5 Responses to First-person accounts of psychosis: challenges for mental health professionals – Gail Hornstein (Public Lecture, Sheffield Hallam University, 31 May 2013)

  1. Hearing the Voice says:

    Reblogged this on hearingthevoice.

  2. perspicador says:

    There must be a widening gulf in the whole scenario of treatments, remedies, therapies, drug use. So the gospel according to professional clinicians needs in future to have the light of lived experience shed upon it if there is to be future progress. with this in mind, I include a piece of writing reflecting upon the relative appropriateness of some meaningful activities…

    Anyone who has lived with symptoms of schizophrenia for a considerable length of time will recognize the perspectives given here: the diagnosable symptoms of sz may be incurably lodged within us and May be a part of our make up, but that does not in itself present a grim or hopeless predicament. This is because our disabilities are also our Attributes. Maybe unwittingly, the psychiatrist’s diagnosis undermines these attributes and sets them in a grim light. But really it is a matter of impact, intensity and degree, whether we languish in despair or set about engaging the symptoms as evidence of rare qualities which mark us out as having gifts to be expressed and applied creatively.

    What I am saying is: with the right help, a low maintenance dosage of appropriate medication to reduce the intensity of symptom’s extremes -one which does not pile on a burden of disability which excessive medicating is apt to do- and some vocational and training guidance, we can be the creative artists that nature intended us to be, using our gifts to master the medium which is best suited to our attributes.

    My ‘pathway to progress’ has been photography. I find that a modicum of seeing things which ‘are not there’ enables me to apply a creative imagination, to use my mind’s eye to envisage the optimal conditions to develop an awareness of the imaging possibilities of any scene I encounter and with my best endeavour, maybe reproduce that on camera.

    Well that is photography and visual hallucinations. What then of reconstructing the Dramatist and Playwright, the writer and novelist from auditory hallucinations? Musicians, composers, singers and lyric writers are also only a step away from the same level of creative attribute and giftedness.

    The lesson from this is never to underestimate the extent to which we all have gifts to express and with the right opportunities, can re-emerge as part of our restitution after the excesses of ill-health have run their course. Facilitators who work in mental health, please take special note!

    • Centre for Medical Humanities says:

      Thank you so much for your post – especially valuable as a reminder that there are so many ways to explore, capture, and represent experience that aren’t reducible to an interest in narrative. If you have published any of your photographs online we would love to be able to link to them.

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