Rebecca Casey Speakout
Submitted by admin on Wed, 02/21/2007 - 02:00
I was hospitalized for a nervous breakdown in 2000. I was given the diagnosis of schizophrenia. I have to admit I was quite affected by the medication I was on. In a lot of ways it did make me less mentally functional. Anyway, I did gradually get my medication dosage lowered to PRN which means, "as needed." Under PRN dosage administration, you take a pill when you begin to feel unwell to snap you back into health. That's not necessarily a bad arrangement. Anyway, from there I researched the natural alternatives to taking medications. So far, I've been just fine without taking any medication at all. Here is what I learned:
Some basic natural interventions for schizophrenia include omega 3 essential fatty acids, evening primrose oil, anti-oxidants, nutritional supplementation, increased amino acid intake, natural neurotransmitter stimulating teas, calming teas, general relaxation, and refraining from allergens and abusive substances. Omega 3 essential fatty acids are the stuff that our brains are made out of. They are found in fish oils, flax seed oil, nuts, seeds, and many other oils. Canola oil and olive oil are cooking oils which are good sources. Omega 3 essential fatty acids are easily destroyed by heat. However, olive oil is unique in that it can withstand a high temperature without its omega 3's being destroyed. Evening primrose oil can be helpful in the treatment of schizophrenia. It is also a treatment for tardive dyskenisia. The suggested dose is between 2,000 and 3,000mg per day.
Anti-oxidants have cured some people of schizophrenia. They are in both green tea and black tea as well as in white tea, red tea, and some herbal teas. They are also in fresh fruits and vegetables, dark-colored fruit juices, and dark chocolate. Tomatoes are a well-recommended source. Vitamins can be very helpful. One can experiment with various vitamins and figure out which nutrients make their own body and mind feel well. Vitamin E is a highly suggested one. Calcium-magnesium tablets are helpful. Magnesium is recommended for schizophrenia as well as for autism. Zinc is good in that it helps one to absorb protein. Protein is good for keeping one's body and mind strong. Helpful supplements include Brewer's Yeast, nutritional yeasts, and various protein shakes. I buy the powdered kind and mix it with milk, myself. Keeping your body strong will benefit the mind as well. Physical exercise is a very good idea for keeping one strong. It is highly beneficial to keep active or perhaps to develop a work-out routine.
Cayenne pepper tea and alfalfa tea are both neurotransmitter stimulating teas. To make, simply pour boiling water into a mug with about a 1/4 teaspoon of either ground cayenne pepper or ground alfalfa in it. Let steep for about 10 minutes and drink until you feel well. It seems to work for me. I've used it when I felt mental illness setting in with good results.
A lot of people with schizophrenia are sensitive to gluten. There are tests for celiac disease which can help to indicate whether or not you have this problem. However, many schizophrenic people have been bettered by refraining from having gluten in their diet even though their gluten sensitivity isn't high enough to be considered celiac disease.
Many schizophrenic people are highly sensitive to caffeine. Many cannot tolerate it at all. Some schizophrenic people can handle small amounts of caffeine. However, caffeine can be helpful for ADHD.
Alcoholic beverages should be avoided by people whose mental health is at risk since these can aggravate their condition.
Work is an important part of the recovery from mental illness. After having a nervous breakdown, a lot of people feel in need of having more routine and structure and less free and leisure time. It can help one to feel involved. If paid employment is too difficult or stressful, then volunteer work can be a good idea.
It is important to avoid excess stress, as schizophrenia is a condition which is sensitive to stress. Surrounding oneself with supportive people is very important as well.
Nervous breakdowns are often a result of a lack of family and community support. If you should feel that your mental health is in jeopardy, then make sure to get some extra rest and sleep. Take is slow and easy and do one thing at a time. You could drink some relaxing herbal tea, such as chamomile. Also, ask yourself what you think would make you feel better. Is there some action or direction you need to take in life? Don't over-focus on the problem or be self-conscious about it. That'll only make it worse. Remember that everyone is going through their own difficulties and none of your problems need to be the focus of their attention.
Generally, try not to go too inward. Going too within oneself mentally can aggravate schizophrenic symptoms. One common possible alternative to medication is simple therapy. For immediate help, there are crisis centers with people to speak with whose job is to make people feel well and to keep people out of the mental hospital. There are many holistic and naturopathic doctors whom one may see for additional suggestions and recommendations. One time I had a terribly mind damaging experience from a medication and I recovered from it by taking a combination of alpha lipoic acid and ginkgo biloba for about a week. I know that alpha lipoic acid is strongly recommeded for detoxification, so that could be why it worked. Both of these nutrients are available at health food stores. Of course, you should ask a doctor before taking these if you have any health concerns, since not everyone should take these. This is a partial listing of ideas.