November 20, 2010

Hope and Humility, A Close Look at NIMH

I have been pessimistic for so long that maybe I am reaching for straws of optimism.  Feet back on the ground, Smitty. 

Reading more closely and between the lines, I still see gaps between my dreams and those of NIMH..... 

Let's put aside Ensil's new promise for genetics to provide a cure, and get real.   In the new "decade of the brain" will  everyone who has a psychosis still be considered schizophrenic, or will modern medicine finally admit the real-time factors (aside from genetics) that old-school doctors knew were contributing factors in psychosis?

Last I heard, the brain was connected to the rest of the body. 

The good doctor, like so many in the psychiatric profession,  does not connect the brain to the other parts of the body that closely interact with the brain through complex biochemistry.  How will we distinguish between so-called schizophrenia and brief psychoses that are the result of sudden changes in other systems that communicate with the brain?   For example, right now we have no clear idea of how many women have been misdiagnosed with schizophrenia when actually in the midst of  PMS, peri-menopause or menopause.  

 It is because the brain communicates with the metabolic/endocrine system that patients on the newer generation of atypical antipsychotics gained excessive weight and suffered iatrogenically-induced diabetes.  And some men's breasts began to produce milk. 

As far as prevention of psychosis,  let's not toss out brain chemistry. The molecules that fuel the brain are  derived from high protein foods that maintain stable blood sugar. The brain's substrate requires quality fats from whole foods, particular fish that is not raised on corn (as it may not have a suitable Omega-3 content for healthy brain surface structure). 

The doctor also refers to retraining schizophrenic brains... well, I do believe that we are talking about cognitive behavior therapy that is based on a trusting relationship between patient and therapist.  Psychiatry right now is reimbursed for medication management. The trusting relationship between doctor and patient, has been replace by talk therapy where the narrative is only heard between two consenting adults, who have unconditional positive regard for one another. Love.

Sadly, when patients would cry, they were frequently  told too that was a brain disorder.  But crying at least gave the doctor cause to revise a schizophrenia diagnosis to something more optimistic, like manic depression.  You laugh. But it happened to me. And I still respect the doctor who did this. After all, those were the only tools he was given. Since he was old school and added listening to the mix, and so I was healed. 

1 comment:

  1. I truly hope that there will be a way to have more accurate diagnoses and to cure those who have such terrible mental illnesses.


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