I believe that the best way to empower recovery in someone else is to believe that real recovery is probable, recognize that you, too, need healing, and seek alternative healing opportunities as much as possible.
My belief system evolved when I began to realize that the accepted Western medicine view of mental illness as mainly a biochemical imbalance is willfully ignorant of the human mind and spirit. I came to this understanding through first hand experience as a mother observing her son. I saw that Western psychiatrists prescribe medication, of dubious efficacy and with dangerous side effects, to treat a “disease” whose specific cause or causes is unknown. People who have been diagnosed with “schizophrenia” and consider themselves cured, have taken a variety of pathways. They are the best teachers. Listen to what they have to say.
In my son “Chris’s” case, I thought it was imperative to get him to “feel” like a different person, beginning with the inside out, in order for him to grow a new skin. What we were aiming to induce was “resiliency,” so that life’s inevitable bumps and bruises wouldn’t overpower him. Later on I had the revelatory thought that I, too, needed to become resilient for exactly the same reasons.
Chris and I have personally tested many of the highly unusual therapies and techniques discussed in this blog (see below). The best way to understand our progress is the Alice in Wonderland approach. Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end of this blog: then stop. Don’t forget to read the comments.
List of therapies and attitudes, in no particular order (use SEARCH button for finding specific term)
2. Medication, when necessary, in low doses and for short duration (see footnote)
3. Energy medicine/EFT/Visualizations
7. The Alexander Technique (not a therapy in the standard sense)
8. The Tomatis Method
9. Psychoacoustics and bioharmonic resonance (sound therapy)
10. Scalar energy
11. Low Expressed Emotion
12. Meditation and yoga
13. Numerology/Chinese Nine Star Ki
14. Gardening/being with animals
15. Emulating what works for others
16. Time and understanding
18. Lucid Light Simulator
19. magnetic therapy
Note: There are many more healing opportunities that I find compelling, such as past life regression. However, I mainly stick to those that I know something about through personal experience. I’m always on the look-out for new healing paths to explore.
I’m deliberating resisting giving this blog a zowier, more professional facelift. I want it to look and be down-to-earth and sincere. I do not accept commercial advertising for this reason.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
ME, wife, and mother of three handsome, kind sons. I have had a day job, nowhere near as interesting as schizophrenia
CHRIS, number one son, an intellectual, twenty-nine years old, has been living at home since crashing in his second year of university. Has discovered latent talent as a vocalist/singer since emerging from his shell.
IAN, my husband, father of our sons, a workaholic, fonctionnaire international, relentless intellect and academic author. He’s more in favor of meds than I am. This causes friction at times. After 30 years of marriage, what doesn’t cause friction?
ALEX, our middle son (27), graduated, employed, currently finally no longer back to living at home and considering graduate school one day
TAYLOR, our youngest son (24), freshly graduated and working full-time soon to be living at home.
DR. MARIA STERN, Chris’s psychotherapist, who he sees twice a week. Not sure if she’s a Jungian or a Freudian. Not sure it matters. She specializes in something called Family Constellation Therapy.
DR. X, Chris’s psychiatrist when he was enrolled for two years in a hospital outpatient program.
Dr. Rx, Dr. X’s boss, a psychopharmacologist.
Dr. Erika, Chris’s holistic psychiatrist, who oversaw his withdrawal from meds (the first time) using vitamins, supplements and energy medicine techniques. He got off them, got back on them, got off them again, and is currently on them. (The ability to thrive while off meds is not as straightforward as many believe.)
The action takes place now and in the past.
Footnote: Medications complicate everything. Sometimes they may be necessary, for a little while. The problem is, psychiatrists don’t prescribe them “for a little while.” They are a slippery slope, the thin edge of the wedge. Medications are cheap solutions for the masses and have kept psychiatry busy prescribing, rather than healing. I leave medications on the list because it would be unrealistic of me not to.