Author Topic: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation  (Read 28893 times)

Venture

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Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
« Reply #25 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 :)

pimpoum

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Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
« Reply #26 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...

Venture

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Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
« Reply #27 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.

Matthew

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Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
« Reply #28 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
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Flipasso

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Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
« Reply #29 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...

Venture

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Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
« Reply #30 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.


Flipasso

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Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
« Reply #31 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?

Venture

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Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
« Reply #32 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


Matthew

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Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
« Reply #33 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
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Venture

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Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
« Reply #34 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

Matthew

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Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
« Reply #35 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
« Last Edit: April 09, 2009, 07:08:19 AM by The Irreverent Buddhist »
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greenhorn

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Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
« Reply #36 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..

Matthew

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Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
« Reply #37 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
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greenhorn

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Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
« Reply #38 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.. 

pamojjam

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Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
« Reply #39 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

.. with an old video too:

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

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..
« Last Edit: May 09, 2009, 07:25:13 PM by pamojjam »

brexit

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Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
« Reply #40 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.
all is well

Matthew

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Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
« Reply #41 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?
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Ottercreek

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Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
« Reply #42 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?

stillpointdancer

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Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
« Reply #43 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.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Ottercreek

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Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
« Reply #44 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!  :)

Matthew

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Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
« Reply #45 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.
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stillpointdancer

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Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
« Reply #46 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.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Ottercreek

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Re: Healing Schizophrenia with Meditation
« Reply #47 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!!!