How does it feel to slowly lose your mind? To not know what memories are your own and to not trust your own mind. I have some experience with dealing with my grandmother’s dementia. My grandmother is in her mid 80’s, she is easily disoriented and not aware of her actions. One example is she made a TV dinner and set it on the counter and went down the hall. A few minutes later she comes back and asks “who prepared the TV dinner?” She goes into the fridge to make a sandwich as I replied “You already made a TV dinner.” It turned into a full argument. I stopped myself before I got too mad and reminded myself that she wasn’t aware of her actions.
Part of the reason we can’t find a cure is because mental illness cannot be viewed as a typical disease. Schizophrenia, Bipolar disorder and major depression are not sicknesses where medication eradicates all trace of the infection. Medication is only partially effective. It’s more like putting a band-aid on a cut off limb. They don’t eliminate symptoms and patients must remain on the medication indefinitely. Plus chances of relapsing increases to 70% or greater once a patient goes off the medicine within the first two years.
Also the drug treatments do nihility to improve social skills or job functioning. The issue with curing a psychiatric disorder is the biological complexity of the syndrome itself. Risk factors include genetic environmental in which no single factor will be the cause. Scientists use animals to discover anything on a molecular level they can use. The aspiration is to model the full scope of major psychiatric disorders in laboratory animals, which is available at this time. You can study molecular determinants of specific features of psychiatric disorders in some species including cognitive impairments , social deficits hyperactivity and anhedonia. Disruptions in the brain to the development of the brain early in life make it arduous for treating them later. The NAPLS project is an effort to detect psychotic disorders early. Schizophrenia and psychotic forms of bipolar and major depression.
While a cure may not be in modern medicine alternatives may hold a key. Namely a high nutrient dense diet of traditional foods. A French psychiatrist Pinel wrote almost 200 years ago that insanity originated in the areas of the stomach and intestines. A 1937 psychiatric textbook noted that schizophrenic are generally poorly nourished. Weston Price, DDS in his landmark 10 year research in the 1930’s observed that autochthonous cultures consuming their native, nutrient dense diets, containing 4 -10 times more vitamins than American diets. They showed no signs of mental illness and were collectively happy and well-adjusted.
Would you believe that 1,000 -2,000 mg of EPA form of omega -3 fish oil can help mollify symptoms of depression. Improvements generally show between 3-12 weeks after beginning the supplement. Food regimens high in fish intake have shown to be related to improving moods. Americans are notoriously known to have imbalances of omega-3/omega-6 fats with a ratio 1:20, while ideally it should be 1:1 to 1:4. Coconut oil, butter, cream and other animal fats from pastured animals have the greater ratios in Americans diet.
In Canada True Hope in nutritional formulas helped 90,000 individuals heal from mental illness since its inception in 1996. Over twenty medical journal articles support it effectiveness. Physician Abram Hoffer was successful in using high dosages of vitamin B3 to safely treat 5,000 schizophrenic patients. He had a 90% success rate compared to 10% for psychotic medications. Julia Ross is public speaker on holistic treatments of mental illness. She founded the Recovery Systems Clinic in CA. in 1988. Ross uses an individualized approach of safe, nutritional supplementation of targeted amino acids, vitamins and a nutrient dense following principles of Weston Price.
One aspect of a possible cure I have not discussed is using religion to help your mental state. Just over 50% of Christians believe the power of prayer and Bible reading can cure mental illness according to Lifeway research. 68% of American said they would feel welcome in church if they were mentally ill. Sadly 54% of Americans said that church needs to do more to prevent suicide. Clinton says they church can do better to avoid stigmatizing people taking medication for their mental affliction. “So often we trivialize one another’s pain, especially emotional disorders. Somehow we think this is a weakness or a horrible sign……I know there are people taking medication who don’t need it……I also know there are people who are not taking it who probably need….. “They forget that the key part of the mental illness is the word illness.”
Christian mega church pastor Rick Warren and his wife Kay, were interviewed by CNN’s Piers Morgan earlier this week about their son who committed suicide earlier this year. Since then both have become advocates for the churches becoming more sensitive to the mental health conversation. Another Pastor Frank Page former president of the Southern Baptist Convention whose daughter committed suicide. He gathered a meeting earlier this summer with other Baptist pastors in the purpose of addressing mental health in the church.
Matthew 4:24- “So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick. Those afflicted with various disease and pains. Those oppressed by demons, epileptics and paralytics, and he healed them.”
Timothy 1:17- “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
Corinthians 12:9-“But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfection in weakness!! Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Matthews 11:28- “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Is mental illness a disease that can be cured by prayer or by properly adjusting your diet? Or is mental convalescence more complex than previously thought. With a physical ailment you can visibly see the wound healing or the fever breaking. How will we know when a true cure has been found for mental illness? What do you think?