Thanks, Robert, for your comment.

You might want to check out my publications on Invisible Illness.

And this one:

What Is Mental Health?: How you can support it,

https://medium.com/invisible-illness/what-is-mental-health-acfab3fcdb2a


Might you write another article about ibogaine treatment?

I wish you had come out more strongly against the "medical model." In terms of diagnosis and the belief that mental problems are caused by imbalanced brain chemistry and/or bad genes, there is no concrete science research.

Yes, there might be changes in brain chemistry caused by what someone does to their body during and after trauma. But causes of mental problems are socio-economic and need to be dealt with in that way, not with experimental neurotoxins.

PTSD used to be called "battle fatigue" or "shell shock" until the psyhciatric profession came out with a more sterilized terminlogy so we would not consider the horrors of war.

Depression, too, has causes largely related to environment, and usually is a normal reaction to dire

circumstances, not s sickness.

Thanks for your wonderful article, PE!


Here's the opinion of someone who was diagnosed and spent seven years in and out of mental hospitals before licking that habit. I am not a brain scientist, whatever that means.

1. "Mental illness" is a construct for control and profit. There is no science supporting chemical brain imbalances or genetics relative to people's mental problems. These problems are socio/economic and trauma induced.

2. Diagnoses are subjective, not science-based. They are avenues to treatment with "experiemental neurotixins" ususally without informed consent about habituation and other pshysical and mental side effects.

3. There may be cultural inheritance of traumas passed down…


Before going hiking, it’s a good idea to consult with the natives, or one of the long time expat residents that hang out in the many cafes. One trail, for example, is known for its robberies. I’d suggest staying away from that one. You might hire a local guide at a very reasonable price. Just ask around.

Wear long pants with sturdy shoes and socks, and a long sleeve shirt. Poison ivy and poison oak are common on many trails. Wear a cap and sunglasses. If you are hiking during the rainy season (June-Sept.) carry rain gear. …


LETTERS FROM MEXICO

Taxco, Guerrero, Mexico

White buildings on the side of a mountian.
White buildings on the side of a mountian.
Views of Taxco, Guerrero, Mexico. Left, from a cable car. Right, from the terrace of a restaurant. Photos by author

Taxco, pronounced “Tasko,” is noted for its finely crafted silver. It’s a “magic city,” and is located in central Mexico, about an hour and a half ride south from Cuernavaca.

The buildings are all white, built one atop the other, and winding up the mountainside. This reminds me of Greece. My friend Jake, who produced the blog in this series on Acapulco, kindly invited me to visit him.

As the story goes, the original natives mined silver. The Aztecs told Cortez about this, and he invaded and conquered them, taking over the mining operation. …


Author playing harmonica crouched in front of a mural of musicians dressed the same way: all white, broad-brimmed hat.
Author playing harmonica crouched in front of a mural of musicians dressed the same way: all white, broad-brimmed hat.
Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. I love playing harmonica at clubs with a blues band, not just with the guys on this wall.


LETTERS FROM MEXICO

Why and how

Yellow school bus front entrance with tarp as extension.
Yellow school bus front entrance with tarp as extension.
Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. Fernando’s home: school bus with tarp extensions. Photo by author

During the pandemic, many people are reflecting on their lifestyle and contemplating positive changes. Have you ever thought of simplifying your life? Living off-grid and in closer harmony with nature?

Because of the favorable climate, lower costs, and lax building codes and other regulations, Mexico is an ideal country in which to follow such a dream. In this article, I’ll look at how Fernando, a man originally from Spain, has done it.

Why?

During this pandemic, most people have more time to contemplate what their lives are about. Every crisis has its opportunities. One I notice is the cleaner skies. What…


Letters From Mexico

A “magic city” noted for its pottery

Grey haired lady standing in front of a display of pottery.
Grey haired lady standing in front of a display of pottery.
A pottery studio in Tlayacapan, Mexico. Photo by author

Tlayacapan, a Pueblo Magico (Magic City), in central Mexico is noted for it’s dancing Chinelos, 26 small chapels, and pottery made from the red clay in the hills.

I traveled by four buses to Tlayacapan from where I live, in Tepoztlan, which is half and hour from Cuernavaca and an hour from Mexico City. The trip from my place took an hour and a half, but it was well worth it.

Ixchel met and guided me around the town. I’ve known her for many years. She’s lived in Tlayacapan for three years.

We met in the market place. …


Letters From Mexico

The most used trail in Tepoztlán is the one to its pyramid, the Tepozteco

A couple at the top of a row of stone stairs with stone wall railings.
A couple at the top of a row of stone stairs with stone wall railings.
Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. Trail to the Tepozteco pyramid. Photo by author

Parts of the trail are paved and there are stairs. It takes more than an hour to reach the summit. The pyramid is small. The view is good, but there are better ones on other trails with shorter climbs and fewer people.

Most of these trails, other than the one to Tepozteco, are narrow. In some places they narrow down to goat trails with huge drop offs. Many mountain trails are easily found from the center of town.

To broaden one’s hiking experience, it’s best to take a commuter van, taxi, or drive to one of the outlying districts in…

Don Karp

Mexico expat. Blog:“Letters From Mexico.” Memoir:“The Bumpy Road.” Lived mental health experience. donkarp.com, https://about.me/donkarp

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