are strong parallels between the goals of perfectionism between TM and fundie-ism.

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I didn't say this was a town with fundies. I said that fundies and New Age/far left people have similar beliefs about mental illness and its treatment. A topical area, not a physical one.

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I think the point is that some far-left, New Age thought can be surprisingly similar to far-right, fundie thought when it comes to modern medicine and a culture of blaming people for medical issues.

I certainly found this to be true. I don't deny that a mind-body connection exists, but I nearly threw a copy of "Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom" by Christianne Northrup across the store after reading what she writes on page 433 about multiple miscarriage.

http://books.google.ca/books?id=V9S3keM ... ge&f=false

She claims that "studies" show that women who have recurrent miscarriage may be transmitting negative subconscious messages to the fetus, that they have difficulty accepting motherhood and their feminine role. Translation: you killed your babies by being a feminist. Her "studies" aren't just dated - they were complete bullshit that were decades out of date. She ignores newer studies completely, and also ignores more recent works that say that psychological issues don't CAUSE miscarriage, they RESULT from miscarriage. Because yes, you do feel grief and irrational guilt when you go through this shit, and you do start to feel that your body is fucked up since it can't do what it's supposed to do, esp. when people like Dr. Northrup are claiming that your thoughts are causing the problem and that your body should "naturally" know exactly what it's supposed to do.

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In my experience it's a weird triangle of Physicians, Fundamentalists and New Agey -Hippie types who blame everything not immediately explainable on some version of " it's all in your head" . Just the wording and preferred treatments are different ---- but they all have a tendency to be dismissive of physical problems if they can't pinpoint the cause within 30 seconds. And, with all three types, they are much, much, much more likely to use the "stress/ unresolved issues/satan" explanation when it's a woman or child who is ill.

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I didn't say this was a town with fundies. I said that fundies and New Age/far left people have similar beliefs about mental illness and its treatment. A topical area, not a physical one.

Gotcha.

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I think the point is that some far-left, New Age thought can be surprisingly similar to far-right, fundie thought when it comes to modern medicine and a culture of blaming people for medical issues.

I certainly found this to be true. I don't deny that a mind-body connection exists, but I nearly threw a copy of "Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom" by Christianne Northrup across the store after reading what she writes on page 433 about multiple miscarriage.

http://books.google.ca/books?id=V9S3keM ... ge&f=false

She claims that "studies" show that women who have recurrent miscarriage may be transmitting negative subconscious messages to the fetus, that they have difficulty accepting motherhood and their feminine role. Translation: you killed your babies by being a feminist. Her "studies" aren't just dated - they were complete bullshit that were decades out of date. She ignores newer studies completely, and also ignores more recent works that say that psychological issues don't CAUSE miscarriage, they RESULT from miscarriage. Because yes, you do feel grief and irrational guilt when you go through this shit, and you do start to feel that your body is fucked up since it can't do what it's supposed to do, esp. when people like Dr. Northrup are claiming that your thoughts are causing the problem and that your body should "naturally" know exactly what it's supposed to do.

I still remember the issue of Mothering Magazine which came out in the fall of 1988. It had a bunch of articles in there about prematurity which were pretty much all bullshit. The article were it was piled higher and deeper was this article written by two psychologists that claimed that the cause of prematurity was all in women's heads. If women just thought the right stuff or had clear heads with the right thoughts about having a baby then there'd be no more premies. I gave that issue to my neonatologist (I wanted him to see what kind of BS info was out there) and was glad that my subscription lapsed after that one. I never resubscribed.

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Gag.... I remember being pregnant in college in a nutrition class. Leaving frequently to go vomit. And the idiot teacher talking about how morning sickness was due to unresolved issues or not wanting to be pregnant or some such bullshit. I asked her how come the vomiting was always my first sign I was pregnant , well before I'd missed my period or take a test. She had no answer. People are stupid.

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