How Fitness Helped Me To Alleviate A Bipolar Disorder

May 27, 2011 by

Bipolar Disorder Treatments, Bipolar Disorder, Bipolar Disorder and Fitness


Today I wanted to share a very personal story,  I hope it doesn’t sound too depressing, it comes with a good ending so it shouldn’t.

Many people don’t know and would never guess unless I tell them, but several years back I was diagnosed with a Bipolar Disorder.

I personally don’t like to refer to anything as a disorder, because I believe it makes things more complicated for the mind. I believe the mind is already dealing with symptoms that are unusual, and if you place a name onto those symptoms it becomes more real.

When I was first diagnosed I was placed on medication, because they told me if I don’t get help, I will get more sick and the symptoms will get worst. One of the doctors even told me that if I don’t begin treatment immediately It could become death threatening. Back then I didn’t even think twice, I thought if the doctor tells me I need medication so be it, as long as I feel better.

After I started treatment, most of the symptoms were gone within a few weeks, but not without the consequences. I became a completely different person, it was me but it wasn’t.

Before going on medication I was always very emotional, I wrote a lot of poetry, I felt alive even though I felt very sick emotionally all the time. The Highs and Lows were gone, but so was everything else. I felt like a zombie. Few month’s into the treatment I became suspicious, because I never felt sad or happy, and nothing seemed to bother me at all. Anyone else would probably think it’s crazy how I felt suspicious of that, but it was obvious to me that something was wrong, and I deeply felt I had to stop taking the medication. But the doctors told me it’s normal and it will take some time getting use to.

As time went on I became very depressed again and developed severe anxieties, even worst than before. I went back to the doctor and then other doctors to see why I was feeling that way. But I kept walking out with a different prescription, and every single one had some kind of side effects that made me more sick.

I tried going on and off medication, but both ways I felt trapped. If I didn’t take anything I was sick, if I did take something I was still sick. A never ending cycle which kept getting worst over the years. I came to some really low points in my life, and I almost gave up. I couldn’t imagine keep on living like that. I knew there was a way out, I just had to find it.

I started doing a lot of research, such as holistic treatments for Bipolar Disorder and what I can do to help me deal with it besides taking medication.

I found out that Nutrition, Exercise and Sleep was a great way to alleviate the symptoms I was having. Bipolar Disorder is chemical imbalance in the brain, and from the studying I’ve done, I learned that hormones control everything in our bodies.
It made a lot of sense to me and I started to look into foods that would help to regulate hormones. What I also learned is which foods throw hormones out of whack – that is sugar, caffeine, processed foods, and any kind of meat with added hormones or antibiotics.

I always ate very well, but I had a terrible sugar addiction and a caffeine addiction. I use to drink two Starbucks Coffees a day, with 3 – 4 shots of espresso in each, and I was consuming so many sweets without even thinking about it. I always somewhat exercised, but I wasn’t prioritizing it as much as I do now.

I decided to give a sugar free living a try, cut down on coffee ( I tried completely giving it up, but I love coffee too much ), and I made working out daily a priority.
I also thought it was time for me to try Meditation. Meditation really helps to relieve stress, because stress is another thing that causes hormonal imbalance. It also helps you to stay focused on your goals.

With time I began to notice a reduction in my mood swings. It definitely didn’t happen right away, and in the beginning I was having terrible sugar withdraws. But over time about a year or so, I started to notice bigger change. I began to realize how much Good Nutrition and Daily Exercise can change how you feel not only physically but emotionally as well.

I haven’t taken medication for Bipolar Disorder in over two years.

I am not gonna lie, sometimes I still have to struggle, It’s not something completely gone, but it isn’t as intense as it use to be. The difference is, now I am able to deal with it as it comes and goes. I still have a lot of anxieties, and I get panic attacks but now I get them once a month, where before I had them daily.  Now I feel like I am able to control how I feel, vs before where I felt helpless.

I don’t want to sound corny but I have this belief, we are all born a certain way for a reason. We all have to struggle in one way or another to learn the lessons we’re suppose to. We can cover up the symptoms of the struggle, but it doesn’t mean it’s gonna go away. But if we learn how to deal with it and try to understand why it’s there in the first place, it begins to uncover the meaning. Every day I understand it more and more, and I believe it is always going to be a journey.

I am not going to say, that how I decided to deal with my situation is for everyone, because everyone is different. There is a lot of people who say medication saved their lives and I am sure it did. It wasn’t the case for me.  For me Fitness became so much bigger than just weight loss or looking a certain way,  it helped me  connect with my mind.




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