Friday, 4 January 2008

Seizure... a malfunction? or a deliberate reboot?

Mark is my 23 year old son. He has a seizure problem. Let's call it epilepsy - his neurologist does. He is medicated for this.

But Mark is particularly special. He also has a significant autistic condition and in addition, since about a year ago, he is being treated for a severe psychosis - you would perhaps call it schizophrenia. The latter manifests as episodes where he appears to be 'taken over' by a dominant and verbally aggressive personality.

As you can imagine, living with Mark, who is truly a 'gift', is a roller coaster ride.

There is a lot to say on this blog about things that Mark says and does in general, but I want to use this entry to question traditional thinking that seizures are 'a problem' arising from an abnormality and needing to be suppressed with drugs.

My belief is that, in some people at least, a seizure is a self-repair mechanism, resetting an overloaded or 'hung' process or processes. (This is designed into many computer systems where a a self-repair function ensures 'stopped' processes are restarted automatically.) we all know what to do with a PC that seems to grind to a halt or gets itself stuck in a 'loop'... we reboot it. the effect is that everything is switched off for a while, but followed by a great improvement in performance!

I asked a brain specialist if this notion was physiologically possible... he said 'Oh.. no..." I asked, does he know for a fact that there is no such mechanism? He replied, rather less sure of himself, that there is little known about the brain structure to this degree. So I asked again, how he could be so sure that I am wrong? He was still sure.

What was remarkable about this conversation was that the specialist's dogmatic belief that what was not known does not exist! How often do we find this from so-called scientists?

Before I stretch this hypothesis into the relevance to this blog site, let me close on the 'science' by posing this thought.... "if some seizures are a self-repair mechanism, then the use of drugs to suppress them could be preventing the body from doing what it knows best."

Now... Mark.

The Autistic symptoms have been from birth (and we have much of it documented), but it was when he was 18 that he had his first noticeable seizure... noticeable because we saw him fall down. He could have been having other types of seizure for years... e.g. when he stands facing a wall and goes into what we called 'stand-by' mode. We had always put this down to his brain 'colling off' from too many inputs. It was a true 'stand-by'.

Until his seizure he had never shown signs of obvious psychotic behaviour. But it was just 3 or 4 months after he was started on medication (it was epilem in the first instance) when he started to become really disturbed, with anger outbursts and a lot of very strange talking and staring. This last 12 months was the most extreme in this sense.. he has 'voices' and loud angry conversations with these 'imaginary' people. Taking aside any possibility that this behaviour could be explained with traditional scientific 'rules', there was growing evidence that Mark was very much in touch with his 'inner self'. At one point, he asked , "How does the world work, dad?" But that is the subject of a separate blog entry later.

Cutting a very long story short, the point is this.

Before the anti-seizure medication, Mark got by with his autistic symptoms. Immediately afterwards, he appeared to expose another personality. I believe that there is an unusual structure (a flaw or perhaps a missing blockage?) in Mark's brain that permits or even forces the Daemon to step in and perform day-to-day human functions that the Eidolon is not doing properly. If this is so, then the 'reboot' could be an action of the Daemon to get the Eidolon back on track. But if the reboot can no longer work, them the Daemon has to find another way to get Mark functioning... and to do this would mean exposing itself to the world - and so it may be we are now sometimes seeing the rather unsubtle daemon at work when Mark has his psychotic episodes.

Even more curiously, Mark is not succumbing to the psychosis medication as expected.

Tell any of this to a traditional psychiatrist or a neurologist and they show impatience (and are occasionally patronising, in a polite way) and I feel it could soon be me who will be on the Quetiapine!

Am I talking rubbish, or is there a decent debate in there somewhere? Either way, we have been blessed to have Mark live with us. He has taught us so much and our minds have been opened. He may find it hard to communicate in our way about what is happening to him, but we are learning that his way may be far closer to reality.

Ed G


12 comments:

Anthony Peake said...

Ed,

Thank you so much for placing this very personal part of your life onto this blog. You and I have regularly discussed Mark and his world and I am both amazed and humbled by the things you have described to me. If my theory is right then I am of the opinion that the 'Doors of Perception', as Blake called them and Aldous Huxley refined them, are, for Mark, slightly ajar. As such The Daemon (non-dominant hemisphere) is trying to communicate with the outside world through its Eidolon. I am now looking forward to any responses we may receive from othe members of this site.

susan marie said...

Thank you for this singularly interesting post. I think that your interpretations of Mark's symptoms are fascinating and relevant. They bring to mind Searles' essays on the reparative function in schizophrenia, and the purposive nature of so-called symptoms. My son Andrew is 20, and as a child had a sub-clinical seizure disorder, and was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome(high-functioning autism). I recognized in his behavior and symptoms certain aspects of my own undiagnosed condition in childhood and adolescense. And I most definitely took the view that Mr. Peake does regarding the "doors of perception". My son is given to precognition, prescient dreams, and unusual intellectual ability. He also has displayed certain right-brain "savant" qualities ( not being able to read at all at age 11, and then at age 12 sitting alone without help, and reading a whole volume, day by day, of Nietzsche aloud, saying he "just knew" what it said).

Anthony Peake said...

Susan,
I am sure that Ed will, like me, find your comments and observations really interesting. I am hoping that this particular post by Ed will engender some fascinating responses

zenna said...

how interesting, my son has Asperger syndrome and when he was 5 he use to talk to his other mum and dad as thats what he called them, he would say theres my other mum, and when i looked no one was there, he even named them ,her name was joan ,the doctors said he had some mental disorder they did not no at this stage what it was. 1 year later i had a car accident and the man who came to fix it, new our house and said his mum and dad lived there all there lifes and died there, i then asked if his mums name was joan, he said yes , i then told him about my son, and told him where his mother in the house had died, everything my son had said was true. we was stunned and horrified at the same time, lucky for us the doctors had documented everything my son was saying ready to find out what mental illness he had, so when i took all the info we found out back to the doctors, they said my son was having fits and could be schizophrenia, they ignored everything i said, i refused all medication and my son contuinued to tell me things messages he was getting from his old mum and dad. they became part of our lives. when we moved it all stopped and now when i ask him he said he cant remember. i no this storie is a bit dif from yours , but the importance of it remains the same , doctors are not right all the time.

itscooltocare said...

Hi Zenna....
It's so reassuring to read your story, thankyou. And it is not so different.... because what you have talked about is so like what has happened here.

Mark frequently talks to imaginary people. But we were only really conscious of this in recent years, since his first seizure. About 3 years ago he told us of a man and woman in his room. During his episodes he will come out with a string of names, Just last week, late in the evening, he shouted through a window towards the garden saying, "....OK then, why don't you just come in?" He calmed down later, but then my wife told me that she had a really strong smell of flowers outside of the bedroom (no flowers in the house at the time). Our clairvoyant friend said that she could detect 'a visitor', but that the flowers are a gift. We could read too much into these things, but maybe Mark really senses 'dead' people and on this occasion invited one in?

In Tony's book, he suggests that we do not die in our own universe. Perhaps it's people like our sons who have the gift to detect them in their 'half-lives'.

Anyway, there is so much we could add, like precognition and so on, but I will resist! Maybe these are for a new topic.

Thanks again.
Ed
(And by the way, Mark has a diagnosis which includes Asperger's syndorme, Childhood Autism and others on the spsctrum.)

zennadream said...

Hello Ed, i will just add the rest of the story as iv i said in my other comment to you.
clairvoyants normally believe that we are tapping into the spirit world, i do not believe that , i no thats a strange thing to say because im a good clairvoyant, i have posted a bit more about myself in a new post on this blog to give you a better idea of me, i seem to be so open to things that normal brain cannot conceive, excuse my spelling. your son can invite whom he wants to your house the people he sees will not move from the spot he sees them in.
my son would say , mum she sitting under my window by the wall , i would say to her go away and then ask my son did she hear me, he said yes but she cant move. Now im a clairvoyant so i can predict things i do not see things ok. i just pick up more then see. it turned out that the lady died in that very room underneath the window where her bed was.she had lung cancer a very painful death. her husband died of a sudden hart attack , my son would see him on the stairs, his old mum and dad would be walking down the road always out side our house, just walking. well our road was bombed in the war and people were just walking down the street. the worst thing we did was get mediums involded and clairvoyants lol,
but i have to say if it helps you go for it, i no how hard it is as a mum of an autistic boy to understand them, i was told my son would never talk , but i new inside me this was wrong, he was just a late talker, but when he did start he never stopped, he went on and on and on.like the words have always been there. when he would talk to the dead lady he would tell me things like , he once told me to watch my legs, as i walked out the door, as i opened my car door and got in it, this van drove so close to me if i had not been thinking quick he would of taken my legs right off as my legs was still hanging out the car i had not had a chance to swing them in the car and shut the door. another time he said to me, mum dont worry about this but your have a car accident then your meet joan, i took no notice as i no when im going to die. anyway in my own readings and dreams i kept seeing me have a car accident, it got to the point where i would not drive anywhere, after about six months we all forgot about the prediction and got on with life and i started to drive again.
i never drove over the speed limit lol. untill one day i went to the school to pick him up and as i turned the corner this black cab came from know where so fast he crushed my car in to a bus so hard that i had to be cut out of it, i could not move i was so pinned that they thought i had done big damage to myself. my friends could only see my head. i new i was allright and kept shouting im ok dont panick lol. people were saying dont move dont move , well i could not move if i tryed.anyway they cut me out and as i thought i was fine not a scratch. that was when i met joan, her son who was 60 came to pick up my car and tow it to the scrap yard.
Now when i got home my son said to me mum you believe me now dont you, i said iv always believed you and i really did always believe him. but why did joan the dead lady not no this? , there communication was not that hot between each other after all. there was no need to give me a car smash lol. when we moved my son stopped seeing things , as i made sure our new house was new and i took harry around it first to make sure we were alone.he does still predict things about his life and mine and his brothers but i see this as he takes after me. by the way he is now taking gcse in more subjects then i can tell you, and he tells all the ones he will pass and all the ones he will fail . i tell him i dont care you have a gift like me, your make it in life. one thing that is sad he has no friends not one, only himself he says thats all he needs.

Karl L Le Marcs said...

Having met and spoken to Ed at the Scientific and Medical Network about Mark, I'm reminded of an earlier post I made on this very blog regarding my theories on the misallignment of the Bohmian IMAX in Mental Health suffers.

http://cheatingtheferryman.blogspot.com/2007/07/ schizophrenic-influencing-machine-in.html

Given Tony's hypothesis regarding the eternal life review I contemplated how a misallignment of the replay would affect the state of mind.

Could any such "skipping" of the playback help explain Mental Health issues?

It's ongoing research and any contributions would be welcomed.

I hope you are well Ed, and that Mark continues to be strong.

Karl

itscooltocare said...

To Karl and Zenna... thank you both for valued comments and supportive inputs. Zenna... your story is inspiring. If there is a way to talk sometime, that would be great. There are many similarities with Mark.. also many differences. But all of them sources of learning.

Karl... Would be great to hypothesise more on your ideas. Do you have my number? Or perhaps send me an email. Maybe Tony can out us in touch?

Cheers
Ed

Karl L Le Marcs said...

Hi Ed

Nice to hear from you.

I would love to talk further so please feel free to email me at

ADarkPhilosopher@aol.com.

Karl

zenna said...

hi
you can email me at
allsaintsmedia@hotmailmail.co.uk
talk soon zenna

itscooltocare said...

thanks guys... will be in touch...

Karl L Le Marcs said...

Thanks Ed, will be good to hear from you.

In the meantime, have a read of my two blogs pertinent to this issue and put your comments on them, will be interesting to hear your view on my theories.

http://cheatingtheferryman.blogspot.com/2007/07/ schizophrenic-influencing-machine-in.html

and

http://cheatingtheferryman.blogspot.com/2008/01/ virgin-life.html

Karl

ps (delete the space after the date which I've had to put in as the url is too long for this reply box) Or email me directly and I'll give you the links.