His defenses are down, but his immunity is up

Chris has been moping around the house for the past several weeks. He’s developed a head cold and a slight cough. Two days ago, he finally broke off his relationship with “Jenny” after hinting about doing so for weeks. HE broke it off, not her. As he related it to me, feeling the pressure of a full time relationship, no matter how good it was, was wearing on him. He said couldn’t plan any future with her if he was still in the process of figuring out how to move forward himself. “Jenny” was understandably quite upset. As soon as Chris broke up with her, he immediately began questioning his decision. It’s been a pretty emotional two days. I offered my sympathy, because I am sympathetic, but, wary that Chris usually feels guilty and at fault, I suggested to him that he made the right decision for now, and urged him not to backpedal. “Chris, you have a vocational resumé, and you also have an emotional resumé, and you’ve been getting some pretty good experience in the latter – how to navigate the turbulent waters of a relationship. If you were feeling ambivalent, under stress (whatever!) honor your decision because it respects these feelings.”

On a related note, this morning Chris and I paid a visit to the “Plant Power Guy.” When Chris first saw him seven months ago, the PPG, through his unusual testing techniques and not knowing Chris’s diagnosis, determined that Chris had NO functioning immune system. This makes sense, if you speculate, as scientific research is increasingly doing, that schizophrenia may be an auto-immune problem. What Chris has, is probably a hyper-immune system. Hyper-immunity in Chris’s case is evidenced by his never having experienced a cold, a fever, a sore throat, the flu, etc. That is, until now. He did experience psychosis, so that’s where the auto-immune system may have got him. All this is speculation on my part, of course.

The PPG did his testing, and, lo and behold, Chris’s immune function registered as normal. I suspected that at least his immune function would be improved, so it was surprising, but welcome news. There could be several explanations for the much strengthened immune system, not simply the plant power extracts that Chris has been taking. Chris suggested that it might have to do with the low gluten diet that he has adopted. He’s been on it only two weeks, and I wonder how rigorously he adheres to it, but anything’s possible. A love relationship could also be implicated, as in his defenses are down*, he is relinquishing his physical and mental defenses.

*Song from Oklahoma!  about falling in love. (My defenses are down)

Lookin’ for keys in all the wrong places

The commenter I introduced in my last post also took issue with me for not being properly holistic. He referred to another blog post of mine and decided that I, in collusion with female psychiatrist and infantilizer, Dr. Stern, had forced Chris back on meds. No, it did not happen like that and what I wrote in the post he referred to does not detract from my opinions of the meds. (And, Chris, of course, could have refused the meds.) The commenter then pounced on me for my going along with meds which he felt is hypocritical of me since I claim to be “holistic.”  Since when did “holistic” mean anything but all-encompassing, perhaps leaning towards the natural?

This little anecdote is my way of introducing a bit of science into this post. I tend to question the scientific basis of “schizophrenia” because (a) nobody was using science to diagnose and treat Chris; when a bit of nutritional science was later introduced into his regime, it ultimately led nowhere; (b) where do you begin to look for possible causes?; (c) today’s “science” is tomorrow’s discredited science; (d) many people get better without resorting to science, etc. etc.

There are dozens of possible medical reasons that can produce psychotic symptoms in an individual. Only one of these medical causes may apply to the particular patient. Where do you start to look if science is not taking schizophrenia seriously enough to investigate your particular case? The problem with science in the past has been that it seems to have adopted an all or nothing approach for mental illnesses. The dopamine receptor theory was forced on just about everybody because treatment was relatively straightforward. Get everybody on the medication. Ask no questions.

There is change happening. While there is more and more understanding of the trauma informed aspect of schizophrenia and other mental health diagnoses, there is also growing interest in medical testing for specific conditions that have gone undetected in the past.

From time to time I refresh myself on possible medical reasons for Chris’s condition, and nothing has jumped out at me as an avenue to investigate further. However, Chris recently consulted a new shaman who hooked him up to special machine originally invented to test the health of Russian cosmonauts. I’m guessing that this machine is the CMD-Prognos or something similar. The shaman (who I call the plant power guy) pronounced that Chris’s immune system is giving off absolutely no visible signs of life. Amazing Guinness World Records kind of thing. He gave him some vials of plant power extract to take. So, now, after nine years of looking, there is a possible medical cause – an immune deficiency disorder. The problem is, linking immune deficiency to schizophrenia and other disorders, is still in its infancy. Science just isn’t there yet. See the latest article in Scientific American. An Immune Treatment Finds New Uses for Mental Health. What the article doesn’t talk about is the expense for a single vial of this treatment. I’ve heard six figures. Can the shaman restore Chris’s immunity levels to something in the range of normal? Will this also clear up his tendency toward psychosis? Should we do further testing? Is there further testing we can do?

Stay tuned.