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    Thread: Schizophrenia and Psychosis – Brain Disease or Existential Crisis?

    1. #1
      Senior Member firemonkee57's Avatar
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      Default Schizophrenia and Psychosis – Brain Disease or Existential Crisis?

      With the most recent schizophrenia/psychosis recovery research, we discover increasing evidence that psychosis is not caused by a disease of the brain, but is perhaps best described as being a last ditch strategy of a desperate psyche to transcend an intolerable situation or dilemma. To better understand how this conclusion which is so contrary to the widespread understanding of psychosis has come about, it will help if we break down this discussion into a short series of questions and answers.

      Schizophrenia/Psychosis--Brain Disease or Existential Crisis? | Brain Blogger
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      Schizophrenia is essential a personally negative brand of chronic psychosis.

      There are a lots of things that can cause psychosis in anyone. Things from trauma and stress, to street drugs, to hormonal imbalances, old age, sleep deprivation... the list goes on an on.

      Often people who have schizophrenia, are unable to cope with their psychosis, partly because it does not resolve but also partly because of developmental issues and personality issues.

      In my experience with chronic psychosis, often times the delusions or hallucinations I had were directly linked to some lacking in my make up or negative traits I developed over the years. Having to many secrets and not being comfortable with them was pretty much the gist of my problems with voices. Additionally guilt and underlying self doubt. I find this the case with a lot of schizophrenics. Usually it is rooted in some past event that causes us to develop maladaptive traits.

      As I have gotten older (I am now 43) I have a lot more peace about myself. The only thing that trips me up at this point is more on the social front, dealing with people that are either nasty, pushy, or do stupid things that effect me in a negative way. I have essentially mellowed and gained wisdom over the years that has relaxed my psyche, making me loose and maliable, less secretive, and I have more confidence.

      For many of us schizophrenia is caused by an existential crisis. Some like to lable it a spiritual cause, and for a while I thought that too but I found that causes additional problems for me. I prefer to think of it in terms of the psyche, not a "spirit" or a "disease" process but a psychic reaction. Some psychosis can be purely biological and I know many psychiatrists do not put out the effort to find other causes by doing lab tests or getting biological data on individual.

      Addtionally, thinking can be pattered over a time and it does have an effect on the brain biologically. But I know the brain is pliable and maliable and new ways of thinking can be learned and become the emergent pattern.

      I encourage you to wrap your head around the whole lot of information and learn the various causes of psychosis and then it will end this debate for you that it is an either\ or type thing. Psychosis can be caused by disease, or an extistential crisis, or lots of things it is not a dichotomous explaination for cause, unless one wants to make it so for some sort of gain (usually frinancial or power).

      Don't be a like a psychiatrist or a priest and have a myopic and narrow view of the subject.
      Last edited by ettiene.dyer; 08-08-12 at 23:29.

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      Does this mean that Laing was right in 'The Divided Self', which, if you'll excuse the personal annotation, is in my opinion nothing short of a masterpiece.

    5. #5


      Quote Originally Posted by TheRedStar View Post
      Does this mean that Laing was right.......
      imo - he was largely right about a great deal.

    6. #6
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      To play with analogy:

      Psychosis is a reaction that is not unlike a fire of the mind.
      Ones base temperature before psychosis is largely determined by physical health (and genetics) and previous experiences.

      A spark is generally required to set off the thought patterns that are 'schizophrenic', however spontaneous combustion is feasible given the right environment. I feel like I know what these thought patterns feel like, its a way of thinking that is overly intense and spreads very quickly...quickly creating strong associations of emotions, events and perception that are hard to separate once it happens.

      I base this in part on experience, but also that there is definite inflammation related to schizophrenia, and that it can only be treated as such early on in psychosis. ie if you don't treat psychosis as an inflammatory disorder early on then the patterns become integrated into the structure of the mind and other techniques become more relevant.

      I think there is some evolutionary advantage to the psychotic mind state. Mostly when the temperature is being raised by structural issues. I think that as you reach into the deeper side of psychosis there is a plasticity to the mind that allows reformation given appropriate influence. However, given that the mind is running so hot, and is under a lot of stress...excessive loss of form can occur and it can be neigh impossible to maintain structure.

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      Terence Mckenna giving his view on how we define the mentally ill because we haven't got any place in our society to put these strange perceptions of reality that some people experience and how we should not fear these states but be confident and turn them into some sort of planetary worldview. The video speaks for itself.

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      I think that this subject is too complex to fully work out. I've been getting back on the one that in my own case there is more of a physiological/biologic component that I've been unwilling to fully acknowledge, I just don't know? I think that there is truth in a lot of perspectives on these conditions; but that no one really fully knows. Different understandings are correct (& wrong) in different ways. & things do seem to be very individual as well.

      All the polemics aside - many diagnosed with schizophrenia/bi-polar & clinical depression have shitty lives. Yes, far more could be done to help people - but it isn't. So much I feel does depend on what support you give people; & that for a percentage; that support (or lack of it) will mean recovery or a chronic condition.

      I've recently read 'tell me I'm here' by Anne Deveson (well worth a read), & 'Schizophrenia: Medicine's Mystery - Society's Shame' by Marvin Ross

      I've also ordered - 'Surviving Schizophrenia: A Manual for Families Consumers and Providers' by E. Fuller Torrey, 'Living with Schizophrenia' by Neel Burton, & 'Schizophrenia: A Very Short Introduction' by Chris Frith and Eve C. Johnstone.

      I'd been feeling slightly better again for a while; but feel awful again today, not got anything done, not eaten anything, a lot of physical ailments, no food in flat, sat here chain smoking; feeling overwhelmed with everything. I feel that I do have something wrong with my physical brain today, & that the best there is (all things considered) is the tablets. Wish that there were easier answers/solutions to all this - but I can't find them. If it is all an existential crisis; then I can't get out of it, & have been stuck in it all 22 years.

      Maybe if my experiences had been approached with the understandings & approaches in the OP then it would all be different? - but it wasn't & isn't. It's been treated with drugs. Maybe that's now created a brain condition?
      Last edited by Apotheosis; 13-08-12 at 18:02.
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    9. #9


      From the OP/Article -

      "As a desperate last-resort strategy, then, one’s own psyche initiates a psychotic process. As the individual enters into a psychotic process, we can say that their very self, right down to the most fundamental levels of their being, undergoes a process of profound disintegration; and as we have seen in the recovery research, with the proper conditions and support, there is every possibility of their continuing on to profound reintegration and eventual reemergence as a renewed self in a significantly changed and more resourced state than that which existed prior to the psychosis.

      This is why the intentional destabilization of one’s cognitive constructs may be so beneficial, although of course very risky. It is this very loosening of one’s personal paradigm — of one’s experience and understanding of one’s self and of the world — that allows an individual to undergo such a profound transformation at such a deep level of their being. When such a process resolves successfully, the potential amount of growth and/or healing that this allows is enormous; but of course, when such a process does not resolve successfully, an individual’s personal paradigm may remain unstable and chaotic indefinitely (think florid psychosis).

      This idea is well supported in the recovery research in the findings that many people who make full recoveries from psychosis often experience a degree of wellbeing and ability to meet their needs that far exceeds that which existed prior to their psychosis. It’s important to keep in mind, of course, that such resolution is not always successful, and that an individual may remain in a psychotic condition indefinitely. But we must also not lose sight of the very hopeful findings from the recovery research that suggest that such a successful resolution from a psychotic process is surprisingly common, and may even be the most common outcome given the proper conditions and support"

      [Emphasis mine] & there is the rub & the dilemma - with the proper conditions & support. i.e. not being carted off to the nut house & pumped full of drugs, & left in the community to rot - & all of the other bollocks that goes on. What are you meant to do if you never had the proper conditions & support - that most don't!? Basically your fucked.

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      What are you meant to do if you never got the understanding, care, help & support that you needed, & if you don't have it??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

      Oh right - accept your diagnosis & that you have a brain disease, take drugs the rest of your life & never resolve anything. Existential Doom...........
      Likes JeanMarguerite liked this post.

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