- Mental Health
Schizophrenia: Uncontrolled Imagination
For years, Schizophrenia has left many people open-mouthed in their attempt to wrap their understandings around it's side effects. From the hearing of voices to the delusions and paranoia, it certainly seems to provide a life filled with nothing less than chaos.
However, who says chaos has to be a bad thing? We tend to associate behaviors that stray from societies idea of normal, with negativity. When in actuality, chaos can either be an erratic, downward spiral or an upward journey to enlightenment! It all depends on your mindset.
Good vs. Evil
Those who live with this condition often suffer from it's ability to spiral out of control. That's because schizophrenia is a result of sporadic thinking. Within all of us, lies a good perspective of life and a bad one. We choose which one will dominate our realities during each moment of each day.
For example, when the cart of the person behind you in the grocery store line hits you, if you're choosing to live with a negative perspective of things in that moment, you will, without hesitation, give them a piece of your mind. However, if you're seeing things in a more positive light, you'll most likely turn around to immediately hear an apology due to what was a mere accident.
In the mind of a schizophrenic, negative and positive perspectives co-exist. The world isn't seen as either good or bad but as both, in a such a way that makes it difficult to determine which reality should receive a reaction. So much so, that the actual moment gets overlooked entirely as a result of this overlap.
The question that has been asked for years is, "How can the symptoms of schizophrenia be reversed?"
Though there are many treatments that have been tested, nothing has shown to be truly permanent. There is simply one major way to cure schizophrenia for good, and that is by using the brain to fix itself. When we want to reverse the symptoms of weight gain, we use our bodies to do so. The brain is no different. It simply takes patience and consistency.
First, you would look at what causes schizophrenia. Extremely emotionally traumatizing events can cause disconnections in the brains ability to focus. When unfortunate circumstances come our way, we either rise or we fall depending on where we direct our focus. There are irregular amounts of Neuregulin-1, NRG1, located in the pre-frontal cortex of schizophrenics. The pre-frontal cortex is primarily responsible for our ability to focus. Due to the stress that essentially turns on the schizophrenic switch, NGR1 in the brain is increased, which in return reduces the amount of glutamate and GABA production. With glutamate being associated with memory and learning, this decreases the ability to distinguish between thoughts and reality. Also, GABA reductions are found in individuals with ADHD causing hyperactivity, which when combined with the paranoia induced by the enhancement of fearful/negative emotions causes thoughts and behavior to become restless!
Schizophrenics hear their own voices in their heads and live their life based on what they hear and have even see. These sounds and images are simply a product of their overactive imagination. The traumatic event(s) that lead up to this complicated lifestyle caused them to fear life and doubt happiness. The negativity associated with what left them confused causes them to expect a negative event to be present at any moment. It's almost like an addiction to be able to solve/escape a problem that has yet to, and likely will never, come. This addictive feeling is potentially associated with the excess amounts of dopamine in the brain as well.
To break any addiction, one must first admit there there is a problem. Then, focus on the root of the problem, which in this case, is the extended thought process that virtually blacks out reality. In order to do this, the daily practice of mindfulness is crucial. Be it through meditative processes, yoga, dancing, etc, this will help the brain to get used to being in the here and now once again. Transferring certain thoughts to a specific activity of interest will also help to release any stress and promote endorphins for a naturally satisfied feeling with a reduced need to panic, since the situation is completely controlled. When in public, mindfulness can be practiced by being hyper aware of everything. Blocking out any negative thoughts before they fully come to fruition and replacing it with a positive detail of the current moment. Like any transformation, the brain will soon adjust to it's newly formed habits and the symptoms that once dominated the victim will be used in a more controlled way as they tame their imagination and focus on what gives them life as opposed to what took them from it.