This page has been updated to make it more appealing to the many visitors it receives from China. Most of these visitors are interested in buying the domain nzsf.com, which is not currently for sale. Offers for the domain started around $150 in mid-2015, and had soared to $2,000 by the end of the year.
Incidentally, I have found three Chinese domains that incorporate the letters nzsf: nzsf.cn, nzsf.com.cn, and nzsf.net.cn. My guess is that, with all short .com, .net, and .org domains now gone, the new extension most likely to appeal to the Chinese is .xyz. Hence the registrations below.
Temple of the Five Hundred Genii in Guangzhou, China. Photo from Things Seen in China, by J.R. Chitty, 1912.
This page previously dealt exclusively with schizophrenia. Hence the domain nzsf.com, which could be taken to stand for New Zealand Schizophrenia Foundation. (The letters apparently suggest something entirely different to speakers of Chinese. “Man sofa” is one rendition of the nebulous meaning. Another is “Woman becomes wealthy through business”.) My old page began with the following introduction to the subject of psychosis in general — however it is labeled:
Psychosis is remorselessly gray. It is like the border I originally chose for my schizophrenia website (discontinued in 2013). It is intricate, but tediously repetitive. Each riveted section interlocks with the next, in a nightmare that goes nowhere.
It is a nightmare that is endured, day after day after day. For there is no resolution, through either thought or “talk therapy”. Thought is integral to the problem, not a detachable instrument to be employed against it. You can’t think your way out of psychosis, however clever you are, just as you can’t use a concave mirror to correct the distorted image it creates.
Likewise, you can’t talk a person out of psychosis. It has its own, internal logic, but a logic that resists all reason from the outside. You can talk to a person with schizophrenia for hours, and end in a state of exasperation and exhaustion — at the point at which you began.
Yet, paradoxically, it is almost impossible to stop trying to “get through”. Our faith in reason is so strong, we press on. With irrepressible optimism, we go round and round in circles in a crazy parody of the disease. Surely, somewhere, there is some compelling argument, some magic key that will unlock this madness.
Familiarity doesn’t breed contempt, it breeds suspicion. If you stick around for too long, you must be watching, making notes, planning something sinister. You must be one of “them”, or at least in league with them.
“When did you last see them? Did they call you the day before yesterday — the day you gave me a funny look while I was opening the gate?”
“They” can be anyone or no one. But whoever they are, they possess incredible powers, which are matched by an equally incredible determination to pursue their victim. They are omnicient: they, or their spies, are everywhere. They are masters of subterfuge, who communicate by the most devious, inscrutable means. Only the most painstaking analysis can uncover their machinations, discern the secret meaning of that car number plate, that street sign, that apparently innocuous report on the weather in the television news.
Life is a serious business. It is extremely unfunny. A smile is not a smile, it is a smirk. Laughter is the ultimate indiscretion. It is also a giveaway: irrefutable evidence that “something is going on”.
“There is nothing going on? Then why are you always changing the subject? Why are you trying to dodge the issue? God, I hate it here. I think I’ll go. I think I’ll go tomorrow. . .”
Then there is a good day. The mood seems to be a little lighter. There is tentative conversation about a movie, an escape from the closed circuit of insanity. The gremlins appear to have retreated. Perhaps they are on the run. Perhaps they will never come back. Have we turned the corner? Have we bottomed out? If we have bottomed out, things can only improve from now on. . .
You are always wrong. The next day, he/she is sullen, unresponsive, then explosive with accusations. The torrent of denunciations is amazing, even frightening. Reason has the strength of a straw against them, and is finally discarded. There is nothing one can do now, except somehow try to survive this.
Other articles and comments
Schizophrenia: Psychiatry vs psychology
Is parental failure the cause of schizophrenia?
The bounds of ‘normality’
The psychotic delusion
A visit to Emma
Is psychosis readily identified?
The family is fair game
The family is fair game, Part 2
Madness: A look at the ‘Shakespearean model’
Models of madness
Models of madness, Part 2
Mental illness, Part 2
Mental illness, Part 3
Mental illness, Part 4
The case of Tessa
My brush with Scientology
My brush with Scientology, Part 2