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-   -   Bipolar, no meds? (http://www.mothering.com/forum/317-mental-health/370931-bipolar-no-meds.html)

SleepyMamaBear 11-15-2005 07:09 PM

Hi ladies, not much time to type as DD is just about to wake from naptime, but i just found this section(or just stumbled in) of the forums.
I was diagnosed bipolar when i was 12. and again at 17, they wanted to "be sure" they gave me the right diagnosis.
i have been on lithium, depakote, paxil, celexa, and prozac. they all made me feel like an unfeeling uncaring zombie. something many many many of us with bipolar HATE feeling like.
i mean, i am not a HUGE fan of the extreme highs and lows, but at least they arent as bad as they were when i was a teenager. at least now i can function through the depression and get out of bed and take care of my dd and support my dh and be a functioning(though barely) member of society. and my manias are definately not as bad as they used to be. i can actually get to sleep now when manic, and i dont obsess about paintning or writing, or sex like i did when i was younger.
When i got pregnant with dd it seemed like everything just kind of settled down. my whole pregnancy i didnt have one single manic or depressed episode. i still had feelings, and intense ones at that (hell i am a taurus!) but never a mania or depression. and after she was born i seemed pretty even keeled for a while. only moderate ppd due to being unable to bf due to a reduction i had 6 years ago and no LC to offer real support or help. but no severe depressions and no manias.
but it seems now as if they are coming back, slowly, not as rapid cycling as i once was, and definately not to the same extreme as they once were. my manias are really noted by rambling, and sudden outbursts (sudden to everyone else, to me they seem logical, you know what i mean?) of temper followed by crying jags.
and my depression just manifests itself physically in body pain, and lethargy. with the occasional cry myself to sleep night.
so i know it could be worse, and i know it could be better, hell it was WAY better for over a year and a half!
i refuse to take meds anymore. i dont want that poison in my body. anything homeopathic that could really actually help would be nice, and i currently dont have insurance, so i cant go to counseling, not that it ever really helped me.
also i have been having severe anxiety spells about dying. they started right after my dd was born, i would look at her and think, if i were to die, she would be motherless, and then i would think about death and how final it is, and how i would never see my daughter again, and it upsets me to no end, and then i get set into a little anxiety attack where i feel like i am about to die. grrrr. those went away when she was about 5 months old, but recently came back. and its reall affecting me overall.
anyone else in a boat the same color as mine or hve any ideas?
anything would help. hell even just ranting like this helped a lil bit.
thanks

hopeland 11-15-2005 10:45 PM

I know of someone who was on meds for bipolar and then when she bacame pregnant she went off at some point in fear of it harming the baby. She started taking some sort of natural/herbal/vitamin regimen. I can try to find out what it is for you if you would like. I don't really know her its more of a friend of a friend sort of thing. Have you ever had your thyroid levels checked? Sometimes that can affect your mood. I think I may be bipolar although I dont have mania in the typical sense. I have mood swings and am what the experts say is very "mood reactive". Basically meaning what someone says or does, enviromantal changes etc effect me greatly. I also have alot of anxiety and doom and gloom thinking a little like what you are experiencing. Although of course it is possible you could die you might try reminding yourself that this is anxiety talking. I have to remind myself that my thinking is not rational when I am very anxious or depressed. I think it does help to write and talk to someone also.

SleepyMamaBear 11-16-2005 05:21 PM

my thyroid always tests normal. i get it checked yearly.
i would love to know what she did if you could find out.
when i start having the death anxiety i try and talk myself out of an anxiety attack before it happens. though i am not alway successful.
being bipolar sucks.

tyedyedeyes 11-23-2005 02:41 AM

AddysMama, Hugs. I'm RIGHT there with you. In the same boat. Same Color. Hell, I think you have one of my oars.

It was like the mania was subdued for a while..now, I see what would be manic episodes, but the mother in me like, takes over...and I focus that energy somewhere else..cleaning, cooking, driving, screaming, whatever...mostly screaming and cleaning. I hate it. I almost like, want to just get up and leave, and be gone for three days and not sleep and just get it over with. Come home covered with more tattoos, and have done things that I would probably regret if I could remember what I had done....and then I get super depressed, but I can function because again, the mother in me takes over and I know I gotta get up and make sure he's fed and happy and learning and we're playing games, but I just hate my life and want to veg out doing nothing but watching reruns of Roseanne.... (well, okay, maybe not roseanne, but something..)

Right now, I'm taking St Johns Wort, a vitamin b complex, PRN valerian root and Rescue remedy, and trying to change my eating habits. It seems to be working a little bit, but a lot of my depression is also situational, rather than biochemical. Crappy stuff hitting the fan...no health insurance, no job security, parental unit's health going downhill, tight budget with birthdays and holidays coming up..you get the drift... I've been doing a little bit of research on natural mood stabilizers, rather than just the natural antidepressants and antianxiety drugs...because I think that's what I might need more than the treatment for the polar opposites..I dunno. Forgive me if I'm not making sense. It's been a looooooooong day. DH has had to work 12 hour shifts every day...10:30 am to 10:30 pm. So I don't see him (and neither does DS) from 10 am to 11 pm. Fun fun.

Anyways, offering my support and maybe if I figure some stuff out, or if you figure some stuff out and we get some ideas we can share them with each other?


Till then, mama...

Kate

SleepyMamaBear 11-23-2005 07:27 PM

well hell why use two boats, when we can share the same damn boat!
i am so glad i am not the only one in the world that feels like this. and my DH works long strange hours too and goes to school 4 days a week. so it seems as if we never see him.
we too have no health insurance for 6 months. unless i get pregnant. and thats not going to happen on my watch!!!
if you get a moment will you OM me what you are taking and how much, and I will try to head to the store to get some. god it would be nice to not feel so damn screwed up!!!
and tattoos are something i am addicted to as well. only lucky me, thats what my husband is in school for! so its not breaking my bank.
if you need a shoulder or an ear, i have two of each.
~Tiff

Milkymommi 11-28-2005 05:22 PM

I'm LOL so hard right now! Reading your post was like a mirror image of me... I love the line about sudden outbursts that seem perfectly appropriate to you Oh Mama I think I'm the captain of your boat

I have been bi polar my whole life and had a few different routes of treatment until it became my choice. As a grown up I chose to do nothing for a long time. Then it got rediculous and I freaked out an went to a Dr rather than my ND. Struggled with some meds and ultimately cam to the conclusion that that is just not for me. I'm not a medicine taker and like you I just couldn't handle putting that stuff into my body when I knew what it was doing to me. Needless to say I went the "natural" route.

I see my ND once every 4 weeks for ongoing treatment. She takes me VERY seriously and never makes me feel like I'm not going to make it. In the past I had tremendous success with taking a really hardcore multi vitamin taylored to my needs, mega doses of Pharmax Fish Oil, and mega doses of Niacinamide. I was completely stable for the first time in my life for close to a year. Then I got pregnant and she tooko me off the Niacinamide simply because there are no studies out that indicate it's safety at those amounts during pregnany and she didn't want to take chance.

I did VERY well... always have when I'm pregnant anyway. Seems to be our trend ladies. Then I lost my baby at 10 weeks, that was on September 1st this yr. I have been on a slow decline ever since and of course I didn't notice until everyone else noticed first. Back to the same cycles only not quite as intense. I started noticing it around 7 day post ovulation or so for the last 2 months, I assumed I was just having some serious PMS. I wish. I mean it is worse but I wish that were the only problem.

All that to say this. I have had success using natural treatment for Bi Polar. I am back on the same regimine (sp?) and I'm seeing some results. It's only been just over a week so the full fruit hasn't kicked in yet. She also gave my a homeopathic remedy for mental health but I can't recall it at the moment.

I say go for it. It can't hurt to give it a shot. My only suggestion is that if you're going to use natural remedies make sure they are super high quality, especially the fish oil. Apparently that is very important according to my ND. I get my stuff straight from her but I'm sure you can find comparable stuff at the health food store or online. Maybe even Parmax can be bought online.

OK I am rambling on and on here... LOL! but you understand right?

PS! I share your addiction to body art!! Just got a new one... stars twisting all the way up my arm.

EDog 12-03-2005 04:51 PM

SAMe is supposed to help, but it is expensive. PM me if you want a place to get meds in Mexico. I wouldn't post that, but so many of you don't have insurance.

E

MrsRoss 12-07-2005 07:36 AM

I have bpd and am going the natural route with fish oil, etc. as well. I'll write something more comprehensive later.

Ambrose 12-14-2005 07:24 AM

I was wondering if any of you taking fish oil or any other natural form of "medication" for BPD could possibly go into more detail? I am trying very desperately to find other methods of treatment. I have no clue what an "ND" means and most likely I couldn't afford to go to one IF there even is one in my area. I was hoping that MrsRoss and you others could be a bit more specific about your natural treatments.

MrsRoss 12-15-2005 01:29 AM

I meant to come back to this thread so much sooner! I'm sorry!

Right now I am taking about 12g of fish oil a day or rather, 10 pills of 1200mg per day. My med person put me on this as I am still breastfeeding, and she didn't want me on Lexapro or anything stronger unless I weaned. She told me about studies that have been done with fish oil at high doses being used as a mood stabilizer in bipolar patients. (I don't have the link to the study that she had, but I'm sure it could be googled.) She also told me that such a high dose is not only safe for ds but it is very beneficial. The fish oil that works as a mood stabilizer must contain DHA, which is great for brain development in babies and toddlers.

In other cultures and countries, such as Innuit and Japan, people get upward of 20g, or 20,000mg, per day of fish oil through their diet alone. The instance of depression and other mood disorders are very low in these cultures. So my point is that while it may seem like a lot of pills, it is no where near the dose that some people get!

My med person (she's a nurse practioner at a community mental health center) has also instructed me to exercise at least five times a week (hopefully leading up to every day), get plenty of sleep, and also take prenatal vitamins and extra vitamin C, because as fish oil is processed in your body it uses a lot of antioxidants. She's also suggested that I try to get outside and get sunlight.

All this being said, I think that the fish oil is working, but I'm also getting off of Lexapro right now. I'm a little off balance because of that. I feel a lot better after I walk or go for a run at the gym. I still get irritated easily if I haven't had enough sleep, which is common in all new parents I'm told, not just mentally ill ones! Yay!

Well, that's my story. I hope that it helps! You can PM me if you have any questions!!!

volcaniclava 12-15-2005 03:49 AM

dont post in the middle of the night

solstar 12-22-2005 06:35 PM

ok not bipolar

Ruerose 12-22-2005 09:58 PM

Hi,
My first post after lurking forever!

I have been diagnosed with Bi-polar also and have been on the meds and was desperately looking for non-med options. I found a great clinic called the Pfeiffer Treatment Center that specializes in a nutritional approaches to treating "mental disorders" and other medical issues such as Autism. I went in July and have been on this nutritional program since the beginning of August (lots of fish oil, B and C vitamins, zinc and more). I have been feeling so much better and normal and healthy and would highly recommend looking into this place and the work that they do. www.hriptc.org

Another helpful site is http://www.alternativementalhealth.com/

This is from the introduction the the Pfeiffer treatment Clinic:

Introducing the Pfeiffer Treatment Center

The Pfeiffer Treatment Center is a not-for-profit medical research and treatment facility in Warrenville, Illinois specializing in research and treatment of biochemical imbalances. Since the center opened in 1989, it has treated nearly 20,000 patients who suffer from behavior dysfunctions, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism, learning disorders, or anxiety by balancing body and brain chemistry.

The Pfeiffer Treatment Center, the medical clinic of the Health Research Institute (HRI), is staffed by a team of physicians, practitioners, chemists, and other professionals who specialize in the effects of biochemistry on behavior, thought, and mood. The on-site HRI Pharmacy compounds nutrients hormones, and other biochemicals to reduce the number of pills in a prescription using customized methods and equipment.

This is really a great place!
Good Luck Mamas!

a-sorta-fairytale 12-23-2005 04:01 AM

So how many of us are rowing this boat?

LOL! You sound alot like me too. I also lost my baby (my second) on september 1st. I was supposed to be 12 weeks.
I was so stable during pg and for around 6 months afterward. Now i too am back (not nearly as bad) to the anger outbursts, the sleeplessness and all that jazz.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Milkymommi
I'm LOL so hard right now! Reading your post was like a mirror image of me... I love the line about sudden outbursts that seem perfectly appropriate to you Oh Mama I think I'm the captain of your boat

I have been bi polar my whole life and had a few different routes of treatment until it became my choice. As a grown up I chose to do nothing for a long time. Then it got rediculous and I freaked out an went to a Dr rather than my ND. Struggled with some meds and ultimately cam to the conclusion that that is just not for me. I'm not a medicine taker and like you I just couldn't handle putting that stuff into my body when I knew what it was doing to me. Needless to say I went the "natural" route.

I see my ND once every 4 weeks for ongoing treatment. She takes me VERY seriously and never makes me feel like I'm not going to make it. In the past I had tremendous success with taking a really hardcore multi vitamin taylored to my needs, mega doses of Pharmax Fish Oil, and mega doses of Niacinamide. I was completely stable for the first time in my life for close to a year. Then I got pregnant and she tooko me off the Niacinamide simply because there are no studies out that indicate it's safety at those amounts during pregnany and she didn't want to take chance.

I did VERY well... always have when I'm pregnant anyway. Seems to be our trend ladies. Then I lost my baby at 10 weeks, that was on September 1st this yr. I have been on a slow decline ever since and of course I didn't notice until everyone else noticed first. Back to the same cycles only not quite as intense. I started noticing it around 7 day post ovulation or so for the last 2 months, I assumed I was just having some serious PMS. I wish. I mean it is worse but I wish that were the only problem.

All that to say this. I have had success using natural treatment for Bi Polar. I am back on the same regimine (sp?) and I'm seeing some results. It's only been just over a week so the full fruit hasn't kicked in yet. She also gave my a homeopathic remedy for mental health but I can't recall it at the moment.

I say go for it. It can't hurt to give it a shot. My only suggestion is that if you're going to use natural remedies make sure they are super high quality, especially the fish oil. Apparently that is very important according to my ND. I get my stuff straight from her but I'm sure you can find comparable stuff at the health food store or online. Maybe even Parmax can be bought online.

OK I am rambling on and on here... LOL! but you understand right?

PS! I share your addiction to body art!! Just got a new one... stars twisting all the way up my arm.

SleepyMamaBear 12-23-2005 08:11 PM

the only problems i have with fish oil is that i am vegetarian, and i cannot justify it. if i dont eat the fish, how could i kill it for my mental health yanno?
i think the guilt of that alone would make it worse.
well i might not have much to worry about soon, as we think i might be pregnant, we will know by the end of the week.

this must be a yacht, cause if its just a boat i think we are all about to capsize!

Sharlla 12-23-2005 08:54 PM

I am, I took paxil for about a year a few years back and have been unmedicated ever since. I don't take anything but I am aware of how this disorder effect my mood and how I act. When I am in a manic state, I can talk myself out of doing foolish things. ect. Luckily my depression has gone from suicidal (when I was younger) to just being anti social.

I think using meditation can be extremely helpful. I will throw myself into crafts when I'm manic, and I like to take nice candlelit baths and listen to relaxing music.

NinaBruja 12-25-2005 12:24 PM

hello my name is layla and im a manic depressive...
ah i know im all off but i can not stand medication either so ive just had to accept myself this way.
i remember being on prozac and my mil said 'oh i like you much better on medication, youre not all crazy' and i just stood there and i remember thinking 'i should be upset at that, that was very rude.' but i couldnt find any feeling inside myself... i felt bland and empty, it was terrifying and i havent taken anything since that day.
id rather feel like a cure song(hell a whole cure album) every day of my life than feel like a little block of concrete...
i havent tried anything except sheer stubborness and will to 'control' my episodes... oh and b vitamins. b vitamins make the world go 'round
ive never tried fish oil, im a vegan so i guess im sitting near you in the boat/yacht ive had my thyroid tested all the time but im pretty normal on that end... i was a little out of wack after i had dd but it evened out. im the unlucky one, it doesnt get easier to manage when im pregnant, i think it gets a little worse... thank you for this thread, i never even thought to look into something natural to help with manic depressiveness, im more of a get things done by sheer stubborness kind of person, its what ive got the most of.
and i may be the only one but i absolutely love the random outbursts, i love the mania, it makes me so productive, i can do a million things at once and love every second. i can see how it would be a bad thing if you have a job and have to do things though(besides watching a toddler), in highschool they kept making me take drug tests
and i was just thinking having episodes and having them be totally logical to me has really helped me understand my toddler. i mean sometimes her potato falls on the floor and her world just ends and i sooo know how that feels and i can be more empathetic towards her. and she has really helped me too when im in a depression she makes me sit and play the sims literally she will grab my hand and take me to the computer and make me sit down and all but hand me the cd. that gesture will usually help me to climb out of it. sheer stubborness again. i mean my day will be blah but it pulls me out enough to function, shes trying to help. heh i guess sims is my 'natural' remedy. it helps when im feeling overwhelmed to think of life in game form, when i feel bad maybe i need to pee or eat or socialize well it helps me
i ramble so much, it never occurred to me it might be manic depressive related...

oh and its been driving me crazy, is there really a difference between bipolar and manic depressive? i just say manic depressive because that was what the doctor said when i was officially diagnosed(geez sounds like i should have a certificate) but bipolar is so much easier to type.

Ambrose 12-27-2005 12:06 PM

Bipolar and manic depressive are the same thing. Manic depressive is the older term for it.

NinaBruja 01-01-2006 05:40 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by volcaniclava
dont post in the middle of the night
and dont post when youre manic

ellie_astrum 01-04-2006 05:09 PM

*wow* I was looking for other veg moms and I found this! It never occured to me that there were other moms in this boat, hell that there was even a boat! I've been sans pills since I got pregnant with my oldest over two years ago. I too am okay when pregnant and so far not to much tricky stuff. It's rough though, especially when those you love are looking over your shoulder. Is it just me there? I had surgery for an ectopic right before x mas and my DH was positive that when I was still depressed after three days that I was *sick*. I know he loves me and is worried but jeez louise. Does anyone else have this problem with their DH?

Anyway...

As for the fish oil, flax seed oil does the same thing. It's the omega fatty whatever acids your after. And it's totally kosher for us veggies!
:
Just happy I'm not alone here!

volcaniclava 01-10-2006 06:42 AM

my old pdoc called me to check in, I didnt have the balls to say I wasnt on meds any more....now im stuck cause I could use alittle anti-anxiety med, but i dont want to get into the whle li, seroquel string....

here I am posting in the middle of the night!

I've been off meds since july and I have been prety good. eat right, sleep well and it really helps. I find myself so placid when on meds its disturbng, Im sure my husband loves it but it sjust notme! so far so good. i started kung fu and working out every day with chi gong breathing exercises and it makes a world of difference....

good night.. i always check in

Sharlla 01-10-2006 07:31 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by poxybat
and dont post when youre manic
I know that one, hahaha

ediesmom 01-10-2006 09:05 AM

look into these.....
amino acids, I take a complete amino supp., as well as L-Tyrosine. I also use a ton of Bragg's liquid aminos on my food.

vitamin B complex, with a B3 supp.

the Omega's ( I am a veg., but take the fish oil....flax is good, hemp, too)

with this regimen I have felt very healthy mentally for months. If I feel off, I up the doses for a few days and I am back to normal. Good luck

ediesmom

NinaBruja 01-10-2006 09:20 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ediesmom
the Omega's ( I am a veg., but take the fish oil....flax is good, hemp, too)
is there any reason no one mentions that olive oil has omega's? is it too low a quantity to help or something? its alot more pleasant than fish oil...

seahorsie 01-12-2006 09:58 PM

You all might appreciate a website called http://www.alternativedepressiontherapy.com for alternatives to medication for bipolar disorder. Good luck

solstar 01-12-2006 11:07 PM

I like Kid's DHA

Ambrose 01-17-2006 11:01 AM

Quote:
Does anyone else have this problem with their DH?
Yup Yup!! -waves flag-

If I get even the SLIGHTEST bit depressed he becomes all concerned and prods me to tell him whats bothering me, he asks when I last took my medicine and even asks if I might need a little more or "do you think your good?" It gets frusterating and sometimes, that in and of itself pisses me off and pushes me to yelling. But I have to remind myself that DH has VERY good cause to be concerned when I start getting sad/depressed. He (and I) have noticed a pattern and that is, when I get sad, I let it DRAG me down (like the anchor of this boat will tie itself to me and drop) and I cannot come out of it until I lash out (and most often its at him). So he tries really hard to keep me out of sadness/depression. He's not wanting me to be jubilantly happy all the time, just on even ground, and then when I get sad he's there to comfort me. But when I begin getting sad over everything, that's when he starts worrying and being that way... oiy is it annoying sometimes!!

volcaniclava 02-10-2006 05:48 PM

so im bumping this thread to add thT I GUESS I was feeling low for about 2 months because now Im certainly NOT feeling low. I got out of low for 2 week and now Im in a fast track to manic. My chest is full of that energy, I cant shut up or stop moving. Right now its fun, but Im honestly terrified. So I took seroquel last night to go to bed. I dont wan to take it all the time, but maybe I should for a few weeks. Any ideas for natural anti-mania? there's so much out there to combat depression naturally, but not Too much for mania!

ellie_astrum 02-10-2006 07:20 PM

I suggest the Hylands Calms Forte homeopathic tablets...It works well for my insomnia so I'd assume it'd do the same for mania...It might make you tired though...

Ruerose 02-10-2006 07:34 PM

I've also found help from Bach flower remedies like Walnut, CHestnut and Rescue Remedy. One of them has a description like "For when thoughts and worries go round and round in your mind". I think that was Walnut. And there are others that are helpful. Look up online or find at a local natural food store.
Also there is homeopathic kit with three remedies in it called a stress pack that I found helpful.


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