Supplements and Schizophrenia

Every country has its share of people who suffer from schizophrenia and the numbers just keep going up. What exactly is schizophrenia? Wikipedia describes it as ‘a psychiatric diagnosis that describes a mental disorder characterized by abnormalities in the perception or expression of reality'. With so many millions afflicted all over the world, it is a condition that makes life so miserable not just for the sufferer but also for everyone around him.


Part of the problem is perception. Anything that is a deviant from manmade ‘normal' norms is viewed as abnormal and undesirable and must needs be labeled. One would have thought that with so much advancement in science and technology, there would be an opening up of minds - of more acceptance but that is not what has happened yet. While the Internet has given the loners, the depressed, the schizophrenics an escape route, the world still has a long way to go before it can totally accept what it sees as different. For that, we need open minds and a lot of respect for others - characteristics we sadly lack.

From a sufferer's point of view, besides having fingers pointed at him, what he goes through is unbearable. Delusions, hallucinations, voices in the head..... he wants out because he knows that it's not the norm - or rather he has been brought up to believe that it is not. When a little child prattles on about what her toys said to her or what her imaginary friend would like, we find it ‘cute' - but let the child grow up and if she or he hasn't put away what for us are ‘childish things', there's hell to pay. So from ‘Something's wrong with me' to a guilt complex is a quick step. Think of how different things could be if only we brought up our kids to think differently!


There seems to be a ray of hope however for schizophrenia. At the recent International Biological Psychiatry Convention in San Diego, there were papers presented about a micronutrient supplement diet that could just prove extremely helpful as adjunctive therapy for this condition. If these claims are true, it could prove to be a boon both psychologically - for the person and his loved ones as well and monetarily - there are so many millions being spent on drugs for schizophrenics today, a lot of it is borne by the government.


The study basically tries to see the connection between schizophrenia and the omega 3 levels in the body. DHA or Docosahexaenoic acid is an omega 3 fatty acid which plays a very important role in brain cells. In people suffering from schizophrenia, it was noticed that there were very low levels of DHA. There was also impaired NGF or Nerve Growth Factor. The interesting thing that came up was also low levels of Vitamin B 12 and folic acid and because of this, the homocysteine levels were quite high. In other studies, it was noticed that some schizophrenics also suffered from low levels of Vitamin C and Vitamin B 3 and megadoses of these seemed to make the person feel much better. In some, there seemed a need for Niacin. What is called for is an individual deficiency chart to see what exactly the person concerned needs. Too simplistic? Sometimes, those are the cures that work!


If supplements can help ease the suffering of so many, it will be a boon indeed to not just the ones with this condition but to all around them too. It isn't easy being ‘different' in this world and walking to the beat of a different drummer. However, taking tranquilizers to conform just isn't a long term answer - and 90% of the ones diagnosed with this condition are put on drugs. If micronutrient supplements could let a ray of hope into the bleak world of those who suffer and could bring them out into the sunshine of normalcy, what sunny days lie ahead for a large number of people!

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Comments 41 comments

Melissa G profile image

Melissa G 8 years ago from Tempe, AZ

Very interesting post! There are so many things we're just beginning to understand about the human body, and with each new discovery, I wonder how much more is left to be explored. It's promising to see that the answers may be found through vitamins and natural remedies rather than the noxious chemicals that pharmaceutical companies seem hell bent on shoving down everyone's throats.

I think the plight of schizophrenics helps illustrate how much our life experiences are determined by the nature of our thoughts, rather than objective reality. Did you ever see A Beautiful Mind? That movie does a great job of putting viewers in the shoes of someone with schizophrenia.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India Author

Yes, Melissa - loved Beautiful Mind - isn't it sad that what we don't understand we tend to spurn? It's so important to treat the mind with gentleness and understanding - well, here's hoping!


Mindfulness profile image

Mindfulness 8 years ago

I suspect the pharmaceutical companies that are not connected to this supplement may not be too happy if they lose sales on their old products due to this.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India Author

How true Mindfulness. Since each person who suffers from this condition will need to be tested individually and prescribed a unique combination of supplements/nutrients, I wonder when that will happen!


barranca profile image

barranca 8 years ago

Hope is needed. Schizophrenia is a kind of living hell that can only be barely managed at the present time with pretty heavy duty drugs. Good hub!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India Author

Thanks for reading barranca! Yes, hope through cure and care rather than supression is what is the need of the hour.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

I have had a lot of friends who were labelled as suffering from this. I use the past tense because most of them are dead now! All the people I have known labelled as schizophrenic were put on heavy doses of psychiatric medication. It didn't cure them and as I say most are dead, which to my mind suggests that these horrible drugs shorten life!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India Author

I agree - one of the musicians I admire the most - Peter Green - is a classic example. He's still alive but I think the drugs seem to have taken the music out of him :(


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 8 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

Great Hub, Shalini, very often mental disease occurs because of lack of some minerals (f.E Zinc, Copper, Kalium Phosphate...etc) or hormonal dis-balance....or...

A lot of "mental"deseases can be healed with Mineral/Vitamin supplements and some anti-stress natural technique(as breathing), especially on the very beginning.

Thumbs up!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India Author

Hi Tatjana - I'm so glad to have found you on HubPages - I read your profile and look forward to reading many of your hubs later today.

I'm so glad you mentioned Kali Phos - I have found that it helps a lot when treating diseases of the mind - sometimes in conjunction with Mag Phos. The sad thing is, we look for complex cures when simple and effective ones are all around us!


Netters profile image

Netters 8 years ago from Land of Enchantment - NM

Very interesting. I never really knew the symptoms. Thank you.


newcapo 7 years ago

This is very eye-opening- I had no idea that so many nutrients could have such a connection to mental illness- hence the 'chemical imbalance'- it makes sense.

Terrific hub!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Thanks for stopping by newcapo - yes, it would be so nice if that was all there was to it!


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

Did Amitabh Bachan suffer from Schizophrenia in the movie black? I remember that mathematician movie beautiful mind (where those scenes of his imagination seemed so real). I hope this remedy will help in the treatment of this. Everybody deserves a better life and acceptance from others. Good hub but you made me sad. I will go to BT evil pants now...hehe


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Hi CW - thanks for reading - no it was Alzheimer's. I think you mean Beautiful Mind starring Russell Crowe? Fabulous movie! I'm sure you had an entertaining time in BT's hubs LOL!


Teresa McGurk profile image

Teresa McGurk 7 years ago from The Other Bangor

Great hub. I miss all my imaginary pals from childhood! LOL Wonder where they went? Your hubs are always uplifting, even when you are discussing a difficult topic, such as this one. Thanks!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Thank you Teresa for reading!


Cris A profile image

Cris A 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

i had to check out the new avatar! i'll read later - promise :D


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Thanks for breezing past Cris :D


blondepoet profile image

blondepoet 7 years ago from australia

Really great writing. My step father suffered Schizophrenia, so I have seen it first hand.There is a great message here thankyou.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Thanks for reading blondepoet - and for becoming a fan :)


mayhmong profile image

mayhmong 7 years ago from North Carolina

I was referred here by someone. And yes, I can understand what you mean when a loved one is currently being diagnose with schizophrenia. Every one else is also affected by the sufferers behavior. Thanks for writing this hub. I will look more in to this vitamin for my siblings.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

I hope it helps mayhmong - you do need a good physician who understands!


mayhmong profile image

mayhmong 7 years ago from North Carolina

So far my sister refuses to seek help. Every time I visit my family which is 5 hours away, my sister is getting worse and worse. She's more isolated and doing some strange things. I had to cut the stove off while I was there, cuz she leaves a pan on there high and unattended!? She was like it's no big deal, but she could've burned the whole house down like she did with the back yard. 0_0 My parents are doing all they can to find some other new place for her to stay or she may end up in jail for other damage.


Staci-Barbo7 profile image

Staci-Barbo7 7 years ago from North Carolina

Shalini, you've done a great job treating the subject with the dignity it deserves. So many still consider a diagnosis of mental illness as a mark of shame, when it reality many times it is the result of skewed body / brain chemistry - that can be corrected - , or worse yet, mental illness can be induced as a side effect of drugs prescribed by physicians to treat other physical ailments. If ever challenged about the connection, most doctors will claim that the patient was in some way predisposed to mental illness.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Thank you for reading Staci-Barbo7 - yes, what should really be diagnosed and treated like any other ailment so often comes with a totally unwarranted tag attached - that's what makes it tragic!


reconciled heart 7 years ago

Bless you for this post. My husband has a diagnosis of schizo-affective disorder, and has found some of these supplements (particularly niacin and Omega-3 fatty acids) to be extremely helpful. Your post will help many people, I am sure.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

I do hope they help him reconciled heart - thank you for your kind words!


Cleanclover profile image

Cleanclover 7 years ago from Piece of land!

well Each disease is curuable regardless of what the doc says. Just faith and belief need to be strong.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

How true - now if only everyone could see that!


Phrenism profile image

Phrenism 6 years ago

High doses of niacin (nicotinic acid) can be great for schizophrenia, along with medication. If the medication dulls the patient down, piracetam can be used very successfully to increase cognitive function


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 6 years ago from India Author

Thank you Phrenism!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

Intersting, interesting, interesting. I work with the schizophrenic population and it is a great suffering. I was not aware of this 'supplement'. Thanks for the info in a well written hub.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 6 years ago from India Author

Hi Denise - it must be challenging - the work you do and I'm sure you see first-hand just how hard it is for them. Thanks for coming by and reading!


Sanella 6 years ago

I am a schizophrenic , and this is the first time I hear about the supplements and vitamins.

thank you for this information I'll ask my doctor in next appointment.


Health Store 6 years ago

very nice hub, schizophrenics is more common than people think it is a condition that is very hard to leave with these supplements really does help and will make your life easier


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 6 years ago from India Author

Hi Sanella - I do hope you find relief by adding the right nutrients to your diet.

Thanks Health Store.


PETER LUMETTA profile image

PETER LUMETTA 5 years ago from KENAI, ALAKSA

What a wonderful Hub. The fact that there are folks who care enough to open their own minds to a new reality for them I think will help for folks with this crippling problem. Thanks Shalini Kagal.

PETER


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 5 years ago from India Author

Hi Peter yes, a new reality is what we need and I do hope people with this problem won't feel so alone!


Life7 5 years ago

My wife was diagnosed with schizophrenia about 18 months ago. I did a lot of research into natural remedies and the ingredients listed above were among the ones to take. My wife had a pretty rough time and ended up in hospital and is now taking ambilify as well as all the vitamins and herbs that most sites recommend.

We have recently found a new company that have designed a supplement for schizophrenia that contains all this stuff called SBX. It does cut down the number of bottles of vitamins in the cupboard. You can buy it at www.sbxsupplements.com I haven't been able to find it at anywhere else.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 5 years ago from India Author

Hi Life7 - thanks for the link. There has got to be a simple cure somewhere - if only our research focussed on things that really matter!

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