The Health Coach, Contributing Writer
If ever there was a truly American psychiatric condition, Bi-polar disorder (aka Manic-depressive disorder) is it. Everything about Society USA promotes such a condition from our youngest ages. As we unpack the several components of the mental and emotional baggage associated with Bi-polar disorder (BPD), you’ll quickly see how easy it is to manage … and then be free of altogether.
Let’s take a close look at the cultures in which BPD is most prevalent. Clearly, we find it showing up in societies which have a high incidence of addictions. Any kind of addictions – nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, recreational drugs, sugar, wheat, sex, gambling, sports, computer, TV, workaholism, etc. Why is there a direct correlation between the two? That’s a very good question you might want to reflect upon, if you feel you might have the manic-depressive tendency.
First, we see that addictions are an extreme response to life’s pressures, as is BPD. They are also frequently learned from previous generations, especially here in America. Every immigrant had(s) to deal with extraordinary challenges to make it in a foreign land. The first generation to join the melting pot often evolved coping behaviors which allowed them to survive. Especially when things got real tough, which they often did.
The lack of real community in a nation of workaholics or sportaholics and computerholics also makes for a dearth of social opportunities to communicate shared experience. When life is moving very fast, as it is today, this lack of a necessary social support system becomes all the more influential. What then happens is that the individual often resorts to going it alone, which is already highly encouraged by American society.
We’ve heard all the mantras promoting self-sufficiency.
- Be all you can be.
- The road to the top is a lonely one.
- Climb the ladder to the top by yourself even if it’s a lonely journey.
- If you want it done right, you have to do it yourself.
- It’s a dog eat dog world.
Truly, American independence, pioneering, self-reliance, autonomy and individualism are hardwired into our very being. The acculturation process, as soon as we are born, encourages us to attain success however possible … and to win at all cost. And that our material success can be acquired by single-minded determination and self initiative.
This approach to life can be very isolating. It can also move us gradually into an emotional and psychological posture toward life that deprives us from constructive sources of feedback and input. As we rely only on ourselves to always “get the job done” or “achieve the stated goal”, we push ourselves beyond our limits. Then we seek out crutches and comforts in the form of the many aforementioned addictions. Thus begins the inexorable slide into a psychiatric profile which can be defined by manic or depressive behavior and symptoms.
Many people throughout Western society are perpetually in the state of hypomania. Our society so rewards the type of achievement and production which such individuals can accomplish in so short a period of time that they usually move through life undiagnosed. When a hypomanic episode does emerge, they are usually drugged temporarily so as to keep them within the range of socially acceptable behavior. The underlying pattern then continues until they develop a full blown case of BPD requiring serious intervention, sometimes hospitalization.
Pharmaceutical medications are not the answer, but may be necessary as a short term intervention.
When the various anti-depressants and other psycho-active drugs are routinely employed in the treatment of these mind maladies, great care ought to be taken. Here are some reasons why:
- These drugs only treat the superficial symptoms, not the real causes.
- They have proven to have extremely serious side effects, both physical and psychological.
- Many have proven to have an addictive quality which is very difficult to break.
- Dangerous behavior to others and oneself can be triggered the longer one is on these meds, especially when one tries to get off the medication altogether without proper monitoring and supervision.
- These powerful pharmaceuticals only serve to mask the real source of the illness and therefore divert necessary attention away from the root causes.
- They also promote a lack of clarity just when the individual really needs to get real with themselves.
What we suggest is that anyone who labors under one, or more of these prescriptions at the same time, read the adverse side effects which are listed by law. Get on the internet and go to the numerous forums which have been started by those who have been addicted or harmed by these powerful psychoactive drugs. In fact, the many bizarre behaviors and acts of violence that we see across the headline news are often committed by those who have been under the influence of these mind-altering drugs.
The truth is that the very drugs used to treat ailments like BPD often contribute to the evolution of other mental and emotional conditions, which will also require remediation at some point. These medications can also become toxic with prolonged use adding to the total toxin body burden which present additional challenges concerning physical health. Clearly, the middle of a manic-depressive episode demands an immediate stripping away of all the co-factors which are contributing to the acute phase. What we ingest – in the form of food, drink, and meds both natural and synthetic – all influence our capacity to recover and maintain our balance.
We cannot overemphasize the role of diet in determining the success in overcoming BPD. Correlations have been made with certain foods which exacerbate some of the primary symptoms. The following list of foods and ingredients that ought to be strictly avoided if you find yourself at either end of a manic-depressive state.
- white sugar
- white, refined wheat products
- all recreational drugs, especially the synthetic version
- any pharmaceutical drug that isn’t absolutely necessary
- a meat-free diet is highly recommended
- dairy should be avoided when allergy is present
- any other known allergy-producing foods such as eggs, peanuts, shellfish, soy, corn, citrus, etc. should also be strictly avoided
In order to prevent our children from developing allergies which might contribute to BPD-like symptoms, we have provided a link to Allergies.About.com.
Very few know, but it is often a hidden food allergy that serves as a major co-factor in the etiology of BPD. When you throw a bunch of these allergies, intolerances and sensitivities into the mix, the road to recovery can be as difficult as it will remain elusive. Therefore, it is imperative for any sufferer of BPD to have a 120 food panel allergy test conducted, but only from a reputable lab.
The only four labs which we have used in this regard are as follows:
- Metametrix Clinical Laboratory
- US BioTek Laboratories
- Genova Diagnostics
- Optimum Health Resource Laboratories (esp. for Spanish-speaking clients)
These kinds of food allergy tests must be conducted properly otherwise you will receive false positives and false negatives. In order to avoid that situation, the current medical system ought to be avoided where it concerns their lab work in this particular regard. Obviously hospital labs do a lot of other very important good work, but allergy testing is still operating at a very crude level.
Daily Practices To Incorporate Into Lifestyle
The following practices ought to be seriously considered if you are to permanently be rid of BPD:
- A daily walk, in nature if possible
- Aerobic exercise which makes you feel good
- Hatha Yoga or Tai Chi
- Perform service for someone other than yourself
- Less talking, more listening
- Regular and sound sleep
- Moderate diet, especially avoidance of over-eating
- Meditation and breathwork
- Self Inquiry and Contemplation of life’s purpose
- Watch spiritually edifying videos
- Listen to classical music or alpha wave music
Things to be avoided as much as possible are as follows:
- Avoid TV unless it is uplifting and positive
- Avoid recreational drugs of any kind
- Avoid what you know to be bad company, especially if they bring out the worst
- Avoid too much stimulation wherever you go
- Best not too read negative books and internet material
- Stressful situations which do not require your assistance can be left to those who are able and willing
The more you perform the DOs and stay away from the DON’Ts, the more you will see a change in your life. Your overall response to life’s challenges and obstacles will begin to lighten and flow. If you can change your attitude toward yourself and the world in two (2) ways in particular, a major shift in consciousness will occur.
I. Try not to take anything personally — yes, easier said than done, but just try it.
II. Try not to take anything too seriously
Best Advice for those in the depressive state:
Practice gratitude whenever possible. Chronic depression is the result of chronic ingratitude. When one realizes what they have to be grateful for, sadness and depression will naturally flee. Of course, we do all the other things which have been outlined so as to put the odds in your favor of forever being free of Bi-polar Disorder.
May you enjoy great health,
The Health Coach
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