Many witches, such as myself, suffer from mental illness such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, and dissociation. Those who live with mental illness are no less capable in the world of magic as nuerotypical people are. Sometimes, oftentimes, magic can help those of us who struggle with our disorders. I’ve decided to put together a list of the most common psychological disorders and a couple ways one could use their magic or metaphysical tools to help them cope. Please note that this is in no way a complete list, and I am not saying that magic can or will cure your neurodivergency. Magic or metaphysical tools should in no way replace doctor visits or prescription medication.
Anxiety Related Disorders
Generalized Anxiety Disorder//
This condition is a chronic, constant, high level of anxiety that is not tied to a specific trigger or threat. Those of us with GAD feel constantly worried about everything. Panic attacks come in waves, and are more like a spike in the anxiety rather than going from calm to panicked in a moment. The physical symptoms of this condition are muscle tension, trembling, hyperventilating, dizziness, faintness, sweating, heart palpitations and nausea.
This illness is a persistent and irrational fear or a specific object or situation that presents no realistic danger. Mild phobias are extremely common, but this disorder is found only in those whose fears seriously interfere with their day to day lives and behavior. Sometimes even just imagining their source of fear can trigger an anxiety attack.
This is when a person has recurrent attacks of overwhelming anxiety that occur suddenly and unexpectedly, usually brought about by a trigger, thought or situation.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder//
When a person experiences persistent, uncontrollable intrusions of unwanted thoughts (or obsessions) and urges to engage in senseless rituals (compulsions). Having this disorder can often make one feel if they are losing their mind. Common examples of these compulsions are repeated hand washing, doing certain things a specific number of times, cleaning things that are already clean, endless rechecking of locks, faucets, electronics, excessive arranging, counting, and hoarding of objects.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder//
This occurs when an individual experiences a major traumatic event and as a result suffers from enduring psychological disturbances. Often PTSD will be accompanied by any number of other anxiety disorders as a result of the traumatic event. Common symptoms of this include flashbacks, night terrors, emotional numbing, alienation, social anxiety, elevated arousal, extreme lack of arousal, anger, guilt, vulnerability, dissociation and self loathing.
Tips to Help with Anxiety Related Disorders//
Teas: Chamomile, Vervain, Passionflower, Lavender, Borage, and Bergamot are all herbs that can be used in teas to help calm me down during or after an attack.
Crystals: Rose Quartz, Amethyst, Citrine, Ametrine, Blue Lace Agate, Jet, Lepidolite, Black Tourmaline, Labradorite and Moonstone are all crystals that can help with anxiety and stress related disorders.
Aromatherapy: Lavender, Peppermint, Eucalyptus and Lemongrass are all essential oils that can be used in an infuser to help instill a sense of peace.
Stone Meditation: This is something my therapist taught me to do when I am having an attack. Take a stone that fits in the palm of your hand. Stare at it and breath deeply. Inhale for five seconds, exhale for five seconds. Memorize the shape of the stone, all the tiny details. Do this for thirty seconds, or three inhale-exhale cycles. Then, close your eyes and recreate the stone, it’s shape, all the tiny details. Inhale for five seconds, exhale for five seconds. Do this for 30 seconds. Open your eyes and look at the stone again, maybe turn it over and look from another angle. Repeat the process until you feel calm.
Activities: Take a good daily multivitamin. Get some sun, the Vitamin D helps with mood stability. Clean your room, make your bed. This helps you to feel productive and the clean environment will help you feel more at peace. Take a shower. This kind of goes hand in hand with the clean and productive feeling.
Major Depressive Disorder//
These people show persistent feelings of sadness, despair, loss of interest, inability to feel pleasure and lack of motivation. They tend to be sluggish, have an increase or lack of appetite, have an increase or lack of sleep, next to no self esteem, experience irritability, moodiness, anxiety, a sense of worthlessness, hopelessness and dejection. People with MDD usually have one or more anxiety disorders as well. People with MAD have been known to experience suicidal thoughts and partake in self injury.
BPD, or formally known as Manic Depressive Disorder, is the experience of one or more manic episodes as well as long periods of depression. This disorder is characterized by extreme mood swings from elated, euphoric behaviors to negative, sometimes anger driven behaviors.
Tips to Help with Mood Disorders//
Teas: Bergamot, Lavender, Chamomile, Ginkgo Leaf, and St. John’s Wort are good teas to help with bouts of depression.
Crystals: Amethyst, Rose Quartz, Lepidolite, Lapis Lazuli, and Agate are all crystals that I have found useful with coping with mood disorders.
Aromatherapy: Lavender and Lemongrass are both mood lifting oils.
Activities: Clean your room. Open a window. Breath some fresh air. Take a shower. Get out of bed and do SOMETHING (anything. Even something as small as getting dressed or taking out the trash. Feeling productive can really help). Get some sun. Eat your favorite food. Drink tea. Watch something funny, try to get yourself to laugh even if you don’t feel like it.
Dissociative Identity Disorder//
The name for this used to be Multiple Personality Disorder, but was recently changed. This involves the coexistence in one person of two or more largely complete and very different personalities. Each personality tends to have a name and it’s own life, memories, traits and mannerisms. The general consensus in people with DID is that the personalities are unaware of the others’ existence.
Also called Derealization Disorder, or just informally known as Dissociation Disorder.This is the feeling that reality isn’t really real. The person with this disorder may feel as if they are in a movie or a video game, and the actions and words of people around them are scripted or inhuman. This person may experience excessive detachment from one’s own life and a lack of realization of consequences of decisions they make.
This is the sudden loss of personal important memories that is too excessive to be attributed to normal forgetting. This can be due to a traumatic event, such as rape, combat stress, physical abuse or having witnessed a violent event or death.
Types of DA:
- Localized amnesia: No memory from a specific period of time, usually around the trauma.
- Selective amnesia: Recall only parts of what happened during a specific time. I.E., a person could remember being in a place, but not what happened there.
- Systemized amnesia Lack of memory regarding a certain area. I.E., a person may forget all the specifics about a person who abused them.
This is the loss of memory of an entire lifetime along with sense of personal identity.
Tips to Help with Dissociative Disorders//
Teas: Chamomile, Licorice Root, Chicory Root, Ginger, Cinnamon, Fennel, Cardamom and Clove are all herbs that can be used in tea to help with grounding you in reality.
Crystals: Hematite, Smokey Quartz, Jasper, Shungite, Bloodstone, Black Tourmaline, Septarian and Unakite are all good crystals to help ground you.
Grounding Meditation: Sit on the ground, preferably outside. Place your hands on the ground and visualize your body being rooted into the earth, your energies combining and with every breath, imagine that flow of energy between your roots and the dirt. Inhale for five seconds, exhale for five seconds. Continue this cycle until you feel grounded.
Activities: Eat. Eating and savoring a taste can help with dissociation. Take a bath in Epsom salt, to help rid your body of impurities and help you feel clean. Go for a walk and try to connect with nature. Exercise, do something to make yourself sweat.
Symptoms of Schizophrenic disorders include delusions, irrational thought, lack of adaptive behavior, hallucinations, and disturbed emotions. The different types of Schizophrenia are Catatonic, Paranoid, Undifferentiated and Disorganized. Catatonic is related to motor disturbances such as muscular rigidity to random motor activity. Paranoia is dominated by delusions of persecution and grandeur. Disorganized is severe deterioration of adaptive behavior, such as emotional indifference, incoherence and social withdrawal. Undifferentiated is a combination of all the symptoms.
Tips to Help with Schizophrenic Disorders//
Teas: Panax Ginseng, Ginkgo Biloba, Ashwagandha, Brahmi and Chamomile are all helpful herbs in coping with a schizophrenic disorder.
Crystals: Sugilite, Ruby, Lepidolite, Emerald, Amethyst and Ulexite are all helpful crystals for clarity and schizophrenic disorders.
Activities: Take Omega 3 Fish Oil Supplements. Take Antioxidants such as Vitamin E, C, and Melatonin. Try a gluten free or low sugar diet. Music therapy is said to have some success in helping those who cope with these disorders as well.
Paranoid Personality Disorder//
These people have trouble trusting and confiding in others, are constantly waiting for signs of betrayal in friends and family and tend to see threats in places where there are none.
Borderline Personality Disorder//
Those with BPD tend to feel constantly worried about abandonment, have intense episodes of extreme emotions, a lack of self identity, a sense of emptiness and loneliness, may engage in self harm or suicidal thoughts, struggle to control anger, cannot hold down stable relationships or friendships, and act impulsively.
Antisocial Personality Disorder//
This disorder is the impulsive, callous, manipulative, aggressive and irresponsible behavior that reflects a failure to accept social norms. These people tend to put themselves in risky or dangerous situations, act impulsively, get bored or seem bored constantly, and have a distinct lack of guilt for inappropriate actions.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder//
Those with this disorder have a fragile self esteem and constantly seek validation that they are special and god’s gift to humankind. They tend to get upset if they are ignored or underappreciated, take advantage of other people, resent others’ success, put their own needs before others’ and are typically seen as selfish.
Tips to Help with a Personality Disorder//
Teas: Yerba Mate, Kava Kava, Valerian, Bergamot and Chamomile are all helpful.
Crystals: Lithium Quartz, Blue Calcite, Lepidolite, Tiger’s Eye, Kunzite and Amethyst.
(Definition of Disorders comes from ‘Psychology: Themes and Variations, Eighth Edition, by Wayne Weiten.)