Letter to the Mother of a “Schizophrenic”: We Must Do Better

Again and again I am told the ‘severely mentally ill’ are impaired and incapable, not quite human. I am told they are like dementia patients wandering in the snow, with no capacity and no cure, not to be listened to or related to. I am told they must be controlled by our interventions regardless of their own preferences, regardless of the trauma that forced treatment can inflict, regardless of the simple duty we have to regard others with caring, compassion, and respect, regardless of the guarantees of dignity we afford others in our constitution and legal system. I am told the “high utilizers” and “frequent flyers” burden services because they are different than the rest of us. I am told the human need for patience doesn’t apply to these somehow less-than-human people. And when I finally do meet the people carrying that terrible, stigmatizing label of schizophrenia, what do I find? I find – a human being. A human who responds to the same listening and curiosity that I, or anyone, responds to. … [click on title to read the rest]

A Theological Interpretation of Mental illness-A Focus on “Schizophrenia”

And so I embarked on the darkest journey of my life, one for which neither I nor my husband were prepared. I soon found out that there was no one who could help us. The psychiatrists, even the more sympathetic ones, were not making sense to me. I was coming from the business world and I was not used to accepting superficial answers. They could not tell me what was wrong with Helia and why this had happened to her. They could not answer my challenging questions about the scientific research in the field. The best doctors, the honest ones, would tell me: “We really don’t know what this is, but we are sure that something is wrong with her brain.” But why? “Why are you so sure that it is her brain?” I asked. Their response was, “because it can’t be anything else.”
And that is exactly where the problem lay. They could not get out of the box that they were forced into by their guild. Biological psychiatry, in my opinion, suffers from a flawed and reductionist conception of how the human mind works and what might be needed to help it to function optimally when it is not doing so. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia – A Valuable, and Free, Online Report

What would happen if a team of highly qualified psychologists joined up with a team of people who knew psychosis from the inside, from their own journey into madness and then recovery – and if they collaborated in writing a guide to understanding the difficult states that get names like “psychosis” and schizophrenia”?

Well, you don’t have to wonder anymore, because the result was just published a couple of days ago in the form of a report that is free to download at Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia … [click on title to read and view more]

Psychotherapy for Schizophrenia: Bert Karon on Madness Radio

Is schizophrenia really an “incurable illness” — or a state of chronic terror? Are there ways for psychotherapy to reach people in different realities? And does Freudian psychoanalysis offer a humane and empowering approach?
Bert Karon, psychoanalyst since 1955, co-author of the classic textbook Psychotherapy of Schizophrenia, and Professor of Clinical Psychology at Michigan State University, outlines psychoanalysis and discusses how his talking cure helps people diagnosed psychotic and schizophrenic. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

Breakdown to breakthrough says, Dr. Dan Fisher (psychiatrist who overcame a schizophrenia diagnosis)

Dan Fisher says, those of us who’ve experienced psychosis and other extreme states are the ones who need to be running the mental health system. Amen, that is the truth and what is now happening in the name of care and treatment is a travesty. We’ve got a mental illness system, not a mental health system. Why not speak to those who have truly and deeply become healthy. Yes, like Dan Fisher. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

Schizophrenia: A drop of sunshine

It may be one word, but it immediately conjures up multiple connotations – mad, incurable, violent, suicidal, chemical imbalances, crazy, a lifelong condition, an inevitable dependency on Medicines. This film questions this negative mainstream view of the condition, and wonders if an alternative destiny for a person with a diagnosis is possible. It charts out the story of Reshma Valliappan, who now lives a fulfilling life, free of medicines. The film explores a controversial, but ultimately empowering, view of the condition, which a small minority of brave psychologists and psychiatrists are beginning to embrace across the world. It also proposes a contrarian approach towards treatment for the condition, where the patient is encouraged and equipped to become an equal partner in the process of healing. (entire film available to view here) with additional commentary and information … [click on title for the rest of the post]

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