What are You Willing to Do to Create Bipolar Stability?

Stress, digestion and stomach aches. Mental health is so much more than what we feel and think. There is a physical component to our bipolar disorder as well. The more we learn scientifically about the body,  the more we see a connection between the brain and the body.

Anxiety for example is known to cause terrible stomach problems.

What is a scientific answer for this?  Serotonin in the stomach. This is also why drugs that affect serotonin are not very safe for people with bipolar and why they can cause so much physical stomach upset.

My work has always involved deduction.  When I started on my bipolar journey at age 31, there was very little available science on why we act as we do and what we can do to make changes to create a more stable life. So much has changed in this time. Deduction meant that my 13 years of charting my mood every day as well as charting the mood for ten years of a partner with bipolar allowed me to create a system that I use everyday and write about in all of my books. Deduction tells me that my stomachache today is the result of stress over the way bipolar affects my work ability. 

Deduction means that YOU can be a detective into your own aches and pains due to mental health concerns.

How healthy are you? Can you sleep with ease? How is your digestion? Maybe you are like me and you struggle with using sugar to ease the mental and physical anguish caused by bipolar disorder. Maybe you choose weed or whiskey to ease the pain. 

Deduce what this is doing to your life. Be a detective and decide if the stomach ache is cured by sugar, weed and whiskey or if there might be better and healthier choice you can make. 

In November of 2018, after struggling with my weight for six years after a biking accident, I decided that sugar was no longer my medicine. Yes, I was using sugar as medicine. Why not be honest with myself. I am four months into a journey of finding other ways to ease my psychic and physical pain. 

I am deducing what I need. I am a detective. A bipolar Sherlock Holmes. 

I can teach you how to manage bipolar. I have a system that works 100% of the time. I have tested it for over 20 years on myself and many thousands of people around the world. This is not the issue. The issue is whether you are ready for a system that asks you to END a dependence on mania-  A system that suggests you find other ways to deal with depression other than using substances that actually make you feel better in the moment, but worse over time. 

If you have read to the bottom of this post, YOU are ready. Read Take Charge of Bipolar Disorder and get started today. Find your mood swing patterns. List your triggers. Find a way to sleep like a regular person. Say this out loud: 

Mania is not a positive. Mania is the opposite side of the bipolar coin. Mania is as destructive as depression.  Today, I start my plan to end the hold mania has on my life. 

I want you to live. I want the stomach aches from stress to end. I want us to have a plan that works. Today, I have a stomach ache. This is from anxiety messing with my stomach serotonin. I had a chiropractic treatment with the amazing Dr. Simon Agger and am having avocado with my lunch. I am deducing that my stress levels are not healthy and I need to make changes by removing triggers. 

Join me. 

I am on Instagram at #JulieGetsItDone for my weight loss work! I hope you will join me there if you need inspiration. I certainly need inspiration from you!

Julie 

Bipolar Disorder and Cannabis

I hope that every person who has ever written me about the benefits of cannabis will look at the data that has finally arrived for the world to see. In its current form, with an average THC of 18% marijuana is not a safe product for those of us with #bipolar disorder, #schizoaffective disorder or #schizophrenia.
 
Nor is is safe for any of our close relatives who might share our genes as it could cause a latent bipolar or schizophrenia gene to turn on after being dormant since birth. Marijuana doesn’t cause bipolar, but it can turn on the bipolar genes in the opinion of many,  including myself. Why risk this?
 
Almost every day, someone writes and ask me to sell a cannabis product on my website. I always write back and say.. you obviously have not read my work …nor do you know my personal experience with cannabis.
 
The marketing machine behind the legalization of this very, very life altering substance is BIGGER than big tobacco in my opinion. I try to use the word marijuana whenever possible so that people can remember what cannabis really is. Please know that I would love to use this substance to feel better. I truly would, but it would kill me before it would help me. I don’t say this lightly.
 
For over ten years, I have written about what I saw in my coaching and in my own life. The bipolar world did not listen. The bipolar world continued to deny the connection between marijuana and mood swings.
 
For over ten years, I asked that we please open our minds to the dangers of high THC and the risks it poses to those of us with illnesses such as bipolar that have a link to psychosis.
 
Julie, you are wrong.
Julie, you are not educated.
Julie, you simply are in the pocket of big pharma.
 
In almost every case, the very public lashings I read online turned into a private message telling me how destructive the drug actually can be.
 
I stopped coaching for long periods of time simply because I no longer really get to coach about bipolar management. 99% of my coaching is about pot and bipolar now. It is an epidemic in our bipolar community.
 
Now, we do have enough data that doesn’t come from just me- it is everywhere.
 
In my experience, the legalization of marijuana increased the psychosis and in my world, mania of those of us who used the drug. This has led to extreme mood swings that are dangerous for the public.
 
We are not safe when we are manic and psychotic. This is called #dysphoric mania and it is usually violent in some way.
 
It’s time to get our heads out of the sand and see reality.
 
Marijuana must be labeled for safety.
 
People with bipolar and schizophrenia should not touch any form of marijuana in my opinion. It is not well tested enough and even products labeled pure CBD are genetically so new that they can still make a person sick.
 
How do I know? I tried them and talked with others who tried them.
 
Here is the only article I was asked to participate in that actually told the truth in over 10 years and it took them almost six months to get the ok to actually publish the article.
 
This is a message for policy makers, parents, partners, loved ones and the world in general. If and when you legalize marijuana, homelessness will increase, your psychiatric facilities will be full and your police will be overwhelmed, just as they are in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, California and soon Canada.
 
I am not anti cannabis. It has its uses, but there is no place for cannabis in the bipolar brain.
 

Julie

Julie A. Fast Bipolar Disorder Event in Portland, Oregon: Bipolar, Genetics and Epigenetics: A Path to ENDING Bipolar Disorder Forever

Join bestselling mental health author Julie A. Fast for a life changing evening. She will share her latest research and show how we can greatly change the chance of passing on bipolar disorder to the next generation.

A note from Julie: I want to end the hold bipolar has on our lives. I want to teach you how to protect children from the genetic expression of bipolar disorder. Join me on Sunday, January 20th from 3-5 PM for a life changing discussion on the evolving theory of epigenetics and bipolar disorder. Learn about the history of bipolar disorder, what we know about the genetics of the illness and how the new field of epigenetics might be the answer to ending bipolar disorder forever.

This special event is open to family members, partners and health care professionals.

I will share the ideas from my research on how we can prevent bipolar expressing itself in future generations and the hopeful news that what we do now to treat bipolar first just might change the course of the illness forever.

There is hope and epigenetics holds one key to how we can each change the role bipolar has in our family tree.

This is a lecture with time for Q&A. The room can hold 15 if we really squeeze in, so I ask that if you sign up, please come early so that we can figure out the logistics well before 3 PM. The food is also excellent as is the drink. Please do check out the menu and order food before we begin! It’s delicious and I love supporting the wonderful Toffee Club.

Also, due to past attendance where people sign up, but can’t attend and don’t cancel, this is a prepaid event.

Let’s change the world of bipolar disorder. You are the key.

Julie

Please visit my Bipolar Info Group for Parents and Partners on Meetup to register.

Let’s END Bipolar Disorder in the Next Generation

Daniel Horowitz for NPR

 

The #1 way to prevent #1 way to prevent disorder in the next generation?

Do not use any SSRI anti depressants in your children if you have bipolar in the family tree. Yes, I actually said this and I mean it.

What Do We Know about Bipolar and Genetics

Substance induced bipolar disorder allows us to see genetic expression in action. If a person has bipolar disorder in the family and has only experienced depression with no mania, this person might or might not actually have the genes that lead to bipolar. At this time, we have no way of measuring this. What we DO know is that if this person uses an SSRI anti depressant for depression, there is a very good chance that the result will be mania and what was once only depression becomes the much more serious illness of bipolar disorder. We call this turning on the bipolar gene. This tells me that many more people actually have the bipolar gene that is non expressed than don’t.

What is Epigenetics?

This is the THEORY that we can make changes in our current life to change the expression of our genes. The concept of epigenetics only works if these changes to the genes are then passed to offspring. We do see this in plants. There is no evidence of this in humans when it comes to bipolar. Much more research is needed, but it does provide some hope. I’m writing an article on the topic this week and will put the link here when it’s ready. ALL people with bipolar who want to have kids need to learn about the theory of epigenetics.

Is Not Taking Anti Depressants Epigenetics in Action?

Possibly, but we can’t know this for sure unless we do studies on people with substance induced genetic bipolar and whether their children are more likely to have bipolar. I say let’s not risk it and make sure that no one who has bipolar in a recent part of the family tree uses SSRI anti depressants.

By recent I mean parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.

This is one way to ensure that the children of people with bipolar can keep that particular group of genes dormant.

Julie

Update:  A Facebook reader made a very good point after reading my post. What if your child has a serious illness outside of bipolar that is only helped with SSRI drugs? Then, this is a trade off. I would suggest using the drug while always looking for signs of mania. This would involve teaching the child to look for signs of mania in his or her thinking and sleep patterns. I can be a bit one sided in my writing when I get passionate about something and always appreciate someone pointing out where I need to change my language. 

This pic is from an NPR story Combining The DNA Of 3 People Raises Ethical Questions.

 

Honest Talk about Life with Bipolar Disorder – someone has to tell the truth!

I had one year when I was 21 that I remember being rather stable. After that time, I do recall a few months or maybe half a year where I simply got on with life without being in a mood swing. Overall, I was in contact flux. I called it GOING THROUGH CHANGES as I had zero concept of #bipolar disorder until my then partner Ivan was diagnosed with bipolar one in 1994.
 
I was diagnosed at age 31 and put on a variety of anti depressants that greatly increased my already serious rapid cycling bipolar disorder. I wrote my Health Cards in 1997 in order to save my life. Meds were never a full option for me due to side effects. I take some meds now and wish I had more relief from meds. I would take more if I could.
 
Since 2002, I have had one long stability. It was 35 days. Stability means that I am not manic or depressed.
 
This means that in 16 years, I have had just one month of feeling like a regular person. It is as bound as it sounds. It is hell.
 
We need to talk more openly about the serious nature of bipolar disorder.
 
My first psychotic symptoms were at 16. Hypomania at 17 and 18 and then a full on psychotic, suicidal depression at 19. I have a genetic illness that affects every waking moment. I can stay positive and I can always look on the bright side of life and see that many things in my life are good and always have been, but overall, this is hell.
 
Talking about bipolar openly will save lives. I believe we need to let people know that bipolar is serious and dangerous.
 
It’s no different than insulin dependent diabetes. It can kill use if we are not careful. If we are careful, we can have wonderful lives.
 
I don’t feel we take our illness seriously enough. We focus so much on stigma and making sure that people talk nicely about the mentally ill that we have lost our way. I have a serious mental illness. It prevents me from doing what others can do with ease. It prevents me from working full time. It prevents me from traveling the world like I want and it prevents me from writing books in the way I want to write book.
 
Let’s talk more openly about what life is really like with bipolar and at the same time talk about what we are doing to create the best lives possible despite having this diagnosis. That is always my goal. I have a GREAT life in many ways, but this doesn’t take away the incredibly difficult life I live almost daily due to this illness.
 

Julie

 
 
 

Bipolar Support

 

I will continue to manage this illness to the best of my ability.  I will learn more with each passing day about BiPolar Disorder. I will treat myself with kindness. I will always thank God for what I have.

I am who I am. The world can see the real me and accept me for who I am. I like myself now.

All people have challenges in life. Mine is mental health. I face and accept the challenge. I ask for help.

Living with bipolar teaches me compassion for others, but also compassion for myself. #noteTOself

What affirmation- I know, it’s a bit of cliche to use this word, but affirmations work!….. What affirmation can you create now to help you make it through today?

It’s hard to be nice to yourself when you have a not so nice illness.  These days, my affirmations are focusing on money and that there is an abundance of resources in the world.  Plenty of people have plenty of money.

Sure, affirmations can seem a bit hokey, but they are simply the opposite of our negative thoughts. We all know that negative thoughts hurt us and ruin our days- so it makes sense that the positive thoughts will boost us and improve our days.  No matter what your spiritual beliefs, it’s ok to say something a bit woo woo as one of my friends says, as long as it helps you find happiness and stability!

Julie

PS: Yes, I loved the Secret!