Teach Me How To Feel
Abby Norman
801167

Hi, Abby,

A French otolaryngologist Guy Bérard (as he describes in Hearing Equals Behavior)discovered that all his suicidal patients had a particular auditory profile, usually in the left ear, of not hearing sound normally at 2 and 8 kiloHertz. He cured the 233 who came for treatment. Ninety per cent of them were cured within two weeks. The rest required a second or third set of treatments. The treatment was listening to high-frequency music through headphones. Recently, psychiatrist Norman Doidge writes in The Brain’s Way of Healing , ch. 8, about a case of suicidal depression being similarly treated with the Tomatis Method, which is not surprising because Bérard and Tomatis worked together for a while. They both treated other forms of so-called mental illness with varying degrees of success. I think the “varying” was because they restricted treatments to two weeks. It took me months to cure our son’s schizophrenia with high-frequency music listened to with only his right ear. But the rewards were huge: during his healing process I watched him pass through about three levels of decreasing schizophrenia, bipolar I, bipolar II, OCD, mild depression, dyslexia, and then normal thought processes and behavior. Do you call astigmatism or myopia “mental illness”? Neither are behavior problems “mental illnesses” but audio-processing deficits. And they usually can be cured with high-frequency sound.

Like any muscle, the ear muscle is subject to assaults. Drugs, in particular, harm the ear muscles. Therefore, you must not suddenly withdraw a drug to which the brain’s nerves have become accustomed without have a plan for restoring the ears to normal tonus so they can carry normal amounts of sound into the brain. The common wisdom among those hooked on SSRIs is that slow tapering is life-saving. But I studied a group of people in SSRI withdrawal syndrome and their symptoms coincided with what I have learned about ear-related symptoms in chronic fatigue, dyslexia, bipolarity, and schizophrenia. I have seen even marijuana damage the ear to the point of schizophrenia, including our son Daniel about whom I have written in Listening for the Light. Following his younger brother’s massive stroke this past fall, Dan ended eight years of normal brain function by smoking himself into psychosis. He is recovering again, as he did in 2006 and 2008, by focusing high-frequency music on his right ear for two hours per day. This “road” to recovery parallels the maturational phases of childhood, as his artwork reveals. He started out at the four-year-old level and after two sporadic and two regular months of focused listening is at around the 12-year-old stage of cerebral integration.

Not content with healing him, I set out to discover in 2008 how and why music focused specifically on the right ear could make a person increasingly sane. It comes down to the strength of the tiny stapedius muscle in the middle ear, which is the hinge on the stapes (stirrup) that “gates” sound into the inner ear. The vibrations of music strengthen that muscle so that all frequencies of sound can be gated into the inner ear with equal force and volume. That flow of sound through the right ear organizes the brain so that the left hemisphere dominates the right hemisphere in the integrative processes of the brain. Schizophrenia is a situation where neither hemisphere dominates (my discovery and my definition of that condition). However, that flow of sound through the left ear organizes the looser connections in the emotional right-brain. You might need to treat both ears. The first step is to get a carefully done audiogram for both ears to see where your hearing deviates from a straight line at plus 10 decibels for the frequencies from 500 to 8,000 (without skipping any of the 500-intervals) Hertz. Insist on a full, careful profile.

A knowledgeable person looking at your hearing test would probably recognize anomalies in hearing in your left ear or your right ear or both. Of course, there could be other significant problems, such as hyperacusis. Your use of a drug for five years also will have affected your hearing. But audiology at this point in time is NOT knowledgeable about the relationship between audio-processing and behavior or audio-processing and drugs. If they see hyperacusis or the deficits Bérard described they will tell you your hearing is “within the range of normal.” Fine. You can hear. But you cannot get enough sound energy into your brain (especially the right half of your brain) in a properly organized fashion to sustain normal thought processes essential to life. You should study this subject before you attempt any change in your current medicines. If you can find a doctor who will read Bérard, Doidge, and my materials for professionals, you will have an easier and safer experience changing your present routines. I think you will find hope for the possibility of recovery for yourself in those books.

I would love to hear from you.

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