Schizophrenia is a problem of the mind, not the brain, and therefore is curable with proper talk therapy.
Schizophrenia is caused by trauma. Certain life events can make the most normal person crazy. A person with schizophrenia is living in a constant state of terror. The hallucinations are conscious nightmares. Empathic therapy focuses on the therapist learning the symbolic language of the hallucinations so he can talk to the patient about what has happened to him.
People deemed “hopeless” and living on the back wards of mental hospitals have been completely cured of schizophrenia by therapists working in this manner. The patients have returned to society and lived full lives. Dr. Bert Karon and Dr. Peter Breggin have both written about their success in using this kind of treatment. Richard Gottlieb, MSW, in personal communications, has told me about his use of this kind of therapy to enable people with schizophrenia to heal.
Alternatively, in America, we choose not to listen to one another. Instead, we prescribe drugs to try to make people not talk crazy. If you drug a person into unconsciousness then that person does not talk crazy. Our goal is not to heal the patient but to make the patient shut up and stop bothering us. Antipsychotic drugs are the third most damaging drugs on the market. There is clear evidence that antipsychotics cause loss of brain mass. The longer you take drugs, the less brain you have.
Anyone who has experienced decades of drugging and inpatient hospitalization cannot possibly make a successful transition to independent living. It would require extensive thoughtful and constant support. Such support is not available in America because it would cost a lot of money. Our politicians will not show us the true picture of people’s suffering. They know that good care would require raising taxes and that won’t get them reelected. It is always about putting self-interest ahead of the good of the people.
The other war on terror—the one in Iraq—has been horrendously expensive. It is variously reported to have cost between $255 and $275 million a day, $1.7 billion a week, $7.1 billion a month, or $3.6 trillion in totality. We have killed a hundred thousand Iraqi people, and more soldiers have died from suicide than from combat injuries. Americans chose to identify others as the enemies rather than look inside ourselves and fight our internal enemies.
America’s priorities are killing before healing. Imagine an America in which we put life before death. Imagine taking care of each other instead of killing strangers.
The only way I can survive this devastating reality is to focus on my own life and my own backyard. I cannot save the world but I can save myself. I can sleep well, eat healthy, exercise with determination, be humble before God, and serve others. I must tell the truth at all times, regardless of how others may react to hearing it.
I know that it is more valuable to be kind than to be right. I know that love is the most important thing in life. I know that seeking solutions is better than dwelling on problems.
I know these things, even though I often fail to do them.
I will keep trying. It is what I can do!