A Saner Approach: New Ways of Treating Mental Illness: Bipolar Disorder
Updated: Apr 2
Mental health conditions are not uncommon, in fact did you know that 1 in 5 Americans have a mental health diagnose?
I know it’s insane.
In the case of Bipolar Disorder, 45 million are affected worldwide according to the World Health Organization.
The good news is we have more information than ever to identify, diagnose and treat bipolar disorder, as well as other mental health conditions, the sad news is as someone who used to suffer from this condition, there are a lot of things that doctors might not always tell you.
Diagnosis Can Be Complicated.
When I was first diagnosed, I was misdiagnosed with depression, put on antidepressants that sent me into a hypomanic state before entering full mania. If you yourself have received a mental health diagnose, as you know it is not a straightforward process. There are no blood test, there are no brain scans, there is nothing that definitely tells you that you have the illness, other than checking marks off the DSM -V (Diagnostic and Statics Manuel).
Also, diagnosis are for doctors and insurance companies not for us.
Expectations Don’t Always Meet Our Reality
No matter how much you research you do about Bipolar Disorder, the most common definition you’ll find is alternating periods of euphoria with boundless energy followed by episodes of debilitating depression.
In real life, mania is way more lucrative and seductive while depression can feel like the hole you’ve been looking for to hide in all your life.
There could be mixed episodes which means you feel wired and depressed all at once. There are times when you have periods of remission of symptoms. The point is, no one has the same experience.
Medication: Trial & Error
Treatment often begins with a regimen of medication, while your psychiatrist might not disclose that they are using a trial and error approach to see which combination of medication will work best for you. In reality that is what is happening.
While you wait for the medication to build up in your system, you are told to be patient, a quality that most patients with bipolar disorder, haven’t nurtured. I know from my own personal experience, patience was one hell of a surrendering process.
The dosage may need to be altered, another drug may be needed and the side effect may be too severe to live with.
Side effect that I personally experienced where, weight gain, double vision, blurred vision, muscle spasm, fatigue, hallucinations, and more.
I still remember walking back from an eye appointment with my mom and telling her that the doctors gave me some messed up, dysfunctional contacts because everything was appearing in doubles.
When we went back to the eye doctor I was given new contacts and told that the experience wasn’t something they could manifest. It wasn’t until my psychiatrist told my mom that was totally normal and not something to worry about.
I share this with all of you because I do believe there are non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical ways to manage your mental health illness.
I started my coaching program as a result of my own search for answers for my own symptoms. I am happy to say that after 7+ years of drug therapy, I no longer require medication. I've been on this path for 5+ years now. If you are searching for a better answer than a daily mood altering drug , I'd love to help!