A mother writes of natural healing, mental illness, and schizophrenia. Schizophrenia and the story of a son, including recommendations of books for further reading.
My name is Ariana (not my real name) and I have a story to tell about mental illness.
My husband and I lost a son to suicide because of schizophrenia. This happened in l995 when he was 25. He’d had several attempts before, some serious and some not so serious, starting when he was in the 9th grade. We didn’t know about that one until after he was gone.
Because of the years of watching him suffer and trying everything we could think of to no avail, his death was more of a relief that he was free of his diseased brain. We grieved for his tortured life and prayed that he was now free.
I have had a passion for natural healing that has kept me reading for years. I have several books and lots of information on mental health. A naturopathic physician suggested that I share some of my information with others who might have family members who are suffering from a mental condition. At the end I will list a few books that I feel are extremely enlightening and helpful in the area of mental health.
Some of the basics I have learned are:
1. Schizophrenia is not one condition or disease but is a group of symptoms that can be caused by a number of different conditions.
2. Not every schizophrenic has the same symptoms.
3. Different kinds of mental illness can come and go in the same individual. Sometimes our son manifested schizophrenia symptoms, sometimes bi-polar, sometimes paranoia, anxiety, etc.
4 Negative thinking can change brain chemistry and bring on symptoms of mental illness or exacerbate those already present.
5. Schizophrenia brought on by some conditions fosters thoughts of suicide more than others.
6. Schizophrenia is a physical disease or condition with other physical as well as mental symptoms.
7. What we eat matters to our mental health, though the same foods are not right for everyone.
8. There are several biotypes, each of which can be helped by a different protocol.
9. The only permanent cure for mental illness comes from using natural methods such as those used by Orthomolecular Psychiatrists. Drugging a patient only masks symptoms.
I don’t intend to try to treat anyone. I’m not trained for that. I can recommend books by authors who are extremely knowledgeable in the field of Orthomolecular Psychiatry.
There are two psychiatrists, namely, Carl Pfeiffer (who is now deceased) and Abram Hoffer, who were the pioneers in the field of Orthomolecular Psychiatry. Their emphasis is in testing the individual showing symptoms of mental illness, then supplying natural substances, not drugs, to achieve a balance that is necessary to regain mental health. These substances differ with each patient.
Their success is remarkable. During treatment, which may be life long, the patient is not drugged, but is taking only natural substances.
Some of the things that can cause mental symptoms are pellegra, vitamin and mineral deficiencies and excesses, essential fatty acid imbalances, sugar imbalances, high blood pressure, brain allergies, etc.
Listed below are the books I have that I’ve found very helpful to my learning. I hope they give hope to someone else. There is much that can be done.
These are some of the books that I think are extremely helpful:
1. Healing the Mind the Natural Way by Pat Lazarus. This is probably the best introductory book.
2. Natural Healing for Schizophrenia and Other Common Mental Disorders by Eva Edelman This is an extremely enlightening book but difficult to read, particularly for the beginner.
3. Nutrition and Mental Illness-An Orthomolecular Approach to Balancing Body Chemistry by Carl Pfeiffer, M.D., Ph.D. Carl Pfeiffer found nutritional causes of psychotic disorders.
4. Brain Allergies: The Psychonutrient Connection Including Brain Allergies Today : An Update by William Philpott, M.D. and Dwight Kalita Ph.D.
5. Mental and Elemental Nutrients: A Physician’s Guide to Nutrition and Health by Carl Pfeiffer, M.D., Ph.D. This classic book is out-of-print and thus has limited availability. Try a used book store.
6. Common Questions on Schizophrenia and Their Answers by Abram Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D. This classic in its field is no longer available.