A Holistic Approach…

Treating Mental Disorders Naturally

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From the archives of Ditch The Meds….

In [a previous] blog I discussed the side effects of two medications, Zyprexa and Effexor. These medications are prescribed for various mental disorders such as schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety. Today I want to discuss the natural alternatives out there for treating these disorders.

It has always seemed to be thought that schizophrenia is incurable – at least I always thought so based on my own observations and the word from pharmaceutical companies. It appears this isn’t so. A book called Natural Healing for Schizophrenia and other mental disorders by Eva Edelman discusses various mental disorders including autism, learning disabilities, depression, fatigue and schizophrenia. The book talks about the role of histamine, copper/zinc balance, over and under-methylation, allergies, physical illness, mercury and other heavy metals to name a few. She quotes the works of MDs and PhDs who are experts in the field. The book covers the various nutrients and minerals (which include copper, zinc, magnesium, amino acids, folic acid & B12, essential fats, minerals and electrolytes, vitamins A, B6, C and D) that can help battle the above-mentioned disorders. She also discusses how nutrient deficiencies can cause other health problems such as candida and systemic lupus, which would make sense considering that most, if not all issues facing Americans today are a direct result of their diets and/or lack of the proper nutrition.

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One of the people quoted in Eva Edelman’s book is Dr. Abram Hoffer. He states that schizophrenia could be cured by large amounts of niacin and vitamin C. A testimonial quotes him and others as having been instrumental in helping cure the author’s son of schizophrenia. Various people have used the teachings of this and other specialists in the field to cure themselves of this terrible mental disorder NATURALLY.

It turns out that this disorder and also alcoholism can be treated with the same methods since alcoholism, along with schizophrenia are considered to be caused by a biochemical imbalance. The natural healing method the author of the testimonial references is orthomolecular medicine. Orthomolecular medicine consists of helping patients withdraw from psychiatric drugs and also “megavitamin” therapy. It appears that the main vitamins used are B3, B6, C, Folic Acid & B12, and Omega 3 fatty acids.

Additionally, the minerals Selenium, Manganese, Dolomite, and Zinc help in the treatment. The homeopathic medicine, Hyocaimus (200c) is used for people who hear voices or have desires to do uncharacteristic and abnormal things. Aurum Met (200c) is used to treat blackness, depression and suicidal urges. The Bach flower remedies, which can be found at health food stores, used to treat these mental disorders are as follows:

Rescue Remedy: all-around help for panic or anxiety

Cherry Plum: fear of mind giving way

White Chestnut: unwanted thoughts

Sweet Chestnut: extreme mental anguish

Rock Rose: terror

Crab Apple: self-hatred

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The pH of a person’s body largely dictates his or her health. It is known that infection and cancer thrive in acidic environments; therefore the goal is to keep the body in a slightly alkaline state. The ideal pH level is 7, which is the middle of the pH scale. For mental disorders it is no different, it is recommended that the body’s normal pH be restored to 7, anything less is too acidic. To restore a neutral or slightly alkaline body, an anti-drug “Cal-Mag” formula can work. A general practitioner can monitor your blood pH, although there are ways to monitor your pH yourself through your urine. Keep in mind that this might not totally reflect your blood pH so if you have serious issues (including cancer), monitoring blood pH can be highly beneficial. I will blog on alkalinity at a later date to give you more information. [Editor’s note: A great way to balance pH is to take a teaspoon of baking soda in 8 oz water every other morning, and a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar on alternating mornings. This will not only help battle cancer, but will neutralize blood pH to prevent cholesterol issues.]

It’s been widely known that the homeopathic Hypericum, also known as St. John’s Wort, is a good alternative therapy for treating depression. It is known to treat depression and nervousness, improves mood and relieves anxiety. It is recommended to combine this treatment with the Valerian herb. Also, Ginkgo biloba is said to improve memory, brain circulation and other mental functions. It also helps with headaches, fatigue, mood swings, and poor balance.

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Aromatherapy has been hailed as an excellent alternative therapy for a variety of problems therefore it’s no surprise that it would also be beneficial in the treatment of mental disorders. The essential oils recommended for anxiety are basil, bergamot, geranium, lavender, vetiver, sandalwood, and neroli. Those recommended for depression are bergamot, sage, lavender, chamomile, geranium, rose, rosemary, patchouli, neroli, and jasmine.

I can’t stress enough how much diet has to do with ALL illnesses and disorders. I believe if we all would adjust our diets to include only healthy, natural, foods and remove all processed foods and refined sugars, there would be no major illness nor would there be obesity. For preventing and eradicating mental disorders it is recommended to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, beetroot, alfalfa and soybean sprouts, avocado, walnuts, banana and a high intake of (healthy) fluids to flush out toxins. It is also recommended to avoid chocolate, alcohol, cough syrup, nose drops, pickled meat and sweets. As usual, moderate exercise is highly recommended.

[Update: Because of the extreme depletion of essential minerals from soils in conventional fruits and vegetables we recommend seeking organic alternatives if your budget provides. If you are on a budget and cannot afford all fruits and vegetables to be organic, the most important would be thin-skinned fruits and vegetables such as berries, apples, pears, tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, leafy vegetables such as kale, lettuce, cabbage, etc. and forego the bananas, oranges, cucumbers (but peel these types of veggies), etc. Do a search for fruits/veggies that should be organic. By all means avoid GMO – genetically modified – fruits and vegetables. Be advised that corn is not a vegetable but a grain, not so good for you. Most corn is GMO so if you must eat corn be sure to purchase organic otherwise you’re probably eating GMO.]

The book by Richard Gosden, PhD, Punishing the Patient: How Psychiatrists Misunderstand & Mistreat Schizophrenia, is recommended for further instruction and information.

Much of what I’ve just written is probably obvious for treating ANY illness, however, for some reason we as Americans continue to follow the pharmaceutical party line. As you see, there are so many different methods for treating the very serious illness of schizophrenia, let alone less serious mental disorders.

There are also some very simple nutritional and supplemental “treatments” for anxiety and depression and alcoholism.

Sunflower seeds are known to fight depression. An excerpt from a Natural News article states, “Sunflowers are the earthly representation of the sun. They have such an affinity for the life giving force that they twist on their stems so their faces can bask in sunlight all through the day (I love this!). Photons from the sun are stored in the DNA of the sunflower, making its seed resonate with the photons in human cells. This resonance is good for mind as well as body, and makes sunflowers one of the top foods for fighting depression.”

Incidentally, because of their high mineral content, sunflower seeds act as a natural pH buffer therefore keeping the body at optimal pH. To get the best nutrition out of sunflower seeds (or any seeds, really) you should soak or sprout your seeds – and they should be raw seeds. Seeds have natural enzyme inhibitors so that they last for long periods of time. The inhibitor makes seeds difficult to digest. Soaking and sprouting releases the inhibitors making them much more digestible; this also releases the full flavor of the seeds. If you’ve never had sunflower seed sprouts I highly recommend them. They taste great!

Surprisingly (or not so surprisingly) something as simple as peppering your food can also boost your mental, as well as overall health. More information on this can be found at Natural News. Fish is also considered a great mood enhancer because of its omega-3 oils. Be cautious of the “fish” you purchase and eat. Farm-raised fish is a no-no and, since the Fukushima catastrophe, be very careful of fish from the Pacific. You might consider focusing on flax for your omega-3s these days. Of course, anything else with omega-3s like flax seeds or flax seed oil will do the job. Other foods that beat depression are brown rice, brewer’s yeast, whole grain oats, and cabbage. Foods like raw cacao [did you read that? Eat chocolate!! But real chocolate, that is. Not Hershey’s 🙂 ], dark molasses and brazil nuts are great for fighting depression.

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As I mentioned before, processed foods and foods high in sugar should be avoided. Other things that should be avoided are caffeine, foods high in fat and…no surprise here…smoking. [Update: coffee has been found to decrease many diseases including cancer, look into this new discovery to determine just how much caffeine from coffee should be cut out of your diet.] It is also vital to get enough sunshine because natural sunlight is known to cure depression and, again, exercise helps release natural mood enhancers and alters brain chemistry in a good way.

[Update: We have been studying the benefits of not only the sun but the earth and a fairly “new” concept of “earthing.” Of course this isn’t really new, indigenous cultures have benefited from the earth for millennia but the people of today rarely have a concept of connecting with the earth since the majority of the population lives in urban areas and far away from the “earth.”]

Think about all the different foods I’ve talked about. There are quite a few on the list. Do you eat these foods on a regular basis? I mean daily or weekly, not monthly or every other week. In our high-paced world, chances are we’re turning to fast food and quick fix snacks to get our nourishment. Not only is fast food seriously lacking any nutrients at all, it can do serious damage. Just watch the movies Supersize Me and Food, Inc. for evidence. Snack foods such as bars and packaged lunches are so processed that all the nutrients have been removed.

Even if you see things on labels that seem to be nutrients, try not to be fooled. Those nutrients are usually not available to your body for absorption. For this reason, and others having to do with how our bodies have adjusted to our diets (again, for a later blog), we are not really absorbing the nutrients that we might be putting into our bodies. The best way to get our nutrients is from natural, unprocessed foods, preferably foods that come straight from the earth.

If you haven’t noticed before this, or gotten the picture from my blog, think about what we do to ourselves everyday, day after day. What is the one thing we “do” that could make or break us health wise? If you said “Eat” you are right. Now look at the difference between what our standard diets have become versus what they are meant to be.

I’m going to leave you with this observation: our diets are making us sick and in many cases killing us.



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