Drug therapy and electroconvulsive therapy have been successful in the treatment of many patients with serious psychological disorders.Organic psychoses, so called because of the structural deterioration of the brain, include senile dementia and Alzheimer's disease.In addition, since 2002, I have personally experienced 3 ‘multi-sensory spiritual/mystical awakenings’. We have tried professional support for my sister and now, decades later, we realise that, although there are many caring professionals, the mental health support services are inadequate for those of us who don’t ‘tick the right boxes’.My older sister has physical health problems in addition and hasn’t been able to work for many years.Psychological or mental health difficulties may be experienced: if understood and supported appropriately, these experiences can be deeply transformative, offering the possibility of breakthrough rather than breakdown.
The former classification included functional psychoses including schizophrenia, paranoia, bipolar disorder, and involutional psychotic reactions, where no brain change was detectable with available tools.
She is cared for at home; primarily by my twin sister who has been selfless in her devotion and love for her.
There are similarities between the ‘psychotic’ experience and the ‘spiritual’ one.
According to the researchers psychospiritual development and personal growth sometimes occur when an experient cycles through ‘non-ordinary states of consciousness,’ spontaneous anomalous experiences of a psychic or extra-personal nature that may be appraised as ego-dystonic and appear to be irreconcilable with the existing cognitive schemata of self and cosmos.
As harbingers of transformational crises they take many forms–kundalini awakenings, shamanic initiatory crises, psychic openings, mystical experiences, and so forth (Lukoff, Lu, & Turner, 1998).
For decades my older sister has had auditory and visual hallucinations, behaviour, mood and thought disturbances, paranoia, catatonia, panic attacks and other symptoms.