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Vipassana Meditation Forum => On The Net: Audio/Video => Resources & Library => Meditation in other contexts => Topic started by: Hazmatac on January 21, 2009, 11:11:10 PM

Title: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: Hazmatac on January 21, 2009, 11:11:10 PM
I found a girl who cured herself of schizophrenia using only meditation. Check it out here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PvgxA48m7Y
Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: greenhorn on January 22, 2009, 03:46:21 AM
 Wow, that is truly amazing. Unfortunately, there are stages of schizophrenia. I have a cousin who's been diagnosed schizophrenic for more than 10 years, but he doesn't admit he's ill (at least not publicly; I think deep down he knows something is wrong). My aunt has to stealthily put medication in his soda. He can be really violent at times. Because of him, all the family's life has been a nightmare. You also have to have an open mind to start meditating. He was actually told by his first doctor when the disease just started to manifest to start observing his breath, and he just got out of the office angrily. As much as I hate drugs, I honestly don't think my aunt could cope with him without them.

If you happen to be able to give some advice in this respect, I woulk kindly appreciate it. I really wish I could do something for my cousin and his family.

Thank you,Hazmatac!
Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: Hazmatac on January 22, 2009, 08:13:57 AM
Dear Greenhorn,

If I were to make a suggestion I would just suggest what I'm doing and what the girl in the video did: stop taking the meds because they cause brain damage, and do meditation. The lady in the video talks about her recovery process and has suggestions in other videos. Her name on youtube is SFJane. Good luck with your cousin.

Rob
Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: Flipasso on January 25, 2009, 09:56:14 PM
It would be great doing so... Me having the same kind of problems...
The girl doesn't actually mention Schizophrenia on other videos. She mentions some kind of bypolar disease with a schizoaffective personality type... Which leaves me wondering... "What's her real diagnosis, afterall?"
I think meditation should be of great help in almost all kinds of diseases and un-easinesses but one shouldn't expect it to be a cure...  That's putting a way to high craving on top of your meditation, which may block you from seeing it's real utility and effects.

Neuroleptics have lots of side effects, but it's best to work one's way out towards a good life with neuroleptics than to blow one's chance of ever having a "normal" life again...

Being that normal isn't so bad afterall.
Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: Matthew on January 26, 2009, 07:03:51 AM
I believe this woman suffered Dissociative Identity Disorder and not Schizophrenia. DID is very usually misdiagnosed as Schizophrenia. It is not clear to me but I believe she may have suppressed her other identities and brought one to great strength - using meditation (I have good reasons for suspecting this including physical signs she exhibits). For her it has been a way to cope but I do not believe this to be a healing from Schizophrenia nor a full recovery from DID. I'll watch more of her videos and comment some more.

Matthew
Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: greenhorn on January 26, 2009, 08:43:35 PM
I also find it a little bit suspicious that someone can heal from schizophrenia just by doing meditation.Or she suffered from a less severe form..
Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: pimpoum on January 26, 2009, 09:59:55 PM
I don't want to enter in a debate here, but just to share my thoughts on the subject. I've been reading quite a lot about madness lately and realised that clinical categories of psychiatric illnesses are far from being as clear as the ones for somatic illnesses.

While for a physician a symptom points to a cause in the body (pain<---bruise), in psychology, all we have are symptoms which professionals try to gather into a category. The question is: Is there such a thing as shizophrenia? I'm not saying that it doesn't exist, but just that the category is a theoretical construct (one which has greatly changed over the years) which we put as a cause (hallucination<---schizophrenia) although it is an effect of our reasoning on the symptom (And the woman in the video is very aware of this state of affairs). Psychiatrists don't really know what schizophrenia IS because it IS nothing in itself, it is not as tangible as a bruise or a bacteria which causes pain or flu.

That's why it's quite hard to talk of diagnosis and even more of misdiagnosis. The only established fact (provided she tells the truth) is that she had symptoms which she managed to get rid of through a meditative practice. Whether her case was fundamentally and essentially different from other cases (and whether all cases of schizophrenia are identical in nature) might remain a mystery for a long long time...

I recomment Michel Foucault's very small essay Mental illness and psychology for those interested in this tricky question
Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: Matthew on January 27, 2009, 06:07:58 AM
R D Laing said there was no such thing as Schizophrenia and his reasoning and experiential accounts are very compelling.

I agree with him form personal expeience.

Most if not all cases of Schizophrenia, Bipolar disorder, mood affective disorder, personality disorder are all the same thing: The child mind's way of coping with a childhood that was, to one extent or another, a toxic environment.
Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: Flipasso on January 28, 2009, 12:50:55 AM
It's true no one can pinpoint what schizophrenia really is...  Just as no one can pinpoint what a race is...
If someone is black you recognize that he is black because of the colour of his skin (the sign) there are some genetic info that people with black coloured skin have in common (causes) just as there are some genetic info that people with schizophrenia have in common. That doesn't make all blacks the same nor all schizophrenics the same.

The point is, that the positive and negative symptoms of the disease can be attenuated by medication allowing the individual to be able to cope and lead a healthy life. There are reports of people who succesfully dealt with schizophrenia without medication - Rufus May the doctor who hears voices is one example, and John Nash the mathematician from A Beautiful Mind is probably the most mediatic example - but there are a lot of schizophrenics who suicide during psychotic episodes and some murder or commit other life threatening actions.
There's also the possibility of loosing mental capacities of communication and reasoning and calculing permanently following a psychotic break. This means becoming a nut-case for ever.
There's also the possibility of the schizophrenia receeding(spl?) after some years and one stopping one's medication and proceeding with one's life...
And the drugs that are used to control schizophrenia (neuroleptics) are becoming each day less harmfull and are nothing compared to what was used in John Nash's days that unabled him to think propperly.

I'm a schizophrenic under medication and I was able to reason out this answer and to have 18 out of 20 in a physics exam while heavily medicated 3 years ago!
By the way, my childhood wasn't that traumatic, my adulthood-entry was much more. This was due to the drugs I took that made me schizophrenic and the psychotic symptoms themselves were the reason/cause of trauma, and not caused by trauma!!!

To conclude:
No one should atempt to stop medication without professional support. It's very dangerous and it's probably better to live a life taking a friking pill every day than not to live at all!!
http://www.youtube.com/v/si_tCGuPg9E&hl=pt-br&fs=1
This girl stopped taking her meds, but she was having support. None the less(spl?) she spend quite a troublesome time...

Good luck...
Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: pimpoum on January 28, 2009, 01:41:36 PM
Nevermind. Complete misreading of the above.
@Flipassa: Agreed!

 Cheers!  :)
Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: alex on January 28, 2009, 03:18:03 PM
Hi FlipAsso,

thank you for your contribution, and for the interesting video (I didn't watch it it completely yet - quite scary stuff). You are the voice of reason within a topic of prejudice and fear. Psychiatry and its methods and medications have evolved dramatically over the last 20 years.

No one should atempt to stop medication without professional support. It's very dangerous and it's probably better to live a life taking a friking pill every day than not to live at all!!

I completely agree with you. To me it sounds like madness (excuse the pun...) when someone suggests on an internet forum to stop taking medication and thereby endangering lives of people he has never met in person! To stress your message again I quoted it.

Greetings,
Alex!
Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: Flipasso on January 28, 2009, 08:06:35 PM
To me it sounds like madness (excuse the pun...) when someone suggests on an internet forum to stop taking medication and thereby endangering lives of people he has never met in person! To stress your message again I quoted it.
I don't know if it's madness, or sadism!!
Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: greenhorn on January 29, 2009, 11:46:46 PM
Thank you all for your responses and for your willingness to share your experiences with this condition. I think that is awfully nice of you and your openness to bringing things out in the open shows that meditation has opened healing doors for you (at least I would like to think it's mediatation more than drugs :)

Although, I'd say Flipasso and Alex, you've been a bit hard on Hazmatac. He was just making a suggestion, and that based on his experiences. He was expressing his opinion on an issue, he wasn't giving me a prescription or a magic cure to this disease. Remember, this is a forum, not a hospital.

Flipasso, thank you for the  videos. I was amazed by Ruth's doctor's dedication in this case. I don't know where you can find such people who are willing to spend so much time with their patients. And it was also a lot of risk involved. In those 7 months she stopped being in touch with him, bad things might have happened.

The movie was definitely an eye opener for me. It showed me a different perspective on this condition. I've always known it's a genetic condition.

Thank you all, and good luck.
Monica
Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: greenhorn on January 30, 2009, 12:22:45 AM
R D Laing said there was no such thing as Schizophrenia and his reasoning and experiential accounts are very compelling.

I agree with him form personal expeience.

Most if not all cases of Schizophrenia, Bipolar disorder, mood affective disorder, personality disorder are all the same thing: The child mind's way of coping with a childhood that was, to one extent or another, a toxic environment.

Matthew, which one of RD Laing's books would you say is the best? I'm not interested as much in his philosophical works, but in his practical approach to mental illness.

Thank you,
Monica
Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: Flipasso on January 30, 2009, 12:29:25 AM
Although, I'd say Flipasso and Alex, you've been a bit hard on Hazmatac. He was just making a suggestion, and that based on his experiences. He was expressing his opinion on an issue, he wasn't giving me a prescription or a magic cure to this disease. Remember, this is a forum, not a hospital.
I wasn't talking about Hazmatac, he did nothing harmful, from my prespective, he was just giving us useful info.
I'm talking about the lady on the video... She doesn't really seem to have or have suffered from schizophrenia, and if what she says is a lie, which according to most scientifical evidence is, then she is sadistic in putting such a video online!!!
Specially for a disease in which most people are kind of obsessed with stopping medication!!
Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: frepi on January 30, 2009, 12:30:55 AM
Maybe she thinks she is healed and is convinced meditation is the cure.
Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: Matthew on January 30, 2009, 02:19:39 AM
Matthew, which one of RD Laing's books would you say is the best? I'm not interested as much in his philosophical works, but in his practical approach to mental illness.

From Wikipedia: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._D._Laing#On_mental_illness)

"On mental illness

Laing argued that the strange behavior and seemingly confused speech of people undergoing a psychotic episode were ultimately understandable as an attempt to communicate worries and concerns, often in situations where this was not possible or not permitted. Laing stressed the role of society, and particularly the family, in the development of "madness" (his term). He argued that individuals can often be put in impossible situations, where they are unable to conform to the conflicting expectations of their peers, leading to a "lose-lose situation" and immense mental distress for the individuals concerned. (In 1956, in Palo Alto, Gregory Bateson and his colleagues Paul Watzlawick, Donald Jackson, and Jay Haley[10] articulated a related theory of schizophrenia as stemming from double bind situations where a person receives different or contradictory messages.) The perceived symptoms of schizophrenia were therefore an expression of this distress, and should be valued as a cathartic and trans-formative experience.

Psychiatrist and philosopher Karl Jaspers had previously pronounced, in his work General Psychopathology, that many of the symptoms of mental illness (and particularly of delusions) were "un-understandable", and therefore were worthy of little consideration except as a sign of some other underlying primary disorder. Laing saw psychopathology as being seated not in biological or psychic organs – whereby environment is relegated to playing at most only an accidental role as immediate trigger of disease (the "stress diathasis model" of the nature and causes of psychopathology) – but rather in the social cradle, the urban home, which cultivates it, the very crucible in which selves are forged. This re-evaluation of the locus of the disease process – and consequent shift in forms of treatment – was in stark contrast to psychiatric orthodoxy (in the broadest sense we have of ourselves as psychological subjects and pathological selves). Laing was revolutionary in valuing the content of psychotic behavior and speech as a valid expression of distress, albeit wrapped in an enigmatic language of personal symbolism which is meaningful only from within their situation. According to Laing, if a therapist can better understand his or her patient, the therapist can begin to make sense of the symbolism of the patient's psychosis, and therefore start addressing the concerns which are the root cause of the distress.

Laing expanded the view of the "double bind" hypothesis put forth by Bateson and other anthropologists, and came up with a new concept to describe the highly complex situation that unfolds in the process of "going mad" - an "incompatible knot". Laing compared this to a situation where your right hand can exist but your left hand cannot. In this untenable position, something has got to give, and more often than not, what gives is psychological stability; a self-destruction sequence is set in motion.

Laing never denied the existence of mental illness, but viewed it in a radically different light from his contemporaries. For Laing, mental illness could be a trans-formative episode whereby the process of undergoing mental distress was compared to a shamanic journey. The traveler could return from the journey with (supposedly) important insights, and may have become (in the views of Laing and his followers) a wiser and more grounded person as a result. This was consistent with the critique of the alleged dubious validity of "value judgements" prevalent in Western society, which was common amongst academics in the 1960s and 1970s (for example, the views of Michel Foucault).

[edit] Ontological insecurity, family nexus, and the double-bind

In The Divided Self (1960), Laing contrasted the experience of the "ontologically secure" person with that of a person who "cannot take the realness, aliveness, autonomy and identity of himself and others for granted" and who consequently contrives strategies to avoid "losing his self". [11] Laing explains how we all exist in the world as beings, defined by others who carry a model of us in their heads, just as we carry models of them in our heads. In later writings he often takes this to deeper levels, laboriously spelling out how "A knows that B knows that A knows that B knows ..."! Our feelings and motivations derive very much from this condition of "being in the world" in the sense of existing for others, who exist for us. Without this we suffer "ontological insecurity", a condition often expressed in terms of "being dead" by people who are clearly still physically alive.

In Self and Others (1961), Laing's definition of normality shifted somewhat.[12]

In Sanity, Madness and the Family (1964), Laing and Esterton give accounts of several families, analysing how their members see each other and what they actually communicate to each other. The startling way in which lies are perpetuated in the interest of family politics rings true to many readers from 'normal' families, and Laing's view is that in some cases these lies are so strongly maintained as to make it impossible for a vulnerable child to be able to determine what truth actually is, let alone what the truth of their situation is."

Those two: "Self and Others", and "Sanity, Madness and Family". In the latter he expresses a view of Schizophrenia as an adaptive response to an insane family situation through case studies.

Matthew
Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: Flipasso on January 30, 2009, 12:41:24 PM
I enjoyed this post very much... I see myself a lot in these sentences!!!

Did Laing, create any kind of therapy?
Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: Matthew on January 30, 2009, 03:00:13 PM
Laing created therapeutic communities in the UK. In these communities small groups live together, have group and individual psychoanalytic therapy and the purpose of the communal living arrangements is to allow each person to grow into their healthy adult selves. They have three houses in London (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philadelphia_Association).

Read the Wikipedia page linked at the top of my first post on Laing. He was quite unconventional, lived in the first of these therapeutic communities with his patients, disagreed with using anti-psychotics, experimented with LSD in therapy and slept with some of his female patients. He was identified with the "anti-psychiatry" movement though he himself disowned himself from this label. He was not anti-psychiatry - he just thought it didn't work very well and could be improved upon (in which ultimately he was entirely correct).

Matthew
Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: wadaye on February 03, 2009, 07:44:32 AM
I don't see anything wrong with the first video. That sounds like her experience. Perhaps it sounds like a textbook case, but anyway that's her experience.

Personally I found it useful.
Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: Flipasso on February 04, 2009, 02:36:29 AM
wadaye:
I think your post is misplaced...
Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: Matthew on February 04, 2009, 09:59:36 AM
Is that better?
Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: Venture on March 18, 2009, 01:51:41 PM
This topic is kind of old, but as a mental health worker I feel compelled to comment.

Schizophrenia is a very complex disorder, and it's still mostly not understood how it starts, what it does, and how to "cure" it. I've worked in psychiatry for 7 years now and I've never heard about a SINGLE person who completely recovered from it, so i'm very very sceptic of this story.

There's a few things missing, and a few mistakes in the story of that woman. She talks mostly about auditory hallucinations, and not so much about delusions. Delusions are simply ideas, convictions a person may have about themselves, people around them or their invironment that are...well... untrue. I don't like to use the word crazy. Here are some examples from my own personal experience, stories people have told me:

-Thinking you are the next incarnation of the mesiah.
-Being convinced you are a secret agent
-Working on an imaginary invention that will save the world
-Truly believing that you are dead, a zombie
-Thinking you are melting
-Being the secret lover of the princess of the Netherlands

The trouble is that in 90% of cases, it's absolutly impossible to convince someone that they're wrong. All you'll end up doing is making them distrustfull of you, angry, threatened and sometimes agressive because of fear.

The VAST majority of people with schizophrenia,like Monica's family member, don't think they are sick. Thats because they believe with all their heart that the things they are delusional about are real. The fact that they are so convinced is what makes it a delusion !

All that even the most advanced, latest generation of anit-psychotic drugs can do is take away "the sharp edges" of delusions, and lessen, or in some cases take away hallucinations.

The sad thing is that people with schizophrenia have to take medication for all of their lives,or the risk that they keep getting worse and worse is very high. Each psychotic break ( episode, or attack ) destroys more of "the mind" ( whatever that really is ) leaving a person more and more damaged.

Also, schizophrenia is not really one kind of disorder, like depression is. It manifests in different ways, and since psychiatrists described the disorder some 30 or 40 years ago there have been a lot of discussions about it. The latest devellopments suggest that it's actually made up of 4 or 5 different disorders, thrown on a heap. Psychiatry is a very young science, I'm sure that in 50 or a 100 years their will be ENTIRELY different views.

Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: Venture on March 18, 2009, 01:56:30 PM
I forgot to say that in order for a lot of different therapies or ways to deal with a psychiatric disorder by yourself, you really need a certain level of insight in yourself, as well as intelligence. Schizophrenia destroys both. Another sad thing about schizoprhenics is that it's usually discovered to late.

Monica, ofcourse I don't know enough about your cousin to draw any kind of conclusion, but most of the time all you can really do to help someone with schizophrenia is assist them with things hat are hard for them and trying to give them the best quality of life. Trying to cure is futile. Focus on the good things. Easier said then done, I know. I love to take my patients on long walks for example.
Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: Matthew on March 18, 2009, 10:16:35 PM
Teach them Shamatha meditation. The results will surprise you. Especially if, as they gain control, you stop medicating away their symptoms - and then teach them at this point to develop insight.

Matthew
Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: Venture on March 19, 2009, 01:39:12 AM
Well, it's sure worth a shot. It's very hard to even gain the trust of someone who is paranoid, Matthew. And most people wich delusions are.
But I think that yes, a lot of psychiatric patients can get more control of their minds with meditation.

But saying "meditation is for everyone" is naive, I think. You should spend some time with some of the people I talk with. If you have a two second attention-span or are to hyperactive to relax unless you are uncontious from over exhaustion it's way to much to ask to start meditating.

In this regard working in psychiatry is pretty depressing and hopeless at times, because a lot of people don't really improve. Like I said, they satisfaction comes from little things, like having an honoust and good conversation, playing a game of chess that's actually finished or going to the beach to enjoy the wind and sand.

Sorry for the typos and bad grammer, I have a pretty high fever at the moment. Quite interesting actually. Good to meditate on. Nice and warm :)
Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: pimpoum on March 19, 2009, 03:27:04 PM
I don't know what you guys think, but it seems to me that this goal of enlightenment bears a lot of similarities with psychosis, namely, the loss of the sense of self, and sometimes, for some people, along the way, hallucinations.

I was listening to Shinzen young's CD, and the guy says that for a while, he experienced seeing giant insects in the street. the difference would be that while the psychotic freaks out, the advanced meditator can infuse his experience with mindfulness and equanimity...

hmmm...
Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: Venture on March 19, 2009, 03:45:15 PM
Yeah that part of Shinzen Youngs Science of enlightenment is pretty freaky.

Those visions of insects where not the goal of his meditation, mind you !    ( I love saying "mind you" it's so delisciously british )  :P
They where just something he encountered on his path as his understanding of the dharma increased, and he says that it's very rare to see stuff like that and most people don't.
Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: Matthew on March 20, 2009, 06:00:24 AM
I don't know what you guys think, but it seems to me that this goal of enlightenment bears a lot of similarities with psychosis, namely, the loss of the sense of self, and sometimes, for some people, along the way, hallucinations.

This supports Laing's theories that Psychosis was a sane expression of something if you listen well enough. Psychosis involves a loss of contact with reality and sometimes depersonalisation but this is of a very different nature to the "loss" of self through meditation.

Matthew
Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: Flipasso on March 20, 2009, 05:58:29 PM
Hey, Venture.. I admire your bravery in taking such a different stand on this issue.

I was wondering.. What do you think about the Soteria houses, and neurofeedback/biofeedback techniques? Aren't there cases of psychotics who stop taking they're medication and succeed? For example that math's teacher John Nash, he kind of managed the symptoms on his own...
Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: Venture on March 21, 2009, 08:31:16 AM
Yo FlipAsso !

There are people who manage the symptoms of their (psychotic) disorder without medications. Succesfully ? That depends on your definition of succes :-) Some of them live more or less "normal" lives.

It seems like people who have more insight in themselves ( uhm... "Selfinsight" does that translate into English ? ) do much better in recognising their weak points and compensating for them with creative solutions. But one needs a certain level of intelligence, too. Simply because it's very challanging to come up with ways to hide, for example, that you're being constantly distracted by voices or images, or to REALISE that what you suspect about your neighbours satalite dish is paranoid.

I think most psychotic people have higher priorities set for themselves then meditating. Psychosis tend to take up a lot of time and energy.

maybe meditation can help to keep symptoms more under control, like medication does. But I don't believe anything can "take away" schizophrenia.


I don't know anything about the Soteria houses, I'll check it out. Neurofeedback/biofeedback techniques? I don't think thats a viable option when the feedback is unreliable due to distorted views of reality and body/mind-sensations. Could you be more specific ?

Insert Quote
Quote from: pimpoum on Thursday 19 March 2009, 04:27 PM
I don't know what you guys think, but it seems to me that this goal of enlightenment bears a lot of similarities with psychosis, namely, the loss of the sense of self, and sometimes, for some people, along the way, hallucinations.


Or maybe... the other way around. Some followers of the path devellop psychosis. That's what I hear in my job too.

Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: Flipasso on March 25, 2009, 01:59:03 PM
Did you know any patient who "successfully" managed his life without medication?

I'm studying neurophysiology and I'm also a schizophrenic, so when I started to learn about Neurofeedback I started thinking about using it with people of my kind. Of course I know that it is very hard to make a schizo trust people. Schizophrenics always think that what is happening inside them is more real than what is happening outside.
I don't know if you're familiar with neurofeedback, but it is given an indirect feedback of what's happening in the brain and the patient is asked to improve it's functioning.
This may be scary for a schizo, because he/she may think that the technitian is reading his/hers thoughts. But we somehow managed to increase their confidence in the professional and in the process, the patient might learn to promote "good" kinds of brain frequencies instead of pathological ones and even, in the long run leave medication behind?

How do you professionally manage to get their confidence?
Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: Venture on March 25, 2009, 02:27:53 PM
Hey FlipAsso

Successful without meds ? That depends on how you define succes. I think life is a lot more enjoyable for someone with schizophrenia with medication then without.

If you're a student of neurophysiology you probably know a lot more about Neurofeedback then I do. But as far as I know, it is not being used in any form in my country to treat schizophrenia or in any other country for that matters. I remind you that I'm a Psych Nurse, not an academic, however :)

I gain trust from people with schizophrenia the same way I do with people without that disorder. Try to get to know them, open up to them so they can get to know you. Don't judge when you can help it.... The difference is that paranoia makes it harder. You have to keep more distance, not interfere to much and prove that you are reliable by being always doing what you promised, and being honoust.

In short : just be a fellow human being, not present yourself  like you're better or different. One of the biggest compliment a patient can give me is asking if i'm part of the staff or a patient :D

Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: Matthew on March 28, 2009, 09:42:15 AM
Schizophrenia is a coping mechanism for living in an insane family and society. Check out the works of R.D. Laing. Most people with Schizophrenic diagnoses are actually suffering something else entirely: a combination of Chronic PTSD, Depression and Dissociative Identity Disorder, where one or two alters have become so strong they overwhelm the others.

People with DID and Schizoid disorders both hear voices: the difference is people with DID hear them inside their head. Schizophrenia is an extrapolated form of this where the dissociation is so great the voices are perceived as coming from outside.

On average people diagnosed suffering DID have spent 11 years interacting with mental health services labelled with false diagnoses such as Schizophrenia, Psychosis, Personality Disorder and Bipolar Disorder before the correct diagnosis is found.

Probably less than half the world's psychiatrists even believe DID exists which does not help.

The implication of this is that Schizophrenia may be very treatable, however the anti-Schizoid drugs mean talking treatments will not get to the bottom of anything with Schizoid patients as too much of their mind is suppressed to achieve integrative healing.

My fostered 17 year old daughter suffered DID. A couple of months after she left my home she was admitted to hospital after a breakdown. They diagnosed her incorrectly with Schizophrenia and have turned a healthy, lively, young woman - who was starting a healing journey - into a Zombie, with the drugs.

Matthew
Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: Venture on March 28, 2009, 10:52:27 AM
Schizophrenia is a coping mechanism for living in an insane family and society.

No. Don't state that as a fact. That's an oboslete theory. People form perfectly normal healthy and happy families can devellop Schizophrenia.\

As with all psychiatric disorders, diagnosis are hard to make, and lots of errors are made. I usually ignore the labels psychiatrists put on patients and just focus on what they need. Rest, things to do, structure, safety, that sort of thing.

I predict that in a year or 10, there will be  no more disorder called schizophrenia, but instead 4 or 5 different new names. It will be split up.

Matthew, not all anti psychotic drugs turn you into a zombie. Thats an exageration. The old ones where very bad, yes, but each new generation has less sideaffects. Sorry to hear about your foster daughter. I know, serious mistakes are made, I see it happen around me.

peace
Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: Matthew on April 09, 2009, 07:06:32 AM
Schizophrenia is a coping mechanism for living in an insane family and society.

No. Don't state that as a fact. That's an oboslete theory. People form perfectly normal healthy and happy families can devellop Schizophrenia.\

Don't state that as a fact: there is no objective evidence to suggest the truth of your words.

The Austrian monster who had his daughter buried under the flat and fathered her children was part of a "perfectly normal and healthy family" until it came out .....

If you find my words troubling, don't label Laing's theory as obsolete and outdated, look within. Laing;s theories were never fully developed and worked with so they are far from obsolete.

And it is a FACT that most people labelled psychotic or Schizophrenic are merely reacting to horrors of their childhood kept in the basement of their mind ... even if they were not locked permanently in the basement .. in those "perfectly normal homes" you will find children being raped in basements across all countries, time periods and social strata of the world - though all of human history.

Normal is a concept that hides a lot of lies. See through it for your own benefit and your patients.

Matthew
Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: greenhorn on April 09, 2009, 11:30:31 PM





The Austrian monster who had his daughter buried under the flat and fathered her children was part of a "perfectly normal and healthy family" until it came out .....

 Matthew

Are you talking about Freud? I've never heard about that before..
Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: Matthew on April 10, 2009, 07:30:48 AM
Do you watch the news greenhorn .. I am unsure if you are joking ....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmF3lmb_vyM
Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: greenhorn on April 10, 2009, 10:42:25 PM
Ughh, creepy, I agree. I don't watch the news that much especially because of all the horrors being broadcast.. 
Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: pamojjam on May 09, 2009, 07:08:39 PM

I was wondering.. What do you think about the Soteria houses..? Aren't there cases of psychotics who stop taking they're medication and succeed?

Here a link to the original Soteria project:

http://www.moshersoteria.com/index.htm (http://www.moshersoteria.com/index.htm)

.. with an old video too:

http://www.moshersoteria.com/mov30mb.wmv (http://www.moshersoteria.com/mov30mb.wmv)

Soterias are as successfull in enabling first time schizophrenics to live a relatively normal live (it's real limitation: Soteria doesn't works with chronic schizophrenics) as with neuroleptic medication - and that without any tablets!

Since it's really a threat to the industry which is secondto weapon industry  only - it'll never have any realistic chance to become implemented on a grander scale. Unless those gone mad industries get thwarted  >:(


In lack of much alternatives here one straw to check out:

http://orthomolecular.org/library/stories/index.shtml (http://orthomolecular.org/library/stories/index.shtml)

My attention was first directed to Orthomolecular medicin years ago by a psychiatrician who tried it with Homeopathic medicine first - but finally only with Vitamins (especially B3, which does a good job on high LDL Cholesterol too!) was able to put some of his clients off medication.

kind regards..
Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: brexit on February 09, 2018, 01:24:07 PM
I really don't believe there is a chance of that at all. Is this a legitimate question? Why would you ask?

No specific causative factor is known. There does seem to be a genetic component, as it tends to tim in families. It also has an environmental component. Abusing drugs such as methamphetamine increases this possibility of schizophrenia developing.

It is believed that it could be related to a viral infection during pregnancy, or insufficient nutrition during pregnancy.

Brain images of people with schizophrenia show different brain structure from people who don't have it.
Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: Matthew on February 11, 2018, 09:14:36 PM
Brain structure, epigenetic expression, brain chemistry and physiology all have strong environmental components - particularly childhood trauma is now known to affect all of these areas. So much so that it is probably impossible to separate these effects and find true genetic links. The main cause of schizophrenia appears to be growing up in a deluded/dysfunctional family/environment and being the one who is blamed or is excluded all the time. Drug use and other triggers can expose the underlying trauma and induce "Schizophrenia" in later life. The science of medicine on such issues is very polluted with bad ideas and poor research design.

I'm not sure what brought you to resurrect a thread that has been dead for nine years? is this an area in which you have a strong interest?
Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: Ottercreek on February 20, 2018, 01:19:23 PM
Well, I do have a down-to earth concern with this topic. Whether schizophrenia or a another serious mental disorder, is there potential danger with meditation/intensive retreat? If you're "leading" a meditation group, "running" a retreat center just with the simple intention to share, and someone comes up with such a mental illness, you don't want to just reject them, but you need to keep the place quiet, and also you don't want to put the person at risk for getting worse, how do you deal with this?
Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: stillpointdancer on February 20, 2018, 05:41:48 PM
This used to happen occasionally at the center I used to go to. The strategy there is to treat people as one would in whatever public space one happens to encounter them, with compassion but with the understanding that they need to seek professional help, rather than use the center as some place for alternative therapy.
Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: Ottercreek on February 21, 2018, 01:12:11 PM
Ok, thanks stillpointdancer, at least I'm getting reassured there is no serious contraindication... I guess I was left with a little "trauma" on such a situation, for me to deal with!  :)
Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: Matthew on February 21, 2018, 02:04:47 PM
The original post here related to a person who had "cured" their own schizophrenia using mindfulness. There is quite a lot of research showing that mindfulness can play an effective role in working with schizophrenics. Examples: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4591204/ or https://ps.psychiatryonline.org/doi/abs/10.1176/appi.ps.002092012?code=ps-site

The questions regarding negative consequences and participation at retreats are both valid to ask. The first study linked above has a section on negative consequences, "The lack of a significant relationship between mindfulness and negative symptoms may be explained in several ways ..." - i.e. it did not really find any. These studies were undertaken in a supervised clinical setting so that support may account for the lack of consequences found.

Schizophrenia is a set of symptoms and often confused with psychosis - one of the main symptoms. It would probably not be beneficial for a person with psychosis to attend a retreat centre, not for that individual or the other people present. As Stillpointdancer points out, such happenings can be dealt with using compassion and steering people towards getting the help they need.

That brings up the more difficult subject of what Schizophrenia is and what helps. The research that has been undertaken and is being undertaken is showing mindfulness to be of help widely. It reconnects the sufferer with the lived experience of their body and reduces hospitalisations etc.

Unfortunately most of the "help" offered to Schizophrenics and people suffering Psychosis is chemical drugs that squash symptoms. These drugs are poorly understood and fit in with the medicalised model of mental healthcare (which is more about the feelings of inadequacy suffered by the emerging psychiatry profession and pharma companies tinkering with chemicals than real science).

More importantly the drugs used don't just squash symptoms, they also squash the person's ability to relate to themselves and their experience quite radically. Mindfulness works very differently to this: research shows it brings the sufferer into contact with their lived experience and better able to manage symptoms as a result.

Much more research needs to be undertaken. The medicalised model that is current will surely be seen in twenty or thirty years to be quite barbaric I suspect. This suspicion is based on an understanding that Schizophrenia and Psychosis are extreme reactions of the mind to insufferable circumstances. Yes, there are measurable chemical imbalances sometimes, and even changes in brain structure. These too are increasingly being shown to be environmentally induced rather than inherent in the person.

Mindfulness can help people bring symptoms to manageable levels. It can bring them to a place where their mind can face the experiential history and traumas that lead to the collection of symptoms labelled as X, Y or Z by psychiatrists. Facing this and processing it can be achieved with the right environment and grounding in a safer sense of self. And yes, a retreat/centre not aimed at helping such people is probably the incorrect place to attempt this work.
Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: stillpointdancer on February 23, 2018, 12:15:07 PM
Matthew
Great reply there. I think there is a lot that mindfulness can offer, and it deserves a lot more research.
Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: Ottercreek on February 23, 2018, 01:19:33 PM
Yes, great reply, thanks! I did get to that distinction as I reflected on it, mindfulness is most likely to be helpful, but on an intensive retreat without proper support, a psychotic person is probably unlikely to really practice mindfulness. Now, reorienting someone without making them feeling rejected is an art to work on!!!
Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: Fredo956 on October 26, 2018, 06:46:42 AM
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Title: Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
Post by: stillpointdancer on October 26, 2018, 11:08:29 AM
Yes, great reply, thanks! I did get to that distinction as I reflected on it, mindfulness is most likely to be helpful, but on an intensive retreat without proper support, a psychotic person is probably unlikely to really practice mindfulness. Now, reorienting someone without making them feeling rejected is an art to work on!!!
I think Jon Kabat-Zinn's courses more appropriate than anything retreat-based: https://www.mindful.org/jon-kabat-zinn-defining-mindfulness/ (https://www.mindful.org/jon-kabat-zinn-defining-mindfulness/)