Change of attention
It becomes possible to solve the schizophrenia problem if we are prepared to focus on the personal problems of the patient diagnosed with schizophrenia. One has to attend to the separate complaints which reflect personal problems.
The psychosis as personal emotional crisis episodes
From our studies with hearing voices we learned that the voices heard express the distorted or repressed emotions of the voices hearer also with schizophrenia. The characteristic of the voices are related to problems with the voice hearer’s emotions as a consequence of traumatic experiences like sexual and physical abuse or emotional neglect like having learned to suppress emotions or being emotionally turned down and experiencing them as dangerous; having been criticized over long periods by emotional essential people with the consequence of anxiety to fail, a negative self esteem and periods of expressing anger about being frustrated. The complaint can also be a consequence of spiritual conflicts.
This holds also for special personal believes (called delusions) and lack of initiatives and the tendency to isolate one selves (called negative symptoms).
The Interaction between symptoms and illness.
The symptoms or complaints with people who are diagnosed with schizophrenia are not the result of the illness of schizophrenia but are reaction patterns as a result of the above described emotional backgrounds. The different symptoms can relate to each other as well as can be related to the described emotional problems. For example in 40% the delusions or special personal believes interact with the voices as an explanation for the strangeness of the perceived voices. A construct made by the patient on the basis of the qualities of the voices. To Isolate one selves can be the reaction on intruding voices while meeting other people on whom they give comments etc. Negative symptoms can also relate to special personal believes (delusions), because these make them afraid and they tend to avoid situations experienced as dangerous for them.
How to solve the schizophrenia problem and promote recovery.
By focusing on the person’s personal problems instead of focusing on the illness entity. This is done by focusing on the separate complaints. Each of them have their own background and their own relationship with the patients problems or interact with the other complaints.
To focus effectively on the different complaints one need to use a specifically developed instrument for the voices (see under professional interview) which is different from the interview to be used with delusions (see under professionals Interview). This opens the possibility to detect the persons personal problems, because one then can relate the characteristics of the voices or paranoia with the life history of the person and can help the person to cope with his personal problems. which is by no means simple because the problems are often difficult problems. (See recovery process). We often meet a phase in which problems are denied out of shame or not to be believed and be criticized again. Because of the overwhelming emotional impact talking about them is also avoided.
Why is it not possible to recover with the focus on the illness concept
The symptoms or complaints of the psychotic patient are the elements used in the psychiatric diagnostic system to compose illness categories in order to organize and differentiate the different ways psychosis express themselves. This system has been proved to have no scientific validity, which is understandable because it is not based on research but on calling on the experience and believes of many psychiatrists, started with Kraepelin and ending up in the DSM. This system is composed on the basis of well defined symptoms but defined by psychiatrist. The system has deliberately leaved out the causes for these symptoms because they could not get to an agreement. The system has shifted from a categorical system for research purposes into a diagnostic system. But a reliable diagnostic system needs causes otherwise one treats constructs or believes but for sure not the patient problems. It therefore is impossible to recover within the psychiatric DSM system which does not permit to focus on patient problems but only on the psychiatric illness constructs.
There has been already long time been advocated to deconstruct these illness constructs ( Bentall 1990; Boyle 1990; Blom 2003) but that is not a sufficient solution, because one still has to detect the background problems that lay at the roots of the complaints. Coping with the mental health problems is not sufficient. One has to help the patient cope with their personal problems on which the mental health problems are a reaction. Like Lucy Johnstone (2000; 2006) formulates “People with psychoses are not people with illness but people with problems”
Then the patent becomes interested and to be influenced because then his complaints Make Sense.