Death of a Dream

By | February 22, 2011

I just got an emergency call from a man whose friends took him to the hospital because he was delusional. He said he was up all night, inundated with visions that brought past and future crashing together in the now. “It was 100 times more than I normally handle,” he said. The staff wanted to medicate him to quiet the voices, which he was afraid would cut him off in the middle of what he considered a spiritual experience.

Sixteen years ago he had a powerful vision of how he was intended to walk his Lifepath and serve the people. Nobody understood, and before the year was out he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. His psychiatrist labeled his periodic guiding revelations, which normally follow a visionary experience, as “psychotic episodes” and drugged him down to the point where he could maintain a job and a relationship. The “episodes” stopped, but at a cost—his spiritual experiences stopped as well. Along with cancer of the spleen and a 40 percent loss of kidney function from having to continually process the drugs.

In a Native culture, this man would have been esteemed as a seer, a soul journeyer. His people would have looked forward to the healings and future visionings coming from his mystic excursions. The elders would have guided him, the men would have assured his safety, and the women would have provided for his comfort.

Instead of this, his friends panicked last night and called 911. “You didn’t have the empty bowl for all you were being given,” I advised him. “Now we need to make best of the circumstance. Perhaps you could consider taking the minimum amount of medication that will stabilize you so they’ll let you leave.” I further suggested that he immediately ask a friend to go to a nearby bog, gather two specific plants, and make a tea from them. I was taught by the local Native Elders that this medicine would gradually calm and cleanse if it were sipped throughout the day. It would help provide the empty bowl he needed to receive what was being given.

I wonder how many people with alleged psychological conditions are actually gifted in ways that do not fit with contemporary life or beliefs. I dream about how rich and centered life could be if we had these people’s guiding voices.


LuAnn on March 7, 2011 at 5:03 pm.

Good insight. Six years ago I became legal guardian for my aunt with schizophrenia. Her desire was to live “free”. Meaning NO DRUGS. The “STATE” court-ordered her into a facility and ordered her drugged by injection, since she would not take even an aspirin, before I was granted legal guardianship. The drug they gave her turned her usual standing tall frame into a curled up drooling, twitching mess. Thank God the woman in charge of the facility stood with me and we got the nurse to stop giving my aunt the injections of this powerful drug that was ruining her.
I am happy to say that my aunt recovered her mind, schizophrenic visions and all, and is standing tall, and even DANCING, now at age 85. She is living “free”.
She was/is no danger to herself or anyone else. We do not have to be so afraid of those who see things we do not see, to drug them 24/7.


Tamarack on March 13, 2011 at 7:53 am.

Both you and your aunt show a wisdom and courage that I wish could be bottled and imbibed by everyone who shares a similar plight. Would you and your aunt like to write or record your story so that it can serve to help and inspire others? I’d be willing to help with editing and publishing if need be.

Please tell your aunt that many of us regard her as both a hero and role model, and that the example of her struggle will live on to help free others who are victimized by a culture that has no tolerance for individuality. And let’s not forget the mental “healthcare” system designed to repress it.


Grok on February 24, 2011 at 10:54 pm.

Your post really spoke to me. I’d like to share with you a website that has helped me: The Icarus Project.

We are a network of people living with and/or affected by experiences that are often diagnosed and labeled as psychiatric conditions.

We believe these experiences are mad gifts needing cultivation and care, rather than diseases or disorders.

By joining together as individuals and as a community, the intertwined threads of madness, creativity, and collaboration can inspire hope and transformation in an oppressive and damaged world. Participation in The Icarus Project helps us overcome alienation and tap into the true potential that lies between brilliance and madness.



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