mental illness – the path we should consider

by Jason Davies on December 16, 2012

Maybe something I say will impact people, but I doubt it.  Christmas of 2012 will be remembered something like this:  Parents crying around the tree, trying to reconcile why their son or daughter will not be home for Christmas this year.  This past Friday dozens of innocent children met Cassie Bernall, Rachel Joy Scott, Anthony Scott II and others to name a few of the many children that have died because of senseless, selfish human acts.  Since the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 many children have died and even more unfortunately we have said, “what a tragedy, how could this happen.”   We hear the news media saying these people are mentally ill but what is mental illness really?

We may know a family member who is depressed or a family member who suffers from Alzheimer’s or even amnesia.  Technically, they are considered “mentally ill.” However, what mechanism makes a person think,  “I’m going to head to my mom’s house and shoot her, proceed to head to the place she use to work, pick up a gun, aim it at someone, look at their crying face, and proceed to pull a trigger, discharge a bullet , watch it hit them and then watch them die. Only to repeat the same motion dozens of times again?  In the average American mind we get on Facebook and talk about unions and how teachers are horrible.  People make death threats towards the governor because he is going to change something we do not like.  School children go on Facebook and bully their class mates, they play violent video games, and they might even use drugs.

The commonality amidst all of this is that the behavior is “grooming.” It is practice, a repetition, a distancing from reality.  People often remark, “I go fishing to get my mind off this or that.” For the adolescent mind, it processes differently due to a difference in neurotransmitters chemicals. As much as we want to believe behavior is simply environmental, that is only one factor that determines the bio-chemical makeup of how the cognitive process works.  What are the basic building blocks of the brain?  What is wrong in that gray matter that makes these things happen?

Are people born mentally ill or do they grow into it?  Simply put, the brain is a vast interconnection of devices that sent electrical signals from point A to point B through a piece of the mind called a Synapse.  Through these synapses flow chemicals called neurotransmitters and these neurotransmitters make things happen.  For example a computer understands 0 and 1 and these signals are determined by simply sending electrical impulses through a processor.  To under simplify the brain it sends 0’s, 1’s, 2’s,3’s, 4’s, 5’s etc.  Either GO or STOP.  The brain has ON neurotransmitters and chemicals called neuromodulators, and inhibitory neurotransmitters.   The reason why science says “we are what we eat.” is because it is absolutely true.

Science also states they do not know the exact reason why that atypical antipsychotics work.  They simply offer a pill and hope it mutes and inhibits a mentally ill person just enough to make them compliant.  These medications put these people into an inhibitory fog so their abnormal brain chemistry can be modified. This works fine until the drugs are stopped. After all, the mentally ill can surely afford a prescription that costs $900 a monthly on their minimum wage job right?

Let’s start with something simple called Inflammation to understand the general concept.  Asthma for example causes a person the impossibility of breathing. The air way swells and closes off and swells.  Without a steroid to stop the inflammation they will probably die.

Inflammation also occurs in the brain, but it is much less likely to be noticed. Why?  Well, we do not have the ability to take a look at our brain daily.  Do we know what to look for?  When inflammation continues long enough it can cause tissue death or destruction.  Generally, when this happens it will appear as a brain lesion. Tumors, trauma, etc. also cause these lesions.

So, let’s say for example the part of the brain that is responsible for making the inhibitory neurotransmitter that tells the brain to “cool it” before it acts out on aggression abruptly dies then what?  Rage can build. What if there is an issue on the side of the brain responsible for your “imagination.” And that imagination runs away and there is no functional part of the brain able to stop that?

Society says, let’s medicate with a very dangerous class of drugs called benzodiazepines.  With long term use of benzodiazepines there is an apparent decrease in the efficacy of GABA-A receptors (these receptors are responsible for “calming the brain.” … the efficacy goes down as a method of tolerance it is thought.  So, when a person abruptly stops taking their medication this “reduced” transmitter isn’t stopping the compulsion portion of the brain. It’s a ticket into hyper mode and over-drive.

I’m not going to go into a hundred page paper of the brain and these chemicals but what I do want you to gather is that the medical community needs to ask this, “Where do neurotransmitters come from.” The reason why is this, if you put someone on a drug that can cause their mind to die, and become more dangerous how can you ensure they remain on it forever?  If you are what you eat, doesn’t logic create the idea that certain nutrients, vitamins, foods you eat become a part of you and help you regenerate these missing links?

A great example is that of B vitamins.  These vitamins are all water soluble and so if you drink a ton of caffeine (that makes your body loose a ton of water.) isn’t it fair to say you are at some point going to become deficient in B vitamins?  The rate you lose them is much faster than you can gain them by eating food too.  B vitamins (along with a long list of other amino acids, fatty acids, etc.) also modulate and influence neurotransmitters and inflammation.

Let’s also consider that certain psycho-tropic drugs diminish these levels of vitamins as well. Zyprexa is a popular drug used to “control” schizophrenic patients.  It is also known to lower Vitamin D.  Vitamin D is both a hormone and a vitamin that is fat soluble.  Vitamin D is part of a cycle called the krebs which several important minerals are modulated.  Vitamin D3 is made from your skin absorbing sunlight, or perhaps in your diet etc.  However, some people can’t absorb vitamin D properly due to other bio chemical imbalances in their body and as a result it diminishes.  D is needed for your body to absorb Calcium and Calcium needs Magnesium to modulate it.  Why is this important?  Well, Magnesium is also important in the brain to help clear out Fluoride from the Pinal gland.  Calcium triggers the release of adrenaline into the blood stream.  Magnesium is responsible to help up regulate GABA (that neurotransmitter that helps calm.) and all of this need to balance out.  Zinc binds to Magnesium and lowers it; Fluoride binds to Magnesium and causes it to be used up. Everything must “balance” but for simple discussion, put someone on a drug that lowers vitamin D and you can start to lower their ability for their brain to work properly.

This school shooting was a horrific event and it is tragic that so many families will be without their children this Christmas and many to come.  I also hope I have outlined very briefly just how one or two aspects of science can cause some serious stuff to happen in the mind.  However, this is why it is nearly impossible for a Psychiatrist to make a proper determination of a patient’s mental status with a 15 minute interview and a prescription.

I would propose we seriously look at any person who has mental illness with a much closer eye. Not to humiliate or violate but to be able to better help those who truly need it, before they act out and do any more harm to anyone else or others.  I certainly appreciate everyone in the United States their opinions and bitterness towards this event.  I also think that there are some people better suited to address the issue.

Without conscious effort towards truly improving the mind of the mentally ill, it will be truly impossible to ever end the violence. You could lock up every single weapon in the world, but when these people grow psychotic they also have the power of adrenaline raging through them and become almost super human.  This is why there are many instances of one person being abnormally strong.  Thus, if they want to gain a weapon, they will and nothing is going to stop it aside from either treating it or allowing the rest of the country to be paranoid about it forever.

Hopefully this message will be spread and spread to the decision makers of mental health patients. I pray for our country and hope doctors will run simple tests on patients that are suspect. We live in a country with a great healthcare system and how would it harm to check for certain missing links via blood tests?  I know every doctor I have asked about this simply replies, “I have no interest, or knowledge” in this area.  There are numerous ways to cross-check for problems by using very inexpensive blood tests.  We can then obtain a picture into the human body and determine at the biochemical level if things are ok or not.  Probably with less side effects and more accurate diagnoses.

Until that school of thought changes though, we are simply treating symptoms and not disease. If we never treat the root cause of mental illness then we can never ensure our freedom from harm. Please pass this along to everyone on your list.

Written by Jason M. Davies, Green Bay, WI  920.884.1195 .  The information discussed is based upon years of experience with the mentally ill.  This information is not a substitute for a physician.  I am not a licensed physician and nothing outline here is an attempt to treat, cure, or diagnose any disease.  Any trademarks mentioned are of course the property of the intellectual property owners.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Meg December 17, 2012 at 1:07 am

psychosis can happen without drugs or a DNA issue, the sudden turn of events, and fight or flight kicking in, backwards. Truth is those of us who take care of mentally ill individuals are not fully trained on what to look for when a problem is arising. Many individuals are forced to live in a regular house. Some who should be monitored more than a care giver coming in 2 X’s a day. There really is no check in once a child who had problems turns 18. There seems to be this gap.

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