The Anti-DSM: A compendium of healthy states!

The DSM-IV is the psychiatric profession’s Bible of mental disorders. It’s where experiences like PTSD, borderline personality disorder, and autism are defined. Doctors diagnose, and insurance companies cover prescriptions for diagnoses, according to the DSM-IV. It’s a very powerful book affecting the lives of millions.

Rob Breszny, astrologer extraordinaire, questions why we don’t have such a list of healthy states. He asked his readers to help him compile a compendium of healthy, exalted, positive states of being.

Here are just a few of the responses:

* ACUTE FLUENCY. Happily immersed in artistic creation or scientific exploration; lost in a trance-like state of inventiveness that’s both blissful and taxing; surrendered to a state of grace in which you’re fully engaged in a productive, compelling, and delightful activity. The joy of this demanding, rewarding state is intensified by a sense that time has been suspended, and is rounder and deeper than usual. (Suggested by H. H. Holiday, who reports that extensive studies in this state have been done by Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi in his book,¬†Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience.)

* AESTHETIC BLISS. Vividly experiencing the colors, textures, tones, scents, and rhythms of the world around you, creating a symbiotic intimacy that dissolves the psychological barriers between you and what you observe. (Suggested by Jeanne Grossetti.)

* AGGRESSIVE SENSITIVITY. Animated by a strong determination to be receptive and empathetic.

* ALIGNMENT WITH THE INFINITY OF THE MOMENT. Reveling in the liberating realization that we are all exactly where we need to be at all times, even if some of us are temporarily in the midst of trial or tribulation, and that human evolution is proceeding exactly as it should, even if we can’t see the big picture of the puzzle that would clarify how all the pieces fit together perfectly. (Suggested by Meredith Jones.)

* AUTONOMOUS NURTURING. Not waiting for someone to give you what you can give yourself. (Suggested by Shannen Davis.)

* BASKING IN ELDER WISDOM. A state of expansive ripeness achieved through listening to the stories of elders. (Suggested by Annabelle Aavard.)

* BIBLIOBLISS. Transported into states of transcendent pleasure while immersed in reading a favorite book. (Suggested by Catherine Kaikowska.)

To read and be inspired by more of these healthy and delicious possibilities, click this link!¬†This is an excerpt from Rob’s book, Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings, well worth reading if you’d relish subverting the dominant paradigm and confirming more of what’s good and possible in life.

2 thoughts on “The Anti-DSM: A compendium of healthy states!

  1. After I went to treatment there was a 100 page document all about me which I, no so smartly, decided to read. It told me all the things “wrong” with me… difficulty having relationships, etc etc. When I talked to my therapist here we were able to process it and she let me know that they don’t put in the positive stuff (kind to others, good sense of humor, committed to recovery). Surely, something must be wrong with this system!


  2. That language dehumanizes people. All I can figure is that that may help the people who are doing this work day in and day out, year in and year out, have enough detachment and clear boundaries with their clients so they can have a life outside of work. It would be lovely if they added the positive stuff! Sue, you are observant, expressive, and resourceful, as well as an independent thinker, gauging by your comments!


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