The Power of Neurodiversity: Chapter 8 – Thomas Armstrong

Chapter 8 – Thinking in a Different Key

The most striking insight I had was that the individual’s experiences of schizophrenia has not been taken into context in the current medicalization of schizophrenia. Some hallucinations are experienced positively, mood enhancing, create enhancing, but these are not taken into consideration, the medical goal is to eliminate the “disease”.  In addition, Armstrong wrote that the individualization on how schizophrenia can be managed needs to be taken into consideration. He gave the example of Josh Nash and  Elyn Saks to illustrate how they differed in finding ways to manage unwanted symptoms.  Simply being accepting of schizophrenia seems to allow them to have more positive outcomes (Armstrong, p.172), this approach together with getting individual feedback will allow more appropriate management of unwanted (by individual, not dictated by society) symptoms.

Question to the author: Reading about your chapter on Schizophrenia, with studies showing progressive loss in brain in areas affecting sensory experience, language and auditory experiences, reminds me of Oliver Sack’s audible book “Hallucinations” which I am currently listening to during my long daily driving commute. Can you address such hallucinations which are linked to sensory deprivation, illness or injury in the brain with Schizophrenia? What would FMRI look like between people described by Oliver Sacks and Schizophrenia during an episode? If we can cure schizophrenia, should we?

This is a ted talk of Oliver sacks talking about hallucination.

Note: Oliver sacks interview at minute 51, where a similar question is brought up by Neil DeGrasse Tyson … “If we could cure hallucinations should we?”

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