About Understanding Psychosis and ‘Schizophrenia’ and the collaboration between health professionals and people with lived experiences

Quoting Ron Unger:

‘Normal’ is actually much more mysterious than it is usually given credit for! – It’s also more dangerous than is usually recognized.

David Oaks makes the point that it is ‘normal’ people who are destroying the planet, wiping out species and setting off a process of overheating the earth in a catastrophic way – David even has a name for where this is all going, that is ‘normalgeddon’. Soon to be coming whether you want it or not… End of quote.

That is an interesting point, isn’t It? No wonder sometimes people seek refuge in the ‘abnormal’ world.

What can be hard to fathom is that whether ‘normal’ is healthier than ‘abnormal’ very much depends on how you fit in to most people’s perceptions of ‘normal’. If you don’t, we have a whole battery of health care professionals who will try (by various degrees of draconian methods, One might add) to nurse you back in to ‘normal’. Not many of these people will ever philosophise over whether this will make you happier. The assumptions are that it will make you ‘fit in’. Happy have vaporised into thin air.

I’d much rather be happy and sad and on the verge of disintegration at times than being comfortably numb.

This affects my work as a health care professional too. Each time one of my patients dies in Hospice I hope it will affect me and make me think about that relationship I had with this particular human being. Even if it was ever so short. The minute I feel it was just another patient is the same instant I will quit.

P.S.: Isn’t it strange that the potential happiness produced by seeking out the extremes of our emotional and physical capacities (what we get sprayed with daily in commercials from cradle to grave) is the very same potential we deny those who experience the very extremes.

Ron Unger:

What would happen if a team of highly qualified psychologists joined up with a team of people who knew psychosis from the inside, from their own journey into madness and then recovery – and if they collaborated in writing a guide to understanding the difficult states that get names like ‘psychosis’ and ‘schizophrenia’?

Well, you don’t have to wonder anymore, because the result was just published a couple of days ago in the form of a report that is free to download at ‘Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia’.

A fundamental point made by the report is that “‘psychotic’ experiences are understandable in the same ways as ‘normal’ experiences, and can be approached in the same way.”

I believe this report will be useful to a great many people, because of the way it combines a thorough knowledge of the science with common sense and perspectives drawn from actually listening to people who have had these experiences and then have made sense of them for themselves. The knowledge in this report will likely both change the perspective of many professionals, as well as be of assistance to many individuals and families who want a deep understanding of the subject that is also very accessible and easy to read.

It includes a list of resources at the end which many people may also find helpful.

Jacqui Dillon, Chair of the UK Hearing Voices Network, was quoted as saying:

This report is an example of the amazing things that are possible when professionals and people with personal experience work together. Both the report’s content and the collaborative process by which it has been written are wonderful examples of the importance and power of moving beyond ‘them and us’ thinking in mental health.

The good news? It is free! Follow the link!


As for the drug industry. Here is what Peter Gøtzsche, co-founder of the Cochrane collaboration has to say. Thanks John for sharing this invaluable 15 min clip on facebook (see link). He goes as far as calling the psychiatric drug industry organized crime, as he calls the companies on their systematic misuse and make-up of research to ‘fit in’ with the Cochrane criteria and their continuing to do so even after having been cautioned and even sanctioned by law. 

“Prescription drugs are the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer.”

The Chemical Imbalance Hoax, Peter Gøtzsche, MD:

“Instead of trying to understand the patients, psychiatry has developed into a checklist exercise, which one could ask a secretary or the patients themselves to do. Diagnoses are often made after brief consultations of 10-15 minutes, after which many patients are told that they need a drug for the rest of their life to fix a ‘chemical imbalance’ in the brain. Very often, they are also told that this is similar to being a patient with diabetes needing insulin. If this were true, the number of disabled mentally ill would have gone down after we introduced the antipsychotics and antidepressants, but instead, the number of people with psychiatric diagnoses and disability pension has skyrocketed. Worst of all, this has also affected our children. In 1987, just before the SSRIs came on the market, very few children were disabled mentally ill in the United States; 20 years later, it was more than 500 000, which was a 35-fold increase.”

“My studies in this area lead me to a very uncomfortable conclusion: Our citizens would be far better off if we removed all the psychotropic drugs from the market, as doctors are unable to handle them. It is inescapable that their availability creates more harm than good.”


Sources for Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime: How Big Pharma Has Corrupted Health Care: 

Amazon, Kindle Edition
Amazon, Paperback
Book Depository

Of further interest:
Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime: How Big Pharma Has Corrupted Health Care (MadinAmerica)



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