I decided to set up a research charity in the UK or more precisely Glasgow, Scotland in April 2022 which will be called KOKORO Intelligence.
In this post I will provide you with a bit of my history and reasons why I’m doing it and what is it that I’m trying to achieve. Please note that I will share my history which is a bit lengthy, but will give you explanations why I’m doing things.
Anyone starting a charity has a strong desire to help others, I have no doubts about that, and I seem to have a inborn desire to help others, which I have since I remember, and in recent years I tried to question it, and find reasons why I helping others is not a good idea, and as much as I found a number of reasons why it is challenging and may not be worth my time, my desire to help others, hasn’t changed, and recently I stopped fighting with my instincts and thought to myself that at least I can try and see how that goes.
As I mentioned desire to help others is nothing new for me, although my success rate of that was very low, things have changed in 2013 when I discovered Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and within a few days I studied the entire tutorial and started to apply it to myself and my wife, results were amazing, mainly because we were in an emotional and mental mess, and our world was spinning out of control, however still the techniques helped us to identify issues from the past, which was a lot, and improve quality of our lives. Unfortunately I wasn’t very experienced in it and made a lot of mistakes, some of which discouraged my wife from using it.
Over the years I used EFT to help myself and occasionally tried it on others as well with very good results, and I started to think that I could potentially use it professionally, as it was suggested by another person who was practicing alternative treatments.
I should mention that since 2011 I was an IT contractor specializing in Business Intelligence with Microsoft Tools and also had an e-learning website that had 100k visitors a month on the same topic, but eventually I closed it down, as I was obsessed with it and my emotions and life decisions where out of control!
Part of my life as an IT contractor I would present as a speaker and we did Europe Tour and did a UK Tour in 2017 (by driving our electric car Nissan Leaf 24kwh), and it was during UK tour that we drove to Edinburgh where I got certified in a similar techniques to EFT called The Havening Techniques as I was in an emotional and mental mess and was thinking about switching to therapies, but at the same time I wasn’t quite ready to let go of IT.
During the training I shared my views on EFT / Havening and also shared my opinion on personality test called Empathy Styles (which is based on research on mental health disorders) and shared my suspicion that there is a correlation between empathy styles and acquiring trauma, however my idea was completely ignored and I got very upset and started to be on defensive during the training for other reasons as well, however at some point I started to calm down and madidate and started to think how do I want to progress with my skills and knowledge and how can I help others with it, and an idea popped up in my head with words KOKORO intelligence, which is not that unusual as I specialized in Business Intelligence which is great for achieving desired goals, and I’m a fan of Japanese anime and the word kokoro is very commonly used there, which means heart, soul, spirit, and mind all together which makes a lot of sense for a holistic approach to treatment.
After the training and the UK Tour I started doing meetups related to the Havening Technique in Glasgow and did several private session and coaching to several people, but I still had a lot of my own problems and they started to get worse as things were not working out as I hoped and I had quite high expectations which were not helping.
Things have changed in 2018 when I was starting to let go of things, as it was simply too much for me and also it was partially results of my own Havening however I must admit I was not getting great results for myself.
In late 2018 we decided to have a family and early 2019 my wife got pregnant.
We went abroad for a few months, and returned several months before giving birth. I was obsessively trying to get a remote contract which was difficult at a time, but I manage to get it before birth.
Things got worse during delivery, I’ll spare you the details, but essentially I experienced severe trauma, and after we left hospital with our baby, I experienced exhaustion and after a few days my body and mind broke and I got my first episode of Schizophrenia and was admitted to a mental health hospital.
After recovery I got another contract in Glasgow, and my wife went to Poland with our baby and I started to relive my severe trauma (relapse) and my second episode of schizophrenia started (mainly because I wasn’t taking medication, my fault!) , I was conscious for several days and I did call ambulance to get me but they didn’t understand my address and ask me to calm down, which obviously when having an episode of schizophrenia is rather difficult. After a few days I went outside and my mind broke, I no longer was conscious about my surroundings, and things started to play in my mind only. I was admitted to a hospital although I didn’t know about it as I lost memory for three weeks and I don’t remember much, only a little bit (fractions) when I was admitted to the hospital. After 3 months of treatment, I suddenly felt normal, and to the surprise of the psychiatrist, they released me from closed ward to an open one and after several days I was released.
The high dosage of medication heavily impacted my physical body and cognitive functions, I slept most of the time, and when being awake I had difficulty to function, it was a real struggle to plan my trip from Glasgow to Poland. Somehow I managed to survive and get to Poland however I was in a very poor condition and the fact that I was running out of money and options were very difficult for me, particularly that I was not able to function normally, and work was out of the question.
However my lack of options, and thought of becoming homeless, and not able to return to the UK pushed me to the limits as well, and all I could do is wait and wait and wait, and it was terrible in many ways, and no improvements were visible for a few months, and all I did was going over and over in my head how terrible my situation is and how I lost everything (I skipped few important details here, for personal reasons).
The good thing was that my medication started to be reduced and I started to feel not like a zombie, and I was actually in a position to read and watch movies at least for one or two hours a day, which on high dosage was out of the question as the entire movie on the screen was in several seconds delay and was moving, which made it impossible to watch. My cognitive problems also meant I couldn’t focus for more than several seconds.
My psychiatrist reduced dosage and recommended to speak with a psychologist which I was ok with as by that time I read a few things about Schizophrenia and treatment, and as much as it was not that much I started to have a better grasp of my situation and problems.
I had a session with the psychologist and it was terrible, she couldn’t get the fact that I have some kind of mental limit and cannot focus, she did some “focus” tests and claimed that I have no problem with focus, but I tried to explain her that I do have a serious problem, but it’s not what this test measures, however I did come out with two important outcomes, first I realized there is no way I will speak with this psychologist again in my life, and second I did realize that my problems and what is stopping me from moving forward, and by that I mean returning to the UK and get a job, is side effects of medication or schizophrenia itself and all I could do is wait which I did.
After few weeks I started to realize that I’m running out of money, including my credit cards and overdraft, my father proposed I declare bankruptcy, and as much I was in poor shape with confused thinking, I said no way, the consequences of that would be too great for my future, and I’ll do anything I can to avoid it.
I did realize I’m running out of money and time, if I don’t take a job now, I will struggle if I don’t have money to go to the UK, which is expensive to live.
I started to apply for jobs in my poor shape and typically I would get a contract within a few weeks but this time it was taking longer, and it was a good thing as I wasn’t well at all, but had no choice, and I decided I rather try, even if it kills me, as this is my last hope of a normal life.
In December 2019 I was offered a job and started it in January 2020, I stayed in a room close to London so I could commute to London and first days and weeks was a real struggle, I could barely survive from day to day, my cognitive functions was reduced so much I can hardly hold a conversation and doing on a laptop was a struggle, fortunately it was not noticeable to others and my job was mainly handover, so it was not demanding, but I couldn’t bear it and decided to reduce my medication, which after a few days helped a little bit.
I consulted with my psychiatrist, but he didn’t give me any other options so I decided to look for another psychiatrist, I learn that my dosage is too low to be effective and I was encouraged to take higher dosage, so I tried another psychiatrist and made some research into it which confirmed it and I asked to try different medication, we tried different ones until we settled on antipsychotic called Solian. Which had the fewest side effects for me, fortunately my wife also found me ginkgo biloba supplement which was increasing my mental thinking limit and I was a little better with, over a few months when I started to feel better I started to have a bit of time to make research into methods that have a potential to help me, regardless of how low the probability is.
I did manage to find a lot of promising research related to ginkgo biloba and my own experience was very positive, so I increase dosage and that again increase my mental limit.
I was so good that I decided to write a book “A career with Microsoft Power BI” and also did reading about how to become financially free and property investments, and also started doing webinars myself with my first one being “Financial Freedom Power BI Dashboard” which was my own tool to help me become financially, so I started to be in a better position.
I release the book in Jan 2021 and did a few webinars, I also treated at some point (I think it was 2019 or 2020) my severe trauma using Havening Techniques, and I did myself without help and noticed considerable improvement in my emotional and mental state.
In 2021 I started to explore options to help myself as books and research pointed me to positive effects of psychotherapy, so I did a few sessions but with limited result, mainly because I was very defensive about therapists themselves and didn’t behave or think properly, but I was aware of it and I have used self-havening to reduce this and try again, I managed to find a psychotherapist using similar techniques to EFT / Havening and we did a number of session and it helped me, and I finished it as there wasn’t anything else at the moment to do.
In July or August 2021 I discovered focus elite supplement which had ginkgo biloba and other things and I’ve started to take it and it was working very well and after a few weeks I increased dosage to 3 a day and my mental limit increase considerably.
By the way I also researched in 2021 Chinese herbs and tried it with acupuncture, but didn’t have any noticeable improvement, although I may try it again in the future with a different mix of herbs with hope that it will rebalance me chemically in the brain.
In October 2021 my psychiatrist said I can stop taking my medication and I gradually reduced it to zero over a period of 6 weeks.
I started to feel more emotional, but at the same time I was researching how to be my true self and was exploring various personality tests and books, and decided to find a psychologist specializing in personalities, and I hit a jackpot, without using EFT/Havening I started to have real results that were improving my emotional and mental state and helped me to better understand my emotions, mainly we discovered my hidden and blocked emotions, which I struggled to identify myself.
At that time, I had severe pain in my lower left part of the stomach and went to hospital, and as it was repeating and moved to lower left back, it was discovered I had kidney stones, this was a real test of me, as I wasn’t taking medication and was in severe pain every day for over a week but fortunately I was holding quite well emotionally and mentally I was ok, as in my symptoms of schizophrenia increased, but not much, however at the same time I decided to run a few tests and one of them was colonoscopy, however when I was preparing to take medication to clear my stomach, I wasn’t feeling well and when I read a leaflet that said if I have problems with kidneys and other things, which I suspected I may have, I started to panic and experienced quite strong symptoms of schizophrenia, so in order to avoid an episode I took medication again, which worked within 15 minutes and everything was gone, and the psychiatrist suggested to take it for 1 month, stop and see how that goes, as overall I felt very good emotionally and mentally (after taking the pill).
This incident made me realize I do need to sort out my hidden and blocked emotions, so I started psychotherapy again, and this time I knew what emotions I have hidden or blocked, thanks to my session with psychologist specializing in personalities and I also found another EFT practitioner that did a session differently and it also worked for me. I was thinking to drop one therapist, but after a session with the EFT practitioner I decided to have 3 therapists as all of them were good, but actually combination of all 3 worked best for me.
Amazing thing also happened as my mental limit I mentioned disappeared and I am able to do 10h productive time a day, at least from time to time, as much as I take medication the therapies I did that helped me to release my emotional issues, meant that I no longer had side effects of the medication on my cognitive function, which is pretty amazing and instead of 3 tables of focus elite I take on 1 in the morning.
I am now in a position which is quite difficult for people with schizophrenia, but I have a working process that helps me to identify my hidden and blocked emotions and resolve them which has excellent impact on improving my emotional and mental state, and also decreasing symptoms of schizophrenia.
Coming back to the main point of this article, I believe based on the experiments with myself, available research we have, if applied successfully can have a significant impact on the quality of our lives, emotional, mental and also financial which is an important stressor if you don’t have money.
I believe I have reached a point where I am able to successfully apply various techniques and research and be successful with Schizophrenia. I do realize I still have risk of a third episode however, all I can do is continue with my treatment and try to reduce the risks as much as I can, which means I’m likely to continue with it for at least a year and likely to continue self-improvement after a year, as fortunately for me self-improvement is kind of embedded in my DNA/personality which I believe was also key for me to overcome things related to life and Schizophrenia.
Since 2013 when I discovered EFT I though this technique is life changing, however I also learned that it is best to combined it with other knowledge and techniques and in 2017 when I had a sudden idea to start KOKORO Intelligence, I knew that what I can try is set up a framework that will work for me and others, however I didn’t have much details about it.
One thing that was delaying my idea, was Schizophrenia and also the fact that I was not able to successfully apply my techniques in real world, which is an obvious example that I failed to prevent my severe trauma that lead me to an episode of Schizophrenia. For me, not being able to apply the techniques to with high success rate was a bit pointless, and I have also seen therapists offering session without a clear goal of the session and without a clear process and way to measure results of the session, which to me was not preferred as it conflicts with my knowledge about Business Intelligence and is not a good match for my personality.
My own episodes of Schizophrenia for me was a blessing, not only I have found out that I am mentally ill, which I didn’t know, and was strongly rejecting any thoughts of being mentally ill, it also explains my emotional and mental issues that I struggled with pretty much since my childhood, and which grew into a bigger problem over the years, and resulted eventually with an episode of Schizophrenia.
The other, even more important reason why I treat my Schizophrenia as a blessing, was that it gave me a solid kick in my head, that opened my owns to reality, kind of a shock therapy, where I was more and more disconnecting from reality and my ideas and actions followed, and Schizophrenia showed me literally how to completely disconnect from reality, and this experience have showed me that there is little difference between a complete disconnection from reality and situational disconnection from reality that I was struggling with more and more.
The result of this shock therapy, was an extremely strong desire and willingness to sort out my life, starting with improving my financial situation and become financially free, and kind of secondly at the time, was sorting out myself emotionally and mentally.
The reason why I put finances as my top priority was that it become my main driver to achieve results, I was extremely motivated to secure my family financial situation in case I am not well enough to work or pass away, it also become important to secure myself from a financial independence point of view so I am not a burden to others, and the result was that I sort out my finances from income, expenses and savings point of view, I made a solid investment plan, and within two years, my situation is that if I wished to live on bare minimum in Poland, I would be financially free, however next year in 2022 I plan on investing my money in properties, and become financially free and retain my normal level of expense which is currently £35k/year with a salary income as a contractor equivalent of £110k/year permanent employee and also additional income from my Power BI Consulting business that I started officially in October 2021 and which I hope will provide me additional profits in 2022.
I am now in a situation where I can cope fully with a full time contract without any issues, and I even have a few hours a week free for myself (after excluding time with my family which is quite well balanced).
With the extra few hours a week I decided that in 2022 I will stop fighting my desire to help others, and simply do help others and see how it goes, I have strong feeling it will fit with my personality very well and I am likely to enjoy it, although my enjoyment often comes from achieving noticeable results, which at this point in time I’m not sure if I will achieve or not, I feel I have potential and my plan is solid, however my experience of Schizophrenia taught me that thinking and reality can be very different, and I do accept that 90% of businesses will fail within a number of years, so I am aware of the risk.
Here is my plan.
My plan is to set up a charity in Apr 2022, I choose April 2022 because it’s a new financial year and it will give me a year and a few months to sort out accounting and reporting requirements. Secondly it gives me 4 months to prepare and validate a number of ideas and see how practical they are in reality and I don’t think I will change my mind, however before Apr 2022 I should have a greater understanding of the challenge I’m taking on.
From a financial point of view, most charities rely on donations, however in my case I will provide certain funding myself, that should be sufficient to run the charity long term, although it may be on a small scale. This is important for me because it reduced reliance on donations to survive, however I do plan to use donations to scale up the charity activities and I have set up a GoFundMe page for that, where you can make a donation. I’m not so good with getting donations, and I do think that higher level of donations will be possible after I achieve initial results where I prove my ideas in reality, but at the same time I hope some people will support my efforts in trying, even if it fails.
The main vision of the charity I want to set up is to create a framework that is research based on quantitative and qualitative data where we will directly help people achieve results and also provide access to our framework that others can use (partners) or give information to other people and organizations who can pick some info out of it that would help achieve better results in their own objectives.
Main idea of our framework is to clearly define a goal of the session or therapy that is well defined and measurable, so knowing that we achieved it is unquestionable.
From practicality point of view I have decided to help others by running well defined projects. Where I recruit people and fund their sessions or treatment and gather and analyse results in order to improve the framework and processes.
From a legal point of view we will try to classify ourselves as a charity that funds treatment with specialists, however it is the specialist responsibility to insure themselves and take responsibility of the session or treatment. This is to avoid to be legally liable for any claims towards us, call me paranoid, but I don’t need this problem, and I still need to verify how to do this by consulting a lawyer that specializes in this area. Another reason why we do it is that we will try to deal with mental health disorders so risk of being legally challenged in my perception is higher (not sure if it’s just me).
Regarding projects we will try to do a big bang approach and take one of the most challenging problems that I believe has a chance of success and if successful would potentially open door to all sorts of possibilities and opportunities.
Essentially we want people with Schizophrenia get a job.
Simple isn’t it? Not quite, because Schizophrenia is a rare (<1% of population) mental health illness and it’s very serious because it affects the brain (chemicals we can’t control with mind, own experience!) and emotional, mental and physical aspects, and therefore the employment rate with working age adults is <10%.
Normally, you would think nothing can be done with it, however based on my own experience, research, books, talking with psychiatrists about underling reasons of Schizophrenia I came to the conclusion that combining, effective psychotherapy, session with a psychologist (mainly personality), career coaching and life coaching have a potential to treat underlining reasons for the brain imbalance, which is likely to be caused by unresolved emotions from the past (trauma etc.), I do understand there is a genetic component of it, however research shows this only plays a part of it, and it’s not definitive.
I do believe there is a strong evidence that shows that our approach to treatment may actually work very well.
According to the statistics there are 220,000 people with Schizophrenia being treated by NHS in the UK, I’m not sure if it excludes people with Schizophrenia that are not being actively treated.
Assuming the number of 220,000 there will be around 200,000 who are unemployed. We would like to take a portion of these people, perform screening in order to identify people with the higher chances of getting a job and help them get a job.
As much as our focus is on getting a job, we essentially will have to treat Schizophrenia in these people to a level which allows them to get a job and keep it until retirement.
Let’s consider some scenarios, assuming we treat 10 people / year and it takes a year for them to get a job, with success rate of 50%, we would treat 100,000 in 20,000 years 🙂 which is very long.
However if our success rate is 50% and takes a year and we get funding to treat 1000 people a year then it would take 200 years, however the good news in this scenario that according to statistics 1 in 4,000 people are diagnosed with Schizophrenia every year so in UK that would be 15,000 / year. 13,500 potentially unemployed, and we would be able to get 500 people / year get a job, so in order to reach 50% unemployment (from 10%) we would need to treat (assuming 50% success rate) 13500 people a year.
Assuming our research proves success there is a chance that people with Schizophrenia will use our framework on their own or other organizations will pick it up and apply it on larger scale which means treating potentially all people with Schizophrenia and once reduced, treating about 13500 people with Schizophrenia a year, which means as much there is initial effort to reduce the 200,000 number of unemployed, moving forward this number is just 13,500 a year.
Please also bear in mind a potential side effect of what we are doing, if people start using our framework to help themselves before they are diagnosed with Schizophrenia that gives a chance to avoid Schizophrenia all together. Let’s assume 20% avoidance of being diagnosed with Schizophrenia, this means instead of 220,000 people we would have 176,000, Unemployed 158,400, new patients every year 12,000 and unemployed 10,800 a year.
Essentially we would be able to reduce other factors that cause Schizophrenia and would be potentially left only with genetic background people.
The impact on the government spending would also be quite considerable as people on benefits would no longer need them, we could also direct people get a job in sectors where demand is higher than supply and potentially increase tax revenue. Long term we could also reduce pressure on mental health hospitals, introduce more effective methods, and spend the available money more effectively.
Of course, all of these are just theories, as importantly we have to run an experiment and get facts. If you like my reasoning and think there is potential in what I say, please consider making a donation.
One thing I am fully aware is that it’s not going to be easy, a lot of challenges await me, but I’m not alone in my attempts and I believe I will find people who will help out in many different ways, not just a donation, by collaboration, volunteering, awareness, and other potentially more impactful way.
However what would I do if helping people with Schizophrenia doesn’t work?
I’m aware of the challenge, however it remains my main “ultimate” goal, however for practicality reasons I will run another project next to it which is “Help any unemployed person get a job in Business Intelligence” which the difficulty bar is much lower, and we will aim to also raise money from donation from people who will get a job, as we hope these people will become our fans/followers and will support our vision as well, as I do believe in people especially if they see value in something.
That’s pretty much all I had to say, if you like it, please follow us on LinkedIn.
I’ll do my best to help others and make my charity a success, but wish me luck, it always helps to have some 🙂