About

This is a page written by a person with schizophrenia who has a passion for science but no formal medical qualifications. The information contained within is provided without the intention to diagnose, treat or replace a qualified medical practitioner’s advice.

9 thoughts on “About

  1. Just found your site – thanks so much for posting all this information. Very interesting.

    Of all the supplements you’ve tried – are there any that you’ve decided to keep taking because they are of reasonably significant value to you?

    Like

  2. You’re very much welcome – I’m glad my many hours of neurotic psychosis are of benefit to someone.

    I’ve had to go back to basics and slash my supplements as I was going overboard and it was getting out of hand. I ended up ‘regressing’ to the point of looking for a supplement to fix every little problem when what I really needed was a balanced, holistic approach.

    After I’ve had a chance to reestablish a baseline and put in more in the way the basics – improving psychosocial aspects and increasing my involvement in psychological therapy – I might reevaluate but I almost feel I’ve outgrown my need for most of them. Many had benefits but I’m still debating whether they would be something I’d put into future long term use. Once I have some stability, I’ll let you know what I decide to do.

    The combination of DHEA and pregnenolone with my antipsychotic was probably the supplement I felt the best on. Side effects were non-existent. It particularly seemed to tackle negative and depressive symptoms alongside cravings for substances. On ceasing that, things went downhill quite significantly. I can’t say it was that combination alone that was keeping me well as I had a few stressors and clozapine cessation around the same time to complicate things.

    Probably the most debilitating thing I’ve struggled with is a pathological neurosis and none of the supplements have tackled that. I have some inner work to do on that front. My anxiety is also pretty crippling and I’m doing more in the way of therapy and getting out into the social world to work on that. The pregabalin is somewhat effective for the anxiety and I’m still using that. As for psychotic symptoms, shifting to a ‘spiritual emergency’ framework has been beneficial and I’m hoping more extensive psychological therapy will provide relief. The cognitive symptoms haven’t really responded to conventional medications and I’m hesitant to continue going down the experimental road trying to fix that. Cognitive remediation is probably the best way forward for me.

    At the moment, I still use omega-3’s, nicotine gum/patch, L-theanine and lavender oil. The only reason for the L-theanine and lavender oil is that my current medications (venlafaxine 375mg, aripiprazole 30mg and pregabalin 450mg) are leaving me feeling quite anxious and agitated. The omega-3’s I feel are potentially beneficial and most importantly, safe for long term use. The nicotine is from a smoking habit I haven’t fully shaken yet and seems to provide some cognitive benefits.

    Do you have schizophrenia? Is there any particular symptom domain you are looking to improve?

    https://advancingschizophreniatherapeutics.wordpress.com/2015/07/29/my-trials-with-supplements-for-schizophrenia/

    Best wishes!

    Like

  3. Hi,

    THanks for the detailed response to my question – I really appreciate your attention to detail and for taking the time. I help manage the Schizophrenia.com web site – so my interest is primarily in what might help the most people.

    One question I had as a follow-on to what you said. You said:

    “The combination of DHEA and pregnenolone with my antipsychotic was probably the supplement I felt the best on. Side effects were non-existent. It particularly seemed to tackle negative and depressive symptoms alongside cravings for substances”

    But you also said:

    “At the moment, I still use omega-3’s, nicotine gum/patch, L-theanine and lavender oil. The only reason for the L-theanine and lavender oil is that my current medications (venlafaxine 375mg, aripiprazole 30mg and pregabalin 450mg) are leaving me feeling quite anxious and agitated. ”

    I’m wondering why you are no longer using DHEA and pregnenolone if they were the most helpful to you?

    Like

    • Great to hear back from you and great work with the Schizophrenia.com website.

      Basically, I’ve decided I need to reach a more stable phase (particularly socially, vocationally, emotionally and medication wise) in my life before (and if) I decide to restart using supplements productively. I’ve had issues with using the supplements to self-medicate boredom, loneliness and to satisfy my need for constant novelty, all of which need to be better tackled with other activities. I do appreciate having the chance to try so many and get some idea of what might work best for me so when I’m in a healthier place, I can decide what direction I want to go in.

      Another part of the issue is also the availability and cost of DHEA/pregnenolone in Australia.

      All the best!

      Like

  4. Hi Nick,

    thank you very much for all that information you are presenting here.

    I do suffer from schizophrenia too, doctors are shifting between undifferntiated and disorganized
    schizophrenia, I do suffer mainly from severe negative and disorganized symptoms that are getting
    worse and worse.

    I am currently on Seroquel, L-Theanine, Omega 3, Pregnenolone, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and NAC.

    Do you have any tips or remedies or any news for the specific symptom complex of formal thought disorder and/or disorganized symptoms?

    I would be grateful for anything.

    All the best to you,

    Christoph

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Christoph – thanks for your kind words, it’s great to meet you.

      As for formal thought disorder etc, my first question would be about your social situation. Do you feel socially isolated? I’ll point you towards an article:

      ‘No man is an island’. Testing the specific role of social isolation in formal thought disorder.

      “Recent work has focused on the role of the environment in psychosis with emerging evidence that specific psychotic experiences are associated with specific types of adversity. One risk factor that has been often associated with psychosis is social isolation, with studies identifying isolation as an important feature of prodromal psychosis and others reporting that social networks of psychotic patients are smaller and less dense than those of healthy individuals. In the present study, we tested a prediction that social isolation would be specifically associated with formal thought disorder. 80 patients diagnosed with psychosis-spectrum disorder and 30 healthy participants were assessed for formal thought disorder with speech samples acquired during an interview that promoted personal disclosure and an interview targeting everyday topics. Social isolation was significantly associated with formal thought disorder in the neutral interview and in the salient interview, even when controlling for comorbid hallucinations, delusions and suspiciousness. Hallucinations, delusions and suspiciousness were not associated with social isolation when formal thought disorder was controlled for. Formal thought disorder is robustly and specifically associated with social isolation. Social cognitive mechanisms and processes are discussed which may explain this relationship as well as implications for clinical practice and future research”

      http://view.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26384574

      Have you tried other (more potent) antipsychotics?

      Have you tried augmentation with mood stabilisers?

      “Lake (2008) has recently suggested thought disorder may be more appropriately viewed as a symptom of severe mood disorder. Evidence supporting the link with affective disturbance comes from Haddock and colleagues (1995) who demonstrated that the amount of thought disorder displayed by people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia increased when discussing emotionally salient material (Haddock, Wolfenden, Lowens, Bentall et al., 1995).”

      http://schizophreniabulletin.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/34/1/109

      Is it primarily stress/emotion induced? If so, can you identify the stressors for yourself and work towards effectively managing those?

      Your supplements sound reasonable to me.

      You could consider trying different anti-inflammatory agents:

      “Our finding that decreased verbal fluency and Broca’s area volume is related to immune activation suggests that targeted treatment of some individuals with schizophrenia displaying the elevated cytokine biotype with anti-inflammatory agents may be beneficial for cognitive deficits, especially verbal fluency. As current treatments have little beneficial effect on language dysfunction in schizophrenia, anti-inflammatory agents may yield greater efficacy on this prominent deficit of the illness. In support of this, although Alzheimer’s disease is a different disorder and any comparison with schizophrenia must be treated with caution, it is noteworthy that anti-inflammatory treatment resulted in a decrease in cytokine levels and improved verbal fluency.”

      From: Elevated peripheral cytokines characterize a subgroup of people with schizophrenia displaying poor verbal fluency and reduced Broca’s area volume (2015)

      See more on inflammation: https://advancingschizophreniatherapeutics.wordpress.com/tag/inflammation/

      Look forward to hearing back from you. If you’d like to connect in any way or have a chat, the offer is always there.

      All the best to you, too!

      Nick

      Like

  5. Hi again Nick,

    thank you very much for your fast response and your information.

    ad formal thought disorder)

    I think that could be a bias – the connection between formal thought disorder and social anxiety and withdrawal definitely makes sense, but I tend to think that it is the other way round: you have formal thought disorder and therefore you are in a withdrawal and are anxious about f* it up again.

    It definitely gets worse when I am stressed though.

    –> I will definitely look into it.

    ad anti psychotics)

    I tried to stay away from it as I suffer more or less exclusively from primary negative symptoms and disorganization symptoms and no positive symptoms (no more,…), …

    ad mood stabilizers)

    Never tried it, but sounds interesting.

    I would like to talk to you one via skype, can you send me your email address?

    All the best again,

    Christoph

    Like

    • Hi Christoph,

      Thanks for your offer to connect via Skype. To be honest, I’ve never used Skype and really struggle with conversing face-to-face (as I’m sure you can relate to). Is there any chance we could connect via facebook or email and gradually work up to trying a Skype conversation?

      You can reach me at rohtech*@*live.com (remove *)

      Best wishes,

      Nick

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s