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Diet and exercise, with or without psychiatric drugs

Australia’s Channel 9 News reports, Bipolar drug side-effects may be overcome. I suggest that this type of reporting is deceptive.

Anti-psychotic drugs have been documented to cause dramatic weight gain, raised blood fats and Type-2 diabetes within the first six months of treatment.

True enough, and the answer is…

It found that a supported diet and exercise program for schizophrenics taking anti-psychotic medication yielded significant health benefits within just 12 to 16 weeks.

This jump in the text from “bipolar” to “schizophrenics” takes place because people labeled with bipolar disorder often take the same drugs that people labeled with schizophrenia take. This is the first confusion. The second confusion is in not pointing out that with detoxification people often recover from both conditions.

Just think where a person could be at if that person didn’t take psychiatric drugs, but used your supported diet and exercise program instead. I bet he or she could have your druggies’ physiques beat hands down.

Associate Professor Katherine Samaras, a clinical researcher at the Garvan Institute, said an early intervention program could be the best way to prevent physical ill health.

The no psychiatric drug approach suggested above then, with supported diet and exercise, represents a better way than ‘the best way’. Imagine that!

Actually recovery rates for 1st episode schizophrenia have been found much improved where no neuroleptic drugs at all were used. Complete recovery by definition requires a complete withdrawal from neuroleptic drugs. The person who takes neuroleptic drugs, for that very reason, can’t be said to have fully recovered.

The problem beyond metabolic syndrome is cognitive decline. Long term neuroleptic drug use causes cognitive decline. This is true across the board. It is suggested that mental health clients consider this fact before they launch on a long term neuroleptic drug regimen, atypically metabolic syndrome bound or typically otherwise.

Cease the neuroleptic drug abuse, and you kill a number of birds with one stone. Those birds killed include metabolic syndrome, cognitive decline, and a minimal recovery rate–a minimal recovery rate that is the direct result of relying so heavily on so-called “medication maintenance”. This isn’t to say that added benefits couldn’t come with dietary changes and exercise, too.

Both atypical and typical neuroleptic drugs are known to shorten the lifespans of those people taking them. Diet and exercise can lengthen the lifespans for people both on and off drugs. There are other ways to treat people who have troubles besides drugging them into a numbed-out oblivion. I suggest we promote more choice in treatment options, and that we explore some more of those other ways.

4 Responses

  1. A sensible psychiatrist won’t be working in mainstream state funded clinical psychiatry. So you’ll never hear, “There’s no evidence of brain pathology. Why don’t you just lighten up a bit, get a job, get some exercise. About the government, big business, the cops, death, taxes etc… you’re right but there’s nothing most of us can ever hope to do about it. And about death none of us has yet. Do the smart thing and look after yourself. Enjoy what you can, find reassurance where you can. That’s all any of us can ever do.”

    • Sage words, Rod, on the personal level. On the interpersonal and social levels the situation is such that concerned citizens need to act. People are being harmed by psychiatry, and to stand by, and merely observe, is to be implicated in the wrongs being perpetuated.

      Sooner or later the damage being done by “mainstream state funded clinical psychiatry” is going to catch up with the profession. Further research is going to confirm what previous research has shown. When you have all these studies implicating “the disease” for the damage done by the drugs because the drugs have not been factored into the research, the truth hasn’t been entirely vanquished, the truth is only in hiding. Research may have obscured the facts, but it hasn’t changed them. An accounting is going to come, I think it’s almost inevitable.

      I have to be optimistic. Were cynicism to consume me, then it would be time to hitch a ride with a major corporation, and to say to Hell with the vast majority of suffering humankind. I can’t do that. I still have a heart pumping in my chest, and not a cold lump of rock. I’m still connected with people at a species level, and that connection compells me to work for compassionate change.

  2. I’m very confused as to what constitutes the difference between schizophrenia and a psychotic episode. I’ve personally had four psychotic episodes.

    With the first one, I was examined by the college psychiatrist, who then drove me in his car to be examined by a psychiatrist at a local hospital. I didn’t stay at the hospital. The college shrink took me back to campus. He said I needed to flush the speed down the toilet, stop the drinking, beg forgiveness of the people I’d pissed off and take some Xanax, which as far as I could tell didn’t do shit.

    With the second one, my parents took me to the hospital, but the hospital sent me home after three days with a script for Haldol, which I liked much better than the Xanax. I took it as long as it worked and got me high. After it stopped doing anything at all, I quit.

    The third time I ended up in the hospital again. They sent me home after three days because I seemed to enjoy the Thorazine which they gave me. I got buzzed on it for several months and then it stopped doing anything, so I quit.

    If you’ve not noticed a common thread to these three episodes, I was never committed for any of them.

    The fourth time was entirely different. They committed me to two separate 90-day outpatient commitments and forced me to take Risperdal and Depakote, which as far as I could tell did absolutely nothing in the mental functioning department. I’ve refused to have a thing to do with mental health after that. And that was 17 years ago.

    Like I say, I was always really confused as to what constituted the difference between psychosis and schizophrenia and what it means to “recover”. I guess it’s whatever the shrink says it is.

    • I’d say that you’re pretty lucky all told, BetaSheep. I can’t give you the precise number, but I’ve had more than 3 inpatient commitments of 90 days or more. 4 or 5 really, and then a few stays at less intrusive inpatient facilities, not including an outpatient time drain, more for economical than chemical reasons. I was locked up before outpatient commitments became the in thing, but let me tell you it was no picnic.

      I imagine schizophrenia and psychosis are pretty much interchangeable terms. People tend to be seen as having the “disease” schizophrenia which involves having a psychotic ‘break or breaks’. Let me go to Lewis Carrol for an apt metaphor, it seems I remember a Mad Tea Party in one of his adventures. It might help if you thought of schizophrenia as the tea kettle, and psychosis as the tea. The schizophrenia is thought to stick around while the psychosis comes and goes. Get rid of the schizophrenia altogether, and you are going to have a much harder time reaching psychotic states than you had previously. If you grow nostalgic, I hear there’s a caterpillar you might consult.

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