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"Recovering" from Mental Illness

Luminous

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[MENTION=29687]Frosty[/MENTION]

I get that psychosis has been distressing for you. I won't post the sort of things to your blog that I had been because maybe I was just projecting and it's not right for you.

I get that many people in fact experience psychosis as something distressing, and find the treatments to be helpful. But there is a subset of the population of people who experience psychosis who experience it as something often positive that is a source of growth, and I would say "enlightenment".

For example, as I mentioned in this thread, Carl Jung experienced a lot of psychosis and claims that that was where a lot of his ideas came from. If he had been treated with anti-psychotics it's likely that he wouldn't have been able to create what he did.

--

So there are two main views I can think of as to what is going on here:

Perhaps psychosis is experienced by different people or at different times as sometimes positive and sometimes negative. This is like how a recreational drug might result in a good trip or a bad trip.

Or maybe psychosis is an umbrella term for a variety of separate conditions, some of which are good and some of which are bad. This is like different drugs being sold under the same name, with some drugs resulting in good trips, some as bad trips.

For myself, sometimes it's good and sometimes bad, but the overall progression is for things to get better and the overall process is something I would deem to be good. So when I see someone present with the same sort of experiences I think to myself "hey, this is like what I went through, so my wisdom here could help this person turn their experiences into positivity and growth". Though maybe that's not always the case.

--

The main idea I've been trying to get across with this thread is that in many instances, a positive process is being deemed negative by psychiatrists etc. and they wield the legal authority to force people into treatment regimes that the person would not submit to voluntarily. There is not a process of proving that person needs the treatment that is applied to them, and you can find many articles and studies which assert that they in fact do not. But because they have the power they are free to implement their agendas.

As much as I've heard that psychosis causes brain damage, I've also heard that anti-psychotics cause brain damage. So fighting brain-damage with more brain-damage hardly seems to make sense. If it can be shown to me that schizophrenics have less neuro-degeneration when on anti-psychotics than when off them, then I will take that into account when forming my views.

If you are asserting that psychosis is not mental illness then this is off topic.

The OP:
Do you think it's possible to recover from mental illness? I sometimes hear people say they've recovered, and it strikes me as an interesting choice of words, as usually the consensus medically tends to be that people manage mental illness with things like therapy and medication.

This is where it should be a different thread. This thread isn't to argue about what constitutes illness.
 

Legion

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Also, what I posted is actually relevant to the idea of recovery because it suggests that a so-called illness like schizophrenia can be managed by turning it into a positive process instead of a negative one.

Questioning the very premises of the model of "recovery from mental illness" is highly relevant to the discussion regarding "recovery from mental illness".
 

Luminous

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Luminous

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Also, what I posted is actually relevant to the idea of recovery because it suggests that a so-called illness like schizophrenia can be managed by turning it into a positive process instead of a negative one.

Questioning the very premises of the model of "recovery from mental illness" is highly relevant to the discussion regarding "recovery from mental illness".

If it's a positive and not an illness, then no recovery is needed. I think you are completely missing just what makes an illness an illness... it negatively affects you, causing distress and problems functioning.

I could try to say that Oh, anxiety and an eating disorder was a positive for me because I lost weight or Depression made me more creative, but those just gloss over the distress and problems that substantially outweighed any positives.

Don't you all (I'm not talking specifically to Legion here) see how saying things like "so-called illness," implying that doctors force everyone who is diagnosed into treatments they don't want or need, that if people could just see the "so-called illness" as a positive then they wouldn't really have an illness at all, that it's all just a reasonable reaction to environment, dismisses and disrespects those who suffer greatly?

Have glaucoma? Just decide going blind will be a good thing. Hypothyroidism? Decide feeling sluggish, having hair loss, and feeling cold are things you should see as positive. You're just being weak if you can't do that, and it's your fault you can't overcome your "illness".
 

Legion

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If it's a positive and not an illness, then no recovery is needed. I think you are completely missing just what makes an illness an illness... it negatively affects you, causing distress and problems functioning.

I could try to say that Oh, anxiety and an eating disorder was a positive for me because I lost weight or Depression made me more creative, but those just gloss over the distress and problems that substantially outweighed any positives.

Don't you all (I'm not talking specifically to Legion here) see how saying things like "so-called illness," implying that doctors force everyone who is diagnosed into treatments they don't want or need, that if people could just see the "so-called illness" as a positive then they wouldn't really have an illness at all, that it's all just a reasonable reaction to environment, dismisses and disrespects those who suffer greatly?

Have glaucoma? Just decide going blind will be a good thing. Hypothyroidism? Decide feeling sluggish, having hair loss, and feeling cold are things you should see as positive. You're just being weak if you can't do that, and it's your fault you can't overcome your "illness".

I have said repeatedly that I recognise that there may well be a subset of the psychotic population who suffer greatly from an illness and require psychiatric treatment. I am not convinced of it yet, but I'm not dismissing it.

However, what the psychiatric system won't recognise is that there is a subset of the psychotic population who benefit from their experiences.

You haven't been subjected to the kind of treatment that the mental health administers to people who get a diagnosis of psychosis. I have. I have become suicidal over what they have done to me. I told them that and they didn't seem to care. To them the fact that I experience these altered states of consciousness or whatever it is means that I need to be tranquilised for the rest of my life. If that's not a dismissal and disrespect I don't know what is.

The mental health system is not some group of innocent do-gooders who just want to help people. Maybe some of them are. But when you get subjected to their cruelty you start to see what is really going on. It's institutionalised abuse. Straight up.
 

Luminous

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[MENTION=22833]Legion[/MENTION] I'm sorry your experiences with mental health care have been so awful. I wouldn't wish that on anyone.
 

Kas

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I have said repeatedly that I recognise that there may well be a subset of the psychotic population who suffer greatly from an illness and require psychiatric treatment. I am not convinced of it yet, but I'm not dismissing it.

However, what the psychiatric system won't recognise is that there is a subset of the psychotic population who benefit from their experiences.

You haven't been subjected to the kind of treatment that the mental health administers to people who get a diagnosis of psychosis. I have. I have become suicidal over what they have done to me. I told them that and they didn't seem to care. To them the fact that I experience these altered states of consciousness or whatever it is means that I need to be tranquilised for the rest of my life. If that's not a dismissal and disrespect I don't know what is.

The mental health system is not some group of innocent do-gooders who just want to help people. Maybe some of them are. But when you get subjected to their cruelty you start to see what is really going on. It's institutionalised abuse. Straight up.


I'm sorry that was your experience. You don't deserve it (none does).
But it's individuals not the entire group, talking from my experience. I was having a month practice in the psychiatry ward and I saw what job they did trying to help people. Of course results where sometimes better, sometimes worse, but I've never seen any cruelty. What's more people who haven't been putting in danger their lives or helth and lives of others due to the law in here cannot be hospitalized or given medications against their will - and in case of this "putting in danger" situations they are considered by court to give it more objectivity and stop possible abuse.
 

prplchknz

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So it can be inferred from this that there are cases where anti-psychotics are warranted.

My case contrasts with this.

I don't even know if it's really psychosis, but...

When I'm psychotic:
- there are some days when I don't want to leave the house, but overall I'm significantly more likely to leave the house
- I often tell people that I'm psychotic, so they can know why I'm behaving differently than they're used to
- I can work or study at the same capacity as usual, however I may become too interested in something else to bother doing it
- meds make it very difficult for me to function if the dose is too high, but at the dose I'm currently on (supposedly low compared to other people) I can function at ordinary levels
- I've gone from believing I was sick early on, to believing it's a gift and that the people treating me are full of it
- ultimately I long for the vitality I experience when I'm psychotic

to be fair i've never truly known i was psychotic when i was. I thought it was really bad anxiety but of course looking back i def was psychotic. And it was extremely distressing for me. I'm not dismissing your experience but if it's that positive and you can function which it seems like you can then you personally probably don't need meds.

and makes me quesiton whether or not the diagonosis is warranted. of course i'm not a professional and never observed you in real life

I need a high dose of antipsychotics to function it levels me out, like i told my new friend i was schizoaffective and he was like i would've never guessed because i am stable thanks to meds. I.Can.not.function.without.them. I end up so paranoid i can't leave my house.
 

Frosty

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I have said repeatedly that I recognise that there may well be a subset of the psychotic population who suffer greatly from an illness and require psychiatric treatment. I am not convinced of it yet, but I'm not dismissing it.

However, what the psychiatric system won't recognise is that there is a subset of the psychotic population who benefit from their experiences.

You haven't been subjected to the kind of treatment that the mental health administers to people who get a diagnosis of psychosis. I have. I have become suicidal over what they have done to me. I told them that and they didn't seem to care. To them the fact that I experience these altered states of consciousness or whatever it is means that I need to be tranquilised for the rest of my life. If that's not a dismissal and disrespect I don't know what is.

The mental health system is not some group of innocent do-gooders who just want to help people. Maybe some of them are. But when you get subjected to their cruelty you start to see what is really going on. It's institutionalised abuse. Straight up.

Tbh. If you can function without meds then personally I think you should be allowed to do that as long as you arent a danger to others. You should be allowed to choose whether or not you want treatment or not- I truly believe that.

But to say that everyone with psychosis is just- experiencing a transcended state that they should just sort of buck up and learn from I really fo think is dangerous. There is already so much stigma against mental illness- and psychosis can really impair insight- that I would hate for someone vulnerable already because their brain is lying to them... come across this idea fed by people who might not fully understand their experience- that things will just get better on their own and that they will eventually just be able to will their psychosis away.

I dont know tbh too... like there is a difference between having psychotic traits and being full blown psychotic. There are definitely different degrees. Im basically almost always experiencing ebbs and flows of psychotic symptoms (and I havent even realized that until recently) and I would choose this low level psychosis over being overdrigged (which is why Im on a bare minimum amount of medication) but when my psychosis gets full blown and I hardly know where I am- I cant function. When you say you wish for more psychosis to me it sounds like you generally experience psychosis as somethibg you can control. People have different degrees of psychosis and I really can understand wanting to wxplore alternate states... most people probably would- as long as they felt for he most part they were safe.

But they arent always. People get to the point of catatonia from psychosis. People get to the point where they stop eating and drinking because they think theres poison in the water. People become homeless and unable to work and so many other things.

Its great that you enjoy your psychosis but not everyone does. Im not trying to completely dismiss your viewpoint but it is hard not to when lots of what you say seems to dismiss the entire idea that... psychosis- for a lot of people- causes complete havok in their lives.

Anyways. Im out of this thread. I dont want to participate anymore. As I said. This is what the forum has turned into. People just... being able to shit on others because “free speach” but then people not realizing that- that free speech causes many others not to feel free enough to speak because of feeling dismissed and intimidated. Really. There is no free speach at this point. What we allow to come through chooses for us who feels free to speak and who doesnt. And the fact that so many who would have posted in this thread a couple of years ago havent and the fact Ive had a rep or two and a discussion with a couple of people privately about the topic... I think pretty much speaks to this.

Anyways. Absolutely nothibg against you legion. I actually really like you and do wish you well and (you are in forced treatment right- if you are I definitely think thats bs) and hope to see more of you because I honestly believe that your motives are pure. Its the people with agendas Ive seen on the forum when it comes to this sort of thing- trying to prove that they are strong/too strong for mental illness/too this that or the other thing to prove their own egos that bug me.
 

Frosty

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What part of the thread do you consider a derail? I haven't seen anything that looks off-topic, but then the topic is rather broad, and not one I am overly familiar with. We can always make additional threads for more specific sub-topics.

Yeah how about a thread split.

It seems like nowadays no threads are split- just posts are sent to off topic. I think thread splitting is a fair middle ground that allows multiple strands of a topic to flow without intimidating anyone away from the original purpse of the thread

I think antipsychiatric voices should be allowed to be heard- but this thread didnt ask for those really and when you have people on here loudly proclaiming- in a thread about mental illness- that mental illness doesnt exist- thats fairly discouraging to any real discussion about it because theres already a good deal of stigma. No one wants to post in a thread about something very personal that causes them pain and then be told that actually- their experience just means they arent appreciating the positives of their illness. Its a little cruel and I know you guys dont want to shut down voices but its like having a thread talking about “racism and its effects” and then having a bunch of people take over and saying that racism isnt real and that people should just suck it up and stop having it impact them. Its intimidating.

Long and short. Id be for a thread split. I personally think Legions ideas are fairly interesting even if I dont agree with all of them- but this threads kinda derailed quite a bit. Id even be for having the derail put in the psychology forum- not the graveyard or anything- because as I said- I do think the ideas are interesting and there are things to be learned from them/making the best of things- but they just are counterintuitive towards what this thread originally was trying to get from people.

And hah NOW im out of this thread
 

Yuurei

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[MENTION=29687]Frosty[/MENTION]

I get that psychosis has been distressing for you. I won't post the sort of things to your blog that I had been because maybe I was just projecting and it's not right for you.

I get that many people in fact experience psychosis as something distressing, and find the treatments to be helpful. But there is a subset of the population of people who experience psychosis who experience it as something often positive that is a source of growth, and I would say "enlightenment".

For example, as I mentioned in this thread, Carl Jung experienced a lot of psychosis and claims that that was where a lot of his ideas came from. If he had been treated with anti-psychotics it's likely that he wouldn't have been able to create what he did.

--

So there are two main views I can think of as to what is going on here:

Perhaps psychosis is experienced by different people or at different times as sometimes positive and sometimes negative. This is like how a recreational drug might result in a good trip or a bad trip.

Or maybe psychosis is an umbrella term for a variety of separate conditions, some of which are good and some of which are bad. This is like different drugs being sold under the same name, with some drugs resulting in good trips, some as bad trips.

For myself, sometimes it's good and sometimes bad, but the overall progression is for things to get better and the overall process is something I would deem to be good. So when I see someone present with the same sort of experiences I think to myself "hey, this is like what I went through, so my wisdom here could help this person turn their experiences into positivity and growth". Though maybe that's not always the case.

--

The main idea I've been trying to get across with this thread is that in many instances, a positive process is being deemed negative by psychiatrists etc. and they wield the legal authority to force people into treatment regimes that the person would not submit to voluntarily. There is not a process of proving that person needs the treatment that is applied to them, and you can find many articles and studies which assert that they in fact do not. But because they have the power they are free to implement their agendas.

As much as I've heard that psychosis causes brain damage, I've also heard that anti-psychotics cause brain damage. So fighting brain-damage with more brain-damage hardly seems to make sense. If it can be shown to me that schizophrenics have less neuro-degeneration when on anti-psychotics than when off them, then I will take that into account when forming my views.

--

Research Suggests Brain Abnormalities in ‘Schizophrenia’ Result From Antipsychotics

:yes:

This thread is about mental illness in general. Not specifically “ psychosis” ( or any one illness)

I cannot even begin to imagine the various sorts of ailments which effect people. Of course, I would assume that the vast majority of people’s experience with them are mostly negative - and unfortunatly, many of these negatives do not come directly from the disease itself but stigmas and rules placed on them by society-but if someone insists that they have experienced something positive who am I ( who is anyone) to dissmiss or deny thier experience? If they can find and focus on a single silver lining, I’m certainly not going to take that from them.

I defintly believe that anti-psychotics can be prescribed to the wrong people with dangerous results . I experienced this myself but also I think anyone who has experience in the medical industry knows how readily drugs are pushed on anyone who walks through the door; drugs that are probably not at all appripriate for the ailment but which are earning the Dr the most amount of money to push.
 

Yuurei

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Insulting and making accusations against other members is absolutley not apprpriate discussion. If you think there’s an actionable offense here then pls report it.

I do not want to delete this entire thread because I find it has some valuable information and veiwpoints.

Get back to the topic at hand please.
 

Frosty

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LIking the things that are causing problems for people... the things multiple people have asked to be split... and then deleting the things that you personally dont like while ignoring the actual problem people are complaining about seems like a ridiculous abuse of power.

Infract me. I no longer care. In fact. Ban me. Ive tried to stay on here and not make a big scene about the changes but... things arent getting better only worse.

Try listening to your members. It might actually help.
 

Yuurei

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LIking the things that are causing problems for people... the things multiple people have asked to be split... and then deleting the things that you personally dont like while ignoring the actual problem people are complaining about seems like a ridiculous abuse of power.

Infract me. I no longer care. In fact. Ban me. Ive tried to stay on here and not make a big scene about the changes but... things arent getting better only worse.

Try listening to your members. It might actually help.

I didn’t delete you ranting at me or railing against the forum in general. No one has been banned or even infracted. I deleted what was iff-topic and inflamatory. I have no idea how it’s an abuse of power.

If you have a problem, report it. Don’t bring it up here.
 

Coriolis

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Yeah how about a thread split.

It seems like nowadays no threads are split- just posts are sent to off topic. I think thread splitting is a fair middle ground that allows multiple strands of a topic to flow without intimidating anyone away from the original purpse of the thread

I think antipsychiatric voices should be allowed to be heard- but this thread didnt ask for those really and when you have people on here loudly proclaiming- in a thread about mental illness- that mental illness doesnt exist- thats fairly discouraging to any real discussion about it because theres already a good deal of stigma. No one wants to post in a thread about something very personal that causes them pain and then be told that actually- their experience just means they arent appreciating the positives of their illness. Its a little cruel and I know you guys dont want to shut down voices but its like having a thread talking about “racism and its effects” and then having a bunch of people take over and saying that racism isnt real and that people should just suck it up and stop having it impact them. Its intimidating.
I didn't see anyone proclaim that mental illness doesn't exist, only some comments referencing the trouble sometimes encountered in determining what is real illness vs. just something out of the mainstream. that "normal people" are uncomfortable with. Questioning the premise of an OP is always fair game and not off topic. Here that includes the notion that some conditions labelled as mental illness might not be things that some affected want to cure. We do split threads when there is a coherent topical tangent emerging. I don't see that here, so would be hard put to split the thread without impacting the train of the conversation.

LIking the things that are causing problems for people... the things multiple people have asked to be split... and then deleting the things that you personally dont like while ignoring the actual problem people are complaining about seems like a ridiculous abuse of power.

Infract me. I no longer care. In fact. Ban me. Ive tried to stay on here and not make a big scene about the changes but... things arent getting better only worse.

Try listening to your members. It might actually help.
No one is making mod decisions based on personal likes and dislikes. If we did that, the forum would look much different. This thread has had several reports made about it, and Yuu is not alone in seeing the need for cleanup, though it fell to her to do it this time. I understand you are unhappy about recent forum changes. You are not the only one. No, you are not going to get banned or infracted for it. I will simply tell you that discussion is OT here and we should take it to the new policy discussion thread, or start a new thread.
 

Frosty

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Im sorry. I dont know what came over me yesterday. I still stand by some of the things I said, especially the things aboyt smile, but I should have been calmer and just walked away. Im going to try to do that for a while on here because too much time on the internet right now is probably not the best thing for me.

Anyways. Im mostly sorry. The stuff about smile Im not sorry about at all. But I could have calmed the rest of it down a little
 

prplchknz

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I for one would like this thread to continue. the dissenter's can get over it.
 

The Tsarevich

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OK, I haven't read this entire thread, but to get it back on track, I can offer my perspective as someone who has dealt with mental illness.

Do you think it's possible to recover from mental illness? I sometimes hear people say they've recovered, and it strikes me as an interesting choice of words, as usually the consensus medically tends to be that people manage mental illness with things like therapy and medication.

I guess this question depends on how you define mental illness as well as the cultural norms around it. There seems to be a bias in the medical and pharmacological industry that mental illnesses are just "chemicals in your brain" gone wonky and it just needs meds to fix. There's also an assumption that if you have problems, they're there for life.

Yes, there are things like schizophrenia that are life-long conditions.

There are also things like depressive episodes which are...well, episodes. I have experienced a depressive episode. Actually, I've experienced a lot of things, including very unhealthy states of mind, sociopathy, anxiety/panic, and possible PTSD (though I disagree with this last one). The depressive episode came at the end as I was struggling to readapt to civilization.

I won't press the details of this.

Nor will I say I wasn't truly mentally ill. It was like, sobbing for hours, unable to eat, unable to sleep (and then tired all day), agitated, unable to concentrate. Emotionally tormented, delusional to the point I thought my skin was rotting on my face, and completely and utterly suicidal every single day. For months. This wasn't "special snowflake" depression ok, it was the real deal.

Eventually the torrents died down and a grey cloud of defeat and melancholy meh settled over me for several more years.

I ultimately DID pull out of this. I didn't do it with meds, and I would have refused if prescribed them--I was depressed and I knew why I was depressed. I was trying to process and recover from the traumatic experiences I endured. I didn't want to slap a (possibly addictive) band aid on it and get back on the assembly line. (That and, there weren't any psychiatrists around in that part of the world.)

I tried therapy later on, but talking to someone about "my childhood" was useless. Talking to a counsellor about my ordeals helped, but I could just have equally unburdened myself to a trusted friend or parent (neither of which I have or had). In the end, I bought some online courses, psychoanalyzed myself, and developed some spiritual practices and breathing exercises. For some reason, that did the trick.

I dunno if I've actually "recovered"...I still have concentration difficulties, and psychologically I am a very changed woman. But I can avow that I am not still depressed, psychotic, delusional, or unhealthy in any way. No one helped me. God, no one helped me...they did a lot to push me back under, actually. Still, I prevailed. In my own little way. Without therapy or drugs.

I am just one instance. This happened under specific conditions. I'm not saying everyone should disregard their healthcare provider. I'm only saying that yes, it is possible to recover from some things. "Medication" and "therapy" are cultural preferences and not the only ways to treat a mental illness. Nor does mental illness mean you're just tragically broken for life. "Managing" an illness doesn't have to be a life sentence. It may be a lifelong struggle for some, but let's not invalidate someone's experience just because they don't fit the cultural conception of how mental illness "should" look. You're gonna get another story for every mentally ill person you meet.
 
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