I suffer from bipolar, depression, anxiety, panic attacks and chronic insomnia, but don’t hold it against me. I’m a fighter…
I have been dealing with bipolar disorder for approximately 7 years and I have been hospitalised twice, with many short-term visits to the ER. Bipolar disorder is a complex disease and it manifests itself in a variety of ways.
The main symptoms I tend to get are depression and anxiety and at times hypomania. I fluctuate between depression and mania generally.
Depression symptoms may last a few months and then I will get mania. Or sometimes it’s like I am having a mixed episode (depression/mania at the same time).
Recently, I went to the ER because of anxiety and panic attacks. Nothing I did would calm me down. I experienced wave after wave of panic attacks, it was crippling and I had to leave the hospital because I felt so uncomfortable.
I always make sure when I leave the ER to touch base with the Acute Team, my Psychiatrist, Doctor and Psychologist. I always keep a team of professionals around me for that extra support. Medication is a big deal when you are chronically ill like me. Taking the right medication in the right quantities will mean you will stay happy and well. If you get the mix wrong, be prepared for a rollercoaster ride.
Last year I choose to come off Epilm (Mood Stablizer) because I had gained about 120 pounds (50 kgs) in 6 years. I decided that enough was enough and I needed to come off it because I was getting rather fat. So I did that, but in doing that I stopped taking my anti-psychotic and started taking natural lithium (Mood Stabilizer). I ended up with psychosis within a few months and I literally laid in bed for a month because I was too scared to go to the Psychiatric Ward. I was hearing voices, experiencing anxiety, hallucinations etc.
After a while, I came good again and I started to see sense. I was convinced after this psychotic break to never experience psychosis again. So I have worked tirelessly on my health. I have researched the right dosages to be on with my meds and I have stuck with it. I have talked the Doctor and Psychiatrist about any new symptoms and identified issues quickly and addressed them straight away. I have been on top of my health.
The one thing I want to address though is my anxiety. Anxiety is connected to both my panic attacks and sleeplessness. I know if I address my anxiety and fix this, most of my symptoms will improve and I will feel much better. Although Rome wasn’t built in a day, so I am taking my time with it.
The key I believe in managing bipolar and other mental health issues lie in research into complementary medicine. I think vitamins, herbs, supplements have a HUGE role to play in the future treatment of mental health issues globally.
As I talk to many larger mental health blogs regularly, I find that still many are not aware of the role that alternative medicine can play in healing chronic mental health issues. I believe it’s my job, plus other mental health bloggers to begin a movement towards natural, organic and healthier alternatives to the treatment of mental health issues.
The fact of the matter remains, we don’t really know the effects that mental health/bipolar medications are having on the body. There is research that exists. I am not disputing the fact there is research. But because medications have only come into existence from the 1960s/70s there is still a lot of research that needs to be conducted on the long-term effects of psychotropic meds.
The thing is if big pharma is not researching these things, or even worse know about the effects and are not telling us, then it is up to us as consumers to educate ourselves. We must start demanding that Psychiatrist (PDocs) start to use natural alternatives and, that more research is conducted on alternative medicines.
For example, I take lithium orotate. It’s a natural form of lithium and results are similar to the medication lithium carbonate but without the effects of man-made pharmaceuticals. I only found out about that when I did research online about alternatives treatments for bipolar.
The fact of the matter is the Indian and Chinese are treating patients today in the hospital using herbs, minerals and tonics. Why can’t we do that here in Australia? US? UK?
These practitioners should be consulted and further research conducted on alternative natural medication. In particular, the area I would like researched is natural anti-psychotics.
I have done my research on natural anti-psychotics and there is not much out there. I have my own supply of these natural meds but I am not using them for fear of developing psychosis. What I really need is an alternative doctor who can advise me on what natural medications I can take safely so I can avoid psychosis.
So there is a bit more about me and also about what I would like to research further. If you are also like me, suffering from bipolar, schizophrenia or other chronic mental health issues, I would love for you to reach out to me and send me an email. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for your time and I hope you enjoy reading the content on my site. 🙂