Living wth Schizophrenia
Barrington, Natural Body Healing
Schizophrenia is one of the most common serious mental illnesses
in society, affecting around 3% of the population at some point
in their lives. Schizophrenia describes a variety of mental
health problems that occur when the parts of the brain
responsible for thoughts, emotions and feelings stop working
properly. Doctors describe schizophrenia as a psychotic
illness, which means that sometimes a person becomes ‘detached’
and ‘aloof’ and may not be able to distinguish their own private
thoughts and ideas from external reality.
person’s experience of schizophrenia is different, and the
problems, or ways of coping with them, are never exactly the
same. People living with schizophrenia often experience:
Hallucinations (the sensation of an experience that isn’t
Delusions (holding unusual beliefs that aren't based on
reality and often contradict the evidence).
Muddled thoughts that may be based on the hallucinations and
Changes in behaviour.
cure for schizophrenia but it can be managed and helped through
a combination of medication, diet, psychological therapies,
physiotherapy, counselling, social and environmental factors and
support from family and friends.
easy to identify the causes of schizophrenia, but research
suggests that there are several physical, genetic,
psychological, dietary and environmental factors that interact
and make people more likely to develop the condition. The
current thinking is that some people may be prone to
schizophrenia, but sometimes a stressful or emotional life event
might trigger an initial psychotic episode.
factors can include altered biochemistry in the brain, genetic
enzyme deficiency, dietary and nutritional deficiencies ie.
excess levels in the body of some minerals such as copper,
deficiency of some vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B
(mainly B3, B12 and B6), zinc
and manganese, plus body toxicity such as heavy metal poisoning
(lead, metal or copper), recreational drugs (such as marijuana,
cocaine, LSD), hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar levels and
excessive insulin levels), and regular exposure to pesticides
considerations that may contribute to schizophrenia can include
allergic reactions to food that affects brain behaviour or
levels of perception, gluten intolerance, dairy product
intolerance, alcoholism, glandular imbalances (affecting the
pineal, pituitary, thyroid and adrenal glands), spinal
imbalances, stress, nervous exhaustion, and destructive and
person’s experience of schizophrenia is different, and the
symptoms differ between individuals. The earlier the symptoms
are identified and treatment is started, the better the outlook.
illness may develop slowly, and the first signs of
schizophrenia, such as becoming socially withdrawn and
unresponsive, or changes in your sleeping patterns can be hard
to identify. Because the first symptoms often develop during
adolescence, the changes can be mistaken for an age-related
'phase' or ‘growing pains’.
acute episode of psychosis can be very difficult to cope with
both for the person who's ill and for their family and friends.
Drastic changes in behaviour may occur, and the person can
become upset, anxious, confused, angry or suspicious of those
around them. They may not think that they need help, and it can
be very hard to persuade them to visit a doctor.
show that people living with schizophrenia are much more likely
to harm themselves than others. Another common perception is
that people with schizophrenia have a ‘split personality’, but
this is not the case.
important for those suffering from schizophrenia to work
together with their families and carers and develop a supportive
relationship that will help them with their physical, social and
mental needs. Schizophrenics and their families and carers
should be encouraged to join self-help and support groups.
a sufferer, learning to recognise the signs that you're becoming
unwell can help you manage your illness. Symptoms can include
losing your appetite, feeling anxious or stressed or having
disturbed sleep. You may also notice some of the milder
symptoms developing, such as feeling suspicious or fearful,
worrying about people’s motives, hearing voices quietly or
occasionally, or finding it difficult to concentrate. You may
also want to ask someone you trust to tell you if they notice
your behaviour changing.
help reduce or indeed eliminate your symptoms through:
Changing your diet by:
blood sugar levels constant by AVOIDING refined
foods, sweets, pastries, canned foods, fizzy drinks, fast
Greatly reducing your intake of fatty foods and foods
containing hydrogenated (trans) fats eg pies, pizzas,
crisps, confectionery etc.
Drinking 2-3 litres of filtered water a day (preferably
not tap water).
plenty of fresh salads and vegetables and lean protein.
a gluten-free diet.
a dairy-free diet.
Reducing your alcohol and caffeine intake.
your fibre intake through your diet or through
supplementation such as
Taking useful nutritional supplements daily such as:
Improving your lifestyle by:
Undertaking complementary therapies that help rebalance the
body and its emotions, such as
Aqua Detox, Kinesiology,
Reflexology, Emotional Freedom Technique.
Discussing the possibility of reviewing the use of
medication with your doctor to try to reduce dosages
Avoiding the use of social drugs and cigarettes.
Increasing your exercise.
detoxification treatments and dietary
for long walks, along the beach etc.
Getting exposed to the sunshine, and having periods of peace
and quiet every day.
Undertaking deep breathing and stress-relieving activities
such as yoga, guided meditation,
close relationships – giving plenty of kindness
and love to others each day.
regular body/spinal massages and
Looking at your
home environment and try to avoid any
long term, one in five people who develop schizophrenia will
fully recover within five years of their first episode of
schizophrenia. Three in five will get better but still have
cases of schizophrenia are nutritionally-related as there are
always other factors to consider. It is however, in the best
interest of the sufferer to seriously try the nutritional and
lifestyle approach prior to drug therapy being relied upon
The above information should not be treated as a substitute for the
medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care