Excerpts from A Life Worth Living – Schizophrenia Alternative Treatment: Part 3 – Solution for Schizophrenia
Shortly after my son’s first hospitalization for the disease of schizophrenia, his stepmother called his father and told him that she had found out about a treatment for schizophrenia while searching on the Internet for “a cure for schizophrenia” in Spanish. This treatment was the BEAM procedure, also known as bilateral electrocoagulation of the adrenal medulla. She referred us to a website, www.beamprocedure.com, which although in Spanish, we immediately explored. It was a new treatment that sounded promising but had only been done on fifty-six people at that time.
Jose, Marco’s father, (Spanish speaking) called the number on the website and spoke with Dr. Jose Mackliff about Marco; how he first manifested; the sickness of Jose’s own mother when he was twelve, the medicine that Marco was on; his drug reactions that led to hospitalization; and finally the Amen functional brain scans that had been done. Dr. Mackliff asked that Jose send him the medical records and also the pictures of the scans.
After reviewing all of the medical records from Marco’s diagnosis and treatments, Dr. Mackliff advised us that Marco had schizophrenia and that he should postpone his university entry for one year, because the stress of studying would use up the glucose in his brain and make things worse. He advised us to have the BEAM surgery done as soon as possible and afterward, to slowly reduce the amount of antipsychotic medicine he was on over a one-year period. He counseled us that he would need a lot of support during that time. This was the first and only concrete advice and guidance that we received once Marco became ill.
The two American psychiatrists who saw him only advised us to put him in a day program or full-time hospitalization once he had had his first psychotic episode and to continue with bi-weekly “medication management” appointments, in person or over the phone. They also advised that ‘analysis’ was not effective with schizophrenic patients, so they would not speak with him about his experiences with schizophrenia; once they had provided education about schizophrenia, the treatment consisted solely of medication management at the rate of $300 per hour. This is what we could expect from two of the most highly recommended psychiatrists in our area for schizophrenia.
They gave us no advice on how to cope with our son’s illness, nor what to expect or to be aware of such as suicidal tendencies with schizoaffective disorder and Seroquel, the medicine he was put on. Later we would find out that one of his psychiatrists received payments from pharmaceutical manufacturers for the antipsychotic he prescribed.
Once we were introduced to the BEAM procedure and to Dr. Mackliff, and given the advice to change the antipsychotic he was on, Marco’s father, Jose, visited the BEAM clinic in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and met one of the patients who had undergone BEAM surgery four years before and who had had dramatic results following the surgery. This patient was Danny Carchi, who I later interviewed and describe in Chapter 4 of Part 3. After two years of investigating this treatment and speaking with patients who have had the treatment, I am convinced that the BEAM intervention surgery is the only treatment that can greatly improve the lives of those with schizophrenia.