Alternative Mental Health News, No. 1


An ezine brought to you by and the Safe
Harbor, a nonprofit corporation

Copyright © 2000. All rights reserved.

Dan Stradford, Editor:



The Safe Harbor was founded in 1998 in the wake of growing
public discontent with the unwanted effects of orthodox psychiatric
treatments such as medication and shock therapy. Seeking to satisfy the demand for safer, more effective treatments, the Project is dedicated to educating the public, the medical profession, and government officials on research and treatments that, minimally, do no harm and, optimally,cure the causes of severe mental symptoms. Our primary thrust is education on the medical causes of severe mental symptoms.

Contact info:
Safe Harbor
P.O. Box 37
Sunland, California 91041-0037
(818) 890-1862



Back in the 1960s and 70s a dramatic amount of unusual research occurred in the field of mental health. The only thing more remarkable than the research itself is the fact that most of it went unheeded and became buried in the dusty archives of medical libraries.

In 1977 Richard Hall and Michel Popkin published a landmark article in the medical journal Female Patient on a study of psychiatric patients. They found that a staggering number of psychiatric patients had mental symptoms stemming from undiagnosed physical illnesses, not mental illness. In cases of pronounce visual hallucinations, 97% were found to be caused by medical problems.

Around the same time, similar work – with similar findings – was being done by Dr. Erwin Koranyi of Canada, ultimately reported in Archives of General Psychology in April 1979.

The year 1967 saw the publication of Dr. Sydney Walker’s book
Psychiatric Signs and Symptoms Due to Medical Problems – a compilation of all the medical ailments that can produce severe mental symptoms. Remarkably, this was the first American book of this type – despite that fact that undiagnosed physical problems account for a large percentage of psychiatric admissions. Even more astonishing is the fact that few or no such exhaustive books have been written since, despite advances in diagnostic technologies.

These studies have shown that 40% or more psychiatric admissions are
caused or made worse by medical problems. A more recent (1983) review
in Schizophrenia Bulletin concluded such misdiagnosis occurs in
schizophrenia up to 83% of the time.

These are sobering numbers. Since 1967 millions of people may have been misdiagnosed for failure to heed these studies.

Our job, as we see it, here at the Safe Harbor Project, is to get this information known and in use.

It’s simply too important to ignore.



President Clinton announced July 13, 2000, that psychiatrist James
Gordon will chair a newly-created White House Commission on
Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy. The commission will be
providing a report to the President on legislative and administrative
initiatives in order to maximize complementary and alternative
healthcare to all Americans. The commission is composed of 20 members
from the traditional medicine and the complementary and alternative

“Almost half of all Americans implement some form of Complementary and Alternative medicine as a part of their healthcare,” Dr. Gordon said. He has more than 30 years experience working in holistic medicine.

“Within five to ten years complementary therapies will be a part of care in every major hospital and clinic across the country, and our
definition of medicine will be far larger than it is today,” said Dr.
Gordon. “The questions are not ‘if’ or even ‘when’ this will happen.”

Dr. Gordon is Director of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine, a nonprofit organization dedicated to reviving the spirit and transforming the practice of medicine.



Depressed? Take a hike! So say researchers at Duke University who were surprised to discover that depressed patients benefited significantly from regular exercise.

A study of 156 elderly patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder tested the effectiveness of medication versus a 30-minute brisk walk or jog three times a week. “One of the conclusions we can draw from this,” said the lead researcher, “is that exercise may be just as effective as medication and may be a better alternative for certain patients.”

After 16 weeks 60.4 percent of the patients who exercised without taking antidepressants were no longer depressed. “While we don’t know why exercise confers such a benefit, this study shows that exercise should be considered as a credible form of treatment for these patients,” the researcher reported.

Ref: The Archives of Internal Medicine, 10/25/99



In a sweeping statement on the diagnosing of depression, the American
Association of Clinical Endocrinologists has stated on its web site,
“The diagnosis of subclinical [without obvious signs] or clinical
hypothyroidism must be considered in every patient with depression.”
(This recommendation is made at

The thyroid factor in depression is so pronounced that one study showed that subclinically low thyroid patients (those without pronounced symptoms) show a 56% lifetime prevalence of depression compared to 18% of those with normal thyroid.

It’s possible that thyroid-linked depression is far more common than is recognized in medical circles. This is pointed out in the work of Dr.Broda Barnes, author of Hypothyroidism: The Unsuspected Illness.
Barnes concluded that as much as 40% of the population has a greater or lesser problem with underactive thyroids. He also found that many low thyroid conditions are not visible on blood tests.

Barnes used a simple body temperature test to check for low thyroid.
You shake down an old-fashioned mercury-type thermometer and put it on the nightstand before falling asleep. Upon awakening, put the
thermometer snugly in the armpit for ten minutes, by the clock. A
temperature below 97.8 strongly suggests low thyroid. Psychiatric
symptoms can include depression, brain fog, memory problems, and even

More information can be obtained from the Broda Barnes Foundation at
(203) 261-2101.



The June, 19, 2000, issue of U.S. News and World Report takes a hard
look at toxic exposure in children. Environmental toxins may pay a much larger role in undesirable childhood behavior than has previously been believed.

One study comparing lead levels in convicted youths vs. non-delinquent youths found significantly higher lead levels in the bones of the young offenders. Another project addressed PCBs, toxins found sometimes in insulators of electrical equipment. Infants with significant amount of PCBs in their umbilical cords performed more poorly than unexposed babies in recognition of faces, ability to shut out distractions, and overall intelligence.

Citing dramatic rises in childhood mental disturbances, such as a 210
percent increase in California autism from 3,864 cases in 1987 to 11,995 in 1998, the report covers intensified government interest in the toxic effects of environmental pollutants on children.

U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher stated, ” How long do you wait before you take the necessary action to protect children?”



The British Broadcasting Corporation announced on July 4, 2000, that
studies have shown that people with schizophrenia have higher than
normal levels of some of the nearly 400 gases found in human breath.

The elevated gases include carbon disulphide, pentane, ethane and
butane. The increased levels may be caused by the way their bodies
break down fat.

The discoveries corroborate the work of nutritional psychiatrists in the U.S. and Europe who have been asserting for decades that schizophrenia is not a single mental illness, but a host of different medical ailments, primarily metabolic disorders best remedied with nutritional supplements. The metabolic problems result in unusual or failed breakdown of biochemical substances, causing abnormal production of byproducts such as the aforementioned gases.

Centers specializing in such metabolic disorders include the Pfeiffer
Treatment Center in Naperville, Illinois.

The breath study will be presented at the Royal College of Psychiatry’s annual meeting in Edinburgh. The BBC reported that further research is underway to determine why the breath gases differ so much.



A Canadian company called Immunotec Research Ltd. ( has announced the development of a milk derivative that relieves anxiety. Calling the product pnt200(tm), they claim the product is the result of 10 years of study in France, including randomized double-blind clinical studies.

The product is reported to contain no additives, has no side effects,
and is not habit-forming. It is a natural peptide (specialized series
of amino acids) that contains an ingredient that binds to certain brain receptors that control the feelings of calmness and relaxation.


ABOUT is the largest web site devoted exclusively to alternative mental health treatments. It includes a directory of over 100 physicians, nutritionists, experts, organizations, and facilities around the U.S. that offer or promote safe, alternative treatments for severe mental symptoms. Many of the physicians listed do in-depth examinations to find the physical causes behind mental problems.

Also included are an array of articles on topics ranging from the
medical causes of schizophrenia to the effects of toxic metals on mental health.

A bookstore page lists top books that cover many areas of alternative
treatments with titles like Natural Healing for Schizophrenia and Other Common Mental Disorders and No More Ritalin. has been created to educate the public on
the medical conditions that create “mental illness” and the many safe
resources available for addressing and often curing severe mental