Groundbreaking New Book on Madness from an Existential Perspective

Paris (@pariswilliams) 10 years, 4 months ago

I’m delighted to share with my fellow existentialists this book drawing from my own recovery from psychosis and years of doctoral research of people who have made full medication-free recoveries from schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders.

Following is a release that I’ve been distributing:

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Recent Recovery Research Presents a Serious Challenge to the Mainstream Understanding and Treatment of Schizophrenia and Other Related Psychotic Disorders

Dr. Paris Williams, known for his groundbreaking research on people who have made full medication-free recoveries from schizophrenia (as mentioned in the New York Times), has just released a book, Rethinking Madness, in which he presents a serious challenge to the mainstream understanding and treatment of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders.

In Rethinking Madness, Williams documents how the recent domestic and international research (including studies conducted by the World Health Organization and the National Institute of Mental Health) suggests that full medication-free recovery from schizophrenia and other related psychotic disorders is not only possible, but may actually be the most likely outcome given the right conditions. Furthermore, the findings from Williams’ own research suggest that many individuals who recover do not simply return to their pre-psychotic condition, but actually undergo a profound positive transformation resulting in a sense of wellbeing and life competence that exceeds that which existed prior to their psychosis.

All of these findings fly directly in the face of the mainstream understanding and treatment model of schizophrenia and psychosis, so it’s not surprising that as these research findings continue to emerge, we see the first stirrings of a fiery controversy that may very well continue to escalate until we are forced to consider a radical restructuring of the mental health care system and indeed the very foundation of our understanding of madness. In Rethinking Madness, Williams takes the plunge directly into the heart of this controversial topic. He begins by disentangling the complex web of research on schizophrenia, attempting to make sense of how it is that the mainstream understanding of schizophrenia has become so profoundly misguided. He then goes about crafting an altogether new vision of madness which draws from the latest recovery research while also integrating both Eastern and Western understandings of the mind.

As this new vision unfolds, Williams suggests that we arrive at both some unsettling realizations and some very hopeful possibilities. On one hand, we are forced to recognize that our current mainstream paradigm of care may actually be causing more harm than benefit, both for those so diagnosed and also for their friends, family members, and society at large. On the other hand, we discover that those who find themselves struggling with these challenging disorders have a very high likelihood of moving on to meaningful and productive lives. Finally, in a compelling twist, we discover that those we often consider to be “mad” may merely be experiencing the extreme edges of more ordinary human experience—caught in a profound wrestling match with the very same core dilemmas with which we all struggle.

Rethinking Madness (Sky’s Edge Publishing) is available through Amazon.com and many other retail outlets. You can find more information at http://www.RethinkingMadness.com

Dr. Paris Williams works as a psychologist in the San Francisco Bay Area. He offers the rare perspective of someone who has experienced psychosis from both sides—as a researcher and psychologist, and as someone who has himself fully recovered after struggling with psychotic experiences. He can be reached at http://www.RethinkingMadness.com

May 25, 2012 at 7:22 pm
Kazi (140) (@kazi) 10 years, 4 months ago ago

very interesting and sounds like a read i won’t regret. Will definitely pick this up soon.

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Martijn Schirp (112,780)A (@martijn) 10 years, 4 months ago ago
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Anonymous (22) (@) 10 years, 4 months ago ago

Thanks for sharing @pariswilliams. Very nice cover image. I bought the book.

http://isepp.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/book1.jpg

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Anonymous (2,654) (@) 10 years, 4 months ago ago

“Finally, in a compelling twist, we discover that those we often consider to be “mad” may merely be experiencing the extreme edges of more ordinary human experience—caught in a profound wrestling match with the very same core dilemmas with which we all struggle.”

I am absolutely sure of that. :)

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