“What is Schizophrenia?”

(It is not unusual for me to copy/paste text from other venues as posts here. However, it is rare that I re-post words that I did not write. However, someone recently asked on The Icarus Project forums, “What is Schizophrenia?” and provided this amazing collection of links on various views of the topic with some questions for reflection. I re-posted those questions, because I think they are good ones to be asking.)

What is schizophrenia?

16 Aug 2012 14:00





A – It doesn’t exist – Thomas S. Szasz – http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/Szasz/myth.htm

B – Existential Crisis – http://www.1stpm.org/articles/shaman.html

C – Shamanic Initiation – http://www.1stpm.org/articles/shaman.html

D – Spiritual Emergency – http://spiritualemergency.blogspot.co.uk/

E – Vitamin Deficiency (Orthamecular medicine) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthomolecular_medicine

F – Double bind/Laing/upbringing/family dynamics – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_bind

G – Double Trauma Mechanism – http://www.drmckenzie.com/the-mckenzie- … ntent.html http://www.drmckenzie.com/

H – Brain Disease (many theories) – http://www.schizophrenia.com/disease.htm

I – Symbolic & meaningful transformative experience – http://www.global-vision.org/papers/JWP.pdf http://www.tygersofwrath.com/psychosis.htm

More presumed causes here – http://spiritualrecoveries.blogspot.co. … a-and.html

Wikipedia Entry – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schizophrenia

Is it lots of different things labelled as the same thing? Is it aspects of many different things? Is it primarily physiological/biologic, or part biologic, psychological & social? Is it wholly or in part spiritual? Is full recovery & healing possible? or is it incurable? Are the people that recover dealing with different conditions to those who don’t? Is prognosis dependant on how it’s treated, or doesn’t that matter?

Is what is happening in each case of what gets labelled as ‘schizophrenia/psychosis’ as individual as the people that experience it?

Re: What is schizophrenia?

» 17 Aug 2012 22:47

I don’t have a diagnosis of schizophrenia. I do have experiences that place me thoroughly on the “psychotic spectrum.” It makes sense to me that what is termed schizophrenia is a sensory processing/meaning making situation that differs from person to person. Obviously sensory processing is involved in the range of experiences that get diagnosed as schizophrenia. I was convinced a few months back that what is termed schizophrenia is actually synesthesia ( which is also a made up word) that is tangled up in stress and trauma.

If you write a groundbreaking thesis on it or something like that, give us some credit. The theory originated as a facebook comment late in the Spring. hehehe.

I know that I have sensory processing differences and my brain is super attuned to symbol~>meaning/structure~>function, gestalt/associative thinking and I’ve noted that a lot of what is considered to be madness is just contextual differences in perceiving the world. The existential explanations would be accommodated within this. If one has an intelligence that is oriented toward meta-analytic resolution and integrity in meaning…well, living in a world like this one could reasonably drive a person quite mad. My experiences with disorder and madness had and have, in part, everything to do with the fact that I could not and cannot ignore the things that mass culture forces as hunky-dory normal in 20th/21st century life. Further, the structure of our public and commercial spaces, the content of our entertainment, well…it’s often just a bit much for me to process, because I don’t filter things out well. The stress of sensory overload creates what I once thought were “symptoms of my chemical imbalance.” The only chemical imbalance I have is related to sensitivity to stress hormones.

The spiritual aspect would make sense, as well, in addition to the shamanic, as people with heightened sensitivity may be more apt to notice broad forces in the environment (electricity) that have (erroneously) been interpreted in anthropocentric religious frameworks, but which could conceivably hold patterns that stimulate sensations such as love and grace, and other benevolent or malevolent nuances. This could also explain the sense of attunement to collective consciousness that many people on the so-called psychotic spectrum seem to experience…if collective consciousness were understood as a culminate patterning of electrical activity within the world.

The progressive deterioration associated with schizophrenia (resulting in states such as catatonia or profound disorganization and withdrawal) could perhaps be explained by the toxicity of the pharmaceutical/medical “treatment” of the diagnosis. The “treatment” creates the illusion of progressive deterioration by causing the deterioration. The diagnosis and “treatment” make the disease.

So, could we go ahead and somehow talk to someone who is in charge of all this and tell them we found the cure for schizophrenia?

I was speaking with someone a couple months ago who was being plagued by frightening voices. We were just doing some inquiry talk about the situation. “Hmmm, I wonder if it’s just that maybe you’re sensitive to different frequencies and your brain is trying to make sense of the sensory stimulation by interpreting it as a voice, because that is the part of the brain that is stimulated by whatever frequency? I wonder if the voices are bad because of the fear response…if that makes them sound bad, triggers those associations or something?” I explained to her how the sense of hearing worked, that vibrations stimulate an electrical signal that is sent to the brain for interpretation.

This isn’t exactly rocket science.

The other day she told me that since we’d had that casual little talk, the voices weren’t so bad anymore and she wasn’t scared of them. She said she just thought of it as “picking up a frequency” now and had come up with ways to shift her attention. It’s amazing how much better people feel when they have some meaningful sense of why they might be experiencing the world in the way that they do, rather than just some doom-and-gloom shit about “severe persistent” illness.

It makes me incredibly angry that they have done what they’ve done to people under the term schizophrenia. It’s a useless, dangerous word. That’s what it is.

One thought on ““What is Schizophrenia?”

  1. Addendum: It’s basically just a bullshit catch-all word to justify damning people that don’t “fit in” for one reason or another. Still, some folks do have experiences, but those experiences aren’t an “illness” – they are just modes of experience. I think the idea that we can justifiably give a name to any of it is pretty disgusting…especially in light of the fact that these made up words are made up by white European men. The thought that people external to us – or to anyone – can give a name to our – or anyone’s – way of being or thinking or feeling is, in my mind, a violation of a pretty basic human right..the right to define oneself. Of course, some people do cozy up to their labels, embrace their “illness,” and that is just more evidence that something has gone seriously awry with the way we think about…well, almost everything…because fascist idiots have been in charge of our systems of meaning for so long, and our systems of meaning have very little to do with truth.

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