Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Letter to the Mother of a “Schizophrenic”


An interesting article from Will Hall, who is an advocate for better mental health treatment -

And when I finally do meet the people carrying that terrible, stigmatizing label of schizophrenia, what do I find? I find - a human being. A human who responds to the same listening and curiosity that I, or anyone, responds to. I find a human who is above all terrified, absolutely terrified, by some horrible trauma we may not see or understand. A human being who shows all the signs of flight and mistrust that go along with trauma. A person who may seem completely bizarre but who still responds to kindness and interest - and recoils, as we all would, from the rough handling and cold dismissal so often practiced by mental health professionals. Listening and curiosity might take skill and affinity, to be sure, when someone is in an alternate reality. But that just makes it our responsibility to provide that skill and affinity. Do we really want to add more force and more violence to a traumatized person’s life, just because we were not interested in finding a different way?


Thank you.
This was a beautiful letter but, it`s very hard to watch your child suffer. Sometimes I wonder if he is suffering as much as I think he is.
I printed this out for my sister and myself


i don’t know what to say/suggest? My view is that there are far far better ways of understanding, helping & supporting people, & far better ways that we could all be living on the planet. My experience has been a lot of grief & personal attack for trying to say that, & i can’t change the World/System. After 30 years of it all i’m very despondent about things in general.

My mother & brother have done/do their best. Upshot for me has been a ‘typical’ trajectory for schizophrenia. i think i could have been far better originally helped - & i think i could be far better helped now - But that’s Not the World we live in for the vast majority of people.


I agree with you on this and never get despondent because more and more people are trying. You have to keep talking about it.
If someone chooses not to take medication-what can you do?
I want to figure out how to deal with my very unhappy son in a way that is good for both of us.
Do you have any ideas on how you would like things to go ( minus the "system of course!)?


i think it’s very complex & individual. i’m not anti a comprehensive psychiatry, nor anti a wise use of medication, which for some people i think is vital. i am in favour of there being more comprehensive & humane psychological/social support approaches.

A lot of things will depend i think on all your individual circumstances & what resources you have.

This book offers some basic practical advice -

In my own case i went through 2 long periods of time medication free, after the first episode. Eventually i ended up dependent on a medication. For the past 10 years i have taken the medication religiously & i just accept it & the diagnosis.

Some people find long term medication free healing/recovery & others don’t. Some stories are tragic & others are far more hopeful.

There are so many differing opinions & information on these areas. i can’t really say what the best course of action really is? Other than all of you need understanding, help & support. It’s Not easy with it all.


From my own life experience & a lot of reading & research, i do have my own theory on it all. One day i’m going to write a book on it.

i take an integral/holistic view - that we’re mind, body, soul & spirit (within environment). That everything crosses those ranges & is interrelated & interdependent.

Physical - Body/Brain

This is obviously very different to the mainstream/orthodox view that states the mind is the brain & that we’re just a body/brain.

Each aspect i see as going into some very broad areas. Primarily i think the primary aetiology within psychosis/schizophrenia is psychogenic & concerns the psyche. i think that Carl Jung spoke the most sense on all these areas.

There is ISPS -

Who focus more on psychological & social approaches to madness.

There are also a lot of other organisations & people who focus on more integral understandings for these experiences.

More people are identifying with the spiritual crisis perspectives -

There are also a number of authors who have put forward more integral views - Among some of the better ones i feel are -

John Watkins who wrote ‘Unshrinking Psychosis’.

John Weir Perry & Paul Levy (& others who have carried on in the tradition of Jung).

Exploration of the Inner World: A Study of Mental Disorder and Religious Experience by Anton T. Boisen was also very advanced for it’s time.

‘Healing & Wholeness’ by John A. Sanford

Gail Hornstein -

[Many others]

In my opinion biomedical psychiatry has largely got it wrong. i see there being very real inner & psychic realities of the psyche that are the primary areas that need to be worked with & focused on.

But i cannot stress enough taking an integral view - bio/psycho/social/spiritual - i don’t see any either/or.

A lot of these areas of course depend on what World view & understandings of the World/Self & Reality someone takes.



I can see some value in Will Hall’s approach - but the number of people who are trained, and experienced and competent in dealing with people who have schizophrenia and are homeless and psychotic - are unfortunately very few and far between. And - there is little research on the effectiveness of his approach.

And there are other approaches that have some research behind them:

and another perspective here on the other side of Laura’s Law:


and another relevant study: