Gianna Kali at Beyond Meds has posted some links to the inspiring work of Jungian analyst Maureen Roberts. I wanted to highlight just one of them for this post. Please read the rest of the article for an in-depth shamanic interpretation of schizophrenia.
from Schizophrenia: Your Questions Answered, by Maureen Roberts, Ph.D.
What is Schizophrenia?
A good question, with no simple, short, or straightforward answer, since each sufferer is unique and schizophrenia is a complex phenomenon. In general, schizophrenia is an extremely introverted, psychospiritual mode of perception, or way of relating to the world; or state of consciousness involving (what I have called) 'extreme empathy'. This simultaneous blessing and curse is due to a fragile, fragmented, dead, or lost ego, or conscious personality structure. The normal, ego-enforced boundaries between the self and the world have broken down, such that schizophrenia sufferers - for better and worse - find themselves identifying with everything within their scope of perception. It is because of this ego loss, or 'dis-integration' that psychosis, shamanic initiation and mystical experience are so inextricably bound. The schizophrenic person may appear to family, friends and doctors to be lacking in emotion, but in reality is in a state of intense empathy, such that extreme sensations of joy and fear are usual. Because of their fragile personal boundaries, schizophrenic folk typically see, hear, sense, perceive and understand things that others are unaware of. Secret, or symbolic meanings are seen and heard in everything, and the schizophrenia sufferer typically feels responsible for the fate of the world.
Further reading: "Schizophrenia: The Shaman Sickness" by Sam Malone (former sufferer). Visit his website, which includes testimonies by schizophrenia sufferers. http://www.geocities.com/johnny_crowseed/sands/skzlike.html
(Editor's note: The link provided does not work and I can find no trace of this website on the Internet.)