The first thing to know about 'Bipolar II' is that - like many of the other mental disorders listed in the DSM - it's actually a very new description of a very old problem.
What's the problem, in a nutshell?
It's this: usually thanks to a whole range of circumstances, issues and experiences, many people often start to feel down and depressed, to varying degrees.
This isn't happening because they have a chemical imbalance in their brain - because that theory has never been proven, despite 30 years' of research into the field.
(If you want to learn more about the erroneous information being put out there about the so-called 'chemical imbalance', try the following articles, for starters:
12 quotes from scientists that prove the 'chemical imbalance' just doesn't exist
why the lunatics are truly now in charge of the asylum )
So what IS causing the feelings of depression (we'll go on to talk about what's causing the 'mania' shortly)?
A huge amount of research has been done on this, and there's a growing consensus that depression results from the following things:
MIND / EMOTIONAL REASONS
How the Homolateral Energy State Can Cause Depression
new study shows 'silent' forms of child abuse cause depression in adults
How trauma can lead to mental illness - and how to fix the problem at the 'body' level
Now, what about the 'manic' part of the equation?
This is where we get controversial. In his book 'Anatomy of an Epidemic', award-winning investigative journalist writes the following about bi-polar, and the 'manic' states that differentiate bi-polar from good old fashioned depression:
"Psychotropic drugs - both legal and illegal - have helped fuel the bipolar boom....Researchers at Mt Sinai Medical School reported that nearly two-thirds of the bipolar patients hospitalised at Silver Hill Hospital in Connecticut in 2005 and 2006 experienced their first bout of 'mood instability' after they had abused illicit drugs....
"...In 2007, Dutch investigators reported that marijuana use is 'associated with a fivefold increase in the risk of a first diagnosis of bipolar disorder' and that one-third of new bipolar cases in the Netherlands resulted from it."
So using illegal drugs has been found to severely worsen your chances of depression (which has generally been much easier to treat effectively with natural means) morphing into bipolar, (or what used to be called 'manic depression') which is much harder to treat effectively, whatever course of treatment used.
Now for the REALLY controversial stuff.
Let's return back to Anatomy of an Epidemic:
"In a 1993 practice guide to depression, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) confessed that 'all anti-depressant treatments, including ECT, may provoke manic or hypomanic episodes."
To put this into plain English, what the APA was actually saying is that if you take anti-depressants for standard depression, you could end up becoming bipolar as a result of the legal drugs you are a taking.
"In a recent survey of members of the Depressive and Manic-Depressive Association, 60 percent of those with a bipolar diagnosis said they had initially fallen ill with major depression, and had turned bipolar after exposure to an antidepressant."
And unfortunately, once you have one 'manic' episode, you are much more likely to have another 'manic' episode down the road, even if you subsequently stop using antidepressants or smoking your weed, which is why 'bipolar' is much harder to effectively and permanently treat than depression.
You can read up all the research for yourself in Rob Whitaker's book, and I highly recommend that you do, as there are so many lies being told about 'chemical imbalances' and drugs being the answer to mental illness, that you need to ensure you have all the facts before deciding what route you want to take.
SO WHAT CAN YOU DO TO EFFECTIVELY TREAT THE PROBLEM?
First, avoid legal and illegal drugs as much as possible (I know that's easier said than done, as often people turn to drugs for relief, but long-term, drugs and medication only make the problem worse, they don't resolve it.) Also, don't forget that things like coffee and alcohol also profoundly affect the brain chemistry and act like drugs, too.
Anyone who drinks 2 litres of Diet Coke a day, for example, is setting themselves up to display a lot of the symptoms commonly associated with hypomania - and it's all caffeine related, as opposed to evidence of bipolar.
Next, try the following things:
1. Get a good night’s sleep. - at least 6-8 hours
2. Exercise enough. - 3 times 30 mins a week has been proven to be even more effective than anti-depressants, even over the short-term, to beating depression.
3. Cut back on the junk. - especially MSG and additives (more chemicals!) white flour and white sugar, that all deplete your vits and minerals and leave you feeling emotionally 'off-balance' and more prone to depressive / manic states
4. Turn up the music and dance.
5. Check if you’re in the Homolateral energy state. - and then do the easy exercise that will help you to get out of it (see the picture at the top of this post)
6. Strengthen your Spleen Energy Meridian. - as this starts to overcome the feelings of 'freeze' that resulted from whatever PTSD-type experiences you've had in the past. Energy Psychology is also really good for unpicking the issues caused by trauma that can result in depression.
This article explains more:
The ‘Happy Energy’ Angle to Beating Depression
7. Stop blaming yourself: it’s not your fault you feel this way.
8. Learn how to say ‘no’ without feeling guilty.
9. Stop hanging out with negative, critical people - because this, more than anything else, can trigger your depressions in the first place
10. Avoid anyone who thinks you have a ‘chemical imbalance’ - because it's completely unproven, and given the huge problems associated with medications, mental health professionals should be giving their patients far more information on alternative options to treatment with drugs.
If they aren't, either they don't know the latest research, or they don't care enough about their patients to find out about it - and either way, that's not a good person to be entrusting with your mental health.
11. Focus on the good.
12. Learn how to make good decisions.
13. Have a good answer to the question: ‘What gives my life
14. Talk to God regularly.
If you go to the following link, you can download a free report that explains how to do all these things, and also covers a lot of the things I've written about here in much more detail, including how to get out of the 'freeze' state, an exercise you can do to get out of the Homolateral Energy State, why lack of Vitamin B is directly related to depression, and how much exercise you need to beat off the blues etc
Download your free report: 14 things you can do to boost your mood now