Alternative Mental Health News, No. 47

Editor’s Comment

Safe Harbor’s Non-Pharma III Conference on June 5-6 was our best ever. Our thanks to all who attended and all who contributed. Here are a few comments we received from attendees. We hope to see YOU next year!

“This weekend was fabulous!!”

“As a physician, I want to thank you for bringing us Safe Harbor – this was a part of my ‘divine appointment’ toward being better informed on how to help people towards true health.”

“I can’t think of a way to improve this conference. This was awesome. Many thanks!”

“The talks by attorney Karen Barth Menzies and the dentist Raymond Silmkan, DDS, were extraordinary!”

“Best conference ever. Thanks, Safe Harbor.”

“Fabulous information from attorney Karen Barth Menzies. The Recovery Panel was fantastic. Very informative and moving experiences and lectures.”

“Excellent seminar.”

“Moved fast — well organized.”

“Thank you!”

“Great!! Look forward to next year.”

“Very well organized, excellent presentations. Thank you.”

“Thank you for a very interesting conference offering hope for the future.”

“I’m now armed with enough information to get the help my son needs….Thank you.”

“Great! Very well organized.”


Six Announcements

Safe Harbor India Established
It is with great pleasure that we announce the creation of Safe Harbor India. We have received the official charter of the new Safe Harbor chapter on their new letterhead. It is a very exciting moment at Safe Harbor headquarters in Los Angeles.Safe Harbor India is a collaboration with Bapu Trust, one of India’s leading mental health advocacy groups, headed by Bhargavi Davar, Ph.D. Bapu Trust, named after Dr. Davar’s mother, has been a potent voice for change in India where shock treatment is commonplace as are pharmaceuticals.

The Safe Harbor India chapter is located in Pune, India, near Bombay, and will work to introduce and organize alternative mental health practices in the Pune region.

The Safe Harbor brochure is currently being translated into the local language and work has begun to create a directory of alternative mental health practitioners in the Pune area, as has been done in the United States on

Our slogan at Safe Harbor is “Changing lives every day.” We warmly welcome Dr. Davar and her crew to the Safe Harbor family and we look forward to changing Indian lives every day in the near future.

Safe Harbor India may be contacted at:
Phone: (0091) 020-26837644
Address: B-1, 11/12
Konak Pooram
Pune, India 411 048


Safe Harbor Maryland Workshop, June 26
Safe Harbor Maryland Presents:

Non-Drug Approaches to Mental Disorders

Saturday, June 26, 2004 at 2 pm
Location: 2814 Montclair Drive, Ellicott City, MD 21043At this meeting we will be viewing a video presentation by Dan Stradford on the subject of “Underlying Physical Causes of Mental Disorders.”

The meeting is free, but please register by June 9th.

For more information or to register, contact Margo Duesterhaus at 410-480-5498 or


Announcing Safe Harbor, Adirondack Region, Upstate New York
We are pleased to announce the creation of the 8th Safe Harbor chapter – actually, this is technically an affiliate – in the Adirondack region of Upstate New York, a rural area.The affiliate is an existing nonprofit organization called Voices of Independence and Consumer Empowerment (V.O.I.C.E) headed by Rev. Fred Bauer. Their site is at VOICE has been in existence for several years and has hosted conferences for consumers in the region. The VOICE board hopes to host the very first Non-Pharma East conference in fall 2005 in their area and we are looking at how this might be accomplished.

We now have three organizations in the New England region, including Boston and NYC. We greatly look forward to working with our Adirondack group to see greater use of safe mental health practices in that region.

Current contact information for SH ARUNY is (518) 773 3531 and


Safe Harbor New York Workshop, June 22
Join Holistic Health Coach and Nutritionist Tania Hollander for an evening workshop on the relationship between food and mental health.We will examine the role that food choices play in our emotional and spiritual well-being. Discover the true meaning of “You are what you eat.”

Explore techniques from both Eastern and Western theories of health and nutrition that will help you monitor your responses to what you eat. You will also be presented with tools that will enable you to create a flexible meal plan.

In this workshop, we will discuss:

  • Yin/Yang theory
  • The Glycemic Index tool to facilitate in making better food choices.
  • Specific foods with an emphasis on eating to suit our unique constitutions
  • Ways to support emotional balance through better food choices

When: Tuesday, June 22, 6:00 – 8:00
Note earlier time for this workshop.

Where: Neighborhood Preservation Center, 232 East 11th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues

Closest subway stops: Astor Place (6 train), Union Square (4, 5, 6, L, N, R, Q and W), or 3rd Avenue station (L)

Closest bus stops: 3rd Avenue between 10 and 11th (M101, M102, and M103) or 2nd Avenue between 11th and 12th Streets (M15)

Donation (to help pay for space rental): $5

Tania Hollander is Board Certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners as a Holistic Health Counselor. She has a background in whole foods, herbs, music, dance, yoga, and fitness. She is a graduate of The Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York and a student of herbology. She also holds a bachelor’s degree from Binghamton University. Tania’s key areas of focus are digestive dysfunction and nutritional approaches to mood disorders.

Please let us know if you will be attending:
Safe Harbor New York


Mood Cure Workshop CDs Are Now Available for Sale
The long-awaited Mood Cure Workshop CDs are now available for sale. These are from THE MOOD CURE: A TRAINING WORKSHOP IN AMINO ACID THERAPY – Eliminating “False Moods” by Neuronutrient Repair with best-selling author, Julia Ross, M.A., M.F.T. (The Diet Cure, The Mood Cure) and the staff of her Mill Valley, California clinic, Recovery Systems. Prices are as follows:Friday Session – $52.00
Saturday Session – $65.00
Sunday Session – $52.00
Full Set – $169.00Please add 8.25% tax if you are in California. Also, add Shipping & Handling of $4.00 per session or $10.00 for the full set.This CD set is not a substitute for actually attending the workshop. It will give much of the lecture portion, without the hands-on practice of diagnosing, recommending various aminos, and witnessing (and correcting) their effects under supervision.

You may order online at (note “Mood Cure CDs” in the Comments box), call the office at 323-257-7338 or contact We accept Mastercard, Visa and American Express.



CDs Available Soon from Non-Pharma III Conference
We just completed our Third Annual Medical Conference, “Non-Pharma III,” and it was a great success. CDs of the lectures are currently being prepared, and should be available in approximately three weeks. An e-mail announcement will be sent out as soon as they are ready. To order CDs, please contact Thanks!


Conventional Medicine Faces Stiff Competition in U.S

According to a new nationwide government survey published May 27, 2004, 36 percent of U.S. adults use some form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). CAM is defined as a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine. When prayer specifically for health reasons is included in the definition of CAM, the figure rises to 62 percent.

“These new findings confirm the extent to which Americans have turned to CAM approaches with the hope that they would help treat and prevent disease and enhance quality of life,” said Stephen E. Straus, M.D., Director, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM).

The survey, administered to over 31,000 representative U.S. adults, was conducted as part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 2002 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). The survey included questions on 27 leading types of CAM therapies – 10 types of provider-based therapies, such as acupuncture and chiropractic, and 17 other therapies that do not require a provider, such as herbs or botanical products, special diets, and megavitamin therapy.

Previous surveys of CAM usage offered fewer choices, used smaller samples, and relied on telephone or mail surveys. Based entirely on in-person interviews, the new study is the most comprehensive and reliable to date.

Overall, the survey revealed that CAM use was greater among a variety of population groups, including women; people with higher education; those who had been hospitalized within the past year; and former smokers, compared to current smokers or those who had never smoked.

In addition, this was the first survey to yield substantial information on CAM use by minorities. For example, it found that African American adults were more likely than white or Asian adults to use CAM when megavitamin therapy and prayer were included in the definition of CAM.

“Over the years we’ve concentrated on traditional medical treatment, but this new collection of CAM data taps into another dimension entirely. What we see is that a sizable percentage of the public puts their personal health into their own hands,” said NCHS Director Edward J. Sondik, Ph.D.

CAM approaches were most often used to treat back pain or problems, colds, neck pain or problems, joint pain or stiffness, and anxiety or depression. Only about 12 percent of adults sought care from a licensed CAM practitioner.

The 10 most commonly used CAM therapies and the approximate percent of U.S. adults using each therapy were:

  • Prayer for own health, 43 percent
  • Prayer by others for the respondent’s health, 24 percent
  • Natural products (such as herbs, other botanicals, and enzymes), 19 percent
  • Deep breathing exercises, 12 percent
  • Participation in prayer group for own health, 10 percent
  • Meditation, 8 percent
  • Chiropractic, 8 percent
  • Yoga, 5 percent
  • Massage, 5 percent
  • Diet-based therapies (such as Atkins, Pritikin, Ornish, and Zone diets), 4 percent.

Interestingly, the survey also found that about 28 percent of adults used CAM because they believed conventional medical treatments would not help them with their health problem; this is in contrast to previous findings that CAM users are not, in general, dissatisfied with conventional medicine


Recovery from Mercury-Induced Depression


By Dr. Mike Sichel, D.O., N.D., Ph.D., New South Wales, Australia.


I just had a case showing multi-Hg-amalgams can cause severe depression. And cured my removal of same, even before chelation.

He had been “everywhere” as usual, to find an answer. I found 14 large amalgams in his mouth. One tooth had a 25 mc/amp [electrical current] reading. On the right side of his face (middle, upper jaw), he had felt a “hard-to-define pressure” for a long time. The dentist I send these people to removed this first (of the 14).

“Immediately I felt this load lift from me,” said the client. “My depression evaporated. I am so surprised and so delighted!” His face shone, and his color had improved dramatically after nearly all had been removed. He now undergoes chelation.

This man is not a depressive type; even through his ordeal of some years he always managed a smile (although at home it was different – he let his pain be known, but his family life remained strong). There must be millions like him (although maybe not so brave).

Psychiatrists, examine your depressive’s teeth! They are close to the brain, and so is the microamp current set up by the amalgam “ever-ready battery.” Not to mention that potent neurotoxin, mercury.


“Nutritional Medicine Today” Conference Report

by Robert Sealey, BSc, Canada


On 30 April, 2004, I went to Vancouver to volunteer at Nutritional Medicine Today, the 33rd conference of the International Society of Orthomolecular Medicine. I organized and helped to present the Friends of Restorative Orthomolecular Medicine (FOR-OM) networking and public education evening meeting at the Fairmont Waterfront Centre Hotel. Five recovered patients and three authors encouraged the public to consider restorative o-medicine for mental and medical problems, episodes or conditions. Optimum care and good health using natural molecules.

Superman actress Margot Kidder shared her story of recovering and living well with bipolar I manic depression. Stable taking her daily orthomolecular regimen, Margot continues to make public appearances and support quality care. The FOR-OM evening started by showing the 1998 film Masks of Madness: Science of Healing which features Margot as one of 6 recovered patients and 6 orthomolecular health professionals. After the film, 5 people who appeared in that 1998 film gave positive five-year progress reports. They continue to cope and live well, in spite of whatever problems life sends their way, demonstrating the staying power of orthomolecular medicine.

Margot’s inspiring recovery reminded me that accurate diagnosis and restorative care is not the norm for mental disorders. My bipolar II condition was not diagnosed accurately or treated properly — for 28 years! Painful episodes corroded my peace of mind. Without good information or proper treatments, I suffered recurring episodes of depression and periodic hypomanias. Stable since 1996, I keep well, working and productive by taking a daily orthomolecular regimen which includes vitamins, minerals, aminos and gingko biloba. My books, Finding Care for Depression, Mental Episodes & Brain Disorders and The 90 Day Plan for Finding Quality Care encourage patients and families to question substandard shortcuts as they explore the mental healthcare maze.

Author David Moyer, from Sacramento, California spoke about his book: Nutrients Quiet the Unquiet Brain, a Four Generation Bipolar Odyssey. David shared his medical search and recovery story about his bipolar son Chris who uses the True Hope system. That involves taking supplements similar to the regimens of vitamins, minerals and amino acids that orthomolecular health professionals recommend and customize to suit each patient.

At a special moment, the room-capacity crowd of 200 patients, families, caregivers and health professionals rose in a standing ovation to honour Dr. Abram Hoffer after an award for five excellent visions which enlightened Dr. Hoffer’s successful career as a biochemically-oriented psychiatrist. After founding the fascinating field of orthomolecular medicine and helping thousands of schizophrenics and other patients, for over 50 years, writing hundreds of papers and over 20 books and editing the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, Dr. Hoffer’s work remains little-known by the public and disputed, discounted and dismissed by conventional psychiatrists. Busy prescribing powerful psychiatric medications which often make sick people worse, today’s head doctors face an epidemic of mental illness. Too many rely on the tradition of nihilism in psychiatry rather than taking the time to assess Dr. Hoffer’s research or recommend restorative treatments.


Antidepressants Harm Capacity to Love, Psychiatrists Say

Last year, doctors in the United States wrote 213 million prescriptions for antidepressants. Up to 70 percent of patients on antidepressants report sexual side effects. Now psychiatrists are considering that it isn’t just sex that suffers.

At the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in New York, Dr. Helen E. Fisher, an anthropologist at Rutgers, presented evidence that tinkering with serotonin levels in the brain can also disrupt romance and sense of attachment.

“We know that there are real sexual problems associated with serotonin-enhancing medications,” said Dr. Fisher, author of “Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love” (2004). “But when you cripple a person’s sexual desire and arousal, you’re also jeopardizing their ability to fall in love and to stay in love.”

Dr. Fisher and Dr. Anderson J. Thomson Jr. have studied the brains of people in love and pored over research from the last 25 years on the neurological basis of romance. Three brain systems, all interrelated, the researchers say, control lust, attraction and attachment. Each runs on a different set of chemicals.

Lust is fueled by androgens and estrogens. Attachment is monitored by oxytocin and vasopressin. And attraction, they say, is driven by high levels of dopamine and norepinephrine, as well as low levels of serotonin. Increasing levels of serotonin with antidepressants can imbalance all three systems.

Drs. Fisher and Thomson are submitting a scientific paper on the subject for publication this year.

“There are two lines of evidence on this,” Dr. Thomson, a psychiatrist at the University of Virginia, said. “The first is the well-documented frequency of sexual side effects. But when you actually talk to patients who have diminished libido and you ask how it affects them, you discover that it has an enormous impact on their romantic lives.”

In extreme cases, romantic feelings toward longtime spouses evaporate suddenly. Others gradually find their emotions blunted and their ability to see attractive features in others lost.

Study Finds that Food Additives Can Make Normal Kids Hyperactive

Artificial colorings and preservatives boost levels of hyperactivity in pre-school children, and urgent consideration should be given to removing them, doctors from the University of Southampton announced May 25.

The researchers had just completed the first major study of the impact of food additives on the behavior of ordinary children. Previous studies had focused on the worsening of symptoms in hyperactive children, on the assumption that they were somehow more sensitive.

According to the study, published in Archives of Child Health, the incidence of high levels of hyperactivity was halved when the additives were removed.

The Southampton University team, led by Professor John Warner, selected 277 children aged three and four on the Isle of Wight and fed them a carefully controlled diet over four weeks. During the first week, they ate a strictly additive-free diet, devoid of colorings such as tartrazine and sunset yellow and the preservative sodium benzoate.

In the second week, half the children were given a daily drink of fruit juice containing colorings and preservatives, while the other half were given the same drink minus the additives. The experiment was repeated in the third and fourth weeks and changes in the behavior of the children were noted by their parents, who did not know which drink their child had been given.

Parents rated their children as significantly less hyperactive when the additives were removed and markedly more so when they were put back in. As a result the proportion with the highest level of hyperactivity fell from 15 per cent to 6 per cent, the authors say.

“These findings suggest that significant changes in children’s hyperactive behaviour could be produced by the removal of artificial colourings and sodium benzoate from their diet,” Professor Warner said, adding that the doses of additives used in the study were “on the low side of normal,” and the effects were observed throughout the group regardless of allergies or chemical sensitivities.


  • Tartrazine (E102): A synthetic yellow azo dye found in sodas, ice cream, sweets, chewing gum, jam and yogurt, commonly used in UK but banned in Norway and Austria.
  • Sunset yellow (E110): Also a synthetic yellow azo dye which must be heat-treated. Found in orange jelly, apricot jam, hot chocolate mix, packet soups, canned fish. Banned in Norway and Finland.
  • Carmoisine (E122): A synthetic red azo dye which must be heat-treated. Used in jams, sweets, sauce, yogurts, jellies and cheesecake mixes. Banned in Japan, Norway, Sweden and the U.S.
  • Ponceau 4R (E124): Also known as Cochineal Red, a synthetic red azo dye used in dessert toppings, jelly, salami, seafood dressings, canned strawberries and fruit pie fillings. Banned in Norway and the U.S.


  • Sodium Benzoate (E211): The sodium salt of benzoic acid used as a food preservative and antiseptic. Found in a wide variety of processed foods including margarine, pineapple juice, prawns, milk products, baked goods, lollipops and soft drinks.

“We were surprised by the results because the effect was not just in one group,” Professor Warner said. “We showed there was an effect on perfectly normal children. If that is confirmed by further research then there is a public health issue.”

A larger, three-year follow-up study is scheduled for September, funded by the UK’s Food Standards Agency.


Comprehensive Review of Pesticide Research Confirms Dangers

The Ontario College of Family Physicians (OCFP) is strongly recommending that people reduce their exposure to pesticides wherever possible after releasing a comprehensive review of research on the effects of pesticides on human health.

Released April 23, the review shows consistent links to serious illnesses such as cancer, reproductive problems and neurological diseases, among others. The study also shows that children are particularly vulnerable to pesticides.

“Many of the health problems linked with pesticide use are serious and difficult to treat – so we are advocating reducing exposure to pesticides and prevention of harm as the best approach,” said Dr. Margaret Sanborn of McMaster University, one of the review’s authors.

The College reviewed several studies that found associations between pesticide exposures and cancer in children. Key findings include:

  • An elevated risk of kidney cancer was associated with paternal pesticide exposure through agriculture, and four studies found associations with brain cancer.
  • Several studies in the review implicate pesticides as a cause of hematologic tumours in children, including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and leukemia.
  • Some children have overall increased risk of acute leukemia if exposed to pesticides in utero or during childhood, especially for exposure to insecticides and herbicides used on lawns, fruit trees and gardens, and for indoor control of insects.

The College’s overall message to patients is to avoid exposure to all pesticides whenever and wherever possible. This includes reducing both occupational exposures, as well as lower level exposures that occur from the use of pesticides in homes, gardens and public green space.

The College advocates seeking organic methods of lawn and garden care and indoor pest control; use of respirators for home and occupational exposures; and education on safe handling, mixing, storage and application when pesticide use is considered necessary.

The College urges family physicians to take the following measures:

  • Screen patients for pesticides exposure at a level that may cause significant health problems, and intervene if necessary.
  • Take patient pesticide exposure history when non-specific symptoms are present – such as fatigue, dizziness, low energy, rashes, weaknesses, sleep problems, anxiety, depression.
  • Focus efforts on prevention rather than on researching the causes of chronic or terminal disease.
  • Consider high-risk groups (e.g. children, pregnant women, seniors) in their practices.
  • Advocate reduction or pesticide risk/use to individual patients.
  • Advocate reduction of pesticide risk/use in the community, schools, hospitals and to governments.

The OCFP Study is available on the Ontario College’s website at


Antidepressant Prescriptions Decline After FDA Meeting

When a Food and Drug Administration panel met in early February to review evidence linking antidepressant use to suicide in children, new prescriptions for the drugs were being written at the rate of 1.1 million per week. The dropped to 996,000 by the week of April 23, according to NDC Health, a market research firm.

Parents drew national publicity with their testimony about child suicides and suicide attempts. This negative publicity and new labeling requirements were cited as reasons for the decline.


Exercise Helps Children Overcome Dyslexia

A regimen of twice-daily physical exercise has enabled 40 UK schoolchildren to overcome dyslexia and rejoin mainstream lessons without requiring extra help in class.

Twenty-five schools around the UK are now implementing the system following the success at Balsall Common Primary School, West Midlands.

Before the parents of a dyslexic pupil named Simon approached Balsall’s headmaster, Trevor Davies, they “had tried various traditional treatments, both in school and with support agencies, but the lack of any real improvement saw them reach the end of their tether and they turned to me for help.”

By searching the Internet, Davies found that the Dore Achievement Centre in Kenilworth, Warwicks, had been treating dyslexia with an exercise program they called DDAT – Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and Attention Disorder Treatment.

Davies put Simon on the program. Noting a sharp improvement in Simon’s work and self-esteem, teachers collaborated with the University of Exeter to launch a wider study. They identified 40 Balsall students 7-10 years of age with moderate to acute learning difficulties commonly associated with dyslexia.

The 10-minute routines, conducted before and after school, involved getting children to stand on a cushion on one leg and then throw a beanbag from one hand to the other to improve coordination, or balance on a wobble-board (a board balanced on a ball or cylinder). They were designed to stimulate the cerebellum.

The exercise group showed such a swift improvement that some teachers thought parents were doing the homework.

After six months the control group was also introduced into the exercise program so it too could benefit. The researchers re-screened the children after the treatment and all were shown to be free of dyslexic symptoms, not needing remedial help in school.

Davies said pupils who also suffered from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder were helped as well.