(There are more voices in the debate over what is/causes schizophrenia
than are in my head. It is a madness of theory. Who has the sane voice?)

Congratulations, you are a member
Of one per cent of the population
Now that you have schizophrenia let me tell you
Your brain undoubtedly will be malformed
& awash with chemical imbalances so
The Basal Ganglia, Frontal Lobe
Limbic System, Auditory System
Occipital Lobe, Hippocampus &
Neurotransmitters are probably faulty
There may be structural abnormalities
Neurological abnormalities
Neuropsychological abnormalities
Electrophysiological abnormalities
Cerebral Metabolic abnormalities
& your brain is almost certain to be smaller
Than a healthy brain.

You possibly have inherited a schizophrenic gene
Infectious agents may be working away in your body
It could be that your cat caused your lunacy
Perhaps a naughty virus has invaded you
But then your cholinergic system could be in trouble
Or you may be in need of mega doses of vitamin B3.

Let’s not forget your outburst of homosexual libido
Your repressed sexual complexes
Your abnormal psychosexual constitution
Your psychic regression
Your loss of ego boundaries
The gross impairment of your reality testing
Or your regression to an earlier infantile
Phase of psychosexual development.

However, you could have a disorder of
Self-experience involving hyperreflexivity
& diminished self-affection
Or a hypersensitivity to human contact
Of course you may be the victim of the
Foreclosure of the Name-of–the Father &
Therefore inhabited & possessed by language
But don’t discount modernity either because
Your madness is unquestionably the product
Of industrial capitalism.

One can’t rule out your family driving you mad
Especially your mother (don’t take it personally)
Or the various traumas you experienced in childhood
It could be the marijuana you ate in those biscuits
You may simply be having a sane response to an insane world.

I’m sorry to say but you really are in a bad way
I suggest you have a nice cup of tea, a Bex & a good lie down
& let this psychotic episode pass.

© Sandy Jeffs 2012

Sandy Jeffs is an Australian poet and community educator. Her memoir Flying with Paper Wings: Reflections on Living with Madness, published by Vulgar Press, was SANE book of the Year in 2010. You can read more of her blogs on this site here. A small part of the inspiration for “Congratulations” came from The Sublime Object of Psychiatry.

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