self-help bipolar without medication using natural remedies

How to Self-Monitor Bipolar syndrome and adjust your prescription to match

© www.PeterSmithUK.com (2014 #1)
 
Because bipolar syndrome has different sides requiring different treatment and can switch unpredictably from one to the other I believe by taking control of the prescription and adjusting it so it always fits the condition many people living with bipolar syndrome can improve the quality of life.
 
Personally I have bipolar type II with rapid cycling so my condition is never stable and constantly changes, what I need to do to keep myself stable and free of symptoms is regularly adjust the balance of the antidepressant remedies versus the anti-mania and mood stabilising remedies. The natural remedies I use take effect quickly and offer a wide range of possible combinations, this provides the means to treat the condition but we also need the ability to determine the state of our condition on the manic-depressive spectrum before we can adjust our prescription, in this section we look at how to do that.

The goal of self-monitoring is to be able to recognise the very early warning signs that you are going out of balance before it gets out of hand so you can make gentle adjustments to your prescription to nip the imbalance in the bud before it gets a grip on you and requires harsh aggressive intervention.

For example if you are starting to show signs of moving in a manic direction you would want more lithium orotate, total darkness therapy and less or no tyrosine, SAMe, Rhodiola and bright light therapy; for a strong effect really put the brakes on a manic hijacking you can add branched-chain amino acids, glycine, taurine, lecithin, etc. on the other hand if you are starting to show signs of moving in a depressed direction you would want more tyrosine, bright light therapy, SAMe, Rhodiola, B6 and less or no glycine, taurine, lecithin etc. (although I would always leave the total darkness therapy in place).

Don’t get disheartened if you’re not able to do this straightaway it takes some time to develop these skills; I’ve been learning how to do this for almost 30 years without any guidance from anyone else and now I’m pretty good at it, last year (2014) I only had to use aggressive anti-mania therapy once for half a day and I had a brief episode of mild depression lasting about 4 days. With guidance I hope you will be able to learn these skills in less months than it took me years.
 
Below I’m going to outline a very simple three point system to interpret the state of your condition and enable you to adjust your prescription. Today there are mood mapping apps and books such as Mood Mapping by Miller, personally I find many of these systems to elaborate and complex for daily use however I recommend you try them in the beginning to enhance your understanding of the nuances of your condition and help you to develop your skills in this area.
 
My very quick and simple system to monitor state of your condition is to keep an eye on 3 things:
Your Speed
Your Sleep
Your Things not to do when you’re manic list.

 

Watch your Speed 

(the speed your speech, thoughts, movements, productivity etc.)

It may sound too simplistic but it’s actually a pretty reliable way of determining where you are on the manic-depression spectrum.  As we become manic everything speed up, we talk more quickly, we move more quickly and energetically, our thinking speeds up. Unless my thoughts become so speeded up that they feel like their racing which makes me feel anxious I find it hard to monitor the speed of my own thoughts, however easy to observe the increased productivity and flow of ideas that is a consequence of speeded up thinking i.e. I can see myself getting an awful lot more done. If when you’re in your manic side you feel anxious, agitated and uncomfortable it’s quite easy to recognise that you are in a manic condition however when you are in a happy positive or euphoric manic state it can sometimes be quite difficult to recognise or even accept that there is anything going on to be concerned about; if you learn to read the signs of your brain being speeded up you can teach yourself to recognise that you’ve moved in the direction of mania even when from your perspective it feels fine and okay. Whether or not it is okay to allow a manic condition to continue or you should treat it depends on a number of factors, for example does it drive you towards unhealthy behaviours, or does it always end in a horrible depressive comedown, I’ll say more about the concept of how you decide when and which parts of your condition need to be treated and which don’t elsewhere.

When the bipolar condition is moving in a depressive direction everything slows down, our thinking, talking, body movements, productivity and the flow of ideas all slow down. Obviously when you’re actually in a state of depression you don’t really need any help diagnosing the condition of your condition but you may find it useful to train yourself to watch out for subtle signs of your body and mind slowing down that indicate that your condition is moving in a depressive direction so that you can increase the antidepressant components of your prescription and nip it in the bud.
 
Keep an eye on the speed of your brain and behaviour in just the same way that you check the speedometer you’re driving. For several years I would take a brief moment before each meal have a look at my speedometer and choose the remedies I would take with my meals to adjust my speed.
 
You know when you’re driving and you going to fast you have 2 choices you can simply lift your foot off the gas and allow the speed to gradually decline or you can lift your foot off the gas and apply the brake, I would adjust my speed similarly if I was only likely to speedy I might just reduce or omit the antidepressant remedies including tyrosine, Rhodiola, SAMe, bright light therapy however if I was really to speeded up I would apply the brakes including increased lithium orotate, lecithin, taurine, branched-chain amino acids, glycine total darkness therapy etc. conversely if I was slowing down I would basically do the opposite.
 

Watch your Sleep

Secondly keep an eye on your sleep, both the amount of sleep you need and the timing of your daily sleep-wake cycle i.e what time you go to sleep is it later and later every day for example.
 
When you observe you start needing less sleep and or the time you go to sleep cycle begins to drift later and later it’s another reliable indicator that you’re condition is moving in a manic direction and this is definitely something you should not ignore. Not only is it a reliable indicator that your brain physiology has gone out of balance but the simple consequences of lack of sleep, the irritability, ‘strung-out’ and dissociated feelings that lack of sleep give everybody including people that don’t have bipolar syndrome directly exasperate the manic condition. 
 
Conversely when the bipolar condition is moving towards the depressive side there is typically although not always an increased need for sleep. I think when just dopamine activity in the brain becomes inadequate it produces a depression with an increased need for sleep, however when serotonin activity is significantly compromised even if we feel sluggish and tired we may find it difficult to sleep and also experience early morning waking.
 
If you want to learn more about mastering your sleep and sleep cycles see my book: Sleep Better with Natural Therapies.


Watch out for Things Not to Do When You’re Manic List

Make a list of the things that you do when you’re manic that although they may feel good at the time are ultimately harmful to your life in some way.

When were manic it’s like our brain is hijacked and intoxicated by a cocaine-like state which can compel us to pursue high-risk, exciting and hedonistic pleasures. There’s something about elevated dopamine and norepinephrine activity that not only increases our interest in pursuing pleasurable and exciting things but also seems to lower our perception of the risks, were are said to develop low risk aversion. What this means in practice is when were manic we can be impulsiveour ability to judge risks and make good decisions is no better than that of a person drunk on alcohol. You know when you’re drunk your ability to judge risk is not state-of-the-art shall be say, for example you think it’ll be fine to drive a car when it really isn’t, etc. The impulsivity of the manic condition is one of the defining hallmarks that distinguishes bipolar syndrome from anxiety; sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish between bipolar syndrome (particularly bipolar mixed states) and depression combined with anxiety. One of the defining and distinguishing differences however if the presence of impulsivity, the behaviour of a person with anxiety is constrained by their fear and anxiety a person with bipolar mania may feel agitated and anxious but they will display brave, rash and impulsive behaviours. The bipolar person may spontaneously quit their job and start a new business and everyone around them is saying don’t do that it’s too risky, conversely everyone around the purse with anxiety may be encouraging them to overcome their fears and anxiety and go for a new job or some such.

Typical manic behaviours include:

Taking drugs
Gambling
Excessive spending/spending sprees
Increased libido including hypersexuality and sex addiction
Reckless driving and driving with excessive speed
Any dangerous high-risk thrillseeking activity

Typical manic thought processes include:

So-called grandiosity fantasies i.e. feeling superior or the others are inferior, that you have amazing abilities or ideas which are going to change the world or will be big in some way
Aggressive and critical/negative thinking and behaviour towards others.

Make a note of the unhealthy things you do when you’re manic and if you notice yourself either doing them or even just thinking about doing them it’s a sign that your brain is being hijacked by a manic dopamine fuelled chemical imbalance and needs to be treated. When I start to become interested in the harmful things I do when I’m manic I treat my condition aggressively by all the means I can.
 
The reason I call it a things not to do when you’re manic list is because some of the things on the list like increased spending are things you can do when you’re capable of correctly assessing risks and making healthy judgements. So if for example you find yourself thinking about buying a new expensive car if there are any other signs around the being manic such as increased speed, diminished sleep, thinking about other things on the not to do list then know that at this moment in time your ability to judge if this is a good decision is impaired and you must wait until you have brought your condition back into balance before going through with the purchase.
 

Observe Your Pattern

It’s actually very common for manic depression to follow a predictable pattern, typically one becomes manic first, then the brain gets burned out and you crash down into depression; if this is your usual pattern -as it is in my case- you will probably find you’re able to almost completely prevent the depressions by preventing the manias.
 
If you have hyper-mania with delusional qualities and a tendency for the mania to come on very quickly you may only have a small window of time to spot the mania coming on before you are no longer mentally well enough to recognise you are unwell and need treatment. So you it’s imperative to develop your self-monitoring abilities to a high level and aggressively treat your condition. 
 
This is just a brief introduction to self-monitoring and mood-mapping to park this page; I’m going to explain these techniques in much more detail over the coming year. 
 

Bipolar Treatment Main Menu:

Section 1  
-Introduction-
Understanding Bipolar Neurotransmitters & Treatment
 
Section 2 
How to Monitor you Bipolar Phases to Adjust your Prescription
 
Section 3 
Treating Bipolar Mania
 
Section 4 
Treating Bipolar Depression
UNDER SCONSTRUCTION COMMING SOON
 
Section 5 
Putting It All Together
How to Combine Natural Therapies to Manage and Live Well with Bipolar Syndrome
UNDER SCONSTRUCTION COMMING SOON
 
Section 6 
Universal Bipolar Helpers:
 
Darkness Therapy for Bipolar Mania
Sleep Cycles & Bipolar Syndrome
Stabilising Blood Sugar
Omega-3 Fish Oils for Bipolar Depression
Exercise
Lithium Friend or Foe
Vanadium Toxicity & Bipolar Syndrome
Detoxifying Heavy Metals
 
 
Bipolar Treatment Articles:
 
Lecithin & Choline Reduce Bipolar Mania
Bipolar Drugs
Drugs & Weight Gain
Addiction & Bipolar Syndrome
NAC-Cysteine Anti-oxidant & Antidepressant
 
Please help and support this site. 
 
For the time being I’ve decided to make all my work freely available online rather than publishing it in a book and selling it. Instead of selling the information as an e-book and then promising to give you a refund if you’re not satisfied I’m giving you the information first and then asking you to make a donation if you feel that you would have been happy to buy it as an e-book.
 
If you are unemployed or on a low income keep your money and spend it on your health.
 
Alternatively you could contribute to this site by helping me with the proofreading. People regularly point out that there’s a large number of errors on my site which I find quite embarrassing, but I’m quite dyslexic and I don’t notice them myself.
If you notice spelling and grammatical errors in the text please email me pointing out the page and paragraph of the error, I really appreciate it.
 
 
Be Well
Today I primarily use nutritional medicine, cognitive hypnotherapy, NLP and Bicom therapy to treat mental, digestive and functional health problems like chronic fatigue and IBS. 
I have extensive experience (both professional and personal) and several forthcoming books in nutritional approaches to balancing brain chemistry treating depression, bipolar syndrome and anxiety. You’ll be able to read the most of the contents of these books for free on my balancing brain chemistry site. 
In 2013 I published my first book Sleep Better with Natural Therapies
I practice at the Hale Clinic (central London) as a holistic medical practitioner and have been in practice since 1988.
Over the years I’ve trained in Nutritional /naturopathic medicine, Cognitive Hypnotherapy and NLP, body-centred psychotherapy, Chinese herbal medicine, Acupuncture, Bicom resonance therapy, meditation and Kundalini yoga.
 
Today combine the above techniques for a mind-body approach to health.  I see clients for mental health problems (depression, bipolar syndrome, anxiety, drug addiction), digestive health (IBS, bloating, candida, constipation), chronic fatigue, imbalances in blood sugar, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, migraines. 
For a more information on my practice and a list of conditions I treat click here About My Practice  
 
For bookings call the Hale Clinic reception
020 7631 0156
 
Mobile 07941 331 329
Email
hello@PeterSmithUK.com
My other site:
www.petersmithuk.com
 
© PeterSmithUK.com –Holistic Medicine Consultant-
© Please feel free to download or print my work for personal use, I wrote it to help people. You can copy and distribute my work on your web pages and in literature but please give me credit for the fruits of my labour and don’t turn yourself into a plagiarist. When you copy my work please indicate where you got the information from (e.g. from or according to the website balancingbrainchemistry “…”) and include a reference/link to my name and the website or book you used. [#22]
 
 
Please help and support this site. 

Instead of selling the information as an e-book I’m giving you the information first and then asking you to make a donation if you feel that you would have been happy to have bought it as an e-book. If you are unemployed or on a low income keep your money and spend it on your health.
Alternatively you could contribute to this site by helping me with the proofreading. People regularly point out that there’s a large number of errors on my site which I find quite embarrassing, but I’m quite dyslexic and I don’t notice them myself.
 
If you notice spelling and grammatical errors in the text please email me pointing out the page and paragraph of the error, I really appreciate it.
 

What I Treat

I treat and coach people with mental health problems at my London clinic and via Skype how to use natural remedies, diet, brain training meditations, sleep and specific physical exercises to treat the health of the brain for mental health problems including:
  • bipolar syndrome,
  • depression,
  • anxiety,
  • addiction, panic disorder OCD and PTSD
I teach meditation brain training classes both  one-to-one and in small groups to rewire the brain and treat mental health problems.  I also see clints for cognitive hypnotherapy and NLP amygdala reprogramming or exposure therapy to treat anxiety spectrum disorders.
I regret that at this time do not treat psychotic conditions including schizophrenia at this time. 

I Specialise in the treatment of digestive health problems:
  • IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
  • SIBO  (which can be the cause of  60% of IBS)
  • Bloating, constipation etc.
To book an appointment for the above conditions at my London clinic call my clinic reception ,
tobook a Skype appointment do not call my clinic  email me directly

For Costs and Fees click here
 
To make an appointment at my London clinic (not for Skype appointments) call my reception:
020 7631 0156
To make a Skype appointment do not call my clinic, email me 
Email:

info@balancingbrainchemistry.co.uk
 

Mobile phone 07941 331 329
 
My other site: underdevelopment
www.petersmithuk.com
 © PeterSmithUK.com –Holistic Medicine Consultant-
 
For a more information on my practice and a list of conditions I treat click here About My Practice 
Over the years I’ve trained in Nutritional /naturopathic medicine, Cognitive Hypnotherapy and NLP, body-centred psychotherapy, Chinese herbal medicine, Acupuncture, Bicom resonance therapy, meditation and Kundalini yoga, in the past I specialised in digestive health problems including IBS, bloating, candida, parasites, constipation, Heavy metal detoxification and chronic fatigue syndrome including adrenal exhaustion. I practice at the Hale Clinic (central London) and via Skype as a holistic medical practitioner and have been in practice since 1988.
© Please feel free to download or print my work for personal use, I wrote it to help people. You can copy and distribute my work on your web pages and in literature but please give me credit for the fruits of my labour and don’t turn yourself into a plagiarist. When you copy my work please indicate where you got the information from (e.g. from or according to the website balancingbrainchemistry “…”) and include a reference/link to my name and the website or book you used. [#22]