The Paranormal and Schizophrenia

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Paranormal Experiences and Mental Illness From Stephanie: Schizophrenia runs in my family, I believe that if doctors would study the spiritual aspects of schizoprenia they would find a cure. I know people need meds also. What do you think?

Great question Stephanie! Throughout history, many brilliant minds have had one form of mental illness or another and some of them have also been intimately involved in the study of the paranormal. Even today, I know of at least one very high functioning parapsychologist who has been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder.

As far as the medical fraternity is concerned there is still along way to go before we will see the study of paranormal experiences being included in the curriculum. Having said that, however, inroads are being made in this area. One hundred years ago psychology was regarded with deep suspicion – today it is totally mainstream.

Change takes time – lots of time! From the encounters I had during my paranormal studies with eminent academics (including senior post holders in the medical faculties), parapsychological studies are usually regarded as something to be undertaken in the twilight years. This has its good and bad points. On the plus side, there are well credentialed academics such as Dean Radin who have made a name for themselves in the so-called hard sciences before turning to studying psi. The fact that they have established credibility in another field adds to the credibility of their paranormal work. The downside is that it takes decades to become credentialed elsewhere!

Every academic study that adds to the database of knowledge on the paranormal helps move psi towards becoming mainstream. The current study being carried out by Sam Parnia in the UK, while not directly linked to mental illness, is another example of how credible medicos are bridging the gap between mainstream medicine and non-traditional approaches.

So, I guess that’s my long answer Stephanie. My short answer is it will happen. Indirectly, it is happening already. It is just that the nature of science requires that progress be made in a careful and measured manner.

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37 Responses to “The Paranormal and Schizophrenia”

  1. Bill Sweet 2012-02-15

    Editor wrote: “While I agree that the paranormal is more evident in children Im not sure I agree with the statement “The forces of suppression and cultural conformity took them over. It was too much mental strain…. only one of the reasons.”

    I agree there are other reasons. The main one, as I see it, is a gathering material exposure and education that covers-up and confuses the natural spiritual and psychic abilities that some children exhibit. The abilities go away or are dimished. A loss of some dimension of innocence is a contributor, too. I saw a couple of neighborhood peers who were pretty special, then they got into drugs and lost all of the abilities they had.

    Editor: in reference to my comment about Defense Mechanisms. Editor wrote: “I wonder how many people here would protest that the opposite is true. In times of need perhaps there are many who turn inward with the hope that ultimately they will connect/reconnect with a part of them long forgotten.”

    It’s not that we don’t have these paranormal experiences and connect.

    There are always exceptions, but in the general observation of people who have paranormal experiences, from those experiences “that are deeply gone into,” mental illness arises or at least people see experiencers as nut-cases. Not making too much of an experience keeps the Trickster and our Defense Mechanisms at a distance.

    A poster also mentioned, sometimes we appear to others as mentally ill when we are experiencing the paranormal realm. That others don’t understand us is “exactly right.”

    About the Trickster and its effects on those who experience the paranormal, here is a fantastic source. See

  2. Bill Sweet 2012-02-15

    Oh, such a hot topic! This qestion happens to be a “major theme and investigation of the Spindrift Team.”

    Unfortunately, with exceptions of course, it seems that the person who is involved deeply into psychic and religious inquiry have mental health problems in degrees. Why is this the apparent case? Chiefly because of these three factors below.

    1. 1. is the most obvious–social pressure and a modern culture that likes to suppress the paranormal. This suppression can be consistently seen in kids. Some children are born spiritual active and psychic and lose it later. (A sidenote from my Christian Science training. Christian Scienitsts often speak of children they know who are natural spiritual healers and give examples of the healing performed by children. Funny thing, why do these same children later stop being healers and even deny what they did earlier in life when they reach adulthood? Easy. The forces of suppression and cutural comformity took the them over. It was too much mental strain.

    2. The Trickster Effect. Anytime someone gets into practitices directly related and contiuing basis that crosses over into occult, religious, and psychic areas, the Trickster enters in and tries to mess life up. I can give an example I heard just last Saturday morning. Some megachurch in the South with a charismatic preacher who drew thousands was found tied up by himself in some extreme sexual attempt that resulted in his death. The details were as Trickstered out as they could get. The point is, one has to be aware of the dark forces that come after people, as a rule, who really go deeply into the paranormal which includes religion.

    The most excellent book I know on the subject is by parapsychology educated George Hansen. George’s book is “The Trickster and the Paranormal.” The book is unpleasant reading and mental illness is covered in many sections of the book.

    3. Our own Defense Mechanisms work against a normal healthy life when it comes to the paranormal. Along with culture and the Trickster doing any kind of perversion or relationshiop problem or illness to thwart our interest in the paranormal, we also have the darn interrior thoughts of our own sub-mind’s Defense Mechanisms to contend with as regards understanding things of paranormal.

    I would have you see the work on this topic by going to the first question on the FAQ page and also the Theory page found at or .com.

    • Rosemary Breen 2012-02-15

      Hi Bill

      While I agree that the paranormal is more evident in children Im not sure I agree with the statement “The forces of suppression and cultural conformity took them over. It was too much mental strain.” It may be the particular case of the Christian Scientists but, in the wider community, it is only one of the reasons. Im sure religion has also played a big part in its suppression to quash it for economic reasons.

      And who is the Trickster that you refer to Bill? Obviously it is connected to the book you’ve cited (thank you) but, for those who havent rushed to Amazon… could you elaborate a bit please?

      Regarding point 3, I wonder how many people here would protest that the opposite is true. In times of need perhaps there are many who turn inward with the hope that ultimately they will connect/reconnect with a part of them long forgotten.

      For some reason, this response has taken me soooo long Bill. Not sure why but probably because a logical post requires a logical response and that part of my brain is out to lunch. Hopefully the other parts have stepped in adequately :)



  3. Jen 2012-01-31

    What a wonderful question. That had honestly never occurred to me, but now that I think about it, it definitely makes a lot of sense. I think that people with mental illness have different parts of their brain open and active than people who do not suffer. That’s not to say that you HAVE to have a mental illness to experience the paranormal, but perhaps you might be more open to and aware of it.

    • Rosemary Breen 2012-01-31

      Isn’t it great when a new thought or question blows through your mind Jen? I just love having something new in there – doesnt matter what it is really, but when it is a new big thought I can feel my mental connections breaking and reconnecting in a different way. It’s like a spring clean!



      • Julie-Ann Blackmore 2012-02-12

        Having worked with people with varying degrees of mental ill health through out my professional life first as a volunteer in an old people’s home, then a trained nurse on a psychiatric unit, now as an entrepreneur guiding others to improve their health I have always had a fascination about the labels put on individuals. I agree some people have serious issues that create mental ill health, yet how many are actually ‘normal’ and are discovering their own paranormal skills and being misunderstood by the medical professions lack of ability to treat people as individuals? One word could kill or cure a person if they trust the one who diagnosed them. I personally feel that a type of schizophrenia can be simply (I say that very loosely) too many false identities trapped inside the person’s head. They have in effect lost their own personality, perhaps from the belief they are not good enough and are being other people they cannot be or would prefer to be. Again everyone is different and there are always exceptions to any rule. A complicated yet fascinating subject as are most things regarding human beings. The positive thing to come is the more people whom are willing to open their minds to the unknown and explore more the more peoples ill health can be understood and appropriately respected and treated. I’m all for that

  4. Dave "Felbain" K. 2012-01-12

    Before I read anyone else’s commentary, I’d like to add that my wife and have discussed this at length with other mediums, paranormal psychics and even many paranormal investigators. It does indeed seem that one of two conditions apply for most:

    1. A traumatic birth event (TBE) such as near death or medical intervention
    2. Some form of mental “illness”, usually in the border line ranges but can be in the fully diagnosed realms as well

    My wife and I both fall into the first category, had it not been for medical advancements just shortly before our births, we wouldn’t be here today.

    This is why we feel the medical and academic communities need to “catch up” to what many here know…just because something appears to be one thing, does not necessarily mean it IS.

    Frankly, Rosemary, I think this would be a great topic for in-depth discussion on the boards here!! (If it already is, please link it, thank you)

    Blessings of Peace,

    • Rosemary Breen 2012-01-17

      Hi Felbain

      Working backwards (Irish descent!) through your post, the answer is no there isn’t a discussion thread, other than this one started by Stephanie. I do agree with you about the magnitude of the topic though. This is certainly one of the main themes that flows through the private emails I receive from readers. And, it bemuses me why seemingly no academics have tackled this issue.

      The link between mental illness and the paranormal is ripe for investigation and yet, I haven’t come across any formal research on it. From my experience with my thesis, I would expect the research, if it does exist, to be cloaked in metaphors and euphemisms so as not to upset the sensibilities of the academic review panels etc.

      I must confess that I haven’t ever read nor given any thought about a connection between traumatic birth events, including medical intervention and paranormal abilities.

      Id be interested to know more about what you mean by point 2); how you came to develop your line of reasoning about point 1: and, of course, any literature links would be gratefully received too.

      Wouldn’t it be great to run a poll with one question that runs along the lines: are you both psychic and in possession of a medical certificate that reports you as suffering from mental illness?

      Somehow I don’t think that Poll would fly. In fact, it would probably turn people away from the site. The stigma around mental illness is nearly as great as that which still surrounds the paranormal today. Sigh! So far to go, so much to do!

      Cheers Dave


      • Dave "Felbain" K. 2012-01-17

        Id be interested to know more about what you mean by point 2); how you came to develop your line of reasoning about point 1: and, of course, any literature links would be gratefully received too.

        Just in conversation with like minded and ability individuals. It seems to be a prevailing event in many, if not most we’ve personally talked to.

        I can not find any research or literature on this topic either, thus why I thought it would be a great one to start here, hopefully by someone far more “expert” than myself.

        If there is any truth to the line of thought that many folks have; that we do plan our birth/parents for the experiences we’ll have, then it would follow that we’d “know” about the death or near death at birth and the effect it will have on our lives.

        My personal opinion is it one of the things that instills that “I know that I know, but I don’t know how I know, but I know!!” feeling so many paranormalists have about things of the supernatural and paranormal.

        Blessings of Peace,

        • Rosemary Breen 2012-01-17


          Ive just completed the backlog of email postings and here is your response to my earlier post.

          Maybe medical intervention or birth trauma does somehow puncture the veil between world? Ive certainly never thought about it. Ill keep this in the back of my mind re my first born. Hers was certainly an eventful pregnancy and birth. My second born waited 11 days to experience her trauma.

          Neither of the girls are openly psychic. They ‘know’ through me but,as they are both steadfastly in their rebel against the parents phase, I suspect it will be many years before they choose to open up to paranormal possibilities. On the other hand, ‘fate’ may intervene early!

          I was hoping that you would put a smiley face after ‘I thought it would be a great one to start here, hopefully by someone far more “expert” than myself. But alas, Im still searching for it. Perhaps it was hijacked by a higher force? No matter, Im sure you know and I hope others reading this blog feel the same that I am only a facilitator and ‘first among equals’.




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