Thursday, January 31, 2013

Lookin' for keys in all the wrong places

The commenter I introduced in my last post also took issue with me for not being properly holistic. He referred to another blog post of mine and decided that I, in collusion with female psychiatrist and infantilizer, Dr. Stern, had forced Chris back on meds. No, it did not happen like that and what I wrote in the post he referred to does not detract from my opinions of the meds. (And, Chris, of course, could have refused the meds.) The commenter then pounced on me for my going along with meds which he felt is hypocritical of me since I claim to be "holistic."  Since when did "holistic" mean anything but all-encompassing, perhaps leaning towards the natural?

This little anecdote is my way of introducing a bit of science into this post. I tend to question the scientific basis of "schizophrenia" because (a) nobody was using science to diagnose and treat Chris; when a bit of nutritional science was later introduced into his regime, it ultimately led nowhere; (b) where do you begin to look for possible causes?; (c) today's "science" is tomorrow's discredited science; (d) many people get better without resorting to science, etc. etc.

There are dozens of possible medical reasons that can produce psychotic symptoms in an individual. Only one of these medical causes may apply to the particular patient. Where do you start to look if science is not taking schizophrenia seriously enough to investigate your particular case? The problem with science in the past has been that it seems to have adopted an all or nothing approach for mental illnesses. The dopamine receptor theory was forced on just about everybody because treatment was relatively straightforward. Get everybody on the medication. Ask no questions.

There is change happening. While there is more and more understanding of the trauma informed aspect of schizophrenia and other mental health diagnoses, there is also growing interest in medical testing for specific conditions that have gone undetected in the past.

From time to time I refresh myself on possible medical reasons for Chris's condition, and nothing has jumped out at me as an avenue to investigate further. However, Chris recently consulted a new shaman who hooked him up to special machine originally invented to test the health of Russian cosmonauts. I'm guessing that this machine is the CMD-Prognos or something similar. The shaman (who I call the plant power guy) pronounced that Chris's immune system is giving off absolutely no visible signs of life. Amazing Guinness World Records kind of thing. He gave him some vials of plant power extract to take. So, now, after nine years of looking, there is a possible medical cause - an immune deficiency disorder. The problem is, linking immune deficiency to schizophrenia and other disorders, is still in its infancy. Science just isn't there yet. See the latest article in Scientific American. An Immune Treatment Finds New Uses for Mental Health. What the article doesn't talk about is the expense for a single vial of this treatment. I've heard six figures. Can the shaman restore Chris's immunity levels to something in the range of normal? Will this also clear up his tendency toward psychosis? Should we do further testing? Is there further testing we can do?

Stay tuned.


  1. Rossa,

    you begin with a “little anecdote”; unfortunately, it is not accurate; for, I presume you’re referring to me, as you say, “He referred to another blog post of mine and decided that I, in collusion with female psychiatrist and infantilizer, Dr. Stern, had forced Chris back on meds.”

    Firstly, *never* did I decide anyone had *forced* Chris back on meds. No where do I make such an accusation. Secondly, if you’re aiming to suggest, that I referred to Dr. Stern as “infantilizer,” I must object – saying, no, I did not do that. (Not at all.)

    On the contrary, I said, “I’ve drawn the conclusion, that you *infantilize* your son; you are failing to cut the umbilical cord.” I go on, to explain, “In my view, you are doing that, by way of keeping him involved with psychiatry and on psych-meds.” And, pointedly, I lend you my sense that you’ve invaded your son’s privacy – by seeking emailed reports on his behavior, from his “therapist” (Dr. Stern) – and failed to provide real therapy for your son. Your son sees Dr. Stern twice a week, yet she is not providing a safe environment for the therapeutic process; she can’t, I believe – as she’s fully inclined to ‘medicate’ what she thinks are ‘prodromal symptoms’ – and reports, to you, your son’s behaviors in ‘therapy’; I believe that is not ethical, unless he is making threats (and, clearly, he’s not doing that).

    In any event, it’s my view, a young man called “schizophrenic” would do best with a *male* therapist – and, indeed, one who comprehends that damaging nature of that label; a male client would need to vent his anger, at being identified that way. And, quite possibly, he’d benefit from experiencing a truly powerful ‘catharisis’ – that he’d not feel comfortable expressing, with a woman. (Grief, he might eventually feel comfortable expressing, with a female therapist, but not anger – most likely.)

    (Rossa, you emphatically referred to such therapy, in one of your first blog posts, “The tragedy of schizophrenia without psychotherapy” Wednesday, December 16, 2009; I highly encourage you and your readers to review that post – and the connected links.)

    As for the body of this post, I think it’s great that your son is now looking into the possibility he needs to build his immune system. But, as for your saying, that, “now, after nine years of looking, there is a possible medical cause - an immune deficiency disorder,” I’ll suggest you’re being too reductionist in your way of thinking; there’s not necessarily one cause for anyone’s sufferings, which lead to seeming ‘psychosis’; and, immune deficiency is *not* necessarily a *medical* cause; it is, quite often, a *nutritional* cause. (From what you're describing, it seems your son may be malnourished. Possibly, he needs to rid gluten from his system. Surely, whoever suffers a serious immune deficiency should eliminate highly processed foods - including sugar - from their diet. Caffeine, too, should go...)

    Finally, here, I remind you, in one comment, to me, you said, “The psychiatric system is infantilizing.” So, indeed, now, I wonder: are you meaning to call Dr. Stern “infantalizer”? I doubt that’s the case; I think you would not refer to her that way; and, yet, I am unsure… But, for you and your readers, here is a way to easily review our conversation (I have made it more readable in a “P.S.” blog post, to accompany the ‘Open Letter’ I posted, to you); just copy and paste the following link, into your browser...

    I encourage you to read to the end, of that post, as I do praise your blogging...



  2. P.S. - Rossa, now (nearly 5 hrs. after posting my comment, to you, above), I’ve just noticed, that you left a comment on my blog, yesterday, responding to my ‘open letter’ to you. Excellent. What you say there is interesting. I'll reply in a comment, there, later today. Respectfully, ~J.


I am no longer approving comments. All I ask is that you be respectful of others and refrain from using profanity.