Managing psychotic delusions without meds. Possible?

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Managing psychotic delusions without meds. Possible?

#1  Postby Keep It Real » Jul 05, 2014 12:19 am

The famous economist John Nash managed such a feat in dealing with his schizophrenia, as portrayed rather nicely in the film "A Beautiful Mind". He managed it by compartmentalising paranoid delusions as being "a symptom of illness and not to be taken seriously". Is it possible to be mindful of ones delusions and maintain insight without meds? Metacognitive competency if you will.
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Re: Managing psychotic delusions without meds. Possible?

#2  Postby orpheus » Jul 05, 2014 12:34 am

Perhaps - and it would be great if so. But perhaps not. Nash could simply have been very, very lucky. How many other people suffering from the same disease are not able to manage without meds?
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Re: Managing psychotic delusions without meds. Possible?

#3  Postby Keep It Real » Jul 05, 2014 1:05 am

Was Nash lucky, or did he have metacognitive skills and a force of mind which saw him able to function without meds? Metacognitive training techniques exist but antipsychotic meds are preferred, despite the dreadful side effects (anhedonia; grey matter depletion etc). The cynic in me says it might even be more a case of funding than medical prudence that antipsychotics are the preferred prescription.
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Re: Managing psychotic delusions without meds. Possible?

#4  Postby Darwinsbulldog » Jul 05, 2014 1:31 am

Keep It Real wrote:The famous economist John Nash managed such a feat in dealing with his schizophrenia, as portrayed rather nicely in the film "A Beautiful Mind". He managed it by compartmentalising paranoid delusions as being "a symptom of illness and not to be taken seriously". Is it possible to be mindful of ones delusions and maintain insight without meds? Metacognitive competency if you will.


My take is that Nash the scientist understood his perceptions were sometimes seriously flawed due to his illness, and thus "oursourced" questions of 'reality" by asking people he trusted what the deal was. Was the phenomenon he was experiencing at any one time just an artifact of his illness, or a shared phenomenon? If it was shared, then it was more likely to be real.
The problem is that the sufferer of a mental illness may not have insight into that mental illness, Nash did, and so he was lucky in that respect because he could use compensatory strategies to overcome his delusions, or at least put them in perspective.
So not everyone with a severe mental issue can use Nash's strategy.

EDIT: The other issue is the stigma of mental illness, which sometimes makes sufferers lean towards denial. If society treated mental illness like a broken leg, then maybe more people could accept their illness, and thus use Nash-strategies to manage it better, not to mention taking meds. [Which help in most cases].
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