treatments

Turmeric – Possible New, Inexpensive, Depression and Anxiety Treatment

→ March 19, 2017 - 4 Comments

Turmeric – Possible New, Inexpensive, Depression and Anxiety Treatment

Turmeric (curcumin) may be a new, inexpensive depression and anxiety treatment. It’s early days on this one, but it’s worth noting because it is so available and inexpensive. Here is where the research is on turmeric as a treatment for depression and anxiety.

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Antipsychotics Should Be Used for Non-Psychotic Depression Treatment

→ February 6, 2017 - 11 Comments

Antipsychotics Should Be Used for Non-Psychotic Depression Treatment

While some disagree, it’s important that people understand that antipsychotics need to be used for non-psychotic depression treatment, when appropriate.

At any one time, 14 million people suffer from depression but only 60-70% of these people respond to antidepressant treatment. Of those who do not respond, 10-30% exhibit treatment-resistant symptoms including “difficulties in social and occupational function, decline of physical health, suicidal thoughts, and increased health care utilization.” Treating these people presents a huge issue for healthcare practitioners and one of the options they consider is the use of a medication class known as antipsychotics.

Recently, a group called the Therapeutics Initiative wrote a letter entitled Antipsychotics should not be used for non-psychotic depression. Their conclusions are as the title suggests: this body found little evidence to support the use of antipsychotics in the treatment of non-psychotic major depressive disorder.

And while I respect the work of this body and while they have considered some evidence (in the case of quetiapine [Seroquel], an antipsychotic), there is more to consider on the issue.

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Mindfulness — Essential Bipolar Survival Skill?

→ July 13, 2016 - 17 Comments

Mindfulness — Essential Bipolar Survival Skill?

I wrote that Mindfulness Doesn’t Help My Bipolar Disorder. And I think mindfulness, at least how I was taught it, just doesn’t significantly, positive affect a serious, neurological illness. I find it works best in people who experience stress and anxiety. And many do agree with me on this.

That said, John McManamy does not. Here are his thoughts on mindfulness in bipolar disorder.

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Mindfulness is essentially the mind watching the mind. The practice has been around forever. It is a staple of Buddhist practice, and is also the basis of modern talking therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), even if its proponents fail to give it credit.

In all likelihood, if you have had success in managing your bipolar, you are employing mindfulness techniques, though you may be unaware of it.

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Real Patient Experiences with ECT and Perspectives on ECT

→ April 24, 2016 - 35 Comments

Real Patient Experiences with ECT and Perspectives on ECT

It’s difficult to find real patient experiences with, and perspectives on, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) online. Well, it’s easy to find patient experiences and people’s perspectives on ECT but what tends to happen is that those that scream about ECT the loudest are the only ones people hear. I suspect this is thanks to the extreme animosity held on at least one side of the debate.

I aim to change this with real data from real people who have experienced ECT. What I want is data that will prove or disprove the assumptions that people make about ECT. I really hope you’ll support me in this effort.

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Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation vs. ECT for Depression

→ April 11, 2016 - 21 Comments

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation vs. ECT for Depression

Transcranial magnetic stimulation is an option for depression treatment and may be an alternative, for some, to electroconvulsive therapy. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (when used as a treatment for depression known as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation or rTMS) is actually similar to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in that it’s also a neuromodulation technique. It does differ, though, as rTMS is much less invasive and has a very favorable side effect profile, particularly when compared to ECT. There are reasons that people aren’t flocking to rTMS as a depression treatment, though.

[Note: I am running a survey on real patients’ experiences with, and perspectives on, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). If you’ve had ECT and want your voice heard, please take the survey here. More detailed information on the ECT survey can be found here.]

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Why Therapy Can’t Treat Uncontrolled, Serious Mental Illnesses

→ September 24, 2015 - 23 Comments

Why Therapy Can’t Treat Uncontrolled, Serious Mental Illnesses

I have been through lots of therapy and lots of therapists in my life and my contention is that therapy can’t be used to actually treat uncontrolled, serious mental illnesses. Now, don’t get me wrong, therapy can be supportive to a person with an uncontrolled, serious mental illness and therapy can be useful to a person with an uncontrolled, serious mental illness (such as in the case where the therapist tracks your bipolar symptoms and report changes to your doctor) but therapy cannot be used to actually treat a serious and uncontrolled mental illness.

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Pros and Cons of Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

→ May 19, 2015 - 30 Comments

Pros and Cons of Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

The pros and cons of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) are actually quite numerous but in this post I will try to, unbiasedly, lay out the basic pros and cons for anyone considering ECT as a treatment. I am likely uniquely qualified to do this as I am very educated about ECT (Yes, I still have that book in the works. Did I mention I’m really busy?) and I’ve also had ECT. This does not mean it’s right for everyone, however. Do consider the pros and cons of electroconvulsive therapy carefully before you make your own mind up with the help of a doctor.

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Preliminary Evidence for EMPowerplus/Truehope in ADHD Treatment

→ February 20, 2014 - 5 Comments

Preliminary Evidence for EMPowerplus/Truehope in ADHD Treatment

Those of you who follow me know that I’m not a big fan of Truehope/EMPowerplus, in spite of having tried EMPowerplus myself. And one of the things I complained about is the lack of double-blind, controlled studies of the supplement. Well, one scientific study has now been published and I figured I should mention it to be fair. This new study indicates preliminary evidence for Truehope/EMPowerplus (a micronutrient formula) in the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

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Truehope/EMPowerplus Experience at Week Five

→ January 22, 2014 - 20 Comments

Truehope/EMPowerplus Experience at Week Five

It’s been quite a while since I’ve done a Truehope/EMPowerplus update. I had planned on more of them, initially, but when nothing major happened, I didn’t have much to report. I have come to some conclusions about my Truehope/EMPowerplus (what is Truehope/EMPowerplus) experience at five weeks, however, so I’ll share them below.

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My Psychiatrist’s Reaction to EMPowerplus/Truehope Treatment

→ December 30, 2013 - 5 Comments

My Psychiatrist’s Reaction to EMPowerplus/Truehope Treatment

I was really nervous to have to tell my doctor that I had decided to take the Truehope product EMPowerplus. I was pretty sure he was going to either laugh or chastise me out of his office. My anxiety about it was so bad that I didn’t want to mention it at all. Of course, that would have been a poor decision. Allowing anxiety to override your logic is never the right call.

So I told him and surprisingly, he was nonplussed. He just sort of said, “Alright then.”

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EMPowerplus/Truehope Update Day 11

→ December 29, 2013 - 11 Comments

EMPowerplus/Truehope Update Day 11

I am now on day 11 of my EMPowerplus experiment and, yes, I have talked to my doctor about it (more on that later). Here’s what I have to report about the EMPowerplus:

  • I started on half a dose – that’s two pills in the morning and two in the evening.
  • Pretty much as soon as I started taking the EMPowerplus I started feeling giddy. Not quite hypomanic but notably elevated and different, although not better.
  • On day five I experienced an official rapid cycle from hypomania one day to serious debilitating depression the next day.

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What I Know about EMPowerplus by Truehope that You Don’t

→ December 17, 2013 - 224 Comments

What I Know about EMPowerplus by Truehope that You Don’t

(Prereading: What is EMPowerplus by Truehope and Why am I Taking EMPowerplus?)

I’ve ordered EMPowerplus by Truehope now, and so, as a buyer, I know a few things that you can’t find out on their public site.

The Experience of Buying EMPowerplus by Truehope

The experience of buying EMPowerplus is exactly what you would think it would be – you go online and you buy it. There is one difference though, and that difference is that someone calls you to follow-up.

The morning after I ordered the product, the Truehope follow-up person called and started asking me personal questions and confirming information I had already given them. Then she asked my diagnosis. I hesitated as I don’t really think it’s any of her business, but then said, “bipolar.” Then she asked me what medications I was on. I told her I was on several and I didn’t want to enumerate them. She said something along the lines of, “our support staff can’t help you if they don’t have a full picture.” I asked her what her qualifications were to be asking such questions and she said that she simply, “set up the file.” Then I asked her what qualifications those support staff have. She said, “they’re educated on the product.”

In other words, the follow-up person has zero qualifications and the support people who will be counselling you have zero qualifications also. (This is true, by the way, it’s just a call center.) And she wants me to hand over my personal, medical information to these people. I don’t think so.

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