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Rename Schizophrenia? October 10, 2006

Posted by Michael in News.

Let’s see if I got this straight.  Here’s my understanding of the current situation with schizophrenia:

  1. We don’t know what causes it.
  2. There is no cure.
  3. There is disagreement on how to treat the symptoms.
  4.  It’s probably more than one thing.

So let’s have a debate on whether to rename it.  Why?  Come on, you know why.  Yes you do.  The word is “stigmatizing.”  Middle school kids call each other “schizos” along with “retard” and “moron.”

 By Patricia Reaney

Tue Oct 10, 9:12 AM ET

LONDON (Reuters) – Mental health experts called on Monday for the term schizophrenia to be dropped, saying it has no scientific validity, is imprecise and stigmatizing.

“It is a harmful concept,” said Professor Marius Romme, a visiting professor of social psychiatry at the University of Central England in Birmingham.

Let’s just call it whacko syndrome.  I mean, this is getting ridiculous.  It doesn’t matter what  you call a mental illness, the term will inevitably carry with it the “stigma” of, um, having a mental illness.   To some extent, unfair stereotypes will attach to the term.  You can’t stop this.

 And by the way, how can the term not be be imprecise when we don’t really know jack shit about the illness.  It sounds like all we know about are some of the symptoms that may be treatable,  like delusions, hearing voices, and hallucinations.

Say what?

He added that symptoms such as delusions, hearing voices and hallucinations are not the results of the illness but may be reactions to traumatic and troubling events in life.

OK, I take it back.  Apparently we really don’t know jack shit at all. 

 Speaking at a news conference, Richard Bentall, a professor of clinical psychology at the University of Manchester, said the concept of schizophrenia is scientifically meaningless.

“It groups together a whole range of different problems under one label — the assumption is that all of these people with all of these different problems have the same brain disease,” he added.

So Richard, what exactly will a new label accomplish?  I mean, we just went through this crap a few years ago.  Everybody decided that “manic depressive syndrome” was inaccurate and stigmatizing.  It made people sound like they were crazy or something.  So we all had to switch to bipolar disorder.  No doubt the middle school kids are now calling each other bipolar.  I figure that term has about ten years left before we have to switch to something else.

Paul Hammersley of the University of Manchester who recently helped launch The Campaign for the Abolition of the Schizophrenia Label (CASL), said there is no agreement on the cause of the illness or its treatment.

CASL argues that the term schizophrenia is extremely damaging to those to whom it is applied and implies unpredictability, being dangerous, unable to cope and someone in need of life-long treatment.

If my proposal that we switch to “whacko syndrome” gets any traction, Paul is going to be sorry that he started this. 

Here is the scary part of the debate:

Other psychiatrists agree that schizophrenia is an unsatisfactory term that conveys bizarreness but they are concerned that discarding the term could lead to problems classifying patients with psychosis.

“If we don’t have some way of distinguishing between patients, then those with bipolar disorder or obsessional disorder would be mixed up with those currently diagnosed as having schizophrenia and might receive treatments wholly inappropriate for them,” said Robin Murray, a professor of psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry in London.

 I just don’t get that.  How does changing the label  from schizophrenia to one or more new terms result in people with other  disorders getting incorrect treatment?  One has to wonder if the shrinks have any frickin’ clue what they are up to.

He suggested replacing the term schizophrenia with the label dopamine dysregulation disorder, which he said more accurately reflects what is happening in the brain of someone who is psychotic.

Maybe it’s just me, but if stigma is the problem, I don’t think you should switch to a new term that starts with “dope.”

Experts want to rename schizophrenia – Yahoo! News


1. compos mentis - October 10, 2006

I say we put them in a group called The People’s Front of Judea. Not to be confused with The Judean People’s Front, because that could cause them to be misdiagnosed and/or mistreated.

Or we could just club them and mount them.

On the wall.

2. Michael - October 10, 2006

I actually had a better idea, compos. We could just name the syndrome after a person, like Altzheimer’s Disease or Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Wickedpinto’s Disease comes immediately to mind, of course.

3. compos mentis - October 10, 2006

You win.

4. compos mentis - October 10, 2006

The cure for Wickedpinto’s? Lots of psychotropic drugs and massive quantities of alcohol. It won’t cure a damned thing, but would be extremely entertaining to watch.

5. Michael - October 10, 2006

Physical therapy would involve some bitches with a lot of stamina.

6. skinbad - October 10, 2006

Not to go all Tom Cruise on you, but I have a disturbing, sneaking suspicion that this:

Here’s my understanding of the current situation with schizophrenia:

We don’t know what causes it.
There is no cure.
There is disagreement on how to treat the symptoms.
It’s probably more than one thing.

Could be said about a whole lot more mental health problems than just schizophrenia.

7. Michael - October 10, 2006

I’m with you, skinny.

8. Mujuboo - October 10, 2006

Growing up I always thought Schizophrenia was a simple case of multiple personalities in one person. As for kids calling each other retards or schizos, that’s just the way kids are. Mean lil bastards.

I prefer bat-shit crazy, but that’s just me.

9. compos mentis - October 10, 2006

Could be said about a whole lot more mental health problems than just schizophrenia.

Exactly right. There are very few, cut and dried answers in the field of psychology. “It could be inherent. It could be learned. We don’t know. There are too many possible factros. Blah, blah, blah.” For someone who likes clear, precise reasons and anwers, studying psychology could lead to a bad case of Wickedpinto’s.

10. kevlarchick - October 10, 2006

I’ve heard another effective treatment for WickedPinto’s is bustiers with tits inside them.

11. skinbad - October 10, 2006

For best results, the treatment needs to be repeated often.

One of our children went through the, “Is it ADHD, or what?” journey. After about ten different possible diagnoses and as many medications (almost as if it was being decided by throwing a dart at a board–the final straw was the one that made the child sleep so deeply during the day that said child couldn’t wake up to pee) we went cold turkey. Time and patience have helped. I’m not saying the meds aren’t necessary for many, but they were worse than the symptoms for us.

12. Sobek - October 10, 2006

“One has to wonder if the shrinks have any frickin’ clue what they are up to.”

Maybe you still wonder that …

13. Ace of Spades HQ - October 10, 2006

Psychologists Want To Drop Term “Schizophrenic” As Stigmatizing

Because if you call it something else, presumably, like “bugfuck crazy syndrome,” it won’t be stigmatizing. Michael explains the friggin’ obvious: mean, this is getting ridiculous. It doesnt matter what you call a mental illness, the term will ine…

14. Feisty - October 10, 2006

We are in the early ages of medicine. Just 60 years ago or so, people first started getting antibiotics. Very effective anti-psychotics have only been around for a couple of decades. People need to be frickin’ patient and just let folks work on curing this stuff.

Schizophrenia will be cured someday, just like many other things. Sadly, we all may be dead before that happens, but if there’s a cause we can identify, there’s a cure/highly effective treatment we can develop.

15. Muslihoon - October 10, 2006

Awwwww. Poor WP. I like him.

That said, we must drop the word “schizophrenia” and all derivatives thereof (such as “schizo”). Here’s why (per me, of course).

Consider that the “z” in the word is pronounced as “tz” or “ts”. This means the word would be considered to be German(ic), right? In German, “sch” is pronounced as how English-writers would write “sh”; but no one says “shitzofrenia”, it’s always “skitzofrenia”. So we preserve some part of the word’s German-ness and leave it out the other parts? Very puzzling. If we are to keep the word, we should either render it as per German (that is, “shitzofrenia”) or as English would like it (that is, “skizofrenia”).

Also, people tend to confuse schizophrenia with dissociative identity disorder (formerly known as “multiple personality disorder”) and vice versa. Quite annoying.

(Pendantic rant over.)

16. Michael - October 10, 2006

Let’s just call them “Mormons.”


17. Wickedpinto - October 10, 2006

We don’t know what causes it.
There is no cure.
There is disagreement on how to treat the symptoms.
It’s probably more than one thing.

is exactly why we should drop MORE than the WORD shizophrenia. We should drop the diagnoses. The psychotropics that “treat” individuals with these illnesses don’t treat them or make them better, they just make them a more manageable kind of crazy.

Just “Crazy” without a known cause, would be a better diagnoses, than this BS crap “lets drug them till they can barely focus or think” sort of result. Wheres Tom Cruise when you need him?

(The jokes on me were FUNNY! Michael killed me with the “Physical therapy would involve some bitches with a lot of stamina.” comment. FLOGGING KILLED ME! I laughed out loud quite hard.)

18. Wickedpinto - October 10, 2006

It took a couple moments for the whole post to set into my swollen and crazy bean.

Let me summarize my previous.

“Michael is right, michael is funny, and I don’t mind a ribbing” so just ignore the rest 🙂

19. BrewFan - October 10, 2006

Michael is right, michael is funny

Now that right there is crazy-talk.

20. pupster - October 10, 2006

How about “Shithouse Rat Syndrome”

It has a nice ring to it.

We went through the ADD/ADHD/Autism/Augsbergers diagnoses with my oldest pup. None of the medications did anything other than zombie him out for his teachers, who were not teaching him anything, except to hate school.

We were able to find funding through the state to send him to private tutoring, where he is actually learning with out Ritalin. You are right, time and patience are the keys, along with finding what works for your kid.

21. Michael - October 10, 2006

Daughter Michael was finally diagnosed with ADHD in her junior year of college. She was just so frickin’ smart that she made it that far just fine without actually being able to study. Then in college her grades started to sag, and she came home one weekend and tearfully confessed that she knew she was not like other kids and had a problem.

We sent her to a psychologist, who had some sessions with her and gave her some tests, and also collected survey forms from her friends and roommates, Mrs. Michael and me. The survey was interesting. Didn’t strike me as bullshit at all; the questions were very specific about the types of behaviors we had observed (e.g., constantly brushing her hair back.) Based on this, he recommended that we try some meds, which Daughter Michael’s doc then prescribed based on his findings.

They helped a lot. Her senior year is going well. She can actually concentrate on her studies. I’m just really sorry that we didn’t recognize the problem years ago.

22. Michael - October 10, 2006

The great thing about this psychologist, by the way, was that his initial bias was entirely towards behavior modification and other non-pharmaceutical treatments. So when he suggested we try the adderall, he had some crediblity with us.

23. Mrs. Peel - October 10, 2006

[singsong]Oh, Mus-li?[/singsong]

(Pendantic rant over.)

Really? You had a rant about your hanging ornament?

(Don’t blame me, Michael. That’s how dictionary.com defines it.)

24. kevlarchick - October 10, 2006

Each kid is different. Glad you all found ways to help yours. Now I am thinking of my son. The one who doesn’t have to study and is not like the other kids….Really.

25. Wickedpinto - October 10, 2006

Mr. Michael?

I understand, but I still think that most of the diagnoses for ADD or ADHD, or whatever it needs to be called, are bullshit. How about this as a thought? “your daughter is too smart for her own good?” Maybe suggest taking a completely random class that she knows nothing about?

Even if ADD or ADHD are valid, then having to apply extra effort at an unfamiliar subject, TO ME! (I’m just a lunatic dickweed with a lot of cruel observations) seems like a relatively harmless initial treatment prior to creating a human being who will be dependent on a drug for the rest of their lives.

(anectdote follows)

26. Muslihoon - October 10, 2006

Good job, Mrs. Peel. I, um, did that on purpose.

27. Wickedpinto - October 10, 2006

I have a cousin, his name is “James” until he was an adult, he was called “james” though he always introduced himself as jimmy. He’s a very flighty guy, kinda like me, he can’t stay on a single subject for very long, and he doesn’t much care what anyone else things, the differences is he had this attitude when he was in middle school.

(mind you he’s almost 20 years older than me) so he was treated as ADD in his early years of middle school (in my area, thats 6-8) and started taking ridilin (spelling?) and nothing really changed, his grades sucked, his social interaction sucked, and his grades after taking ridilin actually fell. He was then diagnosed as “manic depressive” and started taking something else (I don’t know if it was lithium) and all of a sudden, he was no longer a student, he was a “special education” student.

He never did well, but he did well enough, THEN all of a sudden in highschool, instead of attending classes on math, science, english literature or history, he was thrown into one of those SHITTY and offensive, and minstrel like programs that turned “special needs” students into fucking janitors. (I remember that of other kids I knew, and that is the most offensive damn things I’ve ever seen.) However, before he started having his mind F’d with by the various drugs his lazy parents fed him cuz they were horrible at being parents (people have flaws, but after 3 of your children die because of addition, you should wake the F up, so I don’t mind blaming them) he was a real student with imperfect grades, and poor social skills.

It’s found out, when he’s in his 20’s that he had a small neurological problem. His brain didn’t work right, he was basicaly, a highly functioning retard. He wasn’t violent, he could pass normal classes, and he could function, but because he was “developmently disabled” = which means incapable of progressing properly in the natural line of development, but I prefer the word “retarded” because that means “slowed, hindered, faced with barriers” I think “Retarded is a lot more respectful, anyways,

He found out about his hinderances, and bought the line, he was, in fact, EXACTLY what he was trained to become, he was a janitor at my highschool, while I was attending my highschool. I would be on the edge of tears all the time I saw him, cuz I know what a kind person he is, and I know that the people I counted friends looked at him and mocked him (until I fixed that particular situation) But you know what he was doing while he was working as a Janitor at a highschool, the same highschool that many of his cousins were attending at the same time?

He was told he’s too dumb to get a degree, and I don’t think he ever wanted one, but once he learned that he was HONESTLY inhibited because of brain function, not some false chemical diagnosis that served the purpose of making his parents feel better, he knew he wasn’t gonna be some needy retard. He started to collect various liscenses and certifications.

Sure, he’s not fixing robots, but he became a travel agent, and was able to save up more than enough money to buy a better house than his parents had, he also became real estate agent.

My Cousin Jimmy, who was treated as a bio-chemical flaw, left all that behind, and while he did have a biological barrier to overcome, he overcame it more than once, because he was NOT going to be a “retard” a “victim” or some sort of genetic deviation requiring constant maintenance. He decided to take care of himself.

He managed to find a “normal” woman, marry her, and while they don’t yet have children? I will take ONE child of jimmies, over all of the tomcats on this planet.

28. Wickedpinto - October 10, 2006

I don’t meant to imply that any of this applies to your child michael, I think it is a real illness, or at least a real condition, but most of the time it’s over diagnosed, and I was sharing one of the reasons my first response is “I think I will try something else first.” kinda aspect.

29. Michael - October 10, 2006

The one who doesn’t have to study and is not like the other kids….Really.

Well, I was like that too, but I was not ADHD. I was just lazy. Finally had to start cracking the books open and getting some study habits in law school.   It was frickin’ amazing to me what you can do if you actually pay attention.  I graduated second in my class.

30. Michael - October 10, 2006

but most of the time it’s over diagnosed,

I’m on board with that, WP. We’ve had friends who had what I would just consider a normal “problem child,” and their first reaction is to dope them. My impression is that the tide is turning, because people are recognizing that stuff like ritalin has been massively over-prescribed for the last 20 years.

31. Wickedpinto - October 10, 2006

In Section 5 of my Basic Electronics Course, when I was in the Marine Corps, it was the only 100% “prac” test we took. I went to LA about 40 hours before the test, and I spent 2 days, and a night and 2/3’s with a VERY attractive woman, getting my groove on, I showed up JUST in time, for PT, I ran horribly, but passibly, and then I went into my school (during MOS School) to take my section 5 test.

All of my friends in the class, knew where I had been for the last two days, I mean hell, I still smelled like dirty sex, and you would have to be in the middle of an asthma attack to not know it. So I’m taking the test, I really haven’t slept in the last two days, and I just ran 3 miles (not far, unless you haven’t slept for 2 days) and I’m taking the test, and I fall asleep, while playing with my breadboard, and making my measurements, and demonstrating my measurements, and explaining my methods. (it’s basicaly how you take the test) and I would keep falling asleep, and waking up when I either fell off of my barstool like lab chair, or, more than once, getting burned cuz I shorted out my circuit when my body made contact.

When the test was done, everyone was bitching about how hard the test was, and a friend of mine said he had no problem with the test, and everyone else was like “You’re full of shit!” and he turned to me and he said “how did you do (wickedpinto’s first name)?” And I said, I missed 3 , but thats cuz you woke me up steve.” to which my friend turns to the rest of the class and said “HE SLEPT THROUGH THE FUCKING CLASS! and you are worried about FAILING?!?!?”

Never, ever, ever ever in my life have I had to apply any effort to any intellectual effort. . . (other than history, and politics, but those are fundamentaly analytical style courses) If I’m properly taught, or trained? I have never had a problem with anything that crossed my path.

I don’t mean that as arrogance, I mean that as derision of general education.

32. kevlarchick - October 10, 2006

Michael, you’re right. He’s lazy. Unlike the WP, who is some sort of mutant.

33. sandy burger - October 10, 2006

This article is lame, as are the people quoted in it.

Still, the label schizophrenia does need to be changed. Look at the word itself; it means split-brain, i.e. multiple personalities. But that’s not what it refers to. Leaving aside all the feel-good nonsense, it’s silly to use such a misleading name.

34. HayZeus - October 10, 2006

FWIW my little brother was a classic ADHD child. Kid could literally not sit still or concentrate on work or chores. Folks spent years trying behavior modification, nutrition, etc. Finally, Mom’s trying to teach him basic study skills and after she got him to put five words on the paper in two hours she threw in the towel and got a shrink.

Long story short: the Ritalin helped alot but he said it was a really rough on and off so the doc switched him to Adderall. He could still be hyper, especially when he was wound up about something (just because behavior modification didn’t work on its own didn’t mean that it was unneeded) but his focus was a lot better, particularly when it came to focusing on what he needed to be focused on instead of whatever was stimulating his mind at the moment.
So his grades improved, his behavior improved, etc. Somewhere in the middle of high school they started weaning him off of it and he’s not needed it since then.

Like the batguy, I agree that overmedication is a problem but I’ve also seen family members with the problem firsthand and I know that for kids that are genuinely ADD or ADHD the drugs can make a world of difference.

35. HayZeus - October 10, 2006

Incidentally, I know the grammar sucked in that comment so don’t even go there, grammar nazis. I didn’t bother to rewrite it because the comment was too long as it was. Don’t make a f’n maniac outta me.

36. Michael - October 10, 2006

Man, people are defensive about grammar around here. Wonder why?

37. Wickedpinto - October 10, 2006

Cuz there is a serial offender who is taking part?

I don’t know who it is, but I keep seeing this guy, who just Bastardizes technical english at every opportunity.

If I get my hands on him, I will have a very difficult time sleeping.

38. Retired Geezer - October 10, 2006

Did I mention that my grandkids spent a couple of weeks at Camp Geezer? I did? I must have forgotten.

My granddaughter told us this line during the last visit.

“A.D.D… it’s as easy as 1 – 2 – Oh look a bird!”

39. Right Wing Nation » Blog Archive » Academic Clowns - October 11, 2006

[…] From Innocent Bystanders: […]

40. Muslihoon - October 11, 2006

RG: Cute!

41. ShrinkWrapped - October 11, 2006

Psychiatry, Psychobabble, and Political Correctness

When Psychiatry, Psychobabble, and Political Correctness collide, the results would be unintentionally amusing if they didn’t have serious repercussions. The latest miscarriage produced by the marriage of Psychiatry and PC is reported in a story from …

42. Sobek - October 11, 2006

Mostly OT, but while rummaging through my archives I found this.

I can’t wait for this kid to get ADD.

43. Muslihoon - October 11, 2006

Any more stories? Any current tales?

Yours is a cute kid.

And kid stories are always amusing.

44. BrewFan - October 11, 2006

Sobek, is your son named ‘Compos’ by any chance?

45. Retired Geezer - October 11, 2006

And kid stories are always amusing.

Uh, would that include, you know, Grandkids?

46. julio zavala - October 11, 2006

i think that oll of us must concentrate on sharing experiences on how to help people that has schizophrenia

47. 300 « AnalogKid - October 12, 2006

[…] What Hollywood lacks in perpective in modern times, it makes up for in Gangland and in Historic Epics. It’s almost as if they’re … schizo. […]

48. spiritual_emergency - October 12, 2006

“There is no cure.”

I had an argument with two psychiatrists about that very statement — I won. Regretably none of this prevented them from telling their patients that they were “incurable” however I’ve since encountered other clinicians who know that hope you can recover is an essential component of actually doing so, and are a little more current in their research.

It’s worth noting that the recovery rate is substantially higher in developing nations. There is much speculation as to why this is so, ranging from the lack of anti-psychotic medication to stronger family and community networks.

Incidentally, I am an individual who went through a psychotic break several years ago. That break was preceded by multiple losses as accompanied by trauma and produced what I believe would more accurately be labelled “ego collapse”. Ridding oneself of the ego is a highly desirable state in numerous spiritual practices but it can be frightening and overwhelming it it happens too quickly.

I’ve since created two blogs; one related to my personal experience the other to recovery from psychosis and schizophrenia. Those who want to know more can click the url link.

49. spiritual_emergency - October 12, 2006

Re: Anecdotes… [For Wicked Pinto]

Here’s a few stories I’ve encountered about people with schizophrenia…

– In 1972 Isaiah dropped a hit of acid with two buddies. Sometime later the sun on the horizon burst into full bloom by opening up and speaking to him: You are God. Isaiah’s buddies didn’t know what to make of the god trip so they dropped Isaiah at the local psychiatric ward. According to Isaiah, he underwent more than 200 electroshock treatments and 200 hours of insulin coma therapy for the crime of believing he was god. I always gave Isaiah a wide berth because he was rumored to have killed his psychiatrist. Incidentally, more than 30 years later, Isaiah still believes he is god. I often suspected this was in compensation for the depth of his losses and the trauma and humiliation of his treatment.

– A young man I encountered a few years ago was clearly going through a process that was similar to my own. He was an exceptionally bright and sensitive young man; gifted in mathematics and a poet to boot. He jumped off a bridge two days before Christmas. I carry the anguish of his father with me.

– Not long ago I met a woman whose “schizophrenic” son had died due to what’s called “Neuroleptic Malignent Syndrome” — an occasionally fatal side effect of anti-psychotic medication. The cause of her son’s death was listed as “Natural”. His name was Benjamin and he was 21 years old.

– Here is another story about a “whacko, bug-shit crazy, schizoprenic”

“I wanted to share a story with all of you about the day I first recognized that having a “mental illness” meant that I would not be accepted as an intelligent human being capable of contributing to this world and worthy of the basic respect that any person should be afforded.

I went to my first psychiatric consultation six years ago. I, of course, should have been in therapy much sooner but did not realize the extent of my illness or the fact that I was even ill at all until that time.

I had to first consult with a primary caregiver due to the regulations dictated by my insurance plan. This meant that I had to first see my general practitioner and he would then send me to a specialist if required.

I recall making a list of things that had been disturbing me. Things that I did not necessarily feel were unusual but felt they were causing me great distress nonetheless. Things such as hearing voices. At the time, I didn’t realize that hearing voices was unusual. I thought everyone heard them. I just felt distressed by the things that they were saying and by the number of voices there were altogether. At its worst, it was like being in a crowded room where everyone was talking to each other and I would think I would hear my name being called but could not make out any of the other words. It became noise. Overwhelming noise.

I also had begun to take an enormous amount of over-the-counter antihistamines that seemed to help reduce some of my anxiety but they did cause my heart to race.

I mailed my list to my doctor prior to my visit. I knew that, by the time my visit would finally take place, I may not have the desire or ability to speak candidly with him.

When I arrived in his office, he asked me what had been bothering me. I mentioned the letter that I had mailed to his office and much to my disappointment, he had not read it. He quickly left the room and retrieved the letter from the front desk, where it had apparently been for several weeks.

I watched as he read quickly through the letter and he was obviously disturbed by what he had read. He wasted no time in telling me that he would refer me to a psychiatrist as the whole “antihistamine” thing bothered him.

I did later see the psychiatrist and that will no doubt be the subject of many upcoming blogs. But what I found distressing was how my relationship with this doctor had been irreparably changed.

I saw him many months later, as I was visiting someone in hospital. I approached him and said hello as I was genuinely pleased to see him. My pleasure soon faded as I realized that he was very uncomfortable in my presence. It was at that moment, I realized he would have rathered I had been a drug addict or a wife beater than the person who was standing before him.

That day, I went home and cried.”

Source: http://www.mickeyripped.com/disorderedarchivessept05.htm

50. spiritual_emergency - October 12, 2006

“Still, the label schizophrenia does need to be changed. Look at the word itself; it means split-brain, i.e. multiple personalities. But that’s not what it refers to. Leaving aside all the feel-good nonsense, it’s silly to use such a misleading name.”

Contrary to popular misunderstanding, the term “schizophrenia” does not refer to the multiple personality syndrome; the Greek etymology of the word actually means “broken soul” or “broken heart.”

— Michael Callaghan

Source: http://www.global-vision.org/dream/index.html

51. Newton - October 12, 2006

I’ve lived in psychotic space repeatedly. And I’ve lived in consensus reality. I’ve watched other people cross over into psychotic space and I’ve helped them come back.

For me one of the hardest things about the whole journey was the label itself. The public and myself at the time didn’t know the difference between a knife wielding psychopath and a person suffering from schitzophirenia, thanks to our conditioning by mainstream media, hollywood, etc. When the shrink gave me the label while i was under, I didn’t know what to make of it. At first I wondered what other people would think of me with this label, as a marked psychopath, but that passed quickly and soon I wondered what the term really meant. It meant I was a target, that the whole of human society had singled me out and given me this word as a way of permenently marking me as someone to be attacked verbally and in other ways at every possible oppertunity.

I never heard voices, but I did sit on buses and trains listening to the whole carrridge full of people doing a running commentry on my every minute behavior, including my thoughts. The commentry invariably invoved a seethingly menacing and derogatory judgement on anything at all i would do. Even my old best freind and parents were doing it. And trust me it seems as real as anything you are experiencing now. Totally immersive.

When I finally came back to “ordinairy” space some of the major items of baggage that i found myself carrying was that

first, my pain and suffering was all in my head and that basically i had done this to my self and

second, after all that hell i didn’t get to have a plaster cast around my leg or anything and that infact I would have to keep quiet about all that went down because if they find out about your label the public/media will think that you pose a threat to them (completely inverse understanding – fuck after all that i have to play the secret agent who never walked the vast expances of hell because your fuking mass media can’t deal with the fact that i’m different and even the fuking scientists don’t really know why),

third i’m now in a catagory that doesn’t fit me; my experience was fundamentally different from the guy next to me in the mental health center who heard voices and thinks he’s responsible for a recent metoirite storm, and has the same label as me.

Oh yeah and now after three years recovery time and extensive psychic repairs I wouldn’t change the fact that i’m a person who has travelled to another world. The plain of my breadth of awarness is massive. I look at other people talking and I can see that they are living with blinkers on, their vision of what it is to be, is reduced to a tunnel veiw. I’m not surprised that they are afraid to look beyond the bounds of spoon fed television reality, it is fucking scary, there’s no doubt.

But I really don’t believe that it has to be that way. The first guidence i got when I was living in the zone was a shrink that gave off no vibes. Nothing. Not good or bad, just neutral. He would say things and I would kind of understand but there would be no hidiously derogatory content to his speech. Great, modern psychiatry has learn’t how not to give off bad signals to some one wired into their own unconcious minds.

In my opinion it would be interesting to research the way that shamanic tribes have handeled interdimentional beings such as myself. My understanding is that there are comparitively few instances of psychosis amoungst the modern shamanic mexican indian tribes even though they bosh unrievald quantities of organic hallucinogens.

Could it be that they were able to talk people like me through psychotic space and out the other side into a world of wider awakening?

Scientists don’t know a fraction of the potetial knowledge that would be required to fully understand what the universe is. In the experience i had i learnt lessons about the way we communicate with others and ourselves that few around me know even now. later on in my experience i invented a boundless series of pananoias and delusions to explain what was happening to me in terms that I could understand at the time. If some one had been there to help me open up those insites into human nature and communication would i have been able to have been able to open them up instead of trying to close them down. Did I catch an extended glimpse at a world that is all around and within us and yet that we are some how not consciously aware.

Is schizophrenia really an illness we have to cure or is it actually power that we have either not learnt yet or forgotton how to weild?

52. spiritual_emergency - October 13, 2006

Shamanism & Schizophrenia…

The fragmented psyche does not automatically require or seek mending; or at least there may be a kairos space of time during which it may need, indeed can thrive upon fragmentation. In certain crisis situations the psyche, instead of putting all its eggs in one basket, to play safe and ultimately protect its integrity, may choose to invest fragments of libido into splinter personalities for safe-keeping until the crisis has abated. In therapy situations I have seen this anticipated in dreams, then worked out in situations where a person was facing imminent, possibly life-threatening danger and in an attempt to cushion the impending blow, split into several ego stances. I have called this phenomenon “pre-traumatic dissociation” as an anticipatory move which, unlike the more severe and overridingly pathological Multiple Personality Disorder, does not interfere significantly with the individual’s ability to function normally in day-to-day reality.

As a second parameter in the assessment of the overriding effect of pathology, placing woundedness in its mythic context, it’s worth bearing in mind, for instance, that Osiris and Dionysus were dismembered, that Psyche had to journey to the Underworld, that Prometheus had his liver repeatedly torn out by Zeus’s eagle, and that Medusa was beheaded. As well, in terms of the psyche’s ultimate goal of attaining wholeness, centredness and integration, fragmentation is a blow to the hubris of the stable ego, which must relinquish its sense of a fixed identity and must eventually step aside in order to allow the paradoxical Self to displace it as the centre of consciousness.

Shamanism & Schizophrenia
What we call schizophrenic is, as Joseph Campbell has discussed, called (positively) visionary or mystical in shamanic cultures, hence is valued, not feared or sedated with chemicals. As he clarifies in the well-known [1988] TV series, “The Power of Myth”, ‘The shaman is the person, male or female, who … has an overwhelming psychological experience that turns him totally inward. It’s a kind of schizophrenic crack-up. The whole unconscious opens up, and the shaman falls into it. This shaman experience has been described many, many times. It occurs all the way from Siberia right through the Americas down to Tierra del Fuego.’

Hence working with sufferers of schizophrenia from a shamanic angle can be helpful, since the shaman has in all likelihood experienced similar experiences to those of the schizophrenic. Mainstream reductionist psychiatrists, on the other hand, by and large presume that if an experience (such as chronic depression) is unpleasant, it must be stopped or band-aided, but because an experience is painful or difficult, it doesn’t necessarily follow that’s it’s not valuable, or therapeutically worthwhile as a ‘wound which heals’.

As Mircea Eliade has recounted in detail, shamanic initiation is often unpleasant, even at times horrific, and can involve being mythically stripped to the skeleton, dismemberment, or being taken to pieces. If the schizophrenic can work through these kinds of processes with an empathetic therapist, s/he may be able to find healing and some ego stability at the other end of the ordeal. I know of other schizophrenics who have courageously gone off of medication and helped each other through such processes, or (more rarely) who have worked through them alone.

More: http://spiritualemergency.blogspot.com/2006/01/shamanism-schizophrenia.html

See also: http://www.mickeyripped.com/underground.htm

53. Muslihoon - October 13, 2006

I wish I were a shaman. I’d like to control the weather.

54. spiritual_emergency - October 13, 2006

Is that what shamans do — control the weather?

55. spiritual_emergency - October 13, 2006

Newton: I enjoyed reading the story of your experience. I’d like to publish it on my Spiritual Recovery blog. I have an e-mail address listed there. Feel free to jot me a line and let me know if that’s okay.

56. spiritual_emergency - October 13, 2006

Re: “I wish I were a shaman. I’d like to control the weather.”

When I think of heaven…
Deliver me
In a black-winged bird
I think of flying, down
In your sea of pins and feathers
And all other instruments
Of Faith and Sex and God
… in the belly of a black-winged bird.

Dont try to feed me
‘Cause I’ve been here before
And I deserve a little more

I belong, in the service of the Queen
I belong, anywhere but in-between
Shes been crying, I’ve been thinking
And I am the Rain King

Well, I said, “Mama, mama, mama,
why am I so alone?
I can’t go outside, I’m scared
I might not make it home.
But I’m alive, I’m alive
But I’m sinking in
If there’s anyone at home
at your place, darlin’
Why don’t you invite me in?”

Don’t try to bleed me
‘Cause I’ve been there before
And I deserve a little more

I belong, in the service of the Queen
I belong, anywhere but in between
She’s been lying, I’ve been sinking
And I am the Rain King

Hey, I only want the same as anyone
Tender sonnets waiting for the sun
Oh, it seems

~ Night ~

Endlessly begins and ends
After all the dreaming
I come Home Again

When I think of heaven
Deliver me in a black-winged bird
I think of dying …
Lay me down in a field
Of Flame and Heather
Render up my Body

~ Into ~

The Burning Heart of God
… in the belly of a black-winged bird

Dont try to plead me
Cause I’ve been here before
And I deserve a little more

I belong, in the service of the Queen
I belong, anywhere but in between
She’s been dying, I’ve been drinking
And I am the Rain King

Counting Crows ~ August & Everything After

[* A “rain king” is a term for a shaman.]

57. Michael - October 13, 2006

Love that song.

58. Michael - October 13, 2006

I’ll put the video up.

59. spiritual_emergency - October 14, 2006

And I thank you kindly for the use of your space, Michael. It’s an interesting blog you have. I’m enjoying the allowance of participation whilst wondering if I’m stepping over the lines. I have, occasionally, participated in blogs where the underlying dynamic seemed to be “all eyes to the front” as if that’s the only important thing that’s happening. In this thread at least, the participants might be making some important connections that are independant of the host.

All things considered… it’s been an insightful conversation. I look forward to the video and I thank you (again) for bringing the topic into creation.

60. pupster - October 14, 2006

You post about Schizophrenia; you get new readers who have experience with Schizophrenia.

I demand more celebrity breast articles.

61. Michael - October 14, 2006

I’m enjoying the allowance of participation whilst wondering if I’m stepping over the lines.

Lines? Dude, read a few comment threads from the archives. This blog is entirely populated by whackjobs.

62. Michael - October 14, 2006

Except for Brewfan, who is the Assistant Site Administrator here.  He’s sane, but he’s an asshole. 🙂

63. BrewFan - October 15, 2006

He’s sane, but he’s an asshole.

Well, not totally sane. The Man is trying to keep me down after all.

64. Schizophrenia in line to get makeover? at Stoked Brands - October 25, 2006

[…] Check out these links to others with opinions on this topic. […]

65. Michael - November 12, 2006

Sorry to sound erudite whilst you all is laughing your guts out but
I suppose that you have to be an expert to really study the sociological implications of both making a change to a long standing, even long popular term, as well as the new term itself. I’ve always found that the term schizophrenia is like a magic spell (if there is really such a thing) in that it makes one think of the mystery of human existence. We can all speculate on exactly how much physical matter contributes to the phenomenon of impalpable thought–we can blame biology for racism, sexism, pride, and every conceivable mindset if we can find a pill to control these, and this might be a goal for humanity as well: But with the schizophrenic, so gross a twisting of the helix of thought can be safely combatted with drugs, and this can make people uncomfortable, especially if they believe that the halo over their head comes from good hard work, and proper upbringing, study of morality, etc, and is thus unchangeable save by their own will to do so. If we change the term schizophrenic–no mind to what we change it–do we send an implicit message by the action of changing the name? Do we say: “It’s no longer a long word, a philosophical dilemma, but a matter of genetic science, that this is the medicine for the broken mechanism, and that’s that? There is no mystery?” Do we? If the medical community is so serious about the importance of “peer” relationships and the classification of human beings on the basis of an affliction, should they not wait until the “peer” movement renames itself? I have schizophrenia and this is what I think.

66. Dr John Read - November 23, 2006

November 24, 2006 University of Auckland, New Zealand


The November edition of a prominent scientific journal, Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, includes a review of international studies of how the public understands the causes of schizophrenia. The review, of 37 studies from 17 countries (including the USA, Germany, China, India, Russia, Australia, New Zealand and Britain), concludes that:
“Internationally, the public, including patients and carers, have been quite resilient to attempts to promulgate biogenetic causal beliefs, and continue to prefer psychosocial explanations and treatments”.

The causes cited most often include stress, poverty, family problems and child abuse and neglect. This contrasts with biological psychiatry’s belief that schizophrenia is a brain disease with a strong genetic component.

The other significant finding is that in the rare instances that lay people do adopt a medical model, “Biogenetic causal beliefs and diagnostic labelling by the public are positively related to prejudice, fear and desire for distance”.

Currently many destigmatisation programmes, often funded by pharmaceutical companies, try to teach the public to adopt an illness model. The reviewers conclude, however, that:
“An evidence-based approach to reducing discrimination would seek a range of alternatives to the ‘mental illness is an illness like any other’ approach”, adding that “Destigmatisaion programmes may be more effective if they avoid decontextualised biogenetic explanations and terms like ‘illness’ and ‘disease’, and increase exposure to the targets of the discrimination and their own various explanations”.

The paper’s first author is Dr John Read, editor of the 2004 book “Models of Madness” which argues that schizophrenia is an understandable response to adverse life events and documents the role of the drug industry in promoting a simplistic biological approach. Last year Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica published his review of the recent studies showing that child abuse is a cause of schizophrenia.

Dr Read: “What these two papers suggest, taken together, is that the public may have a better grasp of the causes of hallucinations and delusions than some of us mental health experts”. “All the social causes cited by the public have recently been substantiated by well designed international studies”

“All the efforts to educate the public to adopt a biological ideology about mental health have been at best a waste of money and, more probably, extremely damaging in terms of increasing stigma and prejudice. The research showing that diagnostic labelling increases stigma lends support to the UK based CAMPAIGN FOR THE ABOLITION OF THE SCHIZOPHRENIA LABEL http://www.asylumonline.net.

“Prejudice and schizophrenia: A review of the ‘mental illness is an illness like any other’ approach”.
Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 2006, 114, 303-318.
John Read (Dept. of Psychology, University of Auckland); Nick Haslam (University of Melbourne); Liz Sayce (Disability Rights Commission, London); Emma Davies (Auckland University of Technology)

Dr Read: +64 9 373 7599 (ext 85011); j.read@auckland.ac.nz http://www.psych.auckland.ac.nz/staff/Read/Read.htm

67. Michael - November 23, 2006

Interesting post, Dr. Read, thanks.

I’m wondering what you think about #65 Michael’s suggestion:

If the medical community is so serious about the importance of “peer” relationships and the classification of human beings on the basis of an affliction, should they not wait until the “peer” movement renames itself? I have schizophrenia and this is what I think.

68. Michael - November 23, 2006

To avoid any confusion, “Dr. John Read” in #66 is presumably not actually the Dr. Read he references (using the third person) in his post. It looks like #66 came from a server in Queensland, Australia, not New Zealand.

69. debber - November 24, 2006

“…schizophrenia means split-brain, i.e. multiple personalities…”

No, slip brain refers to “slip from reality.”

70. debber - November 24, 2006

OMG This is too funny. I meant to write “split” brain refers to “split” from reality. My first comment was either a Freudian SLIP or I can blame it on the medication I am taking for my schizophrenia.

71. stark1974 - February 26, 2007

See my entry, “Schizophrenia: Reframing Mental Illness” for comment on this topic… http://starkdelusions.blogspot.com

I think mental illness could just as easily be framed in terms of physical illness as anything else.

Interesting debate you have going here – thanks for your post.

72. sibly - February 26, 2007

i think you are completely right i have to do an essay on this for my third year and i really don’t understand what changing the name of an illness will achieve

73. Michael - August 12, 2007

I think it is a message of power to give a name to a phenomenon. Take for example the Romans, who gave their own Latin names to the gods of the Greeks. These names stuck because of the power and influence the Romans wielded in their day. Similarly, the power of the medical science community has produced the ability to name diseases, and to make these names the prevailing terms for the diseases. If however, one imagines that some institution, say a European pharmaceutical company developed the perfect cure for schizophrenia, but released the cure as a cure for the disorder “XXX” as opposed to schizophrenia, and thereafter publicized their cure with always mentioning their new label “XXX”, and never making reference to schizophrenia (as a term); and if they held a worldwide patent for the cure for say 75 years; it is in my opinion easy to imagine a transformation of the name of the disorder—just witness this process in the world of marketing, where, albeit a less serious subject matter, “large” became “supersized”, “low-cal” became “fat-free”, “small” became “personal size”, etc., and many other changes in vogue terminology are wrought with the requisite money and artistic application. But of course there is a stigma associated with sensationalizing or applying tricky marketing strategies to things such as pharmaceutical drugs. However, we can counter that these stigmas are really due to ethical concerns over making unrealistic promises to consumers, such as in this case what might be “complete and total remission.” Yet, if a cure were truly at hand, could we make this argument against using humor, art, even trickery, to dispel what is truly a terrible word? Thus, to answer 72’s dilemma, it can only appear to me that changing the name would be a hope to make popular and acceptable what is arcane and shunned. I must wonder however, if it would serve the schizophrenic to have his label changed not once, but even many times in the span of his lifetime, as might be expected in the above scenario. I suppose if all he had to do was watch TV for a hour a day to keep up with the popular terminology, then it really might be a good thing.

74. shaila - August 16, 2007

A very good discussion . Please continue the discussion and spread the word to as many people as possible. We need not restrict the word to latin and english alone. we should try other languages like sanskrit and Chines. Like ‘Ardha Nirvana’, ‘Ardha Gnanodaya’ which means ‘Half salvation’,and ‘Half Enlightenment’.

75. Michael - August 18, 2007

#74, perhaps to import a term from the east would be a good way to begin the renaming process. I believe that the English term ‘enlightenment’, which to me refers most commonly to the age of enlightenment in western history, would now, in America, with all the publicity of eastern meditations, yogas, etc., be most associated with the Eastern concepts referred to, even among those not formally initiated into any tradition. It is clear that the renaming must take place psycho/spiritually as well as socially for an effective and stable term to result. But this is not to say that the East must shoulder the burden alone, as the Western Christian churches, with a massive base in American society, can and should take up this issue as one pertaining directly to social justice. Merely because the schizophrenic have ample money directed to their cause should not cause an underestimation or dismissal of the damage the term schizophrenia causes.

76. BrewFan - August 18, 2007

Merely because the schizophrenic have ample money directed to their cause should not cause an underestimation or dismissal of the damage the term schizophrenia causes.

This sounds a little paranoid to me.

77. Michael - August 19, 2007

I was referring to what is in my estimation the tendency of western Christian churches and other institutions to understand material poverty as the only legitimate form of oppression in need of alleviation, and their seeing of a social problem as adequately solved or addressed when the dollar figure aimed at its correction reaches a certain level. I needn’t cite examples, as there are a plethora.

78. Michael - August 19, 2007

Michael, Brewfan was joking.

79. Michael - August 19, 2007

Perhaps my humor is then a mirror of his! Brew Ha ha

80. BrewFan - August 19, 2007

Brew Ha ha

Thats the spirit! 🙂

81. LorrieB - February 24, 2008

Schizophrenia is a brain disease, lays dormat from the time of birth, when at the age of 19 the brain starts to make a glob of cells that eat up the good cells of the brain, nothing stops it, then if there is frontal lobe damage to the head -thats where delusions set in. I know this -I have been studing schizophrenia for all of my life. My mom had it so does my step son- He is not on meds but functioning at a very low level-

Will be writing a e-book on the subject soon, on natural approchs to schizophrenia.

If you do come in contact with one a schizophrenia person, please be kind to them, make sure you look them in thier eyes when you speak.

Most schizos are harmless for thier brains are not hardwired like a healthy brain.

82. Michael - April 12, 2008

It seem this discussion needs a reasonable infusion of energy. Consider that there might be an entity known as the mind, containing as it does a ‘non-physical’, or, in other words, a psychical component, that has only a partial association to the (disordered) (physical) brain of the schizophrenic. Why is it that this psychical component is overwhelmed by the physical (disordered) component resulting in the phenomenon called mental illness (or in this case schizophrenia)? Why, for example, wouldn’t a professional actor or actress decided to walk around playing schizophrenic, actually develop the disorder permanently insofar as his mind may be affected? Will anyone tell me if they believe the disorder, though perhaps permanently affecting the brain, necessarily is also permanent with respect to the psychical mind? Also, tell me if I have misrepresented the underlying theory implicit in my questions.

83. compos mentis - April 12, 2008

Why, for example, wouldn’t a professional actor or actress decided to walk around playing schizophrenic, actually develop the disorder permanently insofar as his mind may be affected?

Because his physical brain is not damaged.

Will anyone tell me if they believe the disorder, though perhaps permanently affecting the brain, necessarily is also permanent with respect to the psychical mind?

Yes. How could it be otherwise?

84. Michael - April 12, 2008

compos mentis. You seem to be eluded by the distinction between physical brain and psychical mind. In my view, a thought is a thought is a thought in physical terms. “I, stone.” is the same thought for the actor and the schizophrenic alike and should I surmise produce an equal affect on the psychical mind of either person. Why will the mind of one become confused at this thought or idea, whereas the mind of the other not remain so? Your answer is like saying a baseball traveling at 90 miles per hour registers on the radar in Yankee Stadium, but not in Wrigley Field (when traveling there at the same velocity, of course)! The underlying state of being of the physical brain is immaterial so long as it can yet be said to be physical. Thus the questions arise: is schizophrenia a disease of the brain or the mind; and, if of the mind, how can we ever treat it?

85. BrewFan - April 12, 2008

Michael, are you using the term ‘psychical’ synonymously with soul? Or are you suggesting schizoprenia is a parapsychological disorder? If the latter you’re going to have to be more specific as to what you mean by ‘mind’.

86. Michael - April 12, 2008

‘Psychical’ would be the mind as an entity mid-way between the body and soul, comprised of elements of both, in much the same way that certain organelles have structural properties of two distinct organelle types (endoplasmic reticulae come to mind, though I would have to look it up), or again in the way that the diaphragm has muscle cells of both smooth and striated type–producing the effect of both voluntary and involuntary control of breathing. Hybrid organisms also physically illustrate this concept, viz., cama, hinny, mule, liger, wolphin (a unique combination of orca and dolphin), etc. Thus, I suggest that schizophrenia is a radically PHYSICAL, and not psychical, disorder. Yet, since I admit of an association, however partial, between the radically material brain and partly material mind, I am in a quagmire as to offer a treatment for the mind if it be that the schizophrenic’s mind rests on the muck of a disordered material brain.
Moreover, if the mind can exist, or recede, in an isolation approximating that of the immaterial ‘soul’, as you might have suggested is its synonym, it would likewise appear that a person with schizophrenia might be very well off indeed if his mind or consciousness has made such a ‘nihilating withdrawal’ (as Sartre might have phrased it, no matter here) or recession, leaving the body as if dead and without feeling, the proverbial ‘hollow organism’.
Thus, if physical law and destiny preside over the course of the brain’s development making it all but ineluctable that the disorder will develop in some in-dividuals, then perhaps a teaching that operationalizes or helps along the recession or withdrawal of the mind early on in life will make a better prognosis for those who develop the disorder; as we have implied i hope that the terror of schizophrenia comes at least in part from the thinking that a soul is being touched and split via the mind’s association with the brain. Since neither the mind and thus not either its association with the brain can be proven under this system of thought, it seems to me to matter only that the schizophrenic see his hollowness, if you will, as not only a great boon, but as that which unites him with the sane who have altogether rejected the concept of mind. As one of my behaviorist professors put it: Where is it!! Brew ha ha.

87. BrewFan - April 12, 2008

‘Psychical’ would be the mind as an entity mid-way between the body and soul,

I’m down with that. When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was He responded, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind”. We’re not just the physical.

i hope that the terror of schizophrenia comes at least in part from the thinking that a soul is being touched and split via the mind’s association with the brain.

While schizoprenia is a physical disorder it certainly does exact a toll on the mind and soul. That’s why this great promise Jesus made is so important: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

One of my church friends is schizophrenic and he has taken that promise to heart, with great dividends.

it seems to me to matter only that the schizophrenic see his hollowness, if you will, as not only a great boon, but as that which unites him with the sane who have altogether rejected the concept of mind.

And I pray the hollowness is filled with the Spirit of the One who loves us unconditionally. And, I’d like to point out that I haven’t rejected the concept of mind and am quite sane. Most of the time 🙂

88. Michael - April 13, 2008

What Brewfan said.

The Biblical concept in both Hebrew and Greek is that mind/body/soul is an indistinguishable unity. Attempting to distinguish between them, as if they are distinct entities, is an artifact of modern civilization, which modern science is increasingly repudiating.

Consider this familiar verse:

Bless the Lord, Oh my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name. (Psalm 103:1.)

“Soul” here is the Hebrew word “nephesh” suggesting “breath” or “appetite.” My point being, “soul” in Hebrew was a very physical concept.

89. Michael - April 13, 2008

From the New Jurasalem (version) of the New Testament:

Romans 8:17-323

While I am acting as I do not want to, I still acknowledge the Law as good, so it is not myself acting, but the sin which lives in me. And really, I know of nothing good living in me–in my natural self, that is–for though the will to do what is good is in me, the power to do it is not: the good thing I want to do, I never do; the evil thing which I do not want, that is what I do….
So I find this rule: that for me, where I want to do nothing but good, evil is close at my side. In my inmost self I dearly love God’s law, but I see that in my body there is a different law which battles against the law in my mind…

can you reconcile unity of body and mind using the above passage? Which concept, unity/separation, is more therapeutic? Happy Sunday. 🙂

90. BrewFan - April 13, 2008

Michael, I think the passage you are citing comes from Romans 7 beginning in verse 15 but, be that as it may, the context of the passage is Paul’s understanding of what role the law plays in sanctification. His conclusion was that the law cannot sanctify but what it does is it magnifies the power of God’s grace through which we can be sanctified.

Despite that, though, I do see a possible application to the discussion at hand. When we acknowledge God as the Potter, and ourselves as the clay, then whenever the harmony of body/mind/soul gets out of whack we can fall back on His provision of grace in restoring us. Miraculous healing didn’t end with Christ’s earthly ministry.

And a blessed Sunday to you too.

91. Michael - April 13, 2008

Brew Fan, I thank you for pointing out both the context of the passage and my error in citation of chapter (this response contains a paraphrase whose citation I cannot presently make). What I had in mind was the reference stated by the passage concerning the different laws of the body and mind. The mind containing the “will to do good”, and the “good thing I want to do.”, whereas the body, belonging to the natural self , is full of the evil thing which I do not want . For the purposes of our discussion, i would introduce the premise, “When two things are presided over by different laws, they must be different things.” (I do not mean different in the trivial sense of individuality, but by that of ‘kind of’ thing difference). Therefore the body and mind are different kinds of things. How can they be unified if their presiding laws are so disparate–what appears to be virtue law for the mind, and corruption law for the body? Therapeutically, if we are to help people with schizophrenia, then we must perhaps ask: should I identify with the body or the mind of being? One of the letters of John states that whoever suffers in the body has broken with sin. I read this as meaning that the entire question from the therapeutic standpoint must be one of identification; for if the body/mind/soul are a harmonic unity, then breaking with sin or the law of the body has no meaning unless there is a question of identification. After all, how can something break apart if it is unified? Moreover, we lose (this) body at death, so why not catalyze the process of identifying with mind/soul by teaching this separability from as early as possible. Perhaps if we identify with our minds with such statements as “I am a virtuous person,” we can rightfully forget about contradictions of sin as Paul suggests (I do cling to that reading), owing to their origination in a body subject to that law and handed to us by an accident of biology.

Though I love the Greek Philosophy, I remain cautious of basing a theology on a linguistic convention i.e., “soul” as unity of…Also, it would seem that trying to hold together the body and its sins and the mind and its virtue is really an operational concept designed to facilitate conversion to the virtuous life, and to help us dismiss the wickedness we encounter in others, whose minds rather than bodies we are far more familiar with. (I believe this is why James talks about the tongue as both wicked and virtuous, and states simply “there must be something wrong with this…” As the tongue is physical, but obviously reflects the contents of the mind.)

Stay well, BrewFan. Blessings in return.

92. BrewFan - April 13, 2008

I think we’re on the same page, Michael. I consider the soul, the mind, and the body as distinct entities with the capability to function one without the other. In the Christian worldview it is believed we actually begin life with only two thirds of those entities working properly because when we are born the soul is spiritually DOA. However even though these entities are distinct they are so closely related that damaging one can impair the others. So, it makes sense to me that to treat one while ignoring the others is bad therapy. So, back to the original topic, if you advocate for schizophrenics and you’re not a doctor perhaps your energies are better spent ministering to the mind and soul instead of concocting politically correct speech.

93. Michael - April 13, 2008

My post in #67 seems appropriate here:

If the medical community is so serious about the importance of “peer” relationships and the classification of human beings on the basis of an affliction, should they not wait until the “peer” movement renames itself? I have schizophrenia and this is what I think.

Ministering to the mind and soul is integral to advocacy, since it gives the schizophrenics another advocate from within there own ranks. Self-advocacy is the most powerful advocacy. Unfortunately, those who concoct politically correct speech are found not only among the ranks of ….but among psychologists particularly, who stifle the voice of the patient beginning in psychotherapy. Being a schizophrenic can be the worst agony, but, when I grew to understand my purpose in this life on earth, it has been quite ecstatic at times. I dare say that my schizophrenic mind is awesome, because it is no less like the mind of its Creator than anyone else’s. In fact, having suffered so much, I count myself fortunate to have had the time to reflect on life so profitably.

By the way, I work as a peer counselor and advocate. I use any philosophy and technique I can that I find will help. This should explain my digression into metaphysics. I was trying to elicit answers from those who can validate or not my own attempts to draw a metaphysics from Christian sources, especially if it be one as detailed and therapeutic as those from “other” spiritual informants. I found yours, BrewFan’s, knowledge informative and confirming.

I think the large part of the renaming process’ problem is that the media will abuse whatever term we create/employ. Also, those who wish to detract from their political opponents will also call these people schizophrenics, crazies, or whatever.

94. BrewFan - April 13, 2008

found yours, BrewFan’s, knowledge informative and confirming.

Even the blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while 🙂

BTW, in rereading my #92, where it starts “So, back to the original topic, if you[snip]” I just want to clarify that the ‘you’ was not you Michael but was addressing the people who wanted to rename schizoprenia.

95. Michael - April 13, 2008

“So, back to the original topic, if you[snip]” I just want to clarify that the ‘you’ was not you Michael but was addressing the people who wanted to rename schizoprenia.

Having suffered the scars of paranoia, I have been trans-fixed by many such a reading. But then I re-read my reference to James and the “dual” nature of the tongue, and thought you might be confirming my reading through good-natured exposition. Another example of the saving power of God’s word!! 🙂 🙂

96. Michael - April 13, 2008

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Michael and Brewfan. It’s been an interesting conversation for me.

97. sandy burger - April 13, 2008

Hi, guys. You talking’ about the game? No? Hey, anybody want a beer? Brewfan? Michael? So, uh, this weather we’ve been having… Um…

You know what? It’s getting late. I’ll just let myself out. See you guys around.

98. sandy burger - April 13, 2008

The point of my post was to make fun of Brewfan and Michael (the site administrator) for having another in-depth discussion I have a hard time following.

Which might have been funny, except I didn’t realize that this Michael is not the Michael I thought it was.

So, never mind! I’ll go heckle elsewhere…

99. Retired Geezer - April 13, 2008

I’m just a small town, gun lovin’, religion grasping, non-blogger.

I’m bitter because my “Speak up Sir, you want the small condoms” post has been bumped off the top post list.


100. Michael - April 14, 2008

It was I had the discussion with BrewFan. I thought he was the site administrator.

101. BrewFan - April 14, 2008

Nope, Michael, I’m only the Assistant Site Administrator although I’m sure a promotion is right around the corner.

102. BrewFan - April 14, 2008

Hey, anybody want a beer? Brewfan?

You have to ask?


103. Retired Geezer - April 14, 2008

Which Michael has the Kimber?

That’s what you should be worrying about.

104. Michael - April 14, 2008

As in depth, timbre, resonance?

105. Michael - April 14, 2008

No, Michael.

Geezer is talking about my new gun.

Which I only bought in a pathetic attempt to be more like Dave in Texas, because all the IB chicks like him more than me. That gun, with some ammo, a case, and extra magazines. costs about $1,200.

You are not the only one with issues, Michael. Sure, I don’t live in a small town in Pennsylvania. I have a good job. But still, I am bitter.

So I cling to Jesus and my gun.

106. Michael - April 14, 2008

I am no stranger to guns. Grandpa was a treasury agent, dad’s a retired cop. Not sure what IB chicks are, though I caught the reference to William Tell? If they [the chicks] are what I think they are, es necessario hablar a mas espanol?

107. Akro - December 26, 2008

How do we even know there is only one cause and not multiple causes and how do we know schizophrenia is really just one disease?

I mean one person can have hallucinations and delusions at the same time and another can have disorganized thought and “word salad” and both are considered schizophrenic even though their symptoms don’t overlap. Considering that both cases are extremely different isn’t possible that those two cases might have two completely different causes?

It seems like schizophrenia is just a catch-all category for mental illnesses where we don’t know exactly what the cause is and it doesn’t fit anywhere else.

One thing I don’t like is people speaking with authority when they don’t know something for sure. A psychology teacher of one of my friends said schizophrenia was caused by the brain dying. I looked it up and that might be a theory but they don’t know definitively.

I also notice that there doesn’t seem to be much stigma. I know 3 people who have schizophrenia and they all have lots of friends. One of them is even getting married. Other than an emotional breakdown once which seemed to fit the symptoms of bipolar disorder (which he also had) rather than schizophrenia and their eccentric personalties (though I’ve noticed even more eccentric personalties in “normal” people) I never noticed anything odd about them. Funny thing is before I met a schizophrenic I thought that if I did meet one it would be noticeable from the outset.

108. Alias_M - February 8, 2009

Akro–sometimes a person with schizophrenia might believe he is an expert on something. I’m not an expert on this, of course; but think not that someone
who happens to speak with authority ought to be banned from debate owing to this natural charisma.
Also, I know a person with schizophrenia, and he looks like something is wrong, just can’t tell what. Generalities often do not apply, either way we look at the situation.

109. Larry Tucker - May 7, 2014

While those in mental health services do not know what schizophrenia is there is new information available that the disorder is preventable but not treatable.

Visit VisionAndPsychosis.Net

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