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Neuroplasticity: The Brain in Recovery

spiritual_emergency

spiritual_emergency

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II. A New Science, A New Brain

Traditionally, the adult brain was considered relatively hard wired and fixed, a prognosis that lowered expectations about the possibility of curing the alleged brain problems that underlie psychiatric disorders. Thus, in the medical world, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder have been conceptualized as life-long, incurable brain pathologies that a person can learn to manage, but never completely resolve. However, these hypotheses have always been problematic, for longitudinal studies have demonstrated again and again that a significant amount of people diagnosed with schizophrenia completely emerge from psychiatric symptoms and no longer use medications. These individuals pose this challenge to neurobiology: if their previous symptoms were in fact due to a broken brain, are their brains now fixed?

The simple answer is yes, and a new area of science is explaining how and why. This area of science is called neuroplasticity, and its findings are rapidly reversing old myths about the potentiality of the brain.

Neuroplasticity basically refers to the brains natural ability across the lifespan to form new connections and change its structure in response to experience. This means the brain can change itself physically and functionally at any age to compensate for injury and disease and to adapt to new situations or changes in the environment. Whereas the brain was once conceptualized as a machine, it could now be thought of as more like clay, both malleable and vulnerable towards positive and negative influences.

Of course, there are limits to how much the brain can change, recognize, and heal, but these limits are not as imposing as might be assumed. Indeed, harnessing the power of neuroplasticity, people are fully recovering from massive strokes and other head traumas, overcoming learning disabilities to leap ahead in reading levels, erasing the pain of phantom limbs, restoring memory acuity and cognitive processing during old age, learning to see without eyesight, strengthening muscles just by thinking about them, meditating to create lasting neurological states that are conducive to compassion and happiness and on and on.

The message here is that the brain changes. This means that it is highly likely that whatever biological correlates underlie major psychiatric symptoms can change too. For instance, trauma and chronic stress change your brain but the areas that are affected can be changed back or compensated for. More specifically, the amygdala, involved in processing emotion and anxiety and shown to be affected by trauma, can form new connections, including to the prefrontal lobes which helps in controlling impulses and exercising restraint. Gray matter, which has been shown to be less voluminous in people diagnosed with schizophrenia can thicken. Serum BDNF (Brain-derived neurotrophin factor), which has been shown to be lower in people diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression, can be raised. The hippocampus, which is shown to have shrunk for people diagnosed with depression and PTSD can grow back and even produce new cells for the rest of the brain to make use of.

Certainly, neurotransmission -- the release of serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, etc. to allow communication between brain cells -- is variable and can be altered by natural means, ranging from sunlight to thinking positively. Even psychotherapy can significantly change the brain.

One of the tenets of neuroplasticity is that in order for the brain to form new connections and change, it must be stimulated through activity. Whether this activity is external -- such as playing a piano, or internal -- such as imagining your fingers playing a piano sequence, an important factor in driving lasting brain changes is that you pay close attention to what you are doing. In fact, playing a piano and just thinking about playing a piano affect the brain in virtually the same way, as long as you are engaged. The importance of this point cannot be understated: if thoughts and imagination physically change your brain, you can therefore use your mind -- especially through focused attention -- to positively rewire it.

Not surprisingly, this theme of mind over matter runs in recovery stories. Indeed, while people who recover often mention practical activities that helped them -- such as eating well (which can even turn genes on and off) and exercising (which produces new brain cells and has an anti-depressant effect) -- they also refer to the healing power of intangible experiences: spirituality, hope, human connection, having meaning and purpose in life, optimism, an undying will, and awareness. And it is likely that through the power of neuroplasticity, both the practical activities and the intangible experiences changed their brains.

To further illustrate this point, consider the experiences of self-awareness, which seems to be particularly important for people who recover. Self-awareness refers to the awareness of one's thoughts, behaviors and actions, and how all of these are intricately connected with one's environment. Though it is an incredibly empowering asset that most human beings -- diagnosed or not -- struggle to achieve, people who experience emotional and psychological turmoil may be at a unique advantage to master it, for their survival may depend on their ability to separate from and analyze the content of their minds. In any case, self-awareness requires deep attention. And deep attention to the present moment carves new pathways in the brain. Therefore, a person who engages in self-awareness techniques -- be it meditation or another form of non-critical observation, is creating new brain states that over time can replace or compensate for troubling brain states entirely.


III. Changing Attitudes
Taken together, the implications and discoveries of neuroplasticity challenge the traditional framework for understanding the role of the brain in psychiatric disorders. We can no longer perceive the brain as acting on its own predetermined accord in a vaccum to create experiences. Instead, we should conceive of the brain as fundamentally inseparable from experience, so that whatever happens to someone both externally and internally has the potential to significantly alter their brain. ...

Recovery and hope go hand-in-hand, yet there is nothing more hopeless than believing your brain will forever malfunction without medication. There is also hardly a more misinformed declaration about the brain in light of recent science, especially when considering the multitudes of people who have completely recovered.


Read the full article here: Rethinking The Brain - Steven Morgan [PDF File]


See also:
- Synchronized Thinking: Brain Activity Linked to Schizophrenia, Skillful Meditation
- Mindfulness: An Intervention for Anxiety in Schizophrenia
- Mindfulness Meditation for Patients with Schizophrenia [PDF File]



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Bluemoon

Bluemoon

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Mmm. . . very interesting article and I'll make sure I'll check the links later. I too have read such material on the BBC news website and some other places. After 11 years of living with Schizophrenia I have been experiencing some amazing changes since I started to take Seroquel back in 2002. One of the first changes was becoming more aware of what was going on in my mind sometimes and my spiritual journey taking flight. I'm feeling more emotion than ever and the connectedness with other people is returning. I still find it hard to tune in to an individual in the pub with loud music but sometimes my concentration will switch on briefly - whether I'm out drinking, reading the news or watching TV.

As a side note of interest:

I had a dream a few weeks ago in which I became lucid and there was a feeling in my mind of being in very deep thought. A strange "anomaly" was also present - a white burst of light coming in from the front of my mind towards the back and it was occurring intermittently. The first thought I had in this lucid dream was a feeling that the front part of my brain was in healing and reconnecting with the rest of me. This, to me, is amazing as I've had trouble with thinking, short term memory, working memory and concentration since I first became ill - attributes associated with the frontal lobes of the brain. What does anyone around here think about this ?
 
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Apotheosis

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Mmm. . . very interesting article and I'll make sure I'll check the links later. I too have read such material on the BBC news website and some other places. After 11 years of living with Schizophrenia I have been experiencing some amazing changes since I started to take Seroquel back in 2002. One of the first changes was becoming more aware of what was going on in my mind sometimes and my spiritual journey taking flight. I'm feeling more emotion than ever and the connectedness with other people is returning. I still find it hard to tune in to an individual in the pub with loud music but sometimes my concentration will switch on briefly - whether I'm out drinking, reading the news or watching TV.
In my own life I feel that a lot has shifted recently, I have processed much - & that I am making progress again. I think on a planetary level that things have been "stuck" for the past two years & now things are moving again (in an energy sense); Since September.

There has been some weird energies about recently. A lot of what has been happening previously has been getting people to look at their own issues & raise certain stuff to the surface to be dealt with (or not). Now there is another shift in profound inner & global change, some say for the next 4 years - bringing us in line & with the massive shift centred around 2012 - make of it what you will.

As a side note of interest:

I had a dream a few weeks ago in which I became lucid and there was a feeling in my mind of being in very deep thought. A strange "anomaly" was also present - a white burst of light coming in from the front of my mind towards the back and it was occurring intermittently. The first thought I had in this lucid dream was a feeling that the front part of my brain was in healing and reconnecting with the rest of me. This, to me, is amazing as I've had trouble with thinking, short term memory, working memory and concentration since I first became ill - attributes associated with the frontal lobes of the brain. What does anyone around here think about this ?
I have lucid dreams & also very vivid dreams. Medication is mainly targeted at the frontal lobes, I wouldn't put everything down to "Schizophrenia" personally. It is interesting what you describe however. Earlier in the year I fell asleep in the day for around 20 mins on the end of the bed, I was aware I was on the bed & I had powerful bodily sensations of dying, In the dream I was convinced I had died, I travelled upwards & "saw" many multicoloured lights & brightness. Then returned, & awoke; it was most odd. I have bizarre experiences around sleep. I do think sleep is very healing, & often healing takes place on a deeper level in sleep, even if this is simply an action of the deeper or "unconscious" parts of the mind. Personally I go with more "spiritual" definitions.
 
Bluemoon

Bluemoon

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There has been some weird energies about recently. A lot of what has been happening previously has been getting people to look at their own issues & raise certain stuff to the surface to be dealt with (or not). Now there is another shift in profound inner & global change, some say for the next 4 years - bringing us in line & with the massive shift centred around 2012 - make of it what you will.
I've been reading up on 2012 and I find it interesting, especially since it's when the Mayan Calendar ends and we align with the galactic center. I've been doing a lot of thinking and reflection on such things but also on my past, my current situation and all that's going on in the world.

I have lucid dreams & also very vivid dreams. Medication is mainly targeted at the frontal lobes, I wouldn't put everything down to "Schizophrenia" personally.
Yes, your right - I was thinking about how medication seems to have effects on the rest of the brain as well. Reading some of the research documents on the effects of any medication on different parts of the brain indicate how complex the whole process is. My medication, Seroquel, also seems to work on the auditory centers of the brain too, yet I still hear voices. They are working on medications, that in five years or there about, will be able to effect just the targeted problem areas and leave the rest of the brain alone. I wish I had the link to give, but a quick search on Google should bring up something if your interested in finding out more. I also think that my illness is a product of environmental struggles and stresses than genetic or a physical cause. My brain scan checked out nominal in any case.

It is interesting what you describe however. Earlier in the year I fell asleep in the day for around 20 mins on the end of the bed, I was aware I was on the bed & I had powerful bodily sensations of dying, In the dream I was convinced I had died, I travelled upwards & "saw" many multicoloured lights & brightness. Then returned, & awoke; it was most odd. I have bizarre experiences around sleep. I do think sleep is very healing, & often healing takes place on a deeper level in sleep, even if this is simply an action of the deeper or "unconscious" parts of the mind. Personally I go with more "spiritual" definitions.
My doctor said that my medication does most of the healing work whilst I'm sleeping (y). It does explain why I wake every morning feeling great and no voices are present - it's the thought processes and their triggers that start them building up over the course of the first half hour of waking. There's something going on in the sub-conscious causing my problems, I wish I could find a good hypnotherapist who is qualified enough to explore such things - and charges a reasonable rate for it. There are psychiatrists and psychologists in the US that are qualified hypnotherapists - but none in my local area :(. It's something that's worth exploring, in my case anyway.

I've been told on many occasions that when you die in a dream, you die in reality. To me that's not true as I've been murdered and even electrocuted in such dreams and here I am. I always seem to go in to a short period of complete blackness before I snap awake from such dreams. I never seem to hit the bottom of the cliff when I throw myself off them in the "lemming" type dreams though. Wonder why that is ?
 
A

Apotheosis

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I've been reading up on 2012 and I find it interesting, especially since it's when the Mayan Calendar ends and we align with the galactic center. I've been doing a lot of thinking and reflection on such things but also on my past, my current situation and all that's going on in the world.
It's good to think, & reflect ;)

Yes, your right - I was thinking about how medication seems to have effects on the rest of the brain as well. Reading some of the research documents on the effects of any medication on different parts of the brain indicate how complex the whole process is. My medication, Seroquel, also seems to work on the auditory centers of the brain too, yet I still hear voices. They are working on medications, that in five years or there about, will be able to effect just the targeted problem areas and leave the rest of the brain alone. I wish I had the link to give, but a quick search on Google should bring up something if your interested in finding out more. I also think that my illness is a product of environmental struggles and stresses than genetic or a physical cause. My brain scan checked out nominal in any case.
Although advances are being made, brain scanning technology is still relatively basic in trying to map the complexities of the brain. People seem to think that it shows loads of stuff up - it doesn't. I don't share your faith in orthodox psychiatry & bio medical practises. In fact I think they have got it very wrong. I question the whole "Disease Model" & agree that many things have an environmental & psychological basis & in fact has little to do with genetic or bio chemical factors.

I've been told on many occasions that when you die in a dream, you die in reality
How would anyone know?
 
Bluemoon

Bluemoon

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It's good to think, & reflect ;)

Although advances are being made, brain scanning technology is still relatively basic in trying to map the complexities of the brain. People seem to think that it shows loads of stuff up - it doesn't. I don't share your faith in orthodox psychiatry & bio medical practises. In fact I think they have got it very wrong. I question the whole "Disease Model" & agree that many things have an environmental & psychological basis & in fact has little to do with genetic or bio chemical factors.
The CBT, Psychotherapy and Counselling has helped me in some ways but the last two on my list there ended up making me feel worse by discussing past problems - maybe getting to the route of past issues is part of the healing process as I do feel better now that it's been discussed, examined and re-thought.


How would anyone know?
Good point :D.
 
spiritual_emergency

spiritual_emergency

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Bluemoon: I also think that my illness is a product of environmental struggles and stresses than genetic or a physical cause. My brain scan checked out nominal in any case.

Not long ago I took part in some discussions in which participants were asked what they believed had contributed to their "schizophrenia". I speculated that in an ideal world we could individually "plug into" a machine and it would spit out a chart that could tell us exactly what percentage of our "illness" was due to genetic, neurological or environmental factors. The critical point is that we'd probably all end up with a slightly different end result.

For example, perhaps my own chart would show a reading of 10% genetic, 8% neurological and 82% environmental. There's nothing I can do about the genetic aspects but there's certainly much I can do about the environmental aspects. What's more, even if my brain was hopelessly, critically flawed from birth -- I can probably do something about that too.

Someone else might come up with an entirely different score, say... 20% genetic, 45% neurological and 35% environmental. Obviously, they're going to have some different challenges but even then, the potential exists for them to alter 80% of the contributing causes.

They are working on medications, that in five years or there about, will be able to effect just the targeted problem areas and leave the rest of the brain alone.

I did try to follow all the groundbreaking news for a period of time but it seemed to me that every week, someone was coming out with some new groundbreaking news. Ultimately, the story was always the same: a cure-all was always just over the horizon but the horizon never seemed to come.

After awhile I gave up on waiting for a groundbreaking medication cure-all and started focusing on people who were producing recovery now without benefit of any technological or medical breakthroughs that might come about in the next 5, 10, 20, 50 years. The best recovery rates I've come across are in the range of 85% and they're not being produced by medication, but forms of talk therapy -- specifically, Open Dialogue Treatment and Jungian Depth Psychology. I have no idea why that information isn't more widely available. Perhaps it's because talk therapies don't have the marketing budgets of the pharmaceutical giants.


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Bluemoon

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Interesting post spiritual_emergency. I'm very interested in alternative therapies and I've only scratched the surface with Jung but I want to learn more about his methods. The biggest hurdle that the mental health system faces is funding or budget allocation - now medications, the way I see them, are the crutches that support you throughout the illness but you have to do so much yourself to get better. Sometimes it feels like a no-win scenario but the rest of the time I try to keep myself in a good environment, keep occupied and get out of the house to other places as often as possible. I find that being out of the house a lot helps me feel a lot better and I enjoy the time inside the house a lot more. However, when bad memories surface or a bad social event, like someone giving me stick for being an individual and not a sheep, it can shut me down inside and the time it last depends on what is causing it. When this happens I tend to avoid such places for a time until the bad feelings clear, otherwise it begins to get to me or starts the process of a having a "blip."

Speaking of groundbreaking medications, I read on the BBC news website a couple of years ago about a new anti-psychotic drink in development that people can take and there are no bad side effects. I've checked the article since and there has been no updates. I guess it failed the human trials or something. These new medications that target specific areas only sound a lot better though but I've learned my lesson and I'll just wait and see if they get "approved."
 
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Apotheosis

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The CBT, Psychotherapy and Counselling has helped me in some ways but the last two on my list there ended up making me feel worse by discussing past problems - maybe getting to the route of past issues is part of the healing process as I do feel better now that it's been discussed, examined and re-thought.
I have been working at healing, self awareness, & working at processing through certain issues for a long time. There is a pay off. There is "light at the end of the tunnel" so to speak.

Just recently things have shifted for the better & I have been able to see a number of things so much more clearly. I am very anti meds & orthodox psychiatry - & of course a lot of the resentment I hold has also been coloured by my experience. I agree with S_E - there are some highly effective methods, which are known, which do not involve meds. I would have preferred the opportunity to have tried such things more comprehensively; before being made dependant on meds, & not offered the opportunities for alternatives by the orthodox. People should have a choice I think.
 
R

Roger Waldram

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Hi, I enjoyed reading SE's quote about neural plasticity and everyones subsequent comments-this topic holds hope for me-hope that there can be something better than what exists at the moment.
I was diagnosed with acute schizophrenia at 20 (tho' I understood at the time it was manic depression) & 'treated' with ECT & Largactyl that worked. Treatment convinced me that whatever else was wrong, committal to a psychiatric hospital was NOT healthy for me so I became a 'good' patient & got discharged after good conversations with and advice from a psychiatric nurse.
I'm now a humanistic psychotherapist & completing my thesis comparing 'madness' & spiritual experience & the implications for practice. From this here are some possibilities:
Less than 'good-enough' parenting can lead to neural templates (sort of brain-circuits) that may mal-function during later times of stress-overload, drugs or ritual-typically adolescence or 20's. Then we may have anomalous (different, strange, odd) experience that may receive psychiatric diagnosis or be seen as a spiritual emergency depending on perspective.
What may lead to recovery is a 'good companion'-those who are able to provide empathy, support and encouragement in the search for personal meaning. For example Cozolino suggests
‘We are living biological organisms with brains that continuously process thoughts, emotions, motions, and motivations. We live within our own experience of being human, embedded in a social world, but able to create through imagination and find comfort and clarity through spiritual beliefs. Thus, we are constructed of a fabric of all these processes, and they all affect our experience and well-being. Therefore, we should not limit ourselves to a narrow set of clinical tools in our therapeutic work.
Everything from intimate relationships to medication to church attendance to having an affectionate pet has been shown to have a positive impact on physical and mental health. This wide range of solutions speaks to the multiple ways in which neuroplastic processes can be enhanced and healing achieved.’
For every research participant 'good contact' (human, and beyond human)was a key aspect of our recovery as well as finding ways of changing our feelings when we wanted to-mindful meditation, drumming, playing a singing bowl, aerobic exercise daily, reflecting on experience in a personal journey, dialogue with our voices etc.
I'm imagining readers are suffering from overload! However, if anyone wants to know more just let me know.
As a PS, imagine that mental illness is not a disease comprising a biological abnormality or a chemical imbalance what difference would that make? (This is, in effect what Joanna Moncrieff suggests in her latest book).:grouphug::grouphug:
All the best,
Roger
 
A

Apotheosis

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I'm imagining readers are suffering from overload! However, if anyone wants to know more just let me know.
Very interesting Roger & a great post - I look forward to reading more from you. I definitely would like to know more - it would seem you have researched & explored this subject at depth - from a personal as well as professional perspective. :)
 
Z

zena

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POE psychosis of epilepsy

very very interesting, that must mean that all these articles i have been reading about brain surgery being the only cure for POE could possibly be just one avenue to consider. I live in hope . Actually i read once about a remarkable doctor in india who had a terrible car crash and recovered and was able to resume his career and continued a productive career and life. Upon a post mortem it was discovered he had use of exactly one half of his brainthe rest was destroyed. I cant refer you to the exact article as it was so long ago but i have never forgotten it.
After being in a car crash i developed temporal lobe epilepsy which has become steadily worse and has now led to psychosis of epilepsy, a permanant condition it would seem in my case. I will meditate for neuroplasticty healing . :)
 
R

Roger Waldram

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Thanks Apotheosis & zena for your replies.
I apologise zena if I inadvertently 'discounted' your experience that sounds awful with brain-trauma a causal factor. I'll quote the rest of the Joanna Moncrieff quote from my Lit Review that will be clearer. Regarding your Indian doctor & brain recovery & change Bentall in 'Madness Explained' refers to potential London cabbies who have to gain 'The Knowledge' (of London streets) before they can work, developing an enlarged hippocampus. Here's the quote with my comments

"For me this raises questions about freedom, control, knowledge and power. Moncrieff (2008, p. 217, 218) emphasises these issues
“The data surveyed in this book suggest that psychiatric drug treatment is currently administered on the basis of a huge collective myth; the myth that psychiatric drugs act by correcting the biological basis of psychiatric symptoms or diseases. We have seen that for the three main classes of drugs used in psychiatry there is no evidence to substantiate this view…
The disease-centred model of understanding psychiatric drug action can be viewed as an ideology, or false consciousness, in the Marxist sense. Like other forms of ideology, it presents itself as an objective, impartial body of knowledge determined only by the facts of the world, whereas it actually conveys a partial view of human experience and activities that are motivated by particular interests…
The way that vested interest have embedded themselves into the fabric of our knowledge about psychiatric drugs demonstrates the symbiosis between knowledge and power highlighted by Foucault (2006)…
The nature of reality can be more or less accurately represented, an sometimes it is misrepresented because it does not fulfil the requirements of the parties that produce official ‘knowledge’. If these parties are powerful and there are no equally powerful groups to challenge them, then the false knowledge becomes established as real knowledge.”

Moncrieff is a psychiatrist and has, in my opinion, well-founded criticism of the ‘disease-model’. She advocates a ‘drug-centred’ model with psychiatrists in the role of apothecary discussing with patients what symptoms they wish to change e.g. to sleep well or feel calm etc. There would be a partnership between patient and physician and the potential for a different research focus. In my opinion, this opens positive possibilities (see Sofia’s struggle to get effective medication p. 180), and potential research into affect modulation through psychotherapeutic interventions (Implications for Practice, p. 255).
However, it seems reasonable to exclude physical causes of anomalous experience e.g. carbon monoxide poisoning perhaps from a blocked gas central heating vent, a brain tumour or temporal lobe epilepsy, prior to treating ‘madness’. It seems far less reasonable to conclude that ‘madness’ is due to a physical abnormality of some kind, and to exclude environmental factors. As Bentall (2003, p. 174) says

‘Because our brains are affected by our experiences, peculiarities in the size of its anatomical components, in neuroactivations when we perform particular tasks, or in the biochemical transaction between neurones, can just as readily be attributed to the impact of the environment as to causative biological factors such as early brain damage, viruses or endogenous neurotoxins’. "

I suspect and hope there is something of a change beginning with drugs being used to relieve symptoms, and other strategies & perspectives offered.
Perhaps that of Jung
"I mentioned earlier Hillman's (2005) reference to the idea of a personal Daemon (p. 43), and positive change through psychopathology. Storr (1998, p. 199) quotes Jung’s comments on Vocation

“to emancipate himself from the herd and from its well-worn paths’…He must obey his own law, as if it were a daemon whispering to him of new and wonderful paths. Anyone with a vocation hears the voice of the inner man: he is called. That is why the legends say that he possesses a private daemon who counsels him and whose mandates, he must obey”.
“The original meaning of “to have a vocation” is “to be addressed by a voice”. "
Or the neuroscientists, Schore, Cozolino, Wallin etc who suggest that neural templates of childhood can change through healthy choices, activities and relationships in adulthood. A factor in all participants recovery was relationship-rarely with a 'professional'.
Other resouces include the info on diet & other self-help techniques in Evolving Minds http://www.evolving-minds.co.uk/Frameset-2.htm
and the film on YouTube 'The Doctor Who Hears Voices' that features the casework of Rufus May with an actress playing the part of the patient/client. If you Google Rufus, someone who has recovered from 'mental illness' & now works as a clinical psychologist you should find some useful stuff with a hope-full and different perspective similar to my own.
As a PS zena, an important factor in my anomalous experience (madness) was becoming insulin-dependant diabetic where despite my best efforts in adolescence I could not avoid becoming aggressive, talking rubbish & often being forced to drink sugary hot water or becoming unconscious & revived in hospital with a glucose injection. All this to my shame & embarassment as a teenager-I know our physical conditions are very different-just wonder if there are any parallels in our experience?
All the best,
Roger
 
Z

zena

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yes roger they probably are, i recall ending up in A&E quite often with security guards pacing around outside with not a clue as to how i got there, i would then "escape" by slipping an emergency door or something and walk home barefooted with my money stolen and no key and have to break into my own home. I too ended up on the wards cunningly knowing when i was about to be commited and somehow extricating myself might be mad but not stupid. My neuro plasticity was tested to the max in survival strategies and i formed many new pathways and synapses.
Psychotherapy. very interesting though i am not qualified to speak of it though did have psycho analysis for a year once and CBT, and a lady psych who was instrumental in keeping me alive despite numerous suicide attemptand who i am indebted to, for her kindness and care. as i found out she died of a brain haemorrage leaving three children behind she really drew the short straw.
Im rambling on and getting off the subject good to hear from you roger and hello to everyone else thats posted:)
 
Bluemoon

Bluemoon

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Thanks Roger for those interesting posts.

When I was going through my early to mid teens I was treated quite badly by some of my peers and I used to go home feeling depressed about it most evenings. Used to hate Sunday evenings with bad negative feelings of the coming week and what was going to happen - anticipating events. Half-term, full-term and summer holidays provided a needed break from such experiences but after 5 years of that I believe it's partially responsible for my illness starting at 18. My parents were constantly fighting throughout those years before divorcing and I got bullied quite frequently by my brother - which I feel is the rest of the cause. My first decade of life is another story, but I won't ramble on about that. It was only when I got to college and university that I felt accepted but I had problems socializing sometimes and even getting together with a girl I liked - probably due to missing out on a lot of those experiences during my high school years. I have always had regrets about such things but I felt totally powerless at the time and did not know what to do. Sometimes, I felt like I couldn't handle my life and even had suicidal thoughts on rare occasions because it was so painful - crying used to help, but I did that alone. It also seems like every time I was feeling bad at school, someone or a group of someones has wanted to kick me in the head each time to make me feel even worse. All of this won't have done my developing brain much good and it's all or mostly environmental as far as I'm concerned - which explains why, after 11 years on medication I'm still not functioning properly but I'm making progress with my own efforts on this and those of the team involved with my care.

Medications, the way I see them, act like bike stabilizers until you are ready to ride without them, may give you time to heal from all the pain and for some of us it could take months, years, decades or even a lifetime.
 
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