Bipolar and Unable to Take Medicaton
Hello, Ben. I'm new here, so please pardon me if this question is redundant. I would like to ask a complicated question. I was diagnosed as bipolar in 1998. I am prone to very deep depressive episodes and mixed episodes. My manic episodes consist mainly of agitated paranoia. Ten years ago, I was tried on different meds to see which ones worked and which ones did not. Each one made me gravely ill or made the condition worse. The last drug I ever tried in 2000 was Valproate and it sent me into liver failure and nearly killed me. As a result of liver damage, I cannot ingest any drug with a complicated mechanism or any drug that needs to "build up in your system." The last decade, I have managed to control my symptoms through strict lifestyle modification: diet, exercise, supplements, sleep schedule, meditation, creative expression, avoiding artificial food ingredients, caffeine, and alcohol, etc. I have been able to live a normal, productive life over the last decade without the meds.
I still get break-through moods that last for a week or two every year or so. These are at random times of the year, with no real pattern. These moods usually hit without warning upon waking. I was wondering if there was a way to short circuit this process early on (especially the mixed states) without the use of drugs. I notice your page on bipolar says the results of alternative therapies are inconclusive in this regard. If not, I just have to lose a few weeks out of each year "riding out the storm," and I accept that. Every other resource I consult says
that pharmaceutical intervention is the only way, which is not an option in my case. Can you point me in the right direction? Thank You!Ben's Answer
Your relatively successful 10 years are a testament to the fact that lifestyle, discipline, supplements and other natural self-care measures can go a long way towards keeping emotional balance with Bipolar Disorder.
In the past I hadn't seen any reliable supplement that actually seemed to work for bipolar symptoms, but in the past 2 years I've had 2 long-term clients that have taken a supplement called EmPower Plus and done far better on this daily regimine than they ever did on pharmaceutical medication. No significant episodes for either of them since transitioning to this. I haven't personally had many clients who have tried this supplement - but the one's who have tried it and taken it daily, and followed the guidance of the trained staff at TrueHope.com (where it is sold), have been very successful.
However, taking that route might mean having to modify or eliminate (replace) some of what you are already taking (supplements). And since you've done pretty well with your current routine, you may not want to mess with that. The staff at TrueHope.com could answer questions about those potential interactions.
The other thing I'd recommend highly, is the use of EFT (Meridian Tapping) as a way to decrease stress and balance yourself whenever you have a sudden spike/drop in your mood. Along with everything else you are doing, EFT/Tapping could be extremely helpful. Energy Psychology techniques like EFT are an excellent compliment to other forms of treatment and can be extremely powerful and fast.