I'm Whitney Fishburn,
publisher of docu-mental:
mapping the american states of mind
docu-mental: mapping the american states of mind, available here on substack, is, since 2018, a trusted weekly source of well-wrought analyses and podcast interviews on how public and corporate policy in this nation correlates with our declining rates of mental wellness.
Podcast guests range from New York Times bestselling authors, to internationally recognized thought leaders in public health policy, economics, religion, and post-modern theory, as well as experts in mental health and psychiatry, corporate power, culture and the arts, and other relevant fields. Interviews are conducted through the lenses of personal experience and cultural analysis.
I began docu-mental as a subscription-based publication in the spirit of public service. My mission was to help “create herd immunity to anxiety and depression™” by identifying the ways in which our public and economic policies undermine rather than support our mental health. Most posts are free to everyone, but paid subscribers have access to more materials.
To date, all paths in this investigative exercise seem to lead me back the same revelation: hierarchy is what makes us sick, no matter where we might be in the linear order of things. It infects freedom and democracy and its “mechanism of action” is its ability to separate us from our selves and one another.
In all my acts of publicly thinking out loud through docu-mental, the only antidote to this poisonous mindset I have discovered so far is loving kindness.
The personal essays, critical analyses, and interviews that serve as the long division behind docu-mental, I hope, demonstrate how complex and nuanced this finding about kindness as cure actually is.
I’m a Washington, DC-based journalist-turned-astrologer, whose 30+ years of writing about healthcare antitrust law, federal health policy, clinical psychiatry, and other medical disciplines, helped me develop a deep and multi-faceted understanding of how that the system itself is largely what undermines our mental well-being. Looking for a remedy, I turned to astrology and Eastern philosophies such as yoga and Tibetan Buddhism. Through my consulting practice, Ensouled Astrology, I now work with clients to deconstruct the damage done by the status quo that seeks to label and sort us, pathologize us, and tell us what we "should" want from life.
When we live from within ourselves, rather than try to live separated from ourselves, the way our current reductionist system forces us to do, we diminish mental distress, and create pathways that raise our levels of joy and gratitude. When we do this for ourselves, we can readily do this for others, building communities of peace and progress.