by Cath Lewis
I was recently awarded my bipolar badge. I was offered a choice of medication and was very aware of the risk inherent in my decision not to take it until I had tried treating myself using "alternative" methods. I felt like I was fighting for my life and that it was unlikely that I would survive another date with my demon.
I stopped coffee and alcohol.
I started walking, yoga and meditation.
I took so many supplements to start with but have settled on a good multivitamin, a good mineral supplement, B complex, extra B12 and extra Magnesium and lots of Omega 3's (ideally with a high EDA to DHA ratio).
I consulted an Ayurvedic doctor would helped me detox and identified a wheat sensitivity but it could easily have been a Naturopath or a Chinese doctor.
I took the Ayurvedic herbs to help stabilize moods for the first couple of months.
I felt better within a few weeks, I had two pre-menstrual-triggered low moments in the early days but was able to lift out quickly and using meditation and exercise.
Having finally attained a state of equilibrium, my first ever since I was 14 (I'm 46) I then set about getting to the source. I believe psychotherapy is not the answer for bipolar people like me. I had analysed every aspect of my life ad nauseum (literally) and if I wasn't doing that I was locked in my right brain feeling overwhelmed with emotion.
I had two sessions of Psych K and am now using EFT and feel that things have changed permanently and I am no longer afraid that I will relapse. The left and right brain integration is critical for treating bi-polar. Bi-polar is more than manageable. All the changes are worth it and you not only end up free from depression and mania but incredibly healthy as well. Your site is the most "on to it" I've found. Thank you for that. Please keep encouraging people to find the way out of suffering.
Cath - thanks for sharing this story -- it is a wonderful encouragement to others who are seeking an effective alternative approach to healing Bipolar Disorder. These stories need to be told!
A have a couple of comments. First, while a partly agree with you - that psychotherapy often doesn't help - I want to clarify your point; I believe you mean, therapy that centers around telling your story over and over, without really resolving anything. This, in my opinion, is simply ineffective therapy (regardless of what style of therapy it may be). In general any well done psychotherapy should be at least as important and probably an even larger positive factor than medication. Good therapy reduces stress, resolves emotional issues, and improves self awareness and coping skills. And I agree, Energy Psychology techniques like Meridian Tapping/EFT (and many others) are the fastest and most effective in my experience.
Detoxing is an enormously beneficial, and often overlooked aspect of treatment (but needs to be done right). Ayurveda is probably one of the most skillful and valuable methods of detoxing, and has the oldest history of any healing arts.
And last - thank you for bringing up the Right-Left brain aspect of Bipolar. I will be putting up a page specifically about this very important model for understanding Bipolar Disorder . Information about the physiology professor and researcher Jack Pettigrew can be found here, regarding his work on Interhemispheric Switching. In my opinion, this is brilliant stuff, and very important research. I'll have more on this very soon.
Thanks for your encouragement!
Ben Schwarcz, MFT
Santa Rosa Psychotherapist