Any theory of schizophrenia must account for the following issues: the anthropo-parity principle (one percent incidence world wide); the low fecundity ratio and lack of extinction; age of onset; changes in dopaminergic function; forebrain atrophy; psychosis; cognitive regression… mine does.
Daniel Paul Schreber, a prominent judge in Germany in the late 1800’s, was committed to an asylum. After eight years he went to court to win back his freedom. He was ultimately released, despite being convinced that God had turned him into a woman. Subsequently Freud analyzed his memoirs and developed his classic theory of paranoia. A female student in a research track at a well known university began having odd behavior. Within a year she was living on a church stoop a few blocks from campus convinced she was the reincarnation of Mother Teresa. Another young woman at a famous university law school suddenly began running around the library rooftop insisting she’d killed thousands of people with her mind. This is not science fiction. This is real. It’s called schizophrenia.
Psychiatry is woefully lacking in explanations for schizophrenia despite decades of research. It’s not a dementia. It can, however, result in gradual atrophy of the forebrain. Cognitive regression, as opposed to dementia, has taken place, meaning that schizophrenics, like children, hallucinogen users and primitives, think by different rules. The child’s relationship to words and language lack differentiation and distance. They use words differently than adults as do schizophrenics. Heinz Werner (pictured below) wrote about this in his book “Comparative Psychology of Mental Development”. Cognitive regression is a core symptom of schizophrenia reflecting a resurgence of a primitive organization that is pre-verbal, hyper-dopaminergic, and pre civilization, which existed for some 6 million years prior to language.
Hominins or human-like creatures have been in existence for about 6 million years. Language has been with us less than 50,000 years. If you put three yardsticks together to represent the 6 million years of hominin existence, language has been present for less than the last inch. Yet it transformed the brain of the Homo sapiens completely. We went from experiential, physical beings to contemplative ones, neutralizing many of the adversities that affected the outcome of mutations. It altered our brain functioning in ways the Neanderthals and Denisovans could only dream of. Language changed everything. We went from the jungle to the disco. It put evolution into a course correction that is still incomplete. It’s all around us but we don’t notice it. These changes in mental functioning include the ability to participate in our own thinking. It required an alteration in neurotransmitter dominance. Perhaps the greatest achievement of mankind is the suppression of dopamine. Most people make this transition smoothly, but for one percent of the population, just as they are about to leave adolescence, the old way reasserts itself. This primitive organization doesn’t stop until it ruthlessly gains control of the person’s mind. We call these people schizophrenics.