truehope no hype

This blog is in response to the blog posted at

http://intentions.wordpress.com/2009/07/16/truehope-or-truehype-an-analysis-of-empower/ .

I do take the Truehope supplement EMPowerplus and I do have a PhD.  I thought I would counter some of Jane’s arguments.

First, according to my reading of Adele Davis’s books (Adele Davis was a dietitian who was writing in the 50’s and 60’s.), the B vitamins must be in balance for the body to function well.  There are several B vitamins and the B vitamins are water soluble.  If I remember what I read correctly, one can get an unbalance of the B vitamins by taking too much of one or more of the B vitamins and too little of others  So, if one can get an unbalance of the B vitamins by taking too much of any of them, the idea that one can get the correct balance of B vitamins just by taking any old multivitamin in false.  One has to be careful about the balance of B vitamins that one takes in.  Adele Davis wrote that some of the B vitamins are very expensive and are not put into the over the counter multivitamins at the level that is necessary for health.

Adele Davis was concerned that we modern people do not eat as much as our predecessors, because we do not do as much manual labor, so we do not need as much food and, as a result, we do not get as much of the micro nutrients from our food as our predecessors.  She was also concerned that micro nutrients were being processed out of our food by the food industry, out of a desire of the industry to give us cheap food that does not spoil.

Second, a quite high percentage of those who develop mental illness recover spontaneously.  So, even though Jane believes she was able to recover using meditation, she may be one of those who would have recovered spontaneously, anyway.

Third, Truehope tried to do a double blind study of the effectiveness of EMPowerplus in treating the Bipolar disorder, but the restrictions on who could be included were so strict that the researchers could not get enough subjects to do the study.  I am a statistician, so I know a little about the design of experiments, and I wonder who designed the experiment.  In order to be included in the study, a subject had to have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, could not be on any medications, could not be a user of alcohol or drugs, and, I believe, over 17 years old.  Where would you find such a person in this day of psychotropic medications?

Fourth, Jane questions how two hog farmers in Canada could know enough to find the correct balance of vitamins to treat mental illness.  I do too.  The question one might ask is why would researchers who worked with vitamins and developed a supplement that cured mental illness, at least for some people, make up such a story.

My guess is that research was done, and the story was made up to get the supplement out to the public.  With so many claims being made for so many health products out there, the public is skeptical.  The good story was able to get many people to try the supplement.

Also, there is much less money to be made in vitamins than in patentable pharmaceuticals, so the big pharmaceutical companies are not really interested in researching vitamin cures.  I appreciate what the research of pharmaceutical companies has done for me.  I am not languishing on a back ward of a mental hospital (my last diagnosis was paranoid schizophrenia).  Instead,  I have been able to continue on with my life, because of the help of the psychotropic medications that the pharmaceutical companies have developed.  But, there are huge amounts of monies tied up in the development and sale of psychotropic medicines these days.

Jane writes about hope.  I am a Recovery International (http://www.lowselfhelpsystems.org) leader.  I know the power of the mind and hope.  I, also, know that, even with 29 years of experience practicing Recovery (which I recommend to anyone with emotional or mental illness), I was not able to manage my illness without medication.  I had my original psychotic breakdown in 1977, so I have had problems quite awhile.

My illness progressed over the years and, in 2006, I had a bad experience on one of the medicines my doctor tried me on.  I felt very helpless and quite hopeless.

In May of 2007, I began taking the EMPowerplus supplement.  Like many others with the diagnosis of schizophrenia, I have been dealing with psychosis as my medications have been lowered (and, I might say, “like I wasn’t before?”), which I am doing under the care of my doctor.  But, unlike under the influence of the anti-psychotic medications, I have energy, my memory is better, my mood is better, I can get up in the morning, sometimes I can feel emotionally and sensually like I have not been able to in years, I am comfortable in social situations (which I have never been) and I am enjoying life quite a bit (I haven’t enjoyed life since I was a small child).  I also feel like I am finally working through my paranoia and psychosis rather than trying to medicate the stuff in my mind away, and that I will get the craziness under control.

Managing my illness with vitamins and minerals is different from managing the illness using anti-psychotics and other anti medicines, but I would not go back and I hope for a full recovery.

Margot