Guest Post: Mental Health & Spiritual Crisis

Many thanks to Trish Hurtubise from Mental Health Talk for contributing this fantastic guest post to my blog. Mental Health Talk provides an online platform for those who have mental health issues to talk openly about these experiences.

Today Trish talks for the very first time about her own experiences on a spiritual level and has also created the cartoon!

Specialist help is available if you are experiencing anything similar to Trish. See the resources section at the end of the post.

Possessive-States Exported (1)

Possession from a Spiritual Perspective

Have you ever considered that your experience with mental health may be more spiritual than biochemical?

I have.

Or I should say I have started to look at my journey from this perspective. I have a few friends who have looked through this lens and it is amazing how much light it has brought to the darkest periods of their lives.

So I have chosen this guest post to be my first time articulating my journey as a spiritual experience and to be open to where it takes me. And so this post does not become an epic piece, I have decided to focus on my experience with “possession”.

Possession state

What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word “possession”? I think of the movie The Exorcist and Linda Blair’s head spinning around.

This happens to be the kind of possession I am referring to.

A possession state is considered a form of spiritual emergency. “Spiritual emergency” was coined by Stanislav Grof — a psychiatrist and pioneer researcher in the field of altered conscious states as a way of connecting with the psyche. He has written many books on the subject with his wife.

We have heard from Rachel on her experience with hypomania from the perspective of spiritual emergence, but when and how does spiritual emergency fit in?

When the initiation of spiritual emergence occurs and it is too dramatic for the individual, this natural process becomes a spiritual emergency. In my experience I remember initially an ebb and flow of profound connection with the Universe, receding into fear of the engulfing energy I could feel flowing through my body. Sometimes during these states of terror I believed I was “possessed”.

Evil: Up Close and Personal

I had been experimenting with the paranormal since 2000. Malevolent entities, black magic, the dark side of psionics, and hexes were a part of my life. It was this exposure I now believe fueled my idea of being “possessed”.

I experienced a traumatic event involving the paranormal in 2007 and was immediately analyzed and treated for spiritual shock via radionics.

But I was severely traumatized on all levels. My body and mind became plagued with visions of a dark entity with blood red eyes that would destroy my soul and overtake my mind.

I was all the more convinced of its existence because of severe neck spasms that tossed my head in all directions. There were times when I could feel a mass of energy moving from my gut up to my throat—I was sure it was the entity trying to choke me. I would go into a full blown panic attack.

Day after day I gathered every ounce of my resistance to stand against it. But there were times when I faltered and I would lay paralyzed waiting for my inevitable death. I would wait for hours.

It never came.

The Psychiatric Backhand Slap to the Face

I never told anyone about these “possession” experiences until…

I don’t know what triggered me, but eventually I moved back into emergence where I felt I had access to the collective conscious. I never felt so open and connected to everything before. It felt like someone had erased my edges and I had melded with the flow of the Universe.

I could articulate theories and philosophies I had never studied; visualize anatomy and neurological systems like I had memorized them, reading medical journals with ease; I could see the connections between people and feel love everywhere; my psychic ability was never so accurate; and my photographic memory was keen.

I began to write mathematical formulas using the spiritual laws as variables. I was on a mission to save the world and according to my theories, our earthly demise would come from the full suppression of feminine energy by the masculine (I have found out since this is an actual theory by mystics with street cred).

After relaying my findings to an alternative practitioner I trusted, he suggested I was psychotic and needed to be medicated.

I remember wanting to vomit.

The next morning I had my first (of many) gruesome vision of my death by my own hand. I was overwhelmed, terrified and unable to be alone. The dark entity returned and spiritual emergence turned to scrupulosity; I believed God was punishing me for not being strong enough to save the world and He would make me sicker and sicker if I did not prove myself worthy of His grace.

The dark entity as a possibility for spiritual transition

It was with the assistance of medication that I began to question the existence of the dark entity and it faded. Today I believe it was a state of mind; much like how Grof refers to a demonic archetype in a possession state.

According to Grof, this demonic archetype is a state of consciousness. Furthermore it represents the polar opposite of the Divine and can even be Its’ guardian. And if I would have been able to confront this dark entity with support, I could have experienced profound healing and transformation.

Of course because of the way my experience manifested, I was not in a position to even remotely consider the spiritual side of my “possession”.

Bummers.

How Has this Changed My Perspective on My Experience with Possession?

I find that reviewing this part of my journey in this way has left me with more questions than answers:

  • How would my experience have been different if I wasn’t labelled psychotic?
  • What would have been the outcome if I had a mentor to guide me through my experience?
  • Have I somehow aborted my spiritual evolution with medication? Will I get another chance?
  • Was the dark entity the antagonist I needed to be ready to save the world?

Around the time I started medication, I was strongly compelled to forget what I had been through. So I purged all connections I had to my spirituality. This involved selling and giving away $4,000 worth of divination tools, denying my extra sensory skills which I believed were from God, and ignoring my social connections to the world of the paranormal.

I quickly shut the door on my spirituality because I believed it was what had gotten me into this mental illness “mess”. It is quite ironic to me now that I would be looking at spirituality as a way that could have gotten me out.

But amusement aside, me writing this piece does bring my focus back to an exploration that has been forming since this journey started, yet I put off taking action because it brings me full circle…

I can feel it is the path to the rebirth of my spirituality.

What feels right to begin exploring is a less grandiose version of the feminine versus masculine theory I concluded during spiritual emergence… how the divine feminine plays out in my life and once empowered, how it will enable me to serve humanity better.

I see now I will need what I have become from my experience with “possession” to go down this path; someone who practices love and compassion to accept all states of being and experiences, including her own.

Perhaps my experience with possession is a result of spiritual emergence after all.

Resources:

Wikipedia: Stanislav Grof
Quote from “The Stormy Search for the Self” by S. & C. Grof re possession states
Spiritual emergency blog
Wikipedia definition of psionics
The Radionics and Dowsing Institute of Canada: What is radionics?
Article from schiz life: Schizophrenia and Scrupulosity

For help:

Spiritual Crisis Network

Related Posts:

Mental Health Issue v Spiritual Crisis

Bipolar Disorder as Spiritual Awakening

Depression & Grounding

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11 thoughts on “Guest Post: Mental Health & Spiritual Crisis

  1. David Templin

    Trish,
    I am very impressed how you have seen hope and even humour from even the darkest of experiences. I love the cartoon. Thank you for sharing your re-examination of a most harrowing experience.

    Reply
  2. Schiz Life

    Grof is one of my fav’s! Hilarious comic 🙂 I’m glad you are exploring this angle more. I feel like spirituality should play an important role in everyone’s lives, whether or not tied to a specific religion (I don’t think this matters at all, honestly). I’m glad that you have reinvigorated your adventure and conquered the psychiatric guardians at the threshold!

    Reply
  3. Pingback: Meet Guest Blogger Rachel Gribling | Where I Stand

  4. Pingback: Mend the Gap: A New Hope for Mental Health. | Emotional Wellness

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