If you ask a person diagnosed with schizophrenia if the spirits are real, they would say yes, despite these “episodes” being classified as hallucinations/delusions by Western mental health practitioners. But if you ask a traditional shaman, he or she would say that the schizophrenic is having real-life communication between the spirits and other dimensions.
The treatment of mental illness is only a hundred years old in the United States with most advances made in the 1920s. The current treatment for schizophrenia (with no cure) includes antipsychotic medications, which most patients hate to take because it dulls life and their connection to divine spirits.
Shamans believe that people who are labeled as schizophrenic are in fact spiritually gifted. Gifted because they have strong abilities to communicate with spirits. These people are in the midst of a spiritual awakening. Modern society does not offer a spiritual explanation for schizophrenia, repeatedly downplaying the reality of the schizophrenics’ experiences and medicating them to shut out the “hallucinations.” A shaman on the other hand would perform a healing to remove any negative entities that are attached to the person’s energetic body, set the intention for which spirits are allowed to interact with the person, then teach the person to shamanic journey where with the help of totem animals and spirit guides they can control how and when the spirits interact with them. Without an overload of negative energy and thoughts pouring into them, schizophrenics can use their gift to converse with loving spirits to provide healing and divination, instead of becoming overwhelmed by the negative entities whose constant bombardment of unloving thoughts induce manic, paranoid, delusional and violent behavior.
I wrote about such one such healing in my book, Shaman Stone Soup, which you can read at shamanelizabethherrera.com.
“…the sensitive would be given guidance by the shaman to walk in the world of spirit without coming to any harm. They recognized that there is more than one dimension where both light and dark beings reside. The lesson is to not stop the voices so much as work with them in a way that you are in the control seat rather than being controlled by the energies tormenting you.” SuccessfulSchizophrenia.org
- “In the shamanic view, mental illness signals ‘the birth of a healer,’ explains Malidoma Patrice Somé. Thus, mental disorders are spiritual emergencies, spiritual crises, and need to be regarded as such to aid the healer in being born… we in the West are not trained in how to deal or even taught to acknowledge the existence of psychic phenomena, the spiritual world. In fact, psychic abilities are denigrated. When energies from the spiritual world emerge in a Western psyche, that individual is completely unequipped to integrate them or even recognize what is happening.” — excerpt from the book The Natural Medicine Guide to Schizophrenia by Stephanie Marohn.
- The Shamanic View of Mental Illness