Schizoaffective Disorder

for concern over cult-related damage, institutional abuse & psychological problems.
  • Message
  • Author
User avatar

ex-l

ex-BK

  • Posts: 10465
  • Joined: 07 Apr 2006

Schizoaffective Disorder

Post15 Apr 2016

In another topic, Redstone voiced their opinion that, possible, Lekhraj Kirpalani might have suffered from Schizoaffective Disorder.

This is not something I knew anything about, and - of course - professionals often warn amateurs away from thinking they are able to make diagnoses, and so I am not going to. However, the funny thing is ... a few of the symptons listed below are *exactly* what BKism teaches, or encourages followers to believe, e.g. , and many of the symptoms echo what third party, e.g. non-BK, remember of Lekhraj Kirpalani.

Clearly believing himself to be God or "greater than God" for at least 20 years - and allowing his following children and young uneducated women to do so - Lekhraj Kirpalani suffer from the greatest conceit or delusion of grandeur ... but I wonder if there is more to it than just that, and that we need to conside this possibility further. For example, to question whether a large part of BKism is just an institutionalised expansion of his and their delusion?

For example, read below about "Beliefs that you are being controlled" or "Delusions" and the BK answer is ... "But, yes, we are being controlled ("touched"), God is speaking to us and guiding us ... And, yes, people think BK beliefs are 'strange, unrealistic or even bizarre' ... and they 100% without a single doubt *cannot* accept them ... but that is because they are wrong and we are right!!! They are just ignorant body conscious, upside down shudras, and we are enlightened top knot Brahmins!".

The old third party I was thinking about, who knew Lekhraj Kirpalani but was never a BK or believer, said he had a habit of just "disappearing" during conversations, of drifting off into his own world and forgetting what was around him. Obviously the BKs have put a spin on this or re-interpreted it positively ... "Baba was drawn deeply into silence" ... but is there no possibility something else was going on and they were just making excuses to cover for it? See also; MIND.
From Royal College of Psychiatrists: Schizoaffective Disorder.

This [topic] is designed to help understand schizoaffective disorder. It may be useful if:
    you have a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder
    you are worried that you may have this condition
    someone close to you has been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder
    you would like to know more about the disorder.
It covers:
    what is it like having schizoaffective disorder
    what causes it
    who and what can helpself-help
    important information for people who know or look after someone with a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder.
What is schizoaffective disorder?

This is a disorder of the mind that affects your thoughts and emotions, and may affect your actions. You may experience episodes that are combinations of both 'psychotic' symptoms and 'bipolar disorder' symptoms. These symptoms are clearly present for most of the time over a period of at least two weeks.

Types of schizoaffective disorder

Schizoaffective disorder manic type
    In this type, you have both the psychotic and manic symptoms, occurring within one episode.
Schizoaffective disorder depressive type
    In this type, you have both the psychotic and depressive symptoms, occurring at the same time during the episode.
Schizoaffective disorder mixed type
    In this type, you have psychotic symptoms with both manic and depressive symptoms. However, The psychotic symptoms are independent and not necessarily related to the bipolar disorder symptoms.
What are psychotic symptoms?

Thought disorder/muddled thinking
    You find it hard to concentrate as your thoughts seem fuzzy or muddled. Your thinking feels bizarre and disconnected. You may be unable to finish a book that you have been reading or follow a TV programme.

    The muddled thinking may affect your speech, so you may jump from one topic to another and after a while, you may not be able to remember what you were trying to say in the first place. This makes it difficult for people to follow your conversation.

    You may believe that your thoughts are being interfered with:
      someone or something is able to insert thoughts in your mind (you may feel like a particular thought it not yours);
      someone or something is taking certain thoughts out of your mind - that your thoughts are disappearing.
    Sometimes you may feel that other people can hear your thoughts or have access to them in some way.
Beliefs that you are being controlled
    You may insist that outside forces like aliens, spirits, God or the devil are controlling how you feel, think and behave. You may feel like a robot whose remote control is in someone else's hand. You might be distressed if you feel that someone else is making you think certain things, or that you have no control on a particular behaviour of yours because an outside force controls it.
Hallucinations
    You may hear sounds or voices, see and smell things that are not there. Sometimes you can feel that someone is touching you or hitting you, but you cannot see anyone. The most common type of hallucination is hearing voices.
What is hearing voices like?
    These voices sound real. Unlike thoughts which come from your own mind, these voices seem to come from outside you and no one else can hear them. There can be one voice or several different voices which may be commenting on what you are doing.
How do people react to these voices?
    As these voices sound real, you may start talking back to them. You may try to do things that these voices tell you to do, or you may be able to ignore them.
    Where do these voices come from if no-one else can hear them?In schizoaffective disorder, there is a chemical imbalance in the brain. As a result, your brain creates the voices which you can hear but no one else can.
Delusions
    These are beliefs or ideas which you believe in 100 per cent, without a single doubt, and which nobody else seems to accept. These beliefs or ideas cannot be explained as part of your culture, religion or background. Other people may find your ideas strange, unrealistic or even bizarre.
How do delusions start?
    They can start suddenly when an idea or belief comes to you out of the blue.
    They may form after weeks or months of feeling that something strange is happening but you cannot identify what it is. This is called 'delusional mood'.
    Sometimes they help you to understand your hallucinations, for example if you hear voices talking amongst themselves about you, then your mind may explain that your neighbours are plotting against you or the spirit world has made contact with you. This is called a 'delusional idea'.
The most common type of delusion is paranoid delusion.
    These are ideas which convince you that others might harm you, are plotting against you or spying on you.
    Feeling persecuted can be very scary and upsetting for those people who you feel are against you.
    You may want to stay away from people or protect yourself from the persecutors.
What are manic symptoms?
    A sense of extreme physical and mental well-being, excessive energy and elation of mood which is also called feeling 'high'.
    You may not sleep much and your concentration is affected.
    You may talk very fast, often jumping from one topic to another and have very optimistic ideas which can be unrealistic or bizarre, for example you may believe that you have special abilities and powers.
    In later stages, your speech may become incomprehensible; you may become irritable and neglect your health and safety.
    This can affect your relationships and make it difficult for you to carry on working.
What are the symptoms of depression?
    You not only feel sad all the time, but you lose interest in the things that you previously liked.
    You may also lose your motivation and energy.
    Your sleep and eating patterns may be affected.
    You may not be able to concentrate on a book or TV programme and can also experience intense feelings of guilt, worthlessness and hopelessness.
What are the causes of schizoaffective disorder?
    The exact cause is not known, but we do know that there is a chemical imbalance in people affected by schizoaffective disorder.
    Genes: research has shown that the same genes may be responsible for schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder and bipolar disorder. People with this disorder are more likely to have family members who have been diagnosed with these conditions.
    Stress: stress can contribute to the start of an episode of schizoaffective disorder, such as a bereavement, physical illness, car accident or family/relationship problems. In particular, traumatic experiences in childhood can increase the chances of developing this condition in the future.
How common is schizoaffective disorder?
    Less than 1 in 100 people are likely to have schizoaffective disorder in their lifetime.
    Schizoaffective manic patients make up 3% to 5% of all patients admitted to a psychiatric hospital.
Who is affected by schizoaffective disorder?
    More women than men are affected by schizoaffective disorder. It tends to develop at a later age in women than men and is more likely to the depressive type. The depressive type is also more common in older people, while the bipolar type is more common in younger people. Symptoms usually begin in early adulthood.
Is schizoaffective disorder the same as schizophrenia?
    Some people feel that schizoaffective disorder sits in the middle of a spectrum, with schizophrenia at one end and bipolar disorder at the other. However, schizoaffective disorder is recognised as a separate condition to schizophrenia, both in clinical practice and in the research literature.
The treatment of schizoaffective disorder
    The treatment of these disorders depends on the type. Treatment includes medication which is usually started and monitored by a psychiatrist, along with talking therapies.
User avatar

ex-l

ex-BK

  • Posts: 10465
  • Joined: 07 Apr 2006

Re: Schizoaffective Disorder

Post15 Apr 2016

Royal College of Psychiatrists wrote:You may insist that outside forces like aliens, spirits, God or the devil are controlling how you feel, think and behave.

You may feel like a robot whose remote control is in someone else's hand.

Sometimes they help you to understand your hallucinations, for example if you hear voices talking amongst themselves about you, then your mind may explain that your neighbours are plotting against you or the spirit world has made contact with you. This is called a 'delusional idea'.

The funny thing is ... I would say that during BKism I *did* feel like at times I was being moved by "remote control" (e.g. when on the guddhi leading meditation, however, many leading BKs will claim to have been physically directed by their god spirit, almost on a day to day basis, and absolutely believe it. "Baba touched the soul ...", they say) and the teachings actually tell you to talk amongst different parts of yourself. Lekhraj Kirpalani's diary records him doing exactly so. Although I don't think these are the same as "hearing voices", is it encouraging such schisms?

Never mind the spirit world making contact, Lekhraj Kirpalani and the Om Mandates had God himself, Vishnu, Krishna and other Hindu deities coming to possess them, and speak and act through them. So which one was it? Was it God himself, Vishnu, Krishna etc, or was it mental illness? ... Because the odds of it actually being God, Vishnu, Krishna etc - and it all being "true" are pretty slim these days.

sandoc kumar

  • Posts: 30
  • Joined: 26 Jan 2017

Re: Schizoaffective Disorder

Post10 Feb 2017

The symptoms do point towards schizophrenia variant.

The following are textbook symptoms-
    Auditory (Hearing) hallucinations, i.e audible thoughts and voices giving running commentary - as per BK "going into trance and getting touchings from God".

    Somatic (bodily) passitivity phenomena, - the experience of influences playing on the body - as per BK, "getting Godly Shakti".

    Delusion of thoughts where the patient experiences his thoughts as being also thoughts by others - as per BK ""vibrations to other souls".

    Delusional perceptions - as per BK, "angelic and deity feelings"

    All feelings, impulses (drives) and voluntary acts as the work or influence of others - as per BK, "parkaya parvesh by God".

    Increasing tendency to dreaminess - as per BK, "satyugi pleasures".

    Fleeting Smiles, uncontolled laughter - as per BK, "Khagi Marna by Brahma Baba".

    Development of Mannerisms - prolonged chanting of syllables.
User avatar

ex-l

ex-BK

  • Posts: 10465
  • Joined: 07 Apr 2006

Re: Schizoaffective Disorder

Post10 Feb 2017

I'll be honest, I stand with a foot in both camps over this one.

I suspect Lekhraj Kirpalani *did* suffer from some kind of mental disorder ... *as well as* psychic or spiritualistic influences ... and that it is kind of passed on by the cult's practises. My take on it is that they were triggered by both the stress of Western influence over traditional Hindu influences in India at that time ... and whatever the initiation he took with the "Saddhu from Bengal". The latter being the trigger.

Remember, for the first 20 odd years, the BKs were willing to accept that Lekhraj Kirpalani was God. There was no God Shiva in their religion.

I think the BKs to cover the former, have re-created some of his symptoms as evidence of divine experiences, e.g. going into trance-like or catatonic states. However, equally, I don't think Western psychiatry gets it all right either.

It seems "hyper-religousity" is being consider these days as an illness, see, e.g. MANIA AND “HYPER-RELIGIOSITY”, Religion and Mental Illness – How we define “hyper” religious and what does that mean, or 'Religion, Spirituality, and Schizophrenia: A Review' by Grover, Davuluri, and Chakrabarti.

This one's interesting, I might get back to it ... 'How to care for patients who have delusions with religious content', from Current Psychiatry.

If you do searches for "kunalini and psychoses", you'll find a lot of discussion on both sides of the debate, even medical consideration. I'd tend to put what happened to him, as a starting point, in that category. But, I'd also have to conjecture that he appears to have picked up some kind of siddhi, or at least mediumship skills to do all the trance and possession stuff that happened in the early Om Mandli. You cannot explain it all away with simple hysteria.

It seems science is calling DRC (Delusions with religious content). Categories of delusions with religious themes include:
    persecutory (often involving devil/s etc) - check
    grandiose (messianic delusions) - check
    guilt delusions - weak check
The questions we must ask are, how much does BKism encourage it, e.g. the "intoxication phase", and what filter and checks does it enable to protect individuals from it? Pretty much none, in the latter case, until they become anti-social enough and get banned I think.
From: Religion, spirituality and psychotic disorders by Harold G. Koenig

Psychiatrists often treat patients with psychotic disorders who are religious or spiritual in some way. Most scientifically trained psychiatrists and other mental health professionals believe in a scientific, secular world-view. Sigmund Freud thought that religion caused neurotic and possibly even psychotic symptoms. In Future of an Illusion, Freud (1927) wrote:

"Religion would thus be the universal obsessional neurosis of humanity ... If this view is right, it is to be supposed that a turning-away from religion is bound to occur with the fatal inevitability of a process of growth. …If, on the one hand, religion brings with it obsessional restrictions, exactly as an individual obsessional neurosis does, on the other hand, it comprises a system of wishful illusions together with a disavowal of reality, such as we find in an isolated form nowhere else but amentia, in a state of blissful hallucinatory confusion…".
User avatar

Pink Panther

  • Posts: 1807
  • Joined: 14 Feb 2013

Re: Schizoaffective Disorder

Post11 Feb 2017

guilt delusions - weak check

Not so weak.

Body consciousness is a sin. The five ”vices”. Marriage, sex, children, enjoying simple pleasures ... all are either sinful, the gate to sin or the product of sin. "Purity” is a second order abstract noun to the first order adjective 'pure' that is applied to everything from orange juice to evil - it has been idealised & corruptly misapplied by demagogue types & neurotics to mean asexuality, antiseptic environments, social isolation, ethnic ideological superiority etc) is itself a symptom of how guilt/shame/proscription is projected onto the most normal behaviours, creating potentially a contagious ‘psycho-pathology’ among the group, or individuals within it.

Return to Abuse & Recovery