I recently wrote about Tara. You might remember my interview with her here. Now with a bit of nudging from me, Tara has agreed to share some of her success secrets with you in the hope of helping others diagnosed with the same disorder.
I am sure you will marvel at her perseverance but look how it paid off? She is a great inspiration to anyone who makes the decision to go the natural route for treating a chronic condition. Here is how Tara took her road to recovery...
When I found out that bipolar patients die 13 to16 years sooner than everyone else in America, that anti-psychotics shrink the brain by 3% per year, and I calculated that I wouldn't make it out of my sixties and I had already lost 21% of my brain volume, a fire was lit beneath me to get off that poisonous medication (that turned me into a zombie), to use natural therapies to control my moods, and to grow my brain back.
But there was still more to worry about
I found out that there is only a 44% success rate of getting off anti-psychotics after six years of being on them.
But I got off easily and I want to tell you how
Most importantly, if your doctor does not support your decision to treat bipolar naturally, a Naturopathic or Orthomolecular Physician may. Some people may not want to let their doctor know that they going off medications until they fully regain their health because they may lose benefits or housing if they are perceived as non-compliant.
My provider did not approve of natural methods of mood control and I could not find a doctor knowledgeable about natural treatment of bipolar disorder who would take my insurance, so I took care of myself.
I knew I had to control depression before I did anything else
The Lamictal I was on did not work. I had 3-6 months of major depression a year before I found out about Omega 3 in fish oil for depression. There was a lot of confusion in the sources about how much was effective - 1 gram, 3 grams, 5 grams, or 9 grams. In the end, I decided based on my finances. I could afford to take five 1 gram capsules of fish oil (1.25 grams of Omega 3 EPA and DHA) a day of a bargain brand. I took it daily for a year before I realized that I had not had a depression all that year!
For me, Omega 3 was the Great Liberator. Once I knew I had conquered depression, I was home free; it was just a matter of time. I could take the risk of going off the anti-psychotic because I could always go back on it if it did not work out. But you cannot undo suicide, and 1 in 5 bipolar people commit suicide because bipolar medications are poor at controlling depression.
How to avoid withdrawal symptoms
I told my provider that since Lamictal had never worked, I wanted to go off it, and he agreed. He tapered me down too quickly at first and I suffered terrible withdrawals, so he slowed down, but it was too late; I suffered the entire time and it took a year. A provider can be referred to this site
for help on how to taper off medications at 10% per month with the help of a compounding pharmacy.
After another year free from depression during the taper, I decided to start tapering off the anti-psychotic. It was fortunate that the Risperidone I was on was perfect for tapering off by myself. It took a year.
My mother helped me by buying all the nutrients I indicated I needed
- 500 mg. of GABA
- 500 mg. of Taurine
- 200 mg. of L-Theanine
- 300 mg. of 5HTP
- 3000 mg. of Glycine and
- 400 mg. of Valerian Root at night on an empty stomach before bed
In addition, I took a good probiotic and got off Prilosec which inhibits absorption of critical nutrients.
- I got off a statin and raised my fish oil intake to 2400 mg. of Omega 3 to control cholesterol as well as depression
- I started on bioidentical hormones
- I took an inexpensive comprehensive 2 a day multivitamin by the Life Extension Foundation
- I began to eat five cups of raw vegetables with olive oil dressing and three whey protein shakes a day
- I took plenty of Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Vitamin K
And what happened then?
I started losing one pound per week immediately. My mood remained optimistic and stable. I could think clearly for the first time in years. There was no crisis, no depression, no hypomania and no endless insomnia from going off the medication.
I did it! It worked!
It has been six months and so far, so good
I still have a memory deficit and organizational problems from the loss of brain volume, but I discovered the source of bipolar insomnia and the natural solution, ending years of sleeplessness
Next on my agenda is to get my fasting blood glucose below 90 mg/dl so I can start to grow my brain back and regain my lost 21 points of IQ. Neurogenesis does not occur in the presence of high glucose.
Thank you Tara!
Tara is now working on an Ebook with full details of her journey to much improved health and the title is going to be "I Was a Bipolar Zombie: How I Got off Deadly Medications and Healed My Brain Naturally." Please watch out for it