As far as causes of schizophrenia, I know I've seen some information that it is the members of society that are least included, most ostracized; I think they discovered that if a bunch of native Africans are in their home village, there isn't much schizophrenia, but when they become immigrants in europe, and don't get included in most of the society, are regarded as outsiders, with prejudice, pushed into tough life situations, that this seems to increase the likelihood of schizophrenia.
Knowing my own personal history this would hold true, it was stressful social situations very early on and this weird, kinda inward looking personality I've developed is somewhat in reaction to that harsh initial environment. I was the smallest kid in my school, pushed to go a year early by my parents, and I was the child of two skinny intellectuals in a catholic school for the italian mafioso's kids, in "Morris Park", in the Bronx, New York.
I had a theory about this a long time ago, while watching a half hour cartoon about the little girl who grew up to be our lady of Lourdes. The half hour catholic special was about the life of this saint, and how she had been teased by the whole community as a little girl. She then went off in to the grotto by herself and mary mother of god appeared to her, told her to build a shrine and that shrine heals people magically to this day, so the story went. My brother in law trying to teach his kids didn't like my take on the meaning of the story, but he couldn't really deny it. I said the little girl stole everybody's magic, by letting them all stupidly tease her. Lisa Simpson on the Simpsons, I once saw acting out the role, the kids tease her for being an intellectual with stupid remarks and she repeats the stupid remark ironically, walking by resignedly, I remember that feeling too, and my impression later in life is that the kids made up of won out on that equation, sacrificing momentary "belonging" with the stupid crowd for an unusually large helping of "magic", the teased kid going off into the corner and becoming magical, after "stealing" the regular doses of magic from the unsuspecting surrounding population.
We also know schizophrenia involves changes to the genes, mutations, (though they've recently said there are millions of different mutations that lead to it).
So the article in the New York Times this week about monkeys, social status, and gene plasticity, makes alot of sense and rings true.
Turns out all the monkeys start out with the same genes, but the dominant monkey and the socially inferior monkeys have different expressions of those genes, and if social status changes, the gene expression changes.
We discuss alternative treatments like nutrition, even the alternative conceptualizing of schizophrenia as some mystical shamansim or something. But I've never heard discussion of social cures, other than from the shamans, who are doing exactly that, taking a member of society who is lost and excluded and setting him up in a new role to be revered by the society, the shaman/shamans apprentice.
Sounds like we could alter our gene expression by becoming more accepted and dominant in the culture, and therefor alter the schizophrenia symptoms?
At the end of "the soloist", jamie foxx a schizophrenic, his "mental state and well-being as precarious now as the day we met", he friend played by robert downey jr says "some say the simple act of being one's friend can change their brain chemistry"; and at the end of the movie of a "girl interrupted" I watched right before that one, the point of the movie I think was how the crazy girl - borderline personality disorder - was slipping off into insanity while socially disconnected in her regular life, and by integrating with the gang at the mental hospital she became integrated in to a society and her "brain chemistry" changed, she wasn't such a crazy girl anymore;
Even loneliness affects gene expression, apparently: loneliness burrows deep: In a study where older adults who were lonely gave blood, it turned out the loneliness affected the genes that were expressed, in Atlantic Monthly, about facebook making people depressed.
OLGA KHARITIDI, MD, wrote "Spirits of Trauma"; its her second book, I now have her first and it's in the queue with a medium to high priority. She is a Russian psychiatrist who went to Siberia to study with a very powerful shaman, and learned and taught something that I've never heard from any other shamanic culture, and I have totally integrated into my "teaching", my "psychosis", my "culture two", my "tapirology": she said the demons, the spirits the shaman uses as helper spirits, that he has to first subdue, are "spirits of trauma", both his own trauma, but also the trauma of his ancestors (I think they gave some number like 10 generations, but that might be kind of arbitrary), but then they said a powerful shaman can actually collect the spirits of trauma from other people, the people he ministers to, and make those "demons" his own, and train them and control them. And the tapir is a "demon eater" who does exactly this, as far as I can tell it's the same technology, and this is what I study from him, how to eat, and digest, huge quantities of demons, not just the occasional few that the average community healer does, but to absorb like a black hole at the center of a galaxy cluster, the vast majority of all the demons on the continent, to absorb at the "Eddington limit" as they say in astrophysics, as Lance Armstrong our country's most powerful biker absorbs 10,000 calories a day and burns exactly the same amount, absorbing demons and producing a "cooling flow", which in this complex analogy would be a flow of perfection and magic out onto the surrounding community. Not that I claim to be as good at the job as the tapirs, but that is what I'm trying to do here.
And I don't remember if it was Olga's book or my own ideas while watching the discovery channel or something, but the human genome has been analyzed, you know, and they say that a small piece of our DNA makes up everything they can see bones, blood, meat, the entire human being according to "science". They say the vast majority of our genome is "junk DNA", bits and pieces that are similar to the pieces of the main part, just sitting there "for no reason". Scientists are as silly as a snowflake at the center of a cloud who thinks that he is separate from the cloud, the cloud is something to ignore, say doesn't exist, get rid of, and when the evidence appears that he is actually the precipitate at the center of this "enemy" or "unreality", he just says that must be his "junk DNA" that has nothing to do with anything.