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Schizophrenia, Pyschosis and Recovery (Psychological Approaches)


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Hello, it's possible some of the people here may know me from other sites on the net. My interests are related to schizophrenia, psychosis and recovery, psychological forms of treatment and the links between trauma and psychotic experiences. I tend to promote the work of Jungian psychiatrist, John Weir Perry (Diabasis); psychiatrist Loren Mosher (Soteria) and clinical psychologist, Jaakko Seikkulla (Open Dialogue Treatment).

My own experience of psychosis was several years ago. I was living in a remote community at the time and no one knew to take me to a hospital so I never went. I count the length of that experience as being approximately 30 months. It can be neatly divided as follows: 14 months prodromal phase followed by 6 weeks of what most people would probably call a very florid state of psychosis. 14 months after that state ended, I returned to work.

I have a birth father who was in and out of psychiatric hospitals for reasons unknown (my mother left him when I was very young, hence my lack of knowledge of his personal history). I also have an adult child who has been diagnosed as Bipolar/Schizoaffective. I have been working for the past several years, save an extended period when I quit work so I could provide support to my child. I have never been hospitalized, medicated or received formal therapy. By all apparent measures, I am recovered.

Should anyone care to read it, I wrote up a brief summary of my experience a few years ago.

More recently, I was given the opportunity to submit an account to a researcher who is interested in spiritual or religious aspects of psychotic experiences.

My own life keeps me very busy in a number of avenues so I don't know how much I might participate here. I have a tendency to go where the conversations take me, and they often take me to a lot of places.

And that's my intro.

~ Namaste

[self-promotion edited out of post]

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Guest Vapourware

Welcome to the boards. Just a quick note that we are a pro-medication, pro-treatment site - just wanted to make that clear. Please have a read of the rules and feel free to PM a staff member if you have any questions.

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Welcome to the boards. Just a quick note that we are a pro-medication, pro-treatment site - just wanted to make that clear. Please have a read of the rules and feel free to PM a staff member if you have any questions.

I'd like to be certain I understand...

I don't have a problem with people making use of the treatments they identify as helpful to them. Nor am I interested in trying to convince someone to stop making use of a treatment they have chosen for themselves. Neither do I think those who choose to use medication have chosen the easy way out. I am aware that there is a risk/benefit ratio to medication that must be carefully measured against an individual's life and the people living those lives are usually the ones in the best position to make that analysis. I'm in favor of informed choice and personal decision making. I have terribly mixed feelings about forced treatment but I doubt I'm alone in that. I'm also aware of the criticisms and controversies surrounding big pharma and think that many of them are quite justified. But none of that negates the fact that people may still find medications helpful for them. If that is the choice they have made, I think that's their choice.

Meantime, my own experience didn't include medications. This wasn't quite so much by choice as it was by circumstance. The treatment programs I speak about and share information on also relied on minimal or no medication and yet, managed to produce astounding rates of recovery. I think that's a hopeful message that is worthy of sharing. Truth is, most people would prefer to not be on meds if they could manage without. And some people cannot make use of them even if they would choose to, due to lack of availability, lack of insurance, or risks that surpass any potential benefits. That's reality too.

So... if the situation was such that I wouldn't be permitted to speak authentically of my own experience, and if I wouldn't be permitted to share honestly about the approaches that helped me ... it would be better to know that up front.

~ Namaste

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I'm interested to hear about your experiences, and non medication approaches can be used in tandem with medication which is useful, I hear that you respect a person's right to choose. One issue we have (across this forum and in the schizophrenia board particularly) is when people become ill and paranoid about the medication, refusing to restart it when their psychosis is clearly wrecking their life. Anti medication campaigners like to target places like this because they have a good audience of people who become frightened and paranoid, they're usually too unwell to be asking questions about the validity of the anti medication stance, this has caused issues before.

I think we have to walk a delicate balance between providing information without giving people too much ammunition to abort treatment when that in itself is self destructive. Many of our member's don't have the support of a family or community, or access to talking therapy, and medication really is the only thing keeping them going. I think talking your own personal experience would be okay, so long as you were mindful that this site has people who feel scared or angry about medication, even when it's working for them, and posts that talk about a no medication approach can be fuel for their unwise decisions (which I feel is a world away from an informed choice about meds borne out of understood options.)

Does that make sense? That's just my take on it, I'll let others weigh in.

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I've just decided to go off my medication. Four days and counting, everything except the Klonopin (to avoid seizures). Did the medication control my symptoms? Sure, some of them. But the price was too high. I was stable, but more non-functional than I was without medication. I have to choose: lack of symptoms, or my college degree.

Do I judge anyone for making the opposite choice? Absolutely not. If a person feels that the benefits outweigh the costs of taking medication, by all means take it and help yourself.

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alienonite: I've just decided to go off my medication. Four days and counting, everything except the Klonopin (to avoid seizures). Did the medication control my symptoms? Sure, some of them. But the price was too high. I was stable, but more non-functional than I was without medication.

Four inarguable truths I've observed about medication:

- Some people function better with medication.

- Some people function better without medication.

- Some people function worse with medication.

- Some people function worse without medication.

To me, what's most relevant is never medication status -- it's how well that individual is functioning.

That said, it's also my understanding that if people are going to come off meds, an abrupt withdrawal is risky and seldom recommended unless you are dealing with a life-threatening situation.

[edited out instructions on how to come off of medication]

I know, it's very pushy of me and I don't know you and you're capable of making your own decisions. Still, if people are going to come off meds, I'd much rather see them do so while maintaining function than to end up in a hospital. For the most part, hospitals aren't much fun.

Good luck to you alienonite. I hope it goes well for you.

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Titania: I'm interested to hear about your experiences, and non medication approaches can be used in tandem with medication which is useful.

I'm interested in speaking about psychological approaches, Titania. And yes, therapy and medication are often used as adjunct treatments.

My response to alienonite is more or less the way I respond to those who wish togo off medications -- I know that it'srisky and I try to encourage them to withdraw with support or to negotiate with caregivers if they feel a med reduction or change would be best for them. Admittedly, I am very much aware that all medications have side-effects and the anti-psychotics in particular. I don't blind myself to that aspect either and I encourage others to research their meds -- the good, the bad and the ugly. It's the only way they can actually make an informed decision for themselves.

That said, I'm going to go share some information about Open Dialogue Treatment.

~ Namaste

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I've just decided to go off my medication. Four days and counting, everything except the Klonopin (to avoid seizures). Did the medication control my symptoms? Sure, some of them. But the price was too high. I was stable, but more non-functional than I was without medication. I have to choose: lack of symptoms, or my college degree.

Do I judge anyone for making the opposite choice? Absolutely not. If a person feels that the benefits outweigh the costs of taking medication, by all means take it and help yourself.

IIRC, you had to drop out of school due to symptoms. Instead of doing this unilaterally, talk to your pdoc about the side effects and come up with a better plan.

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Meantime, my own experience didn't include medications. This wasn't quite so much by choice as it was by circumstance. The treatment programs I speak about and share information on also relied on minimal or no medication and yet, managed to produce astounding rates of recovery. I think that's a hopeful message that is worthy of sharing. Truth is, most people would prefer to not be on meds if they could manage without. And some people cannot make use of them even if they would choose to, due to lack of availability, lack of insurance, or risks that surpass any potential benefits. That's reality too.

I would like to see a reasonable amount of peer reviewed research supporting the success of these other therapies. Aside from CBT and DBT, I'm not aware or treatment programs without minimal or no meds that work for severe mental illnesses.

So... if the situation was such that I wouldn't be permitted to speak authentically of my own experience, and if I wouldn't be permitted to share honestly about the approaches that helped me ... it would be better to know that up front.

~ Namaste

You are welcome to speak of your own experiences. If you want to generalize or claim that various programs cure or substantially help serious mental illnesses, post credible support from science or medical journals supporting your opinion, please.

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I tried to share some information on the Open Dialogue approach including links to numerous studies. It appears those posts have been removed.

I will have to report that the moderators at crazyboards are opposed to schizophrenics reaching for the best recovery they are capable of. I will have to report that they will move swiftly to quell any hope in those who suffer or those who love them. Regretfully, I will not be able to refer any schizophrenics individuals or their family members attempting to recover to make use of this board. It should never be about medication status. It should be about function. The Open Dialogue approach is one of the most successful and most hopeful treatments available out there... and it can not be spoken of here.

Among those who went through the OPT program, incidence of schizophrenia declined substantially, with 85% of the patients returning to active employment and 80% without any psychotic symptoms after five years. All this took place in a research project wherein only about one third of clients received neuroleptic medication.

Anyone looking for additional information can make use of a search engine.

Good day.

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Guest Recluse

Recluse Translates:

Hey guys! I know this is a pro-medication, pro-treatment website devoted to supporting people with mental illness, with vast sections allotted to the discussion of medications, side effects, and expectations, but I'm gonna give you unsubstantiated reasons for why you should drop your medication! Then, despite acknowledging that I'm being pushy, and that I don't know whether or not any of you are capable of making decisions for yourselves, Imma tell you how to taper off of the medications that keep you a sane, functional member of society! Okay?

Hooray me! I'm cured of mental illness by using happy thoughts! (I'm an Operating Thetan!)

Then, I'm gonna sign off with 'Namaste', which must mean I'm really, really spiritual, amirite?

Most of these folks are too nice to say it outright, so I'll do it for them:

Fuck you, guy.

No really. No one is buying your shit.

What you're suggesting will fucking hurt people.

Go be a beautiful, unique snowflake somewhere else, okay?

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K, I have no life and went to your blog.

Sooooo.....you have never been to a doc about this, so your psychosis and schizophrenia are self-dx'd from the internet, is what I understood. THAT'S HILARIOUS. Seriously, I'm giggling right now. Today has been the day of awesome funny.

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[self-promotion edited out of post]

dianthus

No, dianthus. It wasn't self-promotion. It was my personal experience.

Your actions have spoken. Loudly. And widely.

jarn: Sooooo.....you have never been to a doc about this, so your psychosis and schizophrenia are self-dx'd from the internet, is what I understood. THAT'S HILARIOUS. Seriously, I'm giggling right now. Today has been the day of awesome funny.

If you'd read my personal experience you'd know that I had a birth father who was in and out of psych hospitals. I have a child who has been diagnosed. And I have an experience that spanned 30 months and took place in an isolated community where they were flying psychiatrists in on a one day a week basis and no knowledge that I should be seeing one.

C'mon jarn... you know you're probably better than a schizophrenic and it will make you feel better to make fun of one. Apparently, this is what the people at crazyboards do for their self-amusement and ego gratification.

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No, dianthus. It wasn't self-promotion. It was my personal experience.

Your actions have spoken. Loudly. And widely.

She's speaking for the community at large.

We think you're a self-important ass-wagon.

If you'd read my personal experience you'd know that I had a birth father who was in and out of psych hospitals. I have a child who has been diagnosed.

The idea that you have a child who has to submit to your idea of treatment terrifies me.

C'mon jarn... you know you're probably better than a schizophrenic and it will make you feel better to make fun of one. Apparently, this is what the people at crazyboards do for their self-amusement and ego gratification.

There's nothing gratifying about chewing on someone like you. You can play the role of the martyr all you want, but it's been made abundantly clear that no one wants you here...if you keep coming back for it, you're shooting that 'martyr' shit to hell, aren't you?

You asked for what you're getting. You came to a pro-medication, pro-treatment website and advised strongly that people should halt their medications. That's your mistake, not anyone elses. Certainly not Dianthus, or Jarn.

Again, fuck you, guy. No one is buying what you're selling.

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If you'd read my personal experience you'd know that I had a birth father who was in and out of psych hospitals. I have a child who has been diagnosed. And I have an experience that spanned 30 months and took place in an isolated community where they were flying psychiatrists in on a one day a week basis and no knowledge that I should be seeing one.

C'mon jarn... you know you're probably better than a schizophrenic and it will make you feel better to make fun of one. Apparently, this is what the people at crazyboards do for their self-amusement and ego gratification.

Ummm....okay, probably better? What? Actually, never mind, please don't explain. Self pity bores me.

I don't really care that your father was in and out of psych hospitals, or that your child has been dx'd (by whom, out of curiousity? A real medical professional?), the fact is you're purporting to have a serious mental illness THAT YOU'VE NEVER BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH, and you are selling a treatment that works (apparently) but how can we really say boo to your experience when you've never, EVER, seen a p-doc? And how can you possibly tell someone how to safely come off meds when you've never been on any?

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Guest Recluse

I don't really care that your father was in and out of psych hospitals, or that your child has been dx'd (by whom, out of curiousity? A real medical professional?), the fact is you're purporting to have a serious mental illness THAT YOU'VE NEVER BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH, and you are selling a treatment that works (apparently) but how can we really say boo to your experience when you've never, EVER, seen a p-doc? And how can you possibly tell someone how to safely come off meds when you've never been on any?

These are very relevant questions that I strongly suspect we won't be getting answer to.

I wonder what we'll all be treated to instead? I'm all ears and eyes here.

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Ummm....okay, probably better? What? Actually, never mind, please don't explain. Self pity bores me.

I don't really care that your father was in and out of psych hospitals, or that your child has been dx'd (by whom, out of curiousity? A real medical professional?), the fact is you're purporting to have a serious mental illness THAT YOU'VE NEVER BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH, and you are selling a treatment that works (apparently) but how can we really say boo to your experience when you've never, EVER, seen a p-doc? And how can you possibly tell someone how to safely come off meds when you've never been on any?

Jarn, you are so cool.

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All discussion is now taking place in a number of other places troll hunter. crazyboards.org is not faring well. Those of you who resorted to knee-jerk reactions have not served your community well.

Stacia, I believe you have some links that I shared with you after my posts were removed. If you had any integrity at all, you would share them in this space so that people could investigate for themselves what Open Dialogue Treatment is all about.

As for the rest of you who jumped into the fray ... you have done nothing to represent your community as the sort of place anyone would refer others in severe crisis states or recovering from same would ever refer them to. No, dianthus..,. don't trot out your "you're hurting people" mantra because I've noticed that when people are dying, your kind are absent from the grieving parties. For some reason you also seem to believe that stripping people of hope will make them feel better. Do you have any idea how many people that kind of attitude has pushed into suicide? Nonetheless, according to your rules, the moderators pride themselves on being assholes. Congratulations. You have earned your title.

This was an Epic Fail in open, balanced, fair, respectful or mature dialogue.

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