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Mental Illness And Demons


rlbest
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This is a question I've thought about a lot but have arrived at no real answers. There are still Christians today who think that menal or emotional problems are caused by "evil spirits" or just "demons." I think these people are wrong, and they get very defensive when I point out that their idea boils down to "invisible monsters are making people crazy."

 

BUT, in the gospels, Jesus appears to confirm this idea. He talks to people who are quite clearly mentally ill as though he is cleansing them of evil spirits. Does this mean:

 

1. Jesus, too, thought this was the case and this is an example of the human aspect of Jesus being limited in its knowldge (CS Lewis, for example, believed that Jesus asked "who touched me?" when the woman touched his robe because he honestly wanted to know)?

 

2. Jesus knew better and was just using the language and concepts of the day to explain what was going on?

 

3. The fundies are right? :o:blink:

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Jesus here.

 

Thank you for asking this important question about mental illness vs. demons. In reverse order, the answers to your questions are this:

 

3. The "fundies" are not right.

 

2. I did know better. I also never spoke about evil spirits or demons, because my faith and trust in a God of Perfect Love would not permit me to do so. (It was my beloved but very stubborn disciple who added the dark side to my teachings.) However, I was hard pressed to explain the medical science behind mental illness, as there was little framework in other people's vocabulary, not to mention the fact that I didn't understand the medical science very well myself. (There were no neurologists, neurophysiologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, MRI's, fMRI's, or SPECT scanners at the time, so knowledge was scanty.)

 

So how did I know it was science, not possession? It was a case, pure and simple, of trusting my angelic guides, who patiently reminded me again and again that although the science was hard to understand, it fully explained the symptoms of psychosis.

 

Little known fact -- before I began my spiritual journey in earnest, I spent two years under the tutelage of a Greek-trained physician. My medical training came in very handy when the angels began to talk to me about healing miracles.

 

1. I would certaintly agree with the statement that I was human and didn't know everything!

 

Love Jesus

September 14, 2006

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Well of course, Jesus operated out of/lived in his times. So if 4th Century people couldnt' understand mental and neurological illnesses they had to attribute it to something. So would Jesus, who lived in/and was educated in the times. Jesus also did several more or less bizarre things with mud and spit for instance.

I think that I heard this was a "treatment" for illnesses back when. Another thing he did, was send the demons possessing Lazurus (?) into pigs and drowned them. The poor pagan guy who owned these pigs wasnt' compensated for his losses. I think bizarre except in relation to the times where pigs are unclean, and so on.

 

I have epilepsy (controlled now by medication).

According to Biblical thought, I had demons. So demons are somehow controlled by Tegretol (an anti-convulsant)?!?! Why would demons be controlled by medication? Are they fooled somehow?

Do demons just get dopey? :-) And why are they controlled better by one medication over another?

 

There are promising new treatments for mental illness involving medication. For instance, depression is about 80% controlled by medication. Also there is a type of therapy called "cognitive" therapy which is very helpful in depression. Why would demons listen to that vs another type? There are new drugs for schizophrenia, which is no doubt, a physiological disease effecting the brain. Most of them have nasty side-effects at present. But someday perhaps there is a cure for this illness. Does this mean the demons of schizophrenia are somehow overcome?

 

Unfortunately this thinking has not helped in terms of sigma of mentally ill and neurologically impaired people who are somehow thought to be deservign of all this. But Jesus didn't start it. He just grew up in those times. If he came today, he'd probably throw away the medications! Say something like "You don't need these anymore. You are healed!"

 

BTW, my sister used to think I needed an exorcism. I haven't discussed this lately, so I don't know if she still thinks that. I don't want to find out!! Undoubtedly fundamentalists and also less educated people (my sister is not less educated), like this as an easy answer for disturbing symptoms.

 

 

--des

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If he came today, he'd probably throw away the medications! Say something like "You don't need these anymore. You are healed!"

 

Ummmm . . . if I felt that way about medical science and modern medications, I wouldn't be posting channelled messages on the Progressive Christianity site. I'd be floating around on the sites that promise people instant, miraculous healing. Proper use of medication, in my angelic view, is one of God's great gifts to humankind.

 

You're right about the stigma, though. Individuals need appropriate, non-judgmental treatment for serious diseases like major depression and schizophrenia. That's one important way to make the world a better place.

 

Much love,

Jesus

September 15, 2006

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Dear Jesus,

 

In the posts above, you neglected to mention another possibility: that there is both possession and mental illness. Now, which is which and how do you tell? Francis McNutt, a long time professional in the healing ministry advises that anyone doing that sort of ministry have a knowledge of psychology and/or advisors who have such training to that the difference can be detected.

 

It doesn't have to be "either/or".

 

M. Scott Peck, author of People of the Lie was a psychiatrist who, despite all his training and experience, found that there were some cases (not all by any means) which made no sense unless we used the concept of "evil". He found it made some issues and how to work with them clearer. Good book, check it out.

 

One of the errors of the past is what Isaac Bonewits' has called "monothesisism", i.e. the mental bias that holds there is only one explanation for a phenomenon, only one set of tools to work with it. The fundies make that mistake when they blame all mental problems on demons. Seckies (the secularist version of fundamentalists) make a similar mistake when they blame no mental problems on demons. We all need some humility.

 

And if you don't think there are "stranger things on heaven or earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy" (be it religious or materialist), just look into modern physics. If that doesn't convince you anything is possible, you just aren't listening. ;)

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No, I would be advising no one to throw away medications. This is not scientology after all. But we live in a fairly pharmaceutically oriented culture. Therefore, it might be logical if Jesus healed someone in the 21st Century, he might say something like "throw away your meds, you are healed". He did say at one point "take up your bed and walk". This seems a little similar. (You don't have need for it anymore). I am not implying by that that we should urge people with mental disorders to go and throw away medications sans some type of supernatural event.

 

Since I don't believe in demons I have a bit of a problem suggesting it could be "both".

 

I am perfectly ready to agree there are things we don't understand. For instance, why do people grow up evil, without conscious, with apparently normal parents, et??. It happens. Is it purely some misfiring in their brains that causes this? I think we have found that people with very abnormal brains can and do function normally. There are many mysteries of human psyche that I don't think we will ever understand fully and they include things like just what consciousness is and why we have it. But I am not inclined, when confronted with some mystery, to go and say "it's demons". I believe it to be a prescientific/irrational view. I don't think though that one can say they understand everything and all things are totally reconcillable with

linear thought though.

 

I also can't necessarily throw schizophrenia, the most common mental illness, into a sort of half demon realm because it doesn't seem real understandable. I have seen cases where the person takes one of the newest drugs and completely (almost presto bingo) becomes normal. How is that explanable via demon possession? Even partly? Sadly the current drugs are loaded with blood toxic side effects. (I've heard very sad cases of people put on the drug become well, or perhaps controlled, and then develop some life threatening anemia and end up committing suicide.) This does not mean future drugs wouldn't work or solve that issue.

 

One more thing:

It's very bad for the case of the stigma of mental patients to pull out demon possession when there are already enough hurdles, without any sort of concrete proof. It just does damage. They have huge issues in the family, getting and keepign jobs, etc. I'm sure the current fundamentalism rage isnt' helping matters. If I thought for any moment that demon possession was a useful idea (even as metaphor) for mentally ill people then I would suggest. I just don't. I think we can have mystery in the mind and hearts without pulling it out specifically for people with mental and neurological disorders. Or perhaps you hitting a little close to home for me to take this in some nice object way.

 

BTW, call it another stigma but the vast majority of mentally ill people are not in any way violent (those that are get a LOT of press). Most of the people that fall in the "evil" category usually have nothign that is in any standard list of mental disorders, except perhaps psychopaths. I don't think psychopaths are what someone asking about this topic would be thinking of, and I think it is questionalbe that they are mentally ill in the usual sense anyway. There are also cases of murderers eating people and the like. I still dont' think most of those have any sort of mental illness either. Although we would agree they are "sick".

 

 

 

--des

Edited by des
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Me either and me too!

 

It is hard to get around that, I guess. If someone made an impassioned plea of why I was

going to hell in a handbasket (btw, it has been delivered :-)) for what I believe or don't

believe--well it's hard to get thru with me, when I don't believe in a literal hell.

I believe in metaphorical demons I guess. But I have difficulty when you attach even

these to mental illness or epilepsy, say. It gives it a worse name than it already has.

The physicians first law is to do no harm. I sure wish that that applied to religion as well.

I'm perfectly willing to believe that the "universe is not only stranger than we imagine

but stranger than we can imagine". But I see no need to plop demons in there, like

we need them to add to strangeness. :-)

 

--des

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Dear Jesus,

 

In the posts above, you neglected to mention another possibility: that there is both possession and mental illness. Now, which is which and how do you tell? Francis McNutt, a long time professional in the healing ministry advises that anyone doing that sort of ministry have a knowledge of psychology and/or advisors who have such training to that the difference can be detected.

 

It doesn't have to be "either/or".

 

 

Jesus here.

 

Sorry, dear friend, but I have to bring out the angelic Tough Love here. It certainly does have to be "either/or." This is a Progressive Christianity site, and I, Jesus, post here and only here for one reason -- on this site, people of faith are willing to bring their faith into alignment with the modern world. Many things in the modern world are problematic to the soul, but most of the problems that cause the greatest grief are no different today than they were 2,000 years ago, or even 5,000 years ago. Believing in demons causes a lot of grief. Believing in demons causes great distress to your soul, since your soul has unequivocal trust in the loving heart of God the Mother and God the Father. Your soul is hardwired into your human biology, and every time you tell yourself or someone else that you believe in demons and possession, your soul induces your brain to release stress hormones into your body. These stress hormones are not good for you over the long term. In other words, what I'm saying to you from my angelic perspective is that you can literally make yourself sick by worrying about demons. To counteract the effect of your own stress hormones, I recommend stress-relieving activities like exercise, playing fun board games, listening to upbeat music, and hanging out with friends.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Much love to you. Much love to the Mother and the Father. Amen.

 

Love Jesus

September 17, 2006

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It would seem to me that if one believes in guides whether of the angelic or celestrial realm or astral realms then demons would also be a reality to that person. It seems to me that our individual identity is no more than a compartmentalized consciousness. This being so, then it is possible for that consciousness to be considered by most as 'good' (supporting peace and life) or 'demonic' (supporting the lower elements of fear, anguish, guilt, apathy, shame, suffering and those qualities that are destructive to life).

 

Each individual identity is able to have an influence on the 'other' if allowed by the 'other'. This being the case then one could reason that if we can be guided by angelic beings, the same is true of demonic beings. (compartmentalized consciousness as beings but not necessarily in form that can be seen) Having said that in no way prevents mental illness from being inherrent in the individual consciousness without 'outside' demonic influence. Possession comes into play as a word when one becomes so obsessed with the lower energies mentioned above that they are destructive in nature and the individual is entrained and unable to get release from that energy without assistance. The destructive energy now appears to be 'inside' and one calls that person possessed. Is that one really possessed by another? I think not in the literal sense.

 

Having said all that, in my view, if one is in search of truth and on a direct path, there will be no 'spirit guides' positioned along the way either angelic or demonic. That which is reality is beyond all form yet is essential to all form. There is no need to seek it as it will be revealed when obstacles obscuring it are removed rather than acquiring anything new. In my experience, there are many side paths and all seem to eventually point to the same results. Personally, it seems to me most direct to look neither for demons or angels or 'guides' but rather concentrate on the exposing and transcending of self-created barriers to truth itself.

 

Just a point of view to consider.

 

Love in Christ,

JM

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I also don't buy into the whole concept of "guides" (except human ones) on the astral or otherwise plain.

It strikes me as new agey. And I don't tend to buy into to many new agey type things.

In the end, they seem to combine various traditions, not that I am opposed to that per se, but combine

them into some kind of dubious mix.

 

But yes, IF you believed in such guides then demons could follow. I just don't.

 

And IF you believed such things then I'd don't see why the medical/ and demonic wouldn't go together.

Although it beats me how you then rationalize various successful treatments of mental disorders. Does the

demon just go hiding? And I don't care for the stigma such ideologies bring forth. IF I thought it would help the individual involved, then I would embrace this stuff, but I dont' see how it would, even in a metaphorical sense.

 

Other models allowing for the medical treatment; assistance and involvement by the family and friends; exercise and nutrition; and involvement in meaningful work and social actiivity; as well as spiritual and creative activity to me offer the most help and support and the least amount of community fear and mistrust. The above doesnt' rule out factors we can't understand (which might even include the parcularities of brain functioning), it doesn't live there.

 

 

If you want a model, at least use one that doesn't do harm. Yes, thank you, I think it does make sense for "religion to do no harm", Jenn.

 

--des

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While the idea of demons is problematic for most of us, I do use the word demonic to describe certain tendencies in humanity which are not God's will. We have to discern what is good and what is evil, what is angelic and what is demonic. Discernment requires a lot of prayer and reflection and study. We all fall short of the glory of God and pointing fingers at others is always wrong. We need to look within ourselves for what is good and what is evil and hopefully make progress along with the rest of the human race. We can not do this alone. We need to be accountable to others who we can trust and grow with. I believe that participation in a dynamic group process built on faith and reason is absolutely necessary for spiritual growth.

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While the idea of demons is problematic for most of us, I do use the word demonic to describe certain tendencies in humanity which are not God's will. We have to discern what is good and what is evil, what is angelic and what is demonic. Discernment requires a lot of prayer and reflection and study. We all fall short of the glory of God and pointing fingers at others is always wrong. We need to look within ourselves for what is good and what is evil and hopefully make progress along with the rest of the human race. (snip)

 

Hi Mystictrek,

 

Perhaps much of our problem is due to our tendencies to try to discern what is 'good' and what is 'evil'. The temptation to do so and eat from that 'tree' seems to me to be the pinnacle of man's downfall. Perhaps it is wiser to see choices and consequences. Perhaps if we look more at things this way instead of as opposites such as 'good' and 'evil' with definitive demarcation lines that were stationary for all times and societies, there might be considerably less finger pointing. Just some thoughts for one to consider.

 

Love in Christ,

JM

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Hi Mystictrek,

 

Perhaps much of our problem is due to our tendencies to try to discern what is 'good' and what is 'evil'. The temptation to do so and eat from that 'tree' seems to me to be the pinnacle of man's downfall. Perhaps it is wiser to see choices and consequences. Perhaps if we look more at things this way instead of as opposites such as 'good' and 'evil' with definitive demarcation lines that were stationary for all times and societies, there might be considerably less finger pointing. Just some thoughts for one to consider.

 

Love in Christ,

JM

 

POINT 8: By calling ourselves progressive, we mean that we are Christians who recognize that being followers of Jesus is costly, and entails selfless love, conscientious resistance to evil, and renunciation of privilege.

 

So there!!

 

Actually, though, I think your point is useful and is a great clarification. Bonhoeffer said we ordinarly choose not between right and wrong but between right and right or between wrong and wrong.

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I don't have a problem with the idea of the demonic. It's just when it gets attached to a physical being,

as if that being were some creature (image: red, small wings, horns, nasty mouth, sharp teeth, etc.)

and perhaps scenes of pea soup vomit and a head spinning 360 degrees.

 

Though I still do agree that often are choosing between right and right and wrong and wrong (or in the case of politics, the lesser of two evils).

 

I also dont' think, despite stereotypes to the contrary, that the vast majority of people with mental illness have anything to do with the even the demonic, let only demons. That largely this is an illness where the individual suffers and families suffer because their loved one is suffering. Not because of any violence or untoward acts.I think research would bear me out here.

 

 

--des

Edited by des
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I take Jesus casting out demons as a metaphor. The demonic is everywhere and must be challenged in very gentle and humble ways but also authoritative ways. This is a dynamic process usually requiring many years or at least months or days. The Bible stories make it seem like magical moments of liberation but that's symbolic. The reality is that healing happens through humble and compassionate relationships over time. Open minds are required. People who make swift judgments about another person's behavior are usually wrong. We have so much to learn about human behavior. It's a mystery.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think Jesus was using the terms familiar to his audience to talk about mental illness, including the word demon. For instance in Luke 11 after he healed the man who was mute--he says when an evil spirit has been cast out, the room of the mind has been swept clean and put in order--but then the evil spirit returns with more of its kind, and makes the person worse off than before. That image has always puzzled me somewhat, unless he means it's not enough to rid yourself of a destructive thought pattern, you have to actively seek to fill the space of the mind with positive, nurturing energy (the kingdom?). Perhaps Jesus saw mental illness as being possessed not by an autonomous force of evil, but by the negative emotions of others.

Edited by rivanna
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Perhaps Jesus was teaching that exorcism is not the way so much as "speaking life" into the sick--loving them into wholeness. On a larger scale, there is no "salvation by elimination" --which seems to be a basic flaw in all forms of fundamentalism-- whether that of the Islamic terrorists, and that of relying on military force to end it.

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I think Jesus was using the terms familiar to his audience to talk about mental illness, including the word demon. For instance in Luke 11 after he healed the man who was mute--he says when an evil spirit has been cast out, the room of the mind has been swept clean and put in order--but then the evil spirit returns with more of its kind, and makes the person worse off than before. That image has always puzzled me somewhat, unless he means it's not enough to rid yourself of a destructive thought pattern, you have to actively seek to fill the space of the mind with positive, nurturing energy (the kingdom?). Perhaps Jesus saw mental illness as being possessed not by an autonomous force of evil, but by the negative emotions of others.

 

And this is an excellent example of what I'm getting at. I'm not saying all disease is demonic. But I'm unwilling to say our medical science is so all powerful that we can explain it all. Maybe Jesus was using language familiar to his audience. Or maybe we're using language familiar to ours. Maybe we're both using metaphors neither of which are totally descriptive, but are useful in dealing with a problem.

 

After all, we can't see a demon, we can't pull one out and nail it to a specimin tray.

 

But then, we can't do that with a "destructive thought pattern" either.

 

Exorcism is a complex ritual that often gets results.

 

So is psychological counseling.

 

Let's be humble and admit that none of our human fields, not psychology or religion, are sufficient in and of themselves. They each bring insights, knowledge and practices that we need. ;)

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I don't believe that either medicine ( or talk therapy-- though I think it's successes

are pretty much limited in real mental illness anyway) always gets results. You'd be an idiot

if you believed that, and I don't think anyone does. The problem, imo, is taking an irratianal

and unreasoned view (I mean this in the strictest sense of being NON rational), is that

it does two things:

 

1. Preposes to place mentally ill back into at least a partial world of demon possession ideas

that do not do provide any advantage and instead enables stigma. Anything that enables stigma,

would have to be very powerful and very definitely true to want to take it on.

 

2. Purports there is possibly no cure for certain diseases (ie schizophrenia) because there is not

a current one or posits a possible cure outside the realm of medicine and behavioral science.

(Don't work on that, it's demons). Or perhaps it is just too hopeless.

 

At one time all cancers were beyond the realm of any medicine, now a certain percentage

are, and the cure is often as bad as the disease. Does this mean that cancer is demon possession?

Or does it instead mean that right now we do not know of or understand cancer well enough to

be able to cure any of it without also somewhat killing off parts of the person (their white blood

cells, their hair, etc.)?? I think this is a good analogy to mental illness as we have very little knowlege at present of the nervous system,etc. (with the possible exception of some valuable new

classes of drugs).

 

Btw, I am speaking of real mental illness and not the stresses of daily life and so forth (not usually things that are even dealt with in talk therapy. For schizophrenia, talk therapy is worthless (except as support).

 

I also see one option for Jesus' response, the incidents are myths to show the power of Jesus. He has power to cast off demons. That's God power. We are left with something a little less than air tight about Jesus'

exorcisms unless you believe the literal word of the Bible, which I don't.

 

BTW, I don't think exorcism does work. I think any careful analysis of any type of "results"can be shown to be the result of wishful thinking, the placebo effect, etc. Generally clients for exorcism are uneducated and able to suspend disbelief for the process. In fact, I have heard of even those who claim the exorcism does work but actually describe fairly limited gains anyway that don't even seem to be the result of any progress at all.

 

I see demon possession as an argument something like this: We can't claim to understand everything. (Gosh I hope not). So lets go back to the middle ages or earlier and pull out this nonrational explaination to

help us explain stuff. You want mystery? Go read about the origin or meaning of consciousness. That should

keep you busy. If that doesn't do it for you, go read up on some neuroscience.

 

BTW, I see the explanation of "negative emotions of others" very painfully close to what was once termed

schizophrenigenic parenting and "refrigerator mothers". About 20 years ago, nothing was known about the causes of autism (little is still known but it appears complex), so parents (mostly) were said to have

caused their child's autism. These mothers were said to be cold and impersonal (some may have had

autistic traits). So the problem of having an autistic child was added to by the problem of being the cause of it in some unknown way. Children were sometimes institutionalized away from their parents to "cure" their autism. Now we know one major thing, and that is the only people who can really help a very young severely autistic child are these same parents. I know a mother of a 26 year old autistic son. She still worries that she caused her son's autism, although she has been told otherwise many times since.

The same happened with families of schizophrenic young adults.

 

The above shows the dangers that the wrong explanations can bring. These kind of things have consequences which can be real.

 

 

 

--des

Edited by des
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The mind and the body are truly one. Some spiritual thinkers actually refer to "the mind body". Schizophrenia and other major mental illnesses are due to basically,the juices not squirting correctly into the brain, causing certain areas of the brain that control certain behaviors to misfire and nor respond"correctly". Just as someone who has diabetes has an insulin problem that can often be corrected with medicine, some mental illnesses can also be corrected or stabilized with treatment. Just as some diseases are too far gone for medicine to help much, so are some mental illnesses. Others are not. Bi-polar disorder is classified as a major mental illness. for many less severe types it is corrected with medicine and they lead normal lifes, with many around them not even knowing they have a mental illness. Considering the stigma attached to mental illness, who would want to announce it?

 

Jesus healed the blind and other diseases. As mentioned in this thread, mental illness and things like seizure disorders were probably called "demon possession" by a people that didn't know better.

 

I am not just blowing hot air here, I spent 10 years as a mental health social worker working primarily with the seriously mentally ill, mostly schizophrenics and severe bi polars. I also had some "traumatic brain injuries" or TBI foks on my case loads. They were just as normal as you or I, they did something like hit their head on a windshield in a car accident, and now the juices in their brains no longer worked correctly. Their "mind-body' no longer functioned properly and they were on my case load because they now displayed schizophrenic like behavior.

 

One note though. There were a couple of cases that were so atypical that the shrinks just couldn't nail it down. The labs didn't check out, the symptoms didn't check out, they smelled bad no matter how often they bathed, and in one case there was huge amounts of green expectorants. So "Asian's Traveler" may not be too far off. behind close doors, I saw experienced Psychiatristss and Psychologists throw there arms up in exasperation and say if there such a thing as "demon possession" this or that case exemplied it. They just couldn't put it on paper or their professional license would be in jeopardy.

Edited by Jim R
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Jim, I think you and I have some personal link to this stuff so we are bound to take it a bit more

"personally". I myself was misdiagnosed as schizophrenic about 20 years ago or so, was placed

on anti-psychotics and so forth. In the process I met quite a no. of schizophrenics (which is one

way I figured I was not one). But I also share a link with these people thru personal experience.

The symptoms can indeed be mystifying. But the false dichotomy between mind and body is what

started this all in the first place. I have even heard of schizophrenia as being a very severe

autoimmune reaction (people with schizophrenia often have high amts of histamine in their cells).

I think this is probably not a good lead, but it does show just how complex the mind body relationship

is. Often schizophrenics are very sleep deprived as well. Perhaps a symptom but certainly will

complicate matters (along with very poor diet, smoking, lack of exercise-- often in the extreme, etc.)

I think organizations that provide social networks, jobs/ job training, etc., and supportive counselling are very good, and this is what I was involved with way way back when.

 

The thing we know for sure that has done the most harm is stigma. One of the chief sources of stigma

1. the person is somehow responsible for being that way in a way that people with diabetes are not (even

though for maturity onset diabetes, lifestyle probably figures more prominantly). And two, the idea in the

back of many people's heads that this is caused by demons. This sets the person aside as not fully human or controlled by human activity.

 

I think the thing Jesus did do, is that he was able to see these people, however, ill, as part of the human community. In the same way that he touched lepers and sat with them (btw, lepers in the Bible may not have all had leprosy but may have had many diseases or illnesses

that set them apart). For me, this was the "lesson" that applies to all of us.

 

Do we really want to go back there?

 

I admit there are particularly puzzling cases, but it IS possible they are very rare diseases. (There are groups of "orphan diseases" that only maybe a few hundred people in the world have.) As can be imagined research into these is often nonexistent, the rarer they might be. I had a student once with such a disease and only 100 people in the US had it. Consider the highly publicized cases of pregeria (kids with early aging). The only reason there is this interest is the clues it might give to regular aging. Or something like the total immune shutdowns. These things don't cause dementia or anything, but we know that some odd illnesses do cause schizophrenic like symptoms. I doubt we'll sort this out for a long time to come.

I know there are cases that are quite comfusing, but due to these orphan disesases and the complexity

of the neurological system which does control secretions and gland function, I don't think I'd be

handing these cases to the exorcist either.

 

 

--des

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Another myth surrounding mental illness is that mentally ill people are more violent than others This is not true. They are no more prone to violence than are others in their socio-economic group.

 

I work in a prison setting now and the inmates are mostly "personality disorders". The "juices" in their brains and their brains function normally for the most part. They are "personality disorders" because their minds think in a twisted manner. They are much more dangerous than the mentally ill.

 

I just thought of all the news casts where they always identify a mentally ill person. They ought to identify the non mentally ill too. So if someone just did a strange murder, they would announce "This person has no record of mental illness'

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One doctor I know actually stated that if he wanted to live in the safest neighborhood possible

he would live in one which was entirely schizophrenic. (It isn't often safe for the people

with the illness though, since suicide rates a high.) He stated that all psychiatrists knew

this as wards of the most seriously schizophrenic patients (back when there were such wards),

were commonly run by the tinest nurses.

 

Though there are highly publicized cases to the contrary (mostly involving those who are

paranoid), the public mostly thinks that most schizophrenic people are violent and anti-social.

I felt very safe at the center with the mentally ill people, many who were not too well controlled

medically. The weirdest thing that happened was the *very* large no. of very strange

propositions I got which mostly went somethign like this: "You are a very nice girl. Come

to my apartment and let's f***". No dinner or anything. :-) I also probably had my life's dose

of second hand smoke, as many schizophrenics are very serious smokers (I think tobacco is kind of a tranquilizer.).

 

Sociopathic and psychopathic types are another thing. They can be charming. They can be murderers. And they often hold public office. Then there is something else, there is the disconnect that sometimes comes

with beliefs. There were stories of Nazis who were loving husbands and fathers going to work each day

persecuting Jews. If they believed we were all part of the same human family, such actions would have

been impossible. But I don't believe even that belongs in the realm of demon possession. It is quite demonic though.

 

 

--des

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