Sunday, April 30, 2017

Comments by bcharris

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  • You’re going to have difficulties, because you’re dealing with characters born in the era of the Double Blind (or is it the Doubly Blind?) where experience is considered an impediment to knowledge, which can only be found through statistical analysis by someone totally ignorant of the actual issue- having first-hand experience makes you ignorant of what’s really happening and thereby suspect. Therefore, you have knowledge of forced drugging only if you’re distanced by ignorance of its outcome, except through some kind of statistical analysis. Otherwise, nothing you say can possibly have any validity.

  • Well, curing all the world’s psychiatric problems with psychedelics is clearly nonsensical. For substance abusers, the point is in the experience that hallucinogens can generate, not the drugs themselves. They can merely speed up the process in selected individuals, many of whom don’t have the time nor the wherewithal to seek Enlightenment at the local Zendo. Sometimes you have to make do with what you have on hand, while doing what you can to keep people off the back ward of your local institution by avoiding common mistakes. Hallucinogens are definitely not for everybody- I wouldn’t have bought that Hoffer-Osmond Diagnostic test 43 years ago if they were.

  • The shrinks of the day didn’t think that megavitamins B3 and C, the most successful way to treat freak-outs and space-outs, had any psychiatric value. They were (and are) also cheap and generic, which meant no prescription note-pads, free samples, trips and free admissions to company-sponsored conferences in the South during the winter.

  • There are ways to estimate if serious bad things or no serious therapeutic response will happen, and that’s through history-taking (looking for “schiz” first-order relatives, as well as taking a HOD test (I bought mine to screen individuals for taking hallucinogenic mushrooms), which can predict the likelihood of an individual having prolonged reactions. There’s also a urine test for pyrolles, which also suggest their likelihood, as well. None of this is rocket science, having been explored 50 years ago.

  • I find this entertaining, because these new advocates come from the same bunch that anathematized hallucinogens back in the 1960’s, when protocols for their safe usage were devised in Saskatchewan by Hoffer and Osmond, making it a primary drug in that province for treating alcoholism, until our DEA suppressed it by pressuring the province several years later.

    Now it’s become forgotten lore, existing only in the pages of their books: The Hallucinogens and New Hope for Alcoholics, which neither you nor these neo-advocates for hallucinogens have apparently read (they’re out of print). I’m surprised the neo-advocates have read Stanislas Grof, the only person on earth who had licenses to dispense LSD from both the capitalist and communist blocs in that bygone era.

  • The big question is- what kind of intervention are you doing? Simply drugging the beneficiaries of intervention into drowsy stupidity is obviously not the way to go, but being able to quantify what’s going on can definitely be helpful. I recall an incident of a gent who seemed to be descending into early “schizophrenia”, but was actually descending into early lead poisoning from a cobbled up reefer pipe where the bowl was soldered to the stem; the heat from the burning pot was also vaporizing the solder, which he was also inhaling. A few weeks after ditching the pipe, he was fine- his mood was greatly improved, and the formerly closed curtains on his windows were opened (sign of decreased or eliminated paranoid sensations and feelings). Who knows what would have happened to him without proper intervention? I dread thinking what would have happened to him, had Community Mental Health got their paws on him.

  • True, but it’s still necessary to be aware of physical conditions that induce or exacerbate “mental” symptoms that can respond to appropriate (not neuroleptic) treatments. There are a number of them that shrinks usually don’t find, because they’re not really aware of them in the first place.

  • Another way to waste the taxpayers’ money, since autism is likely also primarily a syndrome with doubtlessly more than one potential cause. One thing the Blue Light guys won’t be studying is how prenatal and early natal chemical exposure affects infants- bad for the chemical industry and business if that were true.

  • You’re right there. In their eagerness to prove their mental illness categories are real diseases, our main line shrinks seem to have totally forgotten that there are numerous “ordinary” diseases that have a profound effect on mental functioning that can’t be alleviated with psychiatry or its drugs, but can be alleviated or even eliminated with real (ordinary?) medical treatments. Of course, when this happens, the ailment in question is immediately drummed out of psychiatry, like the Lion and Unicorn being drummed out of town (if you remember the nursery rhyme).

  • Hard to say. Bill W. took a lot of heat toward the end of his life when his plugged niacin as a remedy for alcoholic depression, after he and 20 out of 30 of his AA buddies also did (he got the 30 guys to try this in order to see if his own loss of depression was a fluke). Some of the old line AA guys thought he was just getting strange, if not demented.

  • I know I’m unsuited for this, for the same reason I’m unsuited to work in the average residential substance abuse facility- I can’t stop myself from getting my charges on supplements, whenever it seems likely to benefit them. When I first got on B3, I knew I had to help myself, with minimal or no aid from anyone else, so I studied the relevant literature and then let myself become a resident sorcerer for a group of local dopers, who knew me because I was a volunteer in a crisis center (popular in those days) and also a collector of hallucinogenic mushrooms. I did a number of things as well as treating simple dysperceptive states- supervising and assisting a heroin withdrawal (but not of someone with a giant habit) and a couple of physical withdrawals from alcohol, being able to safely speed them up by using simple documented methods for all of them.

    In the 90’s, while working in the residential substance abuse program, I started up again, after watching a number of treatment failures occur, because of staff ignorance. While the program director was firing me (she wanted me to quit, but I wanted unemployment), I had to bite my lip when she and the clinical supervisor had a side discussion about two residents who had graduated, despite a poor prognosis, because they’d been taking niacinamide (courtesy of yours truly). The supervisory dignitaries would then have sacked me with cause, had they found out, denying or delaying my unemployment benefits.

    I’d expect to be even more grievously punished, working as a peer specialist.

  • There are a number of biomarkers for a number of the altered states (urinary pyrolles is one of the oldest I know of), but the problem with them is that anyone knowledgeable of them can do a better job treating “psychoses” than a shrink, who isn’t. Picture a chiropractor, who can’t prescribe anything, successfully treating a Diplomate Psychiatrist’s treatment failures as a routine part of his/her practice. This humiliation can’t be endured by mainstream psychiatry for any length of time.

  • As an individual who has taken B3 for over 40 years, I’ve seen my share of this sort of thing in periodic sensational attempts to “refute” its use for treating psychiatric syndromes, generally featuring some kind of “double blind” study that never uses hidden controls like niacinamide or inositol hexanicotinate, which would make such studies truly double blind- niacin, itself, can’t be double blinded because it causes flushing when one starts taking it.

  • It has plenty to do with it, in addition to the mood and sanity changes you get from classical deficiency diseases like pellagra and scurvy, you can get them from idiosyncratic reactions to foods and environmental chemicals of one sort or another. I, for example, am incapable (or barely capable) of controlling my temper if I consume anything containing caffeine. Where do you think you get all those neurochemicals that the poisonous neuroleptics are trying to tinker with? Addictions are likely to be nutrition related in some form or other- the results of chronic heavy drinking sure are. Loss of the senses of smell and taste (occurring in some depressed states) are responsive to zinc supplementation.

  • It doesn’t seem dramatic enough. That some missing or deficient nutrient might be responsible for dramatic changes in behavior seems trite, compared to enduring continuous abuse from your family and significant others. It isn’t trite, if you’re aware that 1/3 of the beds in Southern US mental institutions used to be occupied by pellagrins, or that sailing ships of the alleged good old days, set out from port with twice the crew they needed, so that some crew members would still be around to sail the ship after everybody on board got scurvy during the voyage.

  • You might have bitten on the wrong worm there, misfitxxx. My earliest exposure to mental health types came shortly after first exposure to colas, tea and the caffeine in them. Even after losing most of my disperceptions and distortions, I still had “anger management issues.” Eventually I learned caffeine was bad for me if I had a snit, but didn’t realize I had to totally avoid it until the early 1990’s. I’ve saved unknown sums, by not breaking my personal and household items, since.

  • Yes. Maybe it’s responsive to nutrient treatment, as well. Abram Hoffer treated a few individuals- POW’s and camp survivors- with niacin a number of years ago and said he got good results, although I’d think multiple nutrients would be in order.

  • I see no problem with that, myself. I was just answering a comment from someone who had difficulty with the philosophy behind nutritional treatments. Since I’m one of those sinners who consumes multiple grams of B3/day and have hallucinatory friends who’ve recovered on nutrient therapy, I can hardly diss such treatments. After all, I first read stuff by Natasha Campbell McBride around 20 years ago and subscribed to the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine (where I read her work), for years before that.

  • May be simply a bias, but I’ve noticed you’re much bigger on psychological trauma and stress than I am. I tend to be more pedestrian in outlook, probably excessively so at times- when it comes to successful treatment of extreme states, I’m more familiar with medical treatments that actually do work allaying them, being an orthomolecular crazy who’s had to take care of myself for many years, willfully staying under psychiatric radar to avoid detection.

  • One thing Mr. Stevenson and big-time psychiatry seem to have in common is ignorance how malfunctions in regions in the body at large can effect mental functioning, such as fluctuations in blood sugar, food sensitivities or under- or overactive thyroids (among many others). Many of these respond effectively to medical treatments NOT centered around psych drugs or prolonged psychotherapeutic investigations of early life traumas.

  • For a nation first settled by convicts, the psych authorities are sure bound by convention- I know they were regularly after Chris Reading for years (is he still alive?). He frequently had to publish his stuff in the Canadian-published Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine and its predecessor, the Journal of Orthomolecular Psychiatry.

  • Were you the sort who uses nutrient therapy along with psychotherapy, I’d suggest you use the Hoffer-Osmond Diagnostic or the Experiential World Inventory tests to monitor your progress. You’d also find out something about your clients’ inner worlds, helping you understand what perceptual experiences are influencing their behavior.

  • I suspect you were talking about Abram Hoffer (1917-2009) when you mentioned his work with B3. I also found it interesting that the researchers in the study you mentioned never used B3 when treating the study patients, even though B3 is the primary vitamin used when treating “schizophrenia”. In his later career, Hoffer stopped using the word schizophrenia, altogether, when diagnosing, preferring the term “vitamin dependent pellagra” to psychiatric diagnoses.

  • These guys aren’t good for anyone’s health, but they’d make interesting victims for a TV crime show, being done in by their own experiments and financial issues- the guy giving the speed to recovered patients to see if they’d relapse is found, filled with several hundred milligrams of meth, is found in a locked room. In a steamer trunk, that also holds the key, is a pop-up monster that springs up when the lid is opened…

  • Absolutely right. There’s a lot of fraud in the pushing of these so-called natural supplement combinations, particularly when knows that certain fairly common cheap supplements will work just as well, if not better, than these expensive poseurs, for a number of conditions. I pay no more now, for sugar and starch free niacin, than I would have, 40 years ago.

  • You’ve got it generally right, lily, though we’re also dealing with treatments that can use very high doses of certain nutrients (B3, B6, B12, C the usual suspects), instead of psych drugs, as the core of treatment. Interestingly enough, this only occurs with males. I found mention of this in a volume called Orthomolecular Psychiatry, Linus Pauling and David Hawkins MD, editors, in a paper by Hawkins, describing the North Nassau Mental Health Center, which he used to run (an old guy, he retired and I don’t know if he’s still alive). Good luck finding the volume, though it’s probably in the Library of Congress.

  • This conversion stuff is pretty ridiculous, but the advocates of this sort of abuse would be even more outraged to know these conversions sometimes happen with males treated for disperceptive illnesses by orthomolecular practitioners, where the practitioner ISN’T (I use the caps because I got flamed earlier on this subject and now have to explain myself to keep this from happening again) trying to change their patient’s sexual orientation, but trying to remove “run of the mill” perceptual distortions through nutrient therapy.(When I have to do this with appropriate individuals, I explain it is a side effect I can’t control).

  • It says something about your psychiatrist, that she didn’t know that anxiety can be the result of magnesium deficiency- the heart palpitations are a giveaway. I bet she didn’t ask you if you suffered from cramps in addition to the palpitations. You may think of me as crass, but that is why I don’t suffer from leg cramps at night, anymore.

  • Maybe he can’t, Matt. About the only biological theories that makes sense are anathema to mainstream psychiatry. Since you’ll want to know about them, here they are: certain of the neurochemicals will break down to oxidized variants sometimes known as chromes, when under stressed conditions, and these chromes are hallucinogenic. The one I’m most familiar with is adrenochrome, a breakdown metabolite of adrenaline, which has to be metabolized fast when you get wired. It, and its sister chemical, adrenolutin are very long-acting hallucinogens, but not psychedelics, and adrenochrome has been found in the body. You could get the most detail about them from the ancient (1967) volume, The Hallucinogens, by Hoffer and Osmond. Good luck finding it, because it’s out of print and I won’t let you take mine- maybe the Library of Congress has one.

  • The difficulty arises from depression being a syndrome that could be brought on by a variety of entities, a number of which are nervous system reactions to chemical effects and changes in other parts of the body, e.g. liver disease, blood sugar irregularities, chemical and food sensitivities, plus other things that can’t be treated with SSRI’s (or other antidepressants, for that matter).

  • I hate to bring this up, but just as the Russians initially beat us into space, they also preceded our entry into coercive psychiatry, in which dissidence is seen as a mental illness, in which treatment consists of turning the dissident into a pliable mental incompetent. Interestingly enough, both these advances took place in Krushchev’s time. That’s what the Serbsky Institute was all about.

  • I accept it as rubbish. Besides, that I take a lot of B3 every and also believe megascorbate is useful for preventing and/or treating virus ailments, is data that shrinks would use to affirm my incurable mental disability, and do such an excellent job of treating me that I wouldn’t be able to remember my name and address.

  • Maybe he already knew that form of hysteria was due to calcium deficiency brought on by lack of Vitamin D3 to metabolize it (remember Victorian women with their all-covering dresses and huge hats to keep their skin white and pasty, the desired complexion in women of that era, according to its literature).

  • Harvard Medical school probably never had what you might have hoped. Many years ago, on the old NBC Tomorrow show, Mark Vonnegut (now MD) had an enlightening story about applying to Harvard Medical school shortly after his autobiographical book about when he went psychotic big time in British Columbia. He related his episode to the School, but the admissions office accepted him anyway: although he was diagnosed schizophrenic in BC, he was accepted, even though the School didn’t accept prior schizophrenics- he’d recovered, which the school believed to be impossible; therefore, he couldn’t be schizophrenic, as they were incurable. Should you be surprised the school fell in with the legal dope pushers later?

  • Stalin tried as hard as he could to be as inept as the French. Certain that the Germans wouldn’t attack him immediately, despite their moving most of their army to his borders, he squirreled away the multitude of reports from his many spies, certain the reports were part of a German disinformation scheme to extract concessions on the prices of the materials he was sending them. Then he forced the units on the border to display that they were totally unready to fight (probably as a cover for his intended betrayal of the Germans at a later time- the units were amassing artillery ammunition), letting the Germans fly photoreconnaissance missions over his territory.

  • The French did themselves in. The first of their three inept commanders made his headquarters in a remote chateau without a phone or radio (maybe he saw himself as a military artist who needed to secrete himself to enhance his martial creativity) who had to communicate with his army via a motorcycle dispatch rider. The second one had to take himself on a military grand tour to inspect his decaying front before he took action. The situation was beyond hope by the time the third one was installed.

  • I don’t know if it’s valuable or spiritual, but around 40 years ago I quit drinking after eating a dozen bell-shaped Panaeolus mushrooms I found in a cow pasture near my home. They informed me they would return when needed if I didn’t let myself get blotto with outrageous chemicals and drugs. They came back about 20 years ago when I was working a midnight in a residential treatment center. An unstable resident had cut his wrists during the day. He was poorer than a church mouse and consequently would never take an ambulance to the hospital if he cut himself again, which would mean waking all the other residents and driving them with him, guaranteeing they’d get no sleep and be disciplined the next day for something I did, once they failed some therapeutic activity. I was fretting about this, when
    the mushrooms suddenly appeared and said, “you don’t have to put up with this.” I shortly wound up secretly putting him on niacinamide. He graduated from the center’s program, to the amazement of the staff.

  • One of the things most of the bloggers don’t know, is that the various attempts by mainstream guys to understand psychoses came from attempts to disprove another biological notion- that the syndrome isn’t a brain disease at all, but a metabolic disorder in which one’s own body produces hallucinogens, especially under stress, which can come from any number of stressors.

  • This is what happens when you try to stretch the parameters for a particular class of drugs uses. Initially, SSRI’s were used for OCD symptoms, for which they worked. Then, someone got the bright idea to use them for depressions featuring compulsive and obsessive thinking, which is where we are now. Perhaps the notion for using them after leaving alcohol rehab is the same mentality in a different setting, one more aptly served by having alcoholics using niacin or inositol nicotinate (no flush niacin) for the same purposes.

  • I have similar thoughts to you on the subject, but I occasionally take heat from some of the bloggers, myself, usually because they’re unfamiliar with the subject you’ve been writing about, perhaps because they devote a lot of energy going after psychiatric pseudo-medicine with all its arcane disorders of one kind or another.

  • Liz. He isn’t familiar with biological therapies that are actually based on biological reality, such as the various orthomolecular treatments that his profession has kept secret from him in its effort to suppress heretical thought. The old megavitamin therapy’s been around for about 65 years, as has fasting therapy for cerebral allergies. Thyroid for recurring catatonic episodes got its start around 60 years ago. I should be worried about telling you this, as I’ll be executed for witchcraft or sorcery in the Brave New Psychiatric World. Or maybe just scheduled for an infinite daily series of bilateral ECT.

  • There’s no surprise in this, because BC pills raise one’s level of serum copper. Although copper’s a necessary trace mineral, in excess in can promote depression and dysperceptions. Your mainline psychiatrist will disbelieve this, at least partially, because it was mentioned by orthomolecular guys like Carl Pfeiffer around 45 years ago(if you can find a copy of (hardcover) Orthomolecular Psychiatry, David Hawkins and Linus Pauling eds.). Another minus to this perception is that mega B6 and zinc were mentioned as the chief treatment for this in the Journal of Orthomolecular Psychiatry in the 1980’s, in preference to psychiatric drugs, which made it certain humbug to orthodox psychiatric minds.

  • I’m not a professional therapist, so if I’ve got to do a psych-type interview, I need help deciding how to do my interview unless there’s something I can see and readily identify. If I have to do psych-type stuff, it’s generally with someone else’s treatment failures.

  • Good to see that you’ve caught on to depression as a syndrome with multiple causes. Some are: simple inadequate diet that the writers reviewed, vitamin dependencies (B1,B3,B6,B12, folate likely most common), blood sugar fluctuations, thyroid problems, metal poisoning (lead, copper, aluminum the most common), BC pills (they raise serum copper), subclinical scurvy, etc. Notice also, how few mainstream shrinks ever bother to review such things, which is why they think 50% improvement rates of medicated patients is such a great thing, while simple investigation can get 90% improvement rates, IF our shrink can pick treatments properly.

  • Blood sugar spikes are responsible for a variety of “mental” symptoms. If you wanted to test yourself, the “clinical” way would be to test at hour intervals for 5 or 6(best) hours after your test meal. The medicos who routinely do this just use glucose for a standard test meal but a high carbohydrate meal may do as well, as you’re doing a rough field survey, in any case.

  • Who, me? Remember my biases, Steve. Although I don’t remember calling Soteria a fiasco, I’m also familiar with true biologically based treatments (sans drugs) that are effective for the schiz. syndrome. I also know Mosher got shut down by Soteria’s neighbors, who were spooked by sudden elopers (I do know the psych meaning of that term) suddenly entering the community on the run. To me, mainstream psychiatry isn’t using a medical model, but a muddled model, with elements of the impaired (“you’ll never get well”…) and moral models (pathologizing behaviors one doesn’t like). This may seem pedantic, but I’d suggest you read Models of Madness, Models of Medicine, by Miriam Siegler and Humphry Osmond. As my copy’s print date is 1976, it may be hard to find, but it really helps to clarify a subject of controversy among the bloggers.

  • Unwilling to have his dues to the APA used for attacks on him, Abram Hoffer also dripped out of the APA around the same time. I don’t know if he bothered with a resignation letter. Despite his letter, Loren Mosher was certainly enthusiastic about the niacin study in which he was a co-author. It was pretty APA of him to insist it was properly done, but then he never took any niacin himself, to realize its effects, which was actually also pretty APA of him.

  • Although the contents of the article were no surprise, I did accidentally find out why Loren Mosher allowed himself to be one the titled heads of a biased, poorly done, but widely publicized, pseudo study of the old time megavitamin therapy in 1973 in New Jersey (after Humphry Osmond had gone to Alabama). He was trying to get back into the APA fold, after being ostracized for the Soteria fiasco.

  • You don’t have to be insane to do a catastrophically bad job of governing. If you’re not totally for sale, all you need is total attachment to some kind of faulty policy, combined with the obstinacy to be deaf to any advice hostile to your fixated preconceptions.

  • Shelling out $30/mo. for supplements is more like it, though that’s on the heavy side if you haven’t become chronic like me or my friend, Henry the Paranoid, who took about 15-20g of B3/day (I once saw him take 10 500mg niacin tablets in one gulp at a drinking fountain- yes, he knew he was a paranoid, but his bearing would greatly improve over time, while on the B3). The idea is to buy them in bulk or when “twofers” are offered as a special. Niacin, you buy at the pharmacy counter by the 1000’s. Remember, the idea is to take as little guff as possible.

  • The only people you might give a psychiatric diagnosis are those in difficulties who voted for him, propelled by the delusion he might do something for them despite his ample history of thinking only about himself and his own personal advancement. They did get the president they deserved.

  • But you had a shot with the shysters, if you could get one for the price of a piece of the action if you won. You’ve the danger of some cheesy settlement if your lawyer has pressing debts, but he still has to so something to maximize his piece of the pie. The EEOC is your evidence, so you’re (to lawyer) not so crazy if you can point this out, so there is material for a case. You may want to see several of them predetermine local greed levels prior to employment.