A lesson about ALL mental illness is contained in this golden nugget found in the Boston Globe, but of course that connection is not made in this article. Read this amazing excerpt from the piece:
For over 25 years, Harvard psychiatrists have helped and studied victims of many of the world’s most devastating events. What they found is more heartening than you might think
“During the year of the snake, the god of the sun came to stay in my body. It made my body shaky all over — and I fainted. Upon awakening, I can remember as I opened my eyes that it was very dark. I then went to the rice fields to find someone to ask them what time it was. A voice shouted 10 o’clock. Suddenly, the owls began to cry and all the animals that represented death were howling all around me. I could also barely see a small group of people whispering to each other in the forest. I became so frightened that I tried to calm myself by praying to all the gods and the angels in heaven to protect me from danger. I was so paralyzed with fear that I was unable to walk either backward or forward.
“I came to settle in East Boston near the ocean. Now when I dream, I always see an American who dresses in black walking along the sea. One day when I was in my sponsor’s house, I had this vision. This year, the year of the cow, I would like the American people to help me build a temple near the seashore. “Since the Pol Pot soldiers killed my children, I am so depressed that all I can think about is just to build a temple — that is all. God appeared to me again the other day, and he told me to build a temple.
“Please help me make my dream come true. If not, I do not think I can live any more.”
This patient had survived the Khmer Rouge labor camps that had killed her five daughters and four of her 10 grandchildren. At that time in traditional psychiatric settings, this patient would have been diagnosed as having a psychotic illness because it seemed she was out of touch with reality by saying she was possessed by the god of the sun, hearing voices, and having hallucinations. But, as her successful care eventually demonstrated, her dreams were a sign of a healing journey focused on her Buddhist religion, which eventually brought relief to her suffering after she entered a Buddhist temple as a nun. (read the rest here)
Why is it not recognized that many of our young people who suffer from what gets labeled “psychosis and schizophrenia” are also a healing journey!!??? Why not?? There are so many of us survivors telling the same story and no one wants to listen. The only difference is that the trauma incurred in the lives of the ordinary “schizophrenic” is invisible and often never even discovered by “caretakers.”
This article says at one point about the above sorts of scenariors:
Unfortunately, it is common medical practice to neglect, ignore or even actively avoid addressing these social self-healing responses, especially spirituality. Studies have shown that medical practitioners feel uncomfortable in bringing spirituality into their treatment approach even with patients who have terminal illnesses.
Uh, well, unfortunately EVERYONE’s self-healing responses are routinely ignored throughout the entire mental health system!!