I don't know about, yet others well informed members can answer you. I heard for instance monkeyc in the group saying for example that lithium orotate can be more dangerous than lithium. So st john-wort,....all this may not be safe because natural doesn't mean safer.
However I am replying just to initiate interest of others. For instance I heard once in the program of Oprah winfrey someone saying or perhaps in another program that there exist some plants with mood stabilizing effect.
one very important point to stimulate the curiosity of Ladvocate, monkeyc, bulldozer and the rest of our guides is to investigate how people of the middle age and later (near history) handled such a disease. Sure there were no lithium (i meant before 19th century)nor lamictal, what did they do instead. Did they use to leave the person on his own. Since there were no AD perhaps the guy fluctuate up and down for a while and stop. Because I read once on the internet of course some doctors saying that the majority of hospitalization result from the fault of pdocs.
Herbal and natural remedies can help but it's mostly anecdotal. It would dbe extremely unwise to search out a natural alternative to the above. Never stop or alter or decrese within medical agreement.
The holistic stuff involves, regular routines, stress avoidance and management, regular excercise- even daily walking. A good healthy balanced diet and plenty of rest. All this can help.
Anecdotal stuff unlikely to harm includes omega 3 and vit B complex.
I'd look to augment "proper" medication, not replace it.
What would you say to a diabetic who needs insulin if they wanted to stop using insulin and replace it with natural/herbal remedies?
Information on Oprah Winfrey is the same as information on the back of an envelope found in the street.
I note that no one ever giving these suggestions about plants and the like has a degree in actual medical science - like so many of these people you see Dr and find out its a doctor of philosophy or divinity - sure these are noble things but not for medical maters.
As to how people in the middle ages handled mental illness the research is there and there are some good books on middle ages medicine - they did not "treat" mental patients as such - sure they put them in asylumns and hospices but they also stoned them, burned them, drowned them, trepanned them and many other things - examination of the literature shows that many people killed as witches fell into mental illness categories which would now be treated.
We get words like maniac, lunatic, crazy etc from less englightened era's.
Lithium BTW is a natural element, used medically since the 1800's for treating "maniacs". Some elements work, they have been used in other drugs and modern drugs, but they are not treatments on their own.
Some enlightened treatment existed pre 1800 - mainly in monasteries and mainly on treating behaviours and caring for the sick rather than treating the illness - when you consider life expectancy was much lower in the middle ages its not hard to understand mental health in those centuries.
Also you will find that Infanticide was practised more often than we care to admit and often crazy people were simply shunned or ignored, left to starve to death in many cases. Disability was rarer because in many communities people who could not work were left to die and sick and disabled children were no different.
The simple reality is what was done in the middle ages is not relevant - medical treatment has moved on now as we understand our bodies and we no longer rely on herbal remedies to rectify things, not they are not safer - natural poisons are very real and very potent and they are totally organic.
Its not that long ago that we in the western world performed labotomies on mentally ill patients as a matter of course and used ECT as an everyday thing to the point of it almost being torture and mental patients were sedated and restrained for their own good - drugs have moved on and so have treatments.
As to the comment on why patients end up in hospitals - I could get a group of doctors to say anything if I find the right group and pay them well - After all the FDA appoved vioxx and is killed maybe 10'000 people early (no one knows for sure) and it approved thalidomide despite the identified risks - Doctors are not perfect; far from it they hand out AD drugs like candy and prescribe Viagra to heart risk patients to name but 2 things and do not get me started on the Ritalin over prescription epidemic.
Hospitalised mental patients end up that way for many reasons; bad doctor advice is one, but so is patients who do not follow instructions, refuse to take meds, wont stop drinking etc etc ad nasusem. To be frank the comment on pdocs and mental wards sounds like it comes from Tom Cruise's friends at the COS to me.
Before medication there were horrible institutions. Where do you think the term "Bedlam" come from and that goes back to the middle ages? From an "insane asylum" and if people didn't end up there they'd be out on the street begging or dead. And the history continued up until the time of medication. And until deinstitutionalization. People were warehoused in state psychiatric hospitals for now easily treatable psychiatric disabilities. For a good exhibit (and not anti-psychiatry at all, just why people who are able to should live in the community) google "suitcaseexhibit.org" for what occured at a state psychiatric hospital that was shut down (this kind of thing does not occur today, ever since legislation was passed to protect people's rights decades ago). As for what's going on now, I believe people are treated in a humane manner overall and medications are effective in helping to control symptoms. And I've advocated to change a lot of things in a constructive manner and continue to. But this isn't a debate and its Christmas lol. Let me put me put my advocacy to sleep and think of better things. Seriously.
And more importantly my comment stands. Please read what I posted on the other thread and I did suggest medications that were options and gave you information. You eliminated the part of your post where it said you had a kidney transplant and that's why I couldn't emphasize more not to try an unknown quantity which natural remedies are. I do usually suggest them as long as they are given under a provider's care but you don't know what could happen. All approved medications are tested for how they effect the kidneys among many other things. They would know what not to give you. Normally I'd say a natural remedy is worth trying but in this case you could be gambling with your life. However, within the realm of mood stabilizers there are many options. And I think the comment on the other thread should start a dialogue between you and your provider. Just read it and think about it. Thanks. And everyone have a happy holiday and relax...
To be honest with you, there is absolutely nothing out there that can do that. You need to stay on your meds, and if they aren't working well, consult your pdoc.
Herbal remedies are not sanctioned like pharmaceuticals, and some can be down right toxic, but because folks think they are natural, they must be safe. Please see your pdoc.
Lamactil is a good front line MS, great for depression and anxiety associated with it.
You are on a high dose of Seroquel, it must be for a reason. Do you have mania and/or hypomania? There is the other option of switching to regular Seroquel, and stretching out the doses throughout the day.
Drugs aren't the only answer, it's important that you have some sort of guided therapy if you can get it. Meds aren't the cure all. Talk therapy, retraining your brain on how you respond to life is so very important. I'm in a support group as well as I'm followerd by my pdoc. In January I start in a group called Changeways, which is Cognitive behavioural therapy in a group setting. Check you look mental health association to see what they have available. If you do all the things, compliance with meds, (or better ones) self care and being proactive, will lead you down a much happier path.
I would second that, there is a post I made earlier about this in another thread but there are some things that I have been told and learned and try to apply to my life with bipolar.
1. Medication is the key to managing your moods and controlling the way your mind works - meds let you maintain a better equilibrium and smooth the lows and highs out.
2. Therapy as LeftCoastChick said is vital - I could not survive without my psychologists - they are the people who talk me down when I need it, give me advice and teach me coping strategies.
3. Lifestyle management - learning how to manage stressors, behavioural triggers, situations that can cause mood changes and deal with the things that cause you problems; for example stress or crowds which can be problems for all of us
4. Coping strategies - relaxation techniques, stress release, yoga, massage, quiet time - these are all things you need to work on and find what works for you but they work and they are important.
5. Support networks - family, friends, support groups, whatever it is these are really neccesary, talking to other bipolars can get you through the hardest things - I cannot stress this enough because if it was not for some people in this forum I might not be here or at the least in a lot worse situation than I am now - people who know where you are are so important.
Bipolar is a lifelong commitment you cannot put down, it requires you to educate yourself about it, to work on managing your care and to make sure you can get effective medical treatment by knowing the alternatives and what is out there.
ILADVOCATE can give you advice on a lot of support and advocacy networks, the web can give you advice on medications and their uses and there are lots of us here who will listen to you in those bad moments when you need to scream.
Nothing can ever replace medications, I have no idea why people think natural is better - curare is natural but you dont want it in your body, fugu is natural but it will kill you if you eat the wrong part and nothing is more natural than cancer...
I agree wholeheartedly with dippy, monkeyc and ILAdvocate.
There are no natural supplements to treat BP. Anyone who tells you otherwise is misinformed.
I take omega3 and multi-vitamins (with all the B vitamins) alongside my BP medication. I would never stop my medication - I've tried that far too many times only for it to come slap me in the face later on.
Regarding the middle-ages to more recent history - I'm glad I wasn't alive then because I would have probably either ended up in prison, hung or locked in an institution if I had not already killed myself. In other words, they had no treatment for BP then and all mental illnesses were greatly misunderstood.
I don't agree that one should discount other treatments just because the person doesn't have a medical degree. Some of those people don't know what they are doing. I'm sick of people bagging those in natural therapies. If you bothered to find out anything about it then you would know that the Natural Therapies Associations around the world are seeking accreditation. They don't what quackery anymore than anyone else does. However, governments conspire with drug companies to discredit anything that isn't going to line their pockets.
My best advice is do some research find someone with a degree, read up on the subject so you can question your therapist properly before making a decision. And above all as my doctor says, if it works for you then it is okay.
No one would say that natural remedies should be discounted generally when they are taken under a doctor's supervision. But because they are unregulated they are not tested for many interactions including their effect on people's kidneys and potential toxicity so they are unknown quantity. But as for the pharmaceutical industry as I said they developed Lovaza the anti-cholesterol medication which is used and can be prescribed experimentally for bipolar and the sleep aide Rozerem from melatonin and there are some natural remedies that are actually being researched. I know a few are in the United States but in Europe they are available as actual prescriptions and tested for safety and efficacy which is how it should be.
Surely you cannot expect us to take seriously anything that starts out talking about how good natural therapies are and then ends with a comment on a global conspiracy between the drug companies and governments ?
I think we already both made it clear we have no problem with natural medicine in its own place and time - I have used natural treatments myself and anyone who reads my comments here will know I am more than willing to point out the flaws in the way doctors treat and medicate, the medical system, healthcare and big pharma but even then you cannot use the word conspire - governments do not need to conspire they are by their nature incompetent in so many ways and most of the things conspiracy theorists see as conspiracies are nothing of the sort.
Natural Therapists are not being pushed out they are fighting to get accredited without a scientifically testable background to some therapies - this makes it hard for governments to measure and rate and standardise things which are needed for accreditatin which is in effect the government saying your doctor wont kill you - and for every well trained and highly skilled naturopath there are likely 5 people who got their 'medical' degree from a correspondence school or reading a few books or claim to be faith healers.
Naturpoaths can be excellent doctors and the good ones do not try to replace your meds with natural drugs either - the problem is the one the natural therapies groups fight all the time - they live in a world populated by charlatans, frauds and well meaning fools and they have to fight to escape them.
Like anything your advice is good, learn about the options however learning will show that there are not natural and safe options to replace bipolar drugs which is what we have said.
No one is bagging all natural therapists but like a friend who goes to church on sunday and hangs around with outlaw bikers during the week the Natural Therapies Associations have some work to do in my eyes to seperate themselves from the quacks who may not be part of the party but are hanging around outside making a lot of peoples lives hard.
I was a licensed Naturopathic doctor from 5 years post-grad medical school in Oregon, DEA number the whole schmear. We are trained in herbal/botanical medicine, alternative therapies, nutritional therapies, chinese medicine etc,,,. I know of nothing that I would trust enough to take someone off their prescription medicine. There are standard guidelines for nutrition and exercise but I would never,,repeat never suggest someone go off their medications.
I'm retired by the way.
I agree with monkey, bulldozer, ILADVOCATE and others. My question is why?
Yes side effects. I have been taking lithium almost ten years. Other meds effectiveness wear off and start new and then new side effects. BUT, without the drugs, would I be functional or in a mental hospital getting electric shock or a labotomy!!!!
I tried natural, once. The pdoc didn't know and I had my chiro in charge. It took a small, very small accident to send me to bed for six months.
Amber, I was lucky I didn't lose it completely. Don't do it.
I feel so sorry for all you people out there that are telling other people to stay on their meds. Listen to your doctor, keep making these doctors and pharmaceutical companies rich. I do have a degree in alternative medicine. I was also diagnosed with bi-polar at the age of 16 i am now 43. And you want to talk about research, do the research on how many doctors and meds are out there that are used or given to people not because they need them but because it is all a guessing game, doctors just like a hair stylist or vet or any other professional we take what patients tell us and try to make the best guess on what it might be or what might be causing it. people are treated for their symptoms not the actual cause or root to the issue. there is no machine no test that people can go through that will tell them for 100% fact what is wrong with them unless it is a tumor that can be seen on x-ray, MRI, etc. or a broken body part. The doctors had me on 24 different meds that I was taking daily and it helped me alright, right into the hospital with serotonin syndrome. and for you that don't know what that is. it is an over load of serotonin to the brain that if not treated right away is more likely than not to cause coma and death. I received my masters and Doctrine degree in alternative meds because of this, and there are alternatives out there that do the same thing if not more with less side effects than pills, proscribed by a professional guesser. Don't get me wrong there are people out there that do need prescription medication and should not stray from that. But there are so many more out there that could benefit from alternative meds. That and monkey man people with mental disorders are not crazy people, they are people with imbalances in their brain. people like you on here **** me off, you are foolish, narrow minded and have no clue. You do your research and if you do it right you will find out just how many doctors are out there proscribing pills to people because they get a percentage from the pharmaceutical companies. If only half of the people that are on unnecessary medication where to quit taking them the pharmaceutical companies would go out of business, in turn the Government would go further in debt and lose money out of their pocket. Wake up people and do the research before giving advise.
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