Believe It or Not: Psychological Treatment of Chronic Schizophrenia
I know of at least two cases of chronic schizophrenia who got cured—the word is “cured”—with purely psychological procedure. Below is their brief.
Case #1. Young girl having schizophrenia. Late Dr. Ainslie Meares cured him. He was a psychiatrist who toured ashrams in India, Burma and Nepal to learn from Yogis their pain control techniques because he used to get patients with chronic pain. In his book “Relief Without Drugs” he writes that he didn’t get anything particularly useful until he met late Shiva Puri Baba. I cannot write enough on Shiva Puri Baba because there is a full book, The Long Pilgrimage, written by the son in law of cousin of Lord Minto. How can I compress a book in few lines? So I will be brief. But before that imagine a white British (by the way Meares was also white, writing about Shiva Puri Baba) writing a book in praise of a brown “slave” that all of us were at that time of history. The book The Long Pilgrimage is out of print. A Yogini from New York gifted this book to me. This book says there are clues in various places in the Rig Veda that prove that the civilization of that time that existed before the last Ice Age somehow found a way to pass on the knowledge to us.
Please note I am not a Hindu fanatic, nor a BJP lover. But I have to state the facts as I read them.
The out-of-print book describes that Shiva Puri Baba was from Kerala (so was the Adi Shankaracharya). A Brahmin whom his grandfather gave Sanyas Diksha while he was still a child. After Sanyasa he naturally went to jungle and lived there among animals for 25 years. He went on to live until age 140 and the photograph in the book shows his black hair until the end. When he emerged from the jungle in Kerala, he first toured entire India on foot and reached Varanasi where Madan Mohan Malviya ji offered him to be the in charge of BHU. Shiva Puri Baba declined, saying that as a Sanyasi he could not accept any bondage, that he was a free man. All that he had in saving in a small bag of cloth (“Potali”) that was at that time gold and Rupees about 40,000 he gave to Malviya ji, saying that now, only with loincloth as his property, he was truly a free man, a Sanysi. That money was his family property passed on to him. And he went on tour of the world on foot. He went to UK. He was the only non-Muslim who entered the Mecca and Madina sponsored as he was by the original Agha Khan. The queen in UK had given him a fortress to live and passed the order that he could live as long as he wished. She used to meet him daily and maintained a personal diary of the conversations. By the way Shiva Puri Baba spoke excellent English. This diary of the queen was later on destroyed by the secret service after the queen’s death. Shiva Puri Baba went to the Americas (there was no USA) and discovered the Mayan civilization—I mean so is written in that book by the son in law of the cousin of Lord Minto. When the Baba was in UK fortress there was a caretaker and his son William was a child then. Please remember this William was then a child. Shiva Puri Baba returned to India and settled in Nepal that at that time allowed all saints to live free in Nepal. It was there in Nepal that one day Shiva Puri Baba was walking on road in Nepal and the British Collector was going in his Jeep. This British Collector was none other than William the child whose father was Shiva Puri Baba’s care taker appointed by the British queen. William immediately recognized Shiva Puri Baba who still had hair black. Shiva Puri Baba was given a cottage in jungle and a boy to take care. Eatables were brought to Baba by visitors who used to come for discourses. During discourses a “Chita” used to always come and quietly sit by Baba’s side, listening. There was a special bond between Baba and “Chita”—after all the Baba had lived for 25 years among animals in jungle.
The psychiatrist Dr. Ainslie Meares met Shiva Puri Baba and had long meetings with him for over a week. What “happened” —or not happened, sitting in silence—between the two (more happened in “sitting in silence” than in verbal exchanges) is described by Meares in his book Relief Without Drug and in articles published in Medical Journal of Australia. For example two of Meares’ excellent articles are titled Why Patient Recovers (or it may be What Makes Patients Recover)—not exact words because I am writing extempore although I have all of Meares’ articles and most of his books.
Meares developed a special type of meditation after meeting Shiva Puri Baba plus doing experiments on himself. On his return to Australia Meares wrote letter to the Australian Medical Council stating that he was stopping his medical practice and would practice only meditation on patients. After success with asthma patients he started getting patients of anxiety and physical pain referred by his former medical colleagues. Among them were cancer patients. That is how he got a chronic schizophrenia patient whom he cured solely by his unique technique of meditation. By the way Meares is the only one and his is the only kind of meditation that has shown reversal of confirmed terminal stage cancer of many type and data published in mainstream medical journals.
It took over a year for this girl with schizophrenia to get back to normal track. My comment: When you are cured with nothing (Meares’ meditation was “Doing nothing”—not even doing “Doing nothing”) you don’t relapse.
Case #2. This case is of late Professor John Nash the Nobel laureate. He was forcibly admitted in mental hospital three times. Each time he ran away. I have his two video interviews where he says that he recovered by “cognitive therapy”. He describes this therapy as brain exercises such as found in computer games and chess. By the way now we have scientifically drafted neuropsychological exercises based on Operant Conditioning. Nash’s videos worth watching. Once, after he got the Nobel and the Hollywood movie “A Beautiful Mind” made, a group of psychiatrists in a meeting asked him why he did not complete any course of psychiatric treatment. He stepped back, thought and replied that probably that would make him “Normal” but he would not be creative.
Conclusion: The two cases involve two different procedures, meditation and brain exercises, although both are psychological. For meditation Meares himself has said that his type of meditation involves regression to an evolutionary primitive stage of reptilian brain. Reptiles as you know have pie brain, very small and they lack color vision. Similarly in Meares’ meditation if the meditator opens his eyes slowly, he will not see colors. By the way we all have reptilian brain at the top of medulla oblongata. The limbic brain and the neo-cortex are later additions through evolution. Another mechanism behind his procedure Meares says is lowering of cortisol, cortisol being immuno suppressant (its given to prevent body’s rejection of transplants and also sometimes given to asthmatic patients to suppress immune reaction because asthma is immune system’s over-reaction to something). By the way adrenalin is a marker of transient stress, cortisol is a marker of chronic sustained ever-present stress.
The explanation given for neuropsychological brain exercises is that it changes the brain circuitry. Read it in the context of huge literature on neuro-plasticity.
I must conclude on a realistic note. These above ones are time consuming procedures. In modern times people rather resort to quick fixes even if the fixes give side effects or no effects. But orthomolecular medicine, mostly practiced by naturopathic, holistic medicine praactioners using vitamins, minerals and oils such as omega-3, is increasingly proving effective with or without psychiatric drugs and are found useful to help stop psychiatric drugs without a withdrawal.
Ratan, firstname.lastname@example.org, 91 141 4022609, +9198281 99856
I am Dr. Ratan Singh. I work with a mix of orthomolecular therapy, neutralization, hypnosis and meditation as and when suitable for the patient/client. Actually I educate the patient or the caregiver in these and empower them to help themselves Qualifications: Certificate in Food & Nutrition; Diploma in Nutrition & Health Education (IGNOU), M. A. (Psychology, AMU), DM&SP (CIP,Ranchi), Ph.D., (Psychology) phones: 91 141 4022609, mobile: +9198281 99856; email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Consultant in Nutritional & Neuro-behavioral Psychology, Jaipur Hospital, India. Member, International Society of Orthomolecular Medicine Life Member, Nutritional Society of India. Clinical Internship in the Practice of Behavior Therapy (Late Prof. J. Wolpe’s Unit at Temple Univ. Medical School & EPPI, Philadelphia, USA, 1973-75). Author of Nutrition & Supplements in Major Mental Illnesses. Worked: 1968 in Rajasthan state government mental hospital and later in Bikaner general hospital psychiatry department (1969- 1971), Lecturer in psychology department in University of Rajasthan (1971- 1973), Intern in Behavior Therapy with late Prof. Joseph Wolpe, MD, Temple University Medical School & EPPI in Philadelphia, USA (1973 to 1975), Lecturer and later Reader (Assoc Professor) in psychiatry department of Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University (1975 to 1986) Assoc. Professor in psychiatry department in University of Science Malaysia Medical School and Hospital (1986 to 1997). I am now Consultant in Nutritional & Neurobehavioral Psychology, Jaipur Hospital, Near Stadium, Jaipur, India. I practise orthomolecular therapy (OT) for mental, emotional, behavioral, memory problems and illnesses. I combine OT with behavior therapy. I take children, adolescents, couples, families. I also train families with Autistic/ADHD (Pervasive Developmental Disorders) children in “ABA” and biomedical therapy in the hospital where I work. I also take up cases of schizophrenia, bipolar, depression, anxiety, anger for OT and nutritional interventions. I don’t “treat” in the traditional sense. I educate patients and/or their caregiver to help themselves. Please note I am not a physician.