Schizophrenia—Gift or Illness?

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

  1. Sources:
    “…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.”
  2. “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.
  3. The Shamanic View of Mental Illness

7 thoughts on “Schizophrenia—Gift or Illness?

  1. I met John Nelson once about 20 years go. He had been working on a version of how to heal mental ills… the one thing that I didn’t know then was that spirit cannot communicate to egos. Egos are not real. Spirit of love is closer to real – only Holy Spirit is real. Anyway, if the mentally ill person may get calm ego or transcend ego in experience (which often manic or psychosis will effect) and this is with a person in spirit, then there certainly would be a good chance for alignments to change. This is not my area of expertise. I did work with mental health consumers though and see for myself that they are able to transcend ego more easily than “normal” folk.


    • It may surprise you, but I do believe in the Holy Spirit (our divine self) and God, and that Jesus is a divine teacher. That being said, I agree that the ego and spirit do not communicate, instead, we have higher minds that can listen to either “voice” of the ego or spirit. Much like the cartoons displaying a devil sitting on one shoulder and an angel on the other. Yes, the ego is an illusion, but one that seems real enough in time. But this shall pass.

      Each person has a spirt/soul that transcends the death of the body. Not everyone immediately leaves the physical realm to return to their source. Hence the belief in reincarnation. Not sure why Christians fight against this belief. It in no way disavows a belief in God. It simply is a belief that each of us has multiple opportunities to “get it right,” and return to our source/God/Creator.

      Back to the topic, spirits can communicate with us. Some of us hear them more readily than others. People with schizophrenia hear them even when they don’t want to. If they learn to harness this gift, they can hear only the divine spirits (angels, holy spirit, Jesus, etc.) to offer great words of wisdom and healing.

      Blessings and thanks for your insightful comments.


      • Nelson wrote a wonderful book that I read in its first version — at the time, as I say, I did not know about the problem of communication. John was attempting to “heal the split” he called it. I don’t recall really all of the book, I used a technique that was odd to most MH workers… I respected the consumers. I never argued and ordered them about. I spoke only to their higher mind as you say. I treated them like my first wife had by her love for me when I was badly split. She didn’t now it. I couldn’t ever explain it and I went on to battle my demons alone mostly.
        There still are some I know but they cannot have their way with me for most because only the smartest of them can engage me and I am uninterested in them… I do not know how to help them. I think they need bodies for what they want.
        I am Christian. I don’t exactly believe in re-incarnation. I do believe the body is a spirit center for growth of a kind of spiritual growth that I do not understand well enough to describe. I do not presently see spirits and I choose not to do so. I did see spirits as a child. I managed by accident to turn it off – or maybe I had help – that is in memories and I suppose you know memories are not reliable because they don’t really exist.
        I would like to learn from you. This is why I post comments. I know you know at least something new of what I want to know that I can not recall from knowledge.
        Blessings and light…
        ~ Eric


  2. Blessed be to you. I have searched for an answer to this question for far too long. I was diagnosed with ADD when I was a little girl because I couldn’t conform to time rituals and focus my attention on what was right in front of me. As a practicing catholic, I was told that my 5-clairs and premonitions were “the devil.” I was in two places at once until I shut off my gifts at age 18. For I was determined to belong in this world. Fast forward to April, 2009 when I was fired (Investment Banker) for bending the rules so an old woman could receive her social security payments. I should have known then, but it took 2 more doors to close until I spoke to a trusted priest, a shepherd. It was 2011. He “understood” me and told me that I was “gifted.” My soul re-awakened when I accepted myself. My individual and global path shimmered in my vision. I led my grandfather to peace that spring, and that fall I had a premonition of my grandmother in a casket and although she was fine, I sent a frantic message to my family via Facebook warning them of what I saw. They explained how she was perfectly fine; not to worry. My entire family was split 50/50 on my abilities. However, during the funeral I was no longer the crazy “schizophrenic” they considered me to be; like my aunt, grandmother, and great-grandmother had been labeled before me. I became the Lightworker I was meant to be–a messenger, a guide, a guardian of love and light. I have since went back to college and will become a clinical psychologist next year. My objective: I will provide integrated techniques that utilize theory based on one’s individual need. Along side a holistic, herbal, crystal, energy cleansing, regressive, and spiritual counseling. Many will know of my cognitive, social, existential, and Applied Behavioral techniques in our world. But, in the universal scheme of things, I will be attending to far more than what they refuse to accept. For it has finally been proven by extensive research that schizophrenia, ADHD, and Autism Spectrum Disorders are all liked to Heightened Sensory Processing. Our first physical proof that those who fear the unknown can begin to awaken the possibility within themselves.


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