A new approach to mental illness

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by Quantum Quack, Oct 27, 2003.

  1. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    Hi all,

    The following is an article I wrote sometime ago and I am very interested in any constructive opinion and thought.

    A number of persons suffering Schizophrenia (classical) have read it and attached to the bottom is one response.

    Mental Illness
    A new approach

    Introduction

    When considering the nature of mental illness it is important that we define what it is we are considering.

    Mental illness is a mental condition that prevents the sufferer from participating in life in the way he or she would wish. It is a condition that places the sufferer in a state of dysfunction.

    It is a condition that society wants to protect itself from for it deems the mental state of the sufferer to be precarious, unreal and relatively unpredictable.

    Within the following example of mental aberration I will use the condition notoriously referred to as Schizophrenia.

    Schizophrenia demonstrates the greatest variety and complexities of the aberrant mental state and I intend to suggest a way that will allow us to treat and cure this condition.



    w w w w



    Schizophrenia is about ability, not ordinary ability but extraordinary ability.

    At some time in the patient’s life his brain has acquired an ability or abilities that the patient has little to no control over. The ability(s) are acquired intuitively and usually discounted as inconsequential by the patient himself and as delusion or hallucination by the medical profession when he or she is finally admitted to hospital or some form of professional therapy and care.

    The abilities I refer to are of a sensory nature: intuitive sensory abilities of an extraordinary nature. The patient immediately becomes embattled with what he senses as ordinary sensory behaviour and that which he himself would consider extraordinary sensory ability.

    Society is telling him that his ability is delusional and yet he knows that it isn’t. His imagination tries to accommodate society and his own experiences, putting himself in a state of self delusion because he is inclined to deny his ability as real because society is saying that this is the case.

    So we have at least two abilities happening. The first is his ability to know what is extraordinary (Aberrant) sensing this and the actual intuitive ability that he has acquired which is also sensed.

    A classic example would be paranoid schizophrenia where by the patient feels a strong sense of conspiracy, that the CIA or the police are watching him or his parents are threatening to kill him etc.

    A normal person is quite capable of sensing conspiracy in fact we are all part of a conspiracy. We are all part of everyone else’s plans. The wife or girlfriend is planning a special dinner. The government is planning to introduce the GST. The guy down the pub is planning to punch him in the nose etc.

    So the patient has developed an ability to sense conspiracy to a depth that would be considered extraordinary. His sense of reality is threatened and he becomes deluded trying to deal with his sensory ability and that which society would consider normal.

    For instance he senses his girlfriend’s plans for dinner and feels threatened because of his fear of his ability to sense this. He behaves badly trying to cope with all the mixed signals that his brain is trying to interpret. He behaves badly and arrives in the hospital in an extreme state of anxiety.

    The premise I am using here is that fear is always real. Not always understood for what it is but very real and valid. The ability to understand and learn from it is the ability that needs to be learned and it is only by achieving understanding and learning that the patient has any chance of recovery.

    To deny the ability is to provoke delusion. To nurture the ability is to free the patient of delusion.

    Funnily enough it is society’s state of delusion as to the nature of Schizophrenia that is actually perpetrating and enforcing a delusion upon the sufferer. Society having the delusion that extraordinary ability doesn’t exist. Which is of course not true as some of our most gifted people exhibit extraordinary ability all of which could be considered intuitive.

    I am suggesting that the patient’s sensory abilities have somehow achieved a greater depth than would be considered normal and like a person studying martial arts the patient must learn sensory discipline and nurture his ability to the level that he is comfortable with.

    I believe that our current approach to Schizophrenia is in fact quite deluded and as you would now understand the patient is also aware of this causing even more grief.

    Medication rejection, hospitalisation rejection etc are all symptoms of our “insane” approach to schizophrenia: the patient being caught between two worlds and not knowing what to believe.

    Sensory ability is essentially reflexive in that until controlled by other governing reflexes the ability continues to exist at all times in a way that is ungoverned and it is only when the ability is governed by learned reflexes that the ability is controlled and the patient’s anxiety and comfort levels return to “normal”

    w w w w

    Conclusion

    What I propose is that the patient be treated as a person who has abilities yet to be governed and not denied.

    That the treating staff attempt to identify what abilities are in play and structure a learning and therapy program that helps the patient in the achievement of comfort by allowing him to achieve the skills and disciplines needed.

    Many programs can be developed that are able to help the patient with the above in mind.

    Open mindedness to what the patient is describing as delusion and treating the description in the light of uncontrolled intuitive ability will achieve significant results.


    A Response by M C, California USA

    WOW. I like this. Particularly from a sufferer’s point of view..

    I can’t tell you how much comfort it gave me to hear from you that I wasn’t just stupid and/or crazy to be thinking the thoughts that I was thinking.
    In our overactive minds, we create connections and find significance in insignificant, unconnected events. And this was (sometimes is) my reality. And I found it utterly frustrating to hear from people that I should just not believe what I already believed. It was liberating, and yet scary, to think that I might be right.

    You’re right in recognizing the person’s ability to perceive as being real, because it is real, and then your next question to me was “Why?”. This caused me to look deeper into what I was experiencing. It gave me comfort and strengthened my belief in and view of God and helped me to give purpose and meaning to what I was experiencing.

    The similarity to this approach is striking to a form of therapy that exists for Borderline Personality Disorder. Are you familiar with that? It’s also called emotional intensity disorder and it affects about 1-2 million Americans. It causes the person to experience each situation to a fully charged emotional level, and they frequently are very frightened people who act in harsh, angry ways. It’s hard to treat but the recommended treatment today is called Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT). It consists of accepting the patient the way they are and also accepting the need to change (thus the term Dialectical, accepting two seemingly opposite themes).

    Your idea seems revolutionary to the field of schizophrenia and also interestingly similar to this field’s approach. The thing that I like about your approach is the respect that it gives to the individual. You hit the nail on the head when you said society’s reality does not accept the other person’s. By recognizing the person’s reality as real, you’re recognizing the person as significant.

    It was an extremely exciting proposition when you said that my perception was founded. I felt like for the first time someone was saying I wasn’t stupid, or self-absorbed, or just crazy. Because according to my perceptions, the delusions I was experiencing were real.

    I think you should also recognize society’s reality as being real. You didn’t say it wasn’t, but I think to be fair you should say that both realities are real in a sense. I mean perception is relative anyway.

    Regarding the final conclusion:

    “Open mindedness to what the patient is describing as delusion and treating the description in the light of uncontrolled intuitive ability will achieve significant results.”

    I think you should go on to explain more as to why this recognition will help the patient. I have tried to give you my perception as to why it helped me, but I’m sure you have some ideas of your own that I’d love to hear.

    Matt.
     
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  3. Abnak Registered Senior Member

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    QQ, I don't think a person actually suffering* from Schizophrenia has " extraordinary abilities " , they only think that they do .


    Women seem to have a more developed ability at interpreting body language than men , would this mean that these women are suffering from psychosis ?




    * Actually suffering , not some concocted Bull Shit .
     
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  5. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    hmmm....dare I say obviously not and ask where is it I suggested such a thing?
     
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  7. kirstykiwi Registered Senior Member

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    Hi, my job as a support worker, supporting people with schizophrenia brought me to the conclusion that sadly, they do not possess psychic abilities. When they become unwell, they believe all sorts of things are happening, which really may not be the case at all.
    But, also I don't think they need to be treated any differently to someone with no mental health issues. Although we can sympathise with their condition, it is important to maintain a sense of reality for them.
    To treat them as though they have super powers only confuses them, and sets them apart from 'ordinary' people.
    Giving them reality boundaries is important to them as they feel 'normal'.
    To listen to them and try to understand is the most important gift we can give to them.

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  8. Abnak Registered Senior Member

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    " ...dare I say obviously not and ask where is it I suggested such a thing?"

    Perhaps I didn't articulate that well QQ . Some people utilize certain skills more than others . Some people excell in areas that can be completely unknown to others .

    Your statement : " Schizophrenia is about ability, not ordinary ability but extraordinary ability."
    This is incorrect because it doesn't include - loss of reality . By extending your original definition , people with "extraordinary abilities " , abilities that are not present in most everyone else , could be construed as suffering from a mental illness when in fact they are not .
     
  9. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    I am sorry...abnak and kirstykiwi, i have not written the article clearly.

    When I refer to ability I am talking about sensory ability and not so much extraordinary sensory ability but the ability to descern cognitively what we all take for granted.

    The main ability they have developed is to capture aspects of what they sense more so than that of a "normal" person and that they have great difficulty coping with what they have captured from their sensing.
     
  10. kirstykiwi Registered Senior Member

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    Hi QQ,

    Are you saying that their condition makes them hyper sensitive, which means they have the ability to sense things more intensely than others around them??

    If that's the case then I would say that psychiatrists need to consider these things and treat apropriately.

    I am personally interested in the spiritual side of their thinking. All of my guys are very 'churchy', and I think this stems from the fact that God and Satan talk to them often (illness).

    Anyway, off the subject - sorry

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  11. Xenu BBS Whore Registered Senior Member

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    Quantum,

    So what about all of my clients who have schizophrenia and hear voices that tell them to kill themselves or other people? Should I tell them that yes they are correct, they are hearing mystic voices that are actually there, and yes, go ahead through with it, because what you hear isn't a delusion, but the voice of God him/herself? That may not fly over so well with my supervisors...

    Have you personally worked with anyone who has schizophrenia?
     
  12. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    Obviously you have not read the article properly in that I am not talking about the content of their so called delusions or the beliefs that the content leads them to believe. What I am talking about is their ability. In this case their ability to hear voices and not so much the content of what the voices say.

    It is the ability that is driving them insane.

    My appraoch to this issue is to explore how this ability to hear voices can be used constructively.

    Learn how to control the ability therefore removing the fear and allow the imagination to rest a little.

    I lost a brother to schizophrenia, whom I looked after for 2 years prior to his death (suicide) about 6 years ago and have been researching and interviewing since then.
     
  13. kirstykiwi Registered Senior Member

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    81
    Qantum,

    I'm so sorry you lost a brother to mental illness.
    Every case is different, just as every person is different and I don't know the details of your brother, but would have been a difficult time for you and your family.
    I tell my guys to tell the voices to shut up and go away, but of course that doesn't work for them. To embrace the voices isn't a good thing either, because often the voices are negative, and overwhelming.
    I guess in the end thats why they take medication, and are in 24 hour supported care.
    Whatever works for the person is the road to take.
     
  14. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    This is why I am suggesting that included in the therapy of medication that we attempt to train their ability to hear voices so that they can achieve some control of it.

    By not denying the reality of the ability we are able to offer another therapy that may allow the patient to eventually get on with their lives.

    By denying the reality of their ability only keeps the patient in a state of intence fear and anxiety. And as soon as some one takes their ability seriously (not the content) they are able to relax because they understand why they are suffering. It is their intense fear and anxiety that generates the content.

    A good example of this could be the film called the 6th sense with Bruce willis.

    The boy in the film eventually overcomes his enourmous fear of insanity by acceptiong that what he was experiencing was an out of control ability. And once he realised this he was able to gain control and this in turn allowed for a degree of sanity to enter his life.

    And thanks for your sympathies Kristy...yes it was very difficult.
     
  15. Abnak Registered Senior Member

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    162
    Hyper-vigilance because of fear is not the same as schizophrenia. Over-reacting or being incorrect about what or whom to be afraid of , can be very normal . If QQ went with his original descrption and even diagnosed individuals , then his sciforums name would be very appropriate .

    -------------------------

    " am personally interested in the spiritual side of their thinking. All of my guys are very 'churchy', and I think this stems from the fact that God and Satan talk to them often (illness)."

    Religious leaders and many , many others spout that they have heard God speak to them . Does the medical community consider their statements to be only metaphorical .
     
  16. kirstykiwi Registered Senior Member

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    Good idea QQ. Although I would term their voices as a disability, rather than ability.
    Continue with your research - it can only help.
     
  17. Abnak Registered Senior Member

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    Billions think they are communicating to a supernatural being by prayer . This is real to them , but not to atheists . Why are some beliefs acceptable to the medical community , while others not ? Is the criteria enclosed within the DSM applied so arbitrarily by proponents , that a whimsical notion can be regarded as fact ?

    ----------------------------

    " The DSM is the fabrication on which psychiatry seeks acceptance from the medical community . Insiders know it to be more of a political document than a scientific one "
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2003
  18. kirstykiwi Registered Senior Member

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    Abnak,
    Haven't they found some part in the brain that gives people a 'religious' experience?
    Re the DSM - it's only a guide for head shrinks to diagnose. I think we can all find something in there that we have.
    The scientific community do not know enough about the spiritual aspect of the 'unwell' person to decide which is the ill part and which isn't.
    But, it's all very fascinating anyhow.

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  19. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    If I remember correctly the DSM is all about functionality over time.

    Are a persons beliefs self destructive or seriosly counterproductive to the well being of society.

    Having a belief that a rock is god is not grounds for diagnosis however if you pick up that rock and hit yourself on the head repeatedly causing serous self harm then the doctors make a decision on your behalf and provide treatment.

    If a person can not provide for themselves in the extreme then institutionalisation is necessary.

    If they can't answer a question of have severe loss of function then society is obligated by law to step in and provide support.
     
  20. kirstykiwi Registered Senior Member

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    QQ, you're probably right.
    A Diagnosis isn't the whole person, and it helps the consumer to know what they have, but to help the mental health consumer to devlope coping mechanisms.
    I'm no psychatrist (sp) ? - only a support worker who wishes to make clients lives a little happier and brighter.
    Although a lot of people recover, there are still people in the mental health system, who will be there until they die.
    I think it's rather obvious what the difference between someone who is religious, and someone who is sick.

    Good luck with your research
     
  21. Abnak Registered Senior Member

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    " I think it's rather obvious what the difference between someone who is religious, and someone who is sick."

    Please then , state the obvious .

    Hindus from Asia , Buhddists from Nepal or Coptic Christians from Egypt etc.. adhere to all matter of ridiculous nonsense . Some Hindus run around the streets with hooks puncturing their backs attached to strings that their friends carry as a testament that their God is great and they are somehow special . Some Islamics hit themselves until their blood spills from their heads . There are Christians that re-enact Christs crucifixion by having themselves nailed to a cross . Evil spirits and devil absurdity dominate the Abrahamic ones . Should scientific determinations be variable , influenced by cultural considerations and subject to individual caprice ?

    You , seek to empower yourself and declare that you have the ability differentiate between what is acceptable and what is not , for others . This is typical of many people who enter into the mental health fields and is the delusion of most bureaucrats . In studying this and related subjects , coupled with a little experience and hearing about true horror stories , leads me to believe that much of psychiatry is about control ,and not helping others .
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2003
  22. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    Kristy,
    If the religious beliefs are strong enough for the person to commit a crime or harm themselves as judged by the society they live in then they would also come under the DSM

    Religious interpretation of what they sense in an extraordinary fashion is common. And what I would suggest is that this ability to sense and not the religiousness of what they sense needs to be trained and therapy applied to.

    I repeat, that it is not the content of what the ability achieves so much but the ability itself that needs to be explored.
     
  23. Abnak Registered Senior Member

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    ..." If the religious beliefs are strong enough for the person to commit a crime or harm themselves as judged by the society they live in then they would also come under the DSM"

    Therefore , the DSM is not a scientific document . Fore it can be arbitrarily and secretly applied to others by persons who claim to represent "society " .

    Don't act or think like everyone else ? ... then you must be defective . No crime is needed to have occured , only that somebody, somewhere imagines one might happen . This is pure Soviet style .

    " I repeat, that it is not the content of what the ability achieves so much but the ability itself "

    Also repeating myself ...a heighten awareness or a heavy reliance on an intuitive thought process is not Schizophrenia .
     

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