Watch more How to Understand Schizophrenia videos:
There have definitely been a lot of different alternate and nutritional treatments tried for schizophrenia, but none have been shown to be effective in treating the positive and negative symptoms of the disorder reliably. And so, those are delusions and give people false beliefs about things that are happening to them, including paranoid delusions, hallucinations, experiences of hearing or seeing things that other people don’t hear or see, disorganized behavior or thought, and negative symptoms, so lack of motivation and lack of effective response or emotion.
And so, with those symptoms, really, until the 1950s when we started introducing anti-psychotic drugs, people tried a lot of different things but found nothing that actually helped people to reduce these symptoms. And people were often institutionalized, and anti-psychotic medicines really did help people to leave institutional settings and have the chance to attain healthy, productive lives.
That being said, anti-psychotic medications are important, psychotherapy is very important, but eating healthy is still really, really important. Healthy activity, physical activity, as well, is important for people with schizophrenia. It helps to reduce negative and positive symptoms and reduces the risk of an early death due to heart disease and lung disease as well.
And so, eating a diet that includes all food groups, especially vegetables, which is probably the most neglected food group, and eating meals at regular times. Eating healthy portions of food are all really important to managing the illness. But, unfortunately, there has been interest in things like ginkgo biloba for schizophrenia. None of that has really helped through the rigorous research trials that we use to examine effectiveness.