We all know how badly most psychiatry does “hope,” especially for those with a “serious mental illness” label. They speak about the person in hushed tones, as if he or she has already died. They talk about quality of life (what a downer) and social assistance (another downer). This rubs off on the parents and anybody else who is supposed to somehow wake up every day and put on their party face for their relative.
The word “hope” can also sound negative to sensitive types like me. It can sound like the person saying it is struggling with the doubt that hope is only a remote possibility for some but not for all (“There’s always hope!”)
Why don’t we substitute the word “expectation” for “hope,” as in “You are fully expected to get well.” This is not at all far fetched, judging from all the people I’ve been meeting on this blog and reading about elsewhere, who got well. Many of them say that what kept them unwell for quite a while was in part lack of hope and the diminished expectations of those around them.
“Expect” rather than just “hope.”
Psychiatrists say that single events can be over-determined. Rather than there being one reason and only one reason for something happening, there can be multiple explanations for a single event. Chris’s current hospitalization is not the result of a single event. The obvious explanation to the well meaning outsider is that he needed his medications.
The less obvious explanations arise from what had been happening in Chris’s life over the months leading up to this crisis. Despite the vitamin support that had worked so well for him before, during and after he stopped his medications, something scary was now happening. He dropped his classes, stopped his voice lessons, rambled frequently off-topic, and tested the patience of his family and friends alike. It had all the hallmarks of a return of his psychosis. Did I mention he was angry? He started to express anger for the first time in his life. He scraped the flesh off his knuckles by driving his fist so hard into the wall.
Chris has yet to offer a definitive explanation as to why this recent crisis has happened. He does say he truly missed his younger brother Taylor, who went away to university about the same time that Chris started to change. My husband and I say that we pushed him too hard to think about returning to university full time. Our expectations likely frightened him. Other people had expectations, too. Chris’s voice teacher encouraged him to fulfill his considerable potential as a vocalist. I believe that Chris is struggling with the implications of what it means to become well.
I remain convinced that this crisis is a necessary passage for Chris. He is on a more solid platform this time around and will continue to grow in health, thanks to the following:
1. Orthomolecular medicine
2. Medication, when necessary, in low doses and for short duration
3. Energy medicine/EFT/Visualizations
4. Assemblage Point shift and shamanic rituals
5. Magnetic therapy
6. Cathartic psychotherapies/e.g. Family Constellation Therapy
7. The Alexander Technique (not a therapy in the standard sense)
8. The Tomatis Method
9. Psychoacoustics and bioharmonic resonance
10. Time and understanding
In the coming days I will discuss these interventions and more.