Bipolar Treatment Without Drugs

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Nutrition Linked to Bipolar Disorder: Can a nutritional supplement help people with a troubling mental disorder? ...In medical news tonight, there is new reason to be optimistic for sufferers of bipolar disorder, a condition that causes manic depression. A condition that affects hundreds of thousands of Canadians. According to findings of a small study presented today to the Canadian Psychiatric Association, a combination of vitamins and minerals may alleviate bipolar disorder’s debilitating symptoms. CTV’s Medical Correspondent Avis Favaro reports.

Healing Depression & Bipolar Disorder Without Drugs features Gracelyn Guyol’s own story and those of thirteen other people around the country who have cured their depression and bipolar disorder using only natural therapies. In-depth research and the expertise of alternative health-care professionals are included in this landmark guide for patients and caregivers seeking responsible, safe alternatives to psychiatric drugs.

Bipolar illness ran through Tony Stephan’s family. His wife Debbie committed suicide. His son and daughter were also ill and on [prescription] drugs that didn’t work.

“She had already been taken medication for over four and a half years, and she was going to commit suicide,” Tony Stephan, on his daughter who had bipolar. “The prescription bipolar medication wasn’t helping. My son was on 900 milligrams of Lithium per day and was absolutely out of control.”

Then he [Tony Stephan] learned of minerals and vitamins given to pigs with a central nervous system disorder. In desperation, he gave a variation of the supplements to his son.

“Within 30 days, he no longer experienced any of the symptoms of bipolar affective disorder,” Tony Stephan, on his son taking TrueHope’s EmpowerPlus.

Both of his children he says are on the supplements and are well some 4 years later. Now, doctors at the University of Calgary say they have intriguing early results from a group of 10 bipolar patients on the same supplements. Most had less depression, fewer manic episodes and improved mental well-being.

“The decrease in their symptoms,” Dr. Bonnie Kaplan, University of Calgary. “Is of a magnitude that is very impressive and any medication that had this effect would catch a lot of people’s attention.”

And most have cut their stand prescription drug use by two-thirds.

“This is an entirely different approach to the standard medical therapies that we use now,” Dr. Steven Simpson, University of Calgary.

But Steve Morton who was part of the Calgary study says the nutrients helped put his life in order after the bipolar illness left him suicidal and in hospital.

“This has brought me to recognize a new me and has allowed me to become a new person,” Steve Morton, bipolar patient.

In fact, the Alberta Government is investing in more than half a million dollars to fund more rigorous studies of these supplements.

Insight

Dec 8,2001
Brad Evenson National Post

A nutritional pill derived from products used to cure ear-and-tail-biting Syndrome in farm pigs has achieved extraordinary success in treating mental illness in humans, a new Canadian study shows.

An article in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, released yesterday, says bipolar depression patients who took the mixture of vitamins and nutrients had a 55% to 66% reduction in their symptoms. After six months, half the patients reduced their psychiatric medications. Half the patients no longer needed any drugs except the supplement, known as E.M. Power+.

The news has caught many in the world of psychiatry by surprise.

"What if some psychiatric patients could be treated with inexpensive vitamins and minerals rather than expensive patented pharmaceuticals?" Harvard University psychiatrist Charles Popper writes in a commentary in the journal.

"The economic implications, for ... patients and for the pharmaceutical industry, are difficult to overlook."

Even by the often-quirky standards of medical discovery, the history of how E.M. Power+ was developed is unusual.

In 1995, Anthony Stephan's family was disintegrating before his eyes. The Lethbridge, Alta.-area engineer's wife, who suffered from bipolar depression, had recently killed herself. Now his son, Joseph, and daughter, Autumn, were going through the same self-destructive nightmare.

He feared he might have to commit them to a psychiatric institution.

Joseph, already 215 pounds at age 15, was seething with anger. "In the morning when you woke him up, you knew you were dealing with an extremely explosive depressive," says Mr. Stephan. His daughter, Autumn, 24, was taking five psychiatric medications but her moods were spiralling out of control.

A meeting with a Calgary psychiatrist for Joseph had not helped. When Mr. Stephan pressed her at length for a better solution than drug treatment, which had unpleasant side effects, she exploded at him.

"She said, 'Hey! I want you to understand that, basically, this is it, it's not going to improve', " he says. "She flopped a psychiatric textbook on the desk and said, 'Look what it says. This is a recurrent disorder. It doesn't go away.' " Making things worse, she said Joseph might be suicidal.

Distraught and feeling hopeless, Mr. Stephan told his friend David Hardy about his predicament. Mr. Hardy, who once sold livestock products, said the children's behaviour sounded familiar to him. He had seen it in pigs.

"My thoughts just went to the only experience I had, and that was nutrition in livestock," says Mr. Hardy, who has a degree in biology.

"I connected in my mind a little bit of the aggressiveness in pigs in ear-and-tail-biting Syndrome to what he was describing in his son -- just off-the-wall violent behaviour that seemed so unusual compared with how he was earlier in his life."

For close to a century, agricultural scientists have done research on the impact of nutrients on animal behaviour. Aggressive behaviour is routinely treated with food supplements. Oddly, this body of knowledge has not made its way into human medicine. Without a blueprint to guide them, Mr. Hardy and Mr. Stephan concocted a mixture of vitamins and minerals.

The effect on Joseph and Autumn was staggering.

Within 30 days, Joseph had returned to being a normal, happy boy. After five weeks, Autumn no longer needed any drugs to stabilize her roller-coaster moods. She still does not.

Instead of taking their wonder pill to market, Mr. Hardy and Mr. Stephan, who have strong Mormon ideals, took it to a university.

They approached Dr. Bryan Kolb, a professor of neuroscience at the University of Lethbridge, who found Autumn's case intriguing. He contacted Bonnie Kaplan, urging her to talk to Mr. Hardy and Mr. Stephan.

Dr. Kaplan, a University of Calgary psychologist with a background in nutrition research, told him to forget it.

"I said, 'I've dealt with every flake in Alberta as a result of my nutrition research in the 1980s', " she recalls.

But when Dr. Kolb sent her some test results from children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder who took the nutritional supplement, she relented, in spite of her doubts.

At first, it was unclear how to use the supplements. "We were trying to figure out what symptoms, which patients," says Dr. Kaplan. The common denominator in test after test seemed to be emotions. "It didn't matter what diagnosis a person had.... It was the mood effect that we saw right away; it was the most salient change," she says.

In April, 2000, Dr. Kaplan and Steven Simpson, a psychiatrist, recruited 11 patients with bipolar depression into the six-month trial they described in the journal yesterday.

One of the patients was Steve Morton. Three years earlier, at 29, Mr. Morton was engulfed in an emotional grey fog.

"I didn't have a lot of feeling for things," he says. "Life just existed." Within months, Mr. Morton went from taking nine psychiatric drugs to taking the smallest possible doses of only two drugs. "It seemed like a cloud that had been hanging over my head for years disappeared," he says.

However, when Dr. Kaplan presented her findings at a conference in Victoria last year, she met with skepticism that bordered on hostility. Critics said past studies show this approach does not work.

"There's a huge amount of research over the years that individual nutrients affect mood in normal people and in people with mental illness," she says.

"But the changes that they've observed with their one-nutrient-at-a-time approach have tended to be small. And I think the conceptual novelty of [Mr. Hardy and Mr. Stephan] is they thought about doing what is done with farm animals, which is not one nutrient at a time; it's a broad spectrum."

Earlier this year, at a speaking engagement in Boston, she found a heavyweight champion for her ideas. Charles Popper, a Harvard Medical School instructor of psychiatry, asked for a sample of the supplement for a 10-year-old patient. The boy, a son of one of Dr. Popper's colleagues, had been having severe temper tantrums lasting two to four hours every day for four months.

"After two days on the Hardy-Stephan nutrient regimen, his tantrums showed significant improvement, with the father- psychiatrist reporting a 'complete' absence of outbursts or even irritability at five days," Dr. Popper writes in his commentary.

Dr. Popper cautiously tried the supplement in 22 bipolar patients; 19 showed a positive response. In fact, of 15 patients who took psychiatric drugs when they began taking the supplement, 11 have now been stable for up to nine months without drugs.

Despite his optimism, Dr. Popper fears the supplement could interact with drugs. He says more research is needed to learn how to "transition" patients from their medications.

Equally unclear is how the supplements have their beneficial effect. Dr. Kaplan and her colleagues are conducting larger trials.

At the same time, Mr. Hardy and Mr. Stephan are distributing the supplements, which contain only non-prescription nutrients, to desperate families who have contacted them. They have 3,000 clients.

Healing Depression & Bipolar Disorder Without Drugs features Gracelyn Guyol’s own story and those of thirteen other people around the country who have cured their depression and bipolar disorder using only natural therapies. In-depth research and the expertise of alternative health-care professionals are included in this landmark guide for patients and caregivers seeking responsible, safe alternatives to psychiatric drugs.

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Don't listen to your doctor or psychiatrist. All they'll do is prescribe mind-altering drugs and if you take them you're screwed. I was diagnosed with bipolar and here was how I cured myself:

I learned about Orthomolecular Medicine. Now, I take Truehope EmPowerPlus, L-tryptophan, L-phenylalanine, frolic acid, Omega 3 fish oil, vitamin C, Ginkgo biloba, and enzymes. I also learned about Cognitive Behavior Therapy.

"The results of the treatment were dumbfounding. There was a far more rapid and complete improvement in symptoms than conventional medicine ever produces." -Dr. Charles Popper, Psychiatrist and Psychopharmacologist, Harvard University.

As quoted in The Vancouver Sun, January 5, 2008

Received from email:

I was diagnosed with bipolar in April, 2007. I refused to take my family’s advice, my friends’s advice, my therapist’s advice and my doctor’s advice; they all pressured me to take medication. I refused and took the natural path. I know people on prescription meds and they are zombies-- emotionless, some even mentally retarded because of the meds. These people don’t live, they just exist—no sadness, no happiness, no depression, no excitement…they just exist and take up space. Some of them are very dangerous. Prescription meds scare me.

I believe I’m now cured of bipolar from taking TrueHope’s EmpowerPlus, L-tryptophan, l-phenylalanine, vitamin C, Omega 3 fish oil and frolic acid...