This is not a book on how to utilize medications, diagnose disease, or treat patients. Codex Alternus is a book with a plethora of non-drug treatments for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and medication-induced side effects. The book covers therapies that include natural antipsychotics, herbs, vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, mind-body therapies, prayer and spiritual healing, biofeedback, transcranial stimulation, light therapy, and many, many, more. Many therapies in Codex Alternus have been used in the field of mental health for decades and many other evidence-based therapies have been buried in psychiatric literature on medical databases and not been exposed to the mainstream public before. The book has nearly 900 scholarly citations and summaries--covers over 500 different complementary and alternative therapies which are cited in medical literature--many which are from peer-reviewed journals. The book is designed to spark ideas and be used as a reference tool for clinicians and researchers. It is also an ideal book for those in mental health product development. The book can also be used by care givers and psychiatric patients when proper research is conducted before choosing therapies and utilizing them. The book highlights the conclusions to these scientific medical articles and allows the reader insight into new and traditional therapies, novel, and experimental therapies, and older early 20th century treatments. The reader will truly be amazed at how many evidence-based choices they have for clinical use and product development. Codex Alternus is an easy-to-reference book, with complete citations: PubMed identification numbers, digital object identifier numbers, and publisher names. This book will help many clinicians, researchers, and inventors, as well as care givers and patients.
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I consider Dion Zessin to be a member of what I call the pantheon of citizen researchers. He shares this distinction others I have so-labeled such as a city planner named George Eby, a mother named Karen Serousi, and a geologist named Harold Foster, all of whom made significant contributions towards the assessment and treatment in spite of, or, perhaps because they were not constrained by existing dogma.
Dion may not have the letters after his name, but like many of us, he has, as they say, “skin in the game.” And he has meticulously summarized a huge body of the research literature, providing a compendium of interventions for what he and the mainstream still call mental disorders. (In my most recent books I call them biobehavioral syndromes.) His book is a first of its kind. It provides a useful reference to professionals and patients alike. From my perspective, the studies he has found show us just how culture-bound our diagnoses and treatments are.
The abstracts generally show the results of interventions, but rarely the reasons for them. Still, I was rewarded to find two studies supporting the use of agonists for a receptor called the alpha 7 nicotinic cholinergic receptor in psychosis. This may seem esoteric—even far fetched to some, but these studies support a hypothesis in one of my books that links infections to dysfunctional GABA receptors and psychosis. Other findings support the role of free radicals in psychopathology, suggesting, to my way of thinking, the need for targeted treatments for oxidative stress.
When health providers can match the relevant biological markers with symptoms that transcend the labels, we will see a positive transformation in outcomes. Only with proper assessment can curative effective treatments be found. We aren’t there yet, but this book may help us get there faster.
David Moyer, LCSW
Author of Beyond Mental Illness
10 Ways to keep Your Brain from Screaming "Ouch!"
While I have many books on my shelf that focus on specific protocols for mental health conditions, to my knowledge there has yet to be a reference book that covers the broad spectrum of complementary and alternative approaches appearing in the clinical literature. Being able to access this information in such a complete and well-organized format will be invaluable tool for researchers, clinicians and interested lay readers. I believe that Dion’s book CODEX ALTERNUS is a great leap forward in our quickly developing field. As an integrative practitioner, one of the questions I am often asked by clients and other clinicians about my nutritional and Functional Medicine approaches I use in my practice is: “is there legitimate research to support what you are suggesting”. Now I can resoundingly say there is research and easily make copies of the abstracts. Thank you Dion for creating volume that supports and encourages my work and the work of many other brave clinicians! This is a book that anyone interested in alternative and complementary medicine for mental health needs to add to their library.
Josh Friedman, Psy.D.
Codex Alternus is an excellent reference manual to make it clear how there is not only another way to address and help heal the issue of psychosis and bipolar disorders but there are many ways this can be addressed without the need to give toxic and addictive drugs. My experience has shown that all too often the direct and indirect effects of what is commonly used in psychiatric medication prescriptions cause more problems than what the patient presented at the start. This is why I developed alternative programs over the years that align with many things in this codex and have found many ways to return the sanely,peace and happiness to a person without any needs for a lifetime of medication usage.
Brian Sheen, PhD
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