The incidence of schizophrenia has grown during the past 60 years while its primary treatment has been pharmaceutical drugs, which are developed and prescribed within a paradigm that considers schizophrenia an incurable condition. Drugs do not cure schizophrenia, and their adverse effects can be worse than schizophrenic symptoms, one reason many patients are noncompliant with antipsychotic regimens. In the 1950’s, psychiatrists began experimenting with vitamin B3, also known as niacin, and showed with statistical and clinical significance that it could bring about recovery from schizophrenia without adverse effects. This treatment is now known as orthomolecular medicine, meaning the correct molecule. A multiple case study design explored the experience of individuals who switched from using an antipsychotic drug to orthomolecular medicine as their primary biological treatment for schizophrenia. Interview data from diagnosed schizophrenics triangulated with those of observers and healthcare providers who knew the individuals throughout the course of diagnosis and different treatments revealed: The antipsychotic Risperdal devastated participants’ energy, motivation, concentration, memory, social functioning, and capacities for reading and writing; psychiatrists were perceived as unsupportive and at times hostile; the orthomolecular treatment supported significant recoveries from schizophrenia, and improved participants’ cognition, emotional stability, and social functioning. Participants began functioning at a higher level than before experiencing schizophrenia after introducing an orthomolecular treatment. Examined through the lens of transpersonal psychology, it was evident that these individuals may have experienced spiritual emergency, and the maturity they garnered through schizophrenia came to fruition after reducing or discontinuing Risperdal and introducing an orthomolecular regimen.
|Commitee:||Puhakka, Kaisa, Saul, Andrew|
|School:||California Institute of Integral Studies|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-B 77/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Health sciences, Nutrition, Psychology|
|Keywords:||Niacin, Orthomolecular, Psychiatry, Risperdal, Schizophrenia, Transpersonal psychology|
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