The Holy Book of Illusion : A Journey Through Mania

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Also, some people see or hear things that others around them don't known as having visual or auditory hallucinations or delusions. A sufferer may be quite unaware of these changes in their attitude or behaviour and after a manic phase is over, they may be quite shocked at what they've done and the effect that it has had.

Though mania may flare up periodically, depression is the most consistent symptom which may also provoke suicidal feelings. It usually starts during or after the teenage years and it is unusual for it to start after the age of Men and women are affected equally. Stressful events, illness or lack of support can trigger individual episodes of illness. When avoidance is either not possible or not appropriate, then people can learn to take steps to protect themselves at an early stage from the consequences of such situations.

Furthermore, and in contrast to views about schizophrenia for instance, it was assumed that people were actually quite well in between the episodes that brought them to the attention of psychiatric services. More recent work has, however, indicated that although some people do indeed cope very well with their lives for the vast majority of the time, there are a lot of people who have to cope with significant levels of symptoms even when they are 'well'. In other words, many sufferers do not have sufficient symptoms to be said to be clinically depressed or manic but may at the same time have combinations of symptoms that serve to make day-to-day life very difficult.

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These figures are quoted to emphasise the seriousness of the problem that people with this diagnosis have to deal with. There is no single type of person who. Feeling depressed or down is a normal reaction to events in our lives. A depressive episode is diagnosed if five or more of these symptoms last most of the day, nearly every day, for a period of 2 weeks or longer.

This is diagnosed if there is a period of a week or more during which a person feels unusually good, high, excited, hyper or irritable.

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This can be so extreme that the sufferer loses contact with reality and starts to believe strange things, have poor judgement and behave in embarrassing, harmful or even dangerous ways. This may be accompanied by:. Often the person will appear euphoric with an overwhelming sense of well-being and selfimportance. The content of these is usually in keeping with the euphoric mood and the unrealistic sense of great self-importance. Bipolar I: Here there has been at least one high, or manic episode, which has lasted for longer than one week. Some people with Bipolar I will have only manic episodes, although most will also have periods of depression.

Untreated, manic episodes generally last 3 to 6 months. Depressive episodes last rather longer - 6 to 12 months without treatment. Rapid cycling: With this, more than four mood swings happen in a 12 month period. Rapid cycling tends to develop later in the course of illness and is more common among women than among men. Some people argue that mania is incompatible with mystical experience because in the manic stage the mind is racing, over active e. In my experience I have found the manic stage to be more complex than that.

I have found at least two stages, one that is positive; and one that is negative. Whilst it is true that the negative stage itself is not compatible with mystical experience, the positive stage is more conducive to mysticism.

Mysticism, Madness and Mania by Robert Laynton - Issuu

It refers primarily to delusions, hallucinations and other severe thought disturbances. For example, being convinced that a ball of newspaper in the street is a dead sheep, or that a rope is a snake.

For example, people may have delusions of grandiosity where the sufferer may believe that they are the Prime Minister or have special powers or wealth and these may occur during mania; whereas delusions of guilt or worthlessness, such. Schizophrenia then is considered to be primarily a thought disorder: with the person suffering from delusions which are held with absolute conviction and experienced as self-evident truths, typically of great personal significance and which are not amenable to reason or modifiable by experience.

The content of these delusions is unlikely or fantastic and is not shared by those of a common social or cultural background. For example, believing that the birds in the garden are singing in Greek. These delusions often have a religious or political content. Other qualities include sentences spoken by the sufferer being incomplete and rambling and phrases or sentences are not logically connected. There may be sudden changes in direction or irrelevances. Abstract ideas are not processed properly — e.

An idea of the peculiar flavour of schizophrenic thought can be given by referring to a letter written by Ivor Gurney, a talented composer and First World War poet, who, from the age of 33, spent the last fifteen years of his life in an asylum. He developed auditory hallucinations and delusions that he was tortured by wireless waves and could converse with the great composers and that he had in fact written much of their music.

Nature, now sombre, sometimes says tremendous things, and sometimes lightly, as of the biographer of F. I ask for some money, please, and a small poetry book if there is one modern if it can be got. It is marked by severely impaired reasoning as well as emotional instability and can cause violent behaviour.

Schizophrenics are often unable to make sense of the signals they receive from the world around them. If untreated, most people with schizophrenia gradually withdraw from the outside world. There is some thought that what psychiatrists call schizophrenia is actually a number of different conditions classified under a single heading.

While there is evidence that genetic factors have a role in developing schizophrenia, other unknown causes play a significant part as well. Thus there are several competing theories as to what does cause the illness: Heredity: Research shows that the condition tends to run in families: a person with schizophrenic relatives is ten times as likely to develop schizophrenia as someone who has no history of the disease in the family.

Viral infection: Some researchers have argued that schizophrenia is caused by a virus that attacks the brain. The virus is thought to attack the part of the brain that interprets messages from the senses. Damage to this part of the brain may account for a person's delusions and hallucinations. Chemical imbalance: A popular theory is that schizophrenia is caused by an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain.

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  8. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that carry electrical messages between nerve cells. However there is still no agreement as to which, if any of these theories is correct, or whether it is caused by a combination of factors. Therefore, because schizophrenia's. Most sufferers have some, but not all, of these symptoms.

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    For example, some patients believe that God, the FBI, or alien beings talk to them and tell them how to behave. He or she may also have trouble carrying out routine tasks such as tying shoelaces, washing, or getting dressed. It is estimated that 1 percent of the world's population has schizophrenia, therefore millions of people worldwide are affected by it. Another way to express the prevalence of schizophrenia at any give time is the number of individuals affected per 1, total population. In the United States that figure is 7.

    This means that a city of 3 million people will have over 21, individuals suffering from schizophrenia. People diagnosed with schizophrenia make up about half of all patients in psychiatric hospitals and may occupy as many as one quarter of the world's hospital beds. Schizophrenia can affect people of any age, race, sex, social class, level of education, or ethnic background. Slightly more men than women develop the condition. Schizophrenia is rarely diagnosed in children, though it has been reported in children as young as five years of age.

    Historically, people with these afflictions have been defined as "mad" or "insane" or were believed to be possessed by evil spirits. Those suffering from mental illness were often beaten, tortured, or locked up in special facilities. Psychiatrists today recognize five subtypes of schizophrenia: 1 Paranoid schizophrenia - Those diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia tend to suffer from delusions and hallucinations.

    For instance, a person may believe he or she is someone other than who he or she really is. A person suffering from a paranoid delusion may believe, unrealistically, that someone intends to do them harm. Hallucinations often take the form of hearing imaginary voices and a patient may believe that he or she is receiving messages from a supernatural or unknown source.

    Although people with paranoid schizophrenia have relatively normal emotions and cognitive thinking functions, compared to those who suffer other forms of schizophrenia, their delusions and hallucinations, put them at high risk of violent or suicidal behaviour. They may act in a silly way or withdraw from the world.


    A patient may stand or walk in peculiar patterns, may repeat certain motions over and over again, or become rigid and unmoving for long periods of time. It can be disturbing, unsettling and appear unconventional. Some may achieve a strong sense of self by considering themselves as Divine, for what can be stronger than to identify with the Absolute? There is also a very strong link between schizophrenia and mysticism. People who go through schizophrenic stages or conditions also often experience great mystic awareness: the divine is very close to these people because of their hallucinations positive schizophrenia.

    Currently, psychologists are looking at the similarities and differences between the experiences, hoping to shed light on the nature, process and treatment of psychosis. Kenneth Wapnick concluded that both schizophrenics and mystics follow basically the same developmental path, but differ in preparation for that process. Joseph Campbell observed that the schizophrenic is drowning in the same waters in. When research was conducted, neuro physicians and scientists came to know about the neural pathways of spirituality or mysticism and changes of brain structure and they proved to be the same during both schizophrenia and mysticism.

    Yet many patients recovered from their illness by experiencing mysticism during schizophrenia. Even so, differences can be teased out. May respond inappropriately to the needs and concerns of others. Responds empathically to the needs and concerns of others. The ancient lineage of psychotherapy is seldom appreciated because Western culture considers psychotherapy as a relatively recent development of psychiatry and to be one of its subdivisions.

    While it is true that psychiatry, a category of scientific medicine, is a modern development, psychotherapy has been associated with the sacred for thousands of years.