A Journey Through Psychosis
By Jeff Malderez
Key Themes: psychosis, spirituality, empowerment
“Like Jeff, I also underwent a spiritual emergency which temporarily impaired my ability to function in consensual reality and everyday social life. Luckily, I was able see the experience through to a positive resolution with the support of my friends and family, obviating the need for traditional medical intervention such as hospitalization or medication.
Yet since becoming a licensed psychologist, I have often found myself face-to-face with individuals in the same state of consciousness that Jeff and I had been in: convinced that they were reincarnations of great spiritual figures, reporting communication with religious figures, believing they had a messianic mission to save the world etc.
I think accounts such as Jeff’s can help sensitize both the culture and the mental health professions to recognize when people are having a temporary spiritual emergence episode so that they won’t be hauled off to a hospital when much less restrictive approaches would achieve the same or even better outcomes.
I applaud Jeff's courage in getting this out into the world.
” - By David Lukoff, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology Founder, Spiritual Competency Resource Center
The Canary tells the story of a young man experiencing psychosis and his journey back to consensual reality and hope. It is written in an engaging style and can make you laugh, wince, or cry - sometimes on the same page. Jeff Malderez gives us a vivid picture of how it feels to go through what he now thinks of as a 'spiritual emergency'. Jeff's story identifies aspects of the environment which might precipitate sensitive souls, like the miners’ canaries, to suffer such emergencies/crises. He concludes with messages to fellow 'canaries', those involved in the care of people in psychosis, and young people who could be creating an environment for themselves in which such crises might occur.
About the Author
Jeff Malderez was born in 1978 and, after having lived abroad most of his life, went to university in 1997 to study psychology. In 2000, he started experiencing severe panic attacks and the onset of acute psychosis. This journey took him through many mystical and spiritual adventures throughout the city where he lived and, more importantly, in his mind and being. Not only does Jeff have a BSc in psychology and two post graduate certificates: one in mental health art group facilitation and another in psychological therapies, but he has also worked in the adult mental health field in England for the past eight years.
He wishes to publish this book, his first publication, for the benefit of others undergoing similar experiences and help them reframe their experiences into a more helpful and ultimately, he hopes, a more meaningful framework. Appealing not only to this group of people but also to academics, professionals and the wider public, he hopes that this book can help de-stigmatise the nature of psychosis and help to dispel some of the myths surrounding it.
Who wants to be a millionaire was on with Chris Tarrant and his cheesy grin spread across his face as usual.
“I hate this show…in fact I hate watching TV full stop. I wish he would stop looking at me…Jeff – was that a wink? I dunno man – but I’m looking away – yea good idea man…Mum why are you looking at me too? I can see you out of the corner of my eye…what is it? What do you want? I bet I’m making her feel uneasy ‘cuz I’m not watching the show…well ok – I’ll watch for a bit then – if I have to!”
As I started to watch the TV again I could see more often than not that Chris was winking at me – urging me on to answer the questions. “But why?” I thought as I could sense Mum looking at me again out of the corner of my eye.
“They want you to play the game Jeff! Ok I will but why all the winking? What is he trying to tell me? This is too unreal for my liking…it’s like he can see me here sitting in our lounge – he’s trying to get my attention!”
With that thought Chris’s face started to morph into my Dad’s face! I can’t describe to you how it felt but for a few seconds it really happened. “Dad – it’s you!” I thought “Ok I will try my best to play – but why Dad? Why do you want me to play? ‘Cuz you will win for the family if you do Jeff! You will then be able to get Jo back man too – you will then be in her league!” I thought as I started to concentrate on the questions and answers.
This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 06 May, 2010.