The Reality of Existential Uncertainty (independent of one’s belief in some form of religious faith or science based knowledge of natural phenomena), and Existential Mystery confront all of us as human beings. None of us know what the next moment of our existence will be with any degree of certainty. Astronomy tells us that Sun is revolving around the galactic center at the speed of approximately 100 + miles per second to take 240 million years to go around, so no human beings have experienced what the next second of Sun’s journey will be. And from a religious perspective, millions believe that only God knows the future to deal with this Reality of Uncertainty, notwithstanding many people believe in particular faith based practice with symbolic and or concrete representations of the Future. Science tells us that only 5% of the Universe consists of ordinary (baryonic) matter that we see or visible, 95% is Dark Matter and Dark Energy that we don’t see and are Unknown and Unknowable. (I have a feeling that much of our knowledge of human behavior and mind may follow this ratio!) Very little is known and knowable, and much may be Unknown and Unknowable. This awareness of Unknown and Unknowable, in a way, like the inevitability of death, is a great unifier whether one is an Einstein or an illiterate person or has a developmental disability or a psychiatric condition, or whether one is rich or poor.
In some ways psychosis and schizophrenia can be viewed as unique adaptation to one’s perceived “existential crisis.” We may all experience such crises in our personal lives, but for many, many people do not get stuck with it, for whatever myriad reasons, and cope with their existential crises with some form of spiritual faiths and beliefs (with a combination of uniquely personal and shared belief systems), and are able to carry on their everyday lives with their own “adaptive mechanisms.” The importance of focusing on the present momentary existence, freeing oneself from being a prisoner of the past, and incorporating some level of a spiritual perspective, becomes important in any therapeutic perspective as it is with all of us as conscious human living beings passing through out times on this Earth.
And independent of any understanding or insight one may have or may develop, social therapeutic milieu to prompt us and help us to stay connected to others and to the Universe at large is essential to promote positive feelings and to reduce a sense of personal distress and or social distress that are often associated with “mental illness,’ or with “behavioral anomaly of concern.”
I feel this is an area, that is “social network supportive therapy” if one must say, where much more attention needs to be paid for “successful recovery” including incorporation of spiritual dimension in the therapy process, reflecting the “normative” social culture and structure in which we all function in some ways, above and beyond therapeutic strategies to impact individual “brain-behavior” functioning.