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Saints and Madmen: The Failure of Psychiatry

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http://www.amazon.com/The-Spiritual-Gift-Madness-Psychiatry/dp/159477448X/

A bold call for the “insane” to reclaim their rightful role as prophets of spiritual and cultural transformation

• Explains how many of those diagnosed as schizophrenic, bipolar, and other forms of “madness” are not ill but experiencing a spiritual awakening

• Explores the rise of Mad Pride and the mental patients’ liberation movement

• Reveals how those seen as “mad” must embrace their spiritual gifts to help the coming global spiritual transition

Many of the great prophets of the past experienced madness--a breakdown followed by a breakthrough, spiritual death followed by rebirth. With the advent of modern psychiatry, the budding prophets of today are captured and transformed into chronic mental patients before they can flower into the visionaries and mystics they were intended to become. As we approach the tipping point between extinction and global spiritual awakening, there is a deep need for these prophets to embrace their spiritual gifts. To make this happen, we must learn to respect the sanctity of madness. We need to cultivate Mad Pride.

Exploring the rise of Mad Pride and the mental patients’ liberation movement as well as building upon psychiatrist R. D. Laing’s revolutionary theories, Seth Farber, Ph.D., explains that diagnosing people as mad has more to do with social control than therapy. Many of those labeled as schizophrenic, bipolar, and other kinds of “mad” are not ill but simply experiencing different forms of spiritual awakening: they are seeing and feeling what is wrong with society and what needs to be done to change it. Farber shares his interviews with former schizophrenics who now lead successful and inspiring lives. He shows that it is impossible for society to change as long as the mad are suppressed because they are our catalysts of social change. By reclaiming their rightful role as prophets of spiritual and cultural revitalization, the mad--by seeding new visions for our future--can help humanity overcome the spiritual crisis that endangers our survival and lead us to a higher and long-awaited stage of spiritual development.


While I've personally never been diagnosed I realize this is only because I've skillfully avoided contact with the mental health establishment. I feel deep compassion for those beings who have fallen into it's clutches and suffered the kinds of abuses that are so common.

Free Chapter from the book (pdf format) (excellent read) :
http://tinyurl.com/ml7abje

^

the people who are really the most likely to be attuned to the cosmic rhythms and universal things that are happening on the planet have particular vulnerabilities because they’re so personally disturbed by the destructiveness of the world. If these people’s higher attunement is leading them at that time to be singled out as bipolars or schizophrenics and taken away and removed from the social body, then the process of social transformation that might ordinarily take place in terms of the an awakening and of taking collective responsibility would be prevented by the psychiatric priesthood itself

RE: Saints and Madmen: The Failure of Psychiatry
Answer
8/25/13 11:09 PM as a reply to Hermetically Sealed.
Okay, have you read the post I have written here?

http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/3373753

I have not read this book, but here is my take on this:

While there perhaps may be a small sub-set of people experiencing A&P/dark night phenomena who are misdiagnosed as bipolar, neither bipolar disorder nor schizophrenia (which I have had both of) are directly spiritual in nature, and are instead biological in their origins. On the other hand, I believe, many people (if not perhaps most) have crossed into A&P-like territory from becoming manic (with or without psychosis) in the same way many people cross into A&P territory after ingesting LSD. The cause is organic in nature though this does not stop people from falling into A&P territory from extremely altered states.

Having largely completed the entire progress of insight, I still have schizophrenia/voices/positive/negative/catatonia symptoms if I don't take my medications or megadoses of vitamins. The sensations of the voices just occur causally, naturally, empty as part of the "field" of empty sensations, like any other sensations, as well as the negative symptoms (which don't usually occur unless the symptoms are getting bad) which just occur in an empty way where the mouth stops talking and the body stops moving. Thus the cause is not spiritual, but organic. There are also bodily changes that occur such as severly chapped lips. On the other hand, the mood disorder part has actually completely disappeared, though the psychosis part has remained. These are both (related) and very real biological ilnesses that have nothing to do with social control and everything to do with biological illness. However, its possible for unscrupulous types to misdiagnose mental illness as a form of social control.

RE: Saints and Madmen: The Failure of Psychiatry
Answer
8/25/13 11:20 PM as a reply to Tom Tom.
Tom Tom:
Okay, have you read the post I have written here?

http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/3373753

I have not read this book, but here is my take on this:

While there perhaps may be a small sub-set of people experiencing A&P/dark night phenomena who are misdiagnosed as bipolar, neither bipolar disorder or schizophrenia (which I have had both of) are directly spiritual in nature, and are instead biological in their origins.

On the other hand, I believe, many people (if not perhaps most) have crossed into A&P-like territory from becoming manic (with or without psychosis) in the same way many people cross into A&P territory after ingesting LSD. The cause is organic in nature though this does not stop people from falling into A&P territory from extremely altered states.

Having largely completed the entire progress of insight, I still have schizophrenia/voices/positive/negative/catatonia symptoms if I don't take my medications or megadoses of vitamins. The sensations of the voices just occur causally and naturally as part of the field like any other sensations, as well as the negative symptoms (which don't usually occur unless the symptoms are getting bad). Thus the cause is not spiritual, but organic. On the other hand, the mood disorder part has actually completely disappeared, though the psychosis part has remained.


I appreciate your comment. In some ways I agree and in other ways I disagree. If you examine the pali suttas you'll see that Buddha was having conversations with Devas, he was "hearing with the Divine Ear" and "seeing with the Divine Eye". In today's world he would surely be diagnosed with a "psychosis" such as schizophrenia wouldn't he ? This is my main point. If a Buddha were born today he would very likely be pathologized, medicated, and/or locked up if he openly talked about many of the things that Gotoma talked about especially if he was under the age of 18.

Now with that said, I'm sure you're right that there are individuals who are for biological and/or spiritual reasons unable to control the range of frequencies with which their minds receive information, and this could result in hearing voices when one does not want to hear voices, etc. I think that this predisposition can be caused via biology but yet control can be gained via spirituality. You might have to do more than just progress through the stages of insight you might have to make skillful use of Will in conjunction with profound states of concentration in order to have some effect on these symptoms (at least hearing voices). You may need to employ the heart center in this act of Will. If you believe in the core of your being that "it is biological and I can't change it via spiritual practice" then it won't change for you via spiritual practice. This is another reason why the views peddled by the mental health establishment are so insidious, they attempt to do everything they can to convince an individual deep down that he is unable to change.

In other words if you deeply hold the belief that mind is merely an epiphenomenon of a biochemical process then this very belief becomes the limiting factor that prevents you from changing your mental state at will. That belief will prevent you from being able to 'tune out' unwanted phenomena such as voices. Your 'higher self' will respect your core belief so if you want help from your 'higher self' you should change your core belief to be inclusive of a way for you to empower yourself in more ways via spiritual practice. I hope that makes some sense.

RE: Saints and Madmen: The Failure of Psychiatry
Answer
8/25/13 11:29 PM as a reply to Hermetically Sealed.
In other words if you deeply hold the belief that mind is merely an epiphenomenon of a biochemical process then this very belief becomes the limiting factor that prevents you from changing your mental state at will. That belief will prevent you from being able to 'tune out' unwanted phenomena such as voices. Your 'higher self' will respect your core belief so if you want help from your 'higher self' you should change your core belief to be inclusive of a way for you to empower yourself to stop hearing voices via spiritual practice. I hope that makes some sense.


My core beliefs have changed in line with the evidence.

First of all, not all psychosis is schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a very specific kind of psychosis with a different set of symptoms than the usual Siddhi-type stuff. It is also highly linked to manic-depression. Schizophrenia is not just hearing voices. Voices only start to occur when the illness is well established. Usually the disorder starts either in a manic-depressive type-psychosis and evolves into schizophrenia over time and/or it starts with unusual LSD/psylocibin perceptual changes. Voices usually start to occur after the following sequence.

If you really want to know all the details about schizophrenia the book that best describes the illness is this book by Dr Abram Hoffer MD PhD: http://www.amazon.com/Healing-Schizophrenia-Complementary-Vitamin-Treatments/dp/1897025084/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1377490945&sr=8-1&keywords=healing+schizophrenia

Bizarre perceptual changes - changes in distance perception, visual illusions, bizarre sensations of delusions, etc

Here is a list of perceptual changes from the book:

Faces are distorted
Faces are funny
Inability to distinguish faces
Colors too bright
Colors too dull
Unable to judge distance


Negative symptoms start to occur - avolition, apathy, poverty of speech, inappropriate giggling
Catatonia can occur
The person then hears their thoughts out loud
Then the person hears voices.

When the symptoms are more mild the volume is quite low on the voices or the person just hears their thoughts "out loud" (the thoughts are repeated and occur in a different location than they normally occur). Volume decreases and increases according to severity.

RE: Saints and Madmen: The Failure of Psychiatry
Answer
8/25/13 11:32 PM as a reply to Tom Tom.
Notice that the Buddha talking to Devas is very different than the above symptoms. The Buddha has absolutely no negative symptoms, he does not hear his thoughts out loud, he does not become catatonic, he does not have all the various physical changes that come with schizophrenia symptoms.

People who experience Siddhis or talk to Devas or spirits are not schizophrenic as schizophrenia involves more symptoms than just "hearing voices" or talking to "spirits."

RE: Saints and Madmen: The Failure of Psychiatry
Answer
8/25/13 11:36 PM as a reply to Tom Tom.
Tom Tom:


People who experience Siddhis or talk to Devas or spirits are not schizophrenic as schizophrenia involves more symptoms than just "hearing voices" or talking to "spirits."


If what you just said was widely recognized in the USA and was used as a guideline for whether or not to recommend drugs to children then I would be happy with the mental health establishment but unfortunately that's not the case.

RE: Saints and Madmen: The Failure of Psychiatry
Answer
8/25/13 11:45 PM as a reply to Tom Tom.
Tom Tom:
In other words if you deeply hold the belief that mind is merely an epiphenomenon of a biochemical process then this very belief becomes the limiting factor that prevents you from changing your mental state at will. That belief will prevent you from being able to 'tune out' unwanted phenomena such as voices. Your 'higher self' will respect your core belief so if you want help from your 'higher self' you should change your core belief to be inclusive of a way for you to empower yourself to stop hearing voices via spiritual practice. I hope that makes some sense.


My core beliefs have changed in line with the evidence.


Never the less they are self-limiting beliefs. I'm not trying to be a dick I'm just trying to be honest about what I believe to be true in this regard. If you find a way to say to yourself "the evidence points in direction A, but I want to fully leave myself open to the possibility that direction B may actually be true after all" then you will open yourself up to more possibilities than if you hold firmly to a particular view no matter how scientific you may find it. Sometimes an individual's desire to feel that he understands something scientifically is more powerful than his desire to effect change in a way that seems to contradict his scientific view. In such a case he prevents himself from effecting said change so that he can maintain his self-world-view paradigm.

RE: Saints and Madmen: The Failure of Psychiatry
Answer
8/26/13 12:57 AM as a reply to Hermetically Sealed.
If what you just said was widely recognized in the USA and was used as a guideline for whether or not to recommend drugs to children then I would be happy with the mental health establishment but unfortunately that's not the case.


It is well known in the mental health field that hearing voices is not necessarily a symptom of schizophrenia. It is up to the diagnosing psychiatrist to make the distinction between hearing voices/talking to spirits and schizophrenia. Unfortunately, some psychiatrists are not as skilled at diagnosing schizophrenia as others. Schizophrenia can definitely occur in childhood and is a legitimate diagnosis in many cases.

Never the less they are self-limiting beliefs. I'm not trying to be a dick I'm just trying to be honest about what I believe to be true in this regard. If you find a way to say to yourself "the evidence points in direction A, but I want to fully leave myself open to the possibility that direction B may actually be true after all" then you will open yourself up to more possibilities than if you hold firmly to a particular view no matter how scientific you may find it. Sometimes an individual's desire to feel that he understands something scientifically is more powerful than his desire to effect change in a way that seems to contradict his scientific view. In such a case he prevents himself from effecting said change so that he can maintain his self-world-view paradigm.


My belief is that I will eventually fully recover and get off all pharmaceuticals and never have another symptom again. My symptoms are extremely mild when I have them now and soon I will have no symptoms at all. Eventually I will be symptom free without pharmaceutical aid for the rest of my life. This is my paradigm and it's working for me so far.

RE: Saints and Madmen: The Failure of Psychiatry
Answer
8/26/13 12:57 AM as a reply to Tom Tom.

Never the less they are self-limiting beliefs. I'm not trying to be a dick I'm just trying to be honest about what I believe to be true in this regard. If you find a way to say to yourself "the evidence points in direction A, but I want to fully leave myself open to the possibility that direction B may actually be true after all" then you will open yourself up to more possibilities than if you hold firmly to a particular view no matter how scientific you may find it. Sometimes an individual's desire to feel that he understands something scientifically is more powerful than his desire to effect change in a way that seems to contradict his scientific view. In such a case he prevents himself from effecting said change so that he can maintain his self-world-view paradigm.


My belief is that I will eventually fully recover and get off all pharmaceuticals and never have another symptom again. My symptoms are extremely mild when I have them now and soon I will have no symptoms at all. Eventually I will be symptom free without pharmaceutical aid for the rest of my life. This is my paradigm and it's working for me so far.


Right on! I just wanted to make sure of that. You have a very unusual belief system then. The belief system that the mental health establishment pushes on most schizophrenics is the belief that "you have an incurable disease and you will need to receive treatment for the rest of your life". That is their default position. I'm glad to hear you have an alternative perspective on it. I'm sure you really will accomplish those goals

RE: Saints and Madmen: The Failure of Psychiatry
Answer
8/26/13 1:00 AM as a reply to Tom Tom.
It is well known in the mental health field that hearing voices is not necessarily a symptom of schizophrenia. It is up to the diagnosing psychiatrist to make the distinction between hearing voices/talking to spirits and schizophrenia. Unfortunately, some psychiatrists are not as skilled at diagnosing schizophrenia as others. Schizophrenia can definitely occur in childhood and is a legitimate diagnosis in many cases.


I'd like to add to this (replying to my own post): In reality, schizophrenia carries such a stigma and poor prognosis that psychiatrists actually misdiagnose schizophrenia often as something else (borderline personality or bipolar or whatever) more often than they label someone as schizophrenic who is not.

RE: Saints and Madmen: The Failure of Psychiatry
Answer
8/26/13 1:03 AM as a reply to Hermetically Sealed.
Right on! I just wanted to make sure of that. You have a very unusual belief system then. The belief system that the mental health establishment pushes on most schizophrenics is the belief that "you have an incurable disease and you will need to receive treatment for the rest of your life". That is their default position. I'm glad to hear you have an alternative perspective on it. I'm sure you really will accomplish those goals


Yes, I'm well aware of the dis-empowerment in the mental health system. This is why I seek out and read the rare doctors (dead or alive) who carry or who have carried opposite positions and have treated all their previous patients from that paradigm.

RE: Saints and Madmen: The Failure of Psychiatry
Answer
6/24/20 7:32 AM as a reply to Tom Tom.
Tom Tom:
Right on! I just wanted to make sure of that. You have a very unusual belief system then. The belief system that the mental health establishment pushes on most schizophrenics is the belief that "you have an incurable disease and you will need to receive treatment for the rest of your life". That is their default position. I'm glad to hear you have an alternative perspective on it. I'm sure you really will accomplish those goals


Yes, I'm well aware of the dis-empowerment in the mental health system. This is why I seek out and read the rare doctors (dead or alive) who carry or who have carried opposite positions and have treated all their previous patients from that paradigm.
Hello,

Although this thread is alreadys some years old, I would like to bring up another contribution.

I have just left a psychiatric hospital today (*wohoo*), because I was overloaded with too many shifts at the same time, trying to bring together the spiritually sane world a person lives in with whom I was about to start a life together, and the spiritually sick environment of my own past and to some degree my family's ("black paedagogy", Nazi-education, though applied well-intendedly and I know my parents love me, but disastrous in its effects).

It took me 3 weeks to recover, and besides developping out sane manners of directing myself towards people ;(, there are no more questions left for me towards psychiatry.

From my perspective, recognizing God as your creator is the sanest place where you can be in this world. I don't know whether this runs within the teaching opinion of the runners of this forum, and its actually not my intetion to start any kind of theological discussion...; but after negating the world according to the Course in Miracles during 5 years (yes, that much was necessary;) But i dont know whether actually this is much; this is highly personal I suppose), reading myself through 20+ books from the spiritual world from all over the world, I can tell that this is where I got, and also the place where I knew this person (yes, obviously a lot of ego still there for me ;)).

RE: Saints and Madmen: The Failure of Psychiatry
Answer
6/24/20 6:37 PM as a reply to Laura Wägerle.
Laura Wägerle:
From my perspective, recognizing God as your creator is the sanest place where you can be in this world.


There's a lot of wisdom in that.

Laura Wägerle:
after negating the world according to the Course in Miracles during 5 years (yes, that much was necessary)

I also have concerns about the Course in Miracles. Deeming the world to be illusory is to reject experience. That's not a healthy way to live.