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  1. Has anyone tried EMDR – eye movement desensitizing and reprocessing for their bipolar? I just found a psychotherapist in my area that practices it. It can be used to treat a lot of things, but PSTD is listed as the main area of treatment. My therapist has told me also that there is EMDR specifically for bipolar as well, but I need to go see a psychology PhD for that, which is far more expensive! I’m gonna save up for it though. It is way less time consuming than regular talk therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy, I’m told. Here is a link to check it out if you’ve never heard of it : https://www.emdr.com/what-is-emdr/ I’m super stoked to start! If you have tried it, and care to comment, I’d love to know what you think! Thanks!

  2. I was diagnose with MDD, BYPOLAR, AND PTSD in 2014. Apparently I been suffering that for most of my life and I didn’t even know it. At first I was exceptical about taking medication but from the first time I try it, it became like a magic pill for me, all those emptiness feelings went away, I stopped crying, and also quit thinking about suicide, I feel focus, I can coordinate important events, I can start and finish a task, ignore other’s people bad attitude etc..I can keep going on and on. However I been doing my research about the side effects of Lithium and it really raised concerns. I feel like mentally I’m finally able to function but I’m slowly destroying my physical body.

  3. I have bipolar 1 or it may be 2 or 3 or 4. I was told it mattered not the label just to know I have bipolar. So diagnosed it 1995 with Manic-Depression and the ‘label’ was just changing. So by the time I had thought to ask what type of bipolar I had I was told the above.

    I take Lithium and for me it works. I have 3 monthly blood tests and have been toxic a couple of times. I was advised to take another mood stabaliser in 2001, because my P. doc had read a report about it make arthritis, which I also have worse. I did not take this ‘new drug’ seriously and stopped it. Within 2 years I had months of depression and then wrecked a house, got sectioned, and lived on the streets.

    Back on Lithium and I do not care about bloody reports I am staying on it. I need my brain to be balanced and my mind to belong to me.

    I am 10 years in remission now and I really am in remission. I get lows but not those cold dark depressions that use to take me down and make me feel the cold from inside and no joy in living.

    I take my Lithium religiously and I just am. I am me and I accept that. I can be no more for others I give what I can. I need my energy for me. So between the Lithium and the Selfishness I am stable.

    I am at present also taking Citalopram the anti-d. I did go a little lower and went into a panic a couple of years ago. I have just stayed on it for I feel no worse for it and it may be needed now.

    I take sleepers and still at times find it hard to sleep. It worries me if I cannot sleep that it may trigger a manic/psychotic episode. For it feels so similar to me does sleep deprivation. I had to blackmail my doctor to get the does I have but to keep my mind and with my selfishness I do not care I will do whatever is needed to never go back into the hell of psychosis.

    I have just wrote this to say I know how I feel and what works for me and it is good to share but each is on their own journey in the hell of bipolar and I know Lithium does not work for all. I wish it did.

    I am posting now and hope it does post.

    Take Care

  4. Please someone help me i feel as if i will hurt someone or myself i have never been on medication and always refused a doctors care i refused to believe i had a problem. Ive tried to hurt myself several times and my rages have recently led to me wrecking a vehicle with myself and fiancée in the car. Im scared because it is getting worse i get so angry then i cant sleep and a slew of other issues. I put my symptoms in and this all came up but also said i may have bpd (borderline personality disorder) i dont want to hurt anyone and i really dont want to hurt myself someone anyone just give me some advice

    • Merrick I hope you are okay. Knowing th ere is something wrong is a big step. The best thing you can do now if you havent already, is get to a mental health center as soon as possible. Express to them what you feel and that you are afraid you will hurt someone or yourself. Listen to them, follow their advice and care so you can get diagnosed and get help. Best of luck.

  5. Meds are just one of many things that help. Are they critical? I don’t know. They definitely make my life easier and smooth out the mood swings, no doubt about that. That being said, I do feel that there’s a strong behavioural component to my mania and cognitive behavioural therapy has helped an awful lot. Over the long term, I hope to reduce my meds somewhat but I likely will always be on something unless I’ve been stable for years and years and feel like rolling the dice.

  6. I am Bipolar and i struggle with taking medications because of the side effects. This gives me some hope i recently stopped my medications and i went into some serious relapse that landed me back in hospital and back on the medication. If there is another way i would rather try natural remedies. I have done some research and there is a former bipolar Sean Blackwell that says he has a retreat package that he offers to patients but you must either travel to Brazil where he is or he travels to Europe as well on appointment.

  7. Looking for suggestions. My 16 year old is bipolar2. We have been dealing with dark depression and suicidality and manic episodes (which start as breathtaking artistic episodes then deteriorate to extreme hostility). the lithium has terrible side effect so she will not take it on a regular basis.
    Has anyone had success with alternative medications?
    Should I stop her meds and focus on building a life that accomadates her bipolar?

  8. This is a fascinating blog. I appreciate so much of what I have read. I am 60 years old now and was originally diagnosed with bi polar in my late twenties. I have been off all medication for some time now, and fight the daily battle with keeping my emotions in balance on my own. I have to live a low stress life and avoid any and all high stress situations to the best of my ability. It’s my focus because it has to be. I work on staying present in the moment and keeping a calm center at all times, because it is all I can do anymore. I don’t take any unnecessary risks and the price I have to pay is accepting boredom at times and knowing that it beats mania hands down. I don’t have a lot to say other than that I don’t identify with this disorder any more than having a very healthy respect for my limitations that require that I live the simplest of all possible lifestyles and work at being grateful to still be among the living after surviving the ravages of this disease for decades.
    Thank you, Eric

    • No, thank you, Eric!! I never made the correlation between my need for “the simplest of…lifestyles and my cyclothymia. I forget which bipolar disorder # rapid cycling us, #4, If I remember correctly. Since my doctor allows me to monitor myself with meds, I do so. As many others, I fight taking chemicals (meds) every time I stabilize. Instead of stopping all together and suffering the obviious results, I will gradually wean off until I am off completely. It doesn’t take long to feel and exhibit the classic, debilitating mental and behavioral traits of mania. After 25 years of knowing what my “problem” is, I have learned the following. I am a “keep things as close to natural as possible” kinda gal. But there is a trade=off. Letting the chemical imbalance in my brain remain in its natural state isn’t worth the damage it causes. If the medication I take, Lamictal and Abiilify, may end up affecting my good health negatively. Perhaps even lessening my life. These are hypotheticals but potential possibilities I’ve given thought to. Having control over an uncontrolled brain for 80 years beats 85, even 90 years of pandemonium. It’s working for me. I do want to add that prescription-only LOVASA, concentrated fish oil esters, is unsurpassed, for me, in controlling mania. I took it for 10 years until my insurance no longer covers it. I can understand why, since it is more of a supplement than a drug. I support the Affordable Care Act completely. But LOVASA is too expensive for me. I have been off for 4 months and the difference is amazing. I am going to give up what I can to be able to get back on it. The way I feel is more important than cable tv. 😄

  9. I CURED MY BIPOLAR DISORDER WITHOUT MEDS IN A MONTH: i get it, your instantaneous reaction to this statement is likely one of three things: 1:your manic and high! talk to me in a couple months! 2: you haven’t actually suffered with severe bipolar disorder. 3: ive tried EVERYTHING and besides would never risk getting off meds for the fear id hurt myself or someone else. i am here to tell you that despite all of these gross assumptions, what im telling you is true. first of all, let me just make this clear: IT WASNT EASY in action, but IT WAS SIMPLE.
    first of all, before you get reactionary, please understand ive been through the ringer. i am an authentic recovery case, yet there is not a doctor out there who can claim it because i DID IT MYSELF. i have a wake of weeks spent in bed, episodes riddled with horrific dramas, and deteriorated relationships that have haunted me since a young girl. in an effort not to bore you and keep this generalized and straightforward. here it goes:
    chances are, if you are diagnosed with bipolar disorder, bpd, and possibly even schizophrenia, you have a history of one or all of these ailments/behaviors: 1. alcohol and/or drug use: prescription or street, frequent use of antibiotics is HUGE. 2. SUGAR RICH/processed diet, or a substantial lack of leafy, green, and/or plant-based WHOLE foods. 3. leaky-gut: try listening to john bergman on youtube…he knows a lot about health as related to all sorts of conditions diagnosed by m.d.’s that are treated unnecessary symptom-based meds instead of with healthy lifestyle. GUT HEALTH FIRST! 4. tv, movies, household emotional-imbalances, negatively-charged music. we are what we eat, but also the data we allow in! 5. huge lack of spiritual identity, inner-emotional understanding and quieting of the mind(meditation). 6. low-exercise sedentary lifestyle.
    ok, before you get all upset, please understand that none of these things are impossible to change, so before you jump on me for being incorrect, remember that you have been experimenting with some seriously body harming pharmaceuticals. most of which, are amplifying the damage to your GUT, adrenals and even your brain. and since were on the subject of your brain: it is an AMAZING organ. it is so linked to your GUT, that its responses to it are instantaneous. also, it has an INCREDIBLE capacity to HEAL what most doctors consider several types of permanent brain damage. but even if you alter all of these unhealthy habits into healthy ones, there is one thing that trumps all lifestyle and diet changes. MIND OVER MATTER. this is what helped me make the changes in the first place. the last two things, for me, that seemed impossible to eradicate at first and came with tremendous emotional withdrawal were: HONEY & SUGAR(adding honey to every cup of coffee and tea & organic gluten-free baked goods were my go-to obsession…not even every day, but often), and MARIJUANA. there are lots of healing properties of cannabis, but if you are addicted to ANYTHING it will make your temper short and judgment skewed. after that triumph, i was finally ready to heal my gut once and for all. i had already tried so many things. frequent exercise, an otherwise ultra-clean diet, quitting alcohol, ayahuasca, therapy, quitting horror/drama/suspense viewing… and they all helped in small ways, but i knew that those two things were still in the shadows…being used and abused every day. for you, it may not be those two things. other things taken frequently might be hurting you more than you know. corn-based or corn fructose containing foods, non-alkaline grains or grain-based food, partially hydrogenated anything, BREAD, sweetened tea, soda or JUICE (even kombucha sold at supermarkets have too much sugar to be beneficial), booze(duh), ANTIBIOTICS, and did i mention SUGAR? keeping moving and exercised is also very important, and equally so getting enough brain silence and SLEEP. watching tv/computer work are toxic late night hours after the sun has gone down. by the way i have really enjoyed some nice solid nights of sleep since this healing. but i forgot to drive home my most important message. the best thing you can do to start getting over this tragic life of living with bipolar disorder is this: BELIEVE that it DOES NOT DEFINE YOU, and that YOU CAN RID YOURSELF OF IT WITHOUT SCARY MEDS! tell yourself this EVERY DAY. ERADICATE these things from your life that YOU KNOW are holding your body back from neutralizing into its natural balance. research gut health and healing extensively. as you discover your INTRINSIC POWER to conquer all of your addictions, be blown away as days…then weeks pass EPISODE FREE. you have to want it. you have to know it. begin meditating NOW. listen to guided meditation to get you started. mantras are also wonderful. try this one: “the grass IS greener on the other side”. even five minutes a couple times a day will bring benefits. YOU DO HAVE TIME. there are many things that you do that you can leave behind in order to replace them with healthy behaviors. DO IT. nothing is more important. no cravings are worth filling as much as ridding yourself of the roller coaster. it has come too close to suicide too many days of your life….has it not? it is not only the best thing you can do for you, it is the best thing you can do for your WORLD. your kids, your husband or wife, your parents, your friends. this is it. the best way to serve and give back.
    if anyone would like to talk about my words here, i want nothing more than to help you. even you, natasha. if you do it yourself, you have the power to spread the word and change lives. also, i wouldn’t be so sure about there NOT being a conspiracy to keep us from healing from our mental illnesses. cancer, for example, has been CURED in the lives of THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS by way of nutrition. so has anxiety and sleep issues. even eyesight and erectile dysfunction. the information is muffled…but it is out there if you look.
    all that being said, i say this with LOVE and the utmost respect for what you share. completely inspired & spirited! THANK YOU!!!

      • Please, I need your help…these powerful drugs are killing me…i’m on lamictal 200 mg. .5 clonazepam 3x day and .5 cipralex once a day. I’m shaking, tearful and sick of the drugs. Yesterday, my son lectured me as to why i’m still on this shit when it hasn’t helped me in 26 years. I do have IBS which isn’t under control. I had a naturopath who gave me a diet…i have adhered to the no sugar component which was a big factor but i still have trouble, i also took the probiotic she gave me…i cancelled our next appt as i didn’t think it was helping enough. but i now recognize these things need time.

    • Like I’m writing this :). Thank you.
      Only I would not to suggest any spiritual practice, even meditation.
      It can (and would) lead to wrong way of interpreting feelings and senses.

    • Whoa! Annie….slow down. You begin your diatribe with an unabashed accusation. Anyone who dares to shake their heads at the content in your LOUD, SOMEWHAT AGGRESSIVE first statement must be “manic and high.” Really? The next time you “calm/come down”, hoping you do, take a gander at your frenetic post. It even LOOKS manic. Then try to get through proofreading it. Perhaps less eclipses (…) and more capital letters, where they belong. The never-ending sentence has one holding their breath in hopes of a period(.) Exhale. Perhaps you should reconsider taking medication to replace the exhaustive dietary regimen you follow. Remembering it, much less consistently following it, would spin anyone’s brain. I’m just glad I didn’t trudge through your rambling while on one of my “vacations” from what keeps me balanced – the right meds.

      I write this out of concern. Best of luck!

  10. I been suffering bipolar for a decade. I’m so hopeless. I just a poor person. Pls advice the most effective cheap , effective and natural way to beat bipolar. I’m dying everyday. Pls help me guys

    • Carlos I feel for you. I’ve been dealing with full blown bipolar for about 8 years. Please talk to your Doctor and let them know you need medication that is affordable. I take cheap lithium because it works. Unfortunately, we can only manage the symptoms there is no way to beat it that I’m aware of. Cognitive Behavior Therapy can help, and if at all possible reduce stress in your life. Stress always seems to make it worse.

      • i was battling bi polar and depression since the age of 14 had 3 overdose attempts between 14 and 19, i was on many medications and then i was put on another one, i decided about 4 months ago i was going to stop my medication on my own because it was not helpful and would raise anxiety and it would give me stronger mood swings, i looked for things here and there to figure it out , while i was on medication i turned my life around and found something i loved doing and i stopped my medication and although yes i am still diagnosed with bi polar i am no longer on medication, most people think you have to spend money in order to cure or help yourself out without medication, just find something you love, make sure in your mind you say you are strong, wise , talented, promote yourself to yourself and grow and love yourself, it is a tough process will always be but if you find something you love your mind wont focus on as much of the negativity and it will turn those tears and pain into joy and smiles , focus on yourself and dont let anyone tell you what to do or that your a bad person or that without meds you will never be normal, you are a wonderful person carlos and elvis and you need to focus on yourself IF you become dependant on the medication your mind will fixate on the medication being able to help you but if you focus on the fact that on your own you can handle it and you can grow with yourself you will see that life will be so much better without medication in your life and the sun will seem brighter and the stars will shine brighter it will make your life better. you are great wonderful people with so much power and potential :). God Bless

  11. Thank you all for you great insight and valuable information that you all added.
    i dont want to repeat the triggers and natural healing info. lifestyle changes, vitimans,diet changes and etc…

    i just wanted to comment that for all of you out there who are offended being labeled “crazy”
    well i personally take it as a compliment. do you really want to be normal? a society label???
    what is normal? from what i ve seen as a good defination- normal is a setting on your washermachine.

    crazy is a biproduct of awesome! in my opinion!

    some of the most succesful people in this world today and in history have been labeled as bipolar. even Jesus may have been diagosed with bipolar in todays standard by the dsm.

    just remember life if something is easy its usually not worth going for. that being said bipolar will not be an easy battle. its a life long mood disorder and canot be cured in my opinion. but it can be healed. so we must learn the triggers and healing remedies so we can life a life of joy and happiness.

    ” in order for a great artist to create ones soul must suffer!”

  12. Hello everyone. I was 1st diagnosed with bipolar illness in 1992 after 3 suicide attempts. I was put in the psych ward for 1 month to figure out what was wrong with me. The doctors tried me on numerous medications to no avail until they introduced lithium. Then my depression lifted. They exclaimed “Now we know what’s wrong with you. You have bipolar illness” They released me within a week’s time and put me under the care of a great psychiatrist who saw me on a weekly basis for 2 years. She literally talked me out of my depression by saying “Mike, stop thinking of yourself as a VICTIM and think of yourself as a VICTOR.” I have not had any suicidal thoughts since. All I have to deal with is the mania. I often find myself staying up until 3 or 4 in the morning working on the computer. Eventually she retired and placed me under the care of a young psychiatrist who didn’t know medications very well. As it turned out he put me on a very high dose of Olanzapine which triggered diabetes in my system. With the help of my pharmacist I was able to reduce my dosage of that med. I also had a great diabetes doctor who got me on the right medications for my diabetes. Thankfully my diabetes is under control now. My only concern is that the high dosage of mood stabilizers that I am on are triggering my mania. Eventually my doctors will get my cocktail of medications straight to eliminate the mania and the insomnia. Remember people… time is a healer.

  13. (I’m sorry this is really long but its a long road for me & its from a really old post, i found this looking up info about no meds and bipolar)
    i JUST discovered this blog today because of this post, i have not read the other posts yet but i saw a lot of the titles and want to. I was misdiagnosed with ADD and ADHD when i was a kid and all the meds would was make me a zombie. When i reached i think 13/14 my mom said enough and took me off and i bounced back (i was still highly annoying to my teachers but much later realized most were manic episodes) I got diagnosed with Bi-polar at 16 and i took the medication til i was 19 and lost insurance. It was not til i was 23 (27 now to just help show age line) that i managed to get insurance again but by then it had been years since meds and i never got back on them.
    I became aware of my swings and triggers and avoid when i can. If i am in a crowd of people, i tend to pick up on what the mass feelings are(it is also why i dont like crowds of people in one place that dont go anywhere, if its crowds like malls or big events where they are always moving im fine, but groups not moving for hours. It is a reason i dropped out of highschool). So if everyone is happy and having fun, so am i but i can get a bit more extreme. I can get pretty annoying and to excited but i got lucky and my friends accepted me for that mostly. It helped that sometimes only 3 friends would be near me, i would be quiet and calm and they ofc noticed very quickly lol. A few trusted friends already knew about my disorder but i never really explained it. I explained to the ones that saw me calm about the group things and they accepted me even more and even helped if someone new joined the group and started to get really really annoyed back. They didnt scream it at them or anything like but would explain when i wasnt around what was up. They treated me normal, like they treated all the others and never made a big deal about it, and that helped so much. My manic highs are the annoying, wont shut up, cant sleep to excited kind of highs.
    I have also gotten lucky on my lows, well i got lucky in 09. I used to get severe depression, never got close to the suicide stage but the recluse depression, being in an emotionally abusive relationship while pregnant didnt help(also didnt help that it was about four months after i was 19) I miscarried and while i was sad about it i also i understood that how i was, it would not have been good for a baby even if my mom had already promised to help take care of it when i left the boyfriend. Not even counting to the fact i would be an extreme high risk for postpartum and i was not in a good place and im just realizing all this recently that i might have done something i could never take back. My lows were (before ex) were being just lethargic, not really wanting to do anything or leave my room at all and yes i sometimes got angry and lashed out verbally. I was never interested in stuff, i would just read and let time pass.
    It was in 09 after i got better from the relationship and baby stuff (all the worst happened in Jan of 09) that i found something that got me out of my lows and stabilized my highs(when i was alone, i hadnt joined my community college yet til 2010 and actually reconnected with old friends) i discovered Kpop (i know whaaaat) and then discovered dramas and other shows and even helped the subbing process. I found something i could became passionate about and let me focus and but all my stuff into. I’m not as extremely into as i was starting out because a lot of negativity has entered that place for me so i only focus on my friends i got through that and keep to myself and just enjoy. I never thought of it as a way to manage my episodes until my mom one day told me she noticed that since i got into Korean things i calmed down with everything my highs and lows, i stopped lashing out by like a LOT, i stayed out of my room more with her and my stepdad and i talked with them more.
    Sometimes i do think i might need to get back on medication but im afraid to. My last doctor when i was 16 had put me on so many things because i had been having night terrors(can’t remember what the meds were but i would wake-up in the middle and be in sleep paralysis) , insomnia (Ambien), was put on birth control and then Bipolar meds that kept getting switched. I unintentionally abusing the Ambien and whatever medication i was taking for something else made it worse. I have a span of 6 months i cant remember because of the cocktail i was given. Even now my memory is messed up. I can remember events fine but i cant put them in order or even remember what age i had and sometimes which state i lived in, unless it was something major ; 9/11, surgeries i had to some extent, moving, my parents divorce. Most the time for those i can remember ‘Ah i had surgery when i was in 8th grade and i dropped out at 16’ and just do the math for things like that. So i’m scared of taking most medications.
    But honestly i thinking finding my passion for something helped me more then whatever meds the doctors gave. I am not anti medication, i do in fact take mild Xanax (if my life wasnt already messed up im terrified of storms, frogs(phobia more) and also that crowd thing makes me need them to sometimes) for panic attacks, my insomnia and we found out it helps mellow out the angry lows. I just don’t want to get back on the bipolar medication, unless my other outlets start to stop working and i think i might lash out again but worse, since now im older and i know how to hurt people without touching them and i dont want that.
    I think i will stay with your blog because it was insightful/helpful and a lot of comments help because a lot are from people like me who understand somethings even my mom cant get and i cant explain.

  14. As an alternative medication, I decided to try Lithium Orotate. It is not tested and not approved as a medication for bipolar. Although my blog doesn’t fit (any?) of Natasha’s criteria for a well-written site, if you’ve been reading about Orotate this may be interesting to you. No ads, no nothing, just my personal ongoing experience.

    • Hi I read your post about Lithium Oratate.. I saw John Grays take on this and really want to find out more as my therapist has never heard of it.
      Are you able to point me in the right direction … I would really appreciate it thanks Sue

  15. Hi I was reading another blog about antipsychotics but it wouldn’t let me add a comment I think it was because it was to told, anyway. I currently take 600mg of Seroquel XR at night as well as 700mg of Epilim (sodium valproate) in the morning and again at night. I was surprised when I read that someone was on 40mg Seroquel. Should I be concerned about the amount I take? I also read it causes diabetes, I was diagnosed with diabetes around the same time I was diagnosed incorrectly with depression -later became obvious I had rapid cycling bipolar. Since that day nearly 8 years ago I have been on a lot of different drugs and it seems they need reviewing every 7 months or so. I now also have been diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis and have GORD and a stomach complaint which is going to be looked into soon. A Gp exclaimed the other day ‘and your only 39″, I think my arthritis was started off when I was on lithium a while back. At the time my levels were not checked and I got sores like psoriasis all over my torso and legs and at one point I had to use a wheel chair on one night as my hips seized. I never had psoriasis before then. When the lithium was stopped the psoriasis went away nearly altogether and just flared up behind my ears later. Now I have to take 20mg of methotrexate to deal with the arthritis and possibly that will be upped soon as my CRP levels? are still 29. Are my drug treatments killing me is my question? Should I be looking for something else? I am sure I am now addicted to the Seroquel as if I miss one dose I am super awake all night and then a wreck the next day, I event took a diazepam to sleep and it did nothing until the early hours when I was supposed to get up. Any ideas?

    • Yes, drug treatment is slowly killing you. I’m off my meds for exactly a year. Cost for that is the extremely healthy lifestyle and active social life as leader. It is curious, but you can get off of meds only as a social leader. Otherwise you’ll not be able to cope with stress (cortisol) reactions, dopamine swings and lack and inability to produce any oxytocin which is essential for getting asleep. At first try get off of meds it was 7 days totally awake when I came back to drugs. Second attempt was successful. If you are interested I may help you with some basic ideas how to start. I’ve been done lots of health and social life experiments since I fight for my meds free life.

      • I am weaning off bipolar meds. I am tired of feeling like a sloth! Have been over medicated for years.
        I would like to ask you what vitamin supplements are good. I want to get on a good vitamin routine, vitamins the help the brain so to speak. If you can help it would be appreciated.

      • Hi.
        Atis, please send me details to your ides: ” Cost for that is the extremely healthy lifestyle and active social life as leader. It is curious, but you can get off of meds only as a social leader. Otherwise you’ll not be able to cope with stress (cortisol) reactions, dopamine swings and lack and inability to produce any oxytocin which is essential for getting asleep.”
        I mean if you already have some summary written, because I can imagine it a lot of work to do just if somebody asks you to do it.
        I have a similar experience.. but I do not have the science behind it. When I have period of “power” I have a desire to pass it on as a teacher, therapist, guide.. and when it is not possible I go for extreme sport. But then, the social aspect is missing.. it feels as as if one was amputated mentally.. wanting to give and share the energy an there are no social channels to do it..and so one goes for extreme perfection – say in sport – but it tastes lonely

        Please answer to my email of possible.. hoardel@post.cz ….I am by chance here

      • Hi there. I have been on lithium and dopaquel for 8 weeks now, it has made me feel so ill so I am trying to taper myself off. Please could you offer some advice as to how you managed your illness?

      • Please help me Atis. I am desperate. I have been diagnosed with bipolar 2 in September 2015 and doctor gave me lamictal at 200 mg, clonazepam .5 3x day and presently cipralex .5 for 15 days. I went to a naturopath who gave me a diet. i followed it somewhat. What i did that was very important on diet was almost totally eliminate sugar and potatoes as test showed i was intolerant to them. She also told me to take Kali Phos tissue salts but i found they made me more nervous and she told me to take a probiotic. I stopped going to her as i felt it wasn’t helping and i am on disablitly and cannot afford the visits. I feel like i can’t win for losing. ANY suggestions would be greatly appreciated…i have never tried lithium yet and don’t want to. Cheers

        • Going without medication is not easy. Main chemical problem is to much of dopamine released in the brain. When dopamine level drops – cortisol – stress level rises.
          Both dopamine and cortisol are katalisators for catabolic metabolism and keeps certain level of it. If cortisol drops – dopamine rises, if dopamine drops – cortisol rises. How to drop them both? – this is the dilemma. One might binge on a dopamine habit – sweets, alcohol, TV watching to reduce cortisol caused anxiety.
          Cortisol feels bad, anxious and fearfull. Dopamine feels good, exciting, motivating, right.
          In order to go without medication you should reduce this particular level of dopamine/cortisol both the same time. Actually you should somehow reduce your catabolic metabolism and focus on anabolic metabolism.
          Eliminating high effective carbs from diet is the must, but it would rise your cortisol – making you stressed.
          I use 3 hour program – 1 hour exercising, 1 hour eating, 1 hour sleeping – this enxances anabolic metabolism very effective. Do it always in this order. Exercising boosts catabolic metabolism, eating prepares for anabolic and sleeping recovers body more than before exercising – so both dopamine and cortisol are going down.
          The next thing to work with is the social relations. Most likely you are emotionally dependent from someone who doesn’t love you very much.
          You should work on making others emotionally dependent on you.
          1) This is possible by giving them small presents, sweets, flowers, alcohol – everything that makes good feeling – rises their dopamine. Presents would associate this good feeling with you.
          2) The main social pattern is you your self. You should look better than any one else of your sex near. This would trigger dopamine to opposite sex and connect it emotionally with you.

          Ok, this is in short. Hope it would help.

    • Renee,
      I just want to say that I have so much respect for you. This illness is a monster to endure. I noticed that you said you have arthritis. I can’t be certain, but many times arthritis that comes with psoriasis is related to autoimmunity. If so an elimination diet may help, but I know how hard it can be to stick to a specific diet while taking Seroquel. I don’t think you need to worry about the dosage of medication. It breaks my heart to hear that anyone has to take these meds, though. However, miracles are always possible. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. “After Jesus said all these things, he left Galilee. He went into the area of Judea on the other side of the Jordan River. Large crowds followed Jesus, and he healed them there.” Matthew 19:1-2 -God bless.

  16. We are made up of a MInd (mental) , Body (physical) and Spirit (soul). It’s true we can get by with a satisfactory life treating only one or two of these things but I am a strong believer if we make a balanced effort to treat all 3 of these things together we will get much more out of life. The problem arises when we put our faith and focus on only one or two of these things that can sometimes impinge on the other. For example many people are dissatisfied treating the mental aspect with just medication. Studies have shown that medication combined with therapy fosters better outcomes. While medication that simply treats the mental symptoms alone can sometimes make you feel spiritually dead inside (negating the spirit) like too much lithium did for me and was also ruining my thyroid and kidneys (ruining the physical). I refused to take lithium anymore because of the problems I had with it. I’m now on a low dose of 3 different types of newer medications and I don’t have such an adverse reaction physically or spiritually any longer. Exercise helps too with the physical and the spirit can be helped by believing in God (you don’t need to be religious to believe there a higher being who is in control of the universe. It certainly can’t hurt to pray to it for divine assistance. Seriously, what have you got to lose?). Choosing to believe in a benevolent God who loves you unconditionally is much more comforting that believing in a religious disapproving punishing God). There will always be a fight going on somewhere in the world between evil and good. I choose to fight the good fight and not give into the evil

  17. I have bipolar and methylfolate works for me better than the bipolar drugs.there is a natural solution to bipolar and im a livng testament .now im not telling anyone to quit taking their meds but to get a second opinion from a holistic doctor on weather.bipolar for yourself
    is really necessary.then come to a conclusion. Weather you want to wean yourself off those dangerous physche drugs

  18. I left a comment here about six months ago where I mentioned that I think healing from mental illness, including bipolar disorder, is possible. I have already shared a brief summary of what has been helping me, but I would like to share a few other resources, links, and ideas that could potentially help someone. Medication might be the answer for some people, but I believe many people are wary of going down that route due to short-term and long-term side effects of prescription pills.

    For anyone interested in exploring alternative explanations and alternative solutions, I have a few additional things to share that I’ve discovered in my pursuit to understand more about mental illness. I realize this information will not appeal to everyone. If this information can help just one person who happens to see this, my mission will be accomplished. I was once way too close-minded, skeptical, and overly trusting of what doctors and “the experts” had to say to consider any of these alternative ideas, but I have so much more interest now in seeing things a different way due to my own awakening that began last year.

    Theory that bipolar disorder and schizophrenia is linked to spiritual awakening:

    More holistic nutrition solutions:

    A couple of books:

    For anyone who is struggling right now, I know your suffering is real. Hang in there, and keep looking for the solution. You might just find it and be able to share what helped you in order to help others. Wishing you all good health and happiness :)

  19. I have found that 5htp at night and St John’s Wort during the day helps me balance my rapid cycling bipolar syndrome. I still have my episodes, but they do help. Again, like with meds, everyone is different and what may work for me may be useless to others, and vice versa.

  20. Pingback: Bipolar Resources | Invoke Delight

  21. You name it, I’ve seen people who can’t do any type of work, too spaced out to even be able to do a disability application, had their children taken away by CPS, and just wander around homeless, but Thank God they aren’t having to deal with side effects like dry mouth from bipolar meds, that would be awful!

    • If they like going around homeless its their right. Society thinks they should be drugged to be useful for us – the better ones. I think the core problem for mentally ill is surrounded people who force them to be such with their attitude. The mirror neurons will make them more stupid with every communication with others as it copies the attitude. It is quite hard to reconstruct brains neural network without right input and knowledge how to do that. It’s almost impossible, so meds seems always the right choice. But I know – no one wants to go around like walking cabbage :) as you are when using meds.

      • Yes, walking around homeless smelling like a dead rat and crapping on the sidewalk and spending half of your time in and out of Emergency Rooms sounds very, very glamorous. How dare society not want that for them? Sounds so glamorous!

  22. Question to Natasha or anyone else in my shoes:
    Why hasn’t the fact that EPS/parkinsonian symptoms and allergic reactions been addressed as a reason not to take medication? This is why I’m not going to be taking any more and the docs are reluctant to give me certain meds limiting me even more. So I’m not refusing or playing around. I’m just aware that I am extremely med sensitive. I have been offered unconventional stuff which means unproven, higher risk of side effects, etc. The pdoc actually said it would be narcotics? Narcotics?! So I should trade for the effects of narcotics?! So my question again is…what is the alternative for those of us who are extremely med sensitive?
    Thanks in advance to all those who respond.

  23. Yes, you can. I know from personal experience. It just takes a lot of discipline to retrain your brain. You have to find out what your triggers are and practice how your are going to cope ahead of time. You also have to give yourself permission to feel however it is you actually feel. Then express those feelings in healthy ways. It sucks sometimes. It definitely is hard, but you have to take life in little steps day by day. And when life gets hard and you want to revert to old and dangerous habits. I let myself cry, let myself feel angry for a set amount of time and then I move on. It’s all about survival mode. Another way I cope is I think about, my dreams and I remember that they matter and the only one who is going to help me realize them is myself. The truth is I go to absolute hell every single day, but I can’t control what happens to me. I can only control how I react. That is a whole lot better than taking some pill which may not have horrendous side effects. Just my opinion.

  24. >Like there is a giant conspiracy to keep non-medication treatments away from people with bipolar disorder.

    you spoke that sentence.

  25. Oddly, many mental meds are used for so many medical things and so many medical meds are used for mental things and yes, I am separating the medical from the mental because society, the medical system itself, the psych system itself and even the health insurance system itself.. all separates the medical from the mental.

    In this day and age; Medical is medical and Mental is well, mental and while the psychiatrist (the supreme specialist in the mental system) is a Medical Doctor… he/she is not really recognized by their peers as well, being medical.

    My newest therapist, having only met her once so far cause she is that new (my last one moved out of area)… in the first 30 minutes of our 55 minute session insisted that I be medicated. She then argued with me as to why I wasn’t already “fully” medicated? She explained that treatment would be more efficient if I were sufficiently medicated (for her, or for me? I often wonder, when I have a therapist that insists I must be “fully” medicated.).

    She then argued as to why I felt I had Bipolar and who gave me the diagnosis? to then tell me that “no one can adequately diagnosis you with anything unless they’ve treated you over a long period of time.” This, after explaining that several psychiatrists, a few Nurse Practitioners and a hospitalization or 2 have diagnosed me on one or the other markers of the spectrum.

    So, first she argues aggressively as to why I am not fully medicated and then wants to argue as to who decided I had Bipolar?

    At end of session: She decided to inform me that her primary background was in Eating Disorders and DBT (she took over for my therapist that moved, remember?). She felt certain that DBT would assist me and well, that’s what method of treatment she’d render to me since I didn’t want to be fully medicated… she informed me quite professionally.

    She then proceeded, I kid not; to tout the success of DBT, as if I had never heard of it. She went on to inform me that the creator of DBT was “living walking proof” that it worked, blah blah.

    I popped up and said “DBT was created initially as a therapy modality for Borderline Personality Disorder because medications are pretty useless for Personality Disorders.” Her eyes grew large and she became visibly irked.

    I did add “I do not have Borderline Personality.” She grew silent with mouth open… I then said, to ease her “but i do know that DBT is helpful for those with Mood Disorders and is often recommended or suggested, much as CBT and WRAP.”

    Granted; I may have limited insight into my own illness but each individual’s limitation of insight is all relative to that individual’s ability to comprehend that which is going on and ability to discern…

    Point of digression… It’s not an exact science. It’s based on symptoms and behaviors.

    You tell them your symptoms and behaviors OR someone else does and they pop open a book, so to speak, thumb through some pages here and there… scroll up and down, until they find something that relatively fits. They then label you, diagnose you, put it on your paper for your insurance and your disability papers… and you walk away until next appointment.

    Is it bio-chemical? yes.

    Why? Because anything that affects and effects the mind or body, causes all the glands and organs and synapses and wiring to react. Not everyone’s system tolerates as well as someone else’s and some of us have to go at life a wee bit harder than others and have to survive this life, a lot harder.

    This is why my Bipolar is not your Bipolar and your Psychosis is not my Psychosis. My system is not your system and how my system handles things is different from how your system handles things. My perception and discernment is different than your ability to perceive and discern. We were created uniquely unique for ourselves and because we are uniquely unique for ourselves; our mental illness affects and effects us, different.

    I’m seriously not minimizing the distress and dysfunctioning, I’m not. I’ve been known to sit in a corner hugging a pillow and rocking and screaming and I’ve had hallucinations and paranoia most foul. Yet, I also know that I’ve been most stressed by external environmental factors, life factors that overwhelmed me.

    I am a survivor and I am a strong person. I just get wiped out, often… but I get back up and go to stepping, one foot in front of the other.

    But Sugs… (I’m southern) Meds are chemical.

    Chemical changes chemical, folks. Simple and honest.

    Pharma meds, street meds, over the counter meds, and “natural holistic” meds… all chemical changing. Meds are chemical, regardless of what or where or how you get them… you ingest them, snort them, lick them or they are injected, either way, they enter your system and your system changes by reaction.

    Chemical changes chemical.

  26. So I think the real answer is you can try alternatives to pharmaceutical treatment, might help some but most likely not the cure. My own experience is yes you can survive but surviving is different than living well. I lost health insurance for several months and could not afford to take medication. I ate a little better and lost 20 lbs having less hunger than when I was taking antidepressants. And yes I was “OK” as long as I didn’t have to deal with real life or real life situations. News Flash!!!! Most people have to deal with real life situations. Walking around unstable and ready to go zero to crazy at the drop of a hat is not how I want to live my life.

  27. I had the cluster of symptoms the professionals label Bipolar Disorder. I had mania, I had depression. I have utilized many Wellness Tools and applied several therapy modalities and other programs. My opinion is that I have been able to change my brain chemistry so that that cluster of symptoms do not occur anymore that were such a huge problem in my daily life. Now, when I have the very early signs of anxiety, I use calming practices effectively. When I have the early signs of lowered feelings, I use effective self expression, I self examine what is the trigger causing these feelings? I use mantras that help me recognize the role I play and accept what my responsibilities are as outlined in Dr. Low’s Recovery International program. I realize the situation is what it is. Previously, I felt a victim of my emotions and reactions to situations. Now I see that there are things that I can do to be empowered and respond in a more healthy way. I don’t want to act out of control. Now I don’t even feel those feelings of wanting to stay awake for many hours or other excessive behaviors. Emotion regulation and distress tolerance are a couple of topics in the Dialectical Behavior Therapy program that has been helpful. My point is that for me, the psychotropic medications for anxiety, hallucinations, psychosis, mood stability and sleep issues were not as effective as the other Wellness Tools that I have utilized. The medications made me groggy, have confusion and foggy thinking along with physical tremors, weight gain, menstrual issues etc. My symptoms are managed to the point that professionals do not feel a need to label me any more. I am just a person who is managing their life satisfactorily like anyone else.

  28. I had the cluster of symptoms the professionals label Bipolar Disorder. I had mania, I had depression. I have utilized many Wellness Tools and applied several therapy modalities and other programs. My opinion is that I have been able to change my brain chemistry so that that cluster of symptoms do not occur anymore that were such a huge problem in my daily life. Now, when I have the very early signs of anxiety, I use calming practices effectively. When I have the early signs of lowered feelings, I use effective self expression, I self examine what is the trigger causing these feelings? I use mantras that help me recognize the role I play and accept what my responsibilities are as outlined in Dr. Low’s Recovery International program. I realize the situation is what it is. Previously, I felt a victim of my emotions and reactions to situations. Now I see that there are things that I can do to be empowered and respond in a more healthy way. I don’t want to act out of control. Now I don’t even feel those feelings of wanting to stay awake for many hours or other excessive behaviors. Emotion regulation and distress tolerance are a couple of topics in the Dialectical Behavior Therapy program that has been helpful. My point is that for me, the psychotropic medications for anxiety, hallucinations, psychosis, mood stability and sleep issues were not as effective as the other Wellness Tools that I have utilized. The medications made me groggy, have confusion and foggy thinking along with physical tremors, weight gain, menstrual issues etc. My symptoms are managed to

  29. My son just turned 17 in March of this year. In September of last year he started feeling like scared and paranoid. He thought that someone was trying to hurt his dad and that they were trying to get him to hurt his dad. He could not sleep and that made it worst. He always been a quiet , good, popular kid. Well last year we took him to a hospital and when he got there he start feeling like he was being locked away. He got aggressive and they had to strap him down and give him medication. He got sent to a mental hospital and the week he was there he told therapist and me that he was hearing voices and the continued eye movement like he was seeing things was happening. He has suffered from sleep walking starting when he was around 5 years old. Ive did everything to find my son help..they had gave him medications saying it was a chemical inbalance but he stop taking the meds saying its not helping him because he still could not sleep. He has busted up our car and house and is easily aggetated at times. I am very frustrated and it kills my soul that my first born is going through something so scary and a unknowing mental stage that no doctor can give me an accurate diagnosis. we are poor and its sad in a lot of societies we cant get the right help. And being poor or rich the hospitals, doctors and phycs just want the money and not showing the care of rare individual cases. Ive been to Childrens hospitals, Children centers and all types of places for help and we are still suffering. Now my son said he had been smoking weed for 2 years and ive learned that he has experienced taking zantacs as an get high..I pray everyday that my son gets the right help instead of just being labeled like most doctors do. He doesn’t hang with his friends or family anymore, he has walked miles just to get to family homes recently on freeway and he walks back and forth all day inside and outside of home. what hurts me the most especially being his mother, its like he knows something is wrong but scared to mention or talk because he feels like an odd ball.. I don’t know what to do any more…and im tired of my son suffering.. I wish that it could have been me instead of him. The medical world really doesn’t know what mental illnesses come from or know how to treat it correctly…the first thing they want to do is pump the patients with all these strange medications that at times only soothe the situation not help it. I want to just scream because of the pain in my heart..

    • I sounds like your son may be dually diagnosed (having mental issues and addiction issues). You should get him in front of a therapist that works closely with a doctor and find something that works for him. These types of issues require a whatever it takes attitude. The longer you sit on the fence about real treatment the more you are enabling his behavior. Do you want him to get better, or is your goal to just sit on the fence?

    • Hi Eugenia don’t give up there is help out there you just have to stay strong. Your son needs you Strong take it one day at a time organize yourself by giving at least one hour or two to make phone calls search on the internet you are doing right now by researching how to help him places for low income just pick up the phone and call don’t get discouraged, when they can help go to the next number and call again everyday you love your son I know I can hear it with the way you express yourself, start by helping your self too, go to alanon group meetings find one near you there is always someone in your same situation you are not alone. With love everything is possible and there so much in you.

  30. Chris, you’re clearly trying to “trigger” me. But it’s not working. Please, seek some help for your issues. Natasha, what do you think? It seems like Chris is lashing out. I really do wish he recognizes that he is currently having a problem with expressing himself in a mature manner and gets all the help he needs to resolve this issue. All my best to you, Chris.

    • Also, Chris, referring to me as “Cinderella” and “lady”? I never made a reference to my gender on this sight. Please stop jumping to conclusions about people you don’t know, and insulting them while at it. I hope you’re just having a bad day and are normally a person with an open heart and mind.

      • Tas,
        When I think of that other person who I cannot name becuase of my anger I realize that the word STIGMA is so rampant . Never experienced anything like it before on this blog, but it is now infected this blog and should be a reminder to all of us that STIGMA is everywhere. Natasha has done an extremely wonderful and heartfelt job of making this blog a place for those of us to come together and share, thoughts, stories , etc. A safe place. Yes , ther is disagreement sometimes but not at his level if I can recall. I have learned so much since I found this blog and yet that person is violating it, and that is very sad. Like I said , the only way I can think of this person is that they are and I hate to say it because I don’t like the word but I will anyway, A TROLL. If not, a person with some very serious issues and I hope that person finds the help needed.

        • Michael, do you happen to be the same Michael who I was conversing with about ptsd? I think there might have been some confusion yesterday when I replied to a comment posted by “Michael” on yesterday’s post “I can’t accept my bipolar”. I wasn’t aware that 2 people could have the same username. Anyway, I was instantly attacked, I believe by the person you are referring to. I do hope he gets some help. Hateful remarks does everyone a disservice.

          • Tas,
            I have complex PTSD brought on by years of physical violence and worse starting at a very early age. I did post to you and other about my feeling with regards to what you speak of and in regards to Natash calling you out on the genetic portion of BP and I posted the views of an expert in the field of complex PTSD which is in line with how you and I feel about issues like bipolar. So , yes If that’s the Michael , you are talking about, I am the one. And I was very distressed with the conversation with that person attacking you as crazy, etc

  31. Chris, your attacks are uncalled for; you’re clearly going through a difficult time. I hope you find all the help you need in order to channel your anger in healthy ways; attacking others is not the answer. All my best.

  32. Cerene,

    When I read these blog postings I do my best to read them from my perspective as the personal experiences shared by each individual. I also try to ignore the name calling and the need to attack the knowledge and/or intellect inappropriately directed toward one another.

    The fact is after more than a half-century as a mental health advocate/activist and support person to my spouse I’ve learned that unfortunately the medical practice of Psychiatry still remains an inexact science. There still are no definitive diagnostic tests that one can point to substantiating the multitude of diagnostic codes outlined in the current DSM Manual. This is not to say that at some point in the future it may all come together.

    In the meantime what we have are practitioners diagnosing by symptomology and as we know mistakes can be made. We also know that medication(s) do work for some and not so for others and worse yet are the potential serious side-effects many of these psychotropic medications may elicit but then again all may not experience.

    We do know that individuals may very well respond differently to the same medications and/or treatments as are illustrated on this message forum and others throughout the Internet. The point being is to be reasonably educated and understanding in order to make informed decisions hopefully in collaboration with a caring, trusted and licensed professional.

    Good for you all who have been fortunate to find a treatment regimen that you have responded to and have proven efficacious long-term without any serious or detrimental side-effects.

    Serious mental health issues should be addressed as early and as quickly as possible. Bear in mind, there are doctors, good doctors and better doctors and none to my knowledge have reached the status of deity.

    In my opinion, one should consider the least invasive therapy first such as nutrition, exercise, holistic approaches and then on up the ladder if previous treatment options prove unsuccessful.

    Lastly, in my opinion, remain persistent and hopeful in one’s quest to find relief.


  33. One other thing that I would like to make abundantly clear is if a small handful of people were misdiagnosed as bipolar (when in reality they were just being some other kind of crazy) no longer have bipolar (because they never had it to begin with) that is not duplicable for someone with the actual disorder.

    • So, victims of child abuse who are misdiagnosed with a life long mental illness are just “crazy”?! Please say you didn’t mean that.

      • Well don’t call that “sane”. What kind of outcome should we be expecting from that? If the shoe fits then wear it Cinderella ?. Luckily for you it sounds like its a less severe case of crazy than actual bipolar disorder.

        • I was actually the epitome of bipolar with psychotic symptoms after my diagnosis, accompanied by psych drugs, for 10 years, Sherlock ;) and your lack of compassion and out right disrepect for survivors of trauma is pathetic. People who have been traumatized and abused are just “crazy”? You should be ashamed of yourself, but perhaps you’re one of the abusers and that’s why you say such shameful things. I’ll pray for your soul.

          • And, I might add, as per you last comment, you clearly asserted that mental issues are not due to genetics/chemical imbalances/brain disease, but are a psychological response to trauma.

            • Don’t put words in my mouth crazy lady… Maybe we’ve underestimated your level of crazy. Would you prefer Sane-impaired? Is that warm and fuzzy enough for you?

            • Chris
              I know you are upsetting so many people who are reading your posts..You have upset me beyond words. May I suggest that you look in the mirror and ask yourself the question, Am I crazy because I keep attacking.. What is your motive for doing this? Does it help those of us “crazies” in any way? I cannot and will not respond to you anymore , rather than think of you as a person with a serious issue or a 12 year old on mommys computer having fun hurting people. Either way, what you are saying is very hurtful.

    • Chris Beaverton,
      I am offended when you refer to people who have this dastardly illness as crazy. I have an illness . A malady of the brain.. I don’t know how you define crazy.. What I do know is that we have such an empathy deficit out there. THat disturbs me. Why even use the word crazy becuase I consider that hateful language in the context you used it.

      • I’m curious to know what is the correct adjective then… Mad? Off? A little wacky???

        Or is everyone off in Lala Land where we should consider having major problems as “normal” because isn’t that warm and fuzzy?

        I was taught to Accept what is True, establish a strong base and move on from there.

        • Great. So accept what’s true for you. Establish your strong base and move on from there. No one’s denying you that right. Which is why your anger and disrespect toward others who are merely sharing their experiences and what’s helped them is puzzling.

      • I see no coincidence that the people who refuse to take meds are the ones most offended by everything. The alternative doesn’t seem to be keeping you on your rocker very well… Speaks Volumes

        • Chris, why are you so offended by, and abusive towards, people who have been able to tackle their psychological issues without medications? I don’t resort to using abusive langauage when someone disagrees with me; perhaps this is proof I don’t have a life long genetic chemical imbalance that controls my behavior; perhaps this is proof that you do. I hope you seek better treatment for your brain disease which causes you to be so dismissive and abusive towards survivors of trauma. Your current treatment,or lack thereof, is clearly not working.

            • Obsessed? Because I looked at a blog post after a week? Looks like you’re the obsessed one; responding in 2 seconds to my post. Good luck to you Chris. I sincerely hope you find the right treatment for your issues.

            • I’m glad problems are always outside of you. Let me know how that one works out for you, Baby cakes!

  34. Before my comment, i’d like to apologize; my poor little puppy just had surgery and I have to stay home with her for I week. I really do enjoy this blog (thank you, Natasha), hence i’ve been commenting a lot while homebound. Anyway, some people function very well off meds; I being one of them for 4 years. It is no easy task, and tapering off meds should be very gradual under a doctor’s care. I do believe that there are some people whose mental issues may have been caused by a chemical imbalance that they were born with. However, many people’s psychological problems which lead to symptoms of mental illness are a direct result of trauma. I believe the people who were born with a chemical imbalance are those who are easily helped by psych drugs. Others, whose symptoms get worse after exposure to psych drugs, have every right to seek alternatives to help themselves. I do hope that one day psychiatrists will be able to objectively test people for mental illness the same way objective tests are provided for diabetes. Until then, we only have the genetic/chemical imbalance theory which results in only subjective diagnoses. The current gene theory bothers me because it suggests that I just wasn’t genetically strong enough to handle the trauma of child abuse. Tell a holocaust survivor who suffers from ptsd that they weren’t strong enough to handle the autrocities of concentration camp because of their Jewish genes and see how far you get with that theory.

  35. It’s amazing the ignorance in most of these remarks. “I went off my medication 2 months ago and I feel great!” Are you kidding me? Most people are fine when they go off their meds, but gradually, as the brain readjusts, the bipolar comes back. Tell me how you’re doing in 6 months, in a year. That’s the test. Not 2 or 3 months. That’s like saying: “They say I’m 2 months pregnant but I’m really not because my stomach is flat.” Bipolar disorder is a problem with brain chemistry, just like diabetes is a problem with glucose metabolism. Diet and exercise can help but it usually isn’t enough on its own. While it’s sad that most of you are just fooling yourselves, what’s really sad is the mother who’s experimenting on her child because she’s done nothing at all to research what bipolar really is. Flower essence? Give me a freaking break.

    • Is 12 years long enough for you? I was on meds for Bipolar for 7 years. I have not taken them since 2003 and have been able to use many other Wellness Tools instead.

      • Janet,
        I have been searching and searching and I am on these toxic meds.. . I Am becoming drug tolerant after all these years and refuse to take any more or up my dosage. Can you please tell me what your wellness tool are if you dont mind.

        Thank you kindly,


        • Michael, instead of sleep medications, I have learned sleep hygiene skills. For anxiety, I have developed mindfulness and calming practices. I have addressed childhood trauma in therapy. I use lots and lots of self nurturing skills. I use my Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) every day. I have learned how to access support and self-advocate. I know how to communicate clearly with health care providers and others. I self-express daily. I utilize art and have many interests that keep me engaged. I volunteer and keep a low stressed lifestyle. I use helpful quotes to remind me of what matters and what is true. Some of the useful modalities have been: Recovery International, Internal Family Systems work, using mantras, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, WRAP, Nonviolent Communication, art therapy and journaling. I also have been married to a supportive husband for 34 years who has hope for me during the times I could not believe it for myself. I have a huge list of Wellness Tools that work for me and use many of them every day. Thanks for asking.

    • Cerene, calling people ignorant and foolish because they have found alternative treatments to help their bipolar symptoms is hateful and does everyone a disservice, including yourself. If medications have helped you or someone you love, then fine; i, as i’m sure everyone with an open heart is, am very happy about that. However, please understand that psych meds do not work for everyone. And everyone has the right to use their own intelligence and judgement, based on their own experience, to decipher what works best for them.

      • I would just like to point out not everybody is able to comprehend the complexity of bipolar disorder (and that’s before any lapses in judgment come into play). Of course everyone should always use common sense within reason. But leaving lay people to treat themselves is not a good idea. If that’s a good idea, then maybe we should let anyone that ever watched the Discovery Channel do open heart surgery. After all they’d know all about it, they’d seen it done with their own eyes before.

        • Hi Chris, I don’t watch much tv. However, I do know that if I went to a cardialogist for chest pain and he gave me medication and then I had a heart attack and then he gave me more medication and then I had to have quadruple bipass surgery and then he gave me more medication and I had another heart attack in which I almost died, well i’d probably want a second opinion, ie; alternative treatment for my initial chest pain.

  36. I’ve been off meds for four years now after being on one cocktail after another for almost 2 decades. I feel better, and function at a higher level, than I ever did when on them. I haven’t had one depressive or manic episode. I did have to finally face my demons (child abuse), which was painful, but I got through it with the help of an empathic therapist. I’ve learned to treat myself well; proper nutrition, exercise, sleep, positive thinking, keeping toxic people out of my life… but I think I was one of the misdiagnosed anyway. I wasn’t diagnosed bipolar until prozac made me manic and zoloft made me suicidal. I was very young and believed the doctors when they told me the antidepressants brought out the bipolar in me. Ha! And heroin didn’t kill Janis Joplin; it merely brought out the death in her. Anyway, glad I made the decision to come off the meds and reclaim my life. But it’s probably not safe for people who really are bipolar. If you really do have a biological chemical imbalance, then you should probably continue to take the chemicals that fix that.

  37. The stigma against meds isn’t helping us that have to take them.

    I tried for 10 years to deal with my mania without meds, I failed.

    I don’t consider myself some sort of reject because I take valproate, I don’t take anything else.

    Try to judge less.

    • For the 583,485 time. If someone needed a medication or hormone for any other part of the body to allow them to lead a fuller live, pretty much no one would take issue with it. So at least last I checked the brain is attached to body and LOGIC yes PURE LOGIC would tell us if something exists then something could possibly go wrong with it… And this goes all around… don’t listen to idiots who have absolutely no comprehension of what your actual situation is. Its just them trying to push their baggage onto you. Repeat after me… “Well, that’s great and all, but I already have enough of my own luggage, so you can keep that ratty old bag.”

  38. I am the mother of my bipolar daughter, and she was struggled for several months during her last year of college. We were not sure at first what was going on, but the manic episode were obvious and bad:( she would cycle almost every month, and the medication she was put on resperdial mixed with anxiety meds only gave to horrible side effects, so bad she almost always ended up in the Hospital:( Thankful she did graduate college but poor thing was heavily medicated. We brought her home with us and she had changed to Seraqueil 600mg a day, very high dose. This caused her to gain lots of weight but was slowing helping her mood swings and stability, It has really been a life saver!, We eventually weened her down with the close watch of her dr.’s and she is on a very lose dose and lost most all the weight, she feels good and is good!, no manic episodes, no other medication in combination. Stable sleeping patterns helps, she now has a good job and continues to stay at home with us.

    It has been about 2 1/2 years since any outbreaks but she has been on Seraquil, however this summer 2015 she has stopped taking her medication all together:( It has been 2 months and she was been okay for the most part, but I worry so much, she talkes about traveling and I fear without medication she might be lost:( She no longer wants to see her dr.’s and says she feels fine, and again she has been stable but it only has been 2 months and a few time she will get up late in the night random and wash her face at 3 am:/ Not sure what I should do as I can not force her to take medication, nor do I want her hard work to go undone:( Any suggestions?

    • Michelle
      I would suggest she brings her meds along just in case, especially if she is going through different time zones. I wish you and her peace.

    • I don’t believe that it’s possible to quit on Seroquel just cold turkey.
      Only way to do that is to fall in successful love with someone and he or she loves back.
      With extreme healthy lifestyle is possible to go without medication even without falling in love :). However some sleep problems will persist.
      Wake up at 2 to 3 am is normal. More importantly is to get sleep at 21 pm.. Staying awake late is dangerous.
      These numbers are based on cortisol day/night cycle. After 24 pm cortisol level starts to rise and causes wake up. Its normal, that its hard to get sleep about an hour again.

  39. Bipolar for 11 yrs.. Lithium and Risperdal for 4-5 yrs. No Risperdal for 2 months, No Lithium for 1 month. Stable and Happy.

    • 1 month isn’t long enough to tell.

      It takes 3-4 months at least for your brain chemistry to get back to normal.

      Please be careful getting off the stabiliser, I know for myself I have to stay on the valproate.

  40. As some people here have commented, I don’t agree that people who’ve received this diagnosis HAVE to take prescription medication for the rest of their life. I think it’s a horrible way to view ourselves–as forever damaged and helpless without pills. I’m beginning to think that healing is possible.

    I took lithium for 7 years and had fallen into the trap of thinking I NEEDED it to survive. I will admit that it’s still a bit soon for me to make the assumption that I’ll never deal with manic-depressive episodes ever again, but I have been completely off lithium for six months now without the slightest hint of relapse into a manic episode. Before meds, I used to experience manic episodes every spring. Now we’re approaching the end of May, and I’ve successfully avoided mood swings so far this year. I’m very impressed with how stable I have remained and feel hopeful about a future without meds.

    In case anyone is interested, these are factors that I believe have contributed to my positive outcome so far:
    Diet: completely avoid GMOs and gluten, no caffeine, no fast food, very little junk/processed foods, no meat except salmon, organic fruits and veggies, adequate protein and healthy fats (olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, organic/grass-fed butter)
    Supplements: omega 3 oil, ashwagandha, extra magnesium and zinc
    Socially: have a very supportive, loving relationship with my partner and avoid negative/draining people
    Lifestyle: exercise several times a week, obtain lots of sunshine, maintain consistent sleep schedule

    An excellent book I recommend for anyone struggling with mental/mood issues is “The UltraMind Solution” by Dr. Mark Hyman. After researching various things, I’m starting to wonder if bipolar is a misdiagnosis for something else, perhaps hormonal imbalances like adrenal fatigue and hypothyroidism. I’m not convinced bipolar disorder is just a “chemical imbalance.” Perhaps there is another imbalance in our lives that we have not addressed, such as our diet, lack of social/emotional support, hormones, exercise, sleep, etc. I think it’s ok to take meds to become stabilized, but once stabilization has been achieved, I encourage people to start exploring the root causes so they can very slowly start weaning themselves off the meds and adopt a truly healthy lifestyle. Let’s look for real solutions instead of slapping a band-aid on the problem!

    • O ya, extreme healthy lifestyle helps me to stay without medication for 6 month now.
      I can add to written above, to achieve better results on mood, my favorites are cold water swimming and workout with heart rate monitor for better interval training management.

      • Once again I would like to state a fact. Some people can have very long cycles with long flat lines in the middle. So any claim such as “I didn’t do this” (no-cebo effect) for 3 days and now I’m bipolar free mean little to nothing. Yes some people’s cycles could even have a flat line for years. Anyway, the downside of all of that is someone could EASILY fall into a mania and lose or give away everything important in their lives. This has happened before, as about anything COULD happen during a manic state. I highly doubt non-gmo, free trade, gluten free, non-dairy, vegan, salmon, raw, cooked in the dishwasher is really a total solution.

        • I cannot stand the meds I am on.. I have titrated from a “Cocktail” down to 2. How many people out there cycle 2 or 3 times a day.. Thats right… a day. Ultradian cycling. Have you any idea what it feels like. Is a good diet and exercise and fish oil , etc good for the brain and the body.. Yes.I smediatation? In many cases , yes.. I have so much difficulty with it becuase the ruminations wont stop but I keep on doing it. I have been vegetarian for 20 years and live a clean life but I still cycle every day. What other options do I have?Being bipolar has effected me tremendously in the realm of physical maladies becuase of the meds. My anxiety levels and depression levels are beyond belief.. I am here to say that there is just not one variant of this brain injury but many and that people like myself can do everything possible including a healthy lifestyle and meds and meditation and we are still very ill. I wish all of us peace. We were all born innocent and yet have to endure this. I live in purgatory.

          • Hi Michael
            I also have a very rapid form of bipolar and did have moodswings throughout the day, I am now on 600mg pm of seroquel and 700mg of sodium valproate morning and again at night. I know if I miss even one dose I am not able to sleep that night even with sleeping pills. And then this throws my mood out the next day and I get either depressed or very irritable for no reason or with slightest provocation. One thing that helps though is when I recognise in myself the reason why i feel that way- when i know its because i forgot my meds. Then logically i can talk myself thru my feelings even though i still feel them. This has stopped me from ruining relationships with family members when i have been really irritable and snapping at them as i can apologise straight away. I have an adult daughter who insists bp is something i can get rid of without meds but i know that wouldnt work for me. I am even having to increase or change the med si am on now as my valproate levels came back low. Of course there are side effects and i have had my share of those especially with lithium which caused psoriasis all over my body and even temporary paralysis of my hips and leg bones. But destroying your social life losing professional standing and relationships with family and friends is not something worth more than enduring side effects. Id take meds over going cold turkey anyday.

  41. Pingback: Bipolar Resources | How To Get Up From An All-Time Low

  42. What is helping me right now is a small dose of seroquel for sleep, lithium 450mg which I have just started, quitting smoking and cutting down caffeine, CLEAN eating and a lot of time out in the sun + exercise!

    Seriously guys.
    CLEAN living and SLEEP is the most important aspect to dealing with bipolar.

    Avoid drugs alcohol and stimulants at all costs. This is the only way for us to succeed. I know it is unfair, but you just have to have a strict lifestyle and avoid stress.

    OUR BRAINS REQUIRE MORE CHEMICALS THAN AVERAGE PEOPLE AS THEY RUN FASTER; This is partly the reason we run at 1000 miles an hour then CRASH – our brains are depleted and inflamed. You know how you go from feeling as if your brain is amazing, to feeling like it’s useless? From over working, to under working?

    So make sure you are getting all of the required nutrients! We need more vitamins and BRAIN food than normal people.
    Avoid anti depressant herbs. They make things worse, trust me. SO MUCH WORSE.

    Just take fish oil and make sure you get all of the simple and necessary vitamins. Eat loads of fruit and veg, drink lots of water, don’t sugar OD, don’t caffeine OD.
    This has been the only way for me.
    I am happy and calm. Symptom free for the first time in many years, if not ever.


  43. And the Emperor paid a lot for his new clothes too! Have you tried the asparagus diet? All asparagus all the time… Totally cures bipolar disorder but your house will stink so bad you’ll end up living in the bushes and they will eventually haul you off to the hospital…

  44. Hi! I truly believed I would be on meds my whole life. I was diagnosed with bipolar at age 16, now 31. I have been on every med. I recently got off my meds, and have never been happier. I noticed I would actually be more irritable on meds. I also do not do drugs or drink anymore. I exercise regularly and try to eat healthy and enjoy being outside. I still see a therapist and have taken DBT therapy a couple times, which I think is the only reason I can be off meds. I am not against taking meds again if absolutely necessary but for the meantime I am really enjoying being me with no side effects or the extra 100 lbs!

    • I would love to be in touch with you !
      I have a 31 year old daughter too , and we are struggling with the medications’ side effects
      Thanks ,
      647 887 9824

  45. Pingback: The Bipolar/Anxiety Confessions: | Awaken-LLJ

  46. The body & brain even in 2015 is not a completely understood science, bipolar has no specific test to prove it’s a valid diagnosis, hence why you’re treated with drugs (not necessarily specific) to treat certain behaviours and or symptoms that may or may not work, it’s just band aiding many possible biological causes that individually and collectively mirror “bipolar” symptoms and behaviours, with the amount of research that has been done to date like gut bacteria (and brain connection) vitamin and amino acid deficiencies and all other possible causes that mirror “bipolar” behaviours and symptoms, these should be exhausted before you put a blanket over everything and call it bipolar, if you have a big cut you can’t just cover the blood with different types of bandages hoping one will stop the flow, you find out where it’s coming from, and stop it. As the sale of oil is important to oil companies, as with the sale of drugs and the affiliated companies, I hope this doesn’t slow the improvement and or progression of treating certain diseases/illnesses if they go against the big pharmaceutical companies a more diverse outlook needs to be taken involving all knowledge gained thus far to try and get to the root of the problem (bipolar) may cost more initially but if it’s going to aid in someone’s life progression, money well spent.

  47. I am very glad to see this article. You can indeed learn to live with it. A good doctor should direct you to this method before the use medication (when possible). I always refused medication because my manic cycles allow me to do incredible things, like solving complex problem in a month while an average PHD student takes 3 years. Having a proper sleep schedule is sometimes just impossible, so I don’t fight anymore, I have a room far away from my bed allowing me to do my things while others are sleeping. I noticed my colleagues and clients that they will receive emails at 3 AM. I try to plan financially my depressive cycles, because I know I wont have much incomes during those periods.

    My mother is bipolar also and is using medication. She was always against the fact that i refuse medication because she loves me and hates seeing me suffering. Because using those tricks you will still be suffering, it will just make it a bit less painful.

  48. I liked your article very much. Both diets works fine, importance here is to avoid fast & high energy foods, especially everything with sugar.
    But about the topic – is it possible to go without medication? – my answer is Yes.
    But it is so hard for two month with increased anxiety and insomnia. It is nearly impossible to break thru. But I did it :), it asks just 110% extremely healthy and natural lifestyle and acceptance to and from surrounded people.
    At the first time it will fail, but the second time it may work for you.
    This is not suggested by doctors, because it will turn you into complete maniac at the week 4th. Actually you will become dangerous to the society even if you understand your over reactive senses and feelings such as severe fear and aggressivity attacks etc..
    At the second attempt you’ll probably notice, that the most of anxiety comes from lack of medication, as its after effect. Together with other stress factors this post-medication anxiety may create total insomnia and this is the point were to go back to medication or you will die.
    Hard is not the word, it is almost impossible to live without medication if you ones have started it. If you have WILL you will. It is worth to see the world in its natural shades of grey, not that pink medication fog around you :)

  49. Both my father, my brother and myself all have bipolar. And each one of us were bat-shit crazy till we got on meds. I completely believe we would all be dead or in a mental hospital if we did not take medication. I personally will say my meds saved me from killing myself. My father and brother have each gone off meds thinking they were cured and my dad got arrested and my brother hospitalized. I spent 2 years refusing to take meds, trying to treat it naturaly. I ate all organic and took a ton of suppliments. But i just got worse and worse. Meds do help people and im one of them.

  50. Although I love and believe in the idea of Interpersonal/social rhythm therapy, that’s about it. I’ve watched too many people suffer from medications, becoming suicidal or homicidal when they go off of them (and going off of them is inevitable, so WHY are those types of meds permitted?). Of course, if the patient brings harm to himself or someone else, it’s “because he went off his meds.” Well, yes. That’s true. The implication, however, is that the meds would have prevented it when, in fact, the drug itself caused it. Ridiculous.

    All that said, I’ve been getting rid of my kids’ bipolar disorder symptom by symptom using flower essences. It takes a really long time to do it this way, but at least the change is permanent. Nutrition is key, too. Low blood sugar and protein levels ALWAYS leads to irritable and even raging moods.

    I don’t have all the answers, but I have found a few and they’re working. My son has been in remission for 2 months now. Nature must be working in his favor, I’d say.

  51. I was diagnosed with bi-polar when I was 20. I am now 65. I do not believe in taking any medication, but concentrate on eating very nutritious foods. I am a vegetarian and I try to stay away from sugary ,salty, and fatty foods. My problems are I am an insomniac and I have low self esteem but other than that I lead a very happy and productive life.

    • I agree, I constantly deal with med head drug addicts like this authour in our culture. Another major helper is sunlight…. {Vitamin D} helps with so many things, and insomnia in particular. I think the main problem with those who suffer bipolar is that they often engage in activities that exacerbate the disorder. Being up all night being one of them, eating poorly as well or as a result.

      Next thing they are telling you that only dope can help you. And these medications are clearly dangerous. But most foolish people do not take the time to do any real reasearch. And just parrot things they are told by commercially influenced sources. The crime is that they then go about the world pushing these drugs on others…

  52. I totally disagree with the sentiment of this article. I have been so sick and tired of people like this author who swear up and down that you HAVE to take your meds for your bipolar. Guess what, I don’t care IF it is the only way to treat my illness, I will NOT take them. They don’t make me feel better at all, period. Taking meds only masks the problem in my opinion. It’s like taking your car into a mechanic and telling him that engine is broken but they fix the radio and give you your car back. That’s what taking meds have been like in my experience. Stop shoving this propaganda down peoples throats that they have to be on meds.

    • I believe you are quite manic .. I read your post and went wow.. The anger.. I hate my meds, I dont want to take them and am down to 1.. I understand your anger but many people like me have a severe case.. I cycle up to 4 times a day. I wish you peace and Natasha does not deserve your anger.. You may disagree but she is doing an extraordinary service to so many people out there.

      • She is not necessarily manic or even angry. Just opposed to taking medication. You need to understand that not everyone is as helped by meds as you are. This article is not going to do a service if people take its advice and apply it to all bipolar diagnosed people, as not all people can handle or are helped by meds.

        Sometimes bipolar symptoms can be aleviated by going back to childhood causes or emotional and societal causes of personal stress.

        • I chose my words incorrectly.. Natasha has gone through many med changes and the physical stress and mental stress is something I can only wonder about. I have gone through med changes based on an opinion and not science, no blood work, etc. I am also very angry and bitter. For whatever reason, Call it mania I may bot sleep for 4 or 5 days in a row. My psych Dr wont even talk to me anymore becuase I refuse to take any of those toxic pills especially the new ones where little data is in. I wish I could tuitrate off the 2 that I am on.. I loathe the term cocktail. Just another way to dumb us down into thinking we are taking a drink instead of meds that when working together can cause havoc and for me have. I am only on 2 meds that are almost impossible to titrate off of without dire consequences. A one year titration on one med got me down to 1/4 milligram and then I ended in the hospital. I beleive I am over the bitterness that I have as to what I allowed myself to do but what can one do when your whole life is falling apart… I am a vegetarian for 20 tears and eat nutrient dense foods, I meditate. I could do better on the exercise front. I try everything possible but I refuse to even take an Advil now. Is mania and anger real. You bet. Have you any idea how many years I have gone from manic to full on depression and back and forth every day? I have co-morbidities, severe anxiety and depression and after many years of searching and reading and trying to remember back to the days of my youth, I also believe that this malady called bipolar may be masked by something called complex PTSD which without a doubt I have having been treated like a barnyard animal in my youth. I am 60 and All I can say is that it doesnt get better for me and it took ther dope dealers with suits and doctor degrees to come up with the label of bipolar 2….. Renowned traumatologist, John Briere, is said to have quipped that if Complex PTSD were ever given its due – that is, if the role of dysfunctional parenting in adult psychological disorders was ever fully recognized, the DSM (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders used by all mental health professionals) would shrink to the size of a thin pamphlet. It currently resembles a large dictionary. In my experience, many clients with Complex PTSD have been misdiagnosed with various anxiety and depressive disorders, as well as bipolar, narcissistic, codependent and borderline disorders. All I know is that I was going down real bad 16 years ago , I knew nothing about those toxic little pills and they were sold to me as if all would be fine. I am resistant to them now and will deal with the consequences. This is not a life for me. How many have read the black box labels on the crap out there. As a result of my lack of knowledge back when the internet did not have much and doctors were throwing anything at you to see if it works and to insure their strream of money I now have kidney , heart and liver problems which I know are a direct result of this crap. I was told last week that I am also diabetic which is on a black box warning and have to deal with that , so I am basically screwed. I just want the pain to go away. My apologies if I came off inappropriately but maybe at the time when I wrote it I was manic. Now O know I will here from the other side of the spectrum and thats ok. Because I really dont vcare anymore. Lost all my extended family and social network and supposed frriends. I lost a fantastic position that I crawled and scraped to get and then got shot down by whatever we want to call it but I truly beleive that it all started with the childhood trauma and it was very severe. And as we know when we are born our barins are basically goo and they are forming as times go by and in so many cases it has been proven that our brains have formed differently. just read up on the limbic system. Emotional abuse experienced in childhood, especially in children aged 5 years and younger, confers an increased risk for bipolar disorder, new research shows. Emotional Abuse in Childhood Linked to Bipolar Disorder

          “Our results show the importance of childhood trauma, not only as a risk factor for bipolar disorders per se but also for a more severe clinical and dimensional profile of expression of the disorder,” author Monica Aas, PhD, from the University of Oslo, in Norway, told Medscape Medical News.

          The findings were presented here at the 14th International Congress on Schizophrenia Research (ICOSR).

          Bipolar disorder is due in part to genetic risk variants, but it is also likely to be due in part to environmental susceptibility factors. Among these, childhood trauma has been proposed as a likely environmental factor, Dr. Aas said.

          “We wanted to look into it because we know that patients with bipolar disorder seem to have a high prevalence of childhood trauma, and there is also evidence in the literature that this may be related to clinical symptoms,” she said………http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/803269

    • Couldn’t have said it better myself. I’d rather die than take medication that does nothing but give me so many side affects that I want to kill myself more than ever.

      • I hear you, brother. Meds often make it worse and are not worth it. There is also too much focus on biology and not enough on emotional or societal causes of bipolar symptoms.

        Meds can make you nauseous, but hey, it’s OK because “other people” are bothered by your feelings and you’re only mentally ill so your feelings don’t count, only those of people who are soooo bothered by your anger at life.

        I don’t even know if bipolar is necessarily a mental illness. Perhaps it is just a collection of emotions and reactions that are natural in someone who has had certain life experiences and has been crapped on by soceity.

        Then the heads of the media and of society, not wanting to take responsibility, tells the person in that situation that their “illness” caused their feelings and moods, adn that the solution is to dull yourself with meds and never, ever try to look at the cause of what is really making you upset (because the cause is them and the emotoinally and politically unhealthy society they are on top of). Get off your meds and you might figure out just how miserable you are! Stop looking for biological or genetic causes and you might figure out how they are behind your unhappiness.

    • Abby- don’t listen to the bullshtters. You are not necessarily manic. Michael is just trying to use ad hominem against your argument (“your argument is wrong because you’re manic!”)

      You are 100% correct that there is a social and systematic bias (promoted by the big pharma drug industry) against natural cures (including non-physiological cures, like talking about one’s childhood experiences, including being emotionally invalidated, etc). The people higher up in our society (media, med companies, etc) purposely try to mask the nonphysical (social, emotional, childhood, family-caused, school caused, society-caused) reasons people become bipolar so:

      1. They can cover up the fact that THEY are the cause of most bipolar cases (the way they treat people, the emotional torn-apartness that is caused by the unjust society they run and benefit from).

      2. They can diagnose as “broken” those who are disgruntled and negatively effected by said societal unfairness, so no one listens to them and just diagnoses them with a “disorder”, pumps them full of meds, and says their “brain chemistry” caused their unhappiness instead of the injustices and social illnesses.

      3. They can make money selling “bipolar meds” to people with this “disorder.”

      4. They can do nothing to fix the bipolar feelings, so the patient has to keep coming back and spending money.

      Bloggers and authors who support the “take your meds!” agenda are given a lot of visibility and praise by the higher ups in control of the media and they are paid handsomely to push the baloney that people having bipolar moods are like this because of the chemicals in their brain, and NOT because of any other reasons. “Take Your Meds” articles are popular all over the Internet because the people in control of the media allow them to be, and reward authors with “top twenty” spots on their websites and shows, in order to further convince readers that, yes, “Take Your Meds” is a good strategy- after all, all the “top twenty” experts say it is.

      You can see this mentality already, via “Michael”, who insists you have bipolar or are manic because you disagreed with the “Take Your Meds” agenda. Being emotionaly, financially, or sociologically shafted gets you diagnosed with bipolar (because YOU, not society, are the problem), and when you recognize that meds aren’t the way out, you again get diagnosed with bipolar (because, again, YOU, not the meds, are the problem).

      It’s angry at us, it figured out we’re bad/evil/unjust, make it take its meds and shut it up!

      “You sound manic.” It is a way to call you “crazy” or “incorrect” because you disagreed with the “Take Your Meds” agenda. People like to diagnose people when they don’t want to admit their arguments are true.

      “Take Your Meds” is also a form of emotional invalidation. (see the link about invalidation below). You are upset, your feelings are wrong, society doesn’t like your feelings, take some meds to cover them up, they aren’t real and they need to go, And they CERTAINLY aren’t any sort of useful signal that something is wrong in your life or in society.

      Your feelings are a signal that something is wrong, they are telling you to check out whatever it is that is wrong and try to fight it. People wh benefit from your pain or poverty do not want this, so they support the “Take Your Meds” line, which keeps people who are awake and angry (“bipolar”) quiet and complacent.

      No wonder “bipolar” is a lifetime illness. Once you wake up, there is no unringing that bell, and you will be aware of (and affected by/angered by) the truths you discover for the rest of your life. Until you do something about them.

      Read these, it may help a lot of bipolars with the emotional aspect of their situation:


  53. In search of a wee bit of advice from fellow journeyers. Due to a maelstrom of circumstance , I suddenly find myself insuranceless and doctorless. I have two weeks of meds left and it is doubtful I’ll be able to resolve everything in that time to secure a new line of medication. So, I wonder- will I do best to continue taking my meds as prescribed until they run out or should I maybe take them every other day to try and…spread them thinner at the risk of….well, you know, ruin?

  54. What are medications supposed to do, change your thinking or behavior? That’s interesting, like a computer program trying to control Hal2000, except artificial intelligences have a firewall and countermeasures to prevent that sort of thing. People used to think corporal punishments, whippings, near-drownings could control people. Guess what? That didn’t stop violence or wars. Makes you kind of think. Maybe they could teach grizzly bears not to attack people, instead of killing them when they rarely kill a person. Maybe that’s what some of these nurse practioners could do when the lawsuits start to happen, they’d have a new career to sell to people.

    • i agree. How can a physical thing like meds change something abstract and specific like thinking?

      Is there a med that can make me stop thinking of, say, pink flamingoes or Ally McBeal or communism? The whole idea meds can change your thinking is a ploy to get people to purchase meds (and enrich med companies) in order to mask their emotional symptoms. Symptoms which are important warnings that something is not right in this soceity…

  55. You may want to check out heavy metal toxicity (e.g. lead or mercury) as a possible underlying cause of bipolar. It can be cured with chelating foods like cilantro and chlorella.

  56. I am bipolar II and so far I’m not medicated regularly except when manic I take sleeping pills. Just recently I went to my wife’s acupuncturist to see what he thinks about my condition and what he would recommend. He talked to me and looked at me for a while and then there was a little test. His final diagnosis was that I had a “leaky gut” syndrome and I should get on a severe diet to cure it for about a year. He maintains it that a lot of “brain chemistry” illnesses of the mind are caused by inflamed/leaky gut. Apparently there is a gut/mind link where you condition in the gut would influence your mind/mood. The diet is called “Specific carbohydrate diet”. Just Google “legal illegal”.

  57. I had this delusional idea that I could fight “it” (what I thought was initially depression) without “weapons,” because I had a paranoid fear of the medication. It was after all an antidepressant that triggered the severe Bipolar manic episode (with psychosis.) I was wrong, Bipolar kicked my ass. I was convinced that I had solved my problems… until the rapid cycle hit. I couldn’t keep myself together, I alienated every friend I had, by talking crazy nonsense and extreme end of the world scenarios. Crying uncontrollably – what a disaster. I’m on mood stabilizers now. It hits like a brick, but the medications are a necessity. I still have suicidal tendencies, but nowhere near to the extreme without.

    • My mother has had severe mania episodes in her child and past. Had it under control for almost 20 years when a stressful environment brought it on. I knew it could possibly be coming and am extremely patient with her. Which I had to learn to do its very difficult. She went to er was admitted treated for 17 days and symptoms were the same if not worse before she was admitted. The staff is rude and horrible and feel helpless I have lost hope but trying not to. She’s on ssi disability so has medicaid and only send her to places that accept it. These places are overly crowded and the one she is at currently is same with a roommate. I’ve witnessed her suffer from this my whole life as well as domestic violence in past. She’s been awesome for 17 years gets admitted then I talk her into going to er willingly and she agreed. Er sent her back to where she did not get any help in first place. Anyone know my options for her?

  58. I have had bipolar since I was a child, but didn’t know it. OK began suffering severe panic attacks around 16 and was on Zoloft for ten years. What I didn’t realize is that for ten years I was in constant mania with occasional suicidal tendencies and attemps. Last year I stopped the medicine and although I don’t get as extreme I still have debilitating anxiety and mood swings but not quite like before. My therapist keeps telling me I need to go get meds, but I cannot deal with the thoughts of dangerous mood stabilizers.

  59. hi,
    I am Alan and i am patient of bipolar disorder from last 14 years takes 900 mg Intalith CR and Fostera 5 daily. I got severe maniac attack twice in my 14 year patient life. I know that medication is a mandatory part of this disease but from last 6 months what i am feeling that i dont become happy as i was previously. Most of the time my mood is off in any situation and i have lost the zeal of life. sometimes i get happy but not often. Can any good doctor suggest me something.



    • Hi Alan,

      If you’ve noticed a marked change in your moods, especially if you are unable to be happy, I would suggest talking to your doctor / psychiatrist about either adjusting your meds or perhaps changing them. A lot of people with bipolar disorder will have their meds changed over the course of the illness. As well, if you are not currently in therapy, find either a psychologist who specializes in bipolar disorder or ask your doctor/psychiatrist if they will do therapy with you. If not, ask if they can refer your to someone. You could also take a look at your life and try to determine if there are things/people who are holding your moods hostage. Good luck!

  60. Pingback: Untreated Bipolar Disorder | blahpolar diaries

  61. For the past half-century I’ve read numerous commentaries about treatment regimens with much interest knowing how difficult it is to treat these illnesses. Personally I don’t think it should be an issue of being for or against any treatment regimen or plan but one of shared experiences as to what worked best for the particular individual with the knowledge and understanding each individual’s response to any given therapy tends to vary.

    Through the years I have advocated for the least invasive therapies to be considered first such as diet, exercise, holistic approaches, talk-therapies etc. As we’ve come to learn there are individuals who have not responded to these treatment approaches who have gone on to utilize medications and/or any combinations of therapies in order to obtain and maintain a reasonable degree of wellness. Then too there are those who have been unresponsive to any of the aforementioned approaches who have succeeded with some of the newer neuro-modulation therapies.

    What therapy benefits any given individual is not as important in my opinion as understanding the need to not give up and to continue researching and experimenting for a therapy and/or combination of therapies that works for one self.

    Nothing has disturb me more recently than the plethora of news commentary about Robin Williams death and not one piece that I could find as to any mention of the treatment regimens he sought other than to the effect he checked himself into various program facilities.

    In my personal opinion and knowing that which I do after these many years and reading of his financial assets and notoriety I strongly believe he did not turn over all the rocks, so to speak, which would have been afforded to him and not so easily to others.

    I think sharing one’s experiences rather than lambasting any given treatment is a far better approach to helping others knowing that what benefits one maybe another’s horror.

    As always, I wish you all wellness and all the good you’d wish for yourselves.


  62. I have been medication free for 8 years. I’ve been in and out of hospital since I was twelve and the last time was about 10 years ago. I was fed medications and left to my own devices. I eventually took myself off and learned to live and respond to the world around me without the comatose of psychotropics.

    I’m 100% against medicating for bi-polar. In my opinion, when people feel lousy they turn to medication and they don’t realize that it’s our own bodies adapting to the world around us. Focusing so thoroughly on problems, our brain hopes to trip on a solution.

    I realize that some people that read this are medicated, and that’s OK if that’s what you want but because I don’t believe in the treatment, it has a paradoxil effect and I just end up angry and the docs want to put me on more pills.

    • what were some changes you made?? I’m thinking theres much to do with respect to diet, but have a similar line of thought as yourself…congratulations on your progress. Books??

    • I agree with your approach. Meds mask the problem, they do not solve it. it’s like the cup of Instant Smile in that Twilight Zone episode.

      People want a quick fix for their sadness and pain and the people on top of soceity who are causing our sadness and pain want that for us, too, so we don’t realise that there is something wrong going on. We’re supposed to think it comes from our genetics.,,

      • Hi. I haven’t been diagnosed with bipolar disorder yet but I’m almost pretty sure I have it. I can’t afford therapy and I would be really thankful if you could give me some tips on how to cope with this illness naturally because even though I can’t afford therapy, I don’t like the idea of meds.

  63. I love the info but believe it needs much more research! I wrote a best selling book on Amazon called Med Free Bipolar going over step by step directions on how to thrive NATURALLY, and I have met thousands of people who are stable with bipolar without medication! And ironically it is with the very supplements that this blogger dogs on. Micronutrients (various brands) have more published research behind them for effective mental health treatment than most prescription drugs. There are MANY brands to choose from, like True Hope, Quiet Minds, Hardy Nutritionals, Equilib, and my favorite for its potency and least expense: Q96 by an MLM called QSciences. (www.medfree.myqxlife.com). Choline and others are great for bipolar mania also. Keep the flow of information open. I would never “dog” on something that has worked for tens of thousands of people. And don’t ever let someone judge YOUR treatment choice. This disorder is tough enough to get through with or without meds. :) Both are better than self-medicating.

      • Actually its very common to feel as being close to god or god itself for a person in psychosis. This may be caused by too elevated serotonin in the brain :). Cutting off spiritual practises may help. As well as understanding that it is misunderstood feeling by brain. Also withdrawal from a medication may cause imbalance of neurochemicals. Even if this medication is just food supplement. People normally believes to their feelings and senses, however bipolars should learn to recognize when their feelings go over borders and are fake. Surrounded people may help to get emotions right way but may also worsen the situation.

    • Hi Aspen

      After I finish this comment I will look on Amazon for your book. I too have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and have been tackling it meds free. I’m on the final year of a degree course studying humanistic integrative counselling and want to write my dissertation on people who are med free with bipolar disorder. I am interested in asking people for their views and opinions. I’m also interested in the support people receive if they have chosen to go med free. I’m 48 and this is my third attempt at completing a degree (this will be familiar to those with bipolar who are experts at starting but not completing projects :-) ) Would you be interested taking part? I would very much like to include you as part of my research if you are interested. I’m in the UK by the way. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to give an email address but it’s terribuckingham@icloud.com.



      • I would just like to point out the 800 lbs gorilla in the room. Non-functional people who don’t take meds are not a “success story”.

        • Thanks for that Chris. Having read a number of your comments on this blog, I don’t feel the need to try and justify my reasons for not taking meds. It’s a personal thing and I am not in any way trying to encourage others to go meds free. I am interested in finding out more about those who are. I have learnt a lot about myself since being diagnosed. Not completing all projects does not make it an unsuccessful story. Each thing I have done has led to something worthwhile – eventually. Having completed a level 2, 3, 4 (diploma) and 5 (diploma) in humanistic integrative counselling, I am now qualified and work voluntarily supporting victims of rape and sexual abuse. I am currently working on my level 6 to gain a BA in Humanistic Integrative Counselling. It hasn’t been an easy journey and there have been highs and lows along the way, but I know many people on medication who still experience these. I’m as functional as I can be and spend my functional times helping others. That’s a success in my eyes. We’re not all designed the same and the affects of medication varies with each individual.

            • :-) I said I don’t feel the need to justify my reasons for choosing not to take meds. and I haven’t given my reasons for not taking meds. The rest of what I wrote was based on your comment – “Non-functional people who don’t take meds are not a “success story” ” You seem intent on making negative remarks and missing the positives in the comments made. Re your other comment that’s just appeared – some people experience worse than “dry mouth” from meds but I expect you know that really. Meds can be difficult to get right for some people and some types of bipolar such as mixed state., or if there are co-existing disorders.

            • Terri,
              I wish I was a position not to take meds but I cycle every day , some days numerous times. I wish I never had to but over so many many years I have tried so much to help mitigate this torture and some things I have done have helped, but it is so hard to titrate off of some pills.. I am only down to 2. I am med resistant and according to my psych doctor non compliant, which apparently makes me a bad person. I will not take one more drug seeing the physical toll it has taken on my body. i tried to titrate off of one drug over the course of one year of bloody hell and at the last slice I ended up in the emergency room. I had to reinstate . Tried it again for an even longer time , same thing happened. Its hell. So, I read posts like yours and it gives me strength in knowing that ther are people out ther who choose not to go down the route of some serious meds. I am not psychotic so why should I take antipsychotics. I can go on and on. I just wish I could stop taking meds but at my age , I just cant. They are killing me. I no longer am the person I was before this malady hit me hard. wish you peace and I wish I were in the same position.

            • Hi Michael

              Bipolar is so complex and each person diagnosed has a different experience of it. Individuals have different reactions to medication and it can be particularly difficult to treat if there are co-existing conditions or if you are a rapid cycler or experience mixed states. As you have described, it can be incredibly difficult to get the balance of meds right. It must be very frustrating when your psych tells you you’re being non-compliant just because you’re trying to improve the way you feel. I wonder if they would feel the same about themselves if they tried them for a while? I’ve been under the care of different psychiatrists, mainly because some were locums, and it’s a real eye opener. They each had a difference of opinion and spent very little time asking questions during the diagnosis process. I was sent to see a child psychiatrist when I was about 7 and, although they didn’t diagnose it back then, it was suggested that I had ADHD. I’m pretty certain I also have symptoms of adult ADHD and mentioned this to my psychiatrist. His response indicated I should be happy with one diagnosis and was asking a bit much to be given a second, despite the fact that it would explain why it has taken me this long to get as far as I have with my studies. I have since learnt that it’s quite common for people to have both bipolar and ADHD. We know ourselves better than anybody else and we have to live with the consequences of our decisions. I truly hope you can get to a place where you are not struggling with the meds as much as you are now. Wishing you well.

            • Doesn’t sound like your Dr. explained it well but bipolar is already a worse diagnosis (and includes a lot of not so good things). For example you dont have bipolar, general anxiety disorder, and depression because all of those symptoms can be included in bipolar. Also, children and adolescents that display ADHD are at a high risk of becoming bipolar as adults. Everyone’s laundry list of how bipolar presents is slightly different but you are still just “bipolar”. I hope that helps explain.

            • I never considered it that way Chris. I’ve just looked again at the symptoms of ADHD and many of the them fit with the bipolar diagnosis as do many of the symptoms of borderline personality disorder. One of the obvious differences is the extreme highs and lows.

        • Chris
          The other 800 pound gorilla is non functioning people who basically are med resistant and no longer choose to be guinea pigs. I have been one for 16 years. AM on meds now but body can’t take anymore.

          • Well the Huge White Elephant ? in the room is coming to terms with what might be the reality and a potential wrong diagnosis. One of my good friends had a wrong diagnosis for 35 plus years and it wasn’t until they put the ii as in bipolar ii (as in bipolar 2) that she got more relief. I get it I’m treatment resistant myself.

  64. I like that this article gives so many resources for possible treatment options. I would like to add that there are some of us who treat our bipolar without medication and I don’t think it should be stated as a fact that no one can treat bipolar without medication.

    Some of us have to go this route out of necessity due to about 5% of the population being very sensitive to medications. I have been unable to find a safe medication in the last 16 years that I have been in treatment. So, I just had to find another way. I only recommend doing so if you are working with your doctors and in therapy though. It’s not safe to do on your own.

    I also think each person will be a bit different in their approach of what works. My diet is really strict, but I may be more sensitive to some fods than other people. In therapy we use EFT and EMDR as well as talk therapy and trauma work. For lifestyle changes I use a Paleo diet, exercise “dosed” throughout the week, a sleep schedule, and a work/rest schedule. I won’t say it’s easy, but it can be done for some people, so I would not discount it.

    Also, for people looking for resources on how diet effects mental health, and in particular bipolar, I would look into the field of Evolutionary Psychology. Such as: http://evolutionarypsychiatry.blogspot.com/search?q=Bipolar

  65. even insinuating bipolar being treated without meds is dangerous grounds. psychotherapy treating bipolar alone? A really ignorant comment

  66. Lithium is a drug that has too many side effects and I cant understand what benefits it has in relation to its side effects its one of the worst medications available.

    • Some people do not get the side effects that are associated with Lithium and do get the benefits of mood stability. That is why some people continue to take it. It actually works successfully for some people.

    • what are the side effects. i’ve been on it for 13 years. I have no problems. what are the alternative meds then.?

      to give up meds for some inconvenient side effects means you like your life being a mess or you arent bipolar

      • When I took Lithium, I had extremely runny diarrhea that was so bad that it limited me going out of my house. I also developed a hand tremor that still affects me to this day even though I have not taken it for many years. A neurologist told me it is called an essential tremor and came from taking the medication.

  67. to give up. His Mother and I are the only two people to try and understand him .
    She has currently gotten a restraining order for the latest thing. She told me that I need to think of my future and my own health issues. I am a christian and he is too. I cant help but believe God can use him. I also want to say that he seems ok even though not taking meds at this time. He goes through a cycle when not at work or gets upset with someone. I don’t believe in alot of mind altering drugs!!! He is in a halfway house at this time. Just the other day he had an altercation with his roommate and went to a motel and had a few drinks and spent his rent money on clothes, He then tells me he knows what he did wrong. Well I could write a book but Im just asking for help from some fellow christians who believe God can use him. You see he believes he is called to preach and he knows his bible and well Im getting frustrated writing this. Thank you all for any help or information you can give a lonely heartbroken wife who really doesnt want a divorce. He also goes back and forth with that as well.

    • Hi Rhonda,
      I hope you have not given up on your husband. All the symptoms he has is what I had before I was put on medication.
      Spending, bible knowledge , etc.
      You need to be there for him as much as you can.
      I also used to move out away from home a lot . away from my husband . this is what we do. ( self inflicted pain)
      I have been on treatment for 15 years now and do not do those things anymore .
      Hope all goes well with you and your husband.

      Big Hugs

  68. I am the wife of a bi polar person.. I love my husband very much and we are currently separated. I don’t know what to do. He seems to do so well while he is at work. On his days off he gets very moody and depressed. He is up and down , happy, sad , moody, very cocky at times and then he is also the most wonderful loving person I have ever known.. He has done things to cause his family to abandon him. He has been married three times me being the third. You see I feel he is very intelligent. He writes beautiful songs, is very loving and affectionate,. He loves the Holidays. I must admit I have become afraid of him the things he does when manic are scary for example( he had a friend to beat him up and told the police his mother did it to get her out of the house so he and i could live there. He gets to cocky at his jobs or to paranoid and ends up quitting or getting fired. I know he loves me and I want to understand and help him. He doesnt deserve to be ostracized!!! He has spent time in jail for not paying child support. but yet quits a job 2 days before going in front of a judge. He is told he is an addict but he very seldom drinks. He is not a drug user. I have tried to comfort him but his pain is so great at times it break me and my heart!!! I know he is different thats why I love him. He is judged and called lazy. He love children and is wonderful to people. He is called a phony and I get so angery at people.. Im told to

  69. I just wanted to let you know that I was diagnosed in 1997 with Bi-polar 1 and was medicated for 7 years with debilitating side effects. I was hospitalized four times during those years with suicide attempts, depression, psychotic mania and ultra rapid cycling. I have not taken any medication since 2003 and have not needed to be hospitalized. I do not have the symptoms of Bi-polar anymore and now do not even have that diagnosis according to psychiatrists. I know it has been possible to overcome my symptoms without the use of medication. I was put on medications for mood stabilization, depression, anxiety, psychosis, sleep and now do not have those symptoms. The medication did not heal me of those symptoms, they increased my discomfort and added many distressing side effects. I use the Wellness Recovery Action Plan W.R.A.P. system and my plan incorporates using lots of Wellness Tools to achieve the desired results of sleep, mood stability, calmness and overall wellness in ways other than medication.

    • Greetings,

      It is very interesting notes. My daughter of 23 years old diagnosed with bipolar two years ago. She used medication for 3 months and stopped because her weight was doubled. Now she is refusing taking any medication, but goes to the gym every day, which provided little help. the frequency of mania, depression and inability to focus is every day business. She may not be able to finish her study. May I request your email to give it to her, so you may manage to help her with WRAP?
      Warm regards

  70. The doctor is saying that because that is how their system is set up. They are there only because they have estabished a practice where they see patients. According to their system and their liability, and due to the fact that 99% of doctors who practice in the field of psychiatiry treat with medications, they are required in the U.S. to prescribe medication if you go in there and you agree with them that you have a disorder, and you agree to take the medication as they prescribe. If instead, the doctors blamed your “illness” on yourself and prescribed watching cartoons, and that was their liability, everyone in psychiatric hospitals would be watching cartoons, “or else”. People who have dissociative identity disorder, if they do not have bipolar, usually contracted that at a young age to cope with some form of “abuse”. Now nobody in the medical field would say that one can completely alter a mind from childhood and to have these people with DID to go on a medication regime to alter them, and that is not how any psychiatrist thinks, because medication does not help people with DID. That’s who they are. They are usually able to function in society. Now somewhere along the line, those with bipolar disorder developed “depression” and “mania”. Somebody with DID could easily switch to an alter that doesn’t have these things, because some alters actually are depressed and display all the symptoms of depression including suicidal thoughts. But because they are able to switch to a different alter, that is no way in shape depressed, feels depressed, or looks depressed, tells me that depression and mania are not “biological” inherently something wrong with the brain. Even psychiatrists today say that depression and mania are not the result of “chemical imbalances” in the brain. Nearly all psychiatrists have abandoned the notion of “chemical imbalance”, but they will often say that to patients so that the patient will have an understanding of why they are taking the meds. The meds do have an effect on the mind to some extent, just like alcohol has an effect on the mind, and if you are drunk, I don’t care who you are, at some level of intoxication, you cannot drive a car without severely endangering yourself. So the meds affect the brain and the mind. Now because someone with DID can switch to an alter without depression, shows that the mind is capable of taking on these things such as depresssion or mania or whatever. The brain and the mind are confronted with something, and the person reacts according to their experience and the experience they have, and the brain forms these things such as depression into the mind and people, many people, display these things, otherwise, there would be no psychiatric profession. Now as a child, as a person with DID myself, I did not confront the abuse from a young age and sit back and say I cannot do anything, and just become depressed, or run around giddy, and say “everything’s alright” because things were not alright for my safety. My mind split, alters formed, and I was able to take the abuse, and switch to people that appeared to have no threat of abuse when I was in grade school. However, to fight off certain things from my abuser, I developed an alter that was an animal, that turned into a monster around people that would abuse me. This monster disarms anybody that threatens me, and any abuser respects that. People respect that you would stand up for yourself and fight, you would fight with the sure notion that the other person would kill you, because I remember knowing that I would be killed, and I attacked my abuser when he came at me one time. He did not kill me but overpowered me, and I went back into a trance when he tortured me for several hours. However, that monster was not killed, and every time after that, I fought him, even though, with amnesia, he would overpower me. But out in the real world, you are not defenseless. I don’t care what people think whern I walk around like an animal and I admit, people are probably afraid of me. The alternative, is to die. To go into a dssociative trance, and walk around petrieified and with fear that somebody will criticise me or I will lose my job because of my outward appearance. If I started to think that way, that I am defenseless, and I can be controlled by others, well, that leads to death. I have been depressed before, and I have had suicidial thoughts in the past, but I fought out of it, and those were alters lamenting the abuse that I suffered.

  71. I really enjoyed readin this article, however I have to disagree that bipolar disorder can’t be treated entirely win out medication. I found out 8 years ago that I have bipolar disorder, after a manic episode had me buy a round the world trip and spend a year overseas on an up and down roller coaster of depression and mania…$20,000 in credit card debt later, I returned to my home country, and still didn’t really know that I had a problem…I just thought I would always be this up and down all the time. I contemplated suicide, but was always rational enough to not want to hurt my family, so I used to just sleep the depression off. I always took on only casual work to allow me he flexibility to stay home if the depression came on again.

    It wasn’t until a fairly serious breakdown 8 years ago, that I sought help. I was diagnosed with depression, not bipolar, and none of the doctors seemed interested in hearing about my psychotic episodes, impulsive behaviour, and my spending sprees on credit. I had started studying psychology at university, so I found it odd that the doctors didn’t take a full psychological and medical history before prescribing me anti-depressants, which I never took. The reason I thought it odd, was because I now had enough knowledge about psychology and bipolar disorder to know, that a misdiagnosis of depression and prescription of certain antidepressants (I was prescribed tricyclics) when someone has bipolar disorder, can trigger rapid cycling and increase risk of suicide.

    So I went to a different doctor, and asked for a referral to a psychologist. The psychologist was fantastic. After the 3rd session, she said “I think you know, with your training, that we should put you on a mood stabilizer to control your mania and depression”. Through tears, I told the therapist I really wanted to try to manage it with therapy first, I told her I was not suicidal and that I had managed over the years to talk myself out of my suicidal thoughts each and every time. She agreed to trial it, so long as I signed an agreement that if there was any indication of suicidal thoughts that I would accept the referral to the psychiatrist for medication. I agreed.

    Since then, working in psychiatric medical research and alongside my amazing therapist, has taught me to recognise the onset of a depressive or manic episode and to manage it before it gets too bad to handle. I use a combination of CBT, mindfulness mediation (which really helps with my sleep patterns and recognising changes in my body and mental state to help predict manic, hypo manic and depressive episodes), supplements: magnesium, omega-3, and B-12 shots every 3 months; a balanced healthy gluten free diet rich in greens and protein (I am coeliac so I follow a gluten free diet – which was diagnosed around the same time as my bipolar disorder), and regular outdoor exercise (the sunlight is great for circadian rhythms and vitamin D as well), plus 10 mins of yoga daily .

    I keep a daily mood journal and meet with my therapist and doctor once a month. Both agree that they would never know that I have bipolar disorder anymore, except for when I divert from my combination of therapies or neglect myself by eating badly, allowing myself to become stressed and not exercising daily.

    It’s hard work, and I think that’s what deters people from taking this approach. But I have only alternated between mild depression (which passes within a couple of weeks and is usually just lethargy and lack of enthusiasm nowadays) and hypomania (which I don’t mind, because it makes me more producive). I can think clearly, and I feel healthy “,most of the day, nearly everyday” :) which is the opposite of what I was feeling before I started this wholistic psychological and lifestyle treatment. I have been 100% medication free for 8 years…since my official diagnosis.

    Of course, I wouldn’t recommend this for every bipolar patient, it takes a lot of discipline, a great psychologist and medical doctor and loads of support from family and friends too :) But if your psychologist thinks you are capable, I think it is worth a try under strict supervision for the first 2 years. I will still always be supervised, but now it’s down to once a month visits :)

    • Wow that’s incredible.
      Can you please tell me how you started on your program? Like what steps should I take to start this process with my own doctor and counsellor?

  72. The reason why I asked is that most “dysfunctions” begin around that age depending on how the child responds to their parents. I never backed down from my parents and hated them and everybody else with a passion and it continues to this day. I was killed 12 times by my parents around one years old, but somehow I made it out alive, without backing down.

  73. Hi Natasha,

    New to your blog. Love it! I… empathize with you, if you understand what I’m saying. There’s a huge stigma where I live against mental health issues so I’m reluctant to talk about my own.

    Anyway, it severely disheartens me to hear that it’s unlikely you’d ever be able to have bipolar and go off medication… The ones I’m on are terrible and it is hard to live a healthy life whilst using them.

    Anyway, do you think perhaps in the future there will be a treatment method which deliberately uses the minimal amount of medication possible? And even regularly takes patients off of medication while training them how to recognize symptoms so they only take medication while symptomatic? (I suffer with bipolar 1, btw… not fun)

    Tired of hiding, I just wanted to write about my experiences briefly before going back in my shell. I’m 27 years old and live at home. I can barely handle life on a day to day basis right now.

    I’m on enough medication that it is a literal struggle every day to get up in the morning. I am losing the will to live, or care about living healthily. The sedation effect from the meds I’m on takes over an hour to an hour and a half of working out to push past. (I’m on an antipsychotic as well as a mood stabilizer, both with side effects of sedation). I’ve tried to talk with my psychiatrist about the fact that I feel I’m being overmedicated, and he disagrees… :( I’m on over a gram of one medication, and 500 milligrams of the other. Both are XR/ER, meaning they stay in my system all the time and build up a bit over time.

    I’m trying to find a psychiatrist that can give me a second opinion, but all the ones I’ve called are busy.

    I’m feeling quite hopeless, and it’s very hard living like this. It saddens me that medicating away my symptoms comes at the cost of my quality of life. No one should have the level of sedation I do on a day to day basis. I don’t understand how they get anything done, and they have my sympathy. Additionally, feeling so ‘numb’ or ‘evened out’ is not helping my piece of mind. Right now, losing a friend or family member doesn’t even phase me. And that… it’s wrong, Natasha. I should care about my life, my relationships, my work…. And I don’t.

    You may argue that I’m depressed; and that it’s not the medication doing this. I would respectfully disagree. I have seen a psychiatrist recently (and see one regularly) and I have no symptoms of depression. I just can’t fight the level of sedation and “stabillization” my meds impose upon me. Even with coffee.

    Anyway, keep doing what you’re doing Natasha… It’s helping. And for every person like me that tells you it’s appreciated, there are 500 that aren’t able to.



  74. I sometimes think about it just because my regular Dr wouldn’t write me scripts unless I see a Psychiatrist. So I went and my Psychiatrist wants to be the one to write them. I feel held hostage having to go to 3 different Dr’s to get all my medications. Regular dr, Psychiatrist and pain management clinic. Part of me resents jumping through so many hoops, but having less manic/depression episodes is worth it.

  75. Ted – as a licensed mental health professional I can assure you that no reputable doctor or therapist would ever diagnose a 1 yr old with a mental illness. They are barely even verbal – how can you determine what their personality is? We even hesitate to diagnose autism for children under 3 years old because it is still difficult to determine what is normal development, because all children develop at different speeds. (Although sometimes it is clear that a child probably has autism before 3 years old, we hesitate to formally diagnose it at such a young age). I wonder why you think a 1 yr old has mental illness? Children have tantrums, that’s completely normal. Are you sure it isn’t age-appropriate behavior? My other thought is perhaps a medical illness – perhaps an infection in utero or as an infant. I strongly suggest that you speak to your doctor if you think that something is wrong with your child. But I can assure you that 1 yr olds can be very temperamental and that is completely normal. I hope this helps!

  76. Hi,

    I have been trying to decide for years weather or not to get diagnosed with bipolar or something like it. I have shown symptoms over the years, but they are mostly manageable with exercise and vitamins and awareness. The idea of medication scares me. I have built a life that keeps me stable most of the time. The only thing that is my downfall is romantic relationships, I honestly don’t know if I could have a long term stable one, given how feelings of love and attractive seem to trigger the avalanche of emotion both good and bad that I seem to be immune to in my normal hermit life. I am afraid that if I go on drugs they will numb my senses and effect my edge as an artist. I have been so productive and steady these last years. Only having without a partner one emotional outburst a year, which is for either a good reason or just pass. I guess its hard because all diagnoses of bipolar I read about are based on symptoms of abnormal behaviour, but the question is what is abnormal what is normal and who gets to decide.

    • I have been trying to decide for years weather or not to get diagnosed with bipolar or something like it.? You are on the wrong board.

      • Hi Michael,

        I’m not sure why you would say that but I don’t agree.

        Certainly, anyone questioning a possible diagnosis is smart to get additional information and is welcome here.

        – Natasha Tracy

        • I didnt decide to get a diagnosis of Bi-polar and being bi-polar nowadays seems to be a fad. People like myself get annoyed whether I am right or wrong. I would like to decide to get a diagnosis of not being
          bi-polar. REal bad day today for me. Had another person tell me to get over it. If I posted out of line my apologies. The type of bi-polar I have is very bad and therefore I have a hard time understanding posts like that. Of to live another nightmarish day. My apologies

  77. I dont want to havevto be on medication my whole life I want to feel like my normal self again because all these medications slow me down I want some help any advice please

    • Wanting to get off meds doesn’t mean anything when it comes to bipolar meds. They are not meds like antibiotics to fight an illness. They are more like a diabetic taking insulin to replace something the body doesn’t produce. I was told that the meds for bipolar replace what is lacking in the brain of a person with bipolar. It doesn’t alter you as much as it balances your chemistry.

      I never would have imagined feeling so normal and as good as I feel most of the time now. I’ve been on meds for 4 years and must have the right ones in the right dosage, because I don’t feel like I’m medicated. It certainly is infinitely better to take meds than have horrible feelings, moods, behavior, and crises all the time like I did for 50 years before my manic depression was recognized.

      So keep checking with your p-doc so you can find the right meds and right dosages for you personally. Everyone’s brain, behavior and needs are different so that’s why there is no one right med for everyone.

  78. I havnèt been diagnosed as Bipolar yet , but since I can remember ive had episodes of despression and mania and for the longest time I thought it was just how I was feeling at that time in my life but when I turned about 18 or 19 I went to the doctor with a deep sadness of worthiness and that’s when I knew I needed help. I am now 24 and have never stuck with any medications because I would eventually start feeling better again (almost too good) so I didn’t wanna waste that feeling instead I embraced it and probably took it farther then I should’ve. But here I am now again back in the depression side of things and its been really affecting my life, I quit my job by just not showing up for about 2 weeks , telling my friends and family I was working when really I was sitting at home researching why and how I can help myself. I have a girlfriend who can be quite intense at times and when im feeling low like this it really doesn’t help , I just recently talked to her about it and she understands but cant really help me get better. Its taken a huge toll on our relationship and we are moving into our own places in the next month because I feel I need to get better on my own, which is now starting too sound a bit scary. Ive read a bunch of the stories you great people have been telling and ive tried medication, it is scary but I am going to the doctor tomorrow so hopefully I find something that doesn’t have to many side affects. Im also going to look into the meditation side of things, but all in all I want my life back! That’s all it comes down too. Stay strong my friends!

  79. How I Cured My Bipolar Disorder
    I read that omega-3 was being used for psychiatric disorders and gave it a try for myself. It didn’t work, but I noticed that after 13 years my urine had no calcium sediments in it anymore. Before omega-3 supplements any extra calcium I ate showed up as extra urine sediment. I then read that calcium was important for proper neuron function and added calcium supplements to my diet thinking that I might not be getting enough. I increased the amount until I started seeing calcium sediments in my urine again. My mental symptoms stopped then. I believe the mechanism for the success of omega-3 is through its ability to allow the body to maintain a higher blood level of calcium. Higher calcium levels are known to reduce the level of excitability of neurons. Perhaps omega-3 allows the kidneys to reabsorb calcium to a level that satisfies all the body’s requirements. Incidentally, lithium also lowers urine calcium (increases blood calcium) and omega-3 is also being used to treat kidney stones (indicates high urine calcium).

      • My parathyroid seems to be doing fine with the omega-3 supplement I’m taking. I’m also getting vitamin D3 with the calcium supplement I’m taking. The only thing I have to watch out for now is very high oxalate foods (like almonds and beet leaves) that can block me from absorbing calcium. When I was in the hospital as a result of a seizure my calcium came in at the low end of the normal range. The doctors think normal means healthy, but I found that just isn’t true for me. I need a little bit higher than normal to stay healthy.

  80. Bit late in this.

    I stopped taking my lithium about 6 months ago, and have hospitalized myself twice (Over 5 years ago, although my triggers would trigger anyone to be depressed) I stopped taking it because I currently suffer from liver disease caused by Ritalin due to fraudulent medicine and have no desire to put any form of medication in my body unless it is organic and comes the Earth.

    The trick is control and being able to manage your impulses. I have found that depression and mania are much easier to control if you take control of your lifestyle and environment. I was able to quit smoking cigarettes off my meds, hold my job, maintain a 3.8 GPA in college, and get a drivers license. All of which I never found to be possible when I was taking meds.

    Don’t engage in behaviors that will bring you down. Don’t eat processed food. Don’t make stupid decisions. When you realize the disorder isn’t you, and that you have control… You can take your life back.

    Change the music.
    Change the television.
    Change your friends.
    Change your attitude.

    Eat healthy organic food.
    Avoid caffeine, sugary foods, start an exercise regiment, and take control of your life.

    Be spiritual. If you don’t believe in God, accept the goodness of the world as divine and try to be one with that. The negativity of our society and world has a profound effect on our minds, and it is often to trigger to an episode. Escape the need to please society, and please yourself and the ones you love. You aren’t going to be happy with your life if you let what you cannot control mess with you.

    Try out herbal remedies, I have found that Daimana, Chamoile, Ginko, St John’s Wort, Brahmi, and Mugwort have had nothing but a positive effect on my life since I started using them in tea form. I have also found that cannabis in regulation and moderation has been extremely helpful on downtime (Might not work for everyone)

    This “Mood disorder” had brought my grades down, derailed relationships, and took me apart. Be proactive in your life and change it to better you.

    I can say six months off my meds, no manic episodes, depressive episodes, and doing things I’ve never been able to do has made me a much happier person.

  81. I have BP1 with severe anxiety and depresssion co-morbidity..I can cycle 3 times a day and cycling for me is from a low of depression to a better depression. Would love to know how I can get off my meds. i know I cant get off my benzo which is probably the most devious medication ever made and the doctors give it out like candy.

  82. It is possible to manage bipolar disorder without medication — about 1% of bipolars successfully do it — but it isn’t easy.

    I have been on 23 different medications and been hospitalized seven times, once for suicide watch and the other six for bad reactions to meds. I got the worst and rarest side effects: the Lamictal rash, the beginnings of tardive dyskinesia diagnosed as dystonia which thankfully went away (for the most part) after a year, Seroquel which somehow rendered me unable to speak, think, and control my body. Was it worth it? No, because (and this is a fact) 75% of people on medication are still on the bipolar roller coaster with regular episodes of mania, hypomania, and depression.

    After the last medication debaucle, my psychiatrist agreed that we should “try this without medication”. You should know, though, that I have been doing some form of CBT and DBT and journaling for 20 years, so I was primed for all the work this would involve. And it IS work. I used to keep a pretty loose, spontaneous schedule. Not anymore. I stick to a daily schedule, especially concerning sleep. I also take calcium, magnesium, and melatonin for sleep. I get about seven hours a night now, much better than 20+ days without sleep bringing about a psychotic episode and hospitalization.

    You also have to stay on top of your prodromal symptoms and note any changes in mood. Be aware of your triggers. In the beginning I was somewhat hypervigilant, but now it is second nature. I went from rapid-cycling bipolar with mixed episodes, never without symptoms, to being med-free and symptom free for a year. True, it has only been a year, but for someone who was never stable over the course of 20+ years, this is something of a miracle. Of course, it isn’t REALLY a miracle. When you have no other choice and you can’t “do” medication, you surrender to the options you’ve got left.

    I still believe that most people need medication, and if medication actually worked on me without giving me the worst possible side effects, I would take it. If it works, it’s easier than going med-free. People STRUGGLING on medication think that my bipolar must not have been that bad if I can manage without meds, but I already told you that I was placed on disability, hospitalized, and actually went 20+ days without sleeping, so none of it was “good”. However, I also believe that the last med cocktail and the barrage of chemicals washing my brain for years plus withdrawing from all those meds — and whatever that did to my brain — changed my brain; rebooted it. I don’t think I’m as smart as I used to be and my memory is shot, but my mind is a lot quieter than it was, so I don’t ruminate like I used to.

    I’m in therapy every week. I’m still on disability. I don’t know how having a job would test me, but I’m working on my issues and I’m optimistic that I will be able to have a decent, productive life eventually. I experienced glimpses of that life while hypomanic. Now without hypomania (yes, I miss it, but it’s not worth mania and the crash into depression) I will have to achieve in a slower, more methodical, stable way, which seems a bit boring.

    Good luck to everyone. Bipolar — and any mental illness or chronic debilitating illness — is cruel.

    • Thanks to Eleanor C for sharing your story. I especially liked the things you listed as how to deal with rapid cycling and haveing manic and depression at the same time. And various things you’ve done to help stabilize yourself. I think I can use these techniques WITH my meds. I have suffered from BP2 for 50 years before I got DXd and RXd. thanks to my therapist. I have been seeing her for four years. I’m against taking yet another med so I go to regular therapy to help me deal with the rough spots in life. Thanks again to Natasha and everyone who comments on this topic. Sandy

    • Eleanor? when did you stop your meds and how many were you on and may I ask which meds were you on when you stopped. Your post is fascinating and your courageous and very disciplined. Thank you.

    • Hi Eleanor C

      I was very interested in reading your comments. I too have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and have been tackling it meds free. I’m on the final year of a degree course studying humanistic integrative counselling and want to write my dissertation on people who are med free with bipolar disorder. I am interested in asking people for their views and opinions. I’m also interested in the support people receive if they have chosen to go med free. I’m 48 and this is my third attempt at completing a degree (this will be familiar to those with bipolar who are experts at starting but not completing projects :-) ) Would you be interested taking part? I would very much like to include you as part of my research if you are interested. I’m in the UK by the way. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to give an email address but it’s terribuckingham@icloud.com.

      Best wishes


  83. I am a raging bipolar I lost my marriage because I couldn’t.control myself and my meds I have been of my meds for almost two years I have learn to change my life.style eating habits and now I rage through my.drawings or my. Writing instead.of hitting people.or walls. It.has taken me five years to get my bp under control I may need meds later but I am doing well now

  84. I have a whole fist full of meds to take every single day. I don’t like it,but you know what? I would rather take my meds than sit in jail cause I went off on someone, Or in the Hospital. At least I am stable .

  85. I think the key thing for natural treatment is to realize bipolar is an anxiety disorder, which has triggers which can bring on mood swings. So first isolate what those triggers are, for example not enough sleep, alcohol, stress etc and try to minimize these triggers in your life. Also keep a mood diary on a calendar, and mark those days when you were manic, or felt extremely low.. and sometimes you’ll even notice a pattern. I’ve done this for about a year and I’ve noticed my swings seem to be linked to the lunar cycle funnily enough – around the new moon I’ll have a very low energy, recluse state and around the full moon, I’ll be more high energy, sociable and more “manic”. Also I definitely seem to have seasonal mood swings. I guess being bipolar you’re more sensitive to your outer environment. – I see this more of a gift, because we are more in tune with the energies of nature. So don’t see the moods as you, but part of a cycle that you need to ride through. And since it’s an anxiety disorder, cut out things that cause you to be anxious. I’d say my top things are avoiding sugar, caffeine and alcohol. These might elevate my depressed mood, but generally it’s going to set me up to crash again to a lower low. Another thing which helps is exercising, getting outside, getting fresh air and sun. And also I found practicing meditation and mindfulness the most important thing, because after all it’s about controlling thoughts. I usually have racing thoughts in the morning, so I try to practice calming my mind before I start my day, and this really helps set the tone for the day. If I feel racing negative thoughts coming on, then I’ll take 10 minutes just to remind my self that those thoughts are not me, but my mind just regurgitating random crap – and not focus on them and gradually they’ll go away and I forget I was even thinking about them. This really works wonders, because you’ll realize you really are in control of this illness, so don’t think you are sick, because your thoughts will take over and you’ll believe there is something wrong with you. Instead see the thoughts as just thoughts, and be patient while you learn to rewire how your brain works. Once you get the balling rolling, and you are able to reduce the episodes by yourself, then you’ll feel more in control, and realize you’re not actually sick, you’ve just let your thoughts take control of how you feel for most of your life. Reduce the thoughts, and pay attention to what you focus on – this is the key. And remember this will take time, because you’re reprogramming your subconscious mind which like a very slow computer which learns what the conscious mind feeds it. So always be aware of what you thinking consciously and what you are feeding your subconscious, and gradually you’ll see results. Medication just creates a false sense of well being by changing you conscious mind temporarily – but then you’ll come down, and your subconscious mind hasn’t learnt anything, in fact all it has learnt is you are sick and you need medication to feel happy. The truth is you have the power to choose what thoughts you focus on and you are responsible for how you feel, and you don’t need a pill or outside help to do it. You just need a little bit of patience and will power to want to get better. The natural way is the hard way, but it is life changing and a learning and growing experience so I highly recommend you try it!!! Also read up on psychology books and familiarize yourself on how exactly the mind and thoughts work, and you’ll find it easier to not identify with the thoughts as you, but just thoughts that your mind spits out automatically. And you ultimately create your own reality by the power of your thoughts. Don’t see yourself as sick, but on the path way to being your true and happy self.

    • Thank you, who are you? I completely relate to your response – you have answered my questions and changed my whole perspective.

      • Just sharing what I learnt that really helped me, it’s not for any other reason. Just a person who’s been there and back, and learnt some lessons :)

      • I think mood and anxiety go hand in hand. Moods are how you feel, anxiety is the racing thoughts we have about real or imagined fear. Thoughts come first, then the emotion (or mood). For example, think back to a time when you were on a holiday that you enjoyed, recall the memory, picture it in your mind, and you feel the emotion you felt at the time come through you and become very real for a moment – what we think directly effects how we feel – our thoughts are the lens to how we view our world. Anxiety is racing thoughts, either negative or positive, or even mixed. The bipolar mind runs faster than a normal person, it’s caused by anxiety, as bipolar people we think a lot and we live in our own world more than most. And the more intense the thought pattern, the stronger and more real the emotion will feel. Find the anxiety triggers, find those things deep within yourself that are causing you to be anxious and worry and think a lot and you’ll be able to manage your moods better.

    • Hi Pierre

      Your comments made a lot of sense to me too. Stress is a big factor as is anxiety. I’m bipolar and meds free. I’m on the final year of a degree course studying humanistic integrative counselling and want to write my dissertation on people who are meds free with bipolar disorder. I am interested in asking people for their views and opinions. I’m also interested in the support people receive if they have chosen to go med free. I’m 48 and this is my third attempt at completing a degree (this will be familiar to those with bipolar who are experts at starting but not completing projects :-) ) Would you be interested taking part? I would very much like to include you as part of my research if you are interested. I’m in the UK by the way. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to give an email address but it’s terribuckingham@icloud.com.

      Best wishes


  86. I was diagnosed with Bipolar when I was 15. The psychiatrist I was seeing decided to give me Trileptol, which was a very, very harmful drug for me. I would hallucinate, become extremely paranoid, and become delusional. I took myself off of the medication, the psychiatrist gave me the smallest dosage they could, and it affected me harshly.

    I went on for about 5 years without medication or therapy, which wasn’t a good idea. After 2 attempted suicides, and worsening dreams, sleep paralysis, and my uncontrollable sleep schedule (I’d be up for days, then sleep for days). I went back to therapy, and my psychiatrist recommended lamictal, which I researched and found that it was a fairly safe drug, there was some extreme side effects but only a select few would actually experience these. So, my psychiatrist recommended a small dosage at 25 mg to start off. It worked wonderfully for about 3 weeks, then it started crashing. I would experience extreme fear, constant voices, and I would get tremors so bad, that I thought I was having a seizure.

    That was 2 years ago. I haven’t been back to therapy, or on any medications again. I’m scared to take medications, they seem to do more harm than good. I’ve found myself a wonderful fiancè and she is so wonderful, she is my anchor. I feel that you can deal with this disorder without medication, you just need to have the right support. It’s hard, it’s extremely difficult, but it’s worth it when you can go against the odds and not take medications, and deal with it on your own.

  87. I may be one of the exceptions to the rule. I have been off psych meds for about 4 years now. Not because I was non compliant but because after 20 years of meds, we never found one that helped and many caused me harm. I know meds are so important for most and I wished and still wish sometimes that something would have helped me. Fortunately, I have had access to incredible free treatment including DBT, CBT, art therapy, excellent psychiatrists and dedicated clinicians…and a wonderful psychosocial rehab club where I have learned so much. I know how lucky I am, not everyone can find this kind of support. To my credit, I embraced the help when I finally, at the age of 53, realized that I had severe and persistent mental illness. I was willing to go to any lengths to recover and when I was given the road map to recovery, I jumped on the path and am vigilant about not getting off.
    Thank you for your blogs, Natasha, I really enjoy reading them :)

  88. Might be interesting to give it a try when I retire soon. The intense demands and resulting stress from my current position requires meds though. I’ve been on low dose lithium for 20 years and I’m about to try NAC in addition to the lithium. Has anyone else out there noticed any difference in the efficasy of lithium from different manufacturers? I had the best results with Solvay lithium, though I understand the company sold off its pharmaceutical interests and now focuses on lithium production for lithium ion batteries.

  89. Dear Natasha,

    Although this comment is off-topic I would appreciate if you would allow me to post this petition request to your forum. The petition is:

    Caution: Do not volunteer for any medical research until you read this petition.

    The link to the website is: http://chn.ge/15weJ7t

    I would ask of you and your readership to please carefully read, comment and sign the petition as well as spread the information to all your friends, family and on your Facebook and Twitter accounts.

    Although the subject matter relates to what is happening in the United States the message hopefully will convey caution to all those considering to be volunteer medical study subjects throughout the world. At the same time by signing the petition you have an opportunity to help those in a serious stressful situation.

    Thank you.

    As always I extend my best wishes to one and all for wellness and for all the good you’d wish for yourself.


  90. @Tabby — Wow. I feel for you. It sucks to have this disorder, but it doubly sucks to not be responsive to medication. I’m lucky enough to respond well to medication, but my life took a real dive when one of my antidepressants stopped working (and we didn’t know what the problem was).

    The drug companies are trying hard all the time to find new meds for treatment-resistant people. I hope they get a new one that actually helps you soon.

    (Yeah, it’s not exactly out of the goodness of the drug companies’ hearts, but I’ll take any medical advances I can get.)

  91. I’ve been diagnosed with Bipolar, by several MH pros. I’ve also been diagnosed with other mental illnesses/disorders, by another several MH pros. I’ve had MH pros argue against other MH pros and the diagnoses labeled on my records.

    I’ve been off and on meds for years. I am currently off and have been for nearly 4 years. It’s not easy, can be quite horrific at times, but I have a med intolerance due to hypersensitivity.

    Not everyone can tolerate the meds, as a whole. There is a small % that meds just do not assist much, if any nor can they tolerate most meds prescribed. So, for those – like myself – you just do the best you can.

    I did try the Fish Oil for well over a year, not long ago. You are correct, you have to take quite a many and it has to build up. I actually did find some improvement… but then I was also laid off from what was a very stressful job and could rest more. The ability to rest, not stress completely out and taking the copious amounts of Fish Oil daily… plus getting out into the sunlight for as much and as long as possible… I do think helped considerably.

    Some folks have mild-moderate symptoms, and do not require a plethora of meds. Others, require a handful or two. Then there are those who have gone quite a while, reached some level of stability, and are then decreased in the amount and dosage of their meds.. to a point of perhaps 1-2 primary meds.

    It’s just frustrating to be one of the few who cannot tolerate the meds… and what is very low for many, can be really too high for a few… to then be accused of medication non-compliance… just is too much.

    • Tabby,
      That sucks. It sounds like the MH pros are spending way too much time theorizing and forming a label rather than truly hearing what is going on with you. My guess is that if you’re not formally in the conversation, they are probably all wrong. That’s what it seems like to me.

  92. My own experience of Bipolar Disorder treatment is that there was no way I could have gotten through some severe depressions without anti-depressants. Lamotrigine has also been a bit of a wonder-drug for me in lightening depressive episodes considerably.

    However, I do use Bach Flower Remedies as a supplement to my medication which I find helps to balance out any remaining symptoms that medication doesn’t seem to touch. I’ve also had Past-Life Regression Therapy which helped me too and I do a lot of personal & spiritual development work. Since doing this work, my symptoms have improved no end. I do want to emphasize that I am still on medication as well.

  93. I find that on-going therapy with the same therapist often helps me get through a crisis because I look forward to telling her about it. Maybe I”m lucky to have found just the right therapist for me.I’ve been seeing her 3 and a half years. She’s the one who sent me to psychiatrist to be diagnosed with Bipolar II who put me on meds. My psychiatric nurse encourages me to go to therapy. I wouldn’t think of trying to cope with my disorders without meds. I take meds for HBP and Fibromyalgia which are also life-threating. Since Bipolar is also a medical condition there is no reason not to take the meds. I coped with bipolar for 45 years. I’d rather be dead than experience the type of depression that nearly drove me into the ground.

  94. Iv’e been doing this for over 20 years, if there is another treatment I can’t imagine what it could be ?

  95. The reason I mention natural springs is because one theory for why there’s been an upsurge in the incidence of bipolar disorder is that the change-over to city and county water systems from local well water has reduced the natural amount of lithium the general population was getting. The hypothesis holds that the absence of the microdoses is one of the factors for some people in triggering the disease.

    It’s a tenuous hypothesis in the field, one among several, not something proven.

  96. Let me say it again, because I don’t want to be indirectly responsible for a death. Do Not Do do-it-yourself supplementation with lithium salts. You’d have a high chance of DYING.

    Do not move somewhere with a lot of natural lithium in the well water and chow down chugging the water, not seeing a pdoc, thinking it’s “natural.” Either you won’t get a therapeutic level of lithium–it won’t work and you’ll end up crazy and in the hospital–or if you do manage to get a therapeutic level, you’d put yourself at a high risk of overdosing and DYING. There isn’t anything you can watch for that would warn you that you’re about to overdose on lithium, and you can’t go by what someone else takes because it varies from person to person.

    Do-it-yourself “natural” lithium as your mood stabilizer either won’t work or will kill you.

    However, with a doctor checking your blood levels to keep you from poisoning yourself and ensure you get into the therapeutic range–or that you promptly go to plan B if you have signs of an episode starting– Well, with a close relationship with your doctor and frequent blood tests, you could try it. The laws of physics don’t care if the lithium salts get in your system from a pill or in your water.

    There may be “drug” free therapies you can pursue to help control your bipolar disorder, but there are NO effective psychiatrist-free therapies.

    • Julie Cochrane … with regard to litium I have 2 friends who had to have kidney surgery after being on lithium for over 1 dozen years. They were lucky enough to have a family member donate a kidney.. renal failure is common with lithium when taken for a very long time.

  97. Hi Natasha. I would not recommend that anyone try to manage bipolar disorder without medication, except perhaps under a doctor’s very close care during pregnancy.

    However, I would point out that lithium treatment historically started with people with problems replacing their table salt with it. Unfortunately, the dose that helps and the dose that kills are close together and within the realm of individual difference, so they had to go off the “do it yourself.” However, there are areas of the country with higher levels of natural lithium in the water than others.

    I guess I’d say that for people who prefer “supplements” for some kind of moral or philosophical reason, there’s no reason not to try lithium–under a doctor’s supervision, with their blood levels checked, so they get the results but don’t poison themselves. Morally and philosophically, lithium is a mineral dietary supplement–it’s just one that has to be used very, very carefully. It’s a very simple mineral salt much like other mineral salts people take to get those other mineral nutrients. Many communities that had reputations for “curative waters” had or have high levels of lithium naturally in their well water or springs. “High” levels of lithium for drinking water is relative–you’re not going to get therapeutic-level doses. However, someone who is philosophically or morally opposed to “drugs” would not be harmed and might be helped by moving to a community with high natural levels of lithium in the drinking water. They might still need medication, but maybe less of it? Unknown. I don’t recommend doing it without involving the care of a competent physician and getting your blood levels checked regularly.

    Another “alternative” therapy for mania that (last I read) had some support (sorry I can’t source this right now) is dark therapy. “Dark therapy” as clinically tested is a 10-hour sleep period of NO light. That means you can’t even have light in the middle of the night in the bathroom or the fridge–a single flash of light in your dark period can raise your risk of a manic episode in the next six months.

    I wouldn’t try it with no medication, but preserving your unbroken dark period for however long you sleep, as part of your sleep hygiene, may reduce your need for medication or make it more effective.

    Regardless of therapy, there is NO way someone with bipolar disorder should go without the regular care of a pdoc.

    I could see a pregnant woman using dark therapy, under a doctor’s care, as part of an effort to hold off on her need for medication while pregnant. Pregnancy runs your hormones all over the place and is inherently destabilizing, but dark therapy is the ONLY non-drug therapy that I know of that has any documented chance of reducing the frequency of manic episodes.

    Anyway, hope this helps.

    • Hi Julie,

      Thanks for your comment. I decided to add dark therapy to the list. It’s only got one study behind it (that I know of) but does look promising for some hard-to-treat cases. (And FYI, I think it’s actually 12 hours of darkness.)

      – Natasha Tracy

  98. Hi Natasha,
    Thank you for bringing light to shine on the topic of bipolar disorder. Sounds like you have a lot of experience with it yourself. Appreciate you providing a forum to help educate people and share information.
    I do know of an alternative method that I used to replace lithium and lamotrigine and other medications that I previously required to stabilize bipolar disorder. I have used this product successfully for many years. I like that I don’t have any side effects so am no longer troubled with weight gain and hair loss and such that were part and parcel of psychotropic medications. I know this works well for many people as well as myself.
    There has been substantial research done on this product over the years beginning in the late 90’s at the U of C. Here is a very interesting talk form Dr. Kaplan about her research:

    It is lengthy but enlightening. It continues to be studied by many universities in Canada, the USA and actually round the world because of the efficacy its use has demonstrated. Who knew that many symptoms of mental disorders could be helped by such a simple and cost effective method.
    Thanks for listening and sharing this information with your readers.
    Debra Curry

  99. I just wanted to say that if I go off my meds,I feel really good! For a few days anyway,then things start happening like fights with my good wife, And I start feeling really bad! I know I need to stay on my meds! Its the most important meal of the day! :)

  100. Hi.
    I really liked this article. Thank you for posting it.

    I have tried to manage my bipolar without meds. My pdoc told me that if I didn’t want to take all the meds I was taking that I could try 10,000 mg of omega 3. I did manage my bipolar very nicely on this. Well, I did until the day it didn’t work anymore. One day, it was great. Next day, nothing. Back on the meds I went.

    I have found the right combination, and, although not perfect, it’s fabulous having my life back.

    I also did EMDR therapy, which helped me immensely. I would absolutely recommend it to anyone who wants to get at least some of their emotional life back under control.

    We all have our own our journey to travel. Bipolar takes you into places and down roads you never even imagined you would go. Finding what works for you is all that matters. Options are out there, and what works for me might not work for someone else. And that’s ok. As long as we are “well”, what difference does it make how we get there? Just a thought.

  101. Like so much else, it varies between people. I’m diagnosed BP2, and was already on my current medication (mirtazapine) when that diagnosis was made; my previous diagnosis was of some form of unipolar depression (they varied what they called it, but there was generally a pattern of remission and relapse). It was Cognitive Analytic Therapy for depression that caused me to seek assessment to see if BP of some sort was a relevant diagnosis. It was partly because of the insight from that that the psychiatrist said that he thought I should hold off on mood stabilisers and see how I get on with the new insight (also that I’m on a bunch of other drugs for other things).

    I think the ADs do cause relatively rapid cycling, but I’m not convinced that that’s an entirely bad thing – it’s less time between one sort of episode or another, but they also don’t last as long, so the hypomanic ones don’t usually last long enough to get me in trouble. However, I might be keener to try to cut them out as much as possible (with stabilisers) if I didn’t have a caring partner who keeps an eye on me and stops me getting in too much trouble. I talk to her about all decisions except the most trivial, as a good habit in case I’m slipping hypomanic without noticing – but I notice more often than not. I’d be more keen to cut out the depressive episodes, as they last longer (and they always have, in hindsight), and are more unpleasant, with different knock-on effects in my life but no less damaging (just in more subtle ways).

    All very interesting though, thanks. I think psychological therapies (‘talking treatments’) are good in general, but like unipolar depression they actually have better effect, more quickly, if you aren’t medicated (AIUI, anyway). Lifestyle management is helpful in so many illnesses, mental and physical, and is something that should really make a bigger part of long-term condition management generally – but it rarely seems to.

  102. What a wonderful blog. Keep up the great “work”. How can I get you to give me some honest feed-back on my book/story? “Journey Into Self”. I respect & admire your efforts. Regards; Jim Blaha

  103. Wow.

    [moderated] Seroquel seems to work for me at night, so I stick with it.

    Also, [moderated] Zoloft and [moderated] of Neurontin once in the morning really helps me.

    But, the most important element of my treatment is Buspar [moderated].

    I have the micronutrients and take them on occasion — they seem to assist also.

    Most of this psychological science is very subjective and cultural biases run rampant.

    I wouldn’t say there is a conspiracy to prevent alternative treatments; I would say there is no money in it.

    Major scientific studies and peer reviewed papers are a costly proposition.

    So, if you cannot create a new product and a market base, then forget about doing anything (FDA)

    It really is ok, because all I want to do is remain stable.

    I think that all of us are evolving, and that the right side of the brain of intuition and non-logical spiritual experiences is being awakened or stimulated in this epoch of time for whatever reason.

    Spiritual experiences are a dangerous place to be because things can go terribly wrong and there are forces incomprehensible we have to deal with.

    It is interesting to note that even in the wiki of psychosis, there has been a scientific paper published that states that entering into psychosis was done by major religious figures.

    I think that our Western mind-set of how the world works is being challenged by our collective drive to evolve spiritually.

    Those who accelerate quicker than most will pierce some veils of knowledge and be exposed to regions of self that are hard to deal with.

    I don’t think we are sick at all.

    Just a bit more evolved than most.

    This is a threat to the status quo of a society and social structure that is crumbling because it is based upon the outer or external person.

    The internal is completely stratified to be unimportant.

    If there is a conspiracy, then it would be one of medicating one back into the herd mentality.

    You can’t think like that or be like that because it is not approved or approving of ‘ your place ‘.

    Well, I think most of us could not find our ‘ place ‘, because we know deep down that the way life is being lived on this planet is not the correct way that fits into the grandeur and beauty of the rest of cosmos.

    This is a backward planet, and it is being forced to evolve by nature herself.

    This is where the pain and the ‘ breaks with reality ‘ come from.

    Reality in the current social milieu is not proper and we know it.



    Please tell me what each and every one or anyone thinks about this.


    Burt B.

    Moderator: Please don’t mention treatment specifics. I know you’re just trying to help, but I don’t allow it here because of the danger that others will copy you without doctor supervision.

    • Interesting, I have to admit during some of my psychotic phases it all seems very supernatural and spiritual. After my first manic episode I dabbled in astrology and numerously a fair amount, I believed everything was divinely worked out as a plan, and life was a puzzle that I needed to figure out and follow the signs, as if I was on some sort of spiritual journey. I even practiced manifesting things in reality with intention and started to seeing events and people come into my life with seriously strange coincidences which seems to confirm that my mind has now crossed over into some other realm and now had psychic abilities. It was a confusing time, and I was also becoming severely paranoid, I also believed since I knew the ‘secrets’ of this reality that people which I termed “psychic vampires” were out to get me, or lead me off the path. Anyways I realized that whether this was all delusional or real, I was starting to see how powerful my mind was, and how thoughts literally create your reality. I’ve toned down my spiritual / religious side, although I do enjoy researching it.. But I do know when I’m getting a bit over the top with my spiritual ideas then I’m having mania coming on. But I do honestly believe that being bipolar is a gift, you are able to see deeper into reality and can have profound realizations that do actually make sense and can be applied to improve your life. The key is learn how to control how you react to these types of insights, and learn not to let your mind run wild. All in moderation! I also fine writing your ideas down while manic, and then going back to them when you down helps just to see where your mind is at, and how way out your thinking is, just to monitor yourself.

  104. “I used to be all messed up on drugs, now I’m all messed up on the Lord.” Quote from a co-worker. You can get equally messed up on Rx drugs, when you are prescribed the wrong ones, or over/under medicate yourself with the right ones. If you don’t take effective medications prescribed by a competent physician your just messed up. (personal opinion) …and it ain’t no fun either!

    • Every time I’ve gone without meds (usually because I had no insurance or money to pay for treatment), it’s been a nightmare. No amount of psychotherapy, fish oil, “micronutrients,” homeopathic remedies or anything other than drugs has helped. At this point in my life, if I had to, I’d sell myself to afford my meds.

      Charles: “I used to be all messed up on drugs, now I’m all messed up on the Lord.” – that’s from Cheech & Chong’s album ‘Big Bambu,’ which is HILARIOUS! :) Some excerpts are here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Za7GtirGs0 and at 1:08 begins the bit that includes the line above.

  105. “Testimonials are not indicative of anything other than that a random, anonymous online profile has something to say. That can easily be marketing people.”

  106. Natasha,

    Thank you so much for your articles. I often share them on my social networks.

    In addition to Lamictal I take L-Methylfolate (cheaper direct from the manufacturer. I’m doing fine for the most part with those. My previous Dr. required therapy which is a great ides.

    I’m planning on starting to exercise and take high content fish oil supplements, OmegaVia.

    My bipolar is relatively mild so I think these things will work for me.

    And that’s the trick. You gotta find what works for you.


  107. Judy, you mentioned the issue of whether or not a mental health professional “liked” a patient or the opposite. I was a victim, yes victim, of countertransference. A psychiatrist whom I trusted initially incompletely diagnosed me for ten years. As you mentioned, his personal belief system that negated his unprofessional behavior made me even more of a victim of his incompetence. Ordinarily I abhor the term ” victim.” He administered over 50 shock treatments, and each time he would comment on my beautiful hair as he was hooking me up and massaging my head. I have never spoken of this publicly. So, I agree completely with your observation that so much determines a diagnosis or misdiagnosis. Quickly, he became very angry with me as he realized his approach and feelings were for naught. Once I found the strength to find a new doctor, a good doctor, I began to receive useful medication begin my way back. (I do feel that ECT can be a positive treatment under many circumstances such as for geriatric patients.)

    • Hi Helen,
      That is terrible. I am so sorry to hear of your experience with that particular pdoc. He sounds like a real tool. Unfortunately, he is exactly what I am referring to when I say there are people who are in a particular profession for all the wrong reasons. It is especially awful because the people who come to see him are in a such a vulnerable place. He sounds like a sociopath and in dire need of some professional help. I am glad to hear that you found a better doctor.

  108. Yes it works great for me 400mg but nobody tells you about the real bad withdrawal symptoms you get when you stop taking seroquil. You can’t sleep terrible nightmares cold sweats
    .I’ve been through it and its bad. I think doctors should tell you about these symptoms if you stop taking seroquel XR or seroquel. If I new then what I know now about the withdrawal symptoms I never would of taken it. I am in the process of getting off of it because of it but it is a long and terrible process. It doesn’t happen overnight and I will never go back on seroquel again because of this. Do you have any suggestions how to make this any easier? Please help!

  109. BTW, I appreciate you mentioning prodrome detection therapy. I’ve certainly spent some time thinking of my own early manic symptoms. Someone commented in another post recommending avoidance of situations that exacerbates manic episodes, but from my experience, once manic symptoms intensify, the ability to make sound judgement is greatly impaired. Prodrome detection is helpful.

  110. I think one problem stems from the fact that there is no accurate way to diagnose someone. Assessment and diagnosis is heavily reliant on a pdoc/therapist’s ability to remain objective as they utilize the diagnostic guidelines as laid out in the DSM:

    Contrary to popular belief, the enterprise of psychiatric diagnosis is largely unscientific and highly subjective (Caplan, 1995; Caplan & Cosgrove, 2004). Therapists often disagree about which label to assign to a given patient, and there is perhaps surprisingly little definitive research to prove that, “A person with diagnosis X will benefit from and not be harmed by treatment Y.”

    For example, there is clearly a gender bias when it comes to diagnosing personality disorders:

    Ford and Widiger (1989) found a clear tendency in psychologists to diagnose women with histrionic personality disorder (HPD) and not with antisocial personality disorder (APD), even when they showed more antisocial than histrionic traits. Conversely, they manifested a tendency to diagnose men with APD and not with HPD.

    It isn’t really clear what a therapist/pdoc brings into their assessment. As with any form of judgement/labelling, a therapist’s may unwittingly bring their own values, beliefs, cultural influences into the picture – to the detriment of those that come into their care.

    A therapist may also assign a certain diagnosis based on whether or not they actually like their patient! (I read an article addressing this issue in college and found it highly disturbing).

    How is objectivity monitored? Supposedly, the DSM exists to eliminate the problem of subjectivity, but it is difficult to account for every single human error from the onset. What kind of diagnostic training do clinicians receive? And is this standardized?

    Maybe this is why some people respond to a more “natural” course of treatment, while others need medication. Perhaps their diagnosis is actually incorrect.

    I am not bringing this up in support of anti-psychiatry. I believe Caplan wrote her book to address these flaws and to open a dialogue in order to fix it. Obviously, psychology/psychiatry grew out of the need to understand profound deviations in mental states and behaviors from the (current) norm. If you’ve ever taken a stroll through any major city, you will see that there are indeed people who suffer greatly, and anti-psychiatry does them a major disservice by ignoring this.

    And just because SOME make diagnostic errors, it doesn’t mean all therapists/pdocs are bad. In all professions, you will find people who are more “naturally inclined” or “gifted” than others. For instance, some teachers are simply more inspiring, motivating, and effective than others. Likewise, you will find some therapists/pdocs to be more intuitive, objective, compassionate and better trained than others.

    Some people also enter professions for all the wrong reasons. A high school teacher actually admitted to me that the reason he became a teacher is to “mold young minds” – and he probably viewed this as an honourable mission (I’m willing to wager that if he didn’t become a high school teacher, he might have started a cult – but that’s just me).

    There are some pretty intense opinions out there regarding the validity of psychiatry and what effective treatment is. But it is much more complicated than that. Just some food for thought.

  111. So let me answer the question: Can you treat bipolar disorder without medication?

    The quick answer is: no, not really.

    Sorry to say it can be Done, yes. Coming of the drugs was the hardest thing I ever did!

    Fck all You Doctors!

    Not being told the truth by Doctors was the worse than coming of the drugs!
    You left Me for Dead!

    I was eating the foods that were killing me and destroying my Gut my limbs!!
    I have read other comments wheat can’t make you go crazy!

    Sad thing I kept eating wheat which left me in great brain fog and very suicidal though I did not know it.
    It has taken years to heal my brain and if wheat is introduced I become very suicidal after a few days of feeling major brain pain or a hung over effect. Then Brain fog sets in.

    Sad thing most people do not realize this because there brain is so sick and you are not clear headed. You cant even tell so you keep eating the wheat that is killing you. I couldn’t tell until I balanced my brain on what is was lacking then I knew with out a drought.

    Do not Bash Me I am on your side. I was stuck with my drugs though they made me sick suicidal. I knew I could not live without them or I would be dead or least I thought!
    I suffered the Drug effects till I knew I had enough. Death was better than living like a suicidal Zombie.

    I read more books than you will know and it took me years to sleep 8 hours and get my life back. I saw and felt miracles as my health improved so yes it can be done taking the right natural thing our bodies require or should I say what we are lacking. Am I cured no. I would hope my body can repair itself but for not I know the truth. I take alot of natural things I am lacking.

    It has been 3-4 years of being unmediated and living again though not being told the truth and easting the foods that were destroying my Gut> I will never forgive Doctors!

    Do Not get me wrong I take more natural things than drugs but I at least have no Toxic effects no blood work no depression or suicidal thoughts and I am clear headed.

    I have a hard time living because I am different or should I say I see the truth and cant believe how doctors treat people. It is hard living in a surreal world everything is a lie.

    I have herd I could not live with out my Doctors and drugs though I am on disability? I will live and suffer with the side effects? Said to say I have seen what drugs have done after 30 years. Hope you fare better.

    I am not here to bash anyone but I have herd people say they have lost memory, hard time hearing and there thought process has slowed way down. It is harder to process.

    Again I still struggle and really wish you all the best..


  112. It’s disappointing to see you block people from accessing info if they so choose, by removing my email address from my comment. Maybe you’ll allow the research to speak for itself. http://qsciences.com/science/q96-published-empirical-reports-and-abstracts-2/ If you’d take the time to look, you’d see there are numerous studies within the last 3 years. Not to mention a double blind placebo controlled study completed and awaiting publishing, with four others to be released in the coming months. Misinformation is rampant. When you discount what has worked for myself and so many, you are discounting my experience. I find that offensive. If people are happy on medication, than great! But if they are not and are looking for an alternative, they should not be blocked from accessing it. It’s true, it may not work for everyone. But neither does medication. I’m looking to share an alternative with people who are seeking it. When you write about there being no alternative to medication, this is not true or accurate.

    • Kristy,

      I block all email addresses. This is not the forum for that. If you wish to have a conversation with someone, you’re free to take it to a chat room somewhere and share whatever information you like.

      As for the link, I don’t see much convincing there, although I, obviously, didn’t look through them all and I did a search for “placebo” and didn’t find the double-blind, placebo-controlled study you speak of, so perhaps you could link to it.

      What I do know is this:

      In the Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics journal, researchers have this to say after a systematic review of evidence: “However, despite positive preliminary findings, there are less data available to support efficacy of micronutrient formulas in treating bipolar disorder, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder and substance abuse/dependence and no clinical trials have been done with clinically depressed or anxious patient samples, psychosis or eating disorders.”


      I didn’t discount what’s working for you. I said that I don’t believe in it and I think people needlessly throw their money away on it. It doesn’t mean it isn’t working for you. There’s a reason I included it in the article – because in spite of my feelings, there is a little preliminary data suggesting it might work.

      – Natasha Tracy

  113. I fully agree with you that a mood stabilizer (in bipolar disorder) is first needed, such as Lithium, and a different pattern of episode free stability be maintained for a significant time period.
    A new approach to maintain this stability is Emotional CPR (eCPR) .

    Emotional CPR (eCPR) is an educational program designed to teach people to assist others through an emotional crisis by three simple steps:

    C = Connecting
    P = emPowering, and
    R = Revitalizing.

    The Connecting process of eCPR involves deepening listening skills, practicing presence, and creating a sense of safety for the person experiencing a crisis. The emPowering process helps people better understand how to feel empowered themselves as well as to assist others to feel more hopeful and engaged in life.

    In the Revitalizating process, people re-engage in relationships with their loved ones or their support system, and they resume or begin routines that support health and wellness which reinforces the person’s sense of mastery and accomplishment, further energizing the healing process.

    eCPR is based on the principles found to be shared by a number of support approaches: trauma-informed care, counseling after disasters, peer support to avoid continuing emotional despair, emotional intelligence, suicide prevention, and cultural attunement. It was developed with input from a diverse cadre of recognized leaders from across the U.S., who themselves have learned how to recover and grow from emotional crises. They have wisdom by the grace of first- hand experience.

    Emotional crisis is a universal experience. It can happen to anyone, at any time. When we are exposed to this extraordinary situation, we develop amazing and creative ways to protect ourselves.

    To onlookers, these protective mechanisms may look very odd, even “crazy”. To us, they have meaning. Through using eCPR we can better understand and overcome our fear of seemingly unusual behavior brought on by an emotional crisis.

    Through eCPR we learn how to form supportive connections that empower the person in emotional crisis so they are able to feel revitalized and quickly resume meaningful roles in the community.

  114. I strongly disagree. I have used a micronutrient treatment for my bipolar for the past 12 years. It works better than meds ever did at keeping me stable, and without side effects. I don’t see it as a cure. It’s a treatment. I still struggle at times, but certainly not to the suicidal lows that I did while medicated. The treatment has helped countless (10’s of thousands) people regain a life they are happy living. It has been proven to be as effective, if not more effective than medication for the majority of people who commit to this treatment. Just because you deny it doesn’t make it truth. The hard part is coming off meds. But there is help available to make that transition. [moderated] I’m happy to share the research, the story, and the testimonials that make this option one worthy of consideration for those people who aren’t happy being medicated.

    • Hi Kristy,

      Well, you are free to disagree, but just because you say it, doesn’t make it true either. The research (and I mean actual, published, scientific research) is not conclusive in the least and there is _no_ evidence of the numbers of people you are suggesting being helped.

      As Dr. Phelps notes, there has been no new research in this area for years and that’s likely indicative of its effectiveness. Because if it really worked, there _would_ be the right research on it. http://psycheducation.org/depression/meds/truehope.htm

      Testimonials are not indicative of anything other than that a random, anonymous online profile has something to say. That can easily be marketing people.

      Regardless, what works for you works for you, and that’s perfectly fine.

      – Natasha Tracy


    • can i ask what damage your talking about. if meds have done more bad then good. then you didnt look into the right meds or you arent bipolar period