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Schizophrenia and psychosis as states of chronic fear and terror

cpuusage

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Schizophrenia and psychosis as states of chronic fear and terror - Wilkes-Barre Scranton Independent Gazette

What is defined as schizophrenia and psychosis is typically a state of chronic fear and terror. Individuals have been shattered by trauma. Within them, mental images of past events continue to haunt them. The inner voice (or conscience) which we all possess becomes amplified to a level where visual and auditory hallucinations become present. Grandiose thoughts arise as an attempt to either stave off depression or to escape from the painful reality of a distressing situation and disordered world. Anti-psychotics have been used to diminish the hallucinations and other distressing behaviors, but they have never addressed the reactions of the person and the underlying trauma and factors that have led them to seek a departure from defined reality. Therefore, in collaborating with these individuals, we must meet them in their sense of reality. We must join in respectfully and in a dignified manner, slowly and gently addressing the various disturbances in thought process. We must uncover the hidden traumas and seek to “be with” the person as they develop new coping mechanisms. It is entirely possible for individuals even in the states of severe mental anguish and distress to recover. And it is indeed possible for this to be accomplished without the addition of toxic drugs. The key is relationship. That is what these individuals are lacking and need. They need to know that there may exist, if even but one, stable and loving relationships in a world so often filled with pain.

Fear leads to great emotional turmoil. Other so-called mental disorders also often arise from a sense of fear: a fear of individuals, a fear of society, a fear of having been hurt and possibly being hurt again, a fear of life, a fear of death, a fear of not understanding who we are or maybe even being afraid of discovering who we are or who we were, a fear of the uncertainty surrounding what we may become. A fear that maybe we are not a person, or our identity as a person. A fear of challenges, a fear of not knowing the answers, or maybe a fear of not understanding the question, or even a fear of not knowing what questions to ask. A fear of not being loved or maybe a fear of not knowing what love really is, or what it could be, or what we have been told that it is. A fear of being controlled, a fear of our freedom being taken away. A fear of what others may do to us, or have done to us, or will continue to do to us.

This is the human condition; we all have levels of fear, some more, some less. We all have the desire for security, for safety, for solace. If we begin to understand this, we will then begin to understand life, we will be able to connect with others, and realize that the only way out of this fear is for us to journey together. Life is a journey, it is filled with moments where we stray into thorns, yet it is filled with moments of delight. To truly describe day, we must see night. To truly describe that which is beautiful we must have something to compare it to. Thus, we have the conditions of suffering. We would not know joy fully unless we had something to compare it to.

______________________________________


Dr. Dan L. Edmunds

DR. DAN L. EDMUNDS-PSYCHOTHERAPY/COUNSELING SERVICES FOR CHILDREN, TEENS, AND ADULTS- DRUG FREE- NORTHEAST PENNSYLVANIA REGIONAL AUTISM ACCEPTANCE SOCIETY PROJECT- AUTISM/ASPERGER/SCHIZOPHRENIA/SCHIZOAFFECTIVE/BIPOLAR/ADHD (ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACT

Dr. Dan L. Edmunds is an existential psychoanalyst, psychotherapist, and autism specialist in Northeastern Pennsylvania, and a Diplomate of the American Psychotherapy Association. He holds many prestigious degrees, and is the author of "The Meeting of Two Persons: What Therapy Should Be" and "Being Autistic: An Approach Towards Understanding and Acceptance." Dr. Edmunds can be reached for consultation at batushk[email protected].
 
Mark_01

Mark_01

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There is a fear of existence, and the fear of change when things are stable.
 
N

notrealname

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Jon Ronson did a really good documentary on hearing voices for Radio 4. One of the girls' experiences in it sounded very much like her inner voice was kind of 'splitting off' in order to feel emotions she could not feel etc. Being in the stressful environment of a psychiatric hospital was what finally made her 'floridly mad', as she put it.

Interesting stuff. Of course, psychosis can be induced by severe depression and severe anxiety as well, which I guess gives further evidence that it is a severe state of distress.
 
R

Rose19602

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I can relate to fear...and indeed terror... as a very distressing part of my experiences.
Mine responded to low dose ADs....but I will never forget the strength of it and my inability to deal with it.

Those experiences, and the way I was treated .... without compassion, with coldness and exasperation.... make me realise how important gentleness, kindness and quiet support are when people are trying to make sense of their fear and quieten the cause....whatever it is.

x
 
Sid85

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Does this include individuals with Schizotypal Personality Disorder? Is it possible for someone with this diagnosis to have relationships without it being a disaster? I have yet to have a real relationship with anyone and have them stick around. It is explained to me that I am intolerable. My question to them is how am I to be any other way? I have been like this since I was a child. I don't remember being normal. -Sid85
 
Mark_01

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Does this include individuals with Schizotypal Personality Disorder? Is it possible for someone with this diagnosis to have relationships without it being a disaster? I have yet to have a real relationship with anyone and have them stick around. It is explained to me that I am intolerable. My question to them is how am I to be any other way? I have been like this since I was a child. I don't remember being normal. -Sid85
How very true. People that I have tried to have a close relationship with either say I frighten them, or my favorite, "You are just not here," meaning that I am always elsewhere even when standing in a room full of people. This concept of relationships, community, support groups doesn't exist in my life. Fear of existence exists inside of the four walls I live in, outside of these walls is where; "typically a state of chronic fear and terror" exists. This has been the reality of my entire life.

The comment, "Therefore, in collaborating with these individuals, we must meet them in their sense of reality." is something I don't understand. Who is the "we" he is talking about? If he means "we" the professionals in traditional or alternative mental health... so what? I get to see them maybe once every three to six months, and after that I am back dealing with my "sense of reality."

Also, "The key is relationship. That is what these individuals are lacking and need." Great idea, but where do I find relationship(s)?

This article is based on the fallacy that the world around me is going to change and want a relationship with me, I don't see that happening.
 
R

Rose19602

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Maybe the article is suggesting that the world and medicine needs to change and recognise how important relationships are to people with schizophrenia whilst acknowledging the fear that comes with he condition?

I don't know if that is what it means but it would be a different perspective to have and, although it seems implausible to you atm, it is perhaps a bit of a wish list for a better more understanding society?

The comment, "Therefore, in collaborating with these individuals, we must meet them in their sense of reality." is something I don't understand. Who is the "we" he is talking about? If he means "we" the professionals in traditional or alternative mental health... so what? I get to see them maybe once every three to six months, and after that I am back dealing with my "sense of reality."
Again, I think the author is saying that the professionals / society (not sure which tbh) should deal with patients within the context of what is real for the patient.

I'm not sure how a person's sense of reality is dealt with atm....but from my own experiences when I was believed to be delusional, I know that I was patronised, put down and my perceptions not tolerated. Maybe the author is saying that a gentler approach should be used. Rather than negating everything within an individuals sense of reality, professionals should recognise it as "reality" for that person and work within those parameters.

Whether that would achieve any change from a delusional state to one which looked reality (as the rest of the world sees it) in the eye or not I don't know.....but I do know, from my own experiences that any delusional state is a frightening place to be and that I felt isolated, afraid and misunderstood. A bit of human kindness wouldn't have gone amiss along with a gentler approach.

Your issue Mark, understandably, seems to be that for most of the time there is no one around to support you and you are left to cope with "your reality" alone. That speaks volumes about the level of support you need outside visits to a psychiatrist every few months. The "reality" is that you are largely unsupported and your needs are not met.

I'd feel pretty crap about that too.
 
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Mark_01

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My experience is that mental illness has alienated me from normal society, and they have not been nice about it. I don't believe change is possible.
 
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Rose19602

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I empathise Mark. Unfortunately, your experiences are commonplace.
I also think that the condition itself magnifies society's attitude and makes you feel even worse.

I've had a brush with this myself and experienced a little of how it feels. To deal with it day in day out as a confirmed diagnosis and to have to cope with the attitude of society must be so, so difficult.

I don't know if change is possible....I would hope so....but I can understand why you feel the way you do.

If it helps a tiny bit, my attitude towards schizophrenia has definitely changed as a result of interacting with people diagnosed with the condition on this forum. Maybe changing the attitude of people like me, who are open to it, is the best place to start....along with trying to find psychiatrists who embrace a different attitude and perspective on the condition....if you can find one!

take care
x
 
Mark_01

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I don't think your attitude has to change, Miss Kitty, it seems to me that you understand far, far more than the average person.
 
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Rose19602

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Maybe....but I wouldn't understand if I didn't have friends on this forum who educate me and who are not afraid to explain how the condition makes them feel. I value them as their bravery in coming forward to fight the many injustices that surround this condition is empowering and often enlightening.

I think that you are very open and honest about your condition too Mark and how it makes you feel. That can only do the rest of us good and make us realise how ignorant and cruel society in general - and psychiatry a lot of the time - can be.

Thank you for keeping us aware of the issues that you face.:)

take care.
x
 

cpuusage

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If it helps a tiny bit, my attitude towards schizophrenia has definitely changed as a result of interacting with people diagnosed with the condition on this forum. Maybe changing the attitude of people like me, who are open to it, is the best place to start....along with trying to find psychiatrists who embrace a different attitude and perspective on the condition....if you can find one!
Your fluffy healing energies are also very helpful on this forum. XXX
 
R

Rose19602

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Steady...!! We'll turn into The Waltons if we don't ease up!!


...but thank you for the kind words. I think that many people are only a few steps away from SMI given a change in circumstances. Trouble is they don't see it or want to unless it directly affects them. Most of us are like that I think.

I'm sure I didn't understand my father in the past.....maybe that's my personal motivation to be more open minded? Reading his psychiatry notes and GP notes made me realise how much he was feared and disrespected and how tough his life was post-psychiatry. Yet, in reality, he was no threat, pretty vulnerable and had some very difficult circumstances and symptoms to deal with.

Maybe experiencing mental illness myself has been the best way to understand him.
 
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