Seems its been a long, long while since I last updated this blog, and that'll need to change as time allows.
To that end, a recurring theme has cropped up over the past few months that I thought I'd talk about here, as its rather pertinent to some: schizotypal disorders & magic (and, by extension, mental illness + magic). Its a particularly ruddy mess when these two things meet, and so getting into it and discussing the particulars might be helpful to those reading this blog.
Before I get started, though, be aware that this isn't directed at anyone in particular, though a few conversations have inspired me to write. Figured I'd include this so that I don't get hate mail. ;)
Getting into it, the phrase "schizotypal disorders" refers to a rather inclusive list of psychological problems that a person could have. Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder amongst them. Without getting overly technical, these conditions cause a mental hubub that can frequently make it difficult for one to distinguish between fantasy and reality - enough so that those with severe enough issues tend to go a bit sideways and can spin out of control, endangering themselves and those around them. Its not at all uncommon for paranoid schizophrenics, as an example, to believe that someone is out to get them, all without any sort of basis.
To that end, the irony is that many psychicly gifted folks straddle the gap between sane & not, coining a phrase that comes to mind: the difference between magic and madness is the result. That is to say if you can speak to spirits and shit happens, viola, you're a wizard, Harry! If you talk to spirits and nothing happens, sorry honey, you're probably a bit nuts. Neither is necessarily a static value or unchanging label, but that's neither here nor there.
When one of questionable psychological health gets into magical work, it can be a disastrous sort of affair. Effectively, those individuals are putting themselves wherein reality is warped, all the while being unable to fully comprehend and differentiate between a "normal" reality and fantasy. See the problem?
If not, to hammer the point home, spirits can change our worldview in a hurry. Strange occurences like warping our perception of time, creating intellectual breakthroughs, and taking one's senses away are not really all that abnormal insofar as magic happening is concerned. If that happens to you before you start doing magic, magical work probably isn't the road for you, as there are underlying issues that need to be handled first.
That, right there, is why I don't take on the mentally ill as clients. There are sometimes ways to help them via spirit work, but that's more the sort of thing to be done in person by someone who can spend a few months focusing on one client at a time.
When spooky stuff gets involved wherein the mentally ill are, it usually causes severe confusion and discord in the minds of the shaky. Enough so that parasitic spirits -love- to get involved and play on the individual's unsteady state. As a result, I commonly recommend that those who have been diagnosed with a disorder scrap magical work altogether and instead work on themselves directly. There are plenty of self-driven recovery programs and practices that can allow for one to take the reigns back and heal themselves, but these should be done under the care of a licensed psychiatrist, not a spirit worker.
Just a few musings that may help guide you.