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Psychotic Break

February 21, 2015

Navigating a Psychotic Break
From Schiz Life, 2013 [edited]

As any schizophrenic knows, symptoms can come on sudden and hard. [Acute] psychotic break can be terrifying and confusing for the sufferer and those in support roles, but it is important to recognize the vast opportunity commencing. Depending on how this experience is navigated, the schizophrenic, in worse case scenarios, can become condemned as a dangerous psychotic and placed in assisted living or even possibly harm himself or others. On the positive side, if traversed with skill and grace, madness can be avoided and genius level insight can be gained.

We all know that schizophrenia is somewhat of a forced adventure into mysticism. If the individual can persist from a place of courage, hope, and faith, they will find themselves passing through the crucible and ascending to an internal state of mental salvation. In any sacrifice, something is lost. But it is forfeited purposefully in order to gain something of higher value. The acute psychotic break, then, appears as an attempt (by the psyche) to surrender parts of oneself in order to have a fresh start. The sick framework of cognition is deconstructed in order to lay a healthier and stronger foundation. Then the mind can rebuild a clear perception and method of thought that is conducive to greater functioning.

The Spiritual Significance of a Schizophrenic Break

An acute psychotic break will involve the most severe of symptoms. There will be hallucinations. There will be delusions. There will be catatonia at times. Consider some of the most famous instances of our spiritual heroes in the light of a schizophrenic break. Jesus spent forty days alone in the wilderness, resisting the temptations of [his twin] Satan. He offered many delusional blessings, showed many illusions, all if Jesus would simply succumb to him. The Buddha sat still, resolutely refusing to move from his meditation spot, almost catatonically while fighting off the temptations of Mara. He was offered gifts, made to fear and disbelieve, and more.

This experience of the schizophrenic break is akin to Dante’s Inferno, before he climbed through Purgatory and on to Paradise. We have that opportunity as well, and I’ve compiled [advice] for properly navigating the labyrinth of symptoms and emerging from the other side a new and better person in all facets of life. So take this vision quest of the shamans. Allow your five senses to be pierced and crucified upon the cross. Feel the loneliness of the dark night of the soul, for after your descent into the fire, you will rise to a personal heavenly realm.

Traversing the Acute Psychotic Break

This state of improvement is the climax, the end result of all of the spiritual stories involving this psychosis. The fragmented psyche, if the experience is successfully traversed, will be reconciled. It is possible to accelerate and improve the chances of this happening. Below is my own personal advice on staying safe and moving forward through this experience.

Schizophrenic Break: Tips for Success

[Learn to Be Private]

It is extremely important for you, as a person in a state of vulnerability and ‘strangeness,’ to not share your current ideas with others. You have to realize that you may be thinking from a state of delusion and that your ideas, while completely valid, may seem quite strange to others. Your deep thoughts are likely philosophical, conspiratorial, and alien to the uninitiated, average person who may judge you from a bias of stigma and fear.

If the fear of your ideas is strong enough, you may attract the attention of unwanted medical practitioners. While there are times it is very important to use the assistance of medication, if you can stay with your suffering and process it, that may be the very act that helps them not return. However, if at any point you feel [unstable or at odds with other people,] then you should seek [medical] help. [Go to your family doctor or the hospital.] Please keep safety at the forefront of your mind at all times. There will be other chances for you to perform this self-analysis and betterment.

Abstain from Certain Substances

There are substances that will drastically worsen your symptoms. Absolutely, under no circumstances, partake in any psychedelics, including marijuana. [They] can mimic the symptoms of schizophrenia and make the situation more confusing for you. You should also avoid caffeine and sugar as much as possible, as they are stimulants and will excite your central and peripheral nervous systems more than they already are. Don’t allow any substance, such as alcohol or nicotine, to become a crutch for you to lean on or escape from the internal work you must pursue.

[Heal Nurturing Relationships]

One of the most important things in life are relationships. The universe is composed of connections and interactions, and we are as much a part of this as anything else. Recognize the vast importance of your relationships, including your friendships, romances, and family. [Seek to heal broken relationships that were nurturing, and let go of the toxic ones.] Take an opportunity to let [those dear to you] know that you love them.

Also, form a bond with an animal pet.  [Learn] its personality and observe the entire process of relating with the pet. They are [not] a blank canvas, a mirror, but you can learn to project your own mind upon them. This can offer insight into your own cognition. Observe your own speech and thinking as well, as it can reveal the programming that is in place. These habits can be enhanced or removed to better your psyche.

Control Your Cognitive Behavior

Don’t ruminate. Don’t sit around and ponder the deepest philosophical questions. Most of these are meant to be transcended or accepted as they are, unsolvable. Ruminating can arouse existential anxiety, which will only worsen your predicament. Angst is to be dealt with through acceptance, and through the slow gathering of life’s experiences, not by conquering it mentally. You will not solve the universe’s koans or crack the ineffable mysteries of reality.

You can’t stay in meditation forever, which means at all other times you will be thinking something. So make sure those things are positive. Make that choice and promise to yourself and work towards it. You can reinforce this positivity habit by red-flagging every negative thought and immediately transforming it into positivity. Think of a playful puppy, a joyful kitten, or ice cream. It doesn’t matter what you choose, just smile!

Similar to ruminating, don’t engage in constant prayer or mantra repetitions. You aren’t guilty, so don’t ask for forgiveness. You aren’t totally under the current of fate, destiny, or divinity, so don’t give all the power to some external force. You will make forward strides based on your own efforts and power! If you want to pray, you should only give thanks and praise, which are based in positivity, faith, and hope. Be grateful for the power to fix your own situation, and the strength to cope as you pursue this growth opportunity.

See the Big Picture Clearly

No scientist, no theologian, no historian, and no mystic has all the answers. The rare person that has gained a sense of enlightenment will not able to explain their experiences or insights to you, because by definition they cannot be put into words. A valid enlightenment is not sharable. The Tao that can be told is not the true Tao.

Meta-programming occurs in every culture and instill beliefs that are enveloping beyond the point of recognition oftentimes. Try to grasp these by paying attention to your experiences. They likely contradict these beliefs and cause cognitive dissonance. Recognize religion and science as consensually agreed-upon myths. Whether these myths are true or false don’t matter, so concern yourself with the possible effects they have on the believers, and choose your beliefs appropriately.

And remember, this is not your fault. You did not do this to yourself, nor do you deserve it. These acute psychotic breaks are a result of a combination of nature and nurture, environment and [society]. We don’t choose our parents or what society we will be programmed in. But take responsibility for the journey, as you will be made to embark upon it regardless of your choice. It is your cross to bear, but at the end of your journey, your reward awaits. Others may never know the pleasure of the heights that you can attain.

Break the Cycle

If you act negatively, you will think negatively. Fix this behavioral aspect. If you think negatively, you will feel negatively. Heal the psychological aspect. If you feel negatively, you will act negatively. Soften this emotional aspect. Break the cycle of negativity at least at one point, but preferably at all three points in this samsara whirlwind.

Take in positivity. Deny negative people [no matter how friendly they seem to act]. Deny negative forms of entertainment. Form a routine that includes frequent and regular exercise and taking in properly balanced meals. If a balanced diet is not easily accessible for you, try to take a multi-vitamin when needed. Routine is good for building a predictable structure to your day. Go to sleep and wake up at the same every day and try not to over or under sleep. This can [prevent] a sense of detachment, depersonalization, and derealization most of the day.

Take Advantage of Medication if Needed

Don’t hesitate to seek out the symptom-reducing help of medication. Just remember what the true goal is and don’t become complacent because things aren’t quite as intense as they were. Lasting recovery involves a medication and a cognitive behavioral approach of self-analysis. Take extreme care if you attempt to self-medicate with over-the-counter medicines such as 5-HTP or St. John’s Wort. Always seek the advice of a medical professional before taking any medications. There are more effective medications that are only available through the prescription of a psychiatrist, so don’t hesitate to consult if you feel this is something you need.

Conclusion

The schizophrenic break is by no means anything less than hell and extreme suffering. It is anguish and it is lonely. You must carve your own path and slay the dragon [to heal] the broken part of yourself. Walk your path, and build your new cognitive framework one board and one brick at a time. Your mansion will be heavenly.

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One Comment
  1. The pic comes up missing. Just check it. 🙂

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