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Schizophrenia and Psychosis?

Posted: Thu Oct 01, 2015 11:51 am
by deer_heart
Hiya Everyone. I am new to this forum and looking for help/answers to my current condition. They dont like to label people as such but the metal health team have kind of said what I have is schizophrenia. I have also had a few psychotic episodes and ended up hospitalised 3 times. (sectioned twice.) I weaned myself off tablets gradually and came off them completely a few months ago. I was feeling great for a while (though more anxious, it was great not to have the chemicals in my body though, also I lost 2 of the 3 stone the tablets made me put on). However I relapsed the other week and had to go back onto the tablets (olanzapine) again. I am devastated at this, and the doctors seem to think I'll be on it long term, even forever. :( I am a great believer in herbs and natural healing, and I was just wondering what people may suggest as an alternative to tablets in the long run? Has anyone had any experience of people recovering from a condition like this? (I also posted this question on the facebook Susun Weed forum so sorry for any overlap).
Its worth mentioning actually that I guess the real problem is trying to find the difference between 'real' and imaginary; I believe that its possible to talk to plants, trees, spirits etc though the medical professionals would not agree. I believe that 'telepathy' is possible, but I also hear things I dont belive are real. I dont know where or how to draw the line between the real and imagined. Also when 'ill' I also go off into the world of imagination and stop being responsive to people in 'normal' reality :(
any spiritual advice as well as herbal would be greatly appreciated!
thankyou for your time and help,
Hannah xx

Re: Schizophrenia and Psychosis?

Posted: Thu Oct 01, 2015 10:33 pm
by daisy
Hi, I don't have schizophrenia, but OCD(Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) which is intrusive thoughts and images (and compulsions when my illness got really bad) that somehow seem to revolve around sex, violence, and religion (though the religion bit was not a factor for me probably because I'm not religious). 14 years ago, I had a major breakdown (I had never experienced anything like this in my life) and the doctor must have called the mental health team and I was given valium (first time I'd ever had valium). Things became a blur and lucky I was never hospitalised. I ended up on Zoloft and the dose started from 100mg and went up to 150mg to 200mg (pychiatrist's recommendations). From the beginning I suffered nothing but side effects which never went away, and each time the dose increased I suffered a new set of side effects. I relayed this to my psychiatrist, and she responded with "that's just the Zoloft". She also said perhaps we should try another drug, Prozac, and "there had been controversy surrounding this drug" (right, I'm supposed to play Russian roulette with my life based on a single statement!) The final session, or two, she wanted to put me on 250mg!! despite what I had told her! She said I would have to be on these tablets for the rest of my life - bullshit! I had enough mental capacity left (and these drugs were also now affecting my capacity to feel emotion) to say that I wished to get off these tablets. I also said that I was seeing alternative healthcare practitioners, at which she sneered. In 14 years since my breakdown, I have not had another breakdown, even though my OCD "flares up". I try to limit my mental stress (and I believe, no not believe, but KNOW this single episode was caused by major trauma which was the caesarean I was forced into at the hospital). I don't believe psychiatrists give a damn about our mental health, as she ignored my concern with the numerous symptoms (one of which became a noticeable permanent side effect from this f**k**g drug), and I could have stayed on a much lower dose (100mg) without going on to the higher dose as my major episode symptoms disappeared pretty quickly on the low doses. I spent a total of 6 months on Zoloft. I know that OCD is different to schizophrenia but I felt compelled to respond. I don't take any natural herbs or orthodox medicine for my OCD. Do some research on the internet about the side effects of the orthodox drug you mentioned, other orthodox drugs (perhaps they have less side effects), or take the smallest dosage of the current drug you're on (and see how that goes). Also, try a herbalist, or a naturopath, or a homeopath. I'm sorry I can't offer you specific herbs for your condition, I've also been thinking about herbs for my condition but alas don't know of any. I hope this helps, but if it doesn't, disregard it.

Re: Schizophrenia and Psychosis?

Posted: Fri Oct 02, 2015 8:31 am
by deer_heart
Thankyou very much for your reply. Im sorry to hear that you also have been going through some difficult times. Its hard to find a balance between whats scientifically proven and a more holistic approach. I forgot to mention in my last post I have been going to an amazing lady for counselling/energy healing/reflexology which I feel has helped lots. Maybe one day I will find an answer. take care and best wishes xx

Re: Schizophrenia and Psychosis?

Posted: Sat Oct 03, 2015 1:04 pm
by chloeopal
Hi Deer Heart, Gentle Spirit Im guessing,

I have mental health challenges, the labels change from apprentice medicine woman, to certifiable loon facing the looming chasm, to acute sensitive, all aspects have their moments.

You sound pretty centred in the now, so the Olanzapine seems to be doing its job in the now in terms of easing your relapse...

There are definitely herbs that can support you but it doesn’t have to be an either/or thing with meds. The food type plants used in nourishing herbal infusions can help rebuild your nervous system up from the rollercoaster, especially Oat straw (Avena sativa) and Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica). Do a search for ‘nourishing herbal infusions’.

Motherwort (Leonuris cardiaca) is another herb you can get to know, Ive found her a teacher around learning to ‘mother’and care for self. She also kicks ass in her tincture form for anxiety. I have taken her with antipsychotics but I’m not sure about with Zyprexa/ Olanzapine.

There are other herbs that can support you, but perhaps a good first step is to find one to ally with for a year, as Susun suggests, to go deeper into the many ways a plants medicine can be enhanced by the ways you prepare them and get a sense of the communicating with plants you spoke of in a very practical sense. Earthing and grounding is great medicine for folks like us. I’m not sure where you live, but there’s always the opportunity to grow in pots. Allying with one plant will naturally lead you to others. This is long term work (and also hopefully some play) you’re engaging with and the meds can be a tool in this process. Building up a toolbox of resources for your self will be part of the process. As Clarissa Pinkola Estes says “Wisdom is what works”.

As to speaking with spirits, this has been part of people’s story for eons.

I would suggest for the now to focus on being with nature as much as you can, walks. Get creative however that manifests for you, perhaps drawing some of the beings you ‘imagine’ that make you feel safe. Connect to deep calming breaths, sounds stupidly simple but effective.

Keep the faith, its pioneering out here, and all the best.... XX

Re: Schizophrenia and Psychosis?

Posted: Sun Oct 04, 2015 2:52 pm
by deer_heart
Thankyou very much Chloeopal for your reply. The infusions sound really interesting and I would love a plant ally!
If I chose Motherwort, which does sound amazing, how would I go about finding and working with this (or any other) plant? Is there a book you would recommend?
Thankyou for your very helpful advice. I defiantly need to breathe more and focus on being creative more! :)
take care and best wishes to you too xx

Re: Schizophrenia and Psychosis?

Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 4:35 am
by chloeopal
Hi Deer Heart,
Here's a link to an article by Susun on befriending a Green ally ... ngwise.htm
I love that you wrote "I defiantly need to breathe more and focus on being creative more!"
Sounds great to me!
My computers being odd but just wanted to post article link for u xx

Re: Schizophrenia and Psychosis?

Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 10:14 am
by deer_heart
thankyou! :) xx

Re: Schizophrenia and Psychosis?

Posted: Sun Nov 01, 2015 3:28 pm
by Gwen
Hi Deer_Heart. I was thinking about schizophrenia right around the time when you posted this. I had some questions I was thinking, but when I logged in, there was your post. It was a synchronicity that spoke to me.

I think you are brave to take medication. I was diagnosed with schizophrenic tendencies as a teen, bi polar with schizophrenic tendencies. I also had severe hormonal issues and I do believe that Nettle infusion and an improved diet smoothed away what others might have interpreted as bi polar behaviors. The thing about the bi polar label is that it never rang true to me. I could not relate to any of the things I read about it. Even as a teen, I intuitively knew there was something else, but I could not say what. This misdiagnosis, and the medications that went with it, planted a seed of doubt in the medical establishment as I knew it at that time.

The schizophrenic tendencies label, on the other hand, rang true. I could relate to so much of what I read about it, and more so as I grew older. I would even venture to say that the diagnosis was incorrect; I do believe there have been times in my life where a qualified professional would agree that I was experiencing full blown schizophrenia. My problem is that I have always been good at hiding it, especially in individualized therapy sessions.

I have spent many years avoiding medications because of my experiences on the wrong medications. I think that cutting edge science is coming closer and closer to really understanding schizophrenia and how to treat people appropriately. I have a very good friend who I lived with for six months before recognizing that he was suffering with a more extreme schizophrenia than I experience. He was eventually hospitalized through the VA, and the treatment he is receiving is very cutting edge. He loves the way he feels now, and is very thankful to be receiving treatment. Witnessing his transformation was very eye opening for me as well as providing hope.

I would suggest, in addition to the very sound advice already given in this thread, that you subscribe to a reputable journal of psychology and keep up to date with the latest findings in regards to understanding the brain of a schizophrenic and how it works, treatments, and medications.

I have read that schizophrenia is understood as a symptom of excess heat. Passionflower is an herb traditionally used with schizophrenia. My knowledge of this is really weak and not something I have researched extensively. At this point, I'm rather weary of trying to figure it out myself and look forward to day when I can see an experienced herbalist. I might muster up the courage to seek medical treatment as well.

I love what you said about talking to trees, plants, stones, telepathy, and finding the difference between fact and fiction. I took a logic class in college which really helped me start to focus on what is and what isn't. Logic didn't come naturally to me, but I did quite well with practice. I also loved don Miguel Ruiz's synthesis of the four agreements because you can start to think about the dream our culture creates, how we are domesticated into that dream, and how to define our own dream and go about differentiating our dream from our culture's dream. It is very liberating. There is a lot of criticism of new age thought. I admit, I have never delved super deep into it, but I have always appreciated the importance placed on interpretation and perception and the power we have to change our thoughts and thus to some extent change our circumstances or experiences.

Finally, truth is extremely important to me. For that reason I have loved researching religion. I find that writing is a great way to explore the alternate reality in your head without inhibition. I am learning about Wicca now and find that creating spiritual rituals is another way to immerse myself creatively and "talk" to the forces of nature in the form of prayer. I have learned through many years of trial and error that it's about learning the appropriate time and place to give way to your thoughts, visions, ideas, and sensorial experiences, and when to hold back. At other times, when I am overwhelmed, I've learned to seek solitude and attempt not make myself stand out. As you probably know, this is a high maintenance way to live, requires a lot of thought and energy, and is in many ways very debilitating. That is why I am thinking of pursuing medication. But, I don't think any harm can come from practicing these mental exercises either way. Peace and namaste.

Re: Schizophrenia and Psychosis?

Posted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 11:03 pm
by lalacurf121
The infusions sound really interesting and I would love a plant ally!
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Re: Schizophrenia and Psychosis?

Posted: Tue Dec 01, 2015 5:03 am
by chloeopal
I definitely relate to your experience of learning when to retreat and take time out....

Deer Heart,

This is a practice I find helpfull i felt to share incase you wanna give it a go...


Begin with the breath. Take a few deep easy breaths. If you are able breathe in, 1,2,3,4 hold,1, 2, 3, 4 out 1,2,3,4 hold, and repeat that cycle a few times , till you sense you are slowing. Or in 1, 2, 3, 4 then out slow and deep...

See a lotus (or another fav) flower at the top of your head, sensitives often walk with this in full openess, which can be overwhelming in connection to spirit, otherworldly input and overstimulation generally. See the petals closing gently, a few at a time, simply rejuvenating for a time, then finally the green sepals around them, until a green bud remains. You can see light still exuding from it, a rose pink if you like....
Now bring your awareness down into the Earth, to the place where the centre of the front pad of your foot touches her. See the shimmering roots of light that run into this place, connect the two of you, I see this as like leylines, the energy lines that run across and through Mama Earth. Watch and feel as the light spreads through your toes, one by one, to your heel. A hue that feels right to you, with a luminescence.

The light moves up your ankles, into your calves, knees, around and up your thighs. Between your legs, up through your fanny, (or willy) your bum, up the front of your belly and spine in one. In your belly there is a soft edged ball, or perhaps, a flame, or campfire, of light which you can sense the warmth from. A gentle easing spreading heat....allow that to be...
Continue up through your chest, front and back together, like slowly spiralling dna this Earthlight shifts through your body, through your breasts and up your back. Pause here, and shift awareness to your fingers and hands. The tips of your fingers (for the hands hold much magik) exude aerial rootlets. See their light channelled through your wrists, forearm and wrap around your shoulders to your heart centre. Visualise a rose coloured light and warmth here, and feel it wrap around your neck up the back of your head, ears, the front of your neck, chin, lips, nose, eyes and forehead...

Here we are back with the bud, resting quite content with it. Reconnected to Earth....

Thanx, chloeopal