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The Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine Vol. 12, 2nd Quarter 1997

Book Reviews - Natural Healing for Schizophrenia - Depression: Cured at Last

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Natural Healing for Schizophrenia by Eva Edelman, Borage Books, 3762 West 11th Ave #188, Eugene OR 97402. 202 pages. Paperback, 1996 $US 24.95

Every day that I see a schizophrenic patient for the first time, or during recovery, or when they have finally rejoined the healthy community, I am impressed by the need for books such as this one. The following anecdote (history and herstory) will demonstrate what I mean.

In the spring of 1996 a young man invited me to his graduation tea party. His family were gathering to honor his graduation from university. Four years earlier in Edmonton, the family had been told that he would never graduate from Grade 12, that he would never get well, and that he would never get off tranquilizers. In fear and disgust they moved to Victoria and he was referred to me. He did get well, he graduated with honors, and his tranquilizer dose was very much less. Today he is almost off the drug and is doing post-graduate studies.

At that party I met his cousin, a woman with an MA in psychology who had become schizophrenic four years earlier. She had remained on tranquilizer medication only. At the party she was obviously very ill. She had gained about 60 pounds of water, and her tremor was so bad she could not drink her tea unassisted. But she told me slowly that she was grateful that the voices had stopped. Her family was very interested in the vitamin program. After the party she was exhausted and spent three weeks in bed. Later she asked her psychiatrist whether he would mind if she were to take the same vitamin program. He replied that he had not been able to help her at all and that she ought to try. Last fall, when I saw the young man again with his family, they told me that she was on the way to recovery. One family, two young people, were saved from the horrors of chronic disease.

The province of BC ought to be very grateful, since the use of a few dollars’ worth of the right vitamins (orthomolecular therapy) will save them $4 million over the next forty years, the cost of treating schizophrenic patients with drugs alone. These two members of this family will pay income tax. How many schizophrenic patients do you know who have recovered to this degree on drugs alone?

Edelman has reviewed the large store of orthomolecular literature and put it all together in a volume which is easy to read, very informative, and comprehensive. It is doubtful psychiatrists will read this book unless patients bring it to their attention forcefully. But patients and their families will read it and, if they take seriously the information presented, will start the process which will help their sick members get well. Since the best results are obtained when treatment is started early in the illness, it important that families not delay.

I will not review this book in detail. I have read it several times, and in my opinion Edelman has accurately presented the views and approaches of orthomolecular therapists. If psychiatry in general had the good sense to adopt this approach, which they will be forced to do one day, there would be an enormous saving of pain and suffering, and of course money as well. I hope that schizophrenia societies will stop following blindly the advice given them by their psychiatric advisors, start to read books like this one, and to think and to demand that their relatives be treated by the methods described.

Abram Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D.

Depression: Cured at Last by Sherry Rogers M.D. SK Publishing, PO 40101, Sarasota, FL 34242. 707pages. Hardcover 1997, US $24.95

Sherry Rogers’ eighth and newest book supports her reputation as a pioneer. Once again, she has shown her willingness and ability to travel beyond medical boundaries. In her new book Depression: Cured at Last, Dr. Rogers provides many insights and answers into the causes and treatments of depression. The author is

extremely thorough in her examination of the possible causes and contributing factors of depression. She draws heavily on her knowledge of environmental medicine but includes much from nutrition, biochemistry and spirituality. No stone is left unturned in creating this comprehensive tome of information on depression.

Dr. Rogers writes in a style that is easily understood by the interested patient and referenced for the health professional. Each subject is clearly and briefly explained. Those who are interested in learning more can use the references provided after each topic. Readers get overviews on environmental medicine, allergy medicine, toxicology of xenobiotics, holistic diagnostics, nutritional therapeutics and many other aspects of alternative and complementary medicine.

Dr. Rogers divides her book into four volumes. The first volume is entitled Environmental Factors. Chapter one leads the reader in a discussion on medical economics, ethics, paradigms, philosophy, politics, and therapeutics as it relates to depression. She endeavors to give the reader awareness of the many unseen and driving factors surrounding conventional diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to depression. As Dr. Rogers points out repeatedly throughout the book, “Depression is not a Prozac deficiency.”

Chapter two provides a basis for understanding food allergy and depression. The concept of brain allergy is introduced and explained as a medium of depression. All the usual suspects are discussed as prognosticators (i.e. sugar, caffeine, alcohol, milk, wheat) and the author also covers irradiated foods, additives, dyes, and molds.

The relationship between toxic chemicals and depression are covered in chapter three. This area is one of Dr. Rogers fortes. She brings to light many surprising or hidden sources of toxic chemical exposure. We find out if we are “Depressed Dursban Dummies,” living in sick buildings or dealing with toxic encephalopathy. Many people are familiar with heavy metal exposure, but fewer know about the toxic chemical exposure originating from OTC and prescription drugs. The end of the volume, chapter four, deals with the dangers of molds and fungi and their relationship to depression.

Volume two explores other frequently overlooked etiologies of depression that are related to vitamin, mineral, amino acid, and essential fatty acid deficiencies. Nutrient deficiencies can cause depression. Dr. Rogers explains how deficiencies can occur in a modern society and the need for proper and specific diagnostic techniques to determine the nutrient deficiencies. She makes a case for the rarity of single nutrient deficiency and that a good clinician must look for others. The “magnesium cycle of disease” and the “chromium craving cycle” are two examples that show how nutrient deficiencies can lead to a cascade of effects that may cause depression. A brief dissertation on amino acids and neurotransmitters will give the nonmedically trained reader a better understanding of brain physiology and how it relates to depression. Many now know the importance of essential fatty acids and the roles they play in disease and the author demonstrates their relation to depression. She also gives brief overviews of phosphatidyl choline, L-glutamine, carnitine, lipoic acid, deanol, pantethine and three popular botanicals used for depression: Hypericum perforatum (St. John’s Wort), Ginkgo biloba and Valerian officinalis.

Metabolic Factors is the heading for volume three. Many important metabolic causes of depression are covered including endocrine dysfunction, intestinal dysbiosis and leaky gut syndrome. Hormonal influences are not overlooked and the sub-topics include thyroid, gonadal, was well as the popular OTC hormones, DHEA and melatonin. Hypoglycemia and leaky gut are examined next as frequent causes of depression. The author writes about the “8R’s” as her recipe for healing the gut. “Recognize (diagnose), Remove (kill bugs),

Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine Vol. 12, No. 2, 1997

Reinoculate (add good bugs), Repair (FOS, glutamine, nutrients), Recall (detox the body), Restore (fiber, chewing) and Repent or Rectify (change your diet habits, stop NSAIDS, etc.)”

The final volume, Treatment, provides strategies for the treatment of depression. The concepts of total load and the multi-factorial aspect of disease are introduced as an approach to depression. The book provides strategies for wellness such as dietary recommendations, how to control aspects of your environment and lifestyle adjustments. The author lists her preferred nutrients and in the forms she likes best. These include plant enzymes, Co Q10, flax seed oil and many others. Dr. Rogers gives tips on finding the right doctor to facilitate recovery from depression. The book ends with a final treatise expounding further upon topics covered in the first chapter: medical economics, ethics, paradigms, philosophy, politics, and therapeutics.

Depression: Cured at Last will provide much information and many treatment strategies to patients and doctors looking for alternatives to Prozac and other anti-depressant drugs. In our society, depression appears to be an increasing epidemic; Dr. Rogers points the way to a greater understanding and resolution. The topics covered and the way they are covered should further encourage a paradigm shift in the way modern medicine treats depression. This book is well suited for the libraries of patients and physicians alike and is definitely recommended.

–Review by Brett D. Jacques N.D.

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