You Are Not Your Diagnosis

Mental Health Diagnosis concept - sunrise superimposed over a head's silhouette

Navigating the Sea of Modern Mental Health Diagnosis

Our themes from this week forward are going to be a general overview of mental health diagnosis. However, we want to do it in a systematic order week by week. We will start with the root and move outward towards the branches. Everyone knows the modern definitions for depression and anxiety and bipolar disorders, etc., etc. Some even wear these labels as badges of honor or identity. Other people overidentify. Some are blind to any labels or words existing for what they are experiencing and need help organizing and learning these ideas.


Finding the Way Back Home

The human psyche is vast, wonderous, and treacherous. We have depicted it in so many ways in so many great stories and paintings and movies and music and books across epochs of time and thousands of cultures. The human psyche is baffling and addictive and keeps ya’ coming back for more and more. Why? Because we all have one. And we all haven’t a clue as to why. Just opinions, best guesses, and the occasional “proof was in the pudding” moments. If we can find some new ways or old ways or a mix of ways to help people navigate the seas of depression and anxiety and all the other waves of diagnoses, we can maybe help them find their way back home, or perhaps make a new home.


Starting with the Roots

This week we will introduce the idea of EMOTIONS and THOUGHTS. This is the root. This is the fertile soil where it all begins and ends. You experience mental health disorders AS A RESULT of emotions and thoughts.  Maybe think about what emotions are, exactly. What if you felt an emotion that doesn’t have a name yet? Ouch. Is that like creating a new color and naming it?  Hard to fathom. Or perhaps explore the world of thought and where thoughts originate. How do they morph and grow into actions and patterns?  How can I change my thoughts or at the very least guide them in some cooperative way?


Making a Real Difference

Where to look? Explore Western culture and its philosophies over the millennia regarding emotions. Have they changed? Why have they changed? Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle have a few ideas. St. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas had some thoughts. Descartes, Baruch Spinoza, Hume, and Kant are all weighing in on this topic. There is also the James-Lange Theory of Emotions, Jean-Paul Sartre, and the idea of the reptilian brain. This topic is so rich with so many branches it is literally mind-blowing. So, shop around and find some stuff you like. Just get curious. We have an amazing opportunity to make a real difference in the world, and we have to rise to that challenge if we want to be on the front lines.

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Barn Life is uniquely special. As someone who has had long stretches of sobriety with "traditional" communities and methods, Barn Life stepped in when I started struggling during the pandemic and said "traditional" methods failed to help.The staff here are exceptional. This is a truly subjective statement, but it is my honest opinion that the people from the owner (Hi Matt!) to EVERYONE else works there because they believe in the work and want to share the tools they found.Barn Life and their little sibling, Peer Mental Wellness were the launchpad from a shell of an existence to person with self-love/respect, and a life-mission of personal development.

Steven D.
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Best for someone looking for spiritual healing in addition to their mental health healing.

Luka P.
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Barn life is probably one of the most amazing facilities you could ever attend when it comes to mental illness. This was the first place that popped up when I was searching for help and I’m so thankful that it did. The environment is very therapeutic, the staff is awesome, and the group discussions and activities were so helpful in me understanding what I was experiencing. Do not hesitate to be a part of this place. It’s literally a game changer. I was only there for 6 weeks but I wished I stayed at least 6 months. Ever since returning home, I’ve been much happier and my perspective has changed dramatically. I’ve done things and participated in events at my college that I never thought I would be able to do. This place is truly amazing and I’m forever grateful that I found this place.

Ariana E.
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Through trial and error of trying to stay sober this program is definitely the most caring and supporting of them all if anyone needs help and is willing to help themselves I suggest barnlife they will for a fact give you the push you need and the tools to keep you going

Mason T.
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My daughter has been at Barn Life Recovery now for two months. It was my last resort to send her 9 hours away from me. She has been in drug and mental health rehabs in and out for two years. This was my last stitch effort to save my daughter and get her back to herself. Alyssa and I spoke multiple times before deciding. Their willingness to do everything for her and the different teams they have work with them is amazing. My daughter is happy again and clean and sober. She loves it there in their outpatient program. They restore your faith in humanity. They help restore someone who is broken in so many places to themselves. They have put the light back in my daughters eyes. They are committed to helping each person who truly wants the help. They assist in helping them get jobs and be responsible members of society. I recommend their program to anyone wanting to recover from drug, alcohol and mental health.Thank you to all the people at Barn Life who have made my daughter smile and bring the light back to her eyes. I am truly grateful.DawnaLee

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I am alumni from Zen Recovery Path / a great place , and live a happy healthy life ever since / great peaceful place to recover // Namaste

Michael M.



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