Schizoaffective disorder affects thinking processes and moods, which can swing from deep depression to extreme elation in the course of one ‘cycle’ or episode of the disorder, and in this it resembles bipolar disorder (manic depression). During the same episode, sufferers will also have schizophrenia-like symptoms, which might include seeing or hearing things that aren’t apparent to anyone else (hallucinations) or believing something to be true that nobody else would believe (a delusion).
Doctors regard hallucinations and delusions as psychotic, because, in their view, the person having them is out of touch with reality. However, many mental health service users, and their supporters, would disagree with this. They suggest that Western medicine dismisses what have been common experiences throughout human history. They are experiences that continue to be an accepted part of other non-Western cultures. Critics point out that reality is subjective, and filtered through our own minds. This means that the way we perceive reality can be changed.
Depression: Depression may be the symptom experienced most. It is common to feel depressed, sad, lonely, tired and bored with life. You may want to sleep a great deal, but this may make you feel worse. If the depression gets really bad, you may not be aware of having any feelings at all, except emptiness and despair. It may seem as if there’s a gap between you and other people, which is quite unbridgable. Your thoughts may become very morbid.
Mania: Depression may alternate with mania; sometimes mild (hypomania) and at other times severe. Mania can make you feel very excited and enthusiastic about life, talkative, and with your head jumping with thoughts, ideas and plans. You may get by on very little sleep (and this may make the mania worse). But you may also have a completely unfounded confidence in your own judgement and abilities, which can get you into difficulty. Characteristically, people will be extravagant with money, and pursue unwise sexual encounters and risky business ventures. At times, the good mood (euphoria) can turn to dysphoria, when you become angry and irritable, especially if someone contradicts or questions you.
The cycles of mania and depression can be at fairly regular periods, although this varies from person to person. It can range from ‘rapid cycling’ which means swinging between moods every day, to moods alternating every year, or so. It’s possible to live without symptoms, or treatment, for years. But the symptoms can then return fiercely and suddenly, with no warning. At its extreme, full-blown mania can be a very frightening indeed for all concerned. If left untreated, the cycles can begin to happen more rapidly and more severely.
Hallucinations and delusions: Everyone has an inner voice in which they talk to themselves. It’s easy to tell the difference between the inner voice in your mind, and somebody else talking to you. But hearing voices is different. This kind of hallucination sounds as if it’s coming from the outside world. You have to learn how to distinguish these auditory hallucinations from someone actually talking to you. Hearing voices is regarded as a key sign of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder.
It’s common for the voices to be harshly critical, to say that the hearer is worthless and deserves to die. Sometimes they give a running commentary on whatever is going on, or discuss the hearer, between themselves. The voices aren’t always negative, however; you may find them familiar and even comforting. Hallucinations can also mean seeing something, and feeling or smelling things.
Delusions are mistaken interpretations of things going on around you. You may believe that you are a famous person. Or that you have superhuman powers. You may even experience physical sensations that confirm your belief that you are in charge, or the opposite idea that you are the passive victim of evil forces.
It’s quite common for people to have paranoid delusions, believing that somebody wants to hurt them, and to interpret innocent actions as threatening them. You may be convinced that somebody else is in control of your actions. You may think that other people, on the television for example, are talking about you or referring to you. Even if part of you knows this isn’t true, it may not stop you having that feeling.
There is a great deal of completely inaccurate publicity about the dangers presented to the public by people who are paranoid. They should be aware that somebody in this state of mind is far more likely to hurt themselves than anybody else.
Dissociation: People sometimes report feeling as if they are a detached observer of their own life. Or they may feel that the world itself isn’t real, but just a figment of their imagination. To counteract this, it may be useful to use physical sensation, such as touching textured objects, to help root you back in reality.
There are a number of medical conditions that cause disturbances in thought and mood (for instance a stroke, a brain injury, problems with the thyroid or adrenal glands), and a doctor needs to rule these out. The next problem is to distinguish schizoaffective disorder from either bipolar disorder (manic depression) or schizophrenia. This is difficult because someone who has schizophrenia can be very depressed, and someone with bipolar disorder can hallucinate.
Full-blown manic is frightening and most unpleasant. There is no test for these conditions, and your doctor will make the diagnosis on the basis of your medical and personal history, by observing your current behaviour, talking to you and giving you other psychological diagnostic tests. The diagnosis is usually based on the DSM-IV (the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders).
One of the key ways doctors distinguish schizoaffective disorder from either schizophrenia or bipolar disorder (manic depression) is in the timing of the symptoms. An episode has to last for at least a month, and mood problems and thinking disorders should be happening at the same time, or within just a few days of each other. But, for at least two weeks during that month, the mood symptoms should disappear altogether, leaving only the thinking problems.
A person may have more of one type of symptom than another, so doctors may describe them as having manic type, depressive type or mixed type schizoaffective disorder.
The mood symptoms may include:
elation, increased self-esteem and unrealisable plans
irritability, with aggressive behaviour
inability to concentrate
Thinking problems may include hallucinations or delusions, but these may not necessarily be either grandiose or paranoid. Episodes of this type usually start suddenly, and people may behave in a very disturbed way for a short time. They usually make a full recovery within a few weeks. People who have manic forms may be less vulnerable to relapse than those with depressive forms of the disorder.
The mood symptoms may include:
feeling very low
feeling slowed down
no appetite; losing weight
loss of usual interests
lack of concentration
Thinking problems may include hallucinations or delusions, which are likely to be grandiose or paranoid. This type is usually less dramatic and alarming than the manic type, but tends to last longer. Sometimes, people go on experiencing a few of the schizophrenic symptoms afterwards.
This diagnosis is made when symptoms of schizophrenia occur at exactly the same time as those of bipolar disorder (manic depression). Confusingly, you may experience one type during one episode, but a different type during a different episode.
The causes are unknown, but there seem to be a number of factors that could be contributing. Stress seems to play a key role in triggering the problem, as with many types of mental distress, and you may be particularly vulnerable to a relapse in times of stress. You may well be able to identify particular events or sources, which you feel have contributed to your state of mind.
There is no doubt that there’s a chemical imbalance in the brain when someone has schizoaffective disorder, but the question remains, which came first, the problems or the chemical imbalance?
Schizoaffective disorder seems to occur more often in families where other members have been diagnosed with something similar, such as schizophrenia. It suggests that people might be more prone to developing the problem because of their environment or because of something they have inherited.
As a rule, the problem begins in early adulthood, and although there hasn’t been much research into the problem as a whole, it may be that women are more likely to experience it than men.
Although the causes of mental health disorders are often relegated by conventional mental health professionals to being solely psychological or genetic in nature, holistic health professionals recognize that many other factors can also be involved, and in many cases are far more significant. Moreover, they also recognize the fact that many times people are misdiagnosed with mental health disorders when in actuality they are suffering from significant biochemical problems caused primarily by poor diet and nutritional imbalances.
Other important factors to consider as causes of mental health disorders are food and environmentalallergies, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), stress, chronic physical illness, hormone imbalances, lower than normal histamine levels, and viral infections of the brain. Social and cultural factors, as well as a person’s age and gender, can also contribute to or exacerbate mental health disorders. Ironically, so can the use of prescription drugs, including drugs specifically prescribed and recommended for treating mental health disorders.
Addiction/Substance Abuse: Holistically oriented mental health professionals recognize that a similar mechanism, known as specific adaptation, is often at work in cases of both addiction and mental health disorders. According to mental health doctor Karl E. Humiston, M.D., of Albany, Oregon, in cases of addiction, specific adaptation means that the addict’s body has adapted, both chemically and energetically, to substances to which it is allergic or which are toxic in order to derive temporary feelings of pleasure. Similarly, specific adaptation also forms many various types of mental health disorders, such as anxiety, compulsive behavior, depression, and, in some cases, psychosis, all of which can be triggered by allergy-causing foods and toxic chemicals. Because of the way the body adapts to, and then starts to crave such substances, their lack can trigger heightened negative emotional episodes, making it far more difficult to accurately determine the causes of mental health disorders and, therefore, to effectively treat them. This aspect of the relationship between addiction and mental health is often ignored by conventional health professionals.
Allergies: Allergies, especially those caused by foods and food additives, can contribute to a number of mental health problems, including anxiety and depression. The late Benjamin Feingold, MD, found that allergic reactions to certain foods and food additives are a primary cause of many types of behavioral problems, such as ADD and ADHD.
Aspartame, a common artificial sweetener, is an especially toxic food additive in this regard because of how it can cause imbalances in brain chemistry once the body digests and assimilates it. Artificial food colorings, flavorings, and preservatives act similarly on the brain, significantly increasing the risk of developing many types of mental health disorders. Foods such as chocolate, corn, dairy products, eggs, milk, refined carbohydrates, sugar and sugar substitutes, tomatoes, and wheat are common allergens, and if allergic, these foods can negatively impact an individual’s mental and emotional well-being.
Amino Acid Imbalance: Amino Acid imbalances can significantly affect mental and emotional states and be at the root of variety of mental problems. Urine testing can be effective in determining amino acid levels. Find an alternative Dr. who is familiar with neuro testing. Amino Acid Therapy can be a turning point in many cases as balancing one’s brain chemistry is very important and is often overlooked when treating most mental disorders.
Chronic Physical Illness: The experience of being chronically ill can often result in mental health problems, especially when a person is beset by serious forms of illness that can potentially be life-threatening. Over time, as people fail to experience relief from their physical symptoms, they can grow increasingly anxious or depressed. In cases of severe chronic pain, they can even become suicidal. Compounding this problem is the fact that many pharmaceutical drugs that are commonly prescribed to treat physical illnesses can adversely affect brain chemistry and disrupt immunity, opening the door for biochemical imbalances and immune dysfunctions to occur, which can have a profound negative impact on a person’s mental and emotional health. Candidiasis is another chronic health problem that can cause or worsen mental health disorders, due to the way that systemic yeast overgrowth can create nutritional deficiencies. Research conducted by allergy specialist Doris Rapp, M.D., has proven that just a few drops of allergenic food substances can trigger anger, confusion, and hyperactivity, especially in children. A long term Candida diet can be used specifically for the purpose of lifting the emotional pain and simultaneously clear Candidiasis.
Diet: Poor diet is a serious cause of mental health disorders because of the nutritional deficiencies and imbalances it results in. In addition, certain foods, as mentioned above, can trigger allergies that can cause or worsen mental health problems. This is especially the case with diets devoid of fresh, organic fruits, vegetables and other organic whole foods. To make matters worse, diets neglecting whole foods are often high in commercially packaged and processed foods, refined carbohydrates, and sugars. Such a diet not only lacks the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients essential for good health, but it is also high in unhealthy food additives, preservatives, and other chemicals that can seriously impair mental health.
Environmental Toxins and Other Environmental Factors: Heavy metal poisoning, as well as exposure to toxic chemicals contained in exhaust fumes, paints, solvents, and other substances, have all been shown by research to be capable of causing a variety of mental health problems, such as depression, thinking disorders, and even violent behavior. This is especially true when such exposure leads to elevated levels of cadmium, copper, lead, manganese, mercury and/or tin.
Living near or otherwise being regularly exposed to high voltage lines can also pose serious mental health problems, including chronic depression and suicide. The link between close proximity to power lines and depression, for example, has been clearly established by scientific research.
The quality and quantity of light can also influence mental health. This scientific fact was first established by John Nash Ott, Sc.D., a photobiologist who discovered that fluorescent and incandescent lighting impairs the body’s ability to properly absorb and assimilate nutrients and can trigger a variety of mental health problems, including alcoholism, depression, drug abuse, hostility, hyperactivity, and irritability, as well as contributing to lowered immune function, a shortened life span, and chronic degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and osteoporosis. People who spend the majority of their time indoors in buildings with artificial light are particularly susceptible to these types of health risks.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is caused by a lack of sunlight, especially during the winter months, can also cause or worsen mental health disorders, as can exposure to mold and pollen.
Histamine Imbalance: Lower or higher than normal histamine levels can also be a factor in mental health disorders, especially schizophrenia. This was first shown in the 1950s by the late Carl Pfeiffer, Ph.D., M.D., a pioneering orthomolecular physician who found that nearly 50 percent of the schizophrenic patients he examined had lower than normal histamine levels, while approximately a third of them had elevated histamine levels. Dr. Pfeiffer also found histamine imbalances to be a factor in many cases of obsessive-compulsive disorder, severe depression, paranoia, suicidal tendencies, and thinking disorders. Typically, such patients also showed abnormal levels of basophils, a type of white blood cell that stores histamine in the body. They also usually suffered from nutritional imbalances, especially of folic acid and zinc.
Hormonal Imbalances: Hormonal imbalances can also contribute to mental health problems, especially in women who rely on birth control pills and/or who take synthetic progesterone, both of which can cause overall hormone levels to become imbalanced. In addition, birth control pills and synthetic progesterone can also result in systemic yeast overgrowth (candidiasis), further exacerbating mental health issues.
Hypoglycemia: Many patients who suffer from mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, unexplained or irrational fear, hyperactivity, and irritability also suffer from hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). In certain instances, hypoglycemia may even be the sole cause of such conditions. For such patients, stabilizing blood sugar levels is essential for proper treatment.
Nutritional Deficiencies and Imbalances: Nutritional deficiencies and imbalances represent two of the most important causes of mental health disorders, and are nearly as significant as the genetic factors that can predispose people to suffer from mental and emotional problems. Since the 1950s, leaders in the field of orthomolecular medicine, such as Linus Pauling, Carl Pfeiffer, and Abram Hoffer, have shown that deficiencies in any nutrient can cause mental health problems, ranging from anxiety, attention deficit disorders, depression, and hyperactivity to impaired mental function, schizophrenia, thinking disorders, and habitual violent behavior.
Among the nutrients most commonly found to be deficient or imbalanced in people with mental health disorders are B complex vitamins—especially vitamins B1, B3 (niacin), B6, and B12—vitamin C, calcium, copper, iron, lithium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, sodium, and zinc. Low levels of stomach acid (hydrochloric acid, or HCl) are also commonly found among patients with mental health problems. A lack of HCl can significantly interfere with the body’s ability to digest and assimilate nutrients contained in food.
Scientific samplings of thousands of people in prison conducted by William Walsh, Ph.D., a former research scientist at the Argonne National Laboratories, revealed that 95 percent of them suffered from pronounced nutritional and biochemical imbalances, and often also had elevated levels of potential toxic minerals such as lead. This was particularly true of prisoners who exhibited severe antisocial behaviors, as well as those who were convicted of homicide, rape, and other violent crimes, as well as those most prone to suicidal tendencies.
Psychiatric Drugs: In the last few decades, the field of mental health has been increasingly co-opted by the pharmaceutical industry. As a result, so-called psychiatric drugs are now the primary treatment approach used by practitioners of conventional medicine for mental health disorders. This trend has been exacerbated by the fact that emphasis is now placed more on cost-saving measures when it comes to health care, than on treatment methods that actually work, particularly on the part of HMOs, PPOs, and other managed care health organizations.
Further compounding this problem is the fact that pharmaceutical drugs are increasingly being recommended and prescribed for children despite the fact that their young brains are not fully developed and are therefore less capable of resisting the drugs’ serious side effects. Moreover, no data has ever been compiled that shows such drugs are safe or effective for younger age groups (and in fact little convincing data exists showing that they are safe and effective for adults). So influential has the pharmaceutical industry become in this regard that all across the United States, parents now risk having their children taken from them to be placed into foster homes if they refuse to use drugs such as Ritalin, which can cause very serious side effects, to treat their children. Thus far, an estimated 100,000 children across America have been taken from their parents for this reason, with the full support of both state and federal judicial courts. This, despite the fact that psychiatric drugs are known to carry serious health risks, including suicidal and homicidal tendencies, as well as other psychotic behaviors.
Psychiatric drugs primary fall into four categories: stimulants, antidepressants, anti-psychotic medications, and sleep aids. What follows are various health risks associated with each class of drug.
Stimulants—Stimulants such as Ritalin and Adderal, which are routinely prescribed for ADD and ADHD, has been shown by research to act on the brain in much the same way that cocaine and amphetamine drugs do. Common side effects caused by Ritalin, Adderal, and other stimulant drugs include, but are not limited to, brain damage, unhealthy behavioral changes, dizziness, headache, stomach problems, stunted growth, suicide, and violent and homicidal tendencies. Stimulant drugs also have a strong tendency to leave those who use them feeling listless and “zombie-like,” to the point where their inherent personality seems completely suppressed. Despite these grave health risks, current statistics indicate that approximately 20 percent of all school children in kindergarten through the 12th grade take Ritalin and similar medications, usually because they have been diagnosed as having ADD or ADHD, two so-called health conditions which many scientists and physicians in the fields of both conventional and holistic medicine dispute are even real. Moreover, half of all children in this country who are diagnosed with ADD or ADHD are placed on Ritalin and similar drugs without ever receiving proper psychological or educational testing. In addition, though no child has ever died as a result of either ADD or ADHD, a number of deaths have been attributed to children with these so-called conditions as a direct result of Ritalin and similar stimulant drug use.
Antidepressants—Antidepressant medications, such as Paxil, Prozac, and Zolot, are another class of drugs that can cause serious side effects. Such side effects include anxiety, dizziness, nausea, sexual dysfunction (including impotence and loss of libido), uncontrollable facial and body tics, visual hallucinations, unhealthy weight gain and obesity, withdrawal symptoms, and sexual dysfunction. Other side effects include electric shock sensations in the brain, as well as severe and permanent neurological damage. In addition, some users of antidepressant medications can exhibit suicidal and homicidal tendencies, as well as other forms of violent behavior, and the use of tricyclic medications, such as Norpramin, has even been implicated in the sudden deaths of children for whom it was prescribed.
Anti-Psychotic Medications—Anti-psychotic drug use can result in movement disorders, such as tardive dyskinesia, as well as neurological damage that can lead to such conditions as Alzheimer`s disease.
Sleeping Aids—Side effects associated with pharmaceutical drugs used to treat sleep disorders include overdose, unhealthy lowering of the heart rate (hypotension), depressed respiration, unhealthy changes in mood, diminished cognitive function, and impaired consciousness.
In addition to the above side effects, psychiatric drugs, as well as pharmaceutical drugs in general, can trigger and/or exacerbate a variety of mental health disorders.
Stress: Chronic, unresolved stress can also trigger and exacerbate mental health disorders, as well as negatively impacting the health of your body’s endocrine, immune, and nervous systems. Stress has been implicated by researchers such as Dr. Bruce Lipton of Stanford University as the primary cause of 95 percent of all health conditions, including those which fall under the category of mental health. By weakening your body’s endocrine system, stress can result in hormonal imbalances that are associated with mental health disorders. By weakening immunity, stress opens the door to various disease-causing agents, such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi such as Candida albicans (which, unchecked, causes candidiasis), all of which can negatively effect the health of the brain and lead to ongoing feelings of anxiety, depression, and fear, as well as impairing cognitive and mental function. And by affecting the nervous system, stress makes it much more difficult for people to feel relaxed, think clearly, and properly express themselves.
Conversely, mental health disorders, and the life situations that can cause or contribute to them, such as job loss, divorce, or the death of a loved one, can significantly increase a person’s stress levels, setting in motion a vicious cycle that further aggravates and perpetuates mental health problems.
Viral Infections of the Brain: Pioneering holistic physician William H. Philpott, MD, of Choctaw, Oklahoma, has found that all mental health disorders related to organic brain dysfunction are initiated by viral infection of the brain. According to Dr. Philpott, it is the herpes class of viruses that causes the brain to become infected. Viruses in this class include cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein-Barr virus, human herpes virus 6 (HHV6), and infectious mononucleosis. He has found that people who are born with a predisposition for mental health disorders typically have such viruses passed onto them by their mothers while they are gestating in the womb. Or viruses will often invade the brains of young children early on in life. Once the viruses take hold in the brain, they begin to infect the brain’s neurons and create brain swelling. This, in turn, results in abnormalities in a person’s ability to concentrate, as well as in their judgment and perception, often to a seriously damaging degree.
According to Dr. Philpott, the activity of such viruses in the brain is both chronic and fluctuating, and can make people who are afflicted by brain viruses more susceptible to other factors that can cause or worsen mental health disorders, such as environmental toxins, food allergies, and nutritional deficiencies.
Mental health disorders that can be associated with viral brain infections include bi-polar disorders, hyperactivity, learning disabilities, psychosis, and schizophrenia.
A healthy diet is a vital component of any overall program for addressing mental health disorders. If you suffer from mental health problems, be sure to get tested for food allergies.
Avoid all foods that contain additives, coloring, flavoring, pesticides, and preservatives, as well as foods that are commercially processed and refined, including all refined carbohydrates, sugar and sugar substitutes, trans fats and hydrogenated oils. Do not consume any artificial sweeteners, such as Splenda, NutraSweet or Aspartame and avoid high fructose corn syrup or mono-sodium glutamate. Do not drink any carbonated beverages and avoid canned food and all fast food restaurants.
Minimize your intake of milk and dairy products, as well as alcohol and caffeine.
It is essential to eat a steady and diverse daily diet of health enhancing fruits such as apples, berries, stone fruits, and vegetables, especially dark greens, salads, small daily quantities of high quality protein sources, such as wild fish, organic poultry, bison, lamb, eggs, beans, legumes, tempeh and tofu, essential fatty acids, whole grains, such as quinoa and brown rice, nuts and seeds (preferably soaked), and wholesome, rather than refined treats.
Be sure to vary the foods you eat at each meal to ensure a plentiful supply of nutrients and enzymes and to avoid the risk of developing food sensitivities, and be careful not to overeat during meals.
Drink plenty of pure, filtered water throughout the day.
If you suffer from hypoglycemia, avoid high glycemic carbohydrate foods. Eat meals that are high in a variety of vegetables, small and consistent portions of quality proteins and low in carbohydrates. In addition, eat healthy snacks such as all vegetable juices or raw vegetables with a handful of soaked nuts or seeds, or a hard boiled egg, a slice of protein such as turkey wrapped in lettuce leaves, or a fresh fruit smoothie mixed with essential fats and a quality protein powder, such as Hemp or raw organic whey protein powder. Eat something every two to three hours between meals to keep your blood sugar levels stabilized.
It is important to not add further toxicity to your system so try to adhere to the following:
- Do not consume any artificial sweeteners, such as Splenda, NutraSweet or Aspartame
- Do not consume high fructose corn syrup or mono-sodium glutamate.
- Do not drink any carbonated beverages.
- Avoid all fast food restaurants.
- Avoid all canned food.
- Eliminate conventional dairy products. The best dairy products are raw, unpasteurised and homogenised dairy from grass fed cows. If this is unavailable, then buy organic dairy.
- Avoid conventional beef. The best beef is organic grass fed beef.
www.grasslandbeef.com The second best is organic meat; this includes beef, veal, lamb, chicken and turkey.
Useful nutritional supplements for mental health disorders include B complex vitamins, especially vitamins B1, B3 (niacin), B6, and B12, as well as vitamin C, vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. Omega 3 oils and other essential fatty acids, such as evening primrose oil, are also recommend to ensure good brain health. Amino Acid formulas as well as specific Amino acid therapy can also provide relief of symptoms. Hydrochloric acid (HCl) supplements should also be used for people with low stomach acid in order to promote effective digestion and assimilation of other nutrients. There are a wide variety of specialized amino acids available from alternative doctors that focus exclusively on mental health issues. Specific amino acid testing is recommended.
For optimum health and healing we would also recommend:
- Take Vitamin D3 50,000-100,000 International Units a day for periods of 4 weeks at a time.
- Wholefood supplements are the best way of ensuring your nutritional needs are met. The best we know on the market is Kevin Trudeau’s “KT Daily” product. You can find more details here.
- Take the mineral Lithium Orotate (ensure it doesn’t contain magnesium stearate.
- St John’s Wort www.sourcenaturals.com
- Coral Calcium http://ow.ly/eQMEN
- Magnesium taken in powder form – www.therawfoodworld.com
- Deer Antler Velvet www.royalvelvetforlife.com
- Able Heel
- 3-2-1 Supplements www.ncsupplements.com
- Take an Omega 3 supplement:
Orthomolecular Medicine: Orthomolecular medicine uses diet and nutritional supplements to treat mental health disorders. The term itself was first coined in 1968 by two-time Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling, Ph.D., to explain the connection between proper nutrition and mental health. However, the use of nutritional supplements to treat mental health conditions dates back to the 1950s and the work of physicians such as Carl Pfeiffer, Abram Hoffer, and Humprhey Osmond, who discovered that nutritional imbalances were often involved with mental health conditions, including schizophrenia, which is often accompanied by deficiencies of vitamin B3 (niacin). Since that time, numerous scientific studies have demonstrated the link between nutritional deficiencies and mental health problems, and have also shown that proper nutritional supplementation-sometimes at dosages far beyond those of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI)-can significantly improve overall mental and emotional health, as well as cognition and mental function, and can also result in healthier personal behavior. Despite the abundance of research that validates orthomolecular medicine’s effectiveness in this regard, conventional physicians and mental health specialists continue to ignore the powerful, positive effects it can provide.
Orthomolecular medicine requires the help of a health care professional trained in this field. In addition, the supplements that are used, along with their dosages, are individualized and based on each person’s unique biochemical and nutritional needs. To determine each patient’s nutritional requirements, orthomolecular physicians employ a variety of diagnostic tests to ascertain the values of as many as 120 different nutritional factors, based on blood, urine, and hair analysis, as well as such other factors as amino acid, protein, vitamin, mineral, enzyme, electrolyte, and histamine levels, as well as thyroid, kidney and liver function, and any possible food and environmental allergies.
Prescription and non-prescription medication:
What non-prescription and prescription drugs are you taking? Your non-prescription and prescription are partially the reason that you have this illness or disease – you need to get off these medications but do so only under the guidance of a licensed health care practitioner.
We know that when the body is out of balance, energy doesn’t flow, leading blockages and eventually disease. Here are some things you can do to combat stress and restore balance:
- Go to a Dr Morter BEST (Bio-Energetic Synchronisation Technique) Practitioner.
- Sign up for Energetic Re-Balancing: 2 practitioners to consider are:
Stephen Lewis, founder of the Aim Program. Find out more by clicking here.
. Find out more by clicking here.
- Consider using Mary Millers Iching System Products – ichingsystemsinstruments.com
- Reiki healing is very powerful in releasing stress and emotional baggage. Find a practitioner here.
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) has had remarkable results in dissolving stress. Find a local practitioner here or go to www.thetappingsolution.com or www.tftrx.com
- Try Hypnotherapy to relax the mind. Find a practitioner here.
- Meditation: Numerous studies have shown meditation to have many health benefits as well as improving mood, anxiety and stress. Meditation can be a helpful addition to treating depression. Over time, meditation can help one feel more at peace and be able to step back and let go of thoughts, which is helpful since depressed individuals often experience repetitive negative thoughts. Meditation can be as simple as sitting quietly with eyes closed and concentrating on one’s breath. When you notice yourself no longer focusing on your breath, gently bring your focus back to your breathing.
- Biofeedback Training: Biofeedback training can result in dramatic improvements in patients’ ability to manage stress, thereby improving overall mental health symptoms. In addition, research has shown that biofeedback is also helpful for dealing with various mental health problems, including anxiety, chronic phobias, and hyperactivity.
- Energy Psychology: Energy psychology combined with techniques from acupressure and kinesiology, often in conjunction with affirmations and healing breathing techniques can resolve blockages or disturbances in a person’s “bioenergy field,” sometimes referred to as the “aura.” According to the theory behind energy psychology, a large degree of mental and emotional problems have their root in the bioenergy field, where they affect us in much the same way that faulty software can cause problems in a computer’s hard drive. Practitioners of energy psychology have their patients think about or emotionally re-experience the mental and/or emotional problems that are causing them difficulties. As they do so, they also tap specific acupuncture meridian points in order to balance out and free trapped energies. Once this occurs, patients often find that they are completely free of their problems.
- There are a variety of healing therapies that fall under the energy psychology umbrella, such as emotional freedom technique (EFT), Thought Therapy, and Energy Diagnostic and Treatment Methods (developed by Fred Gallo, Ph.D., who coined the phrase “energy psychology”). In recent years, such therapies have gained widespread acceptance among mental health professionals in the fields of both conventional and alternative medicine because of how effective they are for rapidly resolving a wide variety of mental health disorders.
- Energy psychology has been shown to be particularly useful for treating addiction, anxiety, depression, panic disorders, phobias, post-traumatic stress disorders, and unhealthy feelings of chronic anger, guilt, loneliness, rage, and rejection.
- Journaling: By regularly writing down your thoughts, beliefs, and emotions in a journal, you can help yourself to better understand the underlying issues in your life that can be contributing to your mental and emotional problems, gaining new insights in the process that can empower you to heal. Research has also shown that the daily practice of journaling can also help to improve physical health symptoms.
- In addition, journaling can be an effective way for releasing yourself from the chain of negative emotions linked to past traumas, as well as phobias. A specific journaling technique known as desensitization can help you to accomplish this. To deal with traumas, simply allow yourself to re-experience all that you can recall of the traumatic event. Write down everything that occurs to you as vividly as you can, so that you use all of your senses. Initially, you may feel the fears and other emotions you associate with the event. By writing about the event on a daily basis, however, eventually you will find yourself becoming detached from or desensitized to the event so that it no longer affects you. In the process, you may also discover elements of the experience that escaped you when the event happened, which can provide you with further clarity and peace of mind. You can work with phobias in a similar fashion. Instead of “reliving” a past event on paper, imagine an experience that would typically trigger your phobia. Over time, you will find that whatever you imagine has only the power over you that you give it, making it easier to let go of your fears.
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): Developed by psychologist Francine Shapiro, Ph.D., in 1990, EMDR has become one of the most rapidly growing therapies in the field of mind/body medicine, and is used by more than 20,000 psychotherapists as a primary treatment for a variety of mental health disorders, including addiction, anxiety, stress, and, most especially, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Research has shown that EMDR has up to a 90 percent success rate for resolving PTSD caused by rape, natural disasters, catastrophic illness, the loss of a loved one, or other traumas. In most cases, complete resolution of PTSD occurs with three sessions or less of EMDR.
Herbal remedies for schizoaffective disorder: www.livestrong.com/article/542891-herbal-remedies-for-schizoaffective-disorder
Can fish oil fight depression? www.motherearthnews.com/natural-health/fish-oil-depression-zm0z10zrog.aspx
The Mental Health System Missing Standardswww.naturalcures.com/healthblog/45_the_mental_health_system_missing_standards_170412.php
Eliminate stress by transcendingwww.naturalcures.com/healthblog/eliminate_stress_by_transcending_thinking.php
Self Worth A Key To Your Mental Healthwww.naturalcures.com/healthblog/21_self_worth_a_key_to_your_mental_health_191211.php
Traditional Chinese Medicine – Ancient Healing www.naturalcures.com/healthblog/traditional_chinese_ancient_healing.php
The best way to cleansing and purification of the bodywww.naturalcures.com/healthblog/54_the_best_way_to_cleansing_and_purification_of_the_body_110512.php
Mother Nature’s Natural Germ Fighters naturalhealthdossier.com/2012/03/mother-natures-natural-germ-fighters
Immune health NC_Newsletter_07-11.pdf
Squeaky Clean (Colonic Irrigation) www.naturalcures.com/healthblog/squeaky_clean.php
Heal Your Body and Raise Your Consciousness – Qigong NC_Newsletter_12-08.pdf
Health Care that Won’t Cost You a Single Penny – EFT NC_Newsletter_12-06.pdf
Become Master of Your Mind – taking charge of your reaction to stress NC_Newsletter_12-10.pdf
Jump for Joy – Rebounding is a great stress busting workout NC_Newsletter_12-10.pdf
Hypnotherapy for stress management – why it is so effectivewww.naturalcures.com/healthblog/hypnotherapy_for_stress.php
Healing mental illness through raw food nutrition www.youtube.com/watch?v=967movuUpqo
Guided Relaxation by Kelly Howell part 1 www.youtube.com/watch?v=lb69pfASfs8
Guided Relaxation by Kelly Howell part 2 www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-6fSEG9A8I&feature=fvwrel
Healing the body meditation www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFh-Km4AXeE&feature=related
EFT for treating disease www.garythink.com/eft/physicial.html
The effectiveness of St John’s Wort in treating depression (British Medical Journal):
Omega 3 and mental health www.mentalhealthy.co.uk/lifestyle/mind-food/omega-3-and-mental-health.html
Transcendental meditation and mental health research paperswww.truthabouttm.org/truth/IndividualEffects/ResearchonMentalHealth/index.cfm
Further Information (links and books)
Wired for Joy by Laurel Mellin
Solving The Depression Puzzle, Rita Elkin M.H
Talking Bacl to Prozac: What Doctors Won’t Tell You About Today’s Most Controversial Drug, Peter R/ Breggin, MD with Ginger Rose Breggin
Energy Tapping, Fred P. Gallo PhD.
Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art by Kathi Keville and Mindi Green
Detox and revitalize by Susana L. Belen
The Secret Language of Your Body by Inna Segal
The Healing Herbs: The Ultimate Guide to the Curative Power of Nature’s Medicines by Michael Castleman and Prevention Magazine
Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Fifth Edition: A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies Using Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & Food … A-To-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies) by Phyllis Balch
Whole food supplement, Pure Synergy – www.thesynergycompany.com (800) 723-0277
E3 Live, Green Superfoods – www.awakenedshoppe.com
Omega-3s, Cod Liver oil – www.drrons.com (877) 472-8701
St. John’s Wort – www.sourcenaturals.com
Sunlight Therapy, Solar Healing – www.solarhealing.com
EMF Chaos Elimination, Q-Link – www.toolsforwellness.com (800) 456-9887
Living Freedom, Emotional Release Work totalintegrationinstitute.com (520) 615-9811
Callahan Technique, Thought Field Therapy – www.tftrx.com (760) 564-1008
Dianetics, Dianetics Technology – www.dianetics.com (800) 367-8788
Neuro Emotional Technique – www.netmindbody.com (800) 888-4638
Bowen, Find Practitioner – www.bowendirectory.com
Andrea Butje | Aromahead [email protected] – aromatherapy
Carrie Vitt [email protected] – organic food recipes.
David Spector-NSR/USA [email protected] – meditation, stress
Judith Hoad [email protected] – herbalist.
Kath May [email protected] – reiki, tai chi.
Lillian Bridges [email protected] – Chinese medicine, living naturally.
Monika [email protected] – aromatherapy.
Rakesh [email protected] – Ayurvedic Practitioner.