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Archive for August, 2010

Well, we’ve added a new pill to Amy’s evening regimen, fish oil.  There have been some very small clinical trials showing success with it for people with mental illness.  The scientific reasoning is that it somehow allows the neurons in the brain to reorganize to a healthy state.  For a synopsis of the trials and results, check out this link:

We’ve added this to Amy’s daily pills because we (her psychiatrist and Hank and I) are trying to wean her off her anti-psychotic, Risperdol.  Her therapist has suggested for over a year that she doesn’t believe that Amy is psychotic.  She believes that the psychosis was a manifestation of Amy’s depression and temporary.  That, on top of the side effects, has given Hank and I an incentive to ask to wean her off.   While on this med, she has high cholesterol and triglycerides.  These conditions in a teenager are just ridiculous.  I know that she needed the med at one time but if it can be gone, then so much the better for Amy’s health.

Her psychiatrist is not as convinced as her therapist but since Amy has been stable for over two years, he’s willing to give it a shot.  So far, he has been reducing the dosage by a quarter every three months.

I started with the fish oil in January when I first learned about the Amminger study mentioned in this link.   This study somehow identified patients at “ultra high risk” of developing psychosis.  How this is possible is a mystery to me but let’s suspend judgment for a while here.  Anyway, the patients on the fish oil regimen significantly reduced the likelihood of developing the psychotic episode.  That was enough for me to add it.  Her psychiatrist had already agreed to try to start the weaning process in May and I figured that the fish oil could only help as it certainly wouldn’t hurt.  Maybe it would even help her cholesterol.

I’m happy to say the weaning process is working well.  Her dosage is now half of what it was and she is showing no problems or psychotic episodes.  Keeping the fingers crossed!

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I’ve posted before about choosing a therapist and our missteps in our choice of Amy’s first therapist.  The link below is a great introduction in what to expect from therapy.  Really, for Amy, we realized that she needed a coach-type therapist.  Her first therapist just lectured.  Her second, and still current, therapist is more the coach.  She helps guide Amy in understanding her thinking and pointing out unhealthy thoughts.

Depressed people have such a skewed view of the world and that just feeds the disease and the negative spiral.  The right therapist will help your child verbalize those views, explore why they may believe that, debunk the idea and then help them learn to replace the negative view with reality.

This article gives you a listing of what to look for and expect from a therapist.  I wish we had read it earlier in Amy’s treatment.  Maybe we wouldn’t have wasted that  year with the first therapist.

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