Please Help Me Remain off Meds While Battling Bi-polar.

Updated on March 10, 2007
S.L. asks from San Diego, CA
4 answers

Okay, I have bi-polar. I've been like this for years. My partner of 8 years has just lived with it. She just knows that I'm going to do 100 things in 2 hours and then maybe by dinner I'll have a complete 180 and be completely depressed until bedtime. Tomorrow is always a suprise. Her patience with me is something that I will never be able to fully understand or appreciate in the way it needs to be. Anyway, it came to a really bad cycle this winter. We almost divorced. With a child in the house, the stakes are high. However, we are a vegetarian, homeopathic household who believes that medications are rarely the answer. We have tried exercise, yoga, breathing, diet, sleep, independent time, you name it. She has come to the conclusion that I just need to deal with it without meds. I agree. sometimes. I have a difficult time thinking that I can actually be "me" on meds. But then again, I have no clue who the real me is anyway, the manic or the depressed? All I want is to balance the spectrums and remain on a level where life is happy and life is sad, it doesn't have to throw you into a crazed cleaner or a crying all night for no reason lifestyle. I live every day questioning when I'll cycle that day and will it be up or down... I just want control.
To the point, anyone out there battling this without meds? Please someone tell me there's this thing, vitamin, yoga, sport, food, drink, color, anything I can do to balance myself out without meds. I'm sick of my thoughts. I want to think about something else for a change. I'm in school and it's nearly impossible to study this semester. I'm an A student and I can't gain control over my mind.
Thanks in advance for any input!

S. l.

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So What Happened?

Thank you for all your insight. I have sought the help of a clinic and am finishing up my first week on medication. I will try this route for a time to see if it will help. So far, I feel ten times better. I have to just be careful and patient and wait for my body to react and balance out with the medication in me. It is scary to embark on this route but I trust my body will tell me which way to go. Thanks again, even those who would hope to see me remain off medication. My partner and I are both willing to explore this option, hopefully, I will still be supported by the non-med community. take care, S. l.

More Answers



answers from San Diego on


I completely understand about your desire to be natural, healthy and live in a way that is condusive to spiritual and emotional balance and really present. I myself rarely take any kind of medication, and like to give my body the chance to fight it one my own.

That being said, I have seen dear friends, and close family members who truly have had to battle difficult chemical disorders. And I believe they are chemical disorders in our brain. Bi-polar is serious, it is not the case of "you just need to be more positive mindedness" or just "let go, forgive, release the pain and all will be healed". While I DO believe healing is possible, I ALSO believe MANY times in the case of true bi-polar disorder or szchetzafrenia, your chemical brain make up will run better if you follow the science of medicine available now.

IN other words, with a full heart of empathy... honey, take the drugs. Take the drugs not for your sake, or your partner's sake... take them for your daughter's sake. She will be learning about who she is as a young woman from this point forward. She is on the crusp of pre=teens, looking to see how adults behave to understand what she should look for. Take the medication to be a good example. Take the medication to give you and her a chance to remain close over the next 8 + years (once they hit 16, I suspect there ain't nothin' we can do to make em like us for a couple of years) :) Take the medication to give YOUR BRAIN a fighting chance, and Your life a fighting chance to cope and blossom.

If it is a state which is emotionally or psychologically induced... then being on the medication may allow you to be in a healthier place of nuetrality to be able to do the work necessary to heal in those areas.

Other than that... keep doing every little thing that seems to help, even for five minutes. Goood luck! It is an extremely difficult challenge to deal with!! Blessings



answers from San Diego on

Hi S.,

Take it from someone who has been battling Bi-Polar Disorder for 15 years, 12 of them with NO MEDICINE - there is nothing that will make you feel better then the medicine that you need to fight this disease! I wish it was as simple as changing your diet or exercising, etc. etc. But it is not. Just like any other disease requires medicine, bipolar disorder is a disease and is not self-curable. It took me many years to come to that acceptance. I tried EVERYTHING in an attempt to "cure myself". Unfortunately, by doing that I wasted many precious years where I could have been mentally stable and happy. Those years are now long gone. High school and college were both miserable for me. I know how you feel and let me tell you that I have tried EVERYTHING in an attempt to not have to "succumb" to medical treatment for the disorder, and I only wish I knew THEN what I know NOW about how I would feel after taking the medicine. My whole life has changed for the better since taking the medicine. I don't like taking medicine and rarely do take anything other than the bipolar meds, but if I could go back in time and take the bipolar meds back in high school and college and feel the way then that I do now - I would do it in a heartbeat and never look back.

I guess you need to ask yourself what is more important to you. Feeling better and being mentally stable and secure and taking bipolar meds, or living a holistic life being miserable and unstable??

I have never met anyone who was able to get their bipolar disease under control without taking medicine for it. Nothing is wrong with taking medicine for it and I think you need to come to that acceptance that you have a disease and like any other disease there are certain medical treatments for it and if you want to get better you need to be open to those treatments.

Otherwise, you are destined to continue living the unstable life that you have and will not get better no matter what holistic approach you take. I don't know about you, but all I ever wanted was to be mentally stable and happy and I would have given up everything to have that but luckily I didn't have to since I made the decision to finally get the medical help and treatment that I needed. It took several years to find the right combination of medicine to work for me, but now that I found it I couldn't be more stable and happier.

Good Luck!



answers from San Diego on

I totally hear you. I understand how diffucult it is living with this disorder. I too have rapid cycling bi-polar disorder. It was affecting my life in such terrible ways, and i got to the point of having sucidial thoughts, besides of al the negative thoughts i was experiancing. This last semester(fall 06) was terrible for me, I to am also a BS nursing major and i was taking my last prereq for the program, I was completely abusing my son and husband, going of the handle, ignoreing their needs and spending like there's no tomorrow. Once i started a physciatrist and therapist at my school and got on a prescription drug, I finally started to focus and I finally feel like "myself" a real person, not this jugdmental, inpulsive, person that was ruling my life. I have worked i mental hospitals before my final breakdown and i thought it could never get that far. But i finally started feeling the pressure. I'm scared to think what would have happen had there not been an intervention
First I applude your natural homepathetic beliefs. I truely think that is so awesome and I'm in exploreing herbs and organic foods too. I totally respect that but please hear me out. As a student nurse you totally understand how there are diseases and chemical imbalances in the human body. Why torture those around you and most importantly yourself. My husband did not believe in "manic disorder" or "bi-polar" he said "it's all in your mind" HAHA i should your right it is. :) but after many years fighting it, I needed the balance. I'm spent many years on and off medication and it is not a life long committment but more of and equalizer that can help your own body take control of the situation. So please if necessary think about it for your family's sake, if not your own.
Finally, if it is just not an option, just go see a therapist to discuss the thought processes. My therapist has helped me in ways i need thought possible. Part of finding a therapist is finding one you connect with too! With like values, i got lucky this last time, but praying and connectinf with someone has helped me this last time.
I hope my experiance helped a little. I'd love to talk some other time as Nursing students I feel we share a special bond already:) okay take care and my thoughts are with you and your family



answers from San Diego on


First, let me commend you for your honesty, commitment to live holistically, and your tenacity in accomplishing so much! School, parenting, relationships, it's all so difficult without being bi-polar!

Here is a website that I found to be helpful. Perhaps you've found it already. I'd like to encourage you to change your diet according to the suggestions (obviously with any vegan commitment being the priority), if you haven't already.

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