For a free copy of
Length: 2 hrs and 42 mins
The thrust of this audiobook is nutrition and complimentary therapies for digital addiction, anxiety, bipolar, depression, and schizophrenia. It is possible to sometimes prevent schizophrenia, bipolar, and depression from ever happening.
This is useful information if these disorders run in one’s family. Useful resources to find authoritative information on all the included mental disorders from the American medical perspective are included. Truisms that have been passed down through the ages about mental health, ones that have stood the rigors of scientific inquiry, are presented. The role of nutrition in ameliorating anxiety is discussed. Light is thrown on the benefits of meditation, yoga, aromatherapy, exercise, and the healing power of music. Also highlighted are the detrimental effects of playing too many video games.
The effect of light on bipolar disorder, and the importance of sleep and good hygiene, is underlined. Then, the affections of nutrition in regards to depression is discussed. A question relevant to many of us, “what are the effects of being indoors all the time?”, is delved into. A long list of things that can be helpful for ameliorating depression is presented including: natural herbal remedies, meditation, religion, yoga, the effect of too much or too little light, the role of exercise in fighting depression, the role of music on the mood, the role of a positive social network in recovery, the role of pets, the harmful effects of the digital lives we lead, and the healing power of scent.
Finally, there is a look at amazing fact that nutrition can sometimes prevent psychosis in its beginning stages, before it becomes fully-blown schizophrenia.
©2014 William Jiang (P)2015 William Jiang
For more words of wisdom, see my favorite Christian preacher at: http://www.joelosteen.com . If anybody knows how I can get his rss feed, let me know!
“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
(2 Corinthians 12:10, NIV)
TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
We all have seasons in life when we feel overwhelmed. When unexpected things happen, we can be tempted to get discouraged. We may feel like we don’t have what it takes, or we may feel weak. Anytime you feel this way, you have to realize that feelings aren’t facts. The truth of the matter is that God has equipped you and He already has a plan for you to come out of that difficulty. Scripture says, when you feel week, that’s when God’s strength rises in you. His strength will overcome any opposition you may face.
Remember, anytime you feel week, that’s when God is strong on You! Keep praying, keep believing, keep pressing forward and rise up in the victory He has in store for you!
A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, thank You for giving me Your strength for any adversity I face in this life. I know that with You, I will overcome. Help me to keep my heart and mind focused on You as I move forward in victory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen
I’m posting this AAEM Position Piece to raise awareness of Electromagnetic Sensitivity as a real disorder because there seems to be a lot of misinformation out there.
For over 50 years, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) has been studying and treating the effects of the environment on human health. In the last 20 years, our physicians began seeing patients who reported that electric power lines, televisions and other electrical devices caused a wide variety of symptoms. By the mid 1990’s, it became clear that patients were adversely affected by electromagnetic fields and becoming more electrically sensitive. In the last five years with the advent of wireless devices, there has been a massive increase in radiofrequency (RF) exposure from wireless devices as well as reports of hypersensitivity and diseases related to electromagnetic field and RF exposure. Multiple studies correlate RF exposure with diseases such as cancer, neurological disease, reproductive disorders, immune dysfunction, and electromagnetic hypersensitivity.
The electromagnetic wave spectrum is divided into ionizing radiation such as ultraviolet and X-rays and non-ionizing radiation such as radiofrequency (RF), which includes WiFi, cell phones, and Smart Meter wireless communication. It has long been recognized that ionizing radiation can have a negative impact on health. However, the effects of non-ionizing radiation on human health recently have been seen. Discussions and research of non-ionizing radiation effects centers around thermal and non-thermal effects. According to the FCC and other regulatory agencies, only thermal effects are relevant regarding health implications and consequently, exposure limits are based on thermal effects only.1
While it was practical to regulate thermal bioeffects, it was also stated that non-thermal effects are not well understood and no conclusive scientific evidence points to non-thermal based negative health effects.1 Further arguments are made with respect to RF exposure from WiFi, cell towers and smart meters that due to distance, exposure to these wavelengths are negligible.2 However, many in vitro, in vivo and epidemiological studies demonstrate that significant harmful biological effects occur from non-thermal RF exposure and satisfy Hill’s criteria of causality.3 Genetic damage, reproductive defects, cancer, neurological degeneration and nervous system dysfunction, immune system dysfunction, cognitive effects, protein and peptide damage, kidney damage, and developmental effects have all been reported in the peer-reviewed scientific literature.
Genotoxic effects from RF exposure, including studies of non-thermal levels of exposure, consistently and specifically show chromosomal instability, altered gene expression, gene mutations, DNA fragmentation and DNA structural breaks.4-11 A statistically significant dose response effect was demonstrated by Maschevich et al. , who reported a linear increase in aneuploidy as a function of the Specific Absorption Rate(SAR) of RF exposure.11 Genotoxic effects are documented to occur in neurons, blood lymphocytes, sperm, red blood cells, epithelial cells, hematopoietic tissue, lung cells and bone marrow. Adverse developmental effects due to non-thermal RF exposure have been shown with decreased litter size in mice from RF exposure well below safety standards.12 The World Health Organization has classified RF emissions as a group 2 B carcinogen.13 Cellular telephone use in rural areas was also shown to be associated with an increased risk for malignant brain tumors. 14
The fact that RF exposure causes neurological damage has been documented repeatedly. Increased blood-brain barrier permeability and oxidative damage, which are associated with brain cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, have been found.4,7,15-17 Nittby et al. demonstrated a statistically significant dose-response effect between non-thermal RF exposure and occurrence of albumin leak across the blood-brain barrier.15 Changes associated with degenerative neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) have been reported.4,10 Other neurological and cognitive disorders such as headaches, dizziness, tremors, decreased memory and attention, autonomic nervous system dysfunction, decreased reaction times, sleep disturbances and visual disruption have been reported to be statistically significant in multiple epidemiological studies with RF exposure occurring non-locally.18-21
Nephrotoxic effects from RF exposure also have been reported. A dose response effect was observed by Ingole and Ghosh in which RF exposure resulted in mild to extensive degenerative changes in chick embryo kidneys based on duration of RF exposure.24 RF emissions have also been shown to cause isomeric changes in amino acids that can result in nephrotoxicity as well as hepatotoxicity.25
Electromagnetic field (EMF) hypersensitivity has been documented in controlled and double blind studies with exposure to various EMF frequencies. Rea et al. demonstrated that under double blind placebo controlled conditions, 100% of subjects showed reproducible reactions to that frequency to which they were most sensitive.22 Pulsed electromagnetic frequencies were shown to consistently provoke neurological symptoms in a blinded subject while exposure to continuous frequencies did not.23
Although these studies clearly show causality and disprove the claim that health effects from RF exposure are uncertain, there is another mechanism that proves electromagnetic frequencies, including radiofrequencies, can negatively impact human health. Government agencies and industry set safety standards based on the narrow scope of Newtonian or “classical” physics reasoning that the effects of atoms and molecules are confined in space and time. This model supports the theory that a mechanical force acts on a physical object and thus, long-range exposure to EMF and RF cannot have an impact on health if no significant heating occurs. However, this is an incomplete model. A quantum physics model is necessary to fully understand and appreciate how and why EMF and RF fields are harmful to humans.26,27In quantum physics and quantum field theory, matter can behave as a particle or as a wave with wave-like properties. Matter and electromagnetic fields encompass quantum fields that fluctuate in space and time. These interactions can have long-range effects which cannot be shielded, are non-linear and by their quantum nature have uncertainty. Living systems, including the human body, interact with the magnetic vector potential component of an electromagnetic field such as the field near a toroidal coil.26,28,29 The magnetic vector potential is the coupling pathway between biological systems and electromagnetic fields.26,27Once a patient’s specific threshold of intensity has been exceeded, it is the frequency which triggers the patient’s reactions.
Long range EMF or RF forces can act over large distances setting a biological system oscillating in phase with the frequency of the electromagnetic field so it adapts with consequences to other body systems. This also may produce an electromagnetic frequency imprint into the living system that can be long lasting.26,27,30 Research using objective instrumentation has shown that even passive resonant circuits can imprint a frequency into water and biological systems.31These quantum electrodynamic effects do exist and may explain the adverse health effects seen with EMF and RF exposure. These EMF and RF quantum field effects have not been adequately studied and are not fully understood regarding human health.
Because of the well documented studies showing adverse effects on health and the not fully understood quantum field effect, AAEM calls for exercising precaution with regard to EMF, RF and general frequency exposure. In an era when all society relies on the benefits of electronics, we must find ideas and technologies that do not disturb bodily function. It is clear that the human body uses electricity from the chemical bond to the nerve impulse and obviously this orderly sequence can be disturbed by an individual-specific electromagnetic frequency environment. Neighbors and whole communities are already exercising precaution, demanding abstention from wireless in their homes and businesses.
Furthermore, the AAEM asks for:
Submitted by: Amy L. Dean, DO, William J. Rea, MD, Cyril W. Smith, PhD, Alvis L. Barrier, MD
Bibliography: Electromagnetic and Radiofrequency Fields Effect on Human Health
Schizophrenic. Psychotic. Insane. Too many people associate these words with murderer, useless, hopeless, and bum. Meet Will. At 19 he had his first psychotic break with reality. Afterwards, he had to re-learn his place in the world. He went from being a vibrant and gifted university senior, to being a mental patient on a locked ward for whom life was laborious and chaotic. In the beginning, he had to learn to cope with reality again minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, then year by year. Much later, after years of being a medical librarian, he was able to unlock some of his own brain’s healing potential using natural nutritional techniques. Now, at 41, his list of life accomplishments is impressive. Author of 13
popular Kindle books. Former Columbia University/NYSPI Medical Library Chief. Designer. Speaker of English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese.
His critically-acclaimed autobiography is “A Schizophrenic Will: A Story of Madness, A Story of Hope”. Mr Jiang and his intense 20+ year struggle with schizophrenia is iconoclastic because he challenges us to think differently about stereotypes of mental illness. Most movies and media news paint one-dimensional, thinly drawn caricatures of mentally ill people, instilling fear. Refreshingly, words that could describe Mr. Jiang’s life and work include: brilliant, passionate, artistic, profound, knowledgeable, inspirational, and even “wise teacher”.
Executive summary: Following up on some of Pall’s work, it turns out in some part, probably the combination of Abilify, Navane, and Wellbutrin (Bupropion) interacted strongly at the cytochrome P450 CYP2D6 location, in my case: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CYP2D6 . (see below articles) Because of this, DHEA 25mg seems to help my type of MCS a bit. Now, I can now enter a laundromat and breathe the air a bit (which has much perfume) as well as go other places for a limited amount of time, but I react much less strongly than before. It makes life a bit easier!
Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2013;2013:831969. doi: 10.1155/2013/831969. Epub 2013 Jul 7.
Xenobiotic sensor- and metabolism-related gene variants in environmental sensitivity-related illnesses: a survey on the Italian population.Caccamo D1, Cesareo E, Mariani S, Raskovic D, Ientile R, Currò M, Korkina L, De Luca C.
Author informationAbstractIn the environmental sensitivity-related illnesses (SRIs), multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), chronic fatigue syndrome (FCS), and fibromyalgia (FM), the search for genetic polymorphisms of phase I/II xenobiotic-metabolizing enzymes as suitable diagnostic biomarkers produced so far inconclusive results, due to patient heterogeneity, geographic/ethnic differences in genetic backgrounds, and different methodological approaches. Here, we compared the frequency of gene polymorphisms of selected cytochrome P450 (CYP) metabolizing enzymes and, for the first time, the frequency of the xenobiotic sensor Aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) in the three cohorts of 156 diagnosed MCS, 94 suspected MCS, and 80 FM/FCS patients versus 113 healthy controls. We found significantly higher frequency of polymorphisms CYP2C9∗2, CYP2C9∗3, CYP2C19∗2, CYP2D6∗4 and CYP2D6∗41 in patients compared with controls. This confirms that these genetic variants represent a genetic risk factor for SRI. Moreover, the compound heterozygosity for CYP2C9∗2 and ∗3 variants was useful to discriminate between either MCS or FM/CFS versus SMCS, while the PM ∗41/∗41 genotype discriminated between MCS and either SMCS or FM/CFS. The compound heterozygosity for CYP2C9 ∗1/∗3 and CYP2D6 ∗1/∗4 differentiated MCSand SMCS cases from FM/CFS ones. Interestingly, despite the distribution of the AHR Arg554Lys variant did not result significantly different between SRI cases and controls, it resulted useful for the discrimination between MCS and SMCS cases when considered within haplotypes in combination with CYP2C19 ∗1/∗2 and CYP2D6 ∗1/∗4. Results allowed us to propose the genotyping for these specific CYP variants, together with the AHR Arg554Lys variant, as reliable, cost-effective genetic parameters to be included in the still undefined biomarkers’ panel for laboratory diagnosis of the main types of environmental-borne SRI.
Drug Metab Dispos. 1999 Sep;27(9):1078-84.
Effect of antipsychotic drugs on human liver cytochrome P-450 (CYP) isoforms in vitro: preferential inhibition of CYP2D6.Shin JG1, Soukhova N, Flockhart DA.
1Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Departments of Medicine and Pharmacology, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington 20007, USA.
Abstract The ability of antipsychotic drugs to inhibit the catalytic activity of five cytochrome P-450 (CYP) isoforms was compared using in vitro human liver microsomal preparations to evaluate the relative potential of these drugs to inhibit drug metabolism. The apparent kinetic parameters for enzyme inhibition were determined by nonlinear regression analysis of the data. All antipsychotic drugs tested competitively inhibited dextromethorphan O-demethylation, a selective marker for CYP2D6, in a concentration-dependent manner. Thioridazine and perphenazine were the most potent, with IC(50) values (2.7 and 1.5 microM) that were comparable to that of quinidine (0.52 microM). The estimated K(i) values for CYP2D6-catalyzing dextrorphan formation were ranked in the following order: perphenazine (0.8 microM), thioridazine (1.4 microM), chlorpromazine (6.4 microM), haloperidol (7.2 microM), fluphenazine (9.4 microM), risperidone (21.9 microM), clozapine (39.0 microM), and cis-thiothixene (65.0 microM). No remarkable inhibition of other CYP isoforms was observed except for moderate inhibition of CYP1A2-catalyzed phenacetin O-deethylation by fluphenazine (K(i) = 40.2 microM) and perphenazine (K(i) = 65.1). The estimated K(i) values for the inhibition of CYP2C9, 2C19, and 3A were >300 microM in almost all antipsychotics tested. These results suggest that antipsychotic drugs exhibit a striking selectivity for CYP2D6 compared with other CYP isoforms. This may reflect a remarkable commonality of structure between the therapeutic targets for these drugs, the transporters, and metabolic enzymes that distribute and eliminate them. Clinically, coadministration of these medicines with drugs that are primarily metabolized by CYP2D6 may result in significant drug interactions.
PMID: 10460810 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
Pharmacogenetics. 2004 Apr;14(4):225-38. Pharmacogenetic determinants of interindividual variability in bupropion hydroxylation by cytochrome P450 2B6 in human liver microsomes.
Hesse LM1, He P, Krishnaswamy S, Hao Q, Hogan K, von Moltke LL, Greenblatt DJ, Court MH. Author information:
1Clinical Pharmacology Laboratory, Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Tufts University School of Medicine, 136 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA 02111, USA. Erratum in
Pharmacogenetics. 2005 Apr;15(4):265. Abstract
Bupropion is primarily metabolized in human liver by cytochrome P450 (CYP) 2B6, an isoform that shows high interindividual variability in expression and catalysis. The aim of this study was to identify mechanisms underlying this variability through comprehensive phenotype-genotype analysis of a well-characterized human liver bank (n = 54). There was substantial variability in microsomal bupropion hydroxylation activities (over 45-fold) and CYP2B6 protein content (over 288-fold), with excellent correlation between protein and activity values (rs = 0.88). CYP2B6 mRNA levels showed less variability (13-fold) and poorer correlation (rs = 0.44) to CYP2B6 protein resulting from 20-30% of livers that contained substantial CYP2B6 mRNA, but low CYP2B6 protein. Livers were genotyped for the common coding polymorphisms (Q172H, K262R and R487C) and 14 additional variations identified by sequencing of the gene promoter to -3000 bp. Of 14 haplotypes that were inferred, *1A (reference), *1H (-2320t>c; -750t>c) and *6B (-1456t>c; -750t>c; Q172H; K262R) were most common with frequencies of 0.28, 0.20 and 0.26, respectively. Alcohol use history (P = 0.011) and *6B haplotype (P = 0.011) were identified as significant predictors of bupropion hydroxylation. A consideration of the effects of these variables on CYP2B6 mRNA and protein levels suggests that alcohol use is associated with enhanced CYP2B6 gene transcription, but the presence of at least one *6B allele reduces this effect on bupropion hydroxylation at the post-transcriptional level. In conclusion, the results of this study indicate that interindividual variability in bupropion hydroxylation is a consequence of interactions between environmental and genetic influences on CYP2B6 gene function.
Click on “AMAZON BOOKSTORE” to read for yourself!
I have a schizophrenic relationship with Amazon.com. They have taken down about 30 reviews from my books, hurting my books’ reach a lot, yet they want to promote my writings sometimes. If chosen, my memoir will be promoted in Mexico, Spain, and the US. For those who may wish to walk down the same route someday and write a book in Spanish which may be sold on Amazon, here is the email full of legalese I was sent…
As part of the services we offer to authors/agents/publishers in KDP, we wanted to give you the opportunity to participate in promotions that will run in some or all of Amazon’s Kindle Book Stores. That being said, we have pre-selected titles that qualify for promotion based on editorial criteria determined by Amazon. The following title(s) qualify:
|B0074604NG||Entre la Esquizofrenia y Mi Voluntad: Una Historia||Jiang, William|
If you would like to participate in these promotion opportunities, please confirm your approval of the indicated titles by replying to this email.
IMPORTANT TERMS–MUST READ:
· Just because a title has been pre-selected does not mean that it will be selected. If a title is selected, Amazon will notify you via email at least 1 week before the start of the promotion.
Maximum Price Discount:
· The promotional price used for your title(s) will be based on the promotion for which they are selected. For example, in the Kindle Flash promotion, each title must have a minimum of 70% discount, and a maximum price of 1.99 USD/1.99 EUR/29 MXN. The maximum discount you authorize Amazon to use is 85% off of the lowest available List Price in EUR, USD or MXN. If a title is chosen for a promotion, it cannot be for free on any Amazon page 30 days before the promotion.
Maximum Duration of Promotion:
· The number of days that your title(s) will be in promotion on Amazon will be based on the promotion for which they are selected. For example, in the Kindle Flash promotion, each title is in promotion for 1 day. The maximum duration of a promotion you authorize Amazon to apply is 30 days. Amazon may discontinue a promotion at any time.
· If your title(s) are selected, your royalty will be calculated based on our discounted price (not your list price) and the regular royalty option for your KDP account. For example, if Amazon sells your book at $1.99, where the 70% royalty option applies, your royalty will be calculated as 70% x ($1.99 – delivery costs and taxes).
· You must keep your title(s) in the Kindle Store for at least 90 days after the promotion ends; you can’t un-publish them or terminate your participation in KDP during that period.
· Due to system latencies, the exact start and end times of promotions are approximate and can take from a few minutes to several hours, but in some cases this period may be longer.
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· After initial acceptance by Amazon of an approval for promotional use, subsequent changes, including early cancellations or other modifications, may not be possible and will be subject to Amazon’s acceptance.
· The non-promotional list price you provide us for title(s) selected for promotion must remain the same for the 14 days preceding the start of the promotion and for at least 7 days following the promotion.
· Otherwise, the KDP Terms and Conditions between you and Amazon continue to apply to your book and Amazon’s promotion.
KDP Spanish Team
For many this will be a review. It’s some of the best information out there about schizophrenia from NIMH- the National Institute of Mental Health, part of the National Institute of Health. Knowledge is power is the essence of psychoeducation. The more one knows about what is wrong, the more power one has to make it right.
Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, and disabling brain disorder that has affected people throughout history.
People with the disorder may hear voices other people don’t hear. They may believe other people are reading their minds, controlling their thoughts, or plotting to harm them. This can terrify people with the illness and make them withdrawn or extremely agitated.
People with schizophrenia may not make sense when they talk. They may sit for hours without moving or talking. Sometimes people with schizophrenia seem perfectly fine until they talk about what they are really thinking.
Families and society are affected by schizophrenia too. Many people with schizophrenia have difficulty holding a job or caring for themselves, so they rely on others for help.
Treatment helps relieve many symptoms of schizophrenia, but most people who have the disorder cope with symptoms throughout their lives. However, many people with schizophrenia can lead rewarding and meaningful lives in their communities. Researchers are developing more effective medications and using new research tools to understand the causes of schizophrenia. In the years to come, this work may help prevent and better treat the illness.
Experts think schizophrenia is caused by several factors.
Genes and environment. Scientists have long known that schizophrenia runs in families. The illness occurs in 1 percent of the general population, but it occurs in 10 percent of people who have a first-degree relative with the disorder, such as a parent, brother, or sister. People who have second-degree relatives (aunts, uncles, grandparents, or cousins) with the disease also develop schizophrenia more often than the general population. The risk is highest for an identical twin of a person with schizophrenia. He or she has a 40 to 65 percent chance of developing the disorder.
We inherit our genes from both parents. Scientists believe several genes are associated with an increased risk of schizophrenia, but that no gene causes the disease by itself. In fact, recent research has found that people with schizophrenia tend to have higher rates of rare genetic mutations. These genetic differences involve hundreds of different genes and probably disrupt brain development.
Other recent studies suggest that schizophrenia may result in part when a certain gene that is key to making important brain chemicals malfunctions. This problem may affect the part of the brain involved in developing higher functioning skills. Research into this gene is ongoing, so it is not yet possible to use the genetic information to predict who will develop the disease.
Despite this, tests that scan a person’s genes can be bought without a prescription or a health professional’s advice. Ads for the tests suggest that with a saliva sample, a company can determine if a client is at risk for developing specific diseases, including schizophrenia. However, scientists don’t yet know all of the gene variations that contribute to schizophrenia. Those that are known raise the risk only by very small amounts. Therefore, these “genome scans” are unlikely to provide a complete picture of a person’s risk for developing a mental disorder like schizophrenia.
In addition, it probably takes more than genes to cause the disorder. Scientists think interactions between genes and the environment are necessary for schizophrenia to develop. Many environmental factors may be involved, such as exposure to viruses or malnutrition before birth, problems during birth, and other not yet known psychosocial factors.
Different brain chemistry and structure. Scientists think that an imbalance in the complex, interrelated chemical reactions of the brain involving the neurotransmitters dopamine and glutamate, and possibly others, plays a role in schizophrenia. Neurotransmitters are substances that allow brain cells to communicate with each other. Scientists are learning more about brain chemistry and its link to schizophrenia.
Also, in small ways the brains of people with schizophrenia look different than those of healthy people. For example, fluid-filled cavities at the center of the brain, called ventricles, are larger in some people with schizophrenia. The brains of people with the illness also tend to have less gray matter, and some areas of the brain may have less or more activity.
Studies of brain tissue after death also have revealed differences in the brains of people with schizophrenia. Scientists found small changes in the distribution or characteristics of brain cells that likely occurred before birth. Some experts think problems during brain development before birth may lead to faulty connections. The problem may not show up in a person until puberty. The brain undergoes major changes during puberty, and these changes could trigger psychotic symptoms. Scientists have learned a lot about schizophrenia, but more research is needed to help explain how it develops.
About 1% of Americans have this illness.
Schizophrenia affects men and women equally. It occurs at similar rates in all ethnic groups around the world. Symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions usually start between ages 16 and 30. Men tend to experience symptoms a little earlier than women. Most of the time, people do not get schizophrenia after age 45. Schizophrenia rarely occurs in children, but awareness of childhood-onset schizophrenia is increasing.
It can be difficult to diagnose schizophrenia in teens. This is because the first signs can include a change of friends, a drop in grades, sleep problems, and irritability—behaviors that are common among teens. A combination of factors can predict schizophrenia in up to 80% of youth who are at high risk of developing the illness. These factors include isolating oneself and withdrawing from others, an increase in unusual thoughts and suspicions, and a family history of psychosis. In young people who develop the disease, this stage of the disorder is called the “prodromal” period.
The symptoms of schizophrenia fall into three broad categories: positive symptoms, negative symptoms, and cognitive symptoms.
Positive symptoms are psychotic behaviors not seen in healthy people. People with positive symptoms often “lose touch” with reality. These symptoms can come and go. Sometimes they are severe and at other times hardly noticeable, depending on whether the individual is receiving treatment. They include the following:
Hallucinations are things a person sees, hears, smells, or feels that no one else can see, hear, smell, or feel. “Voices” are the most common type of hallucination in schizophrenia. Many people with the disorder hear voices. The voices may talk to the person about his or her behavior, order the person to do things, or warn the person of danger. Sometimes the voices talk to each other. People with schizophrenia may hear voices for a long time before family and friends notice the problem.
Other types of hallucinations include seeing people or objects that are not there, smelling odors that no one else detects, and feeling things like invisible fingers touching their bodies when no one is near.
Delusions are false beliefs that are not part of the person’s culture and do not change. The person believes delusions even after other people prove that the beliefs are not true or logical. People with schizophrenia can have delusions that seem bizarre, such as believing that neighbors can control their behavior with magnetic waves. They may also believe that people on television are directing special messages to them, or that radio stations are broadcasting their thoughts aloud to others. Sometimes they believe they are someone else, such as a famous historical figure. They may have paranoid delusions and believe that others are trying to harm them, such as by cheating, harassing, poisoning, spying on, or plotting against them or the people they care about. These beliefs are called “delusions of persecution.”
Thought disorders are unusual or dysfunctional ways of thinking. One form of thought disorder is called “disorganized thinking.” This is when a person has trouble organizing his or her thoughts or connecting them logically. They may talk in a garbled way that is hard to understand. Another form is called “thought blocking.” This is when a person stops speaking abruptly in the middle of a thought. When asked why he or she stopped talking, the person may say that it felt as if the thought had been taken out of his or her head. Finally, a person with a thought disorder might make up meaningless words, or “neologisms.”
Movement disorders may appear as agitated body movements. A person with a movement disorder may repeat certain motions over and over. In the other extreme, a person may become catatonic. Catatonia is a state in which a person does not move and does not respond to others. Catatonia is rare today, but it was more common when treatment for schizophrenia was not available.
Negative symptoms are associated with disruptions to normal emotions and behaviors. These symptoms are harder to recognize as part of the disorder and can be mistaken for depression or other conditions. These symptoms include the following:
People with negative symptoms need help with everyday tasks. They often neglect basic personal hygiene. This may make them seem lazy or unwilling to help themselves, but the problems are symptoms caused by the schizophrenia.
Cognitive symptoms are subtle. Like negative symptoms, cognitive symptoms may be difficult to recognize as part of the disorder. Often, they are detected only when other tests are performed. Cognitive symptoms include the following:
Cognitive symptoms often make it hard to lead a normal life and earn a living. They can cause great emotional distress.
Because the causes of schizophrenia are still unknown, treatments focus on eliminating the symptoms of the disease. Treatments include antipsychotic medications and various psychosocial treatments.
Antipsychotic medications have been available since the mid-1950’s. The older types are called conventional or “typical” antipsychotics. Some of the more commonly used typical medications include:
In the 1990’s, new antipsychotic medications were developed. These new medications are called second generation, or “atypical” antipsychotics.
One of these medications, clozapine (Clozaril) is an effective medication that treats psychotic symptoms, hallucinations, and breaks with reality. But clozapine can sometimes cause a serious problem called agranulocytosis, which is a loss of the white blood cells that help a person fight infection. People who take clozapine must get their white blood cell counts checked every week or two. This problem and the cost of blood tests make treatment with clozapine difficult for many people. But clozapine is potentially helpful for people who do not respond to other antipsychotic medications.
Other atypical antipsychotics were also developed. None cause agranulocytosis. Examples include:
What are the side effects?
Some people have side effects when they start taking these medications. Most side effects go away after a few days and often can be managed successfully. People who are taking antipsychotics should not drive until they adjust to their new medication. Side effects of many antipsychotics include:
Atypical antipsychotic medications can cause major weight gain and changes in a person’s metabolism. This may increase a person’s risk of getting diabetes and high cholesterol. A person’s weight, glucose levels, and lipid levels should be monitored regularly by a doctor while taking an atypical antipsychotic medication.
Typical antipsychotic medications can cause side effects related to physical movement, such as:
Long-term use of typical antipsychotic medications may lead to a condition called tardive dyskinesia (TD). TD causes muscle movements a person can’t control. The movements commonly happen around the mouth. TD can range from mild to severe, and in some people the problem cannot be cured. Sometimes people with TD recover partially or fully after they stop taking the medication.
TD happens to fewer people who take the atypical antipsychotics, but some people may still get TD. People who think that they might have TD should check with their doctor before stopping their medication.
How are antipsychotics taken and how do people respond to them?
Antipsychotics are usually in pill or liquid form. Some anti-psychotics are shots that are given once or twice a month.
Symptoms of schizophrenia, such as feeling agitated and having hallucinations, usually go away within days. Symptoms like delusions usually go away within a few weeks. After about six weeks, many people will see a lot of improvement.
However, people respond in different ways to antipsychotic medications, and no one can tell beforehand how a person will respond. Sometimes a person needs to try several medications before finding the right one. Doctors and patients can work together to find the best medication or medication combination, as well as the right dose.
Some people may have a relapse-their symptoms come back or get worse. Usually, relapses happen when people stop taking their medication, or when they only take it sometimes. Some people stop taking the medication because they feel better or they may feel they don’t need it anymore. But no one should stop taking an antipsychotic medication without talking to his or her doctor. When a doctor says it is okay to stop taking a medication, it should be gradually tapered off, never stopped suddenly.
How do antipsychotics interact with other medications?
Antipsychotics can produce unpleasant or dangerous side effects when taken with certain medications. For this reason, all doctors treating a patient need to be aware of all the medications that person is taking. Doctors need to know about prescription and over-the-counter medicine, vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplements. People also need to discuss any alcohol or other drug use with their doctor.
To find out more about how antipsychotics work, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) funded a study called CATIE (Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness). This study compared the effectiveness and side effects of five antipsychotics used to treat people with schizophrenia. In general, the study found that the older typical antipsychotic perphenazine (Trilafon) worked as well as the newer, atypical medications. But because people respond differently to different medications, it is important that treatments be designed carefully for each person. More information about CATIE is on the NIMH website.
Psychosocial treatments can help people with schizophrenia who are already stabilized on antipsychotic medication. Psychosocial treatments help these patients deal with the everyday challenges of the illness, such as difficulty with communication, self-care, work, and forming and keeping relationships. Learning and using coping mechanisms to address these problems allow people with schizophrenia to socialize and attend school and work.
Patients who receive regular psychosocial treatment also are more likely to keep taking their medication, and they are less likely to have relapses or be hospitalized. A therapist can help patients better understand and adjust to living with schizophrenia. The therapist can provide education about the disorder, common symptoms or problems patients may experience, and the importance of staying on medications. For more information on psychosocial treatments, see thepsychotherapies section on the NIMH website.
Illness management skills. People with schizophrenia can take an active role in managing their own illness. Once patients learn basic facts about schizophrenia and its treatment, they can make informed decisions about their care. If they know how to watch for the early warning signs of relapse and make a plan to respond, patients can learn to prevent relapses. Patients can also use coping skills to deal with persistent symptoms.
Integrated treatment for co-occurring substance abuse. Substance abuse is the most common co-occurring disorder in people with schizophrenia. But ordinary substance abuse treatment programs usually do not address this population’s special needs. When schizophrenia treatment programs and drug treatment programs are used together, patients get better results.
Rehabilitation. Rehabilitation emphasizes social and vocational training to help people with schizophrenia function better in their communities. Because schizophrenia usually develops in people during the critical career-forming years of life (ages 18 to 35), and because the disease makes normal thinking and functioning difficult, most patients do not receive training in the skills needed for a job.
Rehabilitation programs can include job counseling and training, money management counseling, help in learning to use public transportation, and opportunities to practice communication skills. Rehabilitation programs work well when they include both job training and specific therapy designed to improve cognitive or thinking skills. Programs like this help patients hold jobs, remember important details, and improve their functioning.
Family education. People with schizophrenia are often discharged from the hospital into the care of their families. So it is important that family members know as much as possible about the disease. With the help of a therapist, family members can learn coping strategies and problem-solving skills. In this way the family can help make sure their loved one sticks with treatment and stays on his or her medication. Families should learn where to find outpatient and family services.
Cognitive behavioral therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on thinking and behavior. CBT helps patients with symptoms that do not go away even when they take medication. The therapist teaches people with schizophrenia how to test the reality of their thoughts and perceptions, how to “not listen” to their voices, and how to manage their symptoms overall. CBT can help reduce the severity of symptoms and reduce the risk of relapse.
Self-help groups. Self-help groups for people with schizophrenia and their families are becoming more common. Professional therapists usually are not involved, but group members support and comfort each other. People in self-help groups know that others are facing the same problems, which can help everyone feel less isolated. The networking that takes place in self-help groups can also prompt families to work together to advocate for research and more hospital and community treatment programs. Also, groups may be able to draw public attention to the discrimination many people with mental illnesses face.
How can you help a person with schizophrenia?
People with schizophrenia can get help from professional case managers and caregivers at residential or day programs. However, family members usually are a patient’s primary caregivers.
People with schizophrenia often resist treatment. They may not think they need help because they believe their delusions or hallucinations are real. In these cases, family and friends may need to take action to keep their loved one safe. Laws vary from state to state, and it can be difficult to force a person with a mental disorder into treatment or hospitalization. But when a person becomes dangerous to himself or herself, or to others, family members or friends may have to call the police to take their loved one to the hospital.
Treatment at the hospital. In the emergency room, a mental health professional will assess the patient and determine whether a voluntary or involuntary admission is needed. For a person to be admitted involuntarily, the law states that the professional must witness psychotic behavior and hear the person voice delusional thoughts. Family and friends can provide needed information to help a mental health professional make a decision.
After a loved one leaves the hospital. Family and friends can help their loved ones get treatment and take their medication once they go home. If patients stop taking their medication or stop going to follow-up appointments, their symptoms likely will return. Sometimes symptoms become severe for people who stop their medication and treatment. This is dangerous, since they may become unable to care for themselves. Some people end up on the street or in jail, where they rarely receive the kind of help they need.
Family and friends can also help patients set realistic goals and learn to function in the world. Each step toward these goals should be small and taken one at a time. The patient will need support during this time. When people with a mental illness are pressured and criticized, they usually do not get well. Often, their symptoms may get worse. Telling them when they are doing something right is the best way to help them move forward.
It can be difficult to know how to respond to someone with schizophrenia who makes strange or clearly false statements. Remember that these beliefs or hallucinations seem very real to the person. It is not helpful to say they are wrong or imaginary. But going along with the delusions is not helpful, either. Instead, calmly say that you see things differently. Tell them that you acknowledge that everyone has the right to see things his or her own way. In addition, it is important to understand that schizophrenia is a biological illness. Being respectful, supportive, and kind without tolerating dangerous or inappropriate behavior is the best way to approach people with this disorder.
Are people with schizophrenia violent?
People with schizophrenia are not usually violent. In fact, most violent crimes are not committed by people with schizophrenia. However, some symptoms are associated with violence, such as delusions of persecution. Substance abuse may also increase the chance a person will become violent. If a person with schizophrenia becomes violent, the violence is usually directed at family members and tends to take place at home.
The risk of violence among people with schizophrenia is small. But people with the illness attempt suicide much more often than others. About 10 percent (especially young adult males) die by suicide. It is hard to predict which people with schizophrenia are prone to suicide. If you know someone who talks about or attempts suicide, help him or her find professional help right away.
What about substance abuse?
Some people who abuse drugs show symptoms similar to those of schizophrenia. Therefore, people with schizophrenia may be mistaken for people who are affected by drugs. Most researchers do not believe that substance abuse causes schizophrenia. However, people who have schizophrenia are much more likely to have a substance or alcohol abuse problem than the general population.
Substance abuse can make treatment for schizophrenia less effective. Some drugs, like marijuana and stimulants such as amphetamines or cocaine, may make symptoms worse. In fact, research has found increasing evidence of a link between marijuana and schizophrenia symptoms. In addition, people who abuse drugs are less likely to follow their treatment plan.
Schizophrenia and smoking
Addiction to nicotine is the most common form of substance abuse in people with schizophrenia. They are addicted to nicotine at three times the rate of the general population (75 to 90 percent vs. 25 to 30 percent).
The relationship between smoking and schizophrenia is complex. People with schizophrenia seem to be driven to smoke, and researchers are exploring whether there is a biological basis for this need. In addition to its known health hazards, several studies have found that smoking may make antipsychotic drugs less effective.
Quitting smoking may be very difficult for people with schizophrenia because nicotine withdrawal may cause their psychotic symptoms to get worse for a while. Quitting strategies that include nicotine replacement methods may be easier for patients to handle. Doctors who treat people with schizophrenia should watch their patients’ response to antipsychotic medication carefully if the patient decides to start or stop smoking.
Taken from NIMH: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/schizophrenia/index.shtml
I invite you to check out my own hopeful autobiographical struggle with schizophrenia on Amazon.com: A Schizophrenic Will: A Story of Madness, A Story of Hope
Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. Environmental Illness. Electromagnetic Sensitivity. Paranoid Schizophrenia. Depression. Agoraphobia. All of these words are being thrown about regarding the new show “Better Call Saul”. We can look at this show from a number of sociological perspectives. One, we can see the show as sad that a person who is very obviously suffering and ill is being held up for us to watch writhe and suffer- for our collective entertainment. Two, we can see that this show is a good thing that MCS, Environmental Illness, Electromagnetic Sensitivity, Paranoid Schizophrenia, Depression, and Agoraphobia are being brought up in the public eye, no matter how perverse the context using Better Call Saul and Environmental Illness. Why? Because at least it is being brought up to the public eye and not being buried under the proverbial rug.
Some doctors think Environmental Illness is a kind of delusion. If that is the case, then it must
be some kind of mass delusion that happens all over the world, see mapping project of people with MCS . Thank God for doctors who hold that EI is a physical illness. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) are board certified doctors of physical medicine who hold that mental illness can predispose people to MCS, EI, and ES. However, as opposed to the MDs of the American Medical Association, doctors of Environmental Medicine strongly state that these are physical illnesses. Not everyone who has depression or schizophrenia chokes on the perfume of their loved ones. Conversely, not everyone who has Environmental Illness has a mental illness. This is a new subset of people that are injured in a way we don’t yet fully understand.
The position of the The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) could not be clearer:
“For over 50 years, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) has been studying and treating the effects of the environment on human health. In the last 20 years, our physicians began seeing patients who reported that electric power lines, televisions and other electrical devices caused a wide variety of symptoms. By the mid 1990’s, it became clear that patients were adversely affected by electromagnetic fields and becoming more electrically sensitive. In the last five years with the advent of wireless devices, there has been a massive increase in radiofrequency (RF) exposure from wireless devices as well as reports of hypersensitivity and diseases related to electromagnetic field and RF exposure. Multiple studies correlate RF exposure with diseases such as cancer, neurological disease, reproductive disorders, immune dysfunction, and electromagnetic hypersensitivity.”
Some well-meaning but wrong Wikipedia editors seem to be strongly biased against these very real diseases, see: Edited Strongly Biased Wikipedia Page on MCS, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity . I hope this blog post can help educate the public about these very real and difficult to live with Environmental Illnesses and even motivate action on a local, state, national, and even global level. It is so hard to live with this disorder. People who do suffer from these illnesses need to treated with dignity because their lives are already a living nightmare.
Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.Buddha