Article-Bipolar Research Points to Drug-Free Treatment

This article in the Guardian suggests some scientists are reconsidering the drug paradigm for bipolar disorder. I don’t think it goes far enough but it’s a start.

What is very interesting in this brief article is the mention of women with bipolar disorder being effected premenstrually. This fact is rarely mentioned. In my case every one of my major manias was premenstrual. When I was first diagnosed I was hospitalized three times–each time, the day after I was hospitalized I got my period. Can we call this bipolar–or is it just nasty ass PMS–in my case confounded with the use of hallucinogenics? For women who experience this phenomena it sounds like a hormonal problem to me–not some nebulous “chemical imbalance” in the brain that is then labeled bipolar disorder.

The article suggests that in these cases synthetic hormones could be used rather than psychotropic medications. I think synthetic hormones are potentially dangerous, but bio-identical hormones might be appropriate. I’ve been thinking about getting my hormones tested as I still have bad PMS, though I know diet and nutrition has helped to some degree. I may simply need more tweaking withe nutrients. I’ve had really bad reactions to hormones the few times I’ve taken them. I was on the birth-control pill to treat endometriosis and was a wreck the whole time I was on them. This predates any of my manias. Hormones can mess with anyone’s stability so treating with hormones has to be done very carefully. I have to do a lot more research before I seriously consider treatment with them, but I think it’s worth consideration.

I will try to find more about hormones and mental health at some time in the future. The little research I’ve done so far reveals very little. It is certainly understudied and rarely mentioned in the literature, but I have known many women who report similar experiences to mine.


About Monica Cassani

Author/Editor Beyond Meds: Everything Matters

2 Responses

  1. Stephany

    I’ve done quite a bit of research on this topic, due to my daughter. I would encourage you to have a specialist do a complete hormone testing. It is above standard tests PCPs run. There was a significant discovery in my daughter’s free standing [forget the name]of testosterone; that was double normal.
    BC pills can help this, and YES certain BC pills can create mania, and all kinds of stuff. It took 3 trials of BC pills to find the correct one for my daughter.
    Good luck


  2. Marissa Miller

    “For women who experience this phenomena it sounds like a hormonal problem to me–not some nebulous “chemical imbalance” in the brain that is then labeled bipolar disorder.”

    I’ve often wondered this myself. My worst mood swings occurred during puberty (15-19). Whoo-whee!

    This probably is the reason why women have a significantly higher rate of depression than men.



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