I'm a BiPolar, untreated due to lack of insurance.
Has anyone heard of any treatments that don't involve medication?
Had an episode tonight. Was crying and yelling. My poor husband...
One could try diet, exercise, less caffene, medition or prayer and maybe yoga. I firmly belive that meds and counsling are the best methods for controling BP. The ones i listed should be used to help the meds. Not to take the place of.
You might find a fam dr willing to prescribe a mood stablizer and few other meds to keep you from going over the edge.
I don't know what city or state you are in, but most cities offer free or income-based fee schedules for treatment. Check with your state's office of mental health. Also, check out mental health organizations in your area. They should be able to point you in the right direction.
It is possible in some cases to manage bi-polar without meds, but I would not recommend it without a doctor's supervision.
I manage mine with diet and supplements and my doctor took me off meds about 8 months ago. I was a type II bi-polar, rapid cycler. I got VERY manic.
I started eating 5-6 times a day (my blood sugar doesn't have a chance to drop - no hypoglycemia which can induce an eipsode)
Cut back on sugar to about 12 grams a meal
Cut back on fat to about 10 grams a meal
Both fat and sugar have been shown to increase intensity and frequency of manic episodes as well as depression and anxiety. Be careful, though, getting too little fat and sugar have the same effects. It is a delicate balance.
Plenty of calories and carbohydrates (energy). Complex carbohydrates such as whole wheat bread, brown rice, potatoes, etc. are great mood lifters as well as anxiety calmers.
Omega 3 fatty acids and Omega 6 fatty acids have been directly linked to successfully treating bi-polar disorder. I take about 3000 mg a day in the form of fish oil. I use one from GMC that does not cause the fish taste. There is one type of bi-polar that the fatty acids are not recommended for treatment. If you are interested I can send you to a site that describes that.
B vitamins are also helpful.
Calcium is integral as is vitamin D but be sure to get enough fat in your diet as vitamin D is fat soluble and vitamin D allows the body to absorb the calcium. (I also found that my premenstrual symptoms disappeared after about a month of taking calcium regularly).
I also take ginko biloba, but be careful, it can send you into one heck of a manic episode!
multi-vitamins are also important.
Eat fresh vegetables, not canned. Also, fresh meats are good. Stay away from processed foods. I hardly go down the aisles at the grocery store. I shop the "horseshoe" (produce, meat,dairy). The only time I go down an aisle is to get bread, spices and sometimes low sodium tomato sauce.
Drink lots of water and stay away from sodas.
Caffeine can be bad and contribute to depression and mania, but I do allow myself one cup a day.
Get lots of sleep.
Exercise! It is best to combine cardio (walking, running, elliptical machine, etc) with weights.
This is the very basic of what I do. It works for me, though it may not work for all. My mother has been following this same plan (half way - she cheats a lot! lol) and her doctor has recently decreased her meds. She also says she is feeling a lot better a lot more often (and she went through two terrible tragedies in a relatively short period of time - my grandmother passed away in December of 2002 and my father died suddenly in August 2003). If you want to know more, contact me.
It is possible, but you have to be diligent and committed. Own it, take responsibility for it.
But I STRESS to you and I can't say this enough!!! DO THIS UNDER A DOCTOR'S SUPERVISION!!!!!
Sugar --- I'm off 100% because I'm on the South Beach Diet
Fat --- Well, the low carb diets are known to be higher in fat but I try to control it
Omega 3's --- I just bought fish oil pills and I swear they are helping me with my
Lexapro withdrawal because I don't have any! (I had an infertility treatment and am
not allowed to take medications right now).
Caffeine --- Been off it for almost 3 years now!
Food --- Because of the diet, I'm mainly on produce, meat, dairy, eggs, nuts..but I've only been on the diet for a month, so I need to wait and see if my mania comes back as often.
Exercise --- I'm walking and swimming
Vitamins - Taking a pre-natal vitamin
These might be why my flare ups are once or twice a month instead of constantly.
Haven't tried acupuncture. Is it expensive?
I'm not working right now, which helps as well. Stress is a HUGE trigger for me.
I find co-workers are the most stressful. I can't deal with the butt-kissing, games,
backstabbing, and competition that occurs at most jobs. It stressed me out so bad
that I cry at work and have mania more often.
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It sounds as if you are off to a good start. The tough thing may be learning to tune some things out. It takes effort, but being more thick-skinned can help a lot.
If you can't do anything about it, let it go.