Why I don’t write about Chris much anymore

I haven’t updated readers a very long time on what Chris is doing. The main reason is that he’s thirty-four, and well, it just gets awkward. He’s done enough therapy and the ball’s been in his court for quite a while now. I’ve written my book, we can all take a breather.

Chris will be moving to Florida with me in August where he plans to enroll in a program that will help him find a job and upgrade his skills. My husband will join us when he retires early next year. Chris has a new girlfriend who he met in April. Not great timing given the move, but these kinds of things have their own timing.

He’s becoming more assertive and motivated by doing the Focused Listening music therapy every day and having a girlfriend who’s pushing him to achieve more. I feel like we’re in a holding pattern right now waiting to see if the promise of the music therapy will come to pass. (I’ve been told that I won’t recognize the old Chris once his ear muscle is no longer weakened by the medication. (Chris may want to begin tapering his medication after he transitions to his new environment.)

11 thoughts on “Why I don’t write about Chris much anymore”

  1. Its nice to hear about his improvement n he’s willing to enroll for a program . My good wishes with him.

  2. On 2006 and again in 2008, I might have persevered with the status quo for a longer time, but my husband suggested quite firmly that we should find out what would happen if Daniel’s tiny amount of medication were to be withdrawn. One-eighth of a milligram is one-sixteenth of what was then considered by most psychiatrists to be a minimum dose, although some researchers in British Columbia had proven a lower dosage was effective. I finally listened to Richard and dropped the dosage to one pill fragment every second day and within two weeks Daniel regained fully normal left-brain dominance. At last, I realized with complete certainty that even a minuscule dosage of that chemical could harm the ear and the brain sufficiently to prevent normal integration speeds. The psychotic break that occurred 8 years later, again induced by recreational drugs but with the additional stress of the intense grief of his younger brother’s stroke, required no medication and his recovery was a steady upward curve so that one morning he simply awakened with normal ear and brain function. It is very difficult to believe that a drug that has been necessary without ear health becomes inhibiting when the ear has been brought to the point where it can function normally. As I have been learning recently, there may be an issue of brain inflammation that the music therapy has been resolving. Chris’s brain is ready to function normally and the medication itself causes brain inflammation so it’s time to remove it. Chris has shown such steady gains that I have very little doubt he will continue to improve on less and less and then on no medication. If that strategy causes instability, you can always reinstate the former dosage.

  3. Would either of your sons write about their experience and recovery using the listening method? My son is so resistant to trying anything. He is not medicated other than anti inflammatory type supplements now, his health is not improving just learning to live with it and control the delusions. He is getting depressed though because he is more withdrawn from social scenarios. Yet he falls into drinking to be able to be social at 22,which eventually triggers bad delusions. I also believed the recreational drugs trigger a inflammatory autoimmune situation that expresses. I would be interested in knowing how many readers have autoimmune diseases in parents or family with chronic autoimmune disorders…They are curing schizophrenia symptoms in studies with autoimmune drugs now in a percentage of cases. Anyone on this blog who has done the Listening program please also speak out on your findings. Thanks to all of you for sharing this journey. I pray for the day when My son can smile, laugh, and be comfortable in his own body again.

    1. Thanks, KG, for joining what looks to be a lively discussion. I, too, look forward to the day when your son can get to the point of being comfortable in his own body ( again, as you put it). Laurna’s comment below touches on something that doesn’t get a lot of attention, namely, how do you talk about and compare a present state of consciousness with a state of consciousness you have never known? I’ve asked Chris to write down what feels new and different to him about the music therapy this time around, and he tries but he can’t do it. He doesn’t seem to have a clue, and I thought the point of the assignment seemed rather easy and obvious. In the chapter of my book on the Tomatis therapy that Chris took when he was 25, Chris did manage to write about what was different, and what struck me is how “detached” he was beginning to see he was from other humans. He wrote a very long assessment, but here’s the part that shows that veil of detachment somewhat lifting (note, that normal human emotions are something that he considers “beneath” him) :

      I have noticed that after the therapy I felt much more communicative, and exposed. Previously, when I became angry with my brother over a television show or something similarly stupid, I was able to control my emotions and articulate my frustration. Now, with this heightened emotional sense, I find that when I listen to people, they aren’t just “a body in space” any- more, but I hear the subtext of their concerns; their emotional presence makes them “people.”

      As for Chris, I would say that he was never comfortable in his own body, it just looked that way until the crisis hit and it all came tumbling down. I briefly looked into the autoimmune issues but didn’t get very far. If you search my blog, you’ll find some posts.

    2. I am a mom with an autoimmune disease and my son has schizophrenia but we discovered through detoxing and fasting that my son had severe increase in symptoms with certain foods, like sugar, tomatoes, different flours and flour mixes. The list is long and varied. He does not drink or use drugs at all. We use organic foods, apple cider vinegar and healthy plant based fats for him mainly palm oil and whey protein but he is super careful with ingredients. We both are functioning well. He has symptoms but exercises and stays very busy which helps him override the symptoms but it has been 4 years of him using my pretty aggressive nutritional guidance at first then him gradually owning it and learning to manage himself. He’s in school fulltime year round now and has several other learning activities like foreign languages but it is a constant challenge for him. We both believe there’s a genetic component, a sugar component and food sensitivity that has had to be battled and maybe always will. Medications made him worse. We do believe I passed on health issues to him and he has had crazy draining feelings in his brain from detoxing. We used to juice a lot which is a great detox but he eats a lot of raw whole foods now so that helps. I do not work and commuted to helping researching and supporting him. He was 16 when things started. I am curious about the connection between autoimmune in the mom and brain inflammation? Where can I find more information?

      1. Hi, Amy,
        Extensive descriptions of people who try to treat schizophrenia through diet and supplements and specialized learning problems are in Jenny McCarthy’s books about autism (infantile schizophrenia) and in Cheri L. Florance’s Maverick Minds about her exhaustive “brain engineering” program that she used to treat her autistic son and that has been widely taught and marketed. At the end of the days, months, and years of intensive support, those children are still identifiable as schizophrenic. They are less sick in some ways, but they do not become mentally and physically normal. Their ears have not been healed. On the other hand, if you look at the collections of stories Annabel Stehli edited in support of Guy Berard’s Audio Integration Training, only her own daughter Georgi seemed actually to have been fully cured yet scores of children were greatly helped. One problem was that the treatment is not sufficiently longitudinal: it’s too brief. But Berard warns against using his AIT for schizophrenia and there is a solid neurological reason for that, although he was not aware of it. His treatment is binaural, which reinforces the left-ear paths of sound, thus undercutting the reinforcement of the right-ear paths of sound essential to left-brain dominance. That was a problem with Tomatis’s Method, too. You will learn at my website and through my publications a hitherto unrecognized neurological paradigm: the left cerebral hemisphere must dominate in the integrative processes of the two halves of the brain or else the person cannot think or behave normally or function with physiological health. Restoring or establishing left-brain dominance restores the ability to think, learn, and remember normally, to exert and to learn self-control in behavior, and to enjoy body systems that run normally.

        The digestive upsets and hormonal and immune failures and other non-cognitive symptoms that are part of the syndrome of schizophrenia arise from the weakness of the stapedius muscle in the middle ear, especially the one in the right ear. A fiber of the vagus network is attached to the stapedius muscle. The vibrations of sound that move the muscle are felt throughout the vagus network, which runs from the center of the brain to the end of the digestive tract. Along the way, that network affects hormonal secretions, respiration, cardiovascular function, the production of speech, the secretions into the digestive system, and the cells in the small gut that are part of the body’s immune system. All of those body systems depend on a healthy sound environment and on an ear muscle that can vibrate fast enough to transmit those sounds throughout the body.

        You can withdraw other kinds of input to those systems, e.g., through the ghastly surgeries and drugs Dr. Jay Goldstein recommended to chronic fatigue patients or by removing all kinds of nutritious foods from the weak digestive system. But those strategies are supportive of a body that remains frail and vulnerable. They do not cure the central problem and restore normal function and health.

        Tomatis and Berard noticed that when they treated the ears other problems, such as asthma, digestive disorders, hay fever, and skin problems such as eczema vanished. Berard actually pinpointed the audio deficits evident on a patient’s audiogram that indicated some such problems. Following music therapy, those peaks of hyperacusis and valleys of less sensitive hearing became level. The ear muscle became able to transmit sound with equal strength and flexibility for all frequencies.

        The immune system is under the control of the ears, especially of the right ear. I was ill with the immune system disorder called “chronic fatigue syndrome” or “fibromyalgia” or “myalgic encephalitis” and two other family members were even sicker than I for 8 years. I was healed after about 7 1/2 hours of exposure to the Tomatis Method of music therapy. The moment my ear(s) became able to transmit sufficient sound energy to my left-brain, my body instantly was flooded with normal energy. Our daughter, who had very nearly died, regained her left-brain dominance within about 4 hours of Tomatis Method treatment, although she finished the 10-hour course. It took her a few months to get her body muscles into good shape as she had been essentially bedridden for three years. My husband was dramatically improved within the 10 days of his treatment with the portable Tomatis treatment he used at home. When the ear is strengthened to normal tonus, dozens of symptoms disappear immediately.

        Tomatis did not fully understand how his therapy worked, although he had discovered how the right ear controls the pitch of the voice. By succeeding in healing our son’s schizophrenia with music focused only on his right ear I was able to greatly amplify Tomatis’s learning and extend healing to more severe forms of ear damage. I learned that two weeks is not a long enough interval for restoring function to a badly damaged ear. I learned that medications and street drugs harm the ear and impede the restoration process. I learned that drugs must be withdrawn before the ear muscle can fully recover. I learned that ongoing treatment is important for some people to keep the ear strong and flexible.

        Last night I opened a Portfolio at my website where I will be sharing the reports and work-in-progress of people who have used Focused Listening. Three fairly recent Launches are posted and further reports will be online by the end of this week. I hope they will inspire you to try this simple, inexpensive therapy yourself. When you have found what it can do for you, I think you will not find it difficult to see if you can improve your son’s health, too.

    3. I have yet to read of anyone who approaches schizophrenia with diet doing anything more than alleviating some symptoms but not the underlying condition. The post by Amy below is a case in point and I will elaborate on this issue in my reply to her. Schizophrenia is caused by a failure of the ear, especially of the right ear, to adequately transmit sound energy to the brain. If you don’t want to be bothered reading my 450-page book, Listening for the Light, you will find all kinds of information about how the ear controls not only the brain but body systems on my website, which is up and running except for ongoing glitches in the shopping cart. Just about anyone can try or initiate and supervise Focused Listening. The only danger is overdoing it by listening too long and the possibility of instability when left-brain dominance is starting to take hold but is not yet secure. Tapering off existing medication may take a while. The supervisor and the schizophrenic need to learn very thoroughly what the ear does for the body and how to notice that some kind of assault has further harmed the ear. I strongly recommend ongoing Focused Listening until the person has developed an awareness of their own personality and of the role of their ears in maintaining it. The therapy is simple, inexpensive, pleasant (usually), and becomes a life skill. If you do not find a way of persuading you son to try this therapy, he will deteriorate and, at best, never realize his potential. I can tell you some tragic stories about the “normal” course of untreated schizophrenia or, for that matter, about untreated lesser forms of illness such as bipolarity, OCD, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, and dyslexic syndrome. Addictions are the least of the problems those ear-damaged people are vulnerable to.

  4. Searching for companionship from those who have gone through the journey of recovery or my son. If it seems like a counseling or doctor visit my son gets paranoid . I found a bipolar psychosis coach in Chris Cole, author of body of Christ he had substance abuse along with his break. Looking for all options for peer recovery efforts.

    1. Correction Chris Coles book is Body of Chris. His delusional psychosis break was a spiritual awakening with delusions he was the next coming of Christ.

  5. Hello, KG,
    Would you like to email me so I can get deeper into some of your questions? I’m at rtallman[at]xplornet.ca I think your son needs Focused Listening more than he needs companions. The friendships can come later, with healing. If he is off medication, he is likely to see changes within a month of Focused Listening.

    Daniel, as a rule, does not write except to close personal friends, likely because his growing up dyslexic left him with poor spelling skills that mislead from his actual intelligence and communication abilities. He is usually willing to Skype with someone if he is available.

    Your question is unrealistic when you ask someone who is not quite healed (Chris) to respond to your son with “how the Focused Listening is going.” One of the aspects of schizophrenia is that the person cannot self-examine. He has no means of introspecting into a state of consciousness he has never known. Chris had problems before he ever became schizophrenic, as Rossa describes in detail in The Scenic Route. Until the person reaches the endpoint of normal integration he or she is unable to imagine what that state of mind will be like. In the case of a dyslexic, such as Daniel had been from birth until he was 16, he knew he was not like others, but he could not imagine what it would feel like to be otherwise. That started to happen when he read Paul Madaule’s paper on how he had felt living in “the dyslexified world” before he was healed with the Tomatis Method. Then, during and for a few days following Daniel’s Tomatis Method treatment, his ear and brain function became normal. It looked to me and felt to him like a miracle or a whole series of daily miracles. Simultaneously, I had been healed of chronic fatigue syndrome, which is an immune system disorder, but I was being restored to a familiar state of energy and health I had enjoyed eight years before, whereas Daniel was introduced to abilities he had never possessed. When Daniel crashed a week later, neither we nor Madaule understood what had happened because Tomatis, the originator of the Method, also did not fully understand how his music therapy altered the ear and brain. It would take me another 10 years to sort out the mess created by psychiatry and by Tomatis’s and by our own ignorance.

    Autoimmune drugs may alter symptoms but usually at some other cost. Brain inflammation is apparently related to mental conditions and also is associated with the use of the chemicals prescribed to treat mental illness. It looks as though Focused Listening clears that inflammation. We are waiting to see how our son recovering from stroke fares with his use of Focused Listening because the evidence of inflammation from stroke is well established.

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