I don’t usually double-post my YouTube videos to my blog, but I thought this one may be valuable to the people who keep googling wicca and depression and ending up here. Clearly, there aren’t enough people talking about this sort of thing. I see the subject of mental illness and the notion of the “proper person” rear up periodically online, usually clouded by a lot of fear, misunderstanding, and judgment from people who don’t really know much about it.
The reality is that bazillions of people live with depression, described personality disorders, PTSD, anxiety, and all kinds of mental health concerns. For most of us, you’d never know it. In fact, often the only difference between us and a lot of “normal” people is that we’ve acknowledged our problems and are seeking treatment. It both saddens and angers me to hear about covens actively excluding people who are in psychotherapy, who take anti-depressants, or who have particular diagnoses, under the blanket assumption that everyone who struggles with mental health is unfit for coven work or somehow otherwise not a fully-functioning human being. It’s one thing for a coven leader to be unprepared to deal with the problems of a particular individual (I’m not trying to downplay the severity of certain conditions or suggest that everyone should get a free pass), but quite another to assume that everyone in therapy or on an SSRI isn’t “stable” or “healthy” enough for Craft.
In the above video, I talk a little bit about my own treatment history, the stigma attached to mental illness in Wicca/Pagan/metaphysical communities, and touch on the relationship between mental illness and magic.