Let’s talk about psychosis. Let’s especially learn from those who’ve been there.

Below this post is a collection of links on that which gets labeled psychotic…information, resources, hope and inspiration to heal.

This report: Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia – A Valuable, and Free, Online Report which was featured on Beyond Meds the other day is getting a LOT of attention in the UK. This is very exciting.  Many are still very afraid to have this very important conversation…the quality of life of hundreds of thousands of people are at stake.

From the Guardian:

understandingIf psychosis is a rational response to abuse, let’s talk about it

There is something of a sea change in the way we understand experiences that have traditionally been labelled as psychotic. In our culture at least, experiences such as hearing voices or seeing visions have long been viewed by the medical establishment as unequivocal symptoms of mental illness. Treatment has tended to focus on the suppression of such “symptoms” using antipsychotic medication.

Research (often funded by drugs companies) has been largely concerned with the brain as a physical organ, rather than with the person within whose head it is housed, or indeed with their life experience. And, because of the presumption that psychotic symptoms are the preserve of mentally ill people, estimates of the numbers affected have been based on the numbers who have received a particular diagnosis.

But a report published last week by the British Psychological Society’s division of clinical psychology, challenges many of these assumptions. Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia presents a compelling case for trying to understand psychotic experiences as opposed to merely categorising them. It argues that such experiences can be understood from a psychological perspective, in the same way as other thoughts and feelings, rather than being placed on the other side of an artificial sick/healthy divide. (read the article here)

 

Psychosis recovery: stories, information and resources

This post may be cut and pasted in it’s entirety and shared without further permission.

Below this updated section remains the list of recovery stories and resources for that which is labeled psychotic.

The below statements started out as a brief thought on Facebook. I’ve since added some more musings:

People can heal the sensitivity to become psychotic by becoming AWARE…that is a growth and maturation process…when one matures enough to become an observer of their thoughts and become discerning about the content of their thoughts psychosis pretty much goes away…

Psychosis is, among (many) other things, also, quite often, a deep attachment to one’s (not consensually reasonable) thoughts and beliefs. To be clear much of what is consensually and widely believed in society and the mainstream is also delusional. It’s just generally accepted. R.D Laing has much to say about the “normal” human being. Let’s just say that real clarity and lucidity is not normal.

All human beings can become psychotic under the right (or wrong) circumstances…

Strengthening the health of the body helps clarity and growth too…as holistic beings it all matters…everything.

The maturation and healing process happens naturally…and can be aided and supported by many different things. If you visit the drop-down menu at the top of the page on this blog there are many suggestions in that direction.

The biggest problem in our society now for those who get diagnosed with any sort of “psychosis,” is that they are most often met by professionals that do not even believe that healing can occur, let alone deep transformative growth. Deep transformative growth, could be the norm, if those claiming to be healers actually knew what was involved in the individuation journey. Meeting the dark underbelly of the psyche as those of us who have been labeled psychotic at one time or another is a calling and an act of heroism. One that is rarely encouraged in society. I might add that it’s to the detriment of all society that we are shut down and often tortured rather than supported.  Many of us are healers trying to be born, just like Malidoma Somé says here: What a Shaman Sees in A Mental Hospital

There are many ways to find healing. Two pages that explore different ways of perceiving what is otherwise labeled psychiatric illness are here:

Artwork by Jung
Artwork by Jung

Whether you choose to see psychosis or other extreme states of consciousness as healing crisis of the psyche or you consider it spiritual emergency, many people find their way through them without meds or with meds only for a short time or intermittently as needed for relief. This is something that is not widely appreciated or understood. If given the right supports and a safe place most people can heal from such situations.

To see documentation of a program that gets these sorts of results in an entire area of Finland see here. They’re seeing an 85 to 90% recovery rate (with very little or NO medication) in a population that in the US is told they will never recover at all!

This is a collection of stories of people who have come through such episodes generally getting labeled either schizophrenic or bipolar. The label isn’t so important I’ve found and there is lots of crossover between anything that gets labeled psychotic.

These are the stories of people’s journey’s through their dark nights of the soul sometimes lasting months, other times lasting years, but all ending fully recovered. In addition these stories involve freedom from drugs/medications. Most everyone on these pages were told they would need drugs for the rest of their lives and proved psychiatry sorely wrong.

There are more recovery stories here that are not specific to psychosis, but to other forms of mental distress that get labeled bipolar or depressed etc.

A few more recent posts on the subject of psychosis recovery:

This page will be continually added to as I find more information.

This list is by no means exhaustive.

Monica/Gianna’s story: the aftermath of polypsychopharmacology

– this is my story to this date, recently published on Dr. David Healy’s website. I’m not physically well, but that is because the drugs harmed my body. I have no sign of mental illness. My mind has a clarity I’ve never known. So I’m including this here now.

For healing support:

Websites:

Books to help understand the process our minds go through while in extreme states:

Visit the Beyond Meds BOOKSTORE

THIS IS BY NO MEANS AND EXHAUSTIVE READING LIST

Visit the Beyond Meds BOOKSTORE for more.

More posts on psychiatric drug withdrawal:

Please do not attempt to discontinue psych drugs without first very carefully educating yourself on the risks involved so that you might minimize the chances of developing grave iatrogenic illness if you decide to withdraw: Psychiatric drug withdrawal and protracted withdrawal syndrome round-up

●  Psychiatric drug withdrawal and protracted withdrawal syndrome round-up

 ●  Online Support in Withdrawal

See also: Peer support? This is the real thing. Free of institutionalization. (psych drug withdrawal)

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About Monica Cassani

Author/Editor Beyond Meds: Everything Matters