Working as a nurse in the emergency room, you meet a rich variety of people. Among those for whom I feel a particular sympathy are those with bipolar. They can be quite the characters. Some hear voices, some live on the streets, some have an extraordinary sense of humor, and so on. One thing bipolar patients have in common is that they take strong medication, in particular, antidepressants that have various side effects. To whatever question you ask these patients, the answer will often be, “Well, I am bipolar.” As if this fact is sufficient explanation to all possible questions.
But the word “bipolar,” of course, doesn’t explain everything, and this is particularly true for women having problems with hormonal fluctuations. For example, one woman had a hysterectomy because of severe bleeding, then had to go on hormone replacement therapy. After a few months, she ultimately “lost it.” She was certain that she had to move away and take up missionary work – to the alarm of her concerned family. She was placed on antidepressants and given the convenient label of “bipolar.” Well – she took her antidepressants cross-country with her and ended up living on the streets with the homeless. Rescued finally, by some good friends, she was brought back home, where she is now off medication, trying to stay as level as possible, and still labeled “bipolar.”
Many women in and around menopause go haywire. But is that necessarily bipolar? I often wonder at how strongly hormones can affect mental health. As is often the case with women after childbirth, with the so-called ‘baby blues.’ Usually, due to the hormone progesterone easy to fix with natural progesterone cream. Likewise, women – and men in their hormonal midlife crisis – often get depressed. But should this be any surprise? After all, so many things are changing at this point – it’s like adolescence all over again, but in reverse! New sensations and a unique view of life. Letting go of the old ways and struggling with the original… There can be much confusion with many challenging questions demanding to be lived. Unfortunately, many take the easy road and dodge the whole thing. They accept being depressed and can even console themselves with the mantra, “After all, I’m bipolar.”
One solution might be to use common sense. Bipolar or not, it’s essential to take in enough essential amino acids and different forms of protein. Many people’s protein intake is limited and unvarying: just red meat, chicken, and eggs. If you read Dr. Eric Braverman’s book “The Edge Effect,” you’ll see that we need protein from many sources, including meat, poultry, nuts, eggs, fish, dairy, beans, and vegetables.
This approach is helpful for all of us, but especially for those with bipolar – whether it’s the real thing or not. Dark chocolate can be useful too. It offers some of the same benefits as such antidepressants as Prozac and Paxil, but with no side effects. Just as healthy foods are vital for growing children, they are crucial for anybody going through significant changes or having a difficult time. So be sure to eat well and exercise, and study Dr. Braverman’s “The Edge Effect.” Give yourself what your brain needs to function well and create harmony in your being. Don’t worry so much about your bipolar – or the bipolar label. Apply your thoughts to the constructive self-healing that is possible.
Common sense is not so common.
Anonymous Nurse UK
Staff Note: Fingers crossed for Medicare for All!