There are people around the blogosphere who question the biomedical model of psychiatry as do I. But they also seem to think that since this implies that there are no chemical imbalances that proponents of nutrients and dietary changes are also questionable.
While I’m right there with the people who contend childhood trauma is often a contributory element in “mental illness” and indeed sometimes the only factor, I know that without a doubt nutrition can effect how one feels profoundly.
At this point in my recovery this time around I can imagine some of you wonder if any of my diet and nutrition is helping as I often continue to suffer and there is no way to tell while I am going through profound withdrawal symptoms, though I know that before I made these changes I was unable to tolerate the symptoms of withdrawal and now I can. What I do know is all the anecdotal stories of all the people who are part of my email groups and not only that—when I was 17 to 19 years old I was cured of my extreme mental anguish even in my abusive household by the help of diet and nutrition.
I had severe PMS even then and I saw a nutritional oriented MD. She saved me at that time. It was like night and day. Most significant I stopped being hysterical towards my mother all the time who was not the cause of abuse in my family but is the one with whom I took out my dismay. I went to college and stayed sane until I started to experiment with illicit and then psychiatric drugs.
I can’t tell you why I never went back to that way of living with diet and nutrition after being diagnosed with bipolar except that I bought the psychiatrists bullshit and I was on a self-destructive course thanks to hating myself and having no self-esteem because of how I was raised.
I was premenstrual each time I was hospitalized. I should have known that I could get help again from the nutritional doctor, but I slowly, over time bought the bullshit being spewed forth by the various psychiatrists I saw. In the hospital I was essentially tortured and your mind plays tricks on you after a while.
I did not have money for the nutritional doctor anymore and she did not accept insurance and it seemed to me at that time that I really had a more serious problem. I was thoroughly brainwashed.
My life has now again changed dramatically since I’m changed my diet and nutrition. So if a “chemical imbalance” means needing nutrients to feed our brains then I believe in the the chemical imbalance theory. I just don’t believe in a pharmaceutical solution.
Also there are plenty of studies of children diagnosed with ADHD responding to whole food diets particularly foods without sugar or additives. One report on a recent study is here. And a google movie I linked to a good while back also speaks of this reality.
I don’t think it is the answer for everyone but it certainly can’t hurt and it also helps all sorts of other health problems to eat like I do. And supplements are key too. There is plenty of evidence that fish oil helps for example and I know that many other supplements help too. See here for my approximate regime (I’ve changed things a bit since I wrote that.)
This is simply a response to some of the comments I see being bandied about the blogosphere that is critical of pharmacology. Some of them seem to be critical of good health practices as well. I challenge people to try these alternatives. Really get religious about sticking to a healthy diet with supplementation. Reading a book like “Depression Free Naturally” by Joan Larson which gives good advice for any mental health issue. Or the book “The Mood Cure” by Julia Ross. Tibetan Buddhist monks have been studied and they have radically different EEG’s than most of us do. Meditation does change our brains for the better and thus our mental health. And SF Jane had radical abuse and trauma in her history. She claims to have no symptoms of PTSD or “bipolar disorder” anymore at all.
Have you really tried everything? Or have you just settled for the quick fix? Sometimes healing takes lots of time and commitment. Certainly these suggestions are just a few of the alternatives to prescriptions there are many, many more.
And oh my god, what a difference a caffeine free life has made! That took me two years to accomplish—so I’m not saying any of this is easy. It is often a slow evolution.