Bradley's Story told by his mother:
My heart broke as I watched my son Bradley compulsively bang his ankles together, rocking back and forth, moaning like a hurt animal. What had happened to my son? He had been diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive-disorder, but his condition was getting much worse. We were soon to be informed by Dr. Harrow, specialist in OCD, that Bradley had the worst case of OCD with psychosis he had ever seen.
Bradley had a normal childhood until third grade except for constant sinus and strep infections. He was an active and outgoing child who participated in activities and had many friends. He has over thirty trophies from martial arts competitions where he has placed or won in every division. He has attended the Corcoran School of Art at the Smithsonian in Washington DC. At the age of nine, in the third grade, we noticed subtle changes which were to become slowly worse. He was restless, unable to relax, focus, or finish tasks. Bradley began a slow deterioration, first in academics, and later in other areas. Underachieving was certainly not consistent with his personality. At this point, we began looking for answers... there were none.
By the summer of 1998, we noticed some changes. Bradley seemed distracted and had to recheck everything he did. He began taking a long time to brush his teeth and take a shower. He also began washing his hands often during this time. My husband and I moved to Washington DC in November so Rocky would not have to commute. After the move, Bradley came to us and said, "You need to take me to a doctor... something is wrong... 1 have to tap on things... 1 don't feel right." We were now apprehensive. We contacted Psychological Services, scheduled an evaluation for Bradley, and were totally unprepared for what we were about to find out. Bradley was tormented with irrational fears of vampires, murderers, kidnappers, and many other things. He told the counselor he had to "clean a room with his laser eyes and erect a force field to protect himself." Rocky and I were caught completely off guard. Bradley had given us no indication he was in such anguish. The counselor told us that Bradley was able to "mask" his symptoms because of his usual outgoing and gregarious personality. We were given a referral to a psychiatrist for Bradley. The nightmare was about to begin in earnest.
The psychiatrist diagnosed Brad with OCD and was aware that something else was going on as well but was unsure of exactly what it was. She prescribed Zoloft and began seeing Brad on a weekly basis. Over the next four weeks, Bradley became manic with a tremendous increase in severity and incidence of symptoms. He was having a reaction to the medication. During this time, we made repeated phone calls and appeals to his psychiatrist about Bradley's condition. She dismissed our concerns and told us to give Bradley Benadryl to help him sleep. She wanted us to continue the Zoloft and "see what happens." In addition to the current symptoms worsening, he developed a frightening new one: he now began injuring himself. Bradley bore little resemblance to the child I knew. He was underweight, eyes dark, with a tortured expression on his face. He wouldn't leave the house and would hit his ankles together until his legs were bruised. He would hit his head, slap his face, and hurt himself to relieve the inner torment. Bradley was hearing a constant flow of negative dialog in his mind and he would cry out, "stop it... shut up." All these developments were related to his doctor and were dismissed.
Bradley came to us on a Saturday night during the fourth week. As he lay across the bed with his arm over his eyes, crying, exhausted, defeated, he told us that he knew we had tried to help but there was nothing we could do; we were frantic. Rocky and I knew we had to do something besides wait on medication to work. We called Dr. Harrow, the psychologist Bradley had seen, and he referred us to Children's Hospital Psychiatric Unit in Washington DC, a teaching hospital. We arrived at the hospital, once again, no conclusive diagnosis after yet another evaluation. The recommendation was hospitalization for observation. Since my husband was military, a recommendation to have Bradley admitted to Bethesda Naval Hospital's Children's Psychiatric Unit. When we arrived at the hospital, the duty psychiatrist was unable to provide us with a clear diagnoses of exactly what was wrong with Bradley, and stated that he had never seen anything quite like this. After a thorough evaluation, he was diagnosed with severe OCD with Psychosis. I was asked for my consent for an injection of Thorazine for Brad, I refused. We decided to exercise a more conservative approach with the anti-psychotic drug Risperdal. Risperdal was to be slowly increased to four one milligram doses over the next four days. In addition to the Risperdal, his physicians wanted to start Bradley on an anti-depressant and possibly Ritalin. We stumbled and requested more time to make a more informed decision. The side effects of the Risperdal were frightening. Bradley was lethargic and had severe headaches. His arms began to draw up into his shoulders and become rigid. He had become more lucid, but at a cost. Further testing indicated the possibility the illness Bradley was experiencing could have been caused by a bacterial infection from strep throat. His physicians also wanted to explore the possibility of Early Onset Adolescent Schizophrenia by sending him for further evaluation and study at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda Maryland which would have resulted in a thirty-day inhouse stay with schizophrenia patients. At which point, I became incensed. Every fiber in my being rebelled at the idea of my son's mind being gone.
We wanted to explore alternative methods of treatment. We contacted Dr. Kamil Amen, homeopathic physician, in Washington DC. When we met Dr. Amen at our appointment, he was calm and confident of homeopathy's ability to restore Bradley's health. He was so confident I was afraid he wasn't taking Bradley's case seriously enough. I wanted him to be as hysterical as I was. My husband and I were willing to try the homeopathic remedies when we found out they work in conjunction with the body's natural ability to heal itself. After cross referencing Risperdal and homeopathic remedies and finding no conflict, Dr. Aman began treatment, and Bradley began to have measurable success with homeopathic remedies. Bradley's symptoms were significantly reduced. We decided to decrease Risperdal to three milligrams. We now have a child who is improving, but there are still unaddressed issues: extreme fatigue, intense anger, lack of concentration, being uncooperative, and being argumentative.
It is now May of 1999, Bradley is fifty percent improved, fifty percent remains. At this time, we contacted Gail Gregory who is a health coach and an acupuncturist who recommended wild-crafted micro algae and referred us to Elizabeth Fletcher. We started Bradley on this micro Algae. Within four days, Bradley's symptoms dissipated. Results were immediate and impressive. We lowered Risperdal to two milligrams. Bradley's life force is renewing, and healing is dramatic. He can cope and maintain emotional stability. Within five weeks, no symptoms, and Bradley's health is restored. Risperdal is now lowered to one milligram. Bradley's enthusiasm for life has returned, and he welcomes opportunities to engage in life's abundance. The results are ongoing. We see our son healthy, happy, an engaging human being. We are experiencing Bradley in a way previously unknown due to his increased level of health. We believe this wild-crafted micro Algae is responsible for restoring our son. We had found the missing puzzle piece.
Bradley's condition has been well documented by health care professionals. He continues to see a psychiatrist who has, and continues, to document his overall improvement. Bradley's vast improvement in health has generated much interest and attention from health care professionals familiar with the case.