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Antipsychotic Alternatives

Rarely does an outpatient medical professional make mention of any antipsychotic alternatives.

Antipsychotics may have been a necessary intervention during a crisis, but antipsychotic alternatives may be a better option than remaining on prescription medications for life. Generally, it was a combination of lifestyle choices and genetics that resulted in the crisis, and many of those factors can be adjusted with the proper insight and guidance.

Are You Really Your Diagnosis?

successful antipsychotic alternatives
Alternative to Meds has been the world expert on antipsychotic alternatives for over 15 years. We invite you to review our published evidence regarding the documented success of our treatment programs. The issues underlying psychosis, as well as mania and even sleep disorders, can definitely be addressed without resorting to toxic drugs or other harmful treatments. We have found that in many cases, medical conditions may have been mistaken as mental issues, or that the original factors contributing to the crisis have changed, or maybe that they were misdiagnosed for other reasons in the middle of a crisis that has since passed.

Factors That Create a Set-Up for Antipsychotic Use

At Alternative to Meds Center, we provide antipsychotic alternatives within a comprehensive treatment plan uniquely designed for each client.

There are a few things we see that create a set-up for antipsychotic use:

  • Previous use (and abuse) of ADHD medications
  • Use of recreational stimulants such as cocaine and methamphetamines
  • Long-term use of other medications such as antidepressants and benzodiazepines that have stopped working
  • The COMT genetic polymorphism
  • Reactive hypoglycemia
  • Cannabis use, including dabs or other concentrated products, and the inability to break down the fat-soluble cannabinoids

Each of the above precursory elements can be adjusted to the advantage of the patient’s well-being and result in a much more manageable life … potentially without the use of antipsychotics. Abusing ADHD medications and using recreational stimulants, of course, is going to cause a manic break if the person is not sleeping. The COMT genetic polymorphism creates an up-down rollercoaster of functioning that can be controlled through lifestyle changes and nutrient changes. Blood sugar instability alone can cause psychosis. And for those on antidepressants and benzodiazepines that are graduating to antipsychotics … have they changed their lifestyle choices, eating habits, or unpoisoned themselves from neurotoxins? These are all areas of focus that can be creating the symptoms.

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Alternative Therapies to Antipsychotic Medication Include Talk Therapy

talk therapyTalk therapy provides one of the most effective backbones of effective antipsychotic alternatives treatment, such as:

  • Private CBT
  • Group CBT
  • DBT
  • Exposure therapy
  • Life Coaching
  • and other mild talk-therapy genres.


Is Talk Therapy a Valid Natural Alternative to Antipsychotics?

Doctors prescribe antipsychotics such as Depakote, Risperdal, Abilify, and Zyprexa to people with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, mania, and other psychoses. These drugs have many side effects that are unwelcome. Some antipsychotic side effects make mental conditions worse and sometimes the drug itself makes mental health worse. Prescribing these medications to children puts them at risk, as one of the common side effects that can occur especially in the first month or two of treatment with these drugs is suicidal thoughts or behavior.

In stark contrast to the above, over a period of 10-20 weeks, patients have achieved major progress from just talk therapies alone, as an effective, natural alternative to antipsychotic drugs. Positive results were found to be sustained in assessments at 6-month and 1-year follow-ups.1

Antipsychotic Alternatives Does Not Mean “Better Drugs”

Alternative to Meds Center provides antipsychotic alternative treatments that are effective and don’t further harm the person. Drugs are generally an “additive” treatment. Drug companies like this idea. Just “add” some drug to a patient’s daily routine and they will improve. We are not looking for alternative antipsychotics in that way, for example, we are not looking for “better drugs” or a better combo to treat psychosis. In fact, many people are actively seeking to overcome the side effects of antipsychotic medications that pose dangerous risks to health. Antipsychotic medicines have proven to be ineffective in many cases, and many individuals just don’t want to be medicated.4

As a growing body of research demonstrates, children and adults can overcome many mental disorders without drugs. Many holistic practitioners would rather try alternatives to psychiatric treatments before prescribing drugs. Unfortunately, however, it is often the other way around. People are usually first prescribed a psychiatric medication, and then they seek Depakote alternatives, Risperdal alternatives, Abilify alternatives, Zyprexa alternatives, or other antipsychotic drug replacement plans. No one has to suffer from side effects, dependence, and addiction, nor medication withdrawal syndrome. Alternative mental health options do provide non-drug-based mental health treatment options. These are much more sound alternatives to antipsychotics.

antipsychotic alternatives

A Multi-Pronged Approach to Antipsychotic Alternatives

Antipsychotic alternatives in a specialized treatment plan will usually contain more than just one treatment. Treatment plans can combine several or many different therapies. Through talk therapy of various kinds, patients can honestly express themselves, face their fears, better understand their illness, and begin to identify triggers and learn how to prevent and control them. For instance, cognitive-behavioral therapy helps patients to undo negative or unhealthy thought and behavior patterns, as well as rationalize fears and anxieties, balance mood swings, and continuously and gradually work towards a more complete internal peace.

antipsychotic natural alternativesExposure therapy3 allows patients to gradually begin to face their fears, anxieties, phobias, and triggers within a safe, familiar, and controlled environment. The opportunity to experience exposure therapy naturally results in more comfortable encounters for these patients when dealing with their fears in the outside world.

These examples of talk therapy make effective and available alternatives to antipsychotic drugs. When these therapies are used in conjunction with other healing, stabilizing therapies and treatments, effectiveness rates are even higher.2

Natural antipsychotic alternatives are often overlooked but are valuable treatments to consider. Alternative to Meds Center provides these alternative treatments along with dietary changes, nutritional therapy, and other lifestyle changes.

Summary – Natural Alternatives to Antipsychotic Medications

Natural alternatives to antipsychotic medication include:

  • Clean diet, keto-based, organic where possible, gluten-free.* 6
  • Eliminate food additives, preservatives, MSG, sugars, caffeine, etc.
  • Test for and cleanse the body of toxic accumulations.
  • Talk therapy of various genres.
  • Supplements, herbs, vitamins, minerals needed for healthy neurochemistry.
  • Test for and remedy such deficiencies that are found.
  • Exercise of a mild nature, such as yoga, walking, equine therapy.

*Pacheco et al. in their 1965 study, as described by Dr. Erik Messamorefound that the severity of psychiatric symptoms significantly decreased when patients switched to a keto-based diet, and similar results when gluten was eliminated from the diet, and that their symptoms returned when they went back on a high-carb diet or when gluten consumption was re-introduced.

We offer many supplemental treatments such as massage, sauna therapy, aromatherapy, acupuncture, art therapy, and meditation to support the person’s overall progress.

Gently Eliminating Toxins Can Help

Old, built-up toxins can be gently but effectively detoxed (removed) providing many benefits within an antipsychotic addiction alternative help plan. Therefore, purging the toxic residues that antipsychotic or other drugs left behind, also contributes to a better state of health.

After finding alternative antipsychotic treatment options that work …

Once you have found which alternative antipsychotic options work for you, stick with them every day. For some people, it may be counseling once a week, exercising several times a week, eating healthy clean foods every day,5 drinking plenty of water, taking daily supplements or vitamins, getting enough sleep every night, and participating in healing therapies such as counseling, yoga, or massage. If these actions help, do them regularly.

Doctors usually prescribe psychiatric medication after the person has gone through a psychotic episode, or after other medications have not worked. These drugs may seem to work during the onset of symptoms. But they are generally not well tolerated after prolonged use. Of course, the answers to why an individual has experienced psychosis are specific for each person. Our experience has revealed some common denominators of interest.

antipsychotic alternativesFor instance, one common denominator in psychosis is the presence of excessive dopamine. Dopamine is the neurochemical that controls reward. An excess of dopamine causes everything in the environment to overstimulate the person, which can result in mania. Neurotoxins stimulate the overproduction of dopamine which causes mania or psychosis to occur. For this reason, it is the exposure to neurotoxins that often results in mania or psychosis. Also, a genetic problem may present difficulties in clearing toxins from the body. For example, an insufficient methylator may be unable to get rid of toxic heavy metals, so stores them in brain and nerve tissue.

Lab Testing for, and Removal of Toxic Accumulations – Essential Mild Treatments for Mental Health Issues

Our inpatient facility is welcoming and comfortable.

At Alternative to Meds Center, we do lab testing to discover the potential causes of the original symptoms. The testing identifies when toxicity is the culprit. We then focus on clearing these toxins out. We restrict sugar, processed food, and caffeine. Supplements are given to support the inhibitory function of healthy neurochemistry. Our program aims to use natural substances and orthomolecular medicine that will stabilize neurochemistry. Body detoxification will remove environmentally accumulated neurotoxins. The center provides safe and comfortable medication withdrawal methods, therapy with amino acids, and other targeted nutritional treatments.

Peer support, yoga, personal training, massage, equine therapy, and other alternative mental health therapies offer additional treatment options of a mild nature.

We invite your call so you can talk with us at Alternative to Meds Center. Find out more about the treatment plans we provide if you or your loved one is seeking more information on antipsychotic alternatives and treatment options.

1. Krakvik, B., Grawe, R., Hagen, R., Stiles, T., “Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Psychotic Symptoms: A Randomized Controlled Effectiveness Trial” US National Library of Medicine [Internet] 2013 Mar [cited 2019 Nov]

2. Amminger, Schafer, Papageorgiou, Klier, Cotton, Harrigan, MacKinnon, McGorry, Berger, “Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids for indicated prevention of psychotic disorders: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial” US National Library of Medicine [Internet] 2010 Feb [cited 2019 Nov]

3. APA Div 12, Society of Clinical Psychology, “What is Exposure Therapy?” Clinical Practice Guidelines, [Internet] 2017 Jul [cited 2020 Aug 13]

4. “Antipsychotics- What if I don’t want to take antipsychotics?” Information letter published by MIND For Better Health [Internet] 2016 [cited 2020 Aug 13]

5. Sathyanarayana Rao TS, Asha MR, Ramesh BN, Jagannatha Rao, “Understanding nutrition, depression, and mental illness.” Indian Journal of Psychiatry [Internet] 2008 Apr-Jun [cited 2020 Aug 13]

6. Pacheco et al., “A Pilot Study of the Ketogenic Diet in Schizophrenia.” Am J Psychiatry 1965, PMID 14283310 published online @ www.ericmessamore [cited 2020 Nov 17]

This content has been reviewed and approved by a licensed physician.

Dr. Samuel Lee

Dr. Samuel Lee is a board-certified psychiatrist, specializing in a spiritually-based mental health discipline and integrative approaches. He graduated with an MD at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and did a residency in psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He has also been an inpatient adult psychiatrist at Kaweah Delta Mental Health Hospital and the primary attending geriatric psychiatrist at the Auerbach Inpatient Psychiatric Jewish Home Hospital. In addition, he served as the general adult outpatient psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente.  He is board-certified in psychiatry and neurology and has a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Religion from Pacific Union College. His specialty is in natural healing techniques that promote the body’s innate ability to heal itself.

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