I haven’t posted in quite a while, mainly because, as usual, I’m hard at work getting my memoir The Scenic Route: A Way through Madness ship shape and ready for launch. But, it’s taking much more time than I ever imagined possible. It seems I been saying this for years, and, well, it’s embarrassing that it’s taking so long.
For the time being I’ll opt for a more newsletter style of delivering future blog posts. My random musings will go straight to your inbox.
Recovery course starting Sept. 15
If you’re looking for some expert family oriented advice on how to practice recovery, I see that Krista Mackinnon is running another Recovering Our Families online education course beginning September 15th.
“Krista Mackinnon’s facilitation and training on family recovery provides vital, practical tools for supporting someone struggling with psychosis. I encourage everyone I work with to take this class: it’s a wealth of useful learning that can immediately improve family relations and help find a way through the labyrinth of madness.”
Will Hall, MA, DiplPW
Therapist and schizophrenia survivor, Madness Radio host and trainee
in Open Dialogue at the Institute for Dialogic Practice.
Lyme disease and autoimmune issues
I’ve become quite interested recently in two medical conditions associated with psychosis symptoms: Lyme disease and a rare autoimmune disorder. When my son Chris was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2002, no blood tests, no tests whatsoever were done, except for the MRI that my husband and I insisted on. He was diagnosed based on a doctor’s opinion of what his symptoms represented. In the years since, Lyme disease has received a lot of attention because of its growing prevalence. (It seemed nobody was talking about it in 2002, and now it appears to be everywhere!) Several people I personally know have tested positive for Lyme disease and received treatment. In June of this year, the amazing story of musician Kris Kristofferson’a recovery from dementia induced by Lyme disease hit the news. http://tinyurl.com/hlk8r9d
Research on autoimmune issues and schizophrenia is still in its infancy. But, for some people, this may eventually prove a game changer. In 2008 Josep Dalmau presented a paper on anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis, a schizophrenia like condition caused by the body’s immune system attacking a protein in the brain.
“Markx and Dalmau are planning to collaborate with German researchers to study patients who have either come to the hospital with a “first break” — an initial episode of psychotic symptoms — or who are showing early signs, such as social withdrawal or cognitive problems, that typically precede the onset of psychosis. Blood and spinal fluid samples from these patients will be tested for antibodies to the NMDA receptor, and other antibodies. The results might change psychiatry’s approach to patients with new-onset psychosis, Markx said.”