I have not but I am also interested in this. I would be afraid to just get off my meds thought, I've been on meds everyday since 1985, it could be something really ugly. I hope there is response to your question.
That is really what my friend went through. He was in the middle of one of his down cycles (middle of winter) and started seeing this woman as a last ditch resort.
He started to feel better through the treatments; it pulled him out of his funk. There are several vitamin/mineral concoctions that she used. At least I think they're vitamin/mineral concoctions.... He continued to feel better; it either kicked him into a manic phase early or really did help. But, as he progressed, he started to take himself off of him Depakote, road into a bad manic phase (he knew he was manic), but crashed hard this last winter...He was still taking a small dose of his Depakote; he didn't discontinue his meds completely. I guess I can kind of feel for him; he's struggled with this for a very long time; he felt hopeless, found something that seemed to help and went from there..
I had one meeting with her and didn't care for it at all.. There wasn't an emphasis on this being a supplement to Western medicine, it was all about buying into the Eastern philosophy. Like I said, she never specifically said to ditch medications, but the treatment itself contradicted Western medicine in every way....It reminded me of a time, a decade ago, when I used to take ephedra before working out. Everyone was sold on the fact that it was 'herbal' and that the Chinese had used it for thousands of years...
Be very careful. I was a naturopathic physician at one time. 4 years of medical school, steeped in alternative medicine, including homeopathy. My take on it now, hmmm, there are some people that insist on trying to go the all natural way, more power to them. I personally think that a complimentary medical approach is better. Someone that wants to help you with nutrition, lifestyle, relaxation etc,,,. If you get a natural medicine or alternative medicine practitioner that has that attitude, beware. They are too cocky, too over confident and (my personal opinion) to stuck on themselves and their reputation to have your best interest at heart.
Many "natural" and homeopathic treatments can be dangerous - St Johns Wort for example can have serious side effects for people with mental illnesses taking medication.
I have never met anyone who benefited from homeopathy and naturopathy to the point they could go med free .
Be very aware of anyone who claims they can do the following :
- Make you drug free
- Cure bipolar or other mental illness
- Replace drugs with natural treatments
- Displays distrust of mainstream medical practices
- Pushes the fad of the day eg Acai, Goji
These people are often less qualified and in some states and countries need no qualifications at all and often profess to hate western medicine and have all these horror stories they use.
At the very least if you are going to go off your meds speak to your pdoc so when the inevitable happens and you flip out she will know whats going on.
I know this may be a bit harsh to those that believe in alternative medicine but... Homeopathy is just water. There is no active ingredients in it to do anything for any condition.
Check out http://www.1023.org.uk
Some countries have 'stricter' processes involved for a person to 'qualify' as a 'professional' in alternative medicine. In Australia for example, pretty anyone can put their hand up and say they're an expert at homeopathy or whatever alt. med therapy they wish. It's not regulated at all.
If someone is going to try and threat BP without medicine - they need to focus on, as you always do, on the usual things to maintain good health: sleep, eat and exercise well. Maybe just psychotherapy without meds will help keep symptoms at bay.
No distilled water or sugar pills (i.e. homeopathy) will prevent manic or depressive episodes. And many alternative meds are more dangerous if relied on as the primary treatment than western meds as they are not clinically tested nor FDA approved or in the case of homeopathy, they do absolutely nothing and the 'professionals' in these fields, whether that are scammers or really believe in their treatment, don't actually understand the biology of the illness and rely on debunked fantasies of how the body works instead when giving treatment.
Very dangerous business to put anyone's health in this position as it leads people to believer they are doing something for their illness when they're not if they use it as a primary treatment. Some forms of alt. med may be fine as a secondary treatment as many people gain benefits from the placebo effect.
I don't believe it is possible to treat Bipolar without drugs. Full stop. Everyone I have seen try it ends up in a whole mess of hurt.
It gets me why people do it - its your life you are playing with here. It ranks up there with religious groups who don't believe in mental illness or psychiatry to my mind.
Most of these people prey on the sick - be they bipolars or cancer sufferers they are all the same.
The natural, herbal supplements are one of the things that led me down a bad road about ten years ago. Back then, there were a lot of herbal supplements on the market pertaining to fitness and exercise. I probably picked up 200.00 worth of stuff that had 5-HTP, St. John's Wort, and Ephedra, Guarana, and other herbs in them.. I paid for it dearly; they really through my brain chemistry out of whack...And, I saw a naturopath about them, they were touted as 'cures' for mental illness and continued to buy into it.
I finally met with a GP after a bad episode and he placed me on Wellbutrin; a medication that is absolute poison for me. It threw my moods all over the place and made me delusional paranoid. This all precipitated another bad episode...
Like I said, this homeopath was smart enough not to tell me to discontinue medications.. She stated that her practice was complimentary with respect to Western medicine, but she was very critical of medication and everything else. Plus, the treatment was SOO outlandish, I was floored; no basis in physiology.
I have seen a naturopath who just gave me a good vitamin and mineral ratio to work with, which has helped. But that was the extent of it.
When I was a naturopath, board certified, DEA number, the whole schmear,,I would've never, NEVER, told anyone to go off their meds. I too, believe that you are not able to control BP with totally natural remedies. That's why I'm on Lamictal, zoloft and ativan. They are my friends! I do take fish oil, but not solely on its touted benefits on mood.
I've had naturopathic doctor friends tell me that if I continued to take my medicine I would be dead by the time I was 60. I'm 46 now. I plan on proving them very wrong.
Wow, I don't know quite what to say about that naturopathic doctor.. I probably would've taken some kind of recourse against them. File a grievance with the AMA or any governing body pertaining to mental illness. His advice wasn't just irresponsible, it was dangerous. At the very least, there are sites where you can rate the doctor and provide feedback and comments to people seeking his treatment. If he truly is a PhD, the AMA needs to now what he has said.
I saw a shrink once that asked me for either my insurance card or a credit card right before a session. That was how he started the session; introduced himself and then asked for the information above. He was cold, clinical, arrogant and rude during the session. He wanted to take me off of all my medication ASAP and throw me on a whole new cocktail of drugs because I was overweight at the time. And I do mean overweight; not obese. I am a powerlifter and rugby player; I spend a lot of time in the gym. I am much lighter now that they pulled me off of Celexa as it was causing me issues.
This suggestion came after I told him that I finally felt like I had evened out. So, I filed a grievance against him and got onto every site online that pertained to rating docs. I rated him low and then commented on the whole thing.