Mental Health Regained: 18 Personal Stories of Recovery
Compiled by, and with an introduction and an afterward by Abram Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D.
2007, ISF, Toronto

By Robert Sealey, BSc, CA

Mental Health Regained has 18 stories of recovery from schizophrenia or bipolar disorder – exceedingly rare for any book to have such articulate accounts of so many recoveries. Maybe you wonder how any patient can recover from a serious mental illness. Most psychiatrists are quick to assign DSM diagnostic labels and prescribe powerful pills but few patients actually recover that way. If any patient tells of struggling with a mental disorder and coping with painful symptoms until regaining his mental health by using a restorative regimen to complement his pills, that person’s story gets called an ‘anecdote.’

Many physicians dismiss anecdotes because they prefer to read reports about evidence-based medicine and double-blind placebo-controlled experiments. In those trials, a number of patients receive either a dose of medication or an inactive pill. Statistical analyses indicate the percentages of patients who report changes in their symptoms. Even if the reports are sponsored by drug company manufacturers, the research may encourage psychiatrists to prescribe pills for mental illnesses without considering the causes of symptoms or resolving the side attacks which many patients suffer while taking synthetic drugs. What sort of psychiatrist would rush drugs for symptom modification when the practice guidelines of psychiatry recommend taking histories and testing to diagnose before recommending safe and effective treatments?

After three decades of migraines, anxiety and bipolar episodes, I started to question shortcuts, nihilism and pills which made me worse. As a victim of substandard psychiatry, I needed restorative care. Relief came soon after I learned about orthomolecular medicine. Now stable for over 10 years, I enjoy asking other patients how they recovered. Until this book was published, I could not meet 18 at once.

I verified three of these recoveries. After one chap heard me speak at an ISOM conference, Nutritional Medicine Today, an orthomolecular regimen helped him recover from a bipolar disorder. Unfortunately he relapsed two years later but his mother told me about his second recovery upon resuming his regimen. Dr. Hoffer has seen “patients suffer two or three relapses before they finally accepted the fact that they had to follow the [orthomolecular] program always.”

What is the orthomolecular program? How do patients find restorative care? Dr. Abram Hoffer compiled this anthology so we can learn from 18 patients. The patients describe their symptoms of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, their medications as prescribed by conventional psychiatrists, their search for restorative care and their progress taking vitamins, trace minerals and amino acids as nutritional supplements. Their stories teach us how the correct treatment regimens can help patients to regain their mental health. Several of these patients recovered after they consulted Dr. Hoffer. Others recovered after they read one of his 30+ books and 500+ articles and editorials (published in medical journals since the 1950’s) and found doctors who knew about restorative care. Over his 55-year career as a researcher, psychiatrist, author and educator, Dr. Hoffer helped thousands of patients and co-founded the fascinating medical specialty which Nobel-prize winning chemist Linus Pauling, PhD, named “orthomolecular medicine.”

I agree that one person’s story is just an anecdote. The 18 patients in Mental Health Regained offer compelling evidence that restorative orthomolecular medicine helped them to renew their hope and recover from serious mental illnesses. If you know anyone with schizophrenia, psychosis, depression or a bipolar disorder, I recommend this heart-warming anthology of recovery stories. After you enjoy this book, please buy copies for your friends, families and health professionals.

Available from Intnl. Schizophrenia Foundation for $10 + postage  (416) 733-2117

review by Robert Sealey, BSc, CA                              SEAR Publications  
author of Finding Care for Depression, Mental Episodes & Brain Disorders
                90-Day Plan for Finding Quality Care


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