erica liebman

West Palm Beach, FL, United States

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erica liebman
Posted about 4 years ago
Is there a cure for bipolar disorder? Will we ever overcome the stigma?
I doubt that the mental illness stigma will ever cease to exist. You cannot change the minds of people that being bipolar makes you in some sense 'crazy'. But perhaps if people who are bipolar like me, show how gifted we are because of our "abnormalities", then perhaps the stigma will start to shift. People whom I meet that are particularly intellectual or creative many times turn out to be bipolar and this makes me very excited. Perhaps psychiatry and psychology should work on encouraging the talents of bipolar people and enrich the world of medicine, art, culture. I spent 10 years on medications and never had lasting relief. I finally made the decision to stop taking medication and follow a diet, exercise and life strategy that took me a year to plan before I titrated myself off medications. I researched which foods had which effects on neurotransmitters, read stories from others who did it, emailed prominent bipolar experts, etc. I experimented with the foods, types of exercise and different ways to slightly structure my time to prevent mood switches. It worked. Just recently I went back to see the research/psychiatrist clinical director at an Ivy League medical center where I once received my psychiatric treatment. He evaluated me and then told me that he considered me in "remission". He also told me that medications only work for 50% of the population, that often times those not on medication still have mood switches, but they are much slower and sometimes less intense. Medications change the cycling pattern, but do not cure it, he said. I am now going back to this same school for Neuroscience and perhaps medical school so I can study alternative treatments on the brain. I have also been helping to coach people SAFELY get off of their medicines, listen to themselves and guidance in designing exercise and nutrition programs. I am still learning, but have gone from a chronic mental patient to a happy and fulfilled human being.