When it comes to schizophrenia the average person knows little to no knowledge other than the common insult muttered “They’re crazy”. Schizophrenia is a Greek term meaning split mind. I choose to look into three articles that critiqued intergrading meditation with this kind of mental disorder because of the grounds of obtaining such a disorder per say. It chooses you rather than you develop it through experiences like many other mental illnesses.
My first article I choose was NEGATIVE SIDE EFFECTS OF MEDITATION: By Sarah McLean. Sarah goes on to mention the hype we have heard before, but then highlights something rather interesting that I did not consider before. She states that some instructors aren’t trained to teach or have ever meditated themselves. I find this rather alarming as how will they know the feelings experienced. Even though everyone has a unique experience they should have a base line of knowledge. After going over the uses of meditation such as relaxing, stress , among others she makes a rather intriguing statement. “This is the yoga, the “union” of one’s awareness with all that is.”(McLean) Being the goal of meditation. She goes on in her article to list a variation of negative side affects which I found very transparent of her. The side effects she listed are but not limited to insomnia, mania, hallucinations, depression, and withdrawal from life. Most of what I just listed are signs or symptoms of schizophrenia. One must think if these symptoms already have the potential to exist then one can only speculate meditation will increase those odds. I do however appreciate how she added tips and a list of questions at the end of her article to keep in mind.
Negative Side Effects of Meditation & Questions Your Should Ask Your Teacher (mcleanmeditation.com)
My second article I choose was Warnings about Meditation (Precautions and Negative Side Effects) In Meditation by Chris A. Parker. This author broke down his article by medical and mental side effects one could possible experience due to meditation. Psychosis is one of the many the author listed that can be drawn back to schizophrenic individuals would probably experience the most. Among psychosis he talks about mental atrophy, using meditation as an escape , and hypersensitivity to light and sound. A close friend of mind with schizophrenia would fall in all of those named categories. He carefully explains each issue and the people it may possible target. I found this article to be straight forward and persist at establishing a platform anyone can understand.
Warnings about Meditation (Precautions and Negative Side Effects) (lightwarriorslegion.com)
My final article was Mindfulness Meditation for Schizophrenia Disorders by Paul Harrison. This research was conducted in Berlin. During fall 2017 to fall 2018 twenty-seven interviews took place. He goes on to explain 13% of the psychiatric hospital in Germany is people with schizophrenia and breaks down the symptoms. ” Schizophrenia is often treated with psychological support, psychopharmacology, and cognitive behavioral therapy exercises. However, due to financial constraints many people are unable to receive these treatments.”(Harrison) Thus explaining why some would turn to mindfulness as a treatment. I enjoyed how he broke down the definition of mindfulness and the history and origin. Although I found the results of the experiment very vague none of them had increased negative side effects that they reported. Some of them admitted to being more self-aware and better understanding. This was too small of a group for it to be indefinite, but I am glad it helped the individuals it did.
Mindfulness Meditation for Schizophrenia Disorders (thedailymeditation.com)
Although I choose two negative and one positive critique I am not totally against trying alternative methods as I mentioned a good friend of mine that happens to be a Harvard University graduate has schizophrenia and I’ve seen first hand how opposing medication can be with trial and error. There may be positive options depending on the case with meditation. I think more trials or selective meditation could be used in another group to show further success. Marcel Armstrong is the friend I spoke about and writes first hand about his struggle with meditation and schizophrenia in his book “Living Thoughts: Glimpses into the Altered Reality of Schizophrenia”. He was it available for free in kindle format. Link provided below.
Amazon.com: Living Thoughts: Glimpses into the Altered Reality of Schizophrenia eBook: Armstrong, Marcel: Kindle Store