At last mental health issues will be front page. Whatever pain Kanye West is going through right now, assuming he gets the right recovery. He could be creating even greater lyrics and rhymes in months to come. A handful of soothsayers say that psychosis has a certain spiritual element to it but all the medical establishment see is a person ranting and raving so supress everything with medication. Medication is important in the beginning but later on, a lot of the fruit of the experience is lost in the lack of interest to understand what was, and is, going on from a mental and spiritual perspective.
It’s true though that most psychosis comes from an extreme exhaustion, such as I, and my now-ex-girlfriend experienced after finishing our degrees. It was a mixture of intense study and stress followed by a night out, no different than the rest, and bam! you freak out and end up on medication for a year. Let’s be clear a psychosis is a serious mental health illness which kills thousands of people every year. Not always because of the illness but because many of the people who get ill do not have the money to pay for the right recovery. They die from suicide because those around them do not understand and do not know what to do. Kanye West is in a lucky place as his millions will assure him the best recovery but even he is in a dangerous place because we don’t know how each individual will interpret their own breakdown.
A psychosis can come with religious delusions and irrational fears. Witches, demons, devils, conspiracy theories, all these oddities and paranoia lie beneath the surface of the human unconscious mind, and have been better documented by such luminaries as Mr Carl Jung. Of course for Kanye West the psychosis will be a different experience and these days better help is at hand. A psychosis can involve a loss with reality and the irrational beliefs and delusions can often be delayed cries of help from a troubled past or a fractured personality. Luckily these day there are great forms of therapies for mental health problems including CBT for Psychosis that can help get a client back on their feet in good time. There are still ongoing arguments between the medical establishment and other schools of thought as to how effective or damaging a medication only route can take a person.
A well-known case in mention was the work done by Loren Mosher and The Soteria Project. Loren Mosher managed to work with schizophrenics and psychosis without the use of medication but was shut down by the American Association of Psychiatrists with rumours of influence by the pharmaceuticals companies. As is always the case the truth is lost in the petty arguing between two opinions but I think these days there is an understanding for a need between some medication and social interaction.
My experience on the poorer end of the mental health crisis is that medication is thrown at a person because they don’t have the time or money to do deal with the individual cases. There are still some schools of thought that will apply a medication only route putting the patient on a lifetime of medication while others are trying hard to pursue the social route, but that takes money and support. Maybe once Kanye West recovers from his psychosis in about two years time. He can use his fame to better mental health provisions for the poorest.
A very thoughtful post, thank you. Psychosis is one of those mental illnesses people only whisper about, any raising of awareness is important. From personal experience, I believe it is possible to overcome it without medication, but it is a difficult and slow process, maybe too difficult in some cases.
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thanks again yes I had a diagnosis of existential crisis with ‘elements’ of a psychosis and deemed ‘not that bad’ by the doctors but was still left wandering without a job and not much assistance. I only took medication on a when needed basis and was glad I did not take everyday because my life would have just been dole and illness. There is help if you want to make a collage out of your illness or write a poem but no effective assistance to getting you back into meaningful labour. Also no money for counselling hence my move where I now have money and just started to talk about th e more kooky elements and I am talking my way through this. I haven’t posted yet as I want to get back to say 20 hours a week and feel I am coping. Will post about January but one of those life things you don’t expect but I will say that blogging has helped me connect with the world again. Good Luck!
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I’m very glad you’re getting help to work through this. I’ll be interested to read more when you’re ready. Take care of yourself.
Thank you for sharing this. It’s so important that we come to understand psychosis. I agree, it’s long overdue that it’s being talked about in the media! I have just published an article about schizophrenia – perhaps you’d like to have a read 🙂
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will and just recovering from a second bout of mental ill health and its surprising how little assistance you receive after treatment, will pop over soon, to your blog.