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Apotheosis

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spiritual_emergency

spiritual_emergency

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Oct 15, 2008
Messages
186
Hello Apotheosis -- long time, no see. :)

I wrote a piece just a few days ago that touches on the same theme. It arose out of a discussion related to American psychiatrist, E. Fuller Torrey so I've included key aspects of that discussion as well...

Edwin Fuller Torrey, M.D. (b.September 6, 1937, Utica, New York), is an American psychiatrist and schizophrenia researcher. He is Executive Director of the Stanley Medical Research Institute (SMRI) and founder of the Treatment Advocacy Center (TAC), a nonprofit organization with the goals of eliminating legal and clinical obstacles to the treatment of severe mental illness.

Dr. Torrey has conducted numerous research studies, particularly on possible infectious causes of schizophrenia. He has become well-known as an advocate of the idea that severe mental illness is due to biological factors and not social factors. He has appeared on national radio and television outlets and written for many newspapers. He has received two Commendation Medals by the U.S. Public Health Service and numerous other awards and tributes. He has been criticized by a range of people, including federal researchers and others for some of his attacks on de-institutionalization and his support for forced medication as a method of treatment. He has also been described as having a black-and-white view of mental illness and as being iconoclastic, dogmatic, single-minded and a renegade. ...

In the 1950s, it was commonly thought schizophrenia was caused by 'bad parenting'. The fact that his sister, Rhoda, had been diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1957, and Torrey himself was not, led him to question evidence for this theory. He felt that the view had a toxic effect on their mother. Rhoda subsequently lived for ten years in community supported housing but has spent much of the time for five decades as an inpatient in psychiatric hospital; Fuller has described her as still anything but well, attributing this to her having a severe form of schizophrenia.

In the early 1970s, Torrey became interested in viral infections as possible causes of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, particularly a parasite toxoplasma gondii found in domestic cats that can lead to Toxoplasmosis. Up to one third of the world's population is estimated to carry a Toxoplasma infection. Since then he has published, often with Robert Yolken, more than 30 articles on seasonal variation and possible infectious causes of schizophrenia, focusing especially on Toxoplasma gondii. He is involved in five or six ongoing studies using anti-Toxoplasmosa gondii agents (e.g. antibiotics such as minocycline and azithromycin) as an add-on treatment for schizophrenia. He believes that infectious causes will eventually explain the "vast majority" of schizophrenia cases. Some of his collaborators have disagreed with the emphasis he has placed on infection as a direct causal factor. Many of the research studies on links between schizophrenia and Toxoplasma gondii, by different authors in different countries, are funded and supported by the Stanley Medical Research Institute. The hypothesis is not prominent in current mainstream scientific views on the causes of schizophrenia, although infections may be seen as one possible risk factor that could lead to vulnerabilities in early neurodevelopment in some cases.

Torrey has generally been in favor of antipsychotic drugs. He has claimed that taking antipsychotics reduces the risk of violence, homelessness and prison. He has argued that "noncompliance" in about half of cases of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder is due to lack of "insight" into the illness because the part of the brain for self-awareness has been affected; and that in some who are aware it is due to adverse effects ranging from tremors or sedation to sexual dysfunction to substantial weight gain.

Read more: Wikipedia: E. Fuller Torrey

~*~​


Some personal reflections on E. Fuller Torrey...

Quite some months ago I had the opportunity to be on a psyche ward. Not just any psyche ward but a psyche ward reserved for the "most ill" -- the kind where you might be for years, where other people rarely visit, and you need a security guard if you want to brush your teeth because everything, including the patients, are under lock and key.

On that ward was a woman. I never met her, but you could hear her -- day after day (and apparently, night after night, too) moaning and wailing. She was in a room with large windows that more often than not were draped. Whenever staff entered that room, they'd first don an outfit that suggested the woman inside carried the Ebola virus. She didn't though. She just couldn't stop sh;tting on herself, and sometimes, in protest, she'd smear the sh;t all over the place.

Usually when she wailed it was because her bowels had, once more, done something she hadn't intended them to do and she'd call out, through the glass walls of her room for someone from the nursing station to come and help her. Some nurses were nicer than others and they'd respond quickly. Other nurses (and sometimes, patients too) would call back that she should "Shut up!" and they'd make her wait. Aside from that, no one ever really saw her because she was always locked in her room and the nurses would always draw the curtains when they entered.

I remember being in the common area one day when the woman in the room caught my eye. A nurse had entered her room and forgotten to pull closed the drapes that the woman must have opened. The woman was sitting on her bed and she raised one hand, smiled at me and waved. I almost felt as if she was saying, "Hey -- you! Can you see me in here? Can you see beyond these glass walls and all this sh;t to the person that I am, that I once was?"

And then, because I thought I could -- I raised my arm in reply, smiled, and waved back.

A few days later, I was in the common room once more and I saw the woman's psychiatrist approach her room. I recall watching as he reached into his pocket and then, with clinical precision, inserted one of the many keys on his chain into the lock. He quickly stepped into the room, pulling the door closed behind him. More wailing and complaining could be heard. Then, I watched as he exited the room and once more, with that same cold and clinical precision, he locked her away, alone, cut off from the rest of the human race. I remembered her raised hand, that tenative wave, the look in her eyes... In that moment, I felt a wave of fury pass over me.

E. Fuller Torrey's sister experienced her first psychotic break after her father died. I experienced mine when my mother died. Her brother remains convinced it was his sister's cat that was the sole cause of the misfortune. I remain convinced it was multiple losses as combined with trauma that was the cause of mine.

I still think of that woman. I wish I'd asked her psychiatrist if he'd ever bothered to explore the connections between neuroleptic malignant syndrome and lack of bowel control. Meantime, E. Fuller Torrey remains a popular and controversial figure in psychiatry but I sometimes wonder what it would be like to be E. Fuller Torrey's sister and what she might have said about everything -- if she'd ever had the opportunity to do so.



See also: Presumed Causes of Schizophrenia and Psychosis: Cat Poop

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A

Apotheosis

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Hello Apotheosis -- long time, no see. :)

I wrote a piece just a few days ago that touches on the same theme. It arose out of a discussion related to American psychiatrist, E. Fuller Torrey so I've included key aspects of that discussion as well...
Hi S_E - It's Good to hear from you again. Good article.

Where I am at; I think that things are multiple & individual. Maybe some people are sent mad by cat shit? Who knows.

I am looking at it from my circumstances as being physical, mental & spiritual; as well as environmental, social, & interpersonal factors/circumstances.

I am slightly more accepting of the biological angle these days - but as one part of things. From a (w)holistic perspective - then we are a whole entity/organism, spirit is melded with brain/mind; & integrated with physical body - there are no definite divisions (until maybe after death).

I have been very much all over the place with how I have been feeling; one day calm, somewhat relaxed, easy going, contented, & generally OK - to feeling on edge, panicked, anxious, stressed, tense, depressed, & unwell. I can go between the two states in a moment. But in general things are good; & I deal with it. However I am feeling passes.

I have been reading some more books by Brian Weiss; & finding them very interesting & comforting. Someone here also posted a U-Tube Link to Michael Newton; & I have ordered his two books - Journey of Souls, & Destiny of Souls - Which I look forward to reading soon.

Hope that things are OK with you. X
 
spiritual_emergency

spiritual_emergency

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 15, 2008
Messages
186
Apotheosis: Where I am at; I think that things are multiple & individual. Maybe some people are sent mad by cat shit? Who knows.

It becomes difficult to argue that neurochemistry plays no role at all; after all, I am having a neurochemical response to this conversation so it stands to reason I had one during the time of my "break".

In my own case, I remain intrigued by the roles of stress hormones in the psychotic process. I have wondered at times if a more appropriate medication might be something that will minimize the effects of cortisol and adrenaline on the body. But I also agree there are multiple causes of psychosis/schizophrenia and hence, there will be a need for multiple forms of treatment. I also believe that the neurochemical response will be stronger in some than in others and that when people say, "Medication has helped me," it's not because they are weak, or misinformed, or slaves to the pharmaceutical industry. Most people are quite capable of recognizing what is helpful and acceptable and tolerable.

More thoughts later as time permits.

~ Namaste


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A

Apotheosis

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It becomes difficult to argue that neurochemistry plays no role at all; after all, I am having a neurochemical response to this conversation so it stands to reason I had one during the time of my "break".
Yes; someone in an ASC is obviously experiencing an altered state of mind/brain chemistry. The question for me is one of cause. The complex interplay of environment, emotions, & other causes, with the brain. Is it the genetics & brain chemistry that is the primary cause of these experiences? - maybe in some cases? & maybe not in others. It is a question with no easy answers. & to answer it fully, I think, that we need to know the nature of consciousness, the truth of spirituality, & no less than to understand reality - & I can't see science coming up with answers to any of those questions any time soon.

Contrary to popular orthodox belief - I do not think that the brain gives rise to consciousness - rather that the other way around is more accurate (IMO); & the two perspectives are polar opposites; & colour the entire answer to the question; through perceiving the original question entirely differently.

http://www.oneinahundred.co.uk/
 
spiritual_emergency

spiritual_emergency

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 15, 2008
Messages
186
Apotheosis: It is a question with no easy answers. & to answer it fully, I think, that we need to know the nature of consciousness, the truth of spirituality, & no less than to understand reality - & I can't see science coming up with answers to any of those questions any time soon.

No. I'm not sure if science ever will. Certainly though, I feel that quantum physics is a step in the right direction.

Contrary to popular orthodox belief - I do not think that the brain gives rise to consciousness

Yes, a similar analogy would be that the heart does not give rise to love.

~ Namaste

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