Tuesday, May 24, 2011

When Hearing Things Is Not Schizophrenia

I received an E-mail (below) from a mother, Arna Mathiesen in Norway, who went that extra mile for her son who was hearing things, withdrawn, panicky, and dizzy for no apparent reason.  She sent me a link to an article about him.

“When he was still in a room, he would be staring and not answering.” He was having panic attacks. The doctors initially could not find anything wrong with him and repeatedly suggested that his issues were mental.

Hmmm…. Sound familiar?  A lot like (see It's Not Mental) what happened to my younger daughter?

Let’s see, hearing things that no one else hears…Staring out into nothingness. Disengaged from life around him...Claiming symptoms the doctors couldn't believe in because they saw no medical cause.  Schizophrenia perhaps? Severe Depression with psychosis? Bipolar Disorder? Schizoaffective?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Allergies, Asthma, and “Mental” Illness

When most people hear the word “allergies” they think of sneezing, drippy noses, red eyes, and maybe some wheezing and congestion. Some people may think of hives or maybe even an anaphylactic reaction to food or insect bite allergies. Some may also visualize allergic people feeling fatigued, and having slowed, fuzzy thinking. They feel sick and lethargic, and indeed may even get more frequent infections.

But most people do not connect “seasonal allergies” and even “asthma” to more severe brain symptoms such as Major Depressive Disorder, and children’s “raging” and prolonged tantrums. Yet that connection exists. Remember the scene in my book about Keri’s summer of allergies segueing into the deep dark depths of depression? After decades of observant parents noticing that connection, mainstream media is finally reporting on the research validating those observations.