Alternative and Complementary Treatments For Psychosis

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

      Many individuals dealing with mental health disorders have had to deal with taxing prescription side effects for many years or have sought out additional steps they can take to keep their mental health in check. While disorders with symptoms that fall in the moderate-severe range are typically best managed using a medication, alternative or complementary treatment options may help alleviate their symptoms and reduce the need for high rise or a frequent dose of their meds.

     Of course, it cannot go without saying that consulting a medical practitioner before you take these steps is pertinent to ensure your absolute safety. Still, things like natural supplements or minor dietary changes can empower users to take their mental health into their own hands. Let's explore how you may do that if you suffer from any disorders that cause psychosis.

Alternative and Complementary Treatments For Psychosis
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Symptoms of Psychosis

     Psychosis may make it difficult for people to distinguish reality from their perceptions accurately. While most people heavily rely on their senses to interpret the world around them, people with psychosis may experience things that do not exist, such as:
  • Hearing disembodied voices
  • See something that is not there
  • Detect odors that other people cannot

     It is also possible that they may experience paranoia and delusions, believing that they are being tracked, are in trouble, or believe that they are of more excellent status or public importance than they are in reality.

     Catatonia, where a person becomes completely unresponsive, disorganized thinking, speech, or behavior are common symptoms. Changes in sleep patterns, mood, and trouble focusing can also happen.

Where Does Psychosis Come From?

     Psychosis is usually part of a broad set of symptoms of a more specific diagnosis, such as schizophrenia. There's no singular place from where psychosis originates; instead, various internal factors make someone more vulnerable to experience it.

     Scientists believe psychosis can be passed down in the parent's genetic makeup. However, it can also happen to women after they've given birth in a phenomenon known as postpartum psychosis. Hormones play a prominent role in the manifestation of psychosis, which is why the most considerable prevalence of onset happens around the teen years when everyone's hormones are in a frenzy.

     Lastly, changes in the brain chemistry of people living with psychosis are also a potential trigger, sometimes seen in the brains of people with disparities in their levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine.

Traditional Treatment Options

     The most common treatment option for a person experiencing psychosis is antipsychotic drugs. These medications help reduce the symptoms of psychosis during treatment, but it is by no means a total cure. The prescriptions you'll most likely encounter are:
  • Haldol
  • Clozaril
  • Thorazine

     Your doctor will choose the appropriate course of medication for you based on your medical history, as well as whatever is causing the psychosis in the first place. This, in addition to talk therapy, are a well-rounded approach to navigating life with the condition.

Complementary / Alternative Options

     Now, the moment we've all been waiting for. What are potential complementary treatment options for psychosis?

B Vitamins

     Some studies suggest that adding vitamins B12 and B6 can be helpful in the reduction of symptoms. Some data suggest individuals with schizophrenia are low in folic acid and vitamin B9, so adding these to your supplements may also prove helpful.


     Much more research needs to be done to prove glycine's effectiveness, but this amino acid in high doses has proven beneficial for some patients. High amounts of glycine may help increase the effects of antipsychotic drugs used in schizophrenia treatment and alleviate depression.

Fish Oil

     Studies suggest that inflammation may play a role in the progress of various mental disorders, including schizophrenia. One study gave a fish oil supplement to 81 participants with a high risk of schizophrenia and found that those who used the supplement were less likely to develop the disorder. Additionally, the National Alliance of Mental Illness reports that people with schizophrenia are at higher risk of metabolic syndrome, which can cause heart disease. The omega-3 fatty acids present in fish oil supplements may help combat this.

Dietary Changes

     Finally, gluten-free diets and the ketogenic diet, a diet consisting of low-carbohydrate, high-protein foods, have shown some promise in treating schizophrenia, although more research is needed.

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