Worldwide are literally brimming over with patients. In Nigeria, it is good and bad news for the psychiatrist, the nurses and clinical psychologists and social workers.
But it is often bad news for the patient who is forcibly stabilized on dangerous anti psychotic drugs which he or she may have to take for life and suffer under their side effects. But it is good news day for the patient the day he or she learns that his or her medical condition may not be as bad as the doctor once thought, and that he or she can regain mental health or balance on vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids, antioxidants, anti-inflammatories…and all that.
For the doctor in pressured hospitals, it may be good business when cars and more cars pull up for the admission of new patients or on the clinic days of old ones… But for many of them, too, life and health are not all about money as the stress load of their daily routines almost always pushes them towards the edge of their nerves.
This is why in many countries today, psychiatrists are reviewing their conception of a major plank of the diagnosis under which they load their patients up with anti-psychotic drugs. This diagnosis is called SCHIZOPHRENIA. In one professional journal which discusses the emerging new conception of SCHIZOPHRENIA, it is said some parents of “schizophrenic” children consider cancer to be better than “schizophrenia” because, in some cases, cancer has been successfully treated, whereas many psychiatrists give the impression that “schizophrenia” is a life-long malady which can be tamed with only dangerous drugs.
Before I come to the new ideas which are springing from the circles of modern psychiatrists who are dissatisfied with the old conceptions of “schizophrenia’, I would like to share a few personal experiences over about 20 years with persons we can say ran out of their minds, who may have been considered “schizophrenic” and unhelpable except with dangerous drugs taken for life.
Pa Olajide Shoboyede is over 80. About 15 years ago, he introduced to me one of his daughters who was interested in the business of food medicines. She introduced to me a widow in mangoro area of Agege, Lagos, who had a huge problem on her hands.
After the demise of her husband, one of her sons went about without clothes. He had to be locked up in one of the rooms where his meals were served and he was cleaned up as his needs arose. His case was an interesting one. His father was the back bone of his existence. He had not learnt to inwardly and outwardly detach himself from his father. Thus, his father’s death shook him so badly that he perceived a protective cover over his existence removed. Outwardly to many people, his brain had gone nuts. There was no doubt about that. But what if the shedding of clothes was a mere outward expression of an inward reality which was merely consuming stabilizing factors in the brain? Would it not be better to feed him with a surfeit of these stabilizing factors being drained off and simulateously weave another protecting layer around his existence in the short term while, over a long span, he is taught the principles of individualism? These suggestions were left in the hands of his mother and other members of his family he could trust.
Another case concerned a fourth year engineering student of the university of Lagos who ended up in the psychiatric hospital because he was jilted by his girlfriend. When his mother and his sister brought him to see me, I was shocked by what I discovered. He was an extremely intelligent young man. He went on line to study the contra indications of all the drugs he was given which he rejected after his discharge from hospital. His father, the doctor’s man, did not like the idea and assumed his mother was behind his rebellion. His sister stood by their mother, who believed her son. Which motherly (or womanly) mother would not? He was more than double his pre hospital size, his speech was slurry, his gait was unsteady and his nerves were weak.But his brain was intact. His doctors agreed the drugs were dangerous but that that was the best they could do for him.
The wife of a childhood friend of mine was weeping as she told me her story. Her husband was out of hospital. His folks declined to help with the bills because they wrongly believed she was doing with him what she wanted. I told her to see their action purely in the African way of seeing wives. She followed all dietary suggestions she was given. Over about 12 months, a brand new man emerged in him. She found him a job. We were all prayerful the day she was to start the job. She knew he loved suits and gave him a smashing one of his beloved colour. But he shocked us all. He returned home from the bus-stop to complain that he overheard the discussions of some people who were trying to kill him. I knew the problems were not over. But I lost touch with them.
I lost touch with another woman I was invited to meet about 1985 by someone who was close to me. She was deported from London. We went to see her under a rehabilitation programme, for she lived alone in flat. She enjoyed our company. She appeared normal in many respects. But as we were about to take our leave of her, she became panicky. She almost hit us with the door, saying “police are coming, police are coming”. Her memory must have been playing back her experiences in the united kingdom.
Finally, there is the case of a woman who lives with her daughter. The young woman was single and always wished she had been married and left home. In the night, she would bump into her mother’s room, claiming snakes were all over her bed. This may be hallucination driven by morbid fear which connects the challenged person to power centers of fear in the nether regions. Medicine understands little or nothing about this. For we are talking about the realm of the soul and ethereal life which drugs cannot address. A few doctors who are working in this field know that joy or sorrow has no weight and that what has no weight or is immaterial and is unverifiable by gross material tools. But joy or sorrow, immaterial as it is, nevertheless exists as an independent consistency which impacts pressure on the material. What impacts pressure in this regard is a reality investigatable by substances consistent with its own nature. It is reality, as we all can feel it. It is an expression of the spirit, the real man, through the various ethereal garments which interface between the spirit and the physical human garment and interpreted by the intellect. We do not see through physical eyes, otherwise it would not be possible for physically blind persons to see reality in their dreams. These physical senses express what their nonphysical equivalents observe. The spirit experiences reality in the confines of vibrations in the universe homogenous with its own. Thus, when in sadness or depression the spirit descends into the abyss, what it sees is life in the abyss. We can notice this in the theme, tone and lyrics of today’s music which, in multitudes, the degenerate segments of today’s young population cherish only because it is only life in the abyss they can relate to. The christian church call such places in the nether regions the “principalities”. Echoes of fear link the fearful to the principalities of fear from where phantoms and demons of fear access them and torment them. The composition and radiation of their blood, denatured by poor diet, negative thoughts, stress, alcohol and drug abuse, has a hand also in the lowering of the ladder to these regions of darkness. So, only a physician armed with the knowledge of transcendental life will be able to heal such people at the end of the day. Already, this is beginning to take shape with the practice of PHYCHIC SURGERY in which no physical surgery knives are required, in which sick tissue in the ethereal body is physically removed and the corresponding physical tissue acknowledges this intervention soon after and…is healed.
In the old psychiatry paradigm which is yielding way to newer and brighter thoughts, many psychiatrists would define these cases as SCHIZOPHRENIA.
The old books, see schizophrenia, as a ” distinct disease”. The disciples of this emerging school of thought believe “schizophrenia” is no different from AUTISM, which has changed its garb to a “spectrum” condition with varying gradations. Thus, they would like to see “schizophrenia” spoken of as a broad spectrum of ” hallucination, delusions, confused thoughts, and what some psychiatrists call “multiple character disorder”. Thus, what was once thought to be a ” distinct” disease would now be unbundled into his multiple forms, some treatable with kid gloves and not with sledge hammer drugs. In fact, one of the leaders of the new thinking, professor Jim Van os, professor of psychiatry at the university of Maastricht, has proposed abolition of the term “schizophrenia” and its replacement with the term PSYCHOSIS SPECTRUM DISORDER. This would unbundle such possible causes of mental health disturbances as childhood traumas, ( rape, parental verbal abuse etc), inflammation of the brain caused by autoimmune disorders, cannabis abuse, cat infections, genetic disorders. Japan has followed the new thoughts by renaming ” schizophrenia” as INTEGRATION DISORDER. The principle is that, just as you cannot successfully treat resultants of childhood trauma with anti psychotic drugs, Will a good housekeeper rather not kill a cockroach crawling on a glass plate with a gentle swipe of broom or cloth instead of a sledge hammer? no wife doctor will treat ringworm with leprosy drugs. This is medicine reinventing itself. There was a time HIV was made to look like a death sentence. Now, it is known to be unbundled from a single bucket of many conditions, including
- a) acidic blood and tissue
- b) high toxic internal environment
- c) deoxygenated environment.
- d) heavy metal poisoning
e) weakened immunity, free radical proliferation.
f) anti oxidant deficiency
g) pathogen overload.
If you take the equation apart, HIV collapses. Psychiatrists are trying to do just this in their chosen field of medicine, in my view. Someday, oncologists(cancer doctors) may do the same, rather than push the patients into radiation and chemotherapy which they know hardly offers more than five percent survival rate while it may cost the patient millions of naira. Therefore, we must thank those psychiatrists who are saying there are road-side and bypaths and highways and super highways to a terminal point of a disease spectrum, and that each passage need not be treated like the super highway. We must thank, also, those psychiatric patients who have courageously and personally freed themselves from anti-psychotic drugs prescribed for “lesser mortal ” ailments”, found out what else stabilises them at lesser or no side effects stabilised themselves and made their doctors, great men and women not bound to the intellect but driven by a new frontiers spirit, to come along with them and propose a paradigm shift in respect of the definition and medication for schizophrenia.
FOOD MEDICINES FOR THE BRAIN
The following suggestions are not intended to underplay psychiatric medicines. Nutritional medicines are natural components of the brain and, so, have long-lasting and more effective values, before the storms rage and after the dust has settled. In many cases abroad, they are used alongside hospital medicines.
Dr Robert Atkins advises us about FOLIC ACID deficiency, for example…”cerebrospinal fluid should contain a strong concentration of folic acid because the nutrient is essential to the brain’s health. In older people, a below per level can contribute to dementia while supplementation can greatly improve their mental processes. Deficiencies have been found in people who have epilepsy and such psychiatric conditions as depression, mania and schizophrenia”.
Many doctors do not easily link brain anomalies to toxin overload in the liver and intestine. Yet the “touchy” or irritable brain is easily calmed with detoxification of the liver and intestine with, say, organic coffee enemas. In some cases, the brain may be getting more sugar in the diet than it needs. (hyperglycemia) or too little sugar (hypoglycemia).
In hyperglycemia, some caregivers provide food supplements which contain chromium. Where the brain is not receiving enough blood and oxygen, or where it does but circulation within the brain is poor, GINKGO BILOBA or CHIA in the diet helps out. Where there are possibilities of nerve impairment, LION’S MANE MUSHROOM or gotu kola have done excellent work. GOTU KOLA has been shown in studies to balance both hemispheres of the brain, soothe the mind, offer the brain antioxidant protection against damaging, rampaging free radicals and elongate the lifespans of cells. In their book, THE VITAMIN AND MINERAL BOOK, Shari Lieberman and Nancy Brunning say:
“There are reports that EPA and GLA affect schizophrenia…EPA may help in cases of manic depressive illness and GLA in cases of hyperacidity in children…Both folic acid derivatives are co enzymes for neuro transmitters, the chemicals that permit the sending of signals from nerve fiber to nerve fiber. Because of this important function, folic acid may cause related certain nervous system related disorders. Some studies have suggested that a folic acid deficiency can produce minor and major mental problems and novel changes, including depression, schizophrenia and dementia”.
Lieberman and Bruning cite studies which endorse the use vitamin B complex in the therapy of mental illness. They say:
” The B complex plays which plays a well documented role in nervous system function has led many practitioners to use high doses to alleviate psychiatric symptoms such as mild depression , anxiety, nervousness and poor memory. Additionally, specific vitamin B deficiencies have been found to be associated with psychiatric disorder such as schizophrenia, depression, delirium and anxiety”.
The co authors report that many coffee and tea drinkers are often found to be vitamin B1 deficient. In one study of schizophrenics, 47 percent were found deficient in one of three vitamins for which they were investigated. 30 percent of them had vitamin B1 deficiency.
“Some psychiatrists use B1 in combination with other B vitamins to treat various emotional and psychiatric illnesses often in conjunction with medication”.(EFAs)
Essential fatty acids and antioxidants are key choices of other nutritionally inclined psychiatrists. The major essential fatty acids here are omega 3 oils. They help the cells build powerful cell membranes which stop unwanted or unfriendly molecules from entering the cells. It would appear this is why the person with EFA abundance in the brain is unaffected by cannabis and other substance abuse but the person deficient in it is emotionally and brain shattered. Abundance of lecithin or magnesium in the brain presents the same phenomenon.
Persons with weak brain or troubled by inflammation in the brain may profit from special kinds of magnesium. Magnesium deficient persons are likely to be insomniacs, irritable or bedevilled with irritability and jumpy character. Candida and its toxins may also trouble the brain as can acidosis, worms and other germs. For want of space, I would like to close this conversation with admonitions by Joseph C. Maroon, M.D., and Geffrey Bost, Ph.D., who say in their book, FISH OIL, which is subtitled THE NATURAL ANTI INFLAMMATORY.
“Various studies have shown benefits of omega 3 EFA supplementation in patients with schizophrenia who were not being treated concurrently with conventional antipsychotic medications. Other studies have shown a reduction in the severity of symptoms ranging from 17 to 85 percent when one to two grammes of omega 3 EFAs were added to patients usual antipsychotic medications”.
Dr Maroon was professor and vice chairman of the department of neurological surgery at the university of pittsburgh school of medicine. Dr Host was a neurological physician assistant and clinical instructor in the same department. With their suggestions that clinical trials have proven EFAs help schizophrenia, bipolar and other psychiatric patients should be hopeful that, one day, Nigerian psychiatric patients would learn about the roles nutritional medicine would play in their lives to save them from a life sentence as it were on anti psychotic drugs.
I still doff my hat for Dr Robert Atkins, my mentor since the late 1970s, who emancipated fellow Americans from drug medicine and led them to nutritional and food medicine. Today, he has a grand disciple doctor in Dr Caroline Dean who is sweeping through America with the unstoppable message that drug medicine and bad agriculture have made Americans grossly deficient in magnesium and that…magnesium, and more magnesium is the answer to most , if not all, of today’s degenerative diseases, including mental illnesses.