Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Your daily reinforcement

Do you feel sometimes that you are mostly alone in your belief that your relative does not have a diseased brain? The insightful blogger Alt_mentalities has reminded me once more of Dr. Loren Mosher's important contribution to viewing schizophrenia as a psycho/spiritual breakdown and healing process rather than a real "disease" as mainstream psychiatry would have us believe.

If you aren't already familiar with his work, the two must read articles are

Still Crazy After All These Years - Jeanette De Wyze  interview with Dr. Mosher
San Diego Weekly Reader, Vol. 32, No. 2, Jan. 9, 2003


Dr. Mosher's letter of resignation from the American Psychiatric Association - accusing psychiatry and pharma of getting into bed together. The letter was written in 1998, when psychiatry and pharma were still indulging in foreplay by today's standards!

Some extracts - but the letter is chock full of memorable quotes, so read it in full.

No longer do we seek to understand whole persons in their social contexts — rather we are there to realign our patients’ neurotransmitters. The problem is that it is very difficult to have a relationship with a neurotransmitter — whatever its configuration.......

.......In addition, APA has entered into an unholy alliance with NAMI (I don’t remember the members being asked if they supported such an association) such that the two organizations have adopted similar public belief systems about the nature of madness. While professing itself the “champion of their clients” the APA is supporting non-clients, the parents, in their wishes to be in control, via legally enforced dependency, of their mad/bad offspring: NAMI with tacit APA approval, has set out a pro-neuroleptic drug and easy commitment-institutionalization agenda that violates the civil rights of their offspring.

........“Biologically based brain diseases” are certainly convenient for families and practitioners alike. It is no-fault insurance against personal responsibility. We are all just helplessly caught up in a swirl of brain pathology for which no one, except DNA, is responsible.
Alt_mentalities has posted a must-read piece on the work of Dr. Loren Mosher (Soteria) and of John Weir Perry.

It's worth saying, again and again and again, that schizophrenia is a self-healing process. I have posted an extract from Alt_mentalities post below, part of a more in-depth interview with John Weir Perry.

Schizophrenia as a self-healing process:

“Schizophrenia” is a self-healing process – one in which, specifically, the pathological complexes dissolve themselves. The whole schizophrenic turmoil is really a self-organising, healing experience. It’s like a molten state. Everything seems to be made of free energy, an inner free play of imagery through which the alienated psyche spontaneously re-organises itself – in such a way that the conscious ego is brought back into communication with the unconscious again…

It [psychosis] is like the mythological image in a perfect stained-glass window being smashed, and all the bits and pieces being scattered. The effect is very colourful, but it’s very hard to discern how the pieces belong to each other. Any attempt to make sense of it is an exercise in abstraction from the actual experience. The important thing is to find the process running through it all.

“Chronic schizophrenia” – a cultural construct:

[Interviewer:] So are you saying that the reason we have so-called “chronic schizophrenia” in our society, – where a person is medicated, distressed or hospitalized for decades – is really cultural? A society which refuses to understand the healing nature of the phenomenon?

Yes, it seems so. Of course, there are some unusual cases where the individual simply can’t handle the impact of all this unconscious content, or doesn’t know what to do with it, and freaks out. But from my experience at Diabasis, I’ve seen so many people go the other way that I really do feel “chronic schizophrenia” is created by society’s negative response to what is actually a perfectly natural and healthy process.

Monday, January 30, 2012

A mother's survival tricks

I know I've repeated what I am about to say many times in other blog posts, but I'm running out of ideas for this blog (LOL) and I figure it never hurts to reinforce what worked for me to keep my head above water in this journey. If it works for me, it might work for other parents in the same boat.

1. My husband, Ian, and I have kept our promise to each other, going on three years now, not to discuss Chris in any way that would signal there is a PROBLEM with him that needs fixing. We don't discuss Chris's current job search, his unfinished  university degree, his hanging around the house during the daylight hours without much to do. Because if we did, we would soon start to WORRY and FEAR would gain the upper hand. Chris would bear the brunt of our anxiety, which would not help him to move forward. Ian and I refuse to get sucked into this anxiety inducing zero sum game. Chris is moving in the right directions, on his own initiative, and doesn't need us to prod him.

2. Entrusting Chris to the hands of other professionals. There was a time when Ian and I needed to get involved with Chris's doctors, but this regular contact was anxiety provoking for us. Ian and I disagreed about the value of the medications, and it was traumatizing for me, at least, to continually interact with doctors in a clinical setting. Chris is no longer being treated in a clinical setting. His psychiatrist, Dr. Stern, is a private therapist. Though I'm wary about the danger of Chris becoming a perpetual patient the longer he continues to see Dr. Stern, I had to trust her enough to let her get on with her job. So, I haven't corresponded with Dr. Stern for at least two years now. She's doing her job, I'm doing mine.  Chris also sees an occupational therapist. While I may wonder what we are paying her for since Chris doesn't yet have an occupation (LOL), I generally keep my mouth shut and let her get on with her job.

3. Trusting Chris more. This strategy(?) worked better as soon as Chris was able to function better. I remember when Chris left the hospital (for the third time) and I felt that I had "had it." All the hard work to get him to take his meds, then all the hard work getting him off his meds, still resulted in his landing back in the hospital and back on meds. I was sick of being his nurse. He still needed guidance, but a line had been crossed. The old way of working with him simply wasn't working. I stopped asking about whether he was taking his meds. He knew very well what the consequences were for going off them cold turkey.  I had to trust him enough to figure that he had learned something from this latest ordeal.

4. Letting go through yoga and meditation.

5. Reading only the good news that other people write about schizophrenia and mental distress. This is becoming easier as there is now more good news on the Internet than when I first got started.

6. Giving Chris daily hugs and praise.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

First step: Stop looking at the person as mentally ill

Discover and Recover: Resources for Mental and Overall Wellness is a excellent "go to" place for people wanting further information on alternative therapies and empowering their own recovery. I'm reprinting a recent comment(s) to another of my posts from its founder, Duane Sherry.

Discover and Recover Jan 27, 2012 02:32 PM

I’ve been taking an online course through the University of North Texas, WISE Program -Workplace Inclusion and Sustainable Employment – http://pacs.unt.edu/wise/ UNT was the largest rehabilitation counseling program in the world until very recently... It is no longer the largest, but still has a sizeable graduate degree program.

Last night, I read a great article – ‘Strategies for Healthy Relationships and Mental Wellness’ by George Nostrand.

I wanted to share with you and your readers some of what the article was about…
He describes “mental illness” in a refreshing way:

“The first step in working with someone who has been diagnosed with a mental illness is to stop looking at the person as ‘mentally ill.’ Everyone struggles at some point with varying degrees of mental illness. We all feel depressed, anxious, paranoid, and angry. In addition to dealing with a host of other emotions, our thinking also becomes confused, we get lost in our thoughts, and we just plain have days when our brains doen’t want to function.”

“As a result, mental illness is normal. A person becomes mentally ill when normal thoughts and emotions go beyond a point of ‘comfortability’ and self-management. In these instances, thoughts and emotions cause extreme disruptions in people’s lives. When it comes to work, these interruptions to healthy functioning can lead to embarrassing situations, sporadic work history, and take a serious toll on people’s self-esteem.”

He also has some good things to say about the therapeutic value of work:

“Work plays a crucial role in recovering from these periods of disruption. Nothing: not medications, therapy, or any other element of treatment, can provide the wide-ranging and crucial elements of recovey that work can. It is the only way for people to regain their independence and reintegrate into their respective communities. This is why it is so important that vocationial services be provided in a way that is empowering to the individual.”

My thoughts:

The article by George Nostrand, Strategies for Healthy Relationships and Mental Wellness will be read by people around the world, through the UNT WISE online program. I find it encouraging that so many people will be reading his words about "mental illness"... Hopefully, professionals will begin to think of "mental illness" in a new light.

I have long-thought that the paradigm shift that is needed to transform the mental health system will likely come through self-directed programs and those that offer peer support. I won’t hold my breath waiting for psychiatry to promote the concept of recovery… and psychology seems to be slow out of the gate as well. 

But I do think rehabilitation programs such as the one at the University of North Texas offer some hope, along with those at Boston University and Temple University.
We have a long way to go, but at least it’s a start:

Boston University – Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation – Repository of Recovery Resources: http://www.bu.edu/cpr/repository/index.html
Temple University – Collaborative on Community Reintegration (Rehabilitation and Research Center: http://tucollaborative.org/

Be well,

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday fun

It may be time for you to "do the needful" by sizing up your marriage prospects using an Indian dowry calculator! This calculator is Dedicated to all the match making aunties of India

http://www.dowrycalculator.com/  Like 78,788 people like this.

Chris's comment:

I think "skin colour" is a huge bump on the scale. I did it for me (little do they know) skin colour: "wheatish" caste Kshatriya (warrior) unemployed, no alma mater height 6' father's profession "teacher" dowry: 25 Lakh (is this the price of a Big Mac?")

Chris's results:

Getting there, slowly but surely. Right now, your dowry rate is  25 Lakh. If you want your dream dowry, this might not be the most optimum time for you to get married. There are times in life when we are standing on crossroad and need to take some tough decisions. You could go either way from here. Be the master of your destiny and steer it towards your dream dowry. Best of luck!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Astonishing rise of mental illness - is it a global phenomenon?

Has anyone noticed that Robert Whitaker's latest book has undergone a name change?

Old title: Anatomy of an Epidemic: Psychiatric Drugs, Magic Bullets, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America
New title: Anatomy of an Epidemic: Psychiatric Drugs, Magic Bullets and the Astonishing Rise of 
Mental Illness


Does the name change reflect the observation that there is an astonishing rise of mental illness in other countries, as Robert Whitaker perhaps has learned over the course of his international speaking engagements?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Coconut oil

I'm passing on some news about the purported benefits of coconut oil when treating alzheimers, dementia, epilepsy, Parkinsons and schizophrenia.

The video clip states that coconut oil raises the overall cholesterol score, but actually that is because it raises good cholesterol. This is also what niacin (Vitamin B3) does. I had my yearly medical check-up recently and the doctor reported, once again, that my overall cholesterol reading was really high. "But, don't worry," she reassured me. "That's because your good cholesterol is extremely high and it has raised the total score." Dr. Abram Hoffer recommended niacin to his schizophrenia patients and he also said that the vitamin was good in preventing dementia/alzheimers.

Here's the consumer's view of coconut oil. Gianna Kali at Beyond Meds has allowed me to reprint her comment in the main body of this post. I like her idea of using coconut butter as a substitute for peanut butter.

Coconut in general and coconut oil are both foods of the gods...especially if you're eating a grain free diet like I am...it's a great substitute.

I eat coconut flour for baked goods and coconut butter to replace peanut butter and cheese...and yes...it helps as a substitute...totally...I miss cheese and it sort of is like a spread that works...I also make homemade coconut milk since I no longer drink cow's milk and then the coconut oil I use in all sorts of cooking and baking too.

It's a wonderful food all around the coconut...it's high in protein and fiber and the fat is good for your brain and body in general.

I eat tons of saturated fat...both animal and plant (coconut oil is a saturated fat...my cholesterol went DOWN when I stopped eating grains and increased healthy fats...people don't know that grains and carbs is what make cholesterol go up in a lot of people....not fats!! and the grains and carbs will mess with people with blood sugar problems too.

Animal fat needs to be grass fed to be really healthy...in any case both my cholesterol and glucose levels have returned to healthy levels since eating this way.

Smells like pharma tactics

If you want to start a trend with the public, the school system has proven to be a good place to start. I can think of a few trends that I personally witnessed. The first trend was to push technology in the home, not just in the classroom. My husband and I barely had enough money to pay the mortgage, feed the family, and keep the car running, but we kept reading articles in the newspapers that children did much better at school if they had a home computer. Home computers cost $2000, not money we could get our hands on easily.  Huge guilt feelings on our part. Our children would lose any educational advantage they may have had! The parent/teacher interview would go something like this: Teacher: "well, I'm not worried about Alex's (our middle son) handwriting because he'll be working on computers in the future anyway. He won't need handwriting." The message was clear: Buy a computer or Alex would be chiseling out his writing assignments on stone tablets.

The second trend was the rush to medicate. I again began to feel that my children were being left out. So many children had diagnoses of ADD and ADHD, and dysgraphia (Alex missed out on that one) that the principle's office had a long line down the hallway at noon of children waiting to be medicated. But, as readers of this blog are already aware, my youngest son Taylor was caught in the ADD web. I was told by the school psychologist that Taylor may never reach his potential if I didn't put him on Ritalin. I refused to do this. Today, with hindsight, I question who was feeding this information to the school system. Suddenly, teachers were acting like pharma reps.

And, the trend continues. Scare parents into jumping on the digital bandwagon to help Johnny keep up in the classroom. Get the teachers to endorse the product. Get the media to advertise this for you.

iPad a solid education tool, study reports

-- More and more schools are jumping on the digital bandwagon and adopting iPads for daily use in the classroom. Apple's education-related announcements last week will no doubt bolster the trend, making faculty tools and student textbooks more engaging and accessible.

But today another data point emerged, demonstrating that the iPad can be a valuable asset in education. In a partnership with Apple, textbook publishers Houghton Mifflin Harcourt performed a pilot study using an iPad text for Algebra 1 courses, and found that 20% more students (78% compared to 59%) scored 'Proficient' or 'Advanced' in subject comprehension when using tablets rather than paper textbook counterparts.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Conversion disorder not about mould

Le Roy, New York (CNN) -- Twelve female students from Le Roy Junior Senior High School in upstate New York are experiencing a mysterious medical condition. Their symptoms include stuttering, uncontrollable twitching movements and verbal outbursts.

Health officials say the symptoms are consistent with "conversion disorder."

Dr. Jennifer McVige, a pediatric neurologist at the DENT Neurologic Institute who is treating many of the students affected, said, "Conversion disorder is a physical manifestation of physiological symptoms where there is traditionally some kind of stress or multiple stressors that provoke a physical reaction within the body." McVige said the symptoms are real. "This is unconscious. It is not done purposefully."...

Officials at the school hired an independent third party to conduct mold and air quality tests but found no environmental cause for the girls' illnesses. A statement posted on the school's website said, in part, "The medical and environmental investigations have not uncovered any evidence that would link the neurological symptoms to anything in the environment or of an infectious nature."

Sanchez's mother, Melissa Phillips said she does not agree. "I don't think that all physical aspects of this have been exhausted; not enough testing has been done."

The media reaction is to express "surprise" that this puzzling phenomenon can't be traced to a contaminant in the physical environment, just like the medical community continues to be "puzzled" about the lack of clear cut medical evidence for schizophrenia. Here's what the media should say about conversion disorder, but shies away from:

Conversion disorder: the modern hysteria
Colm Owens and Simon Dein

Conversion disorder is thought to occur primarily in societies with strict social systems that prevent individuals from directly expressing feelings and emotions towards others. Temporary somatic dysfunction is one possible mode of communication, particularly for those who are oppressed or underprivileged. The ‘psychological mindedness’ and ease of emotional expression typical of modern developed societies have led to the increasing rarity of conversion disorders in developed countries (Tseng, 2001

Conversion has been attributed to many different mechanisms. One influential theory, dating back to Ancient Greek physicians who thought the symptoms specific to women, invoked as their cause the wandering of the uterus (hustera), from which the word hysteria derives. The term conversion was first used by Freud and Breuer to refer to the substitution of a somatic symptom for a repressed idea (Freud, 1894). This behaviour exemplifies the psychological concept of ‘primary gain’, i.e. psychological anxiety is converted into somatic symptomatology, which lessens the anxiety and gives rise la belle indifference, where a patient seems surprisingly unconcerned about their physical symptoms. The ‘secondary gain’ of such a reaction is the subsequent benefit that a patient may derive from being in the sick role.

As David & Halligan (2000) point out, the concept of conversion disorder has raised great controversy between the proponents of psychological and physiological models of mental states. Conversion disorder raises the intriguing philosophical problem of how it is that psychological or mental states can effect long-term motor, sensory and cognitive changes in people claiming not to be consciously responsible for them. Theories falls into three main groups: psychoanalytic, learning theory and sociocultural formulations

Psychoanalytic theories

Psychoanalytic explanations of conversion disorder emphasise unconscious drives, including sexuality, aggression or dependency, and the internalised prohibition against their expression (Hollander, 1980). A classic paradigm of this theory is the case of Anna O., who was treated by Freud (Breuer & Freud, 1895). Physical symptoms allow for the expression of the forbidden wish or urge but also disguise it. Other psychoanalytic explanations focus on the need to suffer or identification with a lost object (Ford & Folks 1985). An analytic therapist would attempt to treat a conversion disorder by helping the patient move to more mature defence mechanisms.


It is crucial in any approach to patients with conversion disorder to establish a therapeutic alliance and to allow recovery with dignity and without loss of face. It is important that nursing and medical staff avoid labelling these individuals as manipulative, dependent or as exaggerating their difficulties.

Read the rest here

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Charlie Sheen's amazing publicity stunt

Subtitle: Celebrities' amazing turn-arounds

Occasionally it's nice to be superficial  on this blog. Getting out daily posts that try to shed a little light on the upside of schizophrenia --  a "serious mental illness" according to psychiatrists and pharma--is tough slogging.

A lot more rooted in reality
What is his secret?

Charlie Sheen says that last year's headline-making antics are indeed a thing of the past.

I'm not crazy anymore. That was an episode," Sheen says, laughing, as he spoke with reporters at Sunday night's Fox Network Television Critics Association party in Pasadena, Calif. "I think I'm a different person than I was yesterday. Everything is a lot more mellow and focused and much more rooted in reality."

Sheen, 46, couldn't be more Zen about his new FX show, "Anger Management," in which he will star and produce. He reports that casting is underway and that they will shoot 10 episodes in six weeks.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Apoyo en el seno cuando el modelo bioquímico de la enfermedad es rechazado

I've reprinted my post from today in Spanish. Thank you Google Translate! Advance apologies for overloading my followers' inboxes. I hope any errors in the Spanish text are humorous one!

Estimado Rossa,

Usted sólo respondió a mis plegarias. Acabo de leer su blog sobre el tratamiento mejor y más barata alternativa para schz ... y tenía todas las respuestas que estaba preguntando. A veces me pregunto si lo que estoy haciendo está mal, porque mi hija no sale nada, y ya no me obligue a ir a su sesión. En su lugar, tengo que pagar a una chica de su edad para venir a visitar y escuchar a ella, aunque ella no quiere hablar. Como no me llevo a mi hija a cualquier terapeuta, de alguna manera me siento solo, solo confiando en tu blog y lo que he leído de otros libros. Leyendo sobre Catalina Penney del libro "Cura de Dante", y sabiendo que ella se recuperó, mientras que vivir en una habitación bajo vigilancia durante 3 años, y ver a su médico medsfree casi todos los días en el hospital, me da esperanza. Como has dicho, me pueden estimular el crecimiento en el país. Si mi hija no quiere salir de la casa, que puede llevar a la gente a su ayudante como una danza, o un amigo a prestar un oído atento.
Hasta el momento, creo que ella es feliz en su casa, canta, escucha música, ve televisión, come alimentos saludables cuando quiere, escribe en un cuaderno, dibuja, habla con su hermano, quien se encuentra en México a través de Skype, su hermana le visita, y está dispuesto a salir con ella, y, a veces quiere hacer algunas tareas. Me siento aliviado de que ella no va a salir, tratando de ir a los patios traseros de otras personas. El complejo de apartamentos junto a la nuestra poner un cartel "no tresspassing o va a llamar a la policía" Creo que fue puesto a mi hija, porque el verano pasado iba a ir allí, pero no causó ningún problema, pero yo todavía lloro cuando veo ese signo.

Por favor, seguir recordando a los demás en su blog que la alternativa mejor y más barata está en casa. En California, el SSI y el IHSS provee fondos para cuidados en el hogar. Ellos requieren que la persona vea un médico o terapeuta para obtener un diagnóstico y una revisión anual. Voy a tener que llevar a mi hija a la terapia de nuevo a tiempo para la revisión anual, y que está bien. Son terapeutas www.medsfree.com, ya pesar de que mi hija es un buen negocio para ellos, ahora, veo que el hogar es mejor para ella.

"María" *

PD Además, si es útil, me gustaría hablar con un abogado, y psiquiátricos sobreviviente Ted Chabasinski que me ha ayudado a rescatar a mi hija de muchos hospitales de un donativo. Si alguien quiere más información, no dude en consultar a mí.

* No es su nombre real

Support indefra når biokemiske model af sygdommen er afvist

My Danish readers will soon tell me if Gøøgle Translate did a faithful translatiøn of their language. I have reprinted my pøst from today into Danish (At least, I høpe it's Danish - I thought there are supposed to be more øø - or is that for Norwegian? LOL) If this experiment goes well, I'll do some further translations into Spanish, Chinese, Hindi, etc. I apologize in advance for overloading your inbox. I hope any errors in the text are humorous one!

Kære Rossa,

Du har lige besvaret mine bønner. Jeg har lige læst din blog om den bedste og billigste alternativ behandling for schz ... og det havde alle de svar, jeg tænkte på om. Nogle gange har jeg spekulerer på, om hvad jeg gør, er forkert, fordi min datter ikke gå ud på alle, og ikke længere jeg tvinge hende til at gå til hendes session. I stedet betaler jeg en pige hendes alder at komme besøge og lytte til hende, selvom hun ikke ønsker at tale. Da jeg ikke tage min datter til en terapeut, en eller anden måde føler jeg alene, bare stole på din blog, og hvad jeg læser fra andre bøger. Bare at læse om Catherine Penney fra bogen "Dantes Cure", og vel vidende, at hun genvundet, mens de bor i en lukket afdeling i 3 år, og se hans medsfree læge næsten hver dag på hospitalet, giver mig håb. Ligesom du sagde, jeg kan fremme væksten derhjemme. Hvis min datter ikke ønsker at gå ud af huset, kan jeg bringe mennesker til hende som en dans hjælper, eller en ven til at låne et lyttende øre.

Indtil videre synes jeg hun er glad derhjemme, synger, lytter til musik, ser tv, spiser sund mad, når hun ønsker, skriver i notesbøger, trækker billeder, taler med hendes bror, som er i Mexico via Skype, hendes søster besøger hende, og er villig til at gå ud med hende, og nogle gange ønsker at gøre nogle pligter. Jeg føler mig lettet over, at hun ikke går ud og prøver at gå til andre folks baghaver. Lejlighedskomplekset ved siden af ​​vores, sætte et skilt "nej tresspassing eller vil ringe til politiet:" Jeg tror det var placeret i forhold til min datter, fordi sidste sommer, at hun ville gå der, men aldrig voldt problemer, men jeg stadig græde når jeg ser dette tegn.

Vær holde minde andre i din blog, at den bedste og billigste alternativ er hjemme. I Californien, leverer SSI og IHSS midler til pleje i hjemmet. De kræver en person for at se enten en læge eller terapeut for en diagnose og en årlig gennemgang. Jeg bliver nødt til at tage min datter at se terapeuten igen tid for den årlige gennemgang, og det er ok. De er www.medsfree.com terapeuter, og selvom min datter er en god forretning for dem, lige nu, ser jeg, at hjemmet er bedre for hende.


"Maria" *

P.S. Også, hvis det er nyttigt, vil jeg gerne have, at nævne en advokat, og psykiatriske overlevende Ted Chabasinski som har hjulpet mig med at redde min datter fra mange hospitaler for bare en donation. Hvis nogen ønsker mere information, er du velkommen til at henvise dem til mig.

* Ikke hendes rigtige navn

Support from within when the biochemical model of the illness is rejected

Dear Rossa,

You just answered my prayers. I just read your blog about the best and cheapest alternative therapy for schz...and it had all the answers that I was wondering about. Sometimes I wonder if what I am doing is wrong, because my daughter does not go out at all, and no longer I force her to go to her session. Instead , I pay a girl her age to come visit and listen to her, even though she doesn't want to talk. Since I don't take my daughter to any therapist, somehow I feel alone, just relying in your blog and what I read from other books. Just reading about Catherine Penney from the book "Dante's Cure", and knowing that she recovered while living in a locked ward for 3 years, and seeing his medsfree doctor almost everyday in the hospital, gives me hope. Like you said, I can encourage growth at home. If my daughter does not want to go out of the house, I can bring people to her such as a dance helper, or a friend to lend a listening ear.

So far, I think she is happy at home, sings, listens to music, watches tv, eats healthy food when she wants, writes in notebooks, draws pictures, talks to her brother who is in Mexico thru skype, her sister visits her, and is willing to go out with her, and sometimes wants to do some chores. I feel relieved that she is not going out, trying to go to other peoples backyards. The apartment complex next to ours put a sign "no tresspassing or will call police" I think it was placed for my daughter because last summer she would go there, but never caused any problems, but I still cry when I see that sign.

Please keep reminding others in your blog that the best and cheapest alternative is home. In California, SSI and IHSS provides funds to care at home. They DO require the person to see either a doctor or therapist for a diagnosis and a yearly review. I will have to take my daughter to see the therapist again in time for the yearly review, and it is ok. They are www.medsfree.com therapists, and even though my daughter is a good business for them, right now, I see that home is better for her.


P.S. Also, if it is helpful, I would like you to mention a lawyer, and psychiatric survivor Ted Chabasinski who has helped me rescue my daughter from many hospitals for just a donation. If anyone would like more information, feel free to refer them to me.

* not her real name

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Friedrich Nietzsche 1844-1900

To predict the behavior of ordinary people in advance, you only have to assume that they will always try to escape a disagreeable situation with the smallest possible expenditure of intelligence.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Insanity in individuals is something rare - but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.
Friedrich Nietzsche

But thus do I counsel you, my friends: distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful!
Friedrich Nietzsche, Also Sprach Zarathustra, Chapter 29

No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.
Friedrich Nietzsche

To forget one's purpose is the commonest form of stupidity.
Friedrich Nietzsche

You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star.
Friedrich Nietzsche

There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness.
Friedrich Nietzsche, "On Reading and Writing"

What is done out of love always takes place beyond good and evil.
Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, Aphorism 153

The greatest danger that always hovered over humanity and still hovers over it is the eruption of madness - which means the eruption of arbitrariness in feeling, seeing and hearing, the enjoyment of the mind's lack of discipline, the joy in human unreason. Not truth and certainty are the opposite of the world of the madman, but the universality and the universal binding force of a faith; in sum, the non-arbitrary character of judgements... Thus the virtuous intellects are needed - oh, let me use the most unambiguous word - what is needed is virtuous stupidity, stolid metronomes for the slow spirit, to make sure that the faithful of the great shared faith stay together and continue their dance... We others are the exception and the danger - and we need eternally to be opposed. - Well, there actually are things to be said in favor of the exception, provided that it never wants to become the rule.
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science, s. 76

From Wikipedia
Nietzsche's influence remains substantial within and beyond philosophy, notably in existentialism, nihilism and postmodernism. His style and radical questioning of the value and objectivity of truth have resulted in much commentary and interpretation, mostly in the continental tradition. His key ideas include the death of God, perspectivism, the Übermensch, amor fati, the eternal recurrence, and the will to power. Central to his philosophy is the idea of "life-affirmation", which involves an honest questioning of all doctrines that drain life's expansive energies, however socially prevalent those views might be.[

Monday, January 16, 2012

Taoist alchemists and trigeminal neuralgia: two testimonials

Two testimonials, underscoring the value of alternative healing, vitamins, and belief.

Testimonial 1
Dogkisses's blog author Michelle, writes about her experience with a Taoist alchemist in her post entitled One Beet a Day. To find out about the beets, you'd better read the rest of her post.

The first time we met was to talk about my son. Of course, this led to discussing my son’s childhood, background and me. I was in his office for my own treatments shortly afterward.

My toes had hurt for a while. I kept waking up in the night feeling like somebody was pulling my toenails with pliers. It was extremely painful!

I briefly mentioned this pain, but I wasn’t there for the toe pain. I was there to figure out how to help my son. I was there because the energy I felt around this man evoked in me hope that my son could get better, possibly even well, which is not what psychiatry has told us for nearly a decade.

The Alchemist gave me a homeopathic remedy the first day I went for a treatment. I told him that I hadn’t responded well to homeopathy in the past, but he said give it a try anyway.

The next day, the toe pain was gone. It never returned like it was. I’ve felt it on a much milder level, but only a couple of times. They had been hurting nearly constantly and at one point, I recall being afraid of having to use a wheel chair if the pain continued. The doctors said it was likely Rheumatoid Arthritis or Lupus.

I was surprised when the pain vanished after one treatment from the Alchemist. I really didn’t know what to think. Perhaps the homeopathic remedy worked. Perhaps the energy the Alchemist carries is that of a true healer.

Testimonial 2
My cousin, Christina, posted this article on her Facebook page about the benefits of vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12: The Most Important Nutrient You Aren’t Thinking About
If you aren’t getting enough vitamin B12, it is indeed very important – and you may very well not be thinking about it. One reason you aren’t thinking about it is that we tend to fall in (and out!) of love with one nutrient at a time (such as vitamin C, beta carotene, lycopene and so on), and vitamin B12 isn’t the nutrient du jour. But the other reason you may not be thinking about it is … because you can’t. A deficiency of vitamin B12 can limit your ability to think clearly about anything! (More on that momentarily.)

Christina did her own sleuthing to treat her trigeminal neuralgia, a very painful condition affecting the trigeminal nerve of the face. I asked her for more details, and here's what she wrote back.

B12 totally took away the pain i had with trigeminal neuralgia. I thought I had a bad toothache - it lasted 4 years and my dentist kept telling me it wasn't my teeth or gums - told me to go to family doctor, finally did, he diagnosed tn - and i went onto mayo clinic website and found case histories - only one that didn't involve psychotic drugs or brain surgery was lady who swore by B12 - I talked to my dr about it - it is water soluble so he said sure - within 48 hrs the pain was gone. Been taking it ever since. on a scale of 1-to 10 it is a 10

Schizophrenia memoir free today on Kindle

Free Book again today

Louise Gillett (Schizophrenia at the Schoolgate) has written a memoir of surviving and thriving after a diagnosis of schizophrenia. It's a free download today for Kindle users.
Please pass the word to anyone you know who might want a copy of her e-book 'Surviving Schizophrenia: A Memoir.'

Here's the link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Surviving-Schizophrenia-Tale-Sound-ebook/dp/B0057P6M46

Sunday, January 15, 2012

How I got away with stolen cookies and created an alternate reality: a clue to the strategy used by big pharma and the APA

I've reprinted below some extracts from a deliciously subversive story about a trainee psychotherapist given an assigment by his master to steal some cookies from a store. The lessons drawn from this story bring to mind the story of another subversive, Huckleberry Finn, who wanted to help Jim, the runaway slave, yet also knew he was guilty of stealing property (Jim) from Miss Watson. Huck opted to go against the moral and legal standards of the time and work to free Jim.

How I got away with stolen cookies and created an alternate reality: a clue to the strategy used by big pharma and the APA
Saturday, January 14, 2012 by: Mike Bundrant

"I want to you steal some cookies from the grocery store. But don't just sneak in there and put a box under your coat. Do it in a way in which you create a distorted reality and walk out of that store with the manager's permission to take the cookies."

Most of what I learned from the Mental Health Underground has come to me slowly but surely over the years as I have matured. The most poignant lesson of all is that reality, and the sanity that comes from knowing it, is a mutually created thing. We create and share it together. If someone doesn't see reality the way most people do, he is considered crazy, out of touch. Schizophrenics fall into this category. Most people are not hearing voices come out of the walls. When someone does, he gets drugged up until the voices are smothered in a warm, chemical blanket.

Who created the reality you share?

When a person creates a bizarre reality and expects you to share it with them, you may not react well. The contrast between the bizarre reality and the one most people agree upon is too great. What happens, however, when the bizarre reality seems plausible from within the agreed upon one? The bizarre version has great potential to be adopted and shared, especially if the proponent of that reality has power or credibility.

In my case, the store manager accepted the scenario I presented, a bag full of items that I purchased. He had evidence of my credibility, as he knew of the bag I had left behind earlier in the evening. I altered that reality only slightly by including the mint cookies and it still met the manager's approval. The manager failed to understand the layers of deception, however. He didn't know that his memory of the forgotten grocery bag was part of my treacherous plot all along. What gave my story credibility was the false scenario that I created from the beginning.

What does this have to do with big pharma and the APA?

Everything. These organizations have fabricated a version of reality that mental health patients and helping professionals alike are required to accept. That reality has less to do what patients actually need or what is really going on in their lives and more to do with how to efficiently get their money while minimizing liability.

Share a reality that heals, not one that steals

The hidden blessing of my involvement with the Mental Health Underground is that it gave me a chance to share an incredibly useful experience with a few like-minded people that didn't buy into the system. Although I admit some of our experiments were foolish, they pale in comparison to the vast experiments being perpetrated on humankind by those in power who will never feel bad enough to make amends for their stolen cookies. They play for keeps and it is your mind at stake.

Rather than buy into the mental health trip laid out in the DSM, opt for learning how your mind and emotions actually function. Learn to master your own state of being. Discover how to communicate well and how to manage conflict. Learn useful tools, not useless diagnoses! This is the path to health and healing.

Read the full article here: http://www.naturalnews.com/034641_alternate_reality_Big_Pharma_psychiatry.html

Friday, January 13, 2012

The best and cheapest alternative therapy for schizophrenia

Information about alternative therapies for schizophrenia is cropping up more and more in research journals and in the media, which is a welcome change. In the past, it was almost impossible to find information about schizophrenia except in the medical context of "debilitating and chronic illness requiring life long medication." I have extracted some recent studies that are reprinted below. What I have to say may sound strange coming from someone who has promoted diverse alternative therapies ranging from sound and music based therapies, to drama therapies and cathartic psychotherapies.

Here's my two cents worth. Alternative therapies to treat schizophrenia may not be necessary. Plenty of people I have come in contact with through this blog and from reading recovery stories, have never gone in for orthomolecular therapy, or ridden a horse, or participated in dance or drama therapy. What I would consider the most basic alternative therapy that works for most people is take time out to rest and reflect, and to have the non-judgemental and encouraging support of family or a close friend or friends. I call this basic therapy an alternative one because it is actually contrary to what a lot of people believe. The public mainstream still invests in the idea that schizophrenia is a debilitating, chronic illness that medications can manage. Encouraging growth at home is also contrary to how a lot of people are treating their relative, who they have come to view as having a disease. To quote from the Sheila Mehta/Auburn University study testing whether the belief that a disease view of mental disorder reduces stigma:

In general, the disease view did not improve attitudes, except in terms of blame. It did, however, tend to provoke harsher behavior. In contrast, the psychosocial view induced treatment no different from that toward normal others. The results provide little support for the claim that regarding the mentally disordered as sick or diseased will promote greater acceptance and more favorable treatment.

The therapies I have written about in my blog are icing on the cake. They can help and do help a person to be more at ease in their body and mind (enabling them to stop relying on meds), but all of the work the therapies do counts for nothing if a person sees himself as fundamentally a chronic case or if his family and friends treat him as such. You can practice alternative therapies, but if you return each day to an environment that is critical and unnurturing and which supports your patienthood, all the good they have been doing for you will undone.

So, here are just three of the therapies that are gaining attention. I've quoted the National Post (horseback riding) and The Cochrane Review research for dance therapy and drama therapy.

One doesn’t really expect to see horseback riding and psychiatric illness mentioned in the same sentence, let alone combined as a form of health care. But a recent Canadian study suggests that riding may actually be beneficial for people with schizophrenia. And that is only the tip of the iceberg, it seems, when it comes to horses and treatment.

Dance therapy (also called dance movement therapy) uses dance and movement to explore a person’s emotions in a non-verbal way. The therapist will help the individual to interpret their movement as a link to personal feelings. This review aims to assess how successful this therapy is as a treatment for schizophrenia, when compared to standard care or other interventions. Six studies were identified but five were excluded because there were no reliable data, because they were for a therapy other than dance or because they were not properly randomised. The included study compared 10 weeks of group dance therapy plus standard care, to group supportive counselling plus standard care for the same length of time. It was a community-based project involving 45 people and both groups were followed up after four months.

Drama therapy is one of the creative therapies suggested to be of value as an adjunctive treatment for people with schizophrenia or schizophrenia-like illnesses. Randomised studies have been successfully conducted in this area but poor study reporting meant that no conclusions could be drawn from them. The benefits or harms of the use of drama therapy in schizophrenia are therefore unclear and further large, high quality studies are required to determine the true value of drama therapy for schizophrenia or schizophrenia-like illnesses.

There are several things that I would consider when deciding to undertake an alternative therapy.

1. The words "therapy" and "therapist", when attached to the word "alternative," convey a medicalized view of the so-called illness, even when you do not believe in the medicalized view of the so-called illness. There is a danger with alternative therapies of having your patient status reinforced, especially if the therapy is institutionalized and done in a group. Horseback riding is an example. It's expensive, and probably done in a group for that reason. Group therapy, whatever the kind, has a sheltered workshop aspect to it, the same kind of feeling that you may get from being enrolled, like Chris was, in a hospital program. Chris's and other people his age, found being in the program, humiliating.

Individual or one-on-one therapies or activities don't carry the stigma of group activities when it comes to a mental health diagnosis. One benefit of individual treatment  is that the person/therapist may be a guiding light for your relative. This has certainly been the case with Chris. He has benefited from their holistic beliefs in helping to heal a spiritual crisis.

2.Not every therapy is a good choice in the early stages of a crisis. Vitamin therapy is fine in the early stages, and being around animals like a family pet is far less threatening that riding a horse. Chris couldn't bring himself to do voice lessons, for example, until he was better equipped to handle the voice teacher's demanding personality.

3. The therapy or activity should suit the person. Horseback riding seems all the rage as a therapy, but as Rupert Isaacson said in his memoir, The Horse Boy, go with what your relative is interested in. Chris has done lots of therapies, but the common ingredient tended to be music and drama. His art is at the stick figure level, so art therapy wasn't something he pursued.

4. Which brings me around to saying that whatever you do doesn't have to have the word "therapy" attached to it. I dragged Chris through all those therapies because it felt good for me to be DOING SOMETHING about THE PROBLEM (LOL). Someone who wants to draw and paint only needs access to the materials. Anyone can listen to music.

5. It is just possible that your relative will show an interest in something when recovering that will reveal what he or she was put on earth to do. The crisis was a way of showing that the old expectations were the wrong ones. Don't urge your relative to just get with the same old program. That old program didn't work.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

"Doc Martin" calls vitamins "placebos"

Following my post yesterday about the British television show "Doc Martin" and the use of placebos, I deliberately avoided revealing what the placebos actually were in order not to distract from the main points I wanted to raise. The "placebos" that Doc Martin and his predecessor gave the patient were vitamins.

Now, if you, like me, are a fan of another doc, "Doc" Abram Hoffer, you may object to calling vitamins, "placebos." Niacin in very high doses in combination with an equal amount of vitamin C and other B-vitamins, is very effective in reducing psychotic symptoms, anxiety, and increasings one's focus. Ever since I learned about niacin and started giving it to Chris to help his psychosis, I also put myself on three grams per day of niacin,vitamin C, and I added a B-complex and zinc. I got amazing results in just three days. My ability to focus increased about five-fold, my hair got thicker and my skin got smoother. I was less anxious.

People are unique in their nutritional needs. People under stress need much larger amounts of certain B vitamins than they get from eating an otherwise healthy, well-balanced diet. Smoking depletes vitamin C, alcohol depletes the B vitamins, and so on. Don't assume that vitamins are worthless just because someone calls it the placebo effect.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Doc Martin

Last night the family (parts of it) watched two episodes from the first season of the British television series, Doc Martin. The show is about a London surgeon, Dr. Martin Ellingham, who has developed an aversion to blood and must seek other work in his profession. He is invited to be the general practitioner in a small Cornish town populated with the usual lovable British eccentrics. His lack of people skills when dealing with the locals is the humorous premise for the show.

Readers of this blog may enjoy Doc Martin. Here's why. In one of the episodes, the doctor finally goes to see a man who has been asking that the doctor come to see him. (As a former surgeon, the doctor doesn't make house calls. He expects people to come to his office at a set time on a set date.) Finally, he goes to see man, who lives on a remote farm. The farm house is fenced and gated and there is barbed wire on top of the wall. The man insists that the doctor stay for lunch, but it is becoming clear that he is quite paranoid. He has a friend "Edward,"  who turns out to be a giant invisible squirrel. Edward has been invited to lunch, too, and a place has been set for him. The man tells the doc that the former doctor in the village gave him a steady supply of a certain medication, and he absolutely must have a prescription from the doctor before the doctor leaves. The doctor, rightly sensing that the man is "squirrely," figures out that that the old doctor gave him benzodiazepines to calm him down. But Doc Martin won't do this. Instead, he gives him a lecture on the damage that long term use of benzos will do. 

I'm sorry to say I can't remember what ruse the doctor uses to get off the farm. Further into the episode the townspeople and the doctor come upon the man hacking down some birdhouses in a psychotic frenzy. "He's got post traumatic stress disorder from being in Bosnia," say the townsfolk. "Just give him the tranquillizers, doc -- Old doc so-and so always gave them to him."

As it turn out, the doctor discovers that old doc so-and-so did no such thing. Rather than give the man benzos, the former doctor was giving him placebos. They were were working quite well, until after the old doc died and there was stretch of time when the town had no doctor and no way for the man to access the placebos. So, Doc Martin continues to give him the placebos, and he gets the man's agreement to begin some psychotherapy.

I'm looking forward to seeing more of Doc Martin. It will be interesting to see how much alternative medical thinking will be written into the scrip

Friday, January 6, 2012

Market for schizophrenia drugs may be peanuts, but so is the Risperdal settlement

From Bloomberg.com

J&J Said to Agree to $1 Billion Accord in Risperdal Sales
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) will pay more than $1 billion to the U.S. and most states to resolve a civil investigation into marketing of the antipsychotic Risperdal, according to people familiar with the matter.

J&J, the world’s largest health products company, reached an agreement last week with the U.S. attorney in Philadelphia, according to the people, who weren’t authorized to speak about the matter. Negotiations over a possible criminal plea are still under way, they said.

The U.S. government has been investigating Risperdal sales practices since 2004, including allegations the company marketed the drug for unapproved uses, J&J has said in Securities and Exchange Commission filings (JNJ). The company said it has been in negotiations with the U.S. to settle the investigation.

Read the rest here.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Ablechild and breaking the monopoly on psychiatric treatment with medication

Below is a press release from Ablechild about the prioritizing of issues on the Connecticut Governor's 2012 agenda.

“The most important thing Connecticut can do now is to break the monopoly on psychiatric treatment,” (co-founder Sheila) Matthews says. “Medication shouldn’t be the first option addressing behavioral or learning issues and it certainly shouldn’t be the only one.”

Some readers may question why a press release about the over-proliferation of medication use in the child foster care population is reprinted in a blog on schizophrenia. While it is true that diagnosing schizophrenia in children is still rare, the diagnosing of ADD, ADHD and bipolar (schizophrenia's look-alike twin) has grown by leaps and bounds. Most psychiatrists accept and promulgate the notion that there is a rare psychiatric condition called childhood schizophrenia. Up until now, the public has tended to accept this, just as it has accepted the pharmaceutical companies ' pronouncement that schizophrenics need antipsychotic medication just like diabetics need insulin. Robert Whitaker's book, Anatomy of an Epidemic, revealed that pharmaceutical salesmen promoted this self-serving and false comparison in order to keep people from going off their medication.

I strongly suspect that the push to stop medicating children stops at schizophrenia, which is always upheld as a "special case," just as it is in adults. When the public stops buying into the notion that adult schizophrenia is always a special case, effectively treated by drugs, the childhood schizophrenia diagnosis and the use of drugs to "treat" it will also be questioned. Childhood schizophrenia can be treated and should be treated, like any other childhood emotional disorder like ADD, ADHD and bipolar, without resorting to drugs. Ablechild is doing excellent work. Let's make sure that treating childhood schizophrenia without drugs is part of its agenda.

Ablechild Urges Adding Overmedication of Children in State Care to Governor’s 2012 Agenda

Parent advocacy group to educate State of CT healthcare providers on the over-prescribing of psychotropic drugs to children in foster care.

WEBWIRE – Tuesday, January 03, 2012

WESTPORT, CONN., JANUARY 3, 2012—Ablechild co-founder Sheila Matthews will brief Connecticut State Healthcare Advocate Victoria Veltri today on the organization’s research into the over-prescribing of psychotropic drugs to children in foster care.

The parents’ rights organization is a sitting member of the Connecticut Behavioral Health Committee that reports directly to Governor Malloy. In today’s meeting, Matthews will share data from last month’s ABC News 20/20 report, which Ablechild helped develop. The show provided a first look at a new Government Accountability Report that found:

• Foster children were prescribed psychotropic drugs at rates nearly five times higher than non-foster children.

• More than a quarter of foster children were being prescribed at least one psychiatric drug.

• Hundreds of foster children received five or more psychiatric drugs at the same time, despite no evidence that this is safe or effective.

The meeting’s agenda includes a report on the $29,766,625,000 spent on psychiatric services by Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families, and Ablechild research showing how making educational, language and vision and hearing/speech solutions available can cut costs while enabling true informed consent for parents. “The most important thing Connecticut can do now is to break the monopoly on psychiatric treatment,” Matthews says. “Medication shouldn’t be the first option addressing behavioral or learning issues and it certainly shouldn’t be the only one.”

In a November briefing with Malloy’s legislative aide, Michael Christ, Matthews also pressed for action on Proposed Bill 5007. If passed, the landmark legislation would require the state to inform parents of their rights regarding diagnosis and treatment of behavioral and mental health disorders in children.

Since 2005, Proposed Bill 5007 has remained stalled in the Connecticut Legislative Education Committee subject to reintroduction by long-time committee chair, State Representative Andy Fleischmann. Matthews says, “It’s extremely frustrating that no action has been taken on this bill for over five years while special-interest and industry-backed legislation not only moves through committees rapidly, its backers have been given fast-track access to the legislative process itself.”

Malloy is preparing his 2012 agenda, which will be announced shortly before the legislature convenes in February. “Ablechild is pleased to support Governor Malloy as he sets his course for the year ahead,” says Matthews. “Connecticut was the first state to prohibit schools from recommending the use of psychotropic drugs, three years before it became federal law. We hope Connecticut will continue to show leadership through best-practice guidelines that protect its most vulnerable residents.”

About AbleChild

AbleChild is a nationally recognized nonprofit organization dedicated to parents, caregivers, and children’s rights alike. The organization is a clearinghouse for objective information regarding ADD, ADHD, and other behavioral issues. All services AbleChild provides are free to the public. To learn more, visit www.ablechild.org.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Acting helps soldier cope with post-traumatic stress disorder

I'm holed up here in my vacation pad (LOL) with only my Blackberry to link electronically to the blogging world. There is an interesting story in ocala.com on the value of acting for overcoming PSTD. Schizophrenia is essentially post-traumatic stress disorder, except the trauma that precipitates the psychosis is the former case is usually less obvious in the latter case. There is a time and a place for acting as part of a person's recovery. As the article states, recovery is individualistic. People have to go with what works for them. My son, Chris, was introduced to acting classes in his two year recovery program, and his psychiatrist observed that Chris really "came alive" in this class. But it was only four or five years later that Chris started to seek out activities that put him on the stage. Recovery is personal. A good approach to it is the holistic one. Try a little bit of everything.