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The cause of “schizophrenia”

April 30, 2012

I was reading a personal account in the book On Our Own by Judi Chamberlin. I highly recommend it, I just bought it for 75 cents plus S&H.

Dianne Jennings Walker shares her story in chapter five that I found remarkably similar to mine, especially when she talks about her belief as a child that her soul had been stolen from her body and her later discovery of psychology. “In my late teens I discovered psychology and Psychiatry, which I believed for many years was my salvation. I read case histories in college textbooks and thought, “Oh, I’m not from another planet, I’m simply crazy!” 

Judi makes this observation on a previous page “People who end up as mental patients are people in trouble — with their family, their job, or the community at large. A diagnosis of mental illness lets everybody else off the hook… The illness model says that after psyciatric repair, he or she should return and fit smoothly back into his or her old life.”

Mrs. Walker continues with a quote that really knocked me off my feet: “I was lied to for so many years that I still fear the feeling of being split apart from my body. This so-called symptom of schizophrenia is what happens to us when the perceptions we have of our environment are attacked and ignored and denied over and over again. Ironically our perceptions are accurate. Even after we are terrorized, drugged, or socialized out of expressing ourselves directly we do it symbolically and the feelings are right. I believed as a child that my soul had been stolen from it’s rightful body, that my real parents lived on a satellite of Betelgeuse. That was not an insane delusion. It was a poetic and actually logical way to handle the unlivable environment I had the ill fate to be born into.”

I think this is absolutely the cause of so-called schizophrenia. I can’t tell you how many times I expressed a problem I had with someone or something and was told I was ungrateful. Feelings were proof that I was illogical and irrational and therefore didn’t have to be taken seriously. This decreased self-confidence made it tough for me to fit in with my peers, causing me to feel an outsider. Even if my family didn’t mean for it to come across that way the reality was I was in an environment that wasn’t good for me personally and should have been re-evaluated.  

It’s really tough to… what’s the word? To face the negative feelings you have towards those you care about. It’s upsetting me even now that the great family I have may have let me down in a big way. I wouldn’t make such a harsh proclamation as she did about her family. I have a great family, but it’s not and never was perfect. Even now my instinct is “I shouldn’t feel upset, that’s a wrong emotion.” In fact it is the correct and logical response. It’s just that negative emotions are not the best place to stay for a long time. That’s why the empowerment of the mental patient liberation movement is so important! We must learn to think of ourselves as capable and strong. 

From what I can tell, the thing that Dianne says made her mind, body and soul feel hers again was denouncing the label and all that it says about her. She was honest about being an ex-patient. She says: “Psychotherapy oppresses us by teaching us that we are sick, crazy maladjusted. We should forget grandiose and paranoid ideas such as that some societies just aren’t worth adjusting to.”

Consistent study on what I believe and why makes me know deep within myself that I have put enough time in to have some valid things to say, to ‘know what I’m talking about’ so to speak. I’ve been reading up on the accuracy of the bible as a historical text. I recently found Randal Niles and really like his show THINK IT THRU” A Radio Show/Podcast Dedicated to Truth-Seeking! 

As a side note, I enjoyed this story of a man involved in the feminist movement who got ‘kicked out’ of a mental institution. He talks about his political movements that began within the instituion, and his later discovery that he wasn’t alone. There really was a mental patient liberation movement! But be warned, I believe the website is as old as the internet itself. 

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