2. Regular meals. Have healthy meals at around the same time each day, whether you are in the mood or not. When you are out, keep cheese, walnuts, almonds, and whole wheat or rice crackers with you so that you do not get hungry or suffer from hypoglycemia. The main ingredient in most psychiatric medication is serotonin, 95% of which is produced in the digestive system. Your gut cannot function properly if it is filled with junk foods and medication, which is why so many people need an artificial source of serotonin.
3. Hormonal stabilizers. Women who suffer from monthly ups and downs need gamma linoleic acid (GLA) in the form of borage or evening primrose oil (500 mg. every day and 1000 mg. ten days before the period). GLA is reduced after ovulation, which is why so many women have distressing pre-menstrual symptoms. Chasteberry is also a natural hormonal stabilizer.
4. See a naturopath, who will prescribe a vitamin B supplement for stability. For manic thoughts, add 1000 mg. no-flush niacin and 1000 mg.niacinamide (B3). You might also need extra B5 or B6 and natural mood stabilizers, such as choline-inositol (500-1000 mg. twice daily). L-tryptophan creates serotonin and is calming. L-tyrosine and L-phenylalanine are natural anti-depressants. [These can be adjusted daily according to mood.]
5. Check your thyroid functioning. Lack of sleep and lack of iodine can cause thyroid problems and mood disorders.
6. Learn E.F.T., C.B.T. or other methods which teach you to downplay your moods and reprogram your mind with healthy thoughts.
7. Exercise. Join a club with regular classes and go whether you are in the mood or not.
8. Spot the symptoms and take action before things spin out of control. During “down” times, imagine yourself lost in a snow storm. If you stop moving, which is very tempting, you will freeze to death. Stick to your healthy schedule and do not let yourself lay in bed all day. Volunteer, or find meaningful work. During “up” times, force yourself to shut out the internal excitement and relax with calming activities.
I realize that many people will be outraged by these suggestions, especially those whose livelihood is threatened by self-healing methods. I have gotten hostile calls from conventional doctors who accuse me of being irresponsible and ignorant, and putting lives at risk by providing alternatives to psych meds. They repeat the refrain, “There are no side effects to psychiatric meds! Medication is the only way to deal with emotional problems.” However, I have fifty years of experience which has shown me that people who were functional before a psychotic episode can heal by adopting a disciplined lifestyle, learning to think securely and eat correctly. Teens, in particular, need to learn these skills so that they do not feel like passive victims of their moods, but develop the confidence to help them to ride out the emotional storms with positive thoughts and actions.
For further information, write to firstname.lastname@example.org. In Israel, call 02-5868201. My American line is 718-705-8404.
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