W I T H O U T M A S K
W e l c o m e T o O u r W e b s i t e !
H o p e A n d H e a l i n g F o r S c h i z o p h r e n i c s
We are still working on this site creating links, etc., so please bear with us. You should be able to use the e-mail links to contact us by September 23rd, 2001.
To share a unique and insightful personal experience as a sufferer of schizophrenia that will give hope to those in despair. To make public information that, although controversial on some levels, will validate unverified inroads by those professionals who've managed to glimpse the secret world of the schizophrenic through their honest dedication to find the answers to a condition that has mystified the world for centuries. To work toward dispelling the myths and abolish societal stigmas so that those stamped with a so called 'mental illness' can continue with chosen careers and personal relationships, to realize their dreams. To show that it is curable, it is not biological, and that hope lies within.
We dedicate this website to sufferers and their families and to Dr. Jack Rosberg, M.A., whose lifetime dedication as a psychologist extraordinaire, has brought relief to thousands of sufferers and unusual insight to his profession.
Recovery Is Possible
©Tracey May 2001
As a child I suffered from Schizophrenia, in fact, it robbed me of twenty one years of my life. I am now thirty-five years old and completely recovered, enjoying a close relationship with a man and my two children. Some things still come up for me, things such as the stigmas and labels that every schizoprhenic has to live with, but I feel as though I've been reborn, that I'm living a second life, a good one this time.
The voices, delusions, hallucinations, and fears, have become a part of my past but I am very concerned by the amount of false information circulating among mental health professionals and the general public about schizophrenia. As do most schizophrenics I kept my sickness well hidden for a very long time because I was afraid of what people would think and how they would react to me and my strange ways. After I recovered I decided to come forward so that others could benefit from my experience but was met with disbelief. The possibility of recovery is not a concept many are willing to address, professional or otherwise. Most people are confused and afraid of anything out of their standard of what they consider normal and they have been convinced that schizophrenia is a biological brain disease.
Although people are still often reluctant to accept my story of complete recovery without drugs I continue to speak out because it is important to those searching for hope. Those seeking help need and deserve to know there is hope out there for them as there was for me. Sufferers are crying out for help and professionals and care givers are looking for alternative solutions to current therapies. They are beginning to realize there is much more to learn and that drugs are not the answer. Although I believe some drugs may be helpful for immediate relief from symptoms in the initial stages I now know that they would have made my recovery much more difficult and that prolonged usage might have made it impossible.
I not only recovered from schizophrenia on my own and without drugs or any other therapy, I came away with the knowledge of exactly what it is, what it is not, and how I developed it in the first place. I also came away with an understanding of the language all schizophrenic's use to distance themselves from the pain. The language, of course, just like any other foreign language, needs to be decoded so that care givers and professionals can better understand how to communicate with their patients. It is not an easy task but one that is crucial if we are ever going to be able to raise people out of the hell they are living in every day of their lives.
During the years prior to the manifestations of my own illness I did not really know that I was terribly sick or that the repetitive sexual and emotional abuses I was experiencing on a constant basis were the developmental stages of schizophrenia. I had cleverly crafted an entire imaginative world to protect myself from the bizarre realities of my life. It erased the memories of the abuse so cleverly that eventually I had no idea of the horrors I'd lived.
The language was developed by taking what I'd learned about my environment and distorting it, using a kaleidoscope of words and images to distance myself from whatever painful event was happening at the time. Anyone suffering this tremendous mental anguish will do anything to avoid confronting the cause of their anguish, it therefore becomes a defence mechanism designed for survival. Schizophrenia has it's own logic and is the culmination of a consistent series of traumatic events rather than a single event or even a few.
For instance, a single rape or even a series of rapes experienced by one individual will not bring about schizoprhenia. If a person were to display symptoms of schizophrenia from a single rape it would only mean that there had been other events prior to it that were just as traumatic for the victim if not more so. Many other dissorders such as Post Traumatic Disorder and Depression are always present before the onset of Schizoprhenia and it is when events that precipitate them are not dealth with properly that they continue to build until a single event becomes the 'last straw' so to speak; like filling a cup with water right to the brim and then the next drop makes it spill over. It's just as simple as that.
When I was raped I imagined that the devil was chasing me, that he was after my soul. Rape is the most violent personal act against an individual that doesn't kill them and, therefore, something equally as violent and horrible is conjured up by the mind to parallel the experience. I guess, in a sense, the devil, since it is being used by the victim to distract the mind from the actual event, is a lesser evil since it is used as a means to avoid reality.
To make sense of the metaphors and scrambled words used by the schizophrenic you have to listen very carefully in order to find the clues to the logic. During my recovery process I did not have to confront every single incident of abuse; I only had to remember and confront just enough of them to bring me out. I know there are more incidences I could explore but I feel it best to leave well enough alone. Once the first trigger came forward and I realized what had happened I made the conscious decision to complete recovery in a very short period of time so that I could get on with my life and make up for time lost.
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