Welcome to Inner Compass Initiative’s Learn/Unlearn section.

Inner Compass Initiative has developed the mini-booklets, articles and Q&As in this section because descriptions of psychiatric diagnoses and treatments that are provided by most major medical and mental health websites are usually brief, vague and more “promotional” than factual. There are many reasons that some of these websites might knowingly or unwittingly promote misleading ideas about diagnoses and treatments – reasons that are explained in detail in some of our essays. Conversely, we believe that when seeking information to help make serious, potentially life-changing decisions about the well-being of your own (or a friend or loved one’s) body, brain, mind and spirit, you deserve a fairer opportunity to understand and evaluate the facts and potential risks and benefits. We believe that everyone deserves to be empowered to make truly informed choices.

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Therefore, please also be forewarned: This section contains some hard facts about what is known and not known about psychiatric diagnoses and treatments – called here 'diagnostic labels' and 'interventions', respectively. Some people may find that what they learn (or unlearn) here feels upsetting or disturbing. For these reasons, we always provide sources and links for further reading, and encourage joining ICI Connect and/or TWP Connect to find others in your own community with whom you can explore feelings or concerns that may come up.

And if you’re hoping to find “alternative” ways to understand and approach intense mental and emotional distress or unusual behaviors and states of consciousness, stay tuned: We are also actively developing informational resources that open doors into different ways for making sense of and navigating these experiences, and that will hopefully help create more spaces, opportunities and communities where all of us can come together to re-envision and re-create how we take care of ourselves and each other.