Thursday, May 26, 2005

Thoughts on Bipolar

This email came across my desk from Julie, who was concerned that our bipolar section might not have the adequate warnings about seeing a doctor before taking natural remedies. While I spend the day going through the pages to make sure these concerns are addressed, I thought I would leave Julie's thoughts. I asked permission beforehand and her response was even better than her original so tomorrow I will run the second installment from Julie. I am so thankful for people like this in the world. Thank you Julie, for taking the time to help other people!

"One thing to mention is that people with Bipolar Disorder MUST NOT take anti depressant medications, herbs, supplements for depression ( 5-HTP), without seeing a doctor. Anti depressant medications or compounds ( even "safe" natural herbs) will cause hypomania, mania, dysphoria ( manic rage, opposite of "euphoria"). These may include auditory, visual, perceptual hallucinations, delusions. A mood stabilizer must be used. Lithium used to be the only choice , then dreaded Depakote ( an evil drug), but now there are many new things that have no side effects ( I take Trileptal)

MANY people with ADD-ADHD are Bipolar and either are or may not be diagnosed with it. Some studies say that as many as 80% of ADD are Bipolar. If you are Bipolar you have ADD. They are comorbid.
( Like diabetes and high cholesterol, as a bad example :)

Most children with ADD/ ADHD are actually Bipolar.

You do yourself a favor by looking into Bipolar Disorder. It is a horrible illness.
Many of us with Bipolar are medication dependant. My life depends on my medications. Some "natural" people can't understand that. While there are many benefits of vitamins, mineral, anti oxidants, herbs, etc. we must be very careful of many compounds. And going all natural for someone like myself: Bipolar I, mixed state, cycle every 15 minutes ( as opposed to several years) with psychosis, it is imperative to be under a doctor's care and on medication.

In my case, using only natural compounds would be like throwing a cup of water on a burning house. Some people really are that bad. A part of the brain that soaks up Serotonin are called 1 A receptors. People with Bipolar Disorder have 40% LESS 1A receptors than a non bipolar brain. There are many structural differences in the brain.

I know how awful the medications can be as far as side effects go. But 5-HTP, St. John's wort etc. are not enough for me. ( I have a friend who is a 30 some year expert in homeopathic)

BP is like a spectrum, or a pendulum. Some people are close enough to the "mid" point, that natural supplements alone are effective. Which is wonderful. There are some of us though that, as I have said, are so extremely on both ends
( depressed, or manic. I have "mixed state" meaning I have symptoms of both, the hardest state to treat.)

Just like some can control diabetes with diet and exercise, and some must have insulin.

The pituitary gland and thyroid are also big culprits in depression ( T3 and T4 are rarely checked) high carb diets ( white sugar, refined stuff), too much caffeine, no exercise, and all of the other bad "western" habits we have are major contributors.

Keep up the good work!! Knowledge is power when surviving with these illnesses. And success in life is attainable with this.
You have very good info. How did I find your site?
Looking up withdrawal symptoms for Lexapro! I am being switched to a "gentler" antidep. wellbutrin. Much safer for people like me who tend towards mania.

I am sure many of your products would be helpful for those who are not at the extreme some of us are. Especially parents who do not want their kids on pharmaceuticals unless they have tried and failed with everything else.( Diet, supplements. behavioral help, etc.)

Anti depressants in kids are very unknown territory and it does not look good from some studies. They do not have adult bodies. My oldest son is ADD/ADHD. He spent four years on Ritalin. At the time it was the only choice we knew of. Homeopathy was very much still "west coast" 13 years ago. At 9 he had the body of a 6 year old. He had his wrist x-rayed. It had stunted his growth. His growth hormones were very diminished. Within a year of going off it he shot up and was within his age group for size. He is now a pretty solid 18 year old. But he was diagnosed Bipolar when he was 14. It is hereditary.

Sorry to be so long! But I enjoyed the information on your site so much, I thought you might be interested in something that ADD/ADHD is always present in.

I go to a technical college. I am surprised how many students in engineering sciences and Information Technologies have ADD/ADHD. I will let them know about your supplements. We "oddballs" seem to find each other.


No comments: