Saturday, September 6, 2014

Why We Use Nutritional Supplementation for "Mental" Illness

Readers know that I am an avid proponent for the rational, medical use of nutritional supplements, when appropriate, for cases of "mental" illness which are medical, or have, a medical component. And after all, the psychiatric community increasingly is saying that schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other major "mental" illnesses, are actually medical conditions, although I have yet to see many psychiatric facilities treat people there the same way as at regular medical clinics and hospitals.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Getting Started - Diet Changes

People do recover from illnesses affecting cognition and mood which get labelled bipolar, schizophrenia, and schizoaffective disorder. Many people have had great success with "micronutrient supplementation" such as TrueHope's supplement EMPowerPlus or Hardy Nutritionals' Daily Essential Nutrients (DEN) alone, but many others have found that more was needed.

Oft times, the "more" includes addressing gut issues, systemic yeast, genetic issues around methylation or vitamin D utilization, hormonal issues, inflammation, allergies, dealing with sleep issues, dealing emotionally with stress and past traumas, changing the diet and personal environment, and more. (See book for more on these topics.)

In our own family's case, without EMPowerPlus/DEN, my kids' cognition would not have been adequate to even be able to take the next steps necessary on their journey to wellness. But let's talk about that major step - dietary changes. Everyone is different.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Mood Swings, Hearing and Seeing Things, Anxiety - Interview with Recovered Adults

What is it like to have years of Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Anxiety and/or Schizophrenia and then recover?  Most people do not even know it is possible to completely recover from what we are told are life-long illnesses, even after the person has been symptomatic for decades.

What is it like to be sick? What therapies help in recovery? What kind of strength does it take to do what is necessary to recover? What kind of support does it take from close family members? What helps while the person is still sick and struggling?

Listen to Helen Woo's radio interview on "Self Aid Success Stories" with the author  of "It's Not Mental" including two daughters who had been diagnosed with multiple "mental" illnesses and went on to recover. 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Education for Mental Health Practitioners Must Include Our Real-Life Stories!

I am pleased to introduce guest writer Nancy Pizzo Boucher. Nancy has extensive education and experience in Special Education, is a NAMI presenter, and the author of two books: Replanting Lives Uprooted By Mental Illness, a practical guide for families and Getting My Night Vision. (More detailed professional background is at the bottom of this article.)

Set A Place At The Table For Families And Consumers 
By Nancy Pizzo Boucher 

I believe that the future treatment of mental illness will have at its core an understanding and acknowledgment that families and consumers are colleagues in the quest and development of best treatment practices.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Beginning of Hell - Psychosis and Hospitalization

What is psychosis like for a child?  What is it like for a parent to have a psychotic child?  What do you do when your child thinks everyone has suddenly become evil and wants to jump from a moving car, stab herself... and attacks?

The author of "It's Not Mental" had a follow up guest appearance on Edin Road Radio, reading the end of "The Brewing Storm" and the start of "Hell." She read most of Chapter 18 - "Blindsided" then had a short chat with host Jesse Coffey.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Sleep Issues Are Being Misdiagnosed as ADHD and other Mental Illnesses

It was over 3 years ago that I wrote Is It ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)?, but for some reason in the U.S.A. the psychiatric community is slow to act like the real medical doctors (MDs) they ARE.  Many still are not looking for WHY a child is exhibiting symptoms we label "ADHD." Instead, they simply slap on the label itself, which only serves to say, "This child exhibits attentional difficulties and possibly hyperactivity." That simple "mental" illness label, eliminates all their obligation to investigate the true underlying cause of any particular child's symptoms.

One of the things so many of us have been saying is that SLEEP issues (ranging from sleep apnea to narcolepsy or even just staying up a little too late) can contribute to or even cause psychiatric symptoms that are getting diagnosed as many kinds of "mental illness" ranging from Depression and ADHD to Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia!

At least even the U.S. mainstream newspapers are starting to warn people that many of these increasingly numerous "ADHD" (and Depression) diagnoses we and our children are getting may actually be manifestations of SLEEP-related issues.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Audio: Child Hears Voices and Has Tactile, Pain Hallucinations.

An audio excerpt from the book "It's Not Mental"is on Internet radio (Edin Road - 1 March 2012). The excerpt is read by the author, Jeanie Wolfson, followed by a short chat with the host, Jesse Coffey

Friday, January 20, 2012

Whole Health Healing

I was only slightly surprised that some speakers at integrative medical conferences, and some writers of whole-body healing, had their start in the chiropractic profession. After all, their skills are often viewed as “alternative” (especially by orthopedic surgeons, in my experience. Admittedly, to me, I was very glad to have such an “alternative” to the back surgery my orthopedist insisted was absolutely necessary!).

People who manipulate the body, whether by an Osteopath (DO—similar to an MD) or a Chiropractor, are immersed in the body’s own ability to heal itself.

Readers of my book and blog know very well that my family uses Integrative medicine for both managing chronic ailments, and natural techniques (such as diet changes, sleep hygiene, exercise, and supplements) for healing. We helped the “mind” by helping the body.

Coming from the chiropractic profession, we have a guest writer who would like to share his view on the use of natural remedies: Dr. Tom Potisk—author of the book “Whole Health Healing” and owner of the website of the same name: Whole Health Healing.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Healing Young Brains - Take Home Points from a 2011 Medical Conference

What better way to end the year, than to look back at the awesome 3-day medical conference I recently attended, titled “Healing Young Brains.” It was hosted by the nonprofit Midway Foundation for Integrative Medicine headed by James Roach, MD. I was pleased to see doctors from all over the country, but unfortunately not many psychiatrists (there were some, though!) I was also approached by two people who had actually read my book. That was a pleasant surprise!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) for the Strength to Recover

Practice with Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) helped one family member cope with bipolar symptoms. Just as with my younger daughter, these symptoms were not due to psychological problems, but to be successful and move forward with her life, and to be able to do what she needed to do to get better in spite of the symptoms, she had to essentially be stronger and more mentally healthy than a person without bipolar disorder. Eventually, this family member was no longer diagnosed with any mental health problem at all! (The same as my younger daughter!)

Although DBT is best done with both individual and group therapy with a therapist who specializes in the technique, my daughter used self-directed workbooks (included at the bottom) and assistance from her individual psychotherapist. Prior to starting the DBT, she had already been using the technique of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) to deal with the manifestation of anxiety.

We have a guest poster writing about DBT, Lindsey Webster. Ms. Webster has been a rehabilitation counselor for 15 years and owns the site Masters in Counseling. The site serves as a great resource for new students looking to find all the information they need about obtaining a Masters degree in Counseling. She has a Master's degree in Social Work.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Looking Beyond the Symptoms – An Integrative Approach

The book, It's Not Mental: finding innovative support and medical treatment for a child diagnosed with a severe mental illness takes the reader on our journey from puzzlement over our gentle younger daughter’s bizarre mood and schizophrenic symptoms, to despair, through grief and anger, and into a future better than we had hoped. Along the way, we were helped by family, doctors, nurses, therapists, and friends. Once we had her “fixed,” readers of this website know we could then address the older daughter’s “bipolar disorder” in a more integrated fashion—one which looked beyond the symptoms themselves.

One of the innovative, integrative medical doctors who helped my younger daughter heal is Dr. James Roach (Dr. Jim, as some of his patients affectionately call him). He was recently featured in our local newspaper: Midway physician takes an integrative approach to help his patients. (This link may not stay around long).

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Recovered - No Longer on Psychiatric Medications

In No Longer Bipolar / No longer Schizophrenic - Recovered, In Remission, or Misdiagnosed ??? we discussed  how to wrap our minds around the fact that many individuals, with alternative, complementary, functional, and/or biomedical  therapies no longer have severe, persistent, and supposedly life-long symptoms of Bipolar, Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective, Major Depressive Disorder and Anxiety--and they are NOT on psychiatric medications.

"Recovered" is not a part of the usual paradigm of those involved in severe mental illness. Only "in recovery" is.

So what exactly IS "recovered"? And what is a real-life example of this?