Top critical review
Good intro for those who don't know much about Bipolar
on January 20, 2001
This book is an easy read and offers a comprehensive overview of some crucial information that newly diagnosed BPs and their families need to understand. However, aside from a brief mention of transcranial magnetic therapies, the book's coverage of new and alternative therapies does not go much beyond standard drug therapies, and some psychotherapies. It is also a little out of date on some of the newer anticonvulsants.
For those who have treatment-resistant forms of BP or who do not tolerate the standard drug armamentarium due to side effects, I would definitely recommend checking into the growing literature on orthomolecular psychiatry, environmental medicine, food and brain allergies, enzyme therapy and the like. Some excellent beginning resources are:
"Brain Allergies" by W. H. Philpott, M.D. and D.K. Kalita, M.D.
"Depression: Cured at Last!" by Sherry Rogers, M.D.
"Optimal Digestion: New Strategies for Achieving Digestive Health" Edited by T. W. Nichols, M.D. and Nancy Faass, MSW, MPH (brain allergies and degenerative brain syndromes have been linked to poor digestion and malabsorption of essential brain nutrients)
Various books by Abram Hofer, M.D., Doris Rapp, M.D., and other environmental medicine authors.
Read these books and talk them over with your psychiatrist. If he or she won't listen, find a wholistic medical practioner who will! (But hang on to your psychiatrist, too--trying to go off your meds cold turkey or even attempting to phase them out on your own can be an extremely dangerous and even deadly business.)
These books and others like them are eye openers and offer real hope for those who are determined to heal from this devastating illness rather than trying to control the hydra-headed symptoms of BP with synthetic, side-effect-generating drugs for the rest of their lives.
Caution: As mentioned above, drugs definitely have their place and should not be stopped without physician supervision. Healing via *individualized* diet, nutritional support and detox regimens can be a lengthy process. Drugs can be helpful, and sometimes indispensable, crutches along the way until the body and brain are detoxed, healed, and nourished well enough to function without them.