On my way back from the Eschwege Institute enriched by it´s beautiful, deep work in the realm of Initiation, Vision Quest, Rites of Passage in single & group work + education…inspired by the documentary premiere Ritual Film presented by the wonderful maker Dr. Marietta Schürholz I gratefully conceived the therapeutic project presented on this Website.
My old friend, the Daimon „Bipolar Disorder“ is back – with full force and new garments shaking my week in rapid cycling.
Many many years ago I had the more classic „swings“ of a 3 month hypo-manic episode peaking in a full blown manic episode then crashing down hard into the valley of depression for around 3 months before the phoenix raised again for another cycle. After being relatively „stable“ for many years, first a depressive ground mood coming from oppression of my authentic being returned. In January 2020 I entered what´s being called a rapid cycling in which hypo-manic, manic, depressive and „normal“ episodes cycle rapidly within one week and sometimes one day.
What a beautiful rapid field to explore these cyclings and get to the ground ! Especially when suicidal thoughts get stronger and a possible Near-Death knocks at the door to join your Daimon friend „Bipo Dis“ at the poker table. After choosing to pause everything and just to commit to my Healing the suicidal thoughts dis-appeared. Brother Death is a good reminder of what´s really essential in life.
I knew that „Initiation“, a rite of passage in a symbolic Heros Journey is currently the most important medicine in my bag.
Traditional or orthodox therapy in the treatment of Bipolar Disorder aims for medication as mood stabilizers flattening the mountain and valley waves of hypo-manic, manic and depressive episodes to an almost straight line. Medication as the primary treatment is often accompanied by Psychotherapy usually in the form of CBT ( Cognitive Behavior Therapy).
Although this approach might assist in some stages and be helpful to some I sense that the role of „Initiation“ might be overlooked in the treatment of the „illness“ with a high mortality rate. What if (simplified) the creative peak performance of a hypo-maniac episode and the heightened empathic sensitivity and depth of a depressive episode are un-initiated, unique gifts/charisms ?
What if a society with so much knowledge and so many decision makers in an industrial productivity paradigm favoring standardized individuals isn´t fit and maybe even the cause of the un-integrated gift turning it into a pathology ? What if the lack of wisdom and wise Elders contributes to the cause ?
In my own „treatment“ accompanied by experts I am putting a high emphasis on the role of the initiatory process within an integrative and integral approach. The fruits (edible, useless and toxic) of this journey are being shared on this website – as a therapeutic project for my self and if it helps others along the way I am even more grateful.
But why work with pathological medical labels such as Bipolar Disorder at all ? Isn´t that a trap in itself ?
This question is so rich and part of another Journal entry. For now and briefly: I am working integral and do not reject the contributions of „common“ Psychiatry and Psychology based in a wider model of medical science.