Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

We are having some progress and small gains


#1

I’ve been learning as much as I can about sz over the last few weeks and applying a technique where we create a mild trigger event and run through the automatic fear response which is traditionally shouting, blaming and violence. When it dies down, we then seek out the connections between the past and the present trigger that is representing the past and allow the subconscious to make those connections as small realisations. Although we have had the police around four times now due to the fear response (subconsciously she believes I am trying to control her as her parents did), I am on first name terms with them and they understand what I’m trying to do and what to expect. They also understand very well that I will get no help from the mental health services as they are completely overloaded.

We got all the way through a trigger event today without barely a raised voice so this is a big step forward even though it doesn’t seem like much. We also have some small insight now, I’m hoping this will continue to grow. She is now able to tell the difference between a delusional dream and reality which is an improvement. Yesterday I spent a whole afternoon with my best friend and no signs of mi. Things are starting to look positive for recovery.


#2

That is wonderful. I am truly happy for you.


#3

We had exercise today without any hint of the old routine, this is definitely a first. Still some hints of it trying to run when I come home (that is when she got beaten most by her parents, when they came home) but she has mastery over it now so it can’t dominate her completely. This is looking very positive now, and it is Peak Monthly Stress which is normally the most explosive time. Just a little excited even.


#4

I created a trigger event this morning and the routine started, which would have normally run through the shouting/violence/police calling but she handled it after about two minutes and it stopped after a small amount of slightly raised voice. We are definitely beating this thing! So excited.


#5

I’m glad this is working for you, but it makes me wonder if the problem is really schizophrenia or something else.


#6

I think PTSD was mentioned at some point?

Or maybe I have his wife confused with someone else.
But, this sounds like exposure therapy for anxiety to me, so I agree - I don’t think this would work for SZ symptoms.

However, I’m happy that it’s working regardless of the labels.


#7

Sounds like PTSD and OP did mention PTSD in earlier post.


#8

Thank you. She was diagnosed with sz by three psychiatrists on separate occasions because she was starting to take some rather bizarre actions based on the delusions. She was placed under the mental health care act which is involuntary hospitalization but the system is so broken they didn’t have a place for her, nor did they have staff with enough competence to actually make it happen. So far she has had no medication nor any support other than the visits to the psychiatrists. We tried a few psychologists but they weren’t very clued up and I gave up on that avenue.

So, after reading all the horror stories online from people living with a sz sufferer, I realized that this was only going to get worse and so I set about developing a solution. So far we have recovered from the delusions completely and she is very much back to normal, however the unhandled trauma that lies beneath the sz is still there so we are presently handling that now. I don’t think she would get a diagnosis of sz any more.


#9

I don’t think SZ just goes away, but psychosis can be part of PTSD as well as a lot of other disorders.

Hopefully, she was just misdiagnosed. Either way, if what you’re doing is working, go with it.


#10

Yes, I agree that sz doesn’t just go away by itself based on what I have read about it.

Up until a few months ago I had no knowledge of sz until she was picked up by an ambulance when they became concerned that her delusions may create harm to herself. After two more visits to the mi department of the hospital and a failed involuntary hospitalization, I realized we were stuck in the neverland between functional and harmful to self/others, and if left unchecked, this would eventually end up in the routine so many others are stuck in.

So, realizing that there is no conventional help available, this can only get worse, and I don’t want to walk away (as suggested by EVERYONE while shaking their heads), I set about creating an engineering solution since I am an engineer. The basic principle is to consider all mi as different types of the same thing and disregard the specific categories, then consider that people develop mi over time as a series of similar but unhandled, or incorrectly handled historic events. We then re-handle those events and update the locked-in automated responses to present time triggers so the person doesn’t have to go through the automatic responses each time.

Ok so the model this is based on is much more complex than that but I can’t really put it into words. Basically, the recovery process is that we create a trigger event, allow the emotional response to run for as long and as intensely as it needs to, then when it is exhausted, look for and make the connections between the historical mis-handled events and today’s events. The little realizations that occur each time update the old routines and the person becomes able to have some control over their actions that were previously automated by what we call mi. So far it appears to be working but I can’t say for sure that the cause and effect are linked in the way they appear to be as I only have a sample size of one.

I have to also consider, as you guys mention that she was mis-diagnosed and this isn’t sz at all. Either way I am getting my best friend back and that makes me happy.


#11

I am glad you are seeing improvement, but I question your suggestion that [quote=“engineerguy, post:10, topic:3281”]
all mi as different types of the same thing and disregard the specific categories, then consider that people develop mi over time as a series of similar but unhandled, or incorrectly handled historic events.
[/quote]

and then your conclusion that the means of addressing mental illness is to

That could well be a effective treatment for some types of mental illness, but certainly not all, and certainly not schizophrenia.

The first statement is a gross over-generalization about mental illness, and the course of treatment you are trying could result in serious problems if used incorrectly.

Many mental illnesses, including schizophrenia are currently best understood as caused by specific chemical imbalances in the brain or other physical problems in the brain, and are not the result of events in the person’s life.


#12

Where can one read about this technique?


#13

It’s for PTSD, not schizophrenia.

Anyone with schizophrenia who is not completely stable might decompensate from this.


#14

That statement and belief system is very incomplete and has some pretty gross assumptions. It assumes that the human being is a ‘sack of chemicals’ and every time there is the ‘wrong’ amount of a chemical somewhere, the solution must be to add more chemicals to block the incorrect ones. This whole principle is many decades out of date and is what has led us to the mess we are in today. I’m not asking anyone to agree with what I’m doing, but in turn, I’m also not looking for a conventional solution or conventional advice as I know what the outcome is likely to be. You don’t have to read too many posts on this forum to understand what that outcome is.

So far using this technique we have recovered from the paranoia, delusions, confabulations and lack of insight of sz and now have a much clearer mind, a good amount of insight and a far better understanding of what is happening. We still have to tackle a fair few trauma related things but they are progressing slowly now.


#15

I don’t think you can, it is something we invented for the situation. The one linked above appears similar in some ways but is wholly different to what we are doing. This process would not work in a therapy setting as there are a number of things which would not be appropriate for two people to do who do not know each other, other than in a therapy session.

For example, when a person gets triggered into an emotional state they behave in a largely uncontrollable manner and the actions which result would compromise a conventional session. We have to accept that for a period of about half to one hour, the person will not be in control of their actions and this is ok. Violence from the person in an emotional state is normal and an accepted part of it- this would not be appropriate for a conventional setting.

The key is to wait for the automated response to finish, then afterwards there are several things which can bring about a reconnection between the past and present, and it becomes permanent from that exact point onwards. The opposite situation occurs when a person is traumatised, the environment sets a behavior or response permanently when in a highly stressful state and we are just un-setting it again via kind of the opposite process.

How it works for sz (I don’t expect any agreement here) at least in my understanding today is that sz is built on top of unhandled emotions so handling the underlying issues will remove the sz type behaviors. It requires that sz isn’t actually a thing in itself, but an extension of what are very normal activities for children. That is the approach we took and it appeared to work very well. We didn’t do anything specific around the sz aspects other than where they were extensions of underlying emotions that we were working on.

For example, the paranoia that certain political figures were on an alien hit-list and would be killed if she didn’t telephone them immediately to warn them was built on top of the fundamental principle of control. She was stuck in a state where subconsciously her parents were in control of her life and her mind had created an illusion where aliens from another planet were in control of the lives of popular politicians. We handled the first (real) aspect and the imaginary stuff evaporated right away.


#16

I think that Vallpen was pointing out that not all mental illnesses are caused by trauma.

Some are, but some are a chemical or structural problem.

I’ll respect that your approach is working, in your situation, because the problem may be based on experiences more than anything else. And, if it’s working, go for it, but it’s dangerous to suggest that it’s appropriate for everyone.

Otherwise, you’re on that slippery slope where people did not recognize mental illness as a “real” illness and told people to just snap out of it.


#17

Once again, I am happy that things seem to be working out for you, but current science supports schizophrenia as being a brain disorder, and not based in childhood experiences.


#18

@engineerguy if you are having good progress with your loved one using your own experimental techniques…That is good for the short term perhaps…But when and if your loved one wants to mingle with the world at large…Maybe even without you by her side…The world at large does not know all about the triggers and “therapeutic” scenarios you have devised to get her and you, through her episodes…Since you are the architect, I mean, engineer of these scenarios she would need you and only you to help through every possible interaction that could cause her a relapse. I have been in counseling for most of my adult life and I have worked through many traumas …The thing is you are assuming once they are “worked through” they disappear…I assure you they do not. They are intricately woven into the fiber of the person they happen to. Over time, a person seeking wellness can with professional help work through the pain…But unknown triggers will always exist…And new coping strategies adjusted accordingly. In addition while we as humans are indeed much more than a mere “bag of chemicals”…It would be a grave mistake to discount that some critically key brain chemicals must be present within the brain in order for it to function normally…Or there will forever be an imbalance to contend with. It’s quite similar to a diabetic that cannot make insulin…But saying there daily actions and reactions can cure their illness, without adding the insulin. I think your distrust of traditional professionals is not without some basis in the world we live in today. Yet to discount all traditional practices across the board in lieu of your self engineered at home practices sounds potentially isolating to your loved one, I would kindly suggest you speak to some type of person formally educated in one of the brain health sciences…And discuss the approach you are using and the long term effecacy of it because human beings are much more than just a “bag of experiences”. Good luck.


#19

I don’t think anyone is saying all mi is caused by trauma. In this particular case yes, she had a very traumatic childhood. In other cases I would expect the events that led up to today’s situation would be largely non-traumatic.

The chemicals things is a statement of ignorance really. Just because it is the convention today, doesn’t mean it is correct. When a person knows the answer but doesn’t understand the question, that is the state of closed-mindedness and is probably one of the most common reasons for what we as engineers call “rabbit holes” or blind avenues that people go down in the search for the correct answer. Just because we have the technology to measure chemical and electrical activity in the body, doesn’t mean that is the cause of anything. Saying it is the cause is just repeating an ignorant statement so that it eventually becomes the truth.

Anyway, can we please just agree to disagree here, this thread was about the progress we are making.


#20

Thank you. Yes I am aware of your opinion there, please can we agree to disagree on this one.