Questions Please!

There are many unanswered health questions, some personal and some more general – if you are happy to have another view of your situation and share it with Google, I will do what I can to provide what information I can

4 Replies to “Questions Please!”

  1. For the past two years I’ve been on lithium 800mg but for the last 3 months I’ve reduced it to 200mg and have made it clear to my doctor, I want to come off it completely; the so called ‘side effects’ are absolutely not acceptable to me. My concern is: there is no 100mg or 50mg to tapper off it further, so I’ve been taking 200mg every other day so far, this has been the last two weeks. Do you have any thoughts on how I should proceed? I’m diagnosed with re-currant depression and the psychiatrists wanted me on it for the rest of my life. I’ve changed my life as a result of research on the molecular biology and chemistry involved in depression and other mental illness, and think I know what to do to stay healthy; the psychiatrists clearly do not.

  2. I have suffered from anxiety and resulting depression; been diagnosed for GAD and obsessive ruminations. The Psychiatrist did not think, I suffer from Bipolar but I have underlying depression with regular low moods. It becomes very difficult for me to lift moods by positive self talk. Suffer from feelings of loneliness. There are set thought patterns that crowd my mind and I do not find a way out of these. I have been on anti-depressants for 35-40 years but have very slowly come off these. Find very difficult and thinking of going back on them. Would it be advisable or do you think following your book (Mood Mapping) will help even though I do not have bipolar depression. Your advice will be greatly appreciated.

    1. Personally, I don’t believe in psychiatric labels because they are only a psychiatric opinion and do not have any basis in science. There are no objective tests in psychiatry and as such, you are reliant on the psychiatrist’s beliefs about mental illness and their experience.

      Well done on coming off the medication! it sounds as though you have done so very slowly and sensibly.

      The strategies in MoodMapping are not specific to bipolar. They are the result of personal experience, colleagues and peer experience and what the ‘scientific literature’ supports as effective. MoodMapping is about developing an objective approach to how you feel and how you can change those feelings. It isn’t easy – but equally we are more than our moods and more than how we feel.

      It is important to find a group of like minded people on the journey to health – and I have restarted MoodMapping workshops – see Meetup/moodmapping for further information about these workshops. There is always something positive you can do to help yourself feel better. It isn’t always easy – and it is easy to give trite advice. For me, the simple joy of pursuing health has so many benefits. For me, finding a piece of music I like, my cat, even just watching the goldfish swim around help. It is little steps, not expecting too much and celebrating each little triumph – well done on coming so far. And hope to see you at the workshops – sorry for the length of time in replying but technical / family crises and career choices have been making life disproportionately difficult but hopefully now back on track!

    2. Hi Jain,
      Thank you for your question. Dark moods are not the same as bipolar, indeed it is difficult to be sure exactly what anyone mens by bipolar anymore. The label is given to anyone who has variable moods, however going back to its historical origins, it originally described people who had discrete episodes of hypomania (hyperactivity) and depression and who were fine between episodes. Nowadays the label is given to anyone who moods vary.

      Well done coming off your antidepressants – these drugs are dangerous and they do very little to help the brain. If you can manage without them, this is definitely better.

      Certainly, I think the MoodMapping will help. It should give you a sense of being able to manage your moods, as well as a large number of strategies to help you manage your moods. It was never intended just for people with bipolar – I have started to update it, paying much more attention to health and the links between mind and body. Keep an eye on
      Good physical and mental health is essential for a happy life – very few people see the full extent to which our health has deteriorated over the last twenty or even ten years. We are more stressed, losing our health, gaining weight, becoming diabetic, hypertensive and generally sicker.

      We have to be healthy – there is no easy way! healthy diet, exercise and plenty of downtime to relax and recover

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