Saturday, June 25, 2022


Shortly after moving to New York City from Berlin in 1996 I experienced a mental breakdown and I started hallucinating. My mother was able to convince me, that maybe all these things I believed were true, might be all in my head. She accomplished this by showing me parts she had highlighted in Patty Duke’s book Call Me Anna. I was able to relate to so much of what Patty had also experienced and agreed to see a medical doctor. Within my first 30-minute meeting with a psychiatrist in a hospital in Denville, New Jersey, I was diagnosed with a mental illness and was told I needed psychotropic drugs to stay healthy. This diagnosis felt fishy from day one, but since I received this diagnosis from medical doctors, I trusted them.

In 2008 I was lucky to find a great psychotherapist in Berlin who is also a medical doctor.  She was shocked to hear that I received the diagnosis of a mental illness so quickly in 1996. After many therapy sessions, she confirmed my suspicion; there were so many other reasons why I could have derailed the way I did. I didn’t have to be mentally ill for that. She also encouraged me in my wish to stop taking psychotropic drugs and together with her I slowly weaned myself off all medications. I’ve been drug-free now for more than ten years, and I feel much better.

The core purpose of this website is to empower people to be tenderhearted guardians of their own mental health and the mental health of the people around them.

I believe our mental health care systems are in a crisis and that the current drug based paradigm of psychiatric care has failed society and calls for profound changes. 


Reading books helped me most to make sense of what happened to me. I’d like to encourage people to educate themselves before they start taking invasive and dangerous psychotropic drugs as I did. I will discuss many of the books that helped me and feature these posts on the BOOKS page.


Mental health is manipulated by our choices on what we eat, what nutrients we take, and when. The optimal balance of such factors is uniquely defined for each individual. Discovering this balance is an art. When we pay attention to how our choices affect us, we can learn what helps us and what hinders. As we adjust our eating patterns, we can become more able to consciously move toward what keeps us well. The blog posts featuring how foods affect our mental health and also recipes are featured on the FOOD page.


I’ve been working on the proposal for a radically different way to approach how we offer help to people who are experiencing emotional distress. I aim to publish this proposal in English and German in 2021. A business plan for a ‘model’ located in New York City and a separate business plan for a ‘model’ located in Berlin will be also available on request.


In the future, I plan on organizing workshops, writer’s groups, book clubs, and public discussions that will take place in Berlin, New York City, and online in real-time where people from all around the world can log in. These events will be featured on my EVENTS page.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: For many people, it might be comforting to believe that they have a mental illness and that psychotropic drugs are helping them. Please never think I want to convince anybody to let go of that. As long as you are sure it is the right path for you, then, by all means, continue on it!

All information provided on this blog is educational in nature, not medical advice, and not intended to take the place of medical counseling, diagnosis, and treatment. This website is not supported by any funding, and it is totally independent of all groups and organizations.

tenderhearted guardians is a one-woman operation put together for you with tender loving care by ingrid e johnson.



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