history

Mental Illness--History

I remember when I first got sick, it was like I woke up and decided I wanted nothing to do with the world anymore. I had just turned 15. I was at boarding school and none of my so called friends wanted to throw a party. My mom came to the school and I hadn't even known, she dropped off a painting of an angel watching over two kids on a cliff. Well that's just how I felt at the time, I was the girl on the edge just about to fall.

Food for thought: Theodore Roszak and Aldous Huxley demystifying social manager mentality!

Searching via scroogle.org today I stumbled across some excellent excerpts of two books which are VERY hard to find these days (unless, of course, you have the cash to buy from amazon or a bookstore's used-books search). First, a link to a real nice excerpt from Theodore Roszak on "the myth of objective consciousness"; second, a link to Aldous Huxley's especially interesting nonfiction book (in its ENTIRETY!) Brave New World--Revisited, excerpts which I'm providing here. The topic? The perils of "over-organization", suppressing symptoms, and the authoritarian attitudes that are making their way into many mind-sets these days regarding what it "is" to be "normal" and so forth.

TRANSFORMATION OF CONSCIOUSNESS THANKS TO ''SCHIZOFRENIA''

My Story:
TRANSFORMATION OF CONSCIOUSNESS THANKS TO ''SCHIZOFRENIA''
I found myself in psychiatric hospital quite unexpectedly, by a coincidence of strange and violent circumstances during summer holidays in 1969.
As a student of technical university, exhausted after the first-year difficult final exams, I was having a rest away from my family home, at a socialist youth camp in the woods of western Poland.
At that time I was a complex-ridden young man with an exact mind and idealistic attitude to the world.
I grew up in a traditionally catholic middle-class family in a depressing district of a big industrial city in central Poland. My family lacked love and the atmosphere was cold and grim. I had two brothers, yet I felt lonely and misunderstood. My father died early of leukemia , and I, being prepared for tough life by my mother, finished a vocational school of building. Next, despite having versatile humanist interests, moved by inertia, I took up technical studies.
Before going on holidays I accompanied my female cousin who, pretty accidentally, took me to a clairvoyant. The fortune-teller told me surprisingly true and astonishing things about myself, among others, that “I would meet a girl on my travels ...” This was the moment when my rational mind got the first shock.
The clairvoyant was right, on my way to the camp I really met a beautiful blond girl, a student of physics who cast her spell on me, which later turned out so unfortunate.
Inconceivable things started happening to me. Little by little, I was loosing contact with reality, I saw and heard things that others did not. The camp loudspeakers were talking to me, and people's faces looked horribly distorted with giant eyes and shameless expression of their mouths.
I slept very little, got up at sunrise and gave myself over to various odd practices in the forest. I had very clear, symbolic dreams. I got into conflicts with other members of the the camp, so as to eventually get slapped across the face.
The weather was wonderful, the gorgeous nature encouraged swimming competitions in an open-air swimming pool organized at the end of our stay. Having never trained swimming, I competed in all the disciplines and took the second and the third places.
I also won the distance diving, wiping out all other contestants. I was even thought of to have drowned in the muddy water before I emerged nearly at the end of the 50 metre-long swimming pool.
Then there was a party closing the camp, where I appeared with only my swimming trunks on, watching my skin with drops of water which wouldn't dry out. The party, on one hand, gave me the feeling of triumph, when the winners in the swimming competition were given their awards, on the other hand though, it was my final personal failure when my beloved pushed me off in a dance.
Early next morning coaches took everybody home, and I stayed at the alone after a night's wandering around in the surrounding forest. I felt lightweight and had no feeling of anxiety or bodily needs. I moved ahead and had been circulating in the area
for two or three days when somebody alarmed by my peculiar behaviour called an

ambulance which drove me to a nearby 'lunatic township'. This was a hospital where the Nazis in the times of WWII had used to experiment on the mentally ill.
I got a shock... I was diagnosed with schizophrenia and three times a day was given painful injections with enormous doses of Fenactil. Slowly, I started coming back to reality but I rebelled, feeling that my problems cannot be cured solely by medical treatment.
The treatment was suddenly interrupted when it turned out that I had been infected with jaundice. I was brought home and taken care of by a student outpatients' clinic. A health leave from my studies, a diet, medicines and lots and lots of sleep is what I remember best from that time. As there had never been a mental disease in my family before, neither me nor my relatives could understand what was happening to me.
I decided to change the subject of my studies for one closer to my interests. I passed a competitive examination and took up architecture in Warsaw. I did not undergo any reasonable therapy, I could not afford it. I was only taking medicines, which made me feel very ill. When after two years I tried to give the drugs up, this time during winter holidays in the mountains, strange thoughts and mystic experiences returned. I was taken to mental hospital for the second time, this time in the capital.
I took a break from my studies to a rest for a year. I hitchhiked to France which was my first trip abroad. I have always loved sports and every kind of exercise was the best therapy for me. Some time earlier I put my distance from the catholic church and at that period I had no religious needs. The medicines made me avoid people and despite considerable temperament I could not make contacts with the girls.
I was hospitalized one more time at the of age 32, during the Polish Solidarity upheaval in 1981. Again, during holidays spent in the mountains in the company of unknown people, I gradually discontinued my medicines and there, in the bosom of wild nature, far from civilization I experienced a magnificent “high”, ended in a painful confrontation with the police and psychiatric reality.
In these frantic states which I remember today as colourful adventures in pursuit of freedom and the joy of life I never showed any aggression and I never did any harm to anybody. On the contrary, it was me who was beaten several times.
In these periods of higher mood I felt absolutely liberated from social limitations and relieved from the usual inhibitions. I expressed freely my unity with nature. It was twice in the mountains that I got undressed naked running away from civilization. I received signals from the Universe which made me feel strong, courageous and creative..., but I was completely helpless and deprived of any contact with the material reality.
My way to health was long. It was based on my deep conviction that I can handle my 'schizophrenia” myself and I was persistent striving to it over the coming years. I did not identify myself with the illness and I never thought of myself as of mentally ill. There was a strong belief in me that I will succeed in releasing myself not only from the demons of the past, but also from the psychotropic supports. I had philosophical and esoteric inclinations which manifested in my interests in the East (hatha yoga), hypnosis and different states of consciousness.
 

 
In the beginning, it was sports and learning where my physical body and mind were trained by means of systematic exercise. Unfortunately, I had no tutor or guide, someone whose advice I could follow. Alone, driven by internal force, discovering missing or lost elements of spirituality and higher emotionality, I was a pathfinder in harmonious life.
In 1990 I took a week course in Transcendent Meditation, reassured by one of the lecturers that this would help me to get out of my twenty two-years' addiction from psychotropic medicines. The next two years I had been meditating two times for twenty minutes every day and soon afterwards during an internship in France I released myself from this chemical burden. It wasn't until that moment that I felt an almost free and happy man. I did not realize, however, how much work was still ahead of me.
Looking for the right way to health and fulfillment I did not cease reading available books from the border of psychology, personal development and esoteric. I took part in some courses and workshops which enriched me with new tools for working on myself (relaxation techniques, affirmation, breathing exercises). A course in Silva Method of Mind Development, repeated later many times not only let me define my current purposes in life, but it also made me aware of the enormous potential each of us has on their disposal.
Hitchhiking to Western Europe, especially to France and paid work I took up there improved my abilities to deal with difficult circumstances, in contacts with people of extreme origins and put me at a distance from the Polish catholic tradition.
The list of jobs I tried is very long and it was a simple result first, of the necessity to hide my psychiatric past and secondly, of little experience in my profession (architect-restorer).
I worked, among others, as youth groups leader at renovation of historical monuments in southern France, in Germany I built architectural models for Siemens. I helped an English architect build a villa in Spanish Andalusia. In Miami (USA ) I worked drawing architectural perspectives. I also guided Polish tour groups to Paris, was a life guard at a scouts camp, a manager of youth sports camps at the seaside, skiing instructor, Rhine wine seller, French films translator, etc.
However lengthy the list of my jobs was, unfortunately, I could not find a satisfying and lasting occupation. I also did not eventually decide to settle down abroad. What is more, I incessantly encountered obstacles to male-female relations, which caused my loneliness and frustration.
I kept asking myself philosophical questions about the rules of existence and my identity. I was wondering about my responsibility for the past events. It was this search that lead me to astrology which for the first time gave me a satisfactory explanation for the many aspects of my character, temperament and the difficulties to bring them under control.
Looking for an answer to the question if our fate is ruled by accident, through my experiences with hypnotic regression I got to understanding the immortality of the soul involved in the circle of karma. The concept of reincarnation, confirmed by my

own experience and of many authors whose books translated into Polish I had read, brought me to another level of consciousness. Responsibility for thoughts, words and deeds, as well as creative and effective activity were the principles which I began to found my life on.
In 1995 I'm meeting Ela as a response from the Universe to my affirmation that “I am ready to meet a woman - related soul who I have always dreamed of”.
Our comparison chart (synastry) was amazing and later our future confirmed what I had read in it: friendship, love and a common way of development. After the wedding my life changed completely. I significantly calmed down, stopped rushing in the pursuit of happiness, and regained an internal balance. Wondering about the meaning of life I decided to support with my example people suffering like I had used to. I wrote and published in an esoteric monthly magazine a text “I Was a Schizophrenia Sufferer”, which met with a considerable response in the community of 'the mentally ill'. Contacts with many “painfully sensitive” made me aware that everybody has their way to go through and I, with my case, can only inspire others and share my experience with them.
More and more, I comprehended the discrepancy between the classical western medicine based on the principles of Newtonian physics, unable to reach to the reasons of “schizophrenia” and, consequently, not able to cure it effectively and the deep wisdom declaring the oneness of the Universe. Stepping into the New Millennium I understood that I was given a rare opportunity to get to the spiritual truths unavailable to average bread winners involved in their daily struggle for physical survival.
To share the accomplishments of my whole life I created a website www.uzdrowionaschizofrenia.pl, where I gathered a lot of useful information not available elsewhere in the Polish language
To sum up, I can state that my full recovery was based on activities aimed at harmonizing the four areas:
body – diet, hygiene, sport...
mind – widening of consciousness, visualization, astrology, foreign languages...
emotions – love, forgiveness, courage, tolerance...
spirit – faith, meditation, prayer.
The most important thing though was the decision for healthy and responsible life, what I had been striving for over all these years. I regret that my experience in making full recovery to psycho physical balance was of no interest to Polish psychiatrists.
I trust that this story may be helpful, especially to those among the readers who undergo a similar to mine transformation of consciousness.
 
Pawe? S. Tomaszewski
pstomaszewski@gmail.com
 
 
 

 

Keywords: 

Psychiatry and religion - two peas from the same evil pod

As near as I can tell psychiatrists are the high priests of the new religious order. The language they use may differ but when it comes down to where the cheese binds, psychiatry's attitudes, superstitions and social control function are not significantly different from those of the medieval-era Church.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - history