Saturday, July 31, 2010

suggestions for dealing with voices

Five different options for dealing with hearing 'voices':

What works best in coping with voices and other intrusive experiences?

I find myself fighting the 'voices' I hear. It helps to have heard that the hallucinations are memories. Sometimes, I remind myself that my brain is creating them from memory; this helps.
I would prefer to use a different method than fighting, but currently that is not possible.

This past week:
  • medication: 5 mg Aripiprazole a.m., 10 mg Aripiprazole before sleep
  • sleep: average 10 hrs
  • exercise: walking
  • diet: made certain to eat breakfast every day, ate four meals a day
  • weight: 160 lbs.
  • mood: ok all mornings upon rising

Saturday, July 24, 2010

needing drugs for the rest of your life?

In her book review of Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker, Jenny Westberg sees that mental illness outcomes are made worse by long-term use of medicine. Further, the medicine is not needed for there rest of one's life. Symptoms after stopping the medicine can be the effects of withdrawal from the medicines themselves.

From "Book Review: Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker", by Jenny Westberg in Portland Mental Health Examiner:

"Study after study showed that outcomes for mental illness are worsened, not improved, by long-term, routine use of psychiatric medications. There was no good evidence showing that people with mental illness need drugs for the rest of their lives. There was plenty of evidence of terrible side effects."

Westberg further says,"Another question: Once a person is on psychiatric medications, they are often cautioned not to stop taking them – and if they do quit, sure enough, symptoms return. Doesn’t this prove they needed the drugs? Actually, says Whitaker, it may simply prove that the drugs have withdrawal symptoms. Since psychiatric medications affect the brain, it makes sense that withdrawal affects the brain, with symptoms that can resemble the original illness."

This past week:

I meditated 5 minutes each morning to a compact disc of "OM".
  • medication: 5 mg Aripiprazole a.m., 10 mg Aripiprazole before sleep
  • sleep: average 10 hrs
  • exercise: walking, bicycling
  • diet: made certain to eat breakfast every day, ate four meals a day
  • weight: 159 lbs.
  • mood: ok all mornings upon rising

Friday, July 23, 2010

Recovery, defined in two blogs

Phillip Dawdy, in Furious Seasons blog, says that the main thing one must do to achieve recovery is to accept one's diagnosis. He says, "The biggest thing you've go to do is accept your diagnosis (and this comes from someone who has issues with some of the diagnoses and diagnosticians), or you are going to be wrestling with yourself for a long time. It's not worth doing. You know damn well that something is up with you, so what do you intend to do about it?" The next two things he suggests are: "no suicide" and "never give up". After that, he discusses the importance of environment, of not blaming the illness, and of going on as few medicines as possible. Then, he suggests that you must accept "that you'll always have symptoms." After that, he discusses the importance of sleep and exercise.

Read in:

"Slouching towards Recovery" from Furious Seasons blog

Gianna Kali responds in her blog, Beyond Meds. She mainly disagrees with Dawdy's assertion that one must accept their diagnosis.

She says, "So do I still accept my diagnosis. No. And I’ll tell you why. The diagnosis bipolar disorder is a catch-all phrase for a variety of symptom clusters. And it’s a large variety of symptom clusters. Philip says if I don’t accept my diagnosis I will be struggling with myself for a long time. Well I can tell you I struggle with myself less now than I did for the years that I accepted my diagnosis. Since I’ve taken control of my life and chosen to treat my illness as I choose to I’ve become self-empowered. As much as I’ve become self-empowered, I struggle less."

Kali's response in: "What is Recovery?" from Beyond Meds blog

As for myself, I have not ever accepted the diagnosis, "schizophrenia". (At one point, I was also given the label, "schizoaffective".) I do, sometimes, feel that there is a problem with this, in that I am not accepting what is generally granted to be "reality", the accepted by society opinion of trained doctors. I do not believe that there is a problem that has to do with what is called "insight into the illness", generally meaning, the patient accepts the diagnosis. But, more, really, a problem with accepting the perceived "reality". That said, I do not believe that I am "schizophrenic". I do not identify with the label of "schizophrenia". However, as is obvious in this blog, I will use the term, "schizophrenia".

And, further, I have questions as to whether "schizophrenia" actually exists or is the result of abuse previously directed at an individual which reveals itself in what are seen as "symptoms". Does trauma always cause these symptoms? It remains unknown at this point.

I do identify with what Gianna Kali says about not accepting the label, the diagnosis. Not accepting can be empowering, as one faces oneself not as the label.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

nutrition and life advice

Dr. Susan Lord gives nutrition advice and life advice in this podcast from Kripalu:

Kripalu podcasts -- see Dr. Susan Lord

Towards the end of the podcast, Lord recommends each day to do something nice for yourself, however small; something nice for someone else; and, to be grateful.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

what is thought to cause hallucinations

from The Brain Series by Charlie Rose, Episode 5, The Developing Brain:

Stephen Warren of Emory University says at the end of the program: "I think that if we could figure out how genes influence, say, schizophrenia... How do you generate a hallucination because you have a mutation in some genes? I mean, that's a profound progress from a simple gene and a protein and a synapse to a circuit that's somehow recreating experience that occurred earlier."

This quote reveals that there is currently no awareness as to how a gene can influence schizophrenia. It also reveals that the current idea is that a "mutation in some genes" causes hallucinations, which are considered the recreation of previous experience.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

depression linked to dementia, Brain Video 4

In Beyond Meds, by Gianna Kali, Gianna suggests that this study could be flawed due to the research subjects having been medicated. Though there is no indication in the article whether they were medicated or not, I think she raises a valid point. Most probably, they were medicated, as most deemed "depressed" today, and for the past twenty to twenty-five years have been.

The article:

depression may double dementia risk

Gianna says that there is a possibility that the medications are causing dementia.

An interesting topic to research, the conclusions of this research could lead one, perhaps, to become medicated young for depression. This is a reason to recognise that medications, not just depression, could be contributing to dementia.


Brain Video -- Mental Illness:

"Society has stigmatised mental illness for thousands of years," says Charlie Rose at the beginning of this video.

Depression, Manic-Depression, and Schizophrenia affect the way people think, feel, and their motivation.

"Schizophrenia typically begins in college or the early twenties," Eric Kandel states.

Though Hippocrates suggested that mind disorders were medical in nature, it was not until the early 1800's at the Paris School of Medicine that Philippe Pinel called the disorders medical disorders. During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance the disorders were considered demons.

In 1902, Emil Kraeplin's textbooks begin to appear. He defines mental illnesses as those affecting mood and thinking. "...Dementia praecox [Kraeplin defines as a] deterioration of cognitive processes in the brain," says Eric Kandel. Dementia praecox, as stated earlier in this blog, is a precursor of what is later called schizophrenia.

In schizophrenia, there are positive symptoms (hallucinations, delusions), negative symptoms (social withdrawal, lack of motivation), and cognitive symptoms (difficulty organising one's life, short term memory loss).

Speaking of a biological basis for the disorders: "The approach to biology came from chemistry," admits Helen Mayberg. She further says, of the medicines' effect, "That really created the foundation for the hypothesis that these were deficits in neurotransmitters." (She refers to depression.) Hypothesis. A hypothesis.

Mayberg did find "a biological marker, an area in the brain that was abnormally active in depressed patients," reports Kandel.

See Brain Video 4:

brain series, charlie rose, episode 9

In Brain Video 4, a psychotic episode is described as "horrible pain, a waking nightmare", by Ellyn Saks, who is diagnosed with schizophrenia and wrote The Center Cannot Hold, a memoir of schizophrenia.

"We know genetics plays a role by looking at family histories," Stephen Warren shows in a graph. In analysing the graph, "...there's other factors playing a role like environmental factors," Warren says.

Speaking of schizophrenia, "...the seeds for the illness are really sown in early development...,"
says Jeffrey Lieberman. In schizophrenia, "stresses cause a dysfunction of the normal circuits," Lieberman states.

In schizophrenia, the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex, and striatum are said to be affected.

Speaking of therapy for these three disorders, Kandel says, "Psychotherapy works on the brain...It's like a biological treatment."

Ellyn Saks reveals that, for her, psychodynamic thereapy (psychoanalysis) helps. It helps you to identify and cope with stressors, develop an observing ego, and deal with the blow of having a mental illness, Saks suggests.

Unfortunately, Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) is suggested here as the best therapy for depression by Helen Mayberg. She also discusses Deep Brain (electrical) Stimulation for depression. Deep Brain Stimulation is said here to have possibilities for schizophrenia, as well.

These brain diseases are called "the most complicated in medicine" by Eric Kandel.

This past week:
  • medication: 5 mg Aripiprazole a.m., 10 mg Aripiprazole before sleep
  • sleep: average 9 hrs
  • exercise: walking, bicycling
  • diet: made certain to eat breakfast every day, ate four meals a day
  • weight: 156 lbs.
  • mood: ok all mornings upon rising

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Daniel J Carlat

Daniel J Carlat, a psychiatrist, speaks of the lack of psychotherapy in his profession.

"Medications don't do a good job of solving basic life problems," Carlat states.

Carlat also speaks of payoffs for psychiatrists for pushing certain medications on patients. He speaks, specifically, of Effexor and Neurontin.

Carlat further tells of "The reality that...since we don't have objective criteria, we don't have a blood test, we don't have x-rays to make a diagnosis, we use these symptoms..."

See video speech and questions:

daniel j carlat, "The Trouble With Psychiatry"

Towards the end of his speech, he says that, regardless of country,"...there's an often cited 1% prevalence of schizophrenia...implying that maybe it's a biological disorder." Implying. Maybe.

Schizophrenia has not been proven to be a biological disorder.

Carlat concludes saying, "We do overmedicate...We haven't tried a different strategy, which is to wean people off the medications, because we haven't been trained to do that."

More, from NPR, an interview with Daniel J. Carlat and excerpts from his book:

daniel j carlat and excerpts from his Unhinged

Carlat discusses the fact that theories of the neurobiology of mental illness are just that, theories. Nothing has been proven regarding a relation to mental illnesses. Though Carlat reveals his feeling that there is a relation to neurotransmitters, he admits that even "the APA textbook authors, utterly unable to tie together these disparate findings, concluded that the 'central question of what variables drive the pathophysiology of mood disorders remains unanswered.' "

Monday, July 12, 2010

Brain Video 3

The Emotional Brain is discussed in this video.

"...emotions are a family of subjective experiences, states of readiness, that we all experience...," says Eric Kandel.

"...[Positive emotion is] disturbed in schizophrenia, Parkinson's disease...," he says further. Here Kandel does call schizophrenia a disease. He then discusses addiction and addictive drugs.

brain series, charlie rose, episode 7

"Now, emotion, of course, needs to be regulated...," says Daniel Salzman. That is done in the prefrontal cortex (the part of the brain said to be affected by schizophrenia).

"Cognition has been traditionally located in the prefrontal cortex," Nora Volkow states.

Dopamine is said to be too present in schizophrenia, though this has not been proven. Wolfram Schultz defines dopamine as "...a chemical that serves as a neurotransmitter..."

Nicotine replacement is also slightly discussed in the discussion of addiction, as well as the effect of nicotine on the brain.

Brain Video 2

The Social Brain: the social skills that separate humans from other species.

Darwin, autism, and the social brain are covered in this video.

"...emotion is an important feature of behaviour," says Eric Kandel.

brain series, charlie rose, episode 4

"...the inward nature of some people with schizophrenia" is mentioned by Gerald Fischbach, and compared by him to autism.

Schizophrenia here is also called a "disorder" rather than a disease by Eric Kandel.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


This describes what the labels cause one to feel:

From Beyond Meds by Gianna Kali:


This past week:
  • medication: 5 mg Aripiprazole a.m., 10 mg Aripiprazole before sleep
  • sleep: average 9 hrs
  • exercise: some walking, bicycling
  • diet: made certain to eat breakfast every day, four meals a day
  • weight: 159 lbs.
  • mood: ok all mornings upon rising

Sunday, July 4, 2010

titrating down slowly, "morbidity" words

Here is what is coming (is here):

computer programs to detect depression in blogs (writing)

Watch out for "morbidity" words!

from above article:

"Words like "black" combined with other terms that describe symptoms of depression, such as sleep deprivation or loneliness, will be recognized by the software as "depressive" texts."

Are there such things as "morbidity" words indicating someone wants to die? I do not believe that words will tell.


I am smoking cigarettes. On medicine, I have to titrate down more slowly. I tried decreasing by 5 mg. I will have to decrease by 2.5 mg or less. I plan to decrease by 2.5 mg at this point. I will wait.

Last week I received in an email from a friend with an attachment, dopamine in sound. I tried dopamine in sound. It worked. I tried it all days but one. Dopamine in sound caused me to be more calm, less sad, and the same or more happy. I listened to dopamine in sound in the morning. I listened to dopamine in sound in the evening. I plan to listen to dopamine in sound before bed every day. Would this only be the future! No side effects: dopamine in sound. No early mortality: dopamine in sound. Dopamine in sound is copyrighted, so I am not allowed to share it with you. I will recommend when dopamine in sound is available.

This past week:
  • medication: 5 mg Aripiprazole a.m., 10 mg Aripiprazole before sleep
  • sleep: average 9 hrs
  • exercise: some walking, bicycling
  • diet: made certain to eat breakfast every day, four meals a day
  • weight: 158 lbs.
  • mood: ok all mornings upon rising