Hi, again, Mechanicalhouse,
First, I owe some apologies: Bill is one of the truly loyal posters over the years, and he speaks of the realities of life and offers helpful advice, as all of the other posters have--men and women. Secondly, to give you a "what else have we got" would take many months. You see, our information comes and goes in our minds much like the artist's moods to paint. But I'll give it a start and hope that others will chime in.
[mod note: The following is a current hypothesis of the cause of bipolar disorder, but not all psychiatrists will agree. Some people do have positive results with aspirin, but your doctor should be consulted before beginning an aspirin regimen. Each member has the responsibility to research pro and con of personal and medical decisions.]
Tortoise: This is It's Genetic:
The idea that Bipolar Illness is an irritation of the brain is not a
current hypothesis of the cause. Doctors know that the illness is
an irritation of the brain. They still don't know the cause as yet.
See also my response to your helpful suggestion on the next edit,
1. Bipolar illness is recognized now by psychiatrists as an irritation of the brain. It was known as early as 1867 that it was a toxic condition of the brain, but psychiatrists still don't know the cause. They do know that a portion of the brain fires too rapidly and that aspirin will help relieve some of the symptoms. Medication, however, is required to restore the chemical imbalance. (I hope very much that the firing-too- rapidly of the brain in youth won't mean that the electrical system gives out too early in life! I've been told that bipolar patients may die sooner than others--but to get back to the positives!)
2. It is a chemical imbalance. I'm one on the forum who advocates diet changes to control things and to help one cut down on so much medication prescribed in high dosage to restore the balance. Alcohol, for example, makes the illness worse; so does caffeine in any form--whether tea, coffee, chocolate, or anything else with caffeine in it. (See ruthwhalen.com/caffeine for a startling revelation about caffeine use in patients sensitive to it--bipolar patients are.)
3. Keeping the diet on a more alkaline basis than an acidic one will help. Please see Alkaline Foods.com for a list of alkaline-reacting foods that are more helpful in the diet than so much acid-reacting foods characteristic of the typical "Western diet". (Incidentally, the number of bipolar patients in the United States is increasing. It makes me believe even more strongly that the diet is very significant.)
4. I've posted on this subject over on about page 3 or so on a thread called something like "The 4 New Things That Bipolar Patients Need to Avoid in Their Diets". That may help you.
[mod edit: This is the link to the thread I.G. is referring to: https://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=13&m=2298130 ]
5. Unmedicated, bipolar illness may become worse. The truth is that it definitely becomes worse without medication over a period of years. The only way to feel comfortable, in my view, is to take as little medication as one needs to remain stable (and that can be a lot of reduction in meds if one is careful about the diet.)
6. Bill is a strong advocate of exercise, medication, and spiritual guidance. I think he's right on target; I know all three help.
7. Sugar is now being implicated in making bipolar illness worse. It creates the highs and lows that are reminiscent of bipolar illness. I am thinking that all carbohydrates have to be controlled to maintain stability in this illness.
8. The "highs" may be fun, but they will turn, eventually into depression without our trying to stabilize the chemical imbalance.
9. Four things, (according to my psychiatrist) are required in this illness:
A. Avoid alcohol :it makes the illness worse.
B. Avoid Caffeine: it makes the illness worse.
C. Take your meds.
D. Get your rest- establish a routine rest schedule and try not to break it. (Many of us laugh at that because a routine sleep schedule is something that all of us struggle with from time to time.)
I would add now that I think sugar and other products like fructose, molasses, etc. may be implicated in the instability of the illness.
Well, that's enough to get you started on your own journey of research into the "traps" of bipolar illness. You will come out of it calm, creative, energetic, and loving many people in time and with effort.
Bill's comment to get the injurious people out of your life is a very strong point for all bipolar people to work on, at least try to recognize that folks have their own problems and often their reactions are indicative of their own inadequacies. Medication might help you to let things wash off you like water in terms of "how important is that person?"
I would like very much for other members of the forum to step in and give Mechanicalhouse your views on this illness, as well, please. The more information he gets, the easier his adjustment will be.
[mod edit: I.G., Thank you for your compassionate and informational posts. I do appreciate you posting! I edit in the hope that your information is not mistaken or twisted by depressed or hypomanic minds. I do worry that a person in a manic state might go off psych meds and use an anti-inflammatory over-the-counter meds. We both know how dangerous that could be! Thank you for you kindess I.G., and thank you for being active on this thread while I was away. ]
Yes, you're welcome, Tortoise. I try to make it clear that the
use of aspirin does not supersede the use of prescribed medications; my information on the subject came from my psychiatrist who is a graduate of Duke University with a doctorate in psychiatry. And I hope, also, that all bipolar patients will confer with their doctors for all their questions, because each bipolar patient is different, certainly, in the personal makeup and chemistry of the brain and body. It's Genetic
Post Edited (It's Genetic) : 1/28/2012 8:56:38 PM (GMT-7)