ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Changing the Wavelength

By Jack Bragen
Friday March 21, 2014 - 09:37:00 AM

Aside from the usefulness of medication to treat psychosis, a large part of the issue might be dealt with when the patient can calm down. The second to last time that I was hospitalized, in 1990, it was due to going off medication against medical advice. As soon as I was in the inpatient ward, I was reinstated on medication. However, as far as "coming back" from my delusional state, the process was helped when I watched the movie "field of dreams" which was played on videocassette for the patients. 

Changing the wavelength from one of despair, fear, and perceived survival, into a wavelength of calm, or release, or even bliss, will practically cure psychosis, when nothing else has worked. 

I have never seen someone get delusional during a game of ping pong. The human mind has its own set of "settings" which affect how we interact and how we respond to different things. Part of the trick of recovery from delusions is to stay in a "mode of operation" in which you are dealing with real things, and in which you are in communication with people. Also, if you are doing something fun, or at least something interesting, it goes a long way toward helping your recovery. 

While doing something fun and interesting isn't a substitute for the proper medication, it can help your morale, outlook on life, and state of well-being. Part of the problem with being schizophrenic is that it is difficult to enjoy things. But if something can be enjoyed, (something other than illicit drugs and alcohol) it helps put you in a far better frame of mind. 

If you're strictly taking about calming down, it is helped when your environment feels safe and secure. An external threat, one which is genuine and not a delusion, is bad for your condition. An imagined threat, one generated by delusions, can be a product of already being ill, but can also make the illness worse. 

Persons with mental illness deserve safety. When safety is threatened, it is a violation of basic human rights. You can't enjoy yourself when you are terrified. Doing something enjoyable, at least some of the time, is necessary for a good recovery. However, enjoyment is off the map if you feel unsafe. 

Unfortunately, the world often is not safe. Thus, we persons with mental illness may need to hobble along at times in the attempt to feel more secure in insecure situations. 

Anti-anxiety medications are helpful for some people with mental illness. The problem, however, is that these can be habit forming. 

Persons with mental illness, when we can change the method of operation that we are using to encounter life, can help make mental illness a non-issue some of the time. If you go to a park with a friend, maybe visit the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley, or the Lindsay Museum in Walnut Creek, you can then forget about mental illness for a day, as well as set aside your symptoms--and this is good for you. 

* * * 

I can be reached with your comments at: and my self-published books can be found with a search on Amazon.