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I don’t think this guy understands schizophrenia in the least. It’s not that simple.
Removed for moderation.
So where are the fathers, Will? You are always criticizing the mothers. We seem to be the only ones who are trying, yet you continue to disparage us.
This is the guy I would definitely vouch for in the parenting department. I tell my sons not to put anything on Facebook that would offend their grandparents. They’ve stuck to that advice, and I sure hope it will inform their own childrearing practices.
I would tweak Peterson’s advice to “do not do anything to your children which makes others dislike them.” (I think he’s written that, too.) Perfect example: A child hear’s his parents uttering profanities and takes this mouth to school, telling teachers and others in no uncertain terms where to go. Or, they encourage the kid to be a picky eater and the kid is never invited to a neighbor’s house again to eat. For some odd reason, these little monsters are defended by their parents. Nobody else likes them. The weird thing is, these parents always have an excuse for the bad behavior of their child, on top of which they claim that they bring up their children to respect others. I can only imagine that these same parents hold adult to adult conversations in front of their children, where they routinely trash people and policies that they don’t agree with. The child has no filter, and should not be present in the room.
What I make of this article is that it is a form of sealioning.
Thanks for your kind words, Maria. I have not heard of BEMER therapy, but as usual, I’ll check it out. If you haven’t looked at my latest FB posting, please do so. There may be some help there for your sister. I’m sure you’ve checked out all the possible alternatives, so feel free to ignore what’s there.
“Is the brain constructed, then, to deceive itself about who is talking? Why, as happens with some people, would you imitate a range of different voices that talk to each other? While it’s an interesting situation in terms of the drama it creates, I doubt very much that the mind is mostly concerned with entertaining and deceiving itself.”
If you study A Course in Miracles, you will discover that deception is exactly what the undisciplined mind attempts to do with us. That part of our mind is called the ego, and boy, does it mess with us.
From today’s ACIM lesson; “You who were created by love like itself can hold no grievances and know your Self. To hold a grievance is to forget who you are. To hold a grievance is to see yourself as a body. To hold a grievance is to let the ego rule your mind and to condemn the body to death. Perhaps you do not yet fully realize just what holding grievances does to your mind. It seems to split you off from your Source and make you unlike Him. It makes you believe that He is like what you think you have become, for no one can conceive of his Creator as unlike himself.”
I am so sorry that your sibling has been horrifically abused by the very people and institutions that are supposedly there to “help.” The FDA allows this system to flourish and doctors protect the FDA. Sick, sick, sick.
My guess is he has not. Apart from the fact that psychiatry wasn’t the focus of his work, he has an in-depth knowledge of the horrors of the former Soviet Union, those responsible, and what fate befell its dissidents.
He’s tweeting. That’s how I picked up the Benzo Warriors open letter to him.
Rather than bicker about academic distinctions between postmodern neo-Marxism and good old Marxism, (which helps nobody recover), how about getting behind the issue at hand like Benzo Warrior is doing in their open letter to JP.
According to his daughter’s update back in September 2019, he went off clonazepam cold turkey after discussing this with his psychiatrist. In Canada, unlike in the United States, there is no black box warning on clonazepam.
I posted this link on my Facebook account in 2017. It’s about a clinic in Kyrgyzstan. On my post I commented that I had earlier met a psychiatrist in Porto, Portugal, who was doing the same thing for Porto’s street people, many of whom had addictions and AIDS.
“The centre claims that 80 percent of its patients stay drug free for at least a year after receiving treatment there. Many of those it treats come from Russia or the former Soviet Union but there’s no shortage of domestic customers. Heroin use has drastically increased in Kyrgyzstan over the last decade. The last official estimate, in 2006, put the number of intravenous drug users in the country at 26,000. According to Dr Alexander Zelichenko, Director of the Central Asian Centre on Drug Policy, there may now be around 100,000 users in a country with a population just below 5.6 million.”
“But rapid detox is only one part of the treatment. Of greater importance is what the centre calls “mindcrafting” – a blend of meditation, counselling and Jungian psychoanalysis. Its aim is to rebuild the patient’s self-esteem and give them the “strength of mind to keep one step ahead of others in the context of globalisation, with its rapid development of information technology and the rule of money and stress.”
Stephen and I go way back at the MIA site (in terms of responding favorably to each other’s comments). He was just a beautiful human being. I am so sorry to learn of his passing. Rest in peace, Stephen.
I am so sorry to learn of Julie’s passing. I greatly admire her courage, her sense of humor, and the way she expressed herself in her numerous posts and comments. In the past year she and I exchanged a few emails and I was so looking forward to reading her latest book. My sincere condolences to her family.
Well said, Alex.
Living in oppression is confusing and disorienting because it is the norm to lie and confuse and disorient people, all kinds of justifications are made for it. Living in fear distorts reality, and all choices will be made from fear rather than from inspiration. “Common” sense is not necessarily someone’s personal sense of truth in the moment.
I’m getting old and cranky. This woman has been through Hell and back, and I’m glad that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I believe that no mother (or father) in her right mind would want to kill their own child. But, shouldn’t she have figured out that too many drugs “bad”, her life was a train wreck, starting law school was biting off more than she could chew, etc. etc. This was not going to end well for her children. I also question why her psychologisgt wasn’t cluing her into the fact that she was on too many chemicals. The idea of too many drugs being taken is not new nor confined to psychiatric drugs. Common sense should tell people, and has told people for many years, not to take too many prescription drugs (or non-prescription). This isn’t about psychiatric abuse, it’s about common sense, and who is helping people to understand that the drugs they take may be too many?
I thought saw the actual Anderson Cooper interview embedded in this article. What happened? Was I dreaming?
The media has decided who should win the Democratic nomination (Biden) and who should not capture the public’s interest at this early stage. (Sanders, Williamson, to name two.) The media hasn’t learned a thing since their slavish support of Hilary. Who knows what pharmaceuticals Cooper is on. Why do we listen to these people? Well, I for one, have opted out of watching news shows. British interviewers ask better questions. They generally don’t toe the party line.
The meds have their place, but I don’t like injections because I worry that they come in one size and one size only. Can people ask that the dosage be lowered, for example? Can people eventually wean off them? Clearly I don’t know enough about them. I just know that I’ve always cautioned my son to refuse them because they wrest control away from him and give it to the professionals.
But why focus on the lack of insight, which appears to be in the past according to what you write, when you are much happier with who he is today? Saying that someone lacks insight into their own health and well-being just says to me that we aren’t trying hard enough to see that there is always a thread of logic. So many people (I’m not saying you) spend too much time focusing on what is missing, rather than on working with what’s there.
What is the shortest duration possible? Can someone use it over a period of years but in short durations?
I really don’t like the idea of anyone with a psychiatric diagnosis (especially schizophrenia) going for a 15 minute med check without an advocate present. The situation is downright dangerous!
Shared Decision Making (SDM) in this context is a disingenuous ploy. The pharmaceutical industry knows more about how this plays out in the doctor’s office than it lets on. It knows that people with schizophrenia (for example) are notoriously compliant due to flat affect or apathy, and may willingly go along with whatever the doctor or family member recommends, not having the means or the energy to self-advocate. I encountered this problem recently when my son, who had been off drugs for several months, had his first appointment with a new psychiatrist. By “appointment” I mean a 15 minute med check. The doctor had never met him, knew that he had in the past been taking oral Abilify, but nonetheless tried to talk him into taking Abilify as a long term injectable. To his credit, my son said he would “think” about it. This doctor in one fell swoop would have introduced him to a form of drug that my son would have had no control over how often or how much he ingests it. Who is in control is critically important, and IMO, long term injectables hand over control to the psychiatrist and the pharmaceutical companies, not the patient.
I totally agree about the impact on relationships. I said to a psychologist that our family was seeing that having all of these professionals voicing their opinions was like living with an interferring grandmother. And I don’t know how to avoid it except that when I see an opportunity to drop their help, I do.
Dealing with professional staff who seem to always know better is an awful thing to have to go through. The drawbacks of these meds need to be pointed out to them (how can we live with ourselves if we don’t do this), and it seems like a lose/lose situation. If a parent doesn’t voice concerns, the patient may feel that the parent isn’t working in his or her best interests. My son didn’t express an opinion one way or the other about the drugs, and would agree with everyone. He didn’t do his own research on the drugs/take agency, so it was left to me to do the heavy lifting. This is tiring and stressful. There are ways of putting forth concerns without getting the professionals defensive, but these nice/nice approaches don’t always work. Hah. I wonder why these psychiatrists continue to belive that clozapine is a wonder drug. I guess it’s because they are insistinting on a long term injectable.
I think there is a distinction here between the patient and the family. It is the author who is non-compliant in the eyes of the medical staff and this may be one of the things that is creating a standstill. Not at all easy path to navigate for patient or family.
“What’s interesting is how both psychiatry and Scientology invoke pseudoscience to trick followers into accepting their delusions.”
I am so cynical that I would go further and say that just about all human endeavor these days evokes pseudoscience to shut down all dissent and accept their particular delusions. (I’m not even sure what is pseudoscience and what is “real” science, as science is constantly reinventing/clarifying itself.)
In his book, Shamans Among Us: Schizophrenia, Shamanism and the Evolutionary Origins of Religion, Dr. Joseph Polimeni provides a brief description of the role of shamans in hunting and gathering societies. Those with schizophrenia characteristics were highly involved in religious leadership (many might say they still are). They
heal the sick.
institute magical curses
carry out divination rituals
lead religious ceremonies
I interviewed Dr. Polimeni last year on my blog. (One of my more engaging reads!)
“why do you suppose mainstream religions have embraced psychiatry”
Great question and interesting answers. So, this would indicate that people are correct who maintain that the Church of Scientology is NOT a religion.
Rachel777 makes a powerful point. Tell them what they want to hear and eventually you both can make your escape from this living hell.
Good to hear. Goes to prove that parents are never too old to learn!
I’m not following any of this. What concrete steps did the author take to have the diagnosis rescinded?
I’ll jump in here with an anecdote about an acquaintance who was involuntarily hospitalized (twice) in a psychiatric hospital in the Canton of Vaud. The first time she was hospitalized she was there for a year. She was given a brain scan because the staff thought she had a lesion that was causing her to believe that her ex was an imposter (Capgras Syndrome). That would tie in with the idea of “organic” but of course, they found no lesion. To be involuntarily committed in the Canton of Vaud doesn’t mean that you are not allowed to leave the hospital. On the contrary. She was free to leave for the day, no one bothered to ask her where she was going, and i suppose if she didn’t show up for dinner, maybe the staff would go looking for her, but where would they even begin to look? She was usually somewhere miles away.
Thank you for sharing your story.
I am very sorry for your loss. As a parent of a son diagnosed with “schizophrenia” and then promptly medicated, I too wonder about whether the rush to medicate is like going after a fly with a sledgehammer. Not that something significant isn’t happening, but I agree with Szasz that these are problems with living. Problems with living can be understood by most people and handled with varying degrees of success, but medicalizing a behavior makes it strange, horrible and alienating for all concerned. This is the modern way and in my opinion, it is not progress. Okay, this is showing my age, but here’s an example from my childhood that shows how differently the same situation would be handled today (an age of hyper-alertness to what may be just passing behaviors. As a child my younger sister used to go into a sort of semi-trance like state where she would lie on her bed for perhaps 30 minutes or so and spin bits of yarn or string in front of her eyes while whispering to herself and drumming her fingers on her shoulder. My parents had never heard of autism. How did our family sensitively deal with this situation? We made fun of her and imitated her behavior. Sending her to a psychiatrist never entered my parents’ minds. Eventually my sister outgrew the behaviour. I regret the medicalization of my son’s behavior, but there was no competing philosophy that was widely known at the time.
It’s great that there is a resource section for the parents of those under 18 and I applaud and admire Eric Maisel’s work in this regard. The onset of the “big” diagnoses (schizophrenia and bipolar) comes mostly in young adulthood. I assume that most parents reading MIA are like me, older parents with related but also different sets of concerns. The language and the focus has to be different, e.g. it’s awkward to refer to our adult sons and daughters as our children, let alone our kids. So yes, it would be great to see something addressing the complexities of parenting the over 18s.
This part of what you wrote stands out for me because it validates what high frequency listening can do: “One of my more useful purchases, when I was at my worst, was a CD soundtrack that used binaural beats embedded in nature sounds and ringing Tibetan bowls. I had been listening to this CD every day for about three months when my therapist asked me what I was doing that was different. I mentioned the CD. She said she could tell the difference in my speaking and the calm demeanor I now had. I vowed to continue.”
If you are interested in WHY you experienced a changed speaking voice and less anxiety see an interview I did in May of this year with Laurna Tallman. https://rossaforbes.com/little-known-listening-program-heals-range-incurable-ills-interview-laurna-tallman/
Everyone has an innate set of characteristics, some good, some not so good, and some grow horrible if left unchecked. The environment can bring out the best or the worst of these tendencies and it’s up to all involved to learn better ways to navigate through life if “normal” isn’t working.
Do you have children? Do you have more than one child? Adam sounds like quite the little beast, leaving the parents understandably confused about what sprang from their loins. Adam does not have a family environment problem that should be pinned solely on the parents. He is part of that environment along with all the other personalities vying for a say. The parents may have one or two other children with equally horrible but different innate tendencies that they haven’t yet figured out how to harmoniously make work for all concerned. Perhaps you are mostly blaming them because they reached for the medication, the way some people want to drown their sorrows with several good stiff drinks while they pull themselves together enough to try again with a different strategy. Parenting good intentions fly out the window when confronted with reality, and there is a huge learning curve involved with each child that can go on for years. I was so flummoxed by my “own Adam” that I bribed him with candy if he could pull himself together enough to behave himself. Well, obviously that didn’t work so I took him to a psychologist who cleared up the situation in one go by suggesting that the kid needed to be free range. He didn’t ask the whole family to come in for counselling. That would have been rather insulting, actually. Rubbing it in, I would say. I would never have considered drugs and none were suggested. Parents may be reluctant to take their little darlings to psychologists at all, given the way we are tried and executed by people who don’t know even us, they only think they do.
My understanding is that the patients are chained to trees so they won’t escape and/or harm themselves or others. While it may look barbaric to Western eyes, the recovery rate is higher in Africa despite our dim view of their treatment methods. Contrast this to what a co-worker once told me: He no longer trusted Swiss psychiatric hospitals because of their open door policy. His 15 year old son escaped several times; on one occasion he was gone for three days. The family was frantic. The next time his son was hospitalized, it was in France, where they don’t hold such a liberal view on these matters.
What does “FM* mean?
Knowlege, the situation is difficult as she has a state-appointed guardian, so not much advocacy there. Her mother lives in the USA and is not on the ground advocating for her as any mother worth her salt should be. I am moving to the USA and won’t be here in future to visit her, not that there is much I can do. She also thinks she doesn’t need help.
I really wish you were advocating for a woman I am trying to help. She wants off here drug (Haldol) and has other goals in life, but nobody is taking her side, it seems.
As long as you can swallow them, more power to you. As I age, I just can’t do it anymore.
Here’s something to consider: Grapefruit juice. But not if you’re on medications as grapefruit juice can cause a lot of scary problems. I have always had low blood pressure, and a couple of years ago got into a habit of having of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice in the morning. The only medication I take is a daily baby aspirin. Well, I could hardly get out of bed in the morning and had trouble walking because I had that “low blood pressure” feeling, which for me is feeling “winded.” It was awful. I asked myself what was I doing differently, found out that grapefruit juice lowers blood pressure, and also that if you have low blood pressure you should take a baby aspirin during that day, not at night (as I had been doing). Stopped the grapefruit juice, switched to taking baby aspirin in the morning, low blood pressure problem solved. No need to go to the doctor (who wouldn’t ask what my habits were.) For people with high blood pressure, grapefruit juice seems like a good avenue to explore.
What does “prn” mean?
I should look up Schlller’ comment again to find out if she was on 31 different prescriptions or 31 pills comprising fewer prescriptions. Thirty-one drugs is definitely outrageous, but swallowing 31 pills a day is still outrageous. And, here’s something to consider. At one point my son was swallowing about 31 pills a day of vitamins and nutrients. That was outrageous, too. Nobody should have to do that. But I get that if the doctor tells us that’s what we need to do, many of us will do it. Doctors bear a lot of responsibility here. Who in hell would advise their patients to do all that swallowing?
Her death is tragic but avoidable. She seemed to be, in addition to being a lovely caring human being, a person who put too much faith in medicine, rather than bailing out, like most survivors do. It doesn’t have to be psychiatry that is the villain. Half of any given population seems to want to trust their doctor. Nobody, but nobody, should be on 26, let alone, 31 pills per day. This is the only mention I can find of Lori Schiller’s death. (And yet, it doesn’t say she died.)
I am under the impression that Lori Schiller has since died.
I agree with your assessment that people preaching alternatives have the same biological model in mind as those pushing pharma. These people are well intentioned, and some people do get better using their treatments, so I’m glad about that. A lot of people don’t become as well as the proponents claim that their patients do, however. Lots of hopes are being raised that are then dashed. Abram Hoffer was a medical doctor/psychiatrist with a Ph.D. in vitamins. Vitamin therapy looks like a gentler way to overcome psychosis that chemical lobotomies, but how effective is it? We spent a lot of time and money chasing the vitamin/nutrient path for my son, who reacted well at first, but couldn’t sustain a non-drug “recovery”.
Yes, Hoffer claimed that some people naturally need higher levels of the B vitamins and this tends to run in families. Pellagra was rampant at the turn of the last century (1900s) especially in the southern United States about the same time that commercial white bread became popular. (I’m going from memory here on what I recall from reading Hoffer’s books.) I don’t know why pellagra was so acute in the South compared to other parts of the country.
Not vitamin resistant, surely, but a vitamin “deficiency” such as seen in pellagra.
Laurna Tallman would claim that the relentless focus on the role of the brain is misplaced. Mental illness begins in the ear. https://www.northernlightbooks.ca/
How can one be diagnosed “chronic” after only four years from onset? I’ll answer my own question: To ensure the supremacy of pharma.
You must be an East Ender, lol. I had to look up what “cobblers” meant, and it wasn’t the first definition on the list. “An acceptable vulgarism” according to another source.
Thinking of Lauren Slater, I just recalled Lori Schiller’s book, The Quiet Room, which was first pubished in 1994. Both writers have the initials LS and both are killing themselves. In an update to her book in 2009 Schiller says that she’s currently on 31 drugs (31 drugs!) and struggles to get out of bed in the morning. She confides that she and her mother went on the speaking circuit after the book was published because Sandoz wanted them to promote clozapine. If clozapine was so good, why is she on 31 drugs in 2009 and struggling to survive?
Because she is exposing what the drugs do (while still holding out for doctor approval).
I love your writing Julie, and this review of Blue Dreams is a personal best (IMO) so far, although, unfortunately about a sad subject. I read the book preview on Amazon, and the opening page is a “killer.” I felt sorry for her and perplexed along with most others here about why she hasn’t connected the dots in ways that matter to her life going forward. When you go to the book reviews of it on Amazon, you find that some (pharma reps, no doubt) are trying to discredit her supposed lack of research by claiming that she doesn’t rely on “science” and she’s out of her league as a psychologist, by not being a psychopharmacologist. Without having read her book or knowing her writing I conclude that being “ill” is part of her identity, There may not have been much identity there before she reached the tender age of 19, which isn’t surprising as isn’t the cliche of finding one’s identity most assoiated with people in the turbulence of late adolescence? Think about putting this review on Amazon and (hint) give it a low star rating so that it will be more easy to spot. There are only 5 critical reviews there so far.
Hi Chris, as I sit reading your e-mail I am listening to Koshi wind chimes on Youtube high frequency (432 Hz) music. I also listen to Mozart violin concertos and Gregorian chants, which were specifically recommended by Dr. Alfred Tomatis in his work with learning and language problems. Dr. Tomatis did not specifically address the condition of schizophrenia and bipolar (and one can imagine why). Drawing on Dr. Tomatis’s work as well as Dr. Guy Berard’s, Laurna Tallman modified the method by, amongst other things, blocking the LEFT ear in order to strengthen the right ear stapedius muscle, which she maintains is essential for overcoming conditions like schizophrenia, bipolar, chronic fatigue, and dyslexia. In my case I seem to have kicked a life long nail biting habit. (Never saw that coming.) I did an interview with Laurna on my blog. https://tinyurl.com/y9469nfy What is missing in a lot of what passes for treatment today is “access.” Few people can afford or can afford to travel the places that offer things like neurofeedback or Tomatis. For the price of a good headset and access to downloaded music, people can do the work from home.
Can you point us to to the exact link? Thanks!
Hi Eric, I have no comments on neurofeedback, but am glad for the heads up, as it can be easily confused with “biofeedback” in people’s minds, as you have demonstrated. I’m intrigued with your description of the contrast of Eleanor Longden’s voices with your own. I’m obviously not an expert in these matters but what you wrote reminded me of Dr. Abram Hoffer’s observation that paranoid schizophrenia (which sounds more like Eleanor’s as hers didn’t seem to involve the cosmos, God, angels and demons, etc.) is relatively easy to “fix.” I’m visiting a friend who has been committed to the hospital once again and if she’s ever had a religious or philosphical thought enter her head, she keeps it VERY well hidden. Her delusions seem to quite banal and focused on people she actually knows (her husband’s a fake, people are out to get her, etc.) I’ve always heard that women’s schizophrenia is not generally as severe and women are more likely to recover than men. The content of the delusions may be one of the clues. Thanks for another enjoyable and thought provoking story, and best wishes going forward.
What about music for your brain, Corinna? There is lots of interesting stuff on Youtube that you can work with, on your own time (and your own dime).
So glad that you are doing well and making speedy progress! It’s great to hear about getting a job.
Bravo, Mat. Your story is deeply moving and impressive in how hard you wanted to change. A lot of people who comment on MIA make the case that there is no need to change, people are fine just as they are, and how dare others suggest that the problem is yours. I have a sister who is dyslexic. My childhood often wasn’t as perfect as I thought it should be because she was always in an uproar. The spillover to every aspect of family life was huge. It has only been quite recently that I have begun seeing her problems as hearing related. People who don’t hear well, or whose hearing lags their intelligence, get tremendously frustrated, hyperactive, and impulsive. They don’t read other people well and can be easily influenced. All of this leads to more frustration. Your balance beam idea was brilliant because at some level you surmised that your ear might be the problem. These are just my most recent evolving thoughts on the origin of “mental” illness.
I’m amazed that you stayed off the drugs after that. You inspire me! I’m not sure what you mean by not writing up the hospitalizations.$
Who ever has “one” episode of psychosis? How long is a”single” episode supposed to last? Does “one” episode of psychosis mean that you have it and get over it in a day or a week? If that’s the case, very few people would even get to the doctor’s office or to the hospital, so it wouldn’t show up in the statistics. My son entered an “early” psychosis program and the “early” part was problematic to me. He had been acting strangely for three years so “early” didn’t mean the same thing to me as it did to the program that was eager to scoop up as large a client base as it could. More clarity around these words would be helpful.
Hi, Mike I’m replying to my own comment because we’re out of thread. My son is now 34. He is on 1 mg a day (I think but not sure of the specific dose and how often he takes it) of liquid Abilify. He’s on no vitamins because the vitamins became simply too much, too many, a tyranny in their own way like the drugs. (He started out on risperdal and Effexor while hosptalized at age 20 and was on various meds like clozapine, Serdolect, usually in combination until he went to only 1 when he was 26. My problem with Dr. Hoffer, whom I greatly admire (and even met on one occasion) is that I distrust his results. Why couldn’t we duplicate them and the only reason I can think of is that the drugs confused what was going on. We finally gave up because my son wasn’t well, and this was after not just the niacin but going full throttle by introducing a naturopath/holistic MD into the equation. There is so much going on with schizohrenia that it’s hard to disentangle what intervention is producing the new symptom or getting rid of the old. There is a huge social aspect to this, meaning that someone will have difficulty recovering if others talk down to them, correct the faulty logic, etc. etc. I would have liked that my son went on niacin from day 1, not an antipsychotic, because I think that then I would have seen better results, but there wasn’t much support to keep going for years with the regime. People/famlies also need pep talks in order to keep going. I’ve read all of Dr. Hoffer’s books and articles, and what I liked most was not the results (in my son’s case), but the positive attitude he encouraged others to take towards schizophrenia. I’m in my usual rush and probably not making sense. It’s going to be tough dealing with your mother’s doctors, who won’t want her off the drugs and will at most “tolerate” the niacin. Here’s something I do recommend that is non-drugl and shows a lot of promise based on my experience with holistic interventions. I have several blogs on this topic (Focused Listening) going back to June 2017, I believe.) Start at Jan. 6 2018 and read forward. I return to the topic several times. https://rossaforbes.com/blog/page/2/
I’m jumping in here as I’ve been somewhat following the thread. My experience giving my son niacin was that irt is premature when someone is on meds. The effects get lost in the fog of drugs. Hoffer (correct me if I’m wrong) prescribed it to people not on meds. I was so eager to try it that we did it anyway. I noticed improvements, but he didn’t “recover” on niacin. I would hate to see you going through the expense and ending up spending money and lots of time, but having the meds confound the good that I believe niacin can do.
I’m with you Alex on just about everything. I detest the professional aspect of all of this, but try not to let it get to me. Just today I was looking back at the years of psychotherapy my son has had, and getting angry about it, while knowing at the same time that his psychiatrist provided a sympathetic ear and paid friendship when the rest of his friends abandoned him. That’s worth a lot. Re the Laing quote, you brought out an interesting point: When my son had his crisis, my husband and I ended up auditioning new roles and playing new “games” in order to keep up with my son’s constantly changing behavior. A mental health crisis is almost like a creativity bomb that gets dropped into a group setting. It’s exhausting and really keeps you on your toes. Sometimes I’d settle for a little less creativity, though.
Respect, Liz, for telling it like it is.
I’ve been following your comments here at MIA and send you and your wife good wishes. I think I first heard it from Dr. Abram Hoffer who observed that the people who recovered best were the ones who took themselves out from the medical model as much as possible. Sounded good to me.
Thanks, Alex. You’re early and continued enthusiasm for this journey is much appreciated. I hope your journey continues to evolve in interesting ways.
And you challenged yourself to see your diagnosis differently. Well done and brave.
We must trust our instincts. Thanks for your comment.
It’s always awkward when it’s a mother and son combo. I’d love to disengage myself. It’s coming.
Droolng houseplants, haha. Nicely put. Having endured some really scary stuff with my son, I am also sympathetic to your mom’s view, but only to a point. There comes a point when one must get over the fear and challenge oneself to look at the situation from an entirely different angle. Probably a good thing that you twol are no longer living together. You need to breathe!
Exactly. There are solutions (or should we call them possibilities?) and they are invariably outside of the mainstream. Not to say that they are easy to find or that they are 100% effective, but I have found that they move us forward. One of the CERN physicists (was it Higgs or was it Boson?) said something like just about anything in physics, once it’s conceptuaized, will eventually be proven. Seek and ye shall find, etc. etc.
Good point, Wayne. It’s sure been interesting.
Thanks for giving me a sort of compliment, but actually, I, too, believe that the value of nutrition in treating mental illness is over-hyped. Homeopathy is not nutrition, so maybe that’s the confusion. People often think homeopathic remedies are nutrients, maybe because they see the potions on the pharmacy shelves next to granola bars, but they aren’t. Homeopathy is a natural form of medicine (ulta-diluted substances) used to treat acute and chronic conditions.
Thanks, Nancy99 for your thoughtful response. When you are talking about the placebo effect, you are referring to the standard definition of the placebo effect in that the patient expects that whatever is provided will make him or her well, and I’m guessing the time frame has to be short. “Take this pill or this potion, and you should expect to be well in X amount of time.” Neither psychotherapy nor homeopathy are short term treatments for mental distress. You have to believe enough in their curative powers to keep going, and this can take years. I’m leading this thread far off topic, and I’m no expert in homeopathic cures, but actually, the opposite of what you said is true about homeopathy: It works especially well for mental disorders. How exactly it works is not known, but the same can be said for many of today’s effective treatments.
Really? You are dismissing the neuroplastic effect of music on the brain and water containing ultradiluted substances that provide information to the body as placebos? It’s understandable in the case of homeopathy (which developed the first placebo-controlled studies in the mid 1800s (Dean) that American allopathic doctors are skeptical because most of the current homeopathic research is being done outside the United States. In the case of Tomatis, Tomatis therapists will proudly tell you that Tomatis was employing the concept of brain plasticity many years in advance of the neuroplasticity of the brain becoming widely accepted by the greater medical community. My point is, everybody is selling us something, and they believe in their product. They’ve all got convincing, scientific sounding arguments (and research), but to claim that their product is the ONLY path to salvation is, as Larry David might say, “a bit much.”
You make a good case for psychotherapy as a biological healer, but surely it is not the ONLY biological treatment. You are a psychotherapist so it’s not surprising that you make this claim about your area of expertise. Dr. Alfred Tomatis, an otolaryngologist (1920 – 2001), was equally convinced that THE biological method of healing the brain (and the psyche) is through filtered high frequency sounds (Mozart concertos, Gregorian chants, etc.) that recharge the vestibular system of the inner ear (and whole body) with energy, and encourages the right side of the brain to “talk” to the left side. In Tomatis therapy, emotional disorders are treated as listening problems. A classical homeopath makes the case that homeopathic remedies are tailor made to treat the causes of symptoms, rather like what psychotherapists claim.
I may be a little slow here because something in the explanation doesn’t make sense to me. Where do they find psychotic rats?
I, too, can’t wait to hear the response. Good luck with that!
I especially appreciate Ron’s term (and warning) that he calls “awfulizing” psychosis. (Link doesn’t work, BTW). As highfellow points out, “psychosis as personal tragedy requiring lifelong treatment’ is the popular view, the medicalized view, and it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy if adopted. I liked reading Will Hall’s explanation of what recovery is like for him. It sounds about right; a foot in each world.
“it makes us feel like you only see ND people as burdens when it is possible to have healthy mutual relationships. maybe that’s not possible with your husband, and if so, our condolences and may you work out what is best for both of your needs. but don’t make it sound like that’s the case for everyone.”
Did you read what Julia26 wrote, over, and over, and over again?
Julia, I get where you are coming from, but from a mother’s perspective, this is not the Poseidon Adventure. I have the impression from reading your comments over the years that you figured it out for yourself, maybe later than you would have preferred (my impression only). Wouldn’t I have loved it if my son could have figured it out on his own, at the age of 20, or maybe even 25? Even 30. It would have made my job a lot less stressful. My son was quite willing to do whatever anyone told him to do, and that included the “professionals” who told him he had a life long disease, needed life long medication, and should lower his expectations. How long would it have taken him to figure it out? He didn’t do the heavy lifting. (He lacked the concentration to even read for quite a while, let alone do his own research.) He was scared and confused. How long should someone wait? My role was to encourage him to take responsibility for his life. The problem was, for the longest time, he was unwilling to take responsibility, or was unable to do it. We hear a lot on MIA from the people who figured it out for themselves. For some people, unless they are encouraged, it ain’t going to happen. Isn’t encouragement and hope what everybody in MIA claims is missing from mainstream treatment?
Julia26, I couldn’t agree more. Why do “professionals” and people with lived experience, have more credibility in the court of public opinion here (on this comment thread) than family members, who are also experts by lived experience? I take a very skeptical view of professionals and alternative healers, and prefer to cherry pick the ones that can help my relative. I try to avoid “professionals” as much as possible, because aren’t they the reason MIA was created in the first place? As a reaction to the damage done by mainstream treatment? Professionals here on MIA write about their clients all the time, but don’t use their names. Neither does samruck2, so why is his voice, and the voices of other experts by lived experience, being told to sit in the comments section?
I would tend to agree with you, Steve about integrative medicine “privileging” MDs and drugs. However, I looked up Susan Samueli’s background and was gratified to see this:
“She developed an active consulting practice in the areas of nutrition, homeopathy, and Chinese herbs and subsequently received a PhD in nutrition from the American Holistic College of Nutrition in 1993 and a Diploma in Homeopathy from the British Institute of Homeopathy in 1994.”
Homeopathy is supposedly one of the two most controversial subjects on Wikipedia https://www.huffingtonpost.com/dana-ullman/dysfunction-at-wikipedia-_b_5924226.html My experience with what homeopathy can offer when it comes to mental “illness” has been most encouraging.
Thanks for you insight, Shiv. Are you seeing anyone or doing anything to help with your cognitive problems? Are you able to talk to a therapist or someone who makes you feel included, and not excluded? Drugs only work on the symptoms. There is a lot to what we call “schizophrenia” that involves the psyche.
I agree with Dr. Steingard’s analysis. There are enough confounding variables re introducing antipsychotic medication early as to make the study conclusions meaningless. I suggest that other confounding variables are the age of onset and the sex of the individual.
I am saddened that, knowing what we do know, that many people will not need to embark on this perilous journey in the first place, they are none-the-less continuing to be coerced into it by spurious studies. How quickly one journeys from “first episode psychosis” to being labelled “chronic.” It’s a preventable journey in theory only. Tragic.
Of course, now that a former pharmaceutical exec (and lawyer!) has been appointed the new Health and Human Services secretary, there’s not a snowball’s chance in Hell that the system is going to change to accommodate those who want to avoid treatment with antipsychotics..
Don’t feel discouraged, FeelinDiscouraged. You will more likely have a good chance of dying a virgin if you become a nun or priest, lol. Church leaders, in my experience, are really weird people, just one visit away from a DSM label. And they know this, and close ranks on the topic of mental illness. I could never “get” why people who preach about God, prophets, and visions, also think there are mentally ill people. Maybe that’s why the Book of Revelations doesn’t get much play in my church. Too close to home.
Why not just try it at the highest dose? Why the hesitation?
From the website of Doctoryourself.com Hoffer anecdote
“Professor J.G.D. Birkmayer and his associates at the Birkmayer Institute for Parkinson Therapy in Vienna, Austria, studied a stable form of NADH. They found that their stable preparation using 5 mg doses was therapeutic for Parkinson’s disease, for Alzheimer’s, and for depression. (3) They wrote,” When we first used NADH with regard to its clinical efficacy the effect was not convincing.
This was most likely due to the rapid dissolution (approximately 10-15 minutes) of the capsule leading to a release of NADH into the acid conditions of the stomach. Since NADH is rapidly oxidized below pH 7.6, the conditions in the stomach will inactivate NADH by converting it to NAD. The investigations of this report were therefore performed with NADH capsules coated with an acid stable film and a release time of 2-3 hours. With this galenic formulation of NADH an improvement in disability could be achieved which was comparable to that of intravenously applied NADH.”
In our studies we used NAD, which was the only form of this coenzyme available, in doses of one gram daily, but the Austrian group found NADH active at 5 to 10 mg daily.
NAD and NADH are interconvertable in the body. This suggests that the active form is the reduced form, NADH, and that NAD is much less effective since it would first have to be reduced to NADH. The decreasing order of therapeutic efficacy would be NADH, NAD and finally vitamin B3. There would be no formation of NADH in the stomach from NAD, but there would be some made in the intestine.
I hope these recent Birkmayer studies will reactivate interest in the therapeutic effect of this potent coenzyme made from vitamin B3. It is available from Menuco Corporation, 350 Fifth Avenue, Suite 7509, New York, NY 10118.”
My son tried it (along with other supplements) for a while. The dosage was 20 mg. He eventually stopped taking it. While I was initially optimistic that NADH would turn things around, it didn’t. That’s not to say that my son didn’t improve. He seemed to improve mentally and emotionally with just about every non-medically sanctioned treatment. It’s just that there was no magic bullet (NADH included) in my experience, to overcome his resistance or inability to take the necessary steps to becoming self-supporting and independent. Or maybe it is the clouded thinking that hasn’t cleared up enough to enable him to take these steps. NADH is worth trying, in any case. Chances are it works best for the percentage of people whose “schizophrenia” is due to a vitamin B deficiency.
You remind me of another German, a judge, not a poet, a humanist, and a wonderful writer: Daniel Paul Schreber. He rendered an accurate description of a vibrating universe, which was well ahead of his time.
Well said, Corinna. Where do you go when doubts begin to creep back in? Going “inside” is the only place I can think to go, drawing on whatever it is that will illuminate the present moment. Matt was so wise, but still young and therefore, vulnerable. He was just such a beautiful person. Getting to that bright spot is never easy.
Your comment is loaded with good information. Thanks. Hoffer was doing research on NAD, which was the only form of the coenzyme available, and I think he wasn’t actively researching it by the time NADH became commercially available, Hoffer had more or less retired.
Here’s what he had to say about NADH:
NAD and NADH are interconvertable in the body. This suggests that the active form is the reduced form, NADH, and that NAD is much less effective since it would first have to be reduced to NADH. The decreasing order of therapeutic efficacy would be NADH, NAD and finally vitamin B3. There would be no formation of NADH in the stomach from NAD, but there would be some made in the intestine.
“I hope these recent Birkmayer studies will reactivate interest in the therapeutic effect of this potent coenzyme made from vitamin B3. It is available from Menuco Corporation, 350 Fifth Avenue, Suite 7509, New York, NY 10118.
Thanks for this information. It is interesting about how niacin opens up the mast cells, and that you say that you feel Hoffer had discovered a treatment for Lyme.
Then the people around you should lighten up. Seriously. If I go around hitting my son over the head with how “seriously” mentally ill he is, that destroys us both. I cannot stand the term Serious Mental Illness. It’s an invitation to abuse people, as you so rightly pointed out, real science behind them.