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A LETTER FROM A PARENT

I almost removed the kind words this parent had said about me, but I didn’t want to change anything, out of respect for the parent. I don’t possess extreme intelligence; however, it was my strong survival instincts and the ability to trust my intuition throughout the process of schizophrenia. Resiliency was my constant companion. I looked for hope wherever I could find it, whether that was in nature or through a kind word or another’s smile. What I had in my favor was the willingness to go the distance and never give up. It took me 19 years to find a way out of paranoid schizophrenia, no easy feat by no means, extremely difficult to say the least. If it was easy I would not spent so many years sick. Psychosis is extremely powerful energy that scares many. Once it has you in its grip, it locks you in. The energy of psychosis is full of emotions like self-hate, shame, fear, and sadness that need to be released for the person to be free. Hope needs to flourish, and not be taken away by pessimistic views or low expectations from others. It is not a character flaw or a human weakness. It is a strategy for survival and defense and coping mechanisms all rolled up in one. Escaping it takes great strength. Therefore, blaming the sufferer and laying judgment on them is an act of cruelty that should not be tolerated by anyone.


THE LETTER

Hello Tracey, I just finished reading your book and want to thank you VERY MUCH for sharing your story. It was well written and at many points it made me sad. At the very end I cried. Your strong spirit so inspired me. I have an adult son diagnosed (I don't like psychiatric labels) with BiPolar 1 and then later updated the diagnosis with Schizoaffective disorder. He is being forced to take medication and is on a community treatment order. I am trying to help him slowly reduce meds and hopefully one day come off of them. But unfortunately he has become addicted to his self medications. He used marijuana for a long time and then also added cocaine to his self medication routine, to help him offset the dampening effects of antipsychotic meds.


I also am grateful you were never "CAPTURED" under the mental health care services in Ontario. You would have been for sure put on some community treatment order if you did not comply with medications. I suspect your extreme intelligence and survival instincts helped you to navigate your circumstances to avoid being hospitalized. I am very very happy you were able to heal on your own. It was a very great fate to come upon you. If you would have been medicated I am sure your recovery would have been pro-longed and maybe not even have happened. We need more medical doctors in the mental health care field to understand that medication is not the ONLY route to healing. In fact it usually only masks symptoms ( and enriches Big Pharms).


The most effective medicine is unconditional love.

The realization that schizophrenia is something else is too much for many parents to bear. So they make things right in their minds by telling themselves that medication is the only answer. Or they so desperately believe the doctors who push the brain disease theory. Why wouldn’t they? They are supposed to be the authorities on Mental Health matters. Schizophrenia is a word which describes behavior. The onset of schizophrenia is about terror and fear. Terror and fear are NOT brain diseases. Schizophrenia is rooted in trauma and it usually takes place in one's social environment. It's humans hurting humans. Something has changed the sufferer's worldview. Something has caused the sufferer to retreat from the real world. What could have caused such a disturbance in their thinking and behavior? When did they change? These are just some questions that everyone should be asking.


“Tracey has such an important story to share. I wish that more people could hear her without the bias of their expectations. Her contention is not that schizophrenia is a result of parental abuse or neglect per se, and she’s not on an anti-medication mission. She’s simply trying to tell her own story from her own valuable perspective - that schizophrenia can be a response to trauma. She’s not wrong, and the world would be wise to take heed.” — Dr. Leslie Carr, clinical psychologist and trauma expert


There is nothing special about my case.

There are thousands and thousands of people who have made a full medication-free recoveries from schizophrenia. I'm not anti-medication because I know that profound suffering schizophrenia brings. People need relief from psychological and emotional pain. Some are more vocal than others, and many are silenced by paralyzing stigma and the fear of not being believed. We must work hard to end stigma and discrimination to normalize these conversations and encourage others to speak out.


Tracey Higgins © 2023 All rights reserved.

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