Liven Your Space - A Resource for Healing from Mental Illness
My Blog

The Brain-Gut Connection

There's a lot of literature on the  brain-gut connection, including psychology books that explain how mental illness and chronic conditions such as Autism, and chronic degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's are linked to the microbiome in our colons.  Our microbiomes are a fragile microcosm of beneficial bacteria that can be disrupted or destroyed by the Standard American Diet (SAD), antibiotics, processed foods, neurotoxins, gluten and casein, and other toxins.  Lately a lot of research studies are showing that Americans are eating fast foods, overprocessed foods, and animal products that are produced by large factory farms, which are responsible for the inhumane and unhealthy treatment of livestock.

My Father's Suicide

I am certainly not an expert on suicide and why people do it and how many people do it.  But I do know my father killed himself when he was about 58 years old.  

I told my shrink he came from an extremely poor family and his formal education ended in the sixth grade.  His mother died when he was young and he was shuttled from one family member to another.  By the time he was 16 years old he was providing for himself.  He was intelligent and was self taught, and had a tremendous respect for education.

Other Factors Contributing to Mental Ill Health

Other factors that can possibly contribute to dementia and Azheimer's disease, autism, ADHD, bi-polar disease and perhaps, schizophrenia, are dietary insults, such as gluten and sugar. Whether these actually lead to these unfortunate diseases is less doubtful than was so a number of years ago.  The link between excessive sugar and diabetes has been proven scientifically.  In fact, Alzheimer's is now called Diabetes Type III.  Both  of our families were addicted to sugar.

Why GMO's Appear to be Harmful to Humans and the Planet

Before going into my father's suicide, I want to discuss some of the factors that my doctor and I feel led to the depression and possibility of illness that may have contributed to his untimely  and tragic death.  He was  at the time ( the 40's, 50's and 60's) what was called a 'tree surgeon' and he dealt heavily in spraying crops and trees with DDT and other toxic chemicals and pesticides.  According to my brother who  worked as a youngster with him, they did not even use masks.

The Consequences of Environmental Toxins...

I'm Betsy's friend Adrienne, and I am writing this blog today about some issues I've had on my mind lately. I'm concerned that our environment is overly polluted to the point that there is no return to the way it was when we were younger. 

 If you look at the incidence of autism in the last couple of decades, the statistics are grim. Back when my son was diagnosed, the incidence was 1 in 1000 children, but now it is 1 in 160.  Many naturopathic doctors will tell you that autism is triggered by environmental factors, among others, including neurotoxins such as aspartame, which is a man-made chemical that should have been banned by the government, but was allowed to be processed in our foods because of heavy lobbying and greasing of congressional palms.

In a Broader Sense

 I am starting to write in  my blog again.  Hopefully my book will be published by Feb. 25, 2018 and to restart the blog I would like to expand the scope of what I am hoping to accomplish.  My goal is not only to address schizophrenia but to address the many forms of mental challenges.  Therefore I would like to introduce my friend Adrienne who is the mother of a young autistic man.  Because of raising a young man with autism she has had to do a lot of research on health topics.

A New Book is Coming


Happy Valentine's Day to all ....

Also wanted you to know, I've been writing a new book in collaboration with a friend. It's about the downs and ups of living with mental illness, a challenge that is little understood and often poorly managed.

From what I've read, a typical schizophrenic tends to live less long than their peers. Since I should have been dead 15 years ago, I figured I had time to write and even rewrite if necessary. 

Now the book is almost in the final editing stage.

Getting Religion Part XXXXVII Home

In 2006, I moved less than a block away to Russell's.  The arrangement was that I would have a bedroom, a place for a computer and for my library of books.  I'd also have a place to store my paintings and kitchenware, the china, glassware and cooking instruments I'd accumulated over the past thirty years. 

The funny thing was that I'd  never cooked.  Never knew how to cook. Mama had always done the cooking when I lived at home and, when I lived on my own, I'd always eaten out except for staples like yogurt, fruit, and  salads.

Getting Religion, Part XXXXVI Mama Dies

The process of Mama moving into the local nursing home happened quickly. One night she fell from a chair while watching television.  Russell and I, working together, got her into her bed. Later that night, after Russell had returned to his house, she fell again. This time, her 180 pound frame was unresponsive.  Her speech hard to understand. The ambulance was called and off to the hospital she went and then the nursing home. After cleaning out her cluttered and ramshackled house, the place was auctioned off and, over a period of seven years, the money gone.

Getting Religion - Part XXXXV Life in the 90s

I kept flying throughout the 90s and continued following Dr. Lebensohn's advice for good living. 

Because of my seniority at United, I had plenty of time to pursue things that interested me - everything except cooking, a realm that belonged solely to my mother. I painted off and on each week, started taking flute lessons, signed up for creative writing classes at the community college, began Tai-Chi, drove mother on visits and errands, and continued to attend church and meditate.  My dance card was full and demanding even as my mental confusion had pretty much dissipated.