I’ve been in CA for a couple days. I’m doing amazingly well. My “depression” has lifted and I’m energetic and hopeful in spite of having a gargantuan task ahead of me. Fifteen years of my dad’s crap. And he’s a pack rat, and doesn’t want to part with anything. I actually went around the house this morning and threw out a bunch of really worthless junk. I truly mean worthless…I like every gift basket he’s ever been given. The empty basket. I was actually much more conservative than I wanted to be. I do respect his desires. It’s just he is never going to get this stuff into his new apartment. The space he’s moving into is much smaller than the three bedroom house he is moving out of.
In any case I’m attributing my vast improvement to a supplement I’ve added. I’ve been really vague about exactly what I take because everyone is different, but I think this is safe to mention. In the nutrition section I believe I talk about the basic nutrients everyone should take. Magnesium, a good multi, and especially fish oil as well as vitamin C and minerals.
Well I discovered a product called Immunocal through “Label Me Sane“. They actually sell the same product with Vitamin B’s added called Protect.” I get the straight Immunocal as I get plenty of B’s in my multi. I started taking this product right before I started my blog. I did indeed improve tremendously but I wasn’t sure why–I thought it might just be my new found productivity on the blog. So because it was expensive, I discontinue it about three weeks ago. Well, by the time my mom visited I was much worse. I was hardly able to tolerate any stressor. Socializing was painful. I figured I’d see if this product was what had helped me feel better. My supplement taking is often a matter of trial and error and I’m not always good about figuring out what has helped as sometimes I start more than one thing at time. In any case about 4 days after reintroducing the Immunocal (Thursday 12th) I began to feel noticeably better. And now it’s Saturday and I’m still doing great in spite of being with my father who can be a mild pain in the ass. If I wasn’t doing well, there is no way I would be able to tolerate him in this stressful circumstance for both of us. Certainly this is a difficult time for him.
My feelings of well-being are being extended to my sister as well, who is truly being wonderfully supportive and grateful of my being here. She really is improving slowly over the years. I just sometimes have residual resentment towards her and we had a bit of an episode when she first asked me to come out which I mentioned in a previous post. In any case she is actually being a doll and I completely welcome it. I’m not one to hold grudges. In spite of her being a difficult person and persecuting me as only an older sister can, I love her.
In any case this product, Immunocal, is purported to raise glutathione levels, which has been been found to be low in people with bipolar disorder. See here:
Manic Depression patients are generally found to have low endogenous production of Glutathione. Altschule, M. D., et al. Blood glutathione level in mental disease before and after treatment. Arch Psych. 71:69, 1955.The authors observed low blood glutathione levels in manic depression patients.
Braverman, Eric R. The Healing Nutrients Within. Keats Publishing, New Canaan, Connecticut, USA. 1997:152.
The author has experienced occasional positive results using supplemental L-cysteine in the treatment of manic depression. The underlying mechanism for the success of L-cysteine in some manic depression patients is believed to be via its role as a precursor for glutathione.
The people at “Label Me Sane” reported the same, but I hadn’t found independent information regarding it until a few days ago. In the above article they don’t mention a specific product to aid glutathione production but do say L-Cysteine can sometime help. Immunocal is a whey protein product that is supposedly processed in a particular way that allows for good glutathione production. It is a Cysteine delivery method. When I did a search on the web I found that there are other, cheaper products available but I’ve been told by “Label Me Sane” that most products are not absorbable. There isn’t a plethora of information I’ve been able to find, but I’m happy with my anecdotal results. And for the time being I’m sticking with the product that works. It’s really like night and day. It’s not that I’m free of stress–not at all, but I’m much much more functional. I don’t feel I’m ready to have a melt-down as I was the entire time my mom was visiting and for a while before hand. Also the last time I came out to take care of my father I was a total wreck too as he was in the hospital and ill. Traveling has been a very difficult thing to do since I started withdrawing. This is proving to be the best trip I’ve had since I started the process. So–I’ve seen vast improvement and I’m tremendously grateful. I’ve had to write off being a wreck to my withdrawals for a while, but if there is anything I can find to support the process I’m glad to discover it.
I’m planning a couple of other things to continue trying to improve my health. I will be tested for pyroluria:
Pfeiffer reported that those who have daily or day-to-day mood swings have food allergies or hypoglycemia. In addition, he said they are pyroluric and are easily treated with adequate doses of B6 and Zinc.
I found info about this condition in multiple places, including the book “The Mood Cure,” which I’ve mentioned before. Anecdotal stories report complete clearing of many mental health symptoms upon treatment with B-6 and Zinc. I have a test kit that was mailed to my home the day I left. It’s a inexpensive urine analysis and I figure it’s worth ruling everything out.
Also, once I get home I intend to do a food elimination diet. What that involves is eliminating all potentially allergic foods from ones diet for two weeks, then adding one at a time to see if you react to it. Apparently if you have a reaction to something like gluten it’s really obvious and can cause severe mental health symptoms. The two main food groups I will get rid of entirely are milk products and grains containing gluten. I’m not worried about the grains–I already eat very few, as it helps my blood sugar to eat very little grain and lots of protein. But I am worried about the milk. I love cheese. I don’t want to part with it. I’ve changed so much about my diet and I follow it so strictly–I just don’t want to give up something else I love so much. Anyway–if I find I’m allergic, I suppose it won’t be so difficult–if I’m aware it makes me unwell, I will find the motivation as I’ve found it for the rest of my restrictive diet. The thing is I don’t really find my impeccably healthy diet restrictive. I really love it. Whole grains, veggies and protein. No refined products. It’s a joy to put good stuff in your body. The only time it gets rough is when I’m visiting someone’s house. You can quickly appear the fanatic. I try to be as flexible as possible and when possible tell people what I need to have available for a meal to keep my blood sugar steady. Most of the time it’s not too much of a problem.
What has been interesting has been cutting out alcohol, which is did not do right away. It didn’t bother me for a long time and so I continued to enjoy my social drinking. About six months ago everything radically changed. One drink started making me feel weak, sick and socially awkward. It was a 180 degree turn around. It used to make me feel confident and energetic–it was good fun and a social lubricant. In any case, I’ve had to quit. I think, strangely enough, that the higher amount of drugs I was on was some kind of buffer and allowed me to drink, in spite of it supposedly being contraindicated to the meds.
The strange thing is that when at a party, people think it’s really weird if you don’t drink. Much more weird than when I tell them I need to eat a particular way. And these are not wild party people. They are ordinary social drinkers. They simply act very puzzled and seem mildly threatened but what I imagine is them viewing me as being vaguely puritanical. Whatever they are imagining, it is all wrong. I have not a single issue with anyone who wants to drink responsibly. My husband has a glass of wine most evenings. I vaguely miss being able to join him, but since it truly makes me feel sick, what I miss is just the memory of it once upon a time making me feel good.
Okay, I’ve left my father at his house for a internet cafe–he takes a long time to get started in the morning–but it’s time I get back to him. I don’t imagine I’ll be able to get back to the computer until at least Tuesday.
Just a note–this post was drafted in a mad rush, and so it is not be documented as well as I’d like and may have more typos than usual.