Recently I had lunch with a physician who is interested in orthomolecular medicine. During lunch he reminded me that he had come to see me with his wife eight years earlier. He told me that after my consultation she had gone back to her previous psychiatrists, who persuaded her that vitamins were of no value, and kept her on tranquilizers including flupenthixol injections every two weeks. She did not recover. Eventually they divorced and he remarried. She is still ill although her major symptoms are under control.
I have described the recovery of chronic schizophrenics. This time I will report the non-recovery of a patient on tranquilizers who would have been well today had she remained on the program, and who might still be married to her husband had she become well.
In November 1986, her mother told me she noticed a change in personality when she was 13. She developed many antisocial characteristics including lying and stealing, and she became very secretive. She began to take street hallucinogens. She left home at age 15 but later returned and completed high school. After that she went on a trip. When she came home she was very ill, almost emaciated. She had been living on huge amounts of carrot juice. She eventually took group therapy and later had to be admitted to hospital for three weeks. A few weeks later she was readmitted. After this admission she was better. She married and had one child. That year she became very psychotic and was readmitted, diagnosed manic depressive. She was given a series of ECT. I found she had had visual hallucinations, and had felt unreal. She was not paranoid but had been very paranoid in the past, being delusional about the staff in the hospital. Depression was the main feature.
I discussed her condition with her and her husband, and advised her to follow an orthomolecular program. She remained on flupenthixol, and on an antidepressant. However she did not follow the program because she was discouraged from doing so. Her husband tried his best to get her to follow it, but he faced a solid wall of opposition from her psychiatrists, who considered him queer for believing vitamins could help. This reminds me of the psychiatrist in court in California, who testified to the judge that one of the symptoms of the patient he was describing was her delusion that vitamins could help.
The same week I received a letter from Tennessee, from a woman who had first written to me March 18, 1975. She said, "I have a 5 year old grandson that I am raising. Both parents are schizophrenic and he shows every indication of having it also. [The probability of a child of two schizophrenic parents also becoming schizophrenic is about 50%.] Is there any way I can find out for sure and do anything to help him now, maybe it will save much heartbreak in later years." I gave her Dr. Allan Cott's address.
April 10, 1976, she wrote again. "It was September 5 before we could manage to get him to Dr. Cott, but it has made such a change in his life and ours to see the way he is responding to Dr. Cott's treatment. It certainly is an answer to many months of prayer ... He has been in kindergarten and is doing real well ... Already he wants to work with figures and can add and subtract two digit numbers ... It is heartbreaking to see so many children and adults who could be helped on this same treatment if there were doctors trained to help them."
June 19, 1994, she wrote, "It was nineteen years ago that I first wrote to you and you recommended Dr. Allan Cott for my grandson ... Now he is 24 years old and is married. He continued with his vitamin therapy until this year ... He graduated from High School in 1988 with a "B" average. He has a good job."
Dr. Allan Cott saved the U.S. government about two million dollars, the cost of one schizophrenic patient over their lifetime. The Province of British Columbia was not so fortunate.
A. Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D.
#3A - 2727 Quadra Street
Victoria, B.C. V8T 4E5