I do not know if this is an actual letter - that is, if there is any veracity to the claims - but it certainly is an interesting read which brings up a lot of issues regarding the paranormal vs. the medical/scientific community.
Let there be no mistaking that Schizophrenia is a very real, and devastating, mental illness. Let there also be no mistaking that many believe dæmonic influences, and even possession, to be the same. The truth is that the medications and treatments for Schizophrenia are almost completely ineffective and their side-effects are nearly worse than the disease itself. Even worse, anti-psychotic medications are incredibly powerful - and can be fatal - and should only ever be prescribed in the most extreme cases, however most practitioners give it out like it was candy. The side-effects are so horrible that many schizophrenics resist treatment; in a majority of cases, the side-effects preclude the disease itself, rendering otherwise troubled, but functioning, patients completely useless.
Exorcism, on the other hand, either works or it does not.
Really, my advice here is: why not have an exorcism? If it doesn't work, what are you out? While anti-psychotic medications can kill you - or (possibly worse, depending on your POV) destroy your life completely - an exorcism might be a waste of a few hours. At the very best, it might even work!
I do not personally believe all Schizophrenics suffer from dæmonic possession or influence, but I also do not believe all people diagnosed with Schizophrenia actually suffer from the mental disease. In fact, many industrialized countries have dropped the classification entirely. I am not even fully convinced that dæmonic possession itself is real.
But I do know that faith and belief are powerful things. While the author of this letter (assuming it is real) might not believe in such things, many do; no one knows what causes Schizophrenia, so why not subject believers to an exorcism? If Schizophrenia can be caused by emotional misinformation, perhaps a fervent belief in exorcism as a cure could work along the same lines to right that wrong?
Anti-psychotic drug treatment should always be the very last resort, excepting extreme cases.
© C Harris Lynn, 2008