Thoughts on Psychosis
Psychosis is a way to refer to a group of symptoms that include the experience of voices, visions, extreme states, or unusual beliefs. Other similar terms that are used to describe these symptoms are hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia.
I don't view psychosis (including Schizophrenia or Schizoaffective) as a neurological disease/brain disorder. I don't believe it is inherently debilitating or that lifelong treatment is absolutely necessary. The existing scientific research does not support these conclusions. It suggests that recovery is possible.
The majority of people experience psychotic symptoms in their lifetimes. They can be a response to a range of experiences: fever, sleep deprivation, substance use, stimulus deprivation, infection, or traumatic events. People may experience psychotic symptoms once in their life or repeatedly. Some experience them as being incredibly scary, others find them mildly irritating, and still others find them comforting or inspirational. Many people seek them out (e.g. spiritual experiences or using drugs) while others try desperately to make them stop.
Although there are still many unknowns, I suspect that psychotic symptoms are our brain's way of trying to make sense of things that exceed our normal experiences physiologically (e.g. too little sleep) or emotionally (e.g. traumatic events). In this way they can be understood as a normal response to abnormal events.
Being a normal response doesn't mean the symptoms are easy to cope with. But recognizing them as symptoms of healing (rather than symptoms of disease) can help us understand that they have a purpose. Changing how you relate to these symptoms (instead of trying to fight or numb them away) can help you feel more at peace with yourself.