Wednesday, June 20, 2012


As many of you know, for a few months I have been off of medication, except for anti-anxiety medication as needed, and trying to go with just a diet, sleep, and exercise regimen for the treatment of my bipolar disorder. We know 100% that the Paleo diet, regular sleep, and regular exercise keeps my bipolar disorder manageable. However, I can't seem to keep up with those things on my own. I should know that this is not surprising because this is what it is like to have mental illness. The choices many people can make with a reasonable mind are not choices people with mental illness are always able to make. Right now I just can not stick to a eating, sleeping, and exercise plan on my own. So, I am back on medication....again.
Photo by Jeff Norris

One thing we are really coming to terms with is that for me, having a treatment plan that hinges on diet is probably not something I can handle. This is mainly because I have an eating disorder. I guess I have never talked about that on my blog, but I have a binge eating disorder and I just have not been able to stick to the correct diet on my own. So, my eating starts to get worse, which negatively affects my brain chemistry. Then I stop sleeping and exercising and everything goes down hill from there. I end up depressed, manic, suicidal, and back on medication.

I have to admit that I am pretty upset about being on medication again. I really wanted to be able to do this without them. I know it is possible to be well without medication were I able to make the right choices for long enough. The problem with managing mental illness by lifestyle changes is that those changes do not create wellness immediately. You really need a few months of perfect adherence to become fully functional and well enough to have the possibility (not guarantee) of continuing the program on your own. But, if your brain is impaired due to mental illness, many of us can not stick to those lifestyle changes for enough time to truly become well and have a chance of being off medication for long. Some of us can, but not all of us.

My new medication has a host of scary side effects (no surprise there), but one of the medications is supposed to help people with eating disorders so hopefully I can get back to healthy eating. I really do hope that with the medication I can keep the lifestyle changes long enough for them to be part of who I am and slowly decrease the medication so I need less or maybe none one day. That is the goal but in the mean time it is essential to know when you are doing so badly that you need more help.

Right now it is all up in the air. Who knows if I will even be able to tolerate these medications or what will happen over the next few months. I just know we are running around in the same circle and I hope one day we are not doing this over and over again.


Rev. Katie


  1. Katie,
    I hear your discouragement but.... it is not all bad, the meds I mean.
    I can't take meds. Oh I have tried but they all disagree with me in severe ways and so I am stuck with lifestyle changes only and it is hard work as you know. I would love to have some more support, meds for example, and so that is another way of seeing this. Meds as part of your support team.
    I will be praying for you.

  2. Katie,
    One more thing, if you would like to send me your email, I would love to send you a neat little devotional story today that might be just the encouragement you need?

  3. I share your displeasure of medication... it is something few people can understand unless they have been there. The side effects are a personal agony you cannot share, yet suffer quietly through with a racing mind and heart. I hope you made it through some of those side effects by now.