I feel like I'm blessed with a genetic lottery of neurologic disorders with a strong family history of schizophrenia, anxiety, suicide, brain cancer, MS, and ALS in my genetic code. It's almost impossible for me not to be interested in finding natural treatments and preventative measures for brain health and mental disorders. I really do look at this history as a blessing in many ways... I have a huge amount of compassion for the mentally ill (one reason why I'm starting a free clinic), I wouldn't have probably become a naturopathic physician if I didn't see the huge need when my father was diagnosed with brain cancer, and I'm very intrigued with new research.
I think one of the best things a person could do is to test for nutrient deficiencies before going on medication to find the root cause so the results won't be skewed from the pharmaceuticals. Don't get me wrong, psychiatric medications are huge blessing for many patients and work wonders and other times they are prescribed because the doctor didn't undercover an underlying imbalance. The great news is that there are so many great things we can do with lifestyle, balancing gut bacteria, nutrients, and counseling.
Many people have little knowledge of orthomolecular psychiatry or the characteristics of certain biotypes including Histapenia, Histadelia, and Pyroluria. This form of treatment was much more prevalent before the pharmaceutical industry took over but is still relevant today.
Here's a quick overview of each type.. the chart is very generalized and focuses more on tendencies than diagnosis:
Consciousness: racing thoughts, thought disorder, hallucinations, and paranoia
Appearance: tendency to obesity, stubby fingers, plentiful hair
Physical Tendencies: slow metabolism, dental carries, low salivary flow, difficulty achieving orgasm, upper body pain, food and environmental allergies, no characteristic odor, animal foods often helpful
Lab Findings: low blood histamine and basophils, elevated hair and serum copper, low folate, over-methylation, metal metabolism disorder
Typical Treatments: B3 ,B5, B6, Vitamin C and B complex, selenium, Vitamin E, zinc, managanese, Omega 3's, B12, Folic acid, Histadine, Cycsteine, Choline, Valarian, and GABA
Contraindications: Copper, Methionine, and SAMe
Consciousness: blank mind, phobias, obsessions, compulsions
Appearance: lean build, elongated fingers, toes, scant hair
Physical Tendencies: fast metabolism, great teeth, headaches, sensitive to pain, seasonal and respiratory allergies, does better on a vegetarian diet
Lab Findings: elevated blood histamine and basophils, excess folate, under-methylated
Typical Treatments: B6, Vitamin C, niacinamide, calcium, zinc, manganese, Omega 3's, methionine, SAMe, inositol, St. Johns wort.
Contraindications: histadine and folic acid
Consciousness: teenage amnesia, no dream recall, better contact with reality, insight, very susceptible to stress
Appearance: thin wrists, ankles, midsection weight, light nails or white spots, pale appearance
Physical Tendencies: fatigue, poor dental enamel, impotent, painful joints, splenic pain, allergies, difficulty with proteins, sweet (acteone) breath, morning nausea
Lab Findings: elevated elevated kryptopyrrole, low EGOT, high or low serum and hair zinc
Typical Treatments: B6, Vitamin C, B3 and B5, perhaps magnesium, zinc, manganese, and GLA
Great resource for more research on natural treatments for all mental disorders including depression, anxiety, delusional disorder, and schizophrenia