Later, I sent Dr. Stern an e-mail to inform her that I had deliberately stayed out of influencing Chris’s decision (not to go back on meds), in large part because I was tired of parenting him and that it was long overdue that Chris should learn to make his own decisions. I also said that in the unlikely event that Chris killed himself, that would be his responsibility, not mine, not hers and not Chris’s holistic psychiatrist. I added that, had Chris made the decision to go back on the meds, I had no intention of monitoring his intake as I did previously. The chances were high that, left to his own devices, he would be non-compliant with predictably disastrous results, but that’s a problem that I no longer wanted to deal with. I was tired of thinking for him. Dr. Stern remained unconvinced about the risk, but Chris and I had made our position clear.
We had escaped the medications but were back to the problem of Chris. If there are multiple reasons for a single event (Chris’s wobbly recovery or relapse – what is it?), then there must be multiple solutions. Chris could go through years of psychotherapy (as many patients do) or we could try to hasten his recovery by adding to the mix.
I have yet to personally encounter a psychiatrist who is forthcoming about any therapies outside of their own bailiwick that might help speed the healing process. I hit upon the idea of more Alexander Technique because I was encouraged by the overdue wellspring of emotions it may have provoked in Chris. There was another reason, too. In the 1930s, Kitty Merrick Wielopolska trained under F.M. Alexander and later wrote a book about her eventual recovery from schizophrenia using the Alexander Technique. It only made sense to me that diligent adherence to the Alexander Technique could produce remarkable long term changes in one’s life approach.
Chris needed a little convincing because he was wary of further perceptual changes. I tried the tell it like it is approach.
“Chris, do you consider yourself handicapped?” I asked him.
He looked startled. “Uh, no, not really, why?”
“I don’t see that you are handicapped, either, but you act handicapped, Chris. Other people may perceive you as handicapped.” I was specifically referring to his trouble entering a room, walking across a room, sitting down in a chair. Entering a room has always been problematic for him as he is so silent that it seems he just pops up out of nowhere. His noticeable recent problems, in addition to making an entrance, were that he didn’t seem to know what he was doing in a room. He pauses, walks a bit, pauses some more, reverses direction, etc. He stands while others are sitting, making it socially awkward. When he tries to sit down, it takes him a while to negotiate through the process. Knees bend, it looks like he’s going to position himself, and then he hesitates and loses the momentum. I used to think this behavior was due to the medications, but the problem persisted with varying intensity since discontinuing the medications.
I remain convinced there is a large element of acting to his condition. His negotiating his way through a room is also a stage management problem, is it not? Where people refer to schizophrenia as a particularly associated with highly creative people, I take that further to mean that they are also equally creative in the subtle manipulation of emotion. Please hear me out on this. Gary Craig, the founder of Emotional Freedom Technique and others believe that unresolved emotional issues are the main cause of 85% of all illnesses. Resolve the emotional issue and it is very likely that the physical problem will resolve itself. Therefore, what you see is something masquerading as something else, rather like acting. Some cancers, for example, have been know to reverse themselves when underlying anger is resolved.
Chris, I felt certain, was very, very angry.