I recently received a note from a mother desperate to help her daughter who was diagnosed bipolar and has only been made worse by psychiatric care.
She has been prescribed multiple psychotropic medications and is slowly becoming more and more disabled.
That is what happens to most patients who go to a psychiatrist or doctor these days, and my fight is to make it stop, make doctors act like doctors and give valid medical treatments to those suffering with severe mood symptoms.
The concerned mother wrote:
“My 24 year old daughter has been on various medications, Abilify, Lamictal, Lithium, Latuda, Vraylar for bipolar 2 in the last fifteen months. None of them have stopped the cycling.”
“She goes low for two weeks and then hypomanic for two weeks. We do not know what to do anymore. She can’t keep going to grad. school or work because of it. I want to take her off of everything and see what happens.”
“Any suggestions? We are desperate!!”
My Advice and Tips For Psychiatric Medication Withdrawal
Here is what I wrote in reply. This information may help you or a loved one:
“I have a ton of suggestions, it is excellent you are reaching out – she can (and will) get better.”
“Just be prepared to…”
1. Slowly Withdraw from the Medications
Do you have any support from a physician? I can help you find one. You need a physician to advise what should be stopped first, etc.
She needs to slowly withdraw while supporting her system i.e. a healthy whole foods diet, lots of water, limit caffeine and alcohol, etc. – that’s so individual, and there is a ton of info online.
Withdrawing can create the original issues that sent her to a doctor in the first place. Not everyone will experience this but if she does that’s normal.
You’ve been suppressing whatever was at the root of her illness with the bipolar diagnosis and psychotropic medications – now the focus will be on long-term healing.
Having some medical support can help with the withdrawal period by not only lessening the frustration and anxiety that may come with the experience, but a doctor can prescribe meds if necessary to help with the process.
Some physicians use a compounding pharmacy to be able to give very low doses as the person comes off the medications. Standard pills may be in too high of a dose, a patient may need to titrate down slowly.
Related post: Holistic Psychiatrists in the United States.
2. Support Sleep
I’m guessing they’ve given her meds to help her sleep too – that’s complete crap and is only ‘toxifiying’ the system at night. It’s criminal what these doctors prescribe, such as antipsychotics to help with sleep.
WTF? Show me one study that proves antipsychotics are a safe and effective way – without harmful side effects – to promote sleep. Is insane.
Their excuse when they kill and disable folks is that ‘it is how they were trained’ or the person is ‘treatment resistant’.
Related post: Treatment Resistance Is Your Body Saying No.
Sleep is a big part of what you do (and eat/drink) during the day – so start thinking of it like that. If she has food sensitivities, eats lots of carbs and processed sugar, it will cause mood swings and disrupt sleep.
Is she able to exercise at all? Walk? Nature huge for healing a stressed out over-toxic system. And exercise during the day will help stress/fatigue her system some so she is tired at night, more relaxed.
Personally, I have to exercise or get worse, feel worse, etc. It is not an ‘option’ but a necessity for fighting bipolar symptoms.
Have you read my posts on melatonin? I’ve got a bunch but… be careful, as if she’s on other sleep meds it may be counter-productive.
I’d suggest getting off of any prescribed sleep medication first, then start with .5 mg of melatonin, inching up to 3 mg or so… it’s very individual.
Related post: How Much Melatonin to Take For Bipolar Disorder?
3. Have Support
Have support and simply focus day to day on moving towards wellness. She will be able to do grad school, once is more stable, or maybe will feel like pursuing other goals, keep an open mind.
Think of this time and struggle as simply a very difficult ‘bump in the road’. Bipolar is simply a label for symptoms, that can be successfully managed – often cured – with a lot of effort and trial and error.
You did what most do and received inadequate (I would say unethical, unnecessary, and abusive) medical help.
You now can make more informed decisions and seek out legitimate testing and treatments to help her heal those symptoms.
4. Learn How to Avoid Toxic Exposures
Learn about healthy home products and how to avoid exposures that can cause mood disturbance.in sensitive folks like she sounds to be. It lessens the ‘reactions’ you are forcing your body to deal with.
Right now, the priority is the toxic meds, but as you do that try to lessen other toxins in the environment. This includes food, cleaning and body products, etc.
5. Help the System Detox
There are many things she can take to help with detox and to help heal underlying health issues. A green food supplement I’d recommend. This one is cheap, she can start with one or two caps and take as many as she needs to feel better.
This is what some docs give patients as treatment instead of psychiatric medications – the smart docs who understand the body, biology and health. 🙂
Here is a more expensive, similar product that is used by a holistic psychiatrist to treat children and adults: Hardy Nutritionals.
You can read an article about this physician – and this micronutrient approach to treatment here Micronutrient Therapies.
6. Use Me As Inspiration
I was very ill off and on in my twenties – have you read my book, if not, shame on you. Just kidding!
Is my life perfect? No, but read my book and you will get a better understanding of my experience as someone who has experienced severe Manic Depression.
Bipolar 2 Disorder is not Manic Depression. That’s not a ‘better or worse’ issue, just fact. And depression is getting labeled “bipolar” simply to drug more folks, and cover up side effects from antidepressants.
Another reality that needs to stop. And patients suffering with depression or other symptoms stop being lied to and made worse by unethical, greedy, lazy doctors.
I got helped to heal after ending psychiatric care and got better. She will too. Many, many others have and she is young, very fortunate to be doing this now and have her healthy life ahead of her.
7. Be Excited You Have a Ton of Incredible Options
You have a ton of incredible options – based on legitimate science – at your disposal. Be grateful.
Has she had extensive thyroid testing? Psychiatrist Hyla Cass, M.D. thinks up to 80% of women given a bipolar label and put on meds are suffering from Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
8. Don’t Forget Salmon Oil and a Quality Probiotic
I have articles on both for more info related to bipolar and current research, both will help her heal. Do a search, top right of website.
Related post: Take a Probiotic Supplement To Help Your Bipolar Disorder.