Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Are There Immune Suppressing Drugs to Treat Schizophrenia?

You can also check us out at  This article says there is support for Immune suppressing drugs to treat schizophrenia. It talks about it in this story: “Although researchers have suspected that schizophrenia is linked to a dysfunctional immune system, a lack of evidence has kept away research funding that would allow the testing of immune-system suppressing drugs on schizophrenia patients.” They have been leading towards this research in other ways. I talked about them using antibiotics in another blog I wrote about earlier. I do think they are connected; it looks like they are looking at different avenues now with schizophrenia.
It goes on to say: “Thanks to new research that clearly demonstrates that the brains of people with schizophrenia may be under attack, however, scientists may be getting the go-ahead. In order to expose people to dangerous treatments- and immunosuppressive drugs do carry risks- you need serious evidence to suggest those drugs may be useful in treating the condition…” This is different from the other article in that they are not going to try antibiotics. “In the past, researchers have had great difficulty convincing an ethics committee that this treatment strategy for schizophrenia.” They will have to prove their research to be right on the mark, it looks like before they will be able to say this study is true.
It does have to do with inflammation as did the antibiotic article: “The new study, led by the Schizophrenia Research Institute, has shown immune cells in a key brain region affected by the disorder once thought to be inactive- are in fact causing inflammation and damage. This, in combination with evidence we already have from existing studies, adds to the argument from researchers that it is now reasonable to trial immunosuppressants on schizophrenia patients.” Is it just some of the people with schizophrenia or all of them, I guess the research will find out that question. I think everyone is different.
The article goes on to say: “This research that will lead to more effective treatment options with the potential to significantly improve a sufferer’s quality of life will now be greatly accelerated… The time to start further research and clinical trials is now… We can use this information to target specific aspects of immune system involved in schizophrenia more directly.” Better treatments will help a lot of people with schizophrenia. What they do not talk about is if some people’s brains are too damaged to help with a new treatment.
This last part is about the study: “As part of the study, researchers analyzed an area of the brain involved in regulation emotional and social behavior- the orbitofrontal cortex- in 40 people, half with schizophrenia. About 40 percent of those with schizophrenia had higher levels of inflammation in that section of the brain. The part of the brain we looked at is indeed in crisis in people with schizophrenia… This raises the possibility that this is a new root cause of the disease.” Inflammation is a bad thing for any part of the body and probably the brain. I hope they will let people know what they found out. If the drugs are risky, would people take them? They said forty percent had inflammation not all that they tested. I guess we will just have to wait and find out the results of this new study. It is an interesting study though. The two articles are connected by inflammation in the brain. The other article I wrote about uses an antibiotic to treat the inflammation. Both these studies might be beneficial. Make sure to check us out at

Monday, September 24, 2012

Modern Change through Therapy

What is Psychotherapy? Psychotherapy is defined as a sort of process of dialogue and conversation between two people. There are different schools of thought on psychotherapy each dealing with the psyche and the body. A psychotherapist cannot judge his patient’s personality and the client has his individuality in his own right and must be allowed expression without judgment by any doctor’s assumption. There is the connective belief of Religion, being a form of Psychotherapy, which treats the sufferings of the individual client’s soul and the suffering of their body caused by their “soul”. Yet many clients don’t have such beliefs so the reason of the therapy is to enable the client to “latch” onto the unconsciousness in their psyche allowing a melding of their personality and remove the negative thoughts they have harbored.
Abstracts : Vol 16 : The Practice of Psychotherapy cg-jungs-collected-works-abstractsacademic-resources
I have a psychiatrist, yet the clinic I attend has both psychiatry and psychotherapeutic methodologies. As I have attended many years of structured sessions with my doctor, I have done a lot of thinking. Being a recovered drug addict and alcoholic the thoughts I have dealt with had led me to understand, I had no connection with Religion or spirituality within myself. In other words, I had no wholeness or morals and lacked understanding. There are stages a client goes through when seeking independence from their illness, one of the stages is coming out of one’s self and reaching a mode of education of not only the self but the world around yourself; you become transformed through self education and understanding.
I began to adapt a philosophy totally different from the “street life” I had lived. I began to understand, that respect is an earned reality of beingness, not a choosing of some “heathen” attitude to make you wealthy or enamored. My troubles slowly faded away as I gained a bit more wisdom and began to reach inside for true spirituality. There is a difference between the mind and the brain, (psychotherapy), (psychiatry) and I have learned that I have my own convictions and must always be open to ideas which are positive.
Written by Donald S.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Key Molecules involved in forming long-term Memories

We are not moving at this time although you can find us in both places here and at make sure you check out both sites. In this article it says they have found the molecules that form long-term memories. It can help with Schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s. “There are many drugs available to treat some of the symptoms of diseases like schizophrenia… ‘but they don’t treat the cognitive deficits that patients have, which can include difficulties with memory. This study looks for more specific targets to treat deficits in cognition.” If you read in the internet about people with schizophrenia it is clear that they have cognitive problems. Memory is one of them. It would help people with schizophrenia find jobs and just have a better life if they can make drugs that could help.
The article says: “… the study focused on a group of proteins called nuclear receptors, which have been implicated in the regulation of a variety of biological functions, including memory formation. Nuclear receptors are a kind of transcription factor, proteins that can bind to DNA and regulate the activity of other genes. Their regulatory role may be significant in memory formation, as a gene transcription is required to turn short-term memories into long-term lasting ones by strengthening neuronal synapses in the brain.” These receptors are responsible for regulating functions which in turn has an impact on memory formation. Somehow these must not work in people with schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s.
To identify how this work they used trained mice. “…using a common method to create memories of a place and event, in which animals learn to associate a particular context or a certain tone with a specific experience. Associations with a place or context are believed to be encoded in the hippocampus, while memories associated with a cue such as a tone are believed to be encoded in the amygdala.” A tone would bring up a certain thing that the mice had been to or done before. “In the 24 hours after exposing the mice to the initial training, the researchers examined expression patterns of all 49 nuclear receptor genes. They found 13 that increased in expression in the hippocampus in the first two hours after training. Included in this group were all three members of a class of nuclear receptors called Nr4a. Nr4a genes had previously been found to increase in expression upon use of a memory-enhancing class of drugs called histone deacetlylase inhibitors, HSDAC inhibitors. They were able to find the genes that work on memory.
The article goes on to talk about how they were able to do this: “The scientists next created a transgenic mouse in which they could selectively block the activity of the three Nr4a genes. Having the transgenic mouse is very useful… ‘We can manipulate it so that Nr4a genes will only function in certain brain regions and then see how the mouse memory-forming ability is affected. When the researchers exposed the mice to the training context a second time, they found that the transgenic mice had reduced memory of the location where the training tool place-memories that are located in the hippocampus- compared to normal mice. In contrast, the mutant mice’s amygdala-associated memories of cue- the tone played during training remained intact. The mice had impairment for contextual memory, which means something in the hippocampus is affected… ‘That is the type of memory that goes away in Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia.” They found where and how this is affects memory. Hopefully their research can lead to better drugs for both diseases. The researchers also found out that the mice’s short-term memory was not affected.
The last part of the article says: “In addition, the scientists confirmed that Nr4a genes play a role in long-term memory storage by injecting the Nr4a-deficient mice with HDAC inhibitors, which have been shown to enhance memory in normal mice. The treatment did not enhance the memory-forming ability of the mutant mice, suggesting that the drug acts upon the Nr4a genes to boost long-term memory storage. Finally, the researchers screened mice for molecules that act ‘downstream’ of Nr4a and could be part of the signaling cascade by which those nuclear receptors help create long-term memories. They found two genes, Fosl2 and Bdnf1, that appeared to be downstream targets of Nr4a genes and also increased in expression following treatment with HDAC inhibitor.” When all is said and done they found the targets that could help bring new drugs to help people. They do not say if they will need more research or if what they found can help enough. I like when they can find new things to enhance memory.
I wrote about this it is because memory to me is very important. It is one thing I do not want to lose later in life. I started back on the memory program and today I did an assessment on the computer and scored better than the last time I did an assessment. I can remember numbers like a phone number or any set of numbers. Although I cannot remember math, my tutor when I was in college would say he remembers how to do the problems, although when he comes back the next morning it is all gone. I do not remember hardly any of my childhood except things or days that stood out. I know the math is because of my schizophrenia, because in high school and earlier I was good in math. So something happened.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Experiencing Higher Education as a Consumer

A couple of years ago, after attending a school for higher education, a junior college, I found out a couple of surprising things about myself, other people and what respect is. I began going to school to enhance my job capabilities in data entry and while taking two classes two times a week through a federal grant, I began to understand my disability and how enacted symptoms made me feel distant to other people and how these symptoms also caused me to set myself up for failure. I was scared! The numbers of people traveling from class to class overwhelmed me, and every day, I wondered how many people understood I have a mental illness. This was scornful thinking that I placed upon myself while I was being supported by the school and having a disability besides working. I worked as well outside of classes nearly 40 hours a week and my peers at my job gave me support as well as those at the college whom knew. As I was employed while attending classes, I began to feel stronger at this realization of not being alone.
“Supported education provides support to assist people with psychiatric disabilities to take advantage of skill, career, education and interpersonal development opportunities within a normalizing academic environment”. pdf  With this statement, I have begun to realize after my first few attempts of attending college, that my being there, with a disability is commendable not only to myself yet by those who respect others who would give their all to excel not only in the world of education, yet because of being disabled and employed as well. I began to lose my fears of being at school and learning and began producing better grades as time went by. Having to take medications made this a great victory by going to school and going through recovery for addictions as well. This allowed me to experience education which I feel many consumers should make as an investment.
There are a great many people with a mental illness who are attending a secondary school of higher education, many pursuing degrees despite their illness. At one point in time, I felt I wouldn’t be able to maintain good grades through the two semesters, yet because I worked and keeping my conscious thoughts on the job as well, I believed for a short while that this was going to be my success. I overcame my fears again and began to associate with the instructors and relate to them what I was facing. I became aware that other students and instructors had some what the same predicament as I, working other jobs and having to deal with many students as well, even though the many of the students and instructors as well had no disabilities.
I began to feel stronger, knowing I was not alone despite having a mental illness and trying to prove to myself that I can to succeed in another way, that responsibility and respect are real attitudes which can be recognized in anyone who wishes to believe in themselves as well as others. For the many that are thinking of returning to school, I say, “go for it”, you are already a part of the race to live, live for the knowledge which takes you beyond that feeling of the entrapment you have been living in and believe you can succeed.
Written by Donald S.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Life after Schizophrenia

BEFORE I GET INTO The BLOG, I WOULD LIKE TO REMIND OUR READERS THAT The RECOVERY BLOG IS MOVING TO A NEW LOCACTION: OUR BLOG WILL CONTINUE FROM OUR NEW HOME:   In last week’s blog I talked about how I was first mentally ill in prison. I started behind the walls a part of Canon City prison waiting for my appeal and not at all sure what had happened to me. The sleeping pills did help, although I was not the same and went back to the hospital one more time for a few days. My new counselor there told me she was not going to recommend parole for me, because I was a danger to myself and society. She did not explain that I had a mental illness. No one explained that to me. I knew my only chance of getting out was my appeal. I was happy when it came through.
I was released and made a deal if they left me alone without parole or probation I would plead guilty and forget it ever happened. I was going to leave and head back to Portland, Oregon where I had family. Although a class came up that was accelerated computer class and I would learn typing and computers. I had to try, but all the stress of trying to do everything so fast, brought on my mental illness and I was sent to the State hospital for one day to life. I know that sounds crazy, think how I felt when I was sane again and found this out. I did not understand it could be one day also. I was mentally ill all the time throughout my stay in jail.
While I was at the state hospital they brought me around and that is where I found out I was allergic to Haldol. I knew that I had a chance here to change my life around and finally stay out of prison. Also stay out of the state hospital. I watched people here in the state hospital and some were there for more than ten years. To me they had forgot the streets and what a good life a person can have being free. I did not like being locked up in jail or in the state hospital. I started going to school at the state hospital and learning computers. Also my typing because I knew from going to that accelerated class out on the streets that I would have to start from zero and work my way up to be successful.
While I was at the state hospital I sent away for my GED and all the papers I would need to start college. While I was on pass I enrolled at Metropolitan State College of Denver as it was called back then. To change my life I knew that would be the only way was to start all over. I just never knew it would take me so long to get my degree and when I received it, I did not know at that time I would go on to get my Masters. That was not in my plans. I am glad I did though. I learned a lot more in graduate school then I did at Metro. All I can say is life is not easy and there will always be down times, although if you keep pushing forward it changes for the good. I have to say though that the hardest time I had being locked up was at the state hospital. It was like being half on the streets and half being free. It just made me miss the streets even more. I would have rather been locked up all the way. Although I do not think I would have went to college if I was locked up in prison this last time.
Prison offers some classes, although I would come to find out the diploma they give is really not worth anything. You could not get a job with it. After you put in all that time studying and trying to pass so you can change your life and it is worth nothing.JUST A REMINDER THAT THE RECOVERY BLOG IS MOVING TO A NEW ADDRESS: OUR NEW HOME IS: 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Wrestling with Your Sleep

BEFORE I GET INTO The BLOG, I WOULD LIKE TO REMIND OUR READERS THAT The RECOVERY BLOG IS MOVING TO A NEW LOCACTION: OUR BLOG WILL CONTINUE FROM OUR NEW HOME: It’s been months since I had seen my therapist. His quizzing me about my physical health, led to some concern about my sleeping patterns. As everyone knows when you get a good night’s rest, your invigoration the morning you wake is wonderful, and your thoughts are clearer as well. My sleeping is terrible. I am told I snore, that I am heard gasping for air and that I even scare myself awake with feelings that I cannot breath. What is this? My clinician suggests I take a sleeping test, whatever for? Already I showed signs that this test would be hopeless, (I’ve always slept that way) and my time would lost taking this test would cause me to lag in my work, (lost time).
I began to notice on the weekends, that I spend about two to three hours during the day sleeping, with low energy and feeling tired and with some depression when waking. I began to believe my clinician and his suspicions were—Sleep Apnea.
Sleep breathing problems linked with depression - Vitals
“Sleep Apnea is a condition is which the breathing becomes shallow as you sleep or your breathing pauses”. This kind of problem may increase the risk depression especially if you have had these symptoms for a very long time. There are other inclusive such as age, weight and gender, which could be factors in wrestling with Sleep Apnea. While the breathing problem may be a link to depression there is the severity of the breathing problem during sleep and a greater risk in depression becoming a symptom. “In mental health, clinicians and therapist are concerned about sleeping patterns in their clients, whether they are refreshed during and after sleep or are they suffering from a lack of sleep, without realizing their breathing or if they have problems in doing so as a part of the clients mental health”.
A lack of oxygen is the blood during sleep may be a great problem, and I know I have awaken many a night, gasping for air and unaware of where I am or why I feel so sluggish during these moments of waking. I have finally understood the possibility of suffering from Sleep Apnea could happen to anyone and the best thing to do to reassure your self is to follow your physicians’ advice and get a check up for your sleeping patterns if you suspect your are experiencing problems while sleeping or experiencing any depression, due to a lack of sleep.
Written By Donald S.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Life before Schizophrenia

BEFORE I GET INTO The BLOG, I WOULD LIKE TO REMIND OUR READERS THAT The RECOVERY BLOG IS MOVING TO A NEW LOCACTION: OUR BLOG WILL CONTINUE FROM OUR NEW HOME: I turned something negative into something positive. That is paranoid schizophrenia that is what I am diagnosed with. I have said before that my life was not going good. Altogether I lost ten years of my life being locked up for crimes and for my mental illness. Every time I was locked up for a dui I would go to the county jail and ask to work in the laundry. That is what I knew how to do. No matter what I said that I was going to change my life for the better, I was soon locked up again. I did not see it as problem. There were a lot of people I knew that did time and a person would know the regulars.
You knew the people who would get locked up for the winter because it was too cold to be homeless at that time of year. It just seemed like bad luck was following me. Once I was walking through some apartment buildings where my friends lived and the police stopped me and told me to leave. I said O.K. and was cutting across a yard to get away and they locked me up for trespassing. That is the kind of luck I had. When I was locked up for the second time, facing prison time again I started looking at my life and knew I had to change it or I would be locked up for life.
Then what I thought should have been a misdemeanor or not locked up at all when I went to trial on a case. The Judge said it is the law but I am not giving the law to this person. I knew I would win in appeal court. Although I did not expect the Judge to not give me an appeal bond in a case that was wrong. I was back up doing time. I worked my way in Buena Vista to the south wing where I was the first time I was sent to prison. Then they wanted to move me to the east wing where you could wear street clothes. I did not want to go. No one was going to see me in street clothes in prison, so why wear them. I would still be locked up.
I also was running a gambling house with a friend. Things were going ok and I was just waiting for my appeal. When I reached east wing I had just finished an accounting class and receive a diploma for it. I started taking computer classes to learn basic programming. Things were not going good. I had everything you could have in prison because of my gambling. Then I did a stupid thing and raised the limits in my gambling. One of the guards I knew from the first time I was in prison was in east wing.
Then my ex-wife contacted me I knew that I should not be talking to her but life gets lonely in prison. She told me somebody was saying that I was snitching on people. I told one friend in jail what was going on and nobody else. All this was happening and I was doing well in the computer school. I had finished my studies and they made me an teaching assistant to teach what I had learned and to grade papers. Then the guard I knew from my prior lock up,wrote me up and they charged me with gambling. I was angry and all stress out with what was going on. They stuck me in the solitary confinement. I do not remember what happened after they locked me up in the hole.
I laid down on the bunk and do not remember anything after that. Then I woke up on another tier and was mentally ill. I did not know at the time I was mentally ill and tried to commit suicide with a razor I had it did not do no damage though. I told the guard what was happening and they sent me to the hospital in Canon City. I hardly talked to authority, although I did not know what was going on so I told the doctor what was happening. He thought at first I was mentally ill, then changed his mind and just ordered me sleeping pills. He asked where I would like to go back to Buena or where. I told him right there behind the walls. I could not go back and face my friends with something that happened that I did not understand. I stayed mentally ill in Canon City untill about a week later the nurses told me the doctor had ordered me sleeping pills. They were called halcyon. That brought me around and they moved me to population. Next week I will tell how I was released and the State Hospital. JUST A REMINDER THAT THE RECOVERY BLOG IS MOVING TO A NEW ADDRESS: OUR NEW HOME IS:

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Searching for a New Scene

BEFORE I GET INTO The BLOG, I WOULD LIKE TO REMIND OUR READERS THAT The RECOVERY BLOG IS MOVING TO A NEW LOCACTION: OUR BLOG WILL CONTINUE FROM OUR NEW HOME: “We give thought to whom we are, and we live by our feelings”. Discrimination (mentalism) is linked to negligence in our use of medications and other interventions within our minds as mental health consumers. Almost every day I hear complaints from mental health clients who place the blame of their existing conditions on their use of prescribed medications and having to take their time to attend group sessions which are meant to help them overcome their conditions. This somewhat leads to the neglect, and/or disrespect of people who are going out of their way to help the weary and downtrodden and mentally ill, who are suffering from experiences, abuse or trauma. Discrimination, stigma, mentalism are not only suffered by the mentally ill, the reality of it seemingly is as a mental health client myself is that it is harbored by consumers as well. This adds up to a poor or unstable future for a client, which can be taken as a pessimistic view, because of a bad clinical experience, which carried on or was backed by other experiences of other consumers.
Mentalism is a form of discrimination and oppression against someone because of a mental trait or condition they have or are judged to have. This is seen as a complex social inequality in power and can result in mistreatment, insults or indignity. Mentalist attitudes (mentalism or stigma) can influence how people are treated by the public or even deeper still can be implanted by other existing institutions, including the legal system. The use of the word mentalism is not in great use such as the phrase social stigma.
It is the false belief about Mental Illness which causes problems in relationships, education and employment amongst the mentally ill and the public. “Though we have listed some of the negative attitudes towards the mentally ill and of the mentally ill as well, we must always be aware when someone judges you, not only because of your race, educational background or economic status; they are also judging your mentality and your experiences. There are harmful effects due to discrimination and /or stigma in this society, the greatest of them is that you cannot succeed or improve yourself. This is all wrong, considering we live in a changing world where we are all related by a commonality called “life”.
I recently began a part time job, where I must be in contact with various mental health consumers. I was afraid they would see me as an employee, and they did, until I mentioned that I was a consumer with a mental illness and surprisingly I received more visitations at my work station because I faced the fact I was just as human as the other clients. I had faced the doubt and shame I bore of my personal weakness and found that I can work with other people, no matter the background they have. I find my self-esteem is to be praised and without judgment of negativity as much. I now have a “don’t say I am but an…I have… attitude when speaking about my illness and this gives me strength over my illness and helps me to accept my condition and to know what to do to make things better, through support and helping others as well.By Donald S.