Thoughts on A Beautiful Mind

Carrol Cox cbcox at
Fri Apr 5 13:42:48 MST 2002

Sam Pawlett wrote:
> Gary MacLennan wrote:
>  But ,in the end, if you believe in mystical
> experience, what is the difference between that and psychosis? I bet many of the
> old shamans and religious figures of non-Western culture would today be
> diagnosed as "psychotic".

Sam, Gary _knows_ those who suffer from schizophrenia -- and "psychotic"
is a SYMTOM, not the name of an illness one may be diagnosed with.
Psychotic symptoms may also be suffered by those suffering from either
bipolar or unipolar disorder or several other mental illnesses. AND THEY
ARE NOT FUN. Do you know what those voices are most apt to say? They
will continually tell the person how worthless he/she is. That is why
there are such high suicide rates among sufferers form schizophrenia.

Some years ago a  young man suffering from schizophrenia showed up at
our Depressive and Manic Depressive Support Group meeting. He needed a
place to spend the night, as his father had just kicked him out for
losing his job. And the Emergency Room would only take in the moneyless
if they were threatening to commit suicide or harm someone. A mystic
experience? No. Sheer misery. Not the ER's fault. They didn't have the
facilities. As I told Marta about a year ago, the main thing most of my
schizophrenic acquaintances needed was a decent income. One such
acquaintance hasn't called me since I 'loaned' him $84 to pay for a
prescription: he hadn't turned in a form or something and that led to
various problems, resolvable only by having the cash to pay.

Mental Illness is almost _always_ felt as a PAIN that will not be
ignored. There is something almost obscene in presentations of the
mentally ill as having a "mystic experience" or being happily loopy or
other stereotypes.


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