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 Are there essences that have proven helpful for people suffering from schizophrenia?

2/23/2004

Schizophrenia is a complex medical and cultural topic. Even within the traditional medical community, diagnosis and treatment of schizophrenia includes a spectrum of behavioral phenomena, with mild to severe aberration, and different modalities of treatment.

Broadly speaking, schizophrenia causes a progressive deterioration in one's ability to function in basic life tasks, due to a disruption in one's core sense of self-identity. The symptoms of schizophrenia vary from extreme agitation and distress to various catatonic, immobile or socially unresponsive states. More pronounced symptoms involve hallucinatory experiences, such as hearing voices. This delusional behavior can result in serious harm to oneself or to others. For example, a form of paranoid schizophrenia, may involve the erroneous assumption that someone is causing harm, thus provoking violent behavior against that person. Due to the potential for harm to others and self, the diagnosis of schizophrenia must involve consultation with qualified medical personnel.

On the other hand, clients and their families should actively study and explore all treatments and theories involving the current definition of schizophrenia. For example, if schizophrenia is the result of disordered brain function (as most current theories posit), are anti-psychotic pharmaceutical medications such as clozapine (Clozaril), risperidone (Risperdal), olanzapine (Zyprexa), quetiapine (Seroquel) and ziprasidone (Geodon) truly the best medications to fully restore soul function? Many of these medications may be necessary to control severe symptoms involving grave social consequences or violence. But at best, these medications manage the symptoms of the disease, while exposing the individual to a host of dangerous side-effects, such as increased risk of seizures.

Many so-called brain disorders are actually the result of severe nutritional abnormalities. A branch of medicine called Orthomolecular Medicine or Orthomolecular Therapy, has demonstrated outstanding results by providing a more substantive form of nutrition for many such brain disorders, rather than manipulating the exterior symptoms of brain dysfunction with pharmaceutical drugs. For example please see:

Orthomolecular Treatment for Schizophrenia by Abram Hoffer

Nutrition and Mental Illness: An Orthomolecular Approach to Balancing Body Chemistry by Carl Curt Pfeiffer

Orthomolecular Psychiatry: Treatment of Schizophrenia by David Hawkins and Linus Pauling

The Natural Medicine Guide to Schizophrenia by Stephanie Marohn

From the point of view of flower essence therapy, our biggest concern is to understand not only what is happening with brain function but also soul experience. Research shows that early stages of this disease involve a numbing of emotions, and the inability to form basic social responses. Furthermore, cognitive therapists who work with schizophrenic patients report that learning ways of coping with stressful thoughts and situations, and changing negative patterns of thought and behavior can have very positive outcome.

Flower essences can be a very important part of an over-all program for treating schizophrenia, because of their ability to stimulate and support the expression of authentic emotional experience. Our case research on schizophrenia is too scant to provide substantive answers, although we hope to be able to track this illness with more definitive results in the future.

The underlying challenge from a soul point of view is to provide more emotional strength for the core sense of self so that the self-identity does not fragment and split from reality. Some interesting cases showing good results, have come from therapists working with flower essences that give more cohesion to the synthesizing forces of the ego, such as Shasta Daisy, Sunflower, Madia, Echinacea, Scleranthus and Cosmos.

Many cases of schizophrenia have also been traced to an acute life crisis or spiritual awakening that could not be anchored or assimilated, thus leading to a disassociation. Flower essences such as Star of Bethlehem, Glassy Hyacinth, Star Tulip, Arnica, Echinacea, Chaparral and Sweet Chestnut can be very helpful in re-addressing and integrating these core traumas.

The following website provides a number of helpful references, including some flower essences that have evidently been helpful for those who are seeking alternatives to psychiatric medications:

www.jungcircle.com/schiznatural.htm

We welcome further comments and case research from those practitioners who are working in this area.


Patricia Kaminski pkaminski@flowersociety.org


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