Minimum Energy / Minimum Enthusiasm and It Feels Like a Global Extinction Event

I’ve just come out of an hour or so of Mood at 1,1…. From which I am reminded that when we do not have energy to stand or even energy enough to turn over in bed then, as what the world describes as a bipolar personality, enthusiasm for life can go missing.

It is one thing to choose to be in a lower energy state and rest calmly… very different when that energy is all gone at 3pm and one can no longer stand or move.

I am hearing that it is happening to more people more often, with some of the highest energy people… here I was going to say, on their knees… it is way lower than that though… nutrition and out of date ways of thinking will be part of the cause, yet… I sense the world we live in has changed and is changing more rapidly than any time since an asteroid wiped out a lot of dinosaurs.

There may be questions of without and within yet maybe this will all need to be in the context of how we either react or respond to a global extinction event.

Right now, most in the UK are still well-buffered but our security blankets may soon be ripped away.


Responding to questions about fear in a psychotic world

This based on an email response regarding fear about speaking up/out:

We can fear many things. We do not need to be especially ‘awake’ to fear. Being ‘awake’ (or psychotically believing) regarding ‘the elites’ or the Chinese or ‘some aliens’ starting on mass depopulation and knowing that depopulation will involve many innocent causalities (like ‘The Boy In Striped Pyjamas’) is likely to induce extreme fear. At some point we have to overcome that fear as I did.

My fear of sharing information has come back again. Now, I have to overcome it again.

Sharing information does not seem pointless – yet does seem like a drop in the ocean……………………………

……………….now think on those words as pictures……………..

Surely, nothing could be more pointless than ‘a drop in the ocean’! This is where the words (memes) we choose can defeat us unless we rethink. What I do and say, does not have to be described as a drop in the ocean. There may be something like a river of misinformation to be tackled but my ‘truths’ are not made of the same stuff. Perhaps, the picture I need is of a stick that can be part of bridging that river. Any number of sticks may be washed away but if enough people use enough sticks wisely then a bridge is possible.

Using the best sticks in the best way and working with the best bridge builders may be most satisfying.

Battling bipolar – not alone – sharing about psychosis

A letter to a friend in USA

Hi John,

For almost all my life I have been a, kind, of, high energy person. It was excess high energy that led to me being prescribed anti-psychotics etc. Prior to this any lows I had only lasted for a few hours.. then with the anti-psychotics I was low for weeks/months at a time.

I have been off all meds for nearly 8 years now and not had any extended lows…. Until very recently when I have been low for several days at a time – several times. I have just come out of one of these with renewed determination to make a difference, while of course not going high!

Up early (still before 7am here) I thought I’d use a little of my extra energy to tweet  [John Poehler sharing about psychosis] to promote your work. Keep at it. I know it is a rare thing that someone who has been through the whole bipolar thing finds the stability to work consistently on one project. (I’ve been jumping from one thing to another, which is not so clever.)

Kind regards and best wishes

Roger Smith

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Promoting wellness, recovery, health, happiness and longevity

Beat Bipolar Bloat #fasting #gluten

“All disease starts in the gut.” Hippocrates

Eating late tends to give me gut pains at about 2am and this has been a major driver for disorder in my life.

I made a decision to tackle this by not eating anything after 6pm. I had mixed success for a few days until, 24th August when I put this as my number one objective. I decided to allow myself to eat as much of whatever I fancied during each day, to be certain I’d not be hungry at the end of my early evening meal.

You’ll see here that I was successful:Monitoring time of last food of the dayWell, I was successful in achieving just that one goal for 2 weeks. This came at a price as the 2am gut pains came back far worse. I’d only feel okay when I got up and stayed active. Many nights I was up from hours like 2am to 6am, before sleeping about one more hour to get dressed at 7am.

Overall, I was averaging 4 hours sleep a night. I could not figure out what it could be that I might be eating that was causing all this pain.

I’d been out all day on Tuesday. I ate but was still hungry at 6pm. I made porridge with organic oats. Within an hour I was overcome with extraordinary tiredness and laid down at 7:15pm.

I woke at 4am with my abdomen bloated/distended too painfully to be sleeping anymore. It was good to have slept 8 hours, rather than the 4 hours of the previous nights, but what had caused this bloating?

Could it really be the organic oats I’d been using for more than a year?

I have just weighed the dry milled oats I have left. Knowing when I bought these I can tell my consumption had increased to over 500g/week. Four times as much as before 24th August. Most times I had been up in the night, I only eventually felt able to sleep again after mixing and consuming oats with salt and hot water.

I had become addicted to oats!

I believe that a problem with addictions, leaky-gut and failure of the blood-brain-barrier is that we seem to completely forget the most obvious causes.

I must have been suspecting something was odd, when on 13th Sept I had emailed some friends asking, “What is it that can cause oats to be irresistible or even addictive?”

I have known for years that oats and wheat are often:

  • often grown on the same farms
  • moved in the same vehicles and stored in the same barns/silos, which may not be fully cleaned between each load
  • processed in the same factories

The oats I have been using are not labelled ‘gluten-free’. (Even so, ‘gluten-free’ is not necessarily completely free of wheat gluten as the label only means that efforts have been made to reduce the risks from gluten. This was confirmed by an investigation into gluten-free oats that revealed most brands tested contained some gluten.)

How come was I able to eat these oats for so long without spotting these could be a major problem for my gut and sleep pattern?

On Tuesday, my Beat Bipolar presentation had included this slide:Beat Bipolar - 2017-09-19 - Zonulin SlideI have heard doctors question the existence of Zonulin, saying all this is unproven and doctors such a William Davies in his book ‘Wheat Belly’ are making outrageous claims about the harm that can be done by just a little gluten. Whether the science is good or not, I believe we each have to go with our gut feelings (pun intended).

I believe that I have been using these oats as a drug! Every time I had some I felt sleepy about an hour later. Sometimes, if having oats at lunchtime I would have an afternoon sleep.

I’ve made a decision and just given away the remainder of those oats so I will not be tempted.

To be continued…


SHARE Wellness

I have been working with lots of people for a long time now to figure out what helps people recovery from all sorts of troubles and to have sustained wellness. We are now keen to start sharing what we’ve learned.

We’ve found that Wellness means different things to different people and some people do not even like the word wellness at all! One quick definition that works for me is, Wellness is about; BEING WELL, DOING WELL and BEING ABLE TO ADAPT TO STAY WELL. Later, I am keen to share how others are seeing/considering wellness.

A tricky thing with a new website/blog is knowing what to start with… maybe I just start with the idea that each page/post needs to be entertaining and educational. Also, knowing that WordPress allows for unlimited changes and improvements, so pages and posts may not be perfect but can be improved in response to your comments.

From: SHAREWellnessBlog.com

Glutinous Bipolar – Gluten and Bipolar Symptoms

Glutinous Bipolar – Gluten and Bipolar Symptoms

It is 16 years since I was last detained on a psychiatric ward, 15 years since I learned how to self-manage and stay away from psychiatrists. It is now more than 4 years since I last took any psychiatric drug.

Today, it feels like I am ‘back to square one’ with words from a 1960’s song in my head.

Lock me away and don’t allow the day, here inside, where I hide with my loneliness…

Everything was going well, so why am I feeling this way?

It was cold and dark with a bitter wind. I was walking back to the train station when I got some bad news on my phone just as a welcoming fish ‘n’ chip shop came into view. I had promised a friend I would not eat chips. I went in and bought a sausage instead.

Somehow I convinced myself that any gluten in the sausage would not matter. This was not good food for me, but it was hot and seemed to be what I needed to deal with the cold and bad news. Was this self-harm? Were things going too well? Could it be my “inner saboteur” getting the better of me?

After more than a month with no gluten at all, with minimal pain, great positivity and plenty of sustained energy, just an hour after eating the gluten… my world was starting to fall apart.

Three days of misery followed with stupid coffee drinking and loads of dairy produce. Three days of binging, increasing gut pains and foggy and confused thinking.

Was it always gluten? It is 19 years since I was prescribed medications to calm my guts, but it was one of these that made my insomnia worse and led to the psychiatric drugs. These sedated me and in many ways made my life easier, but all the time they were allowing more gut damage to occur.

Each new doctor said it was all in my head and nothing to do with my gut, so I had to figure it out for myself. Now it seems I can only survive and thrive if I can learn from my mistakes and so avoid gluten regardless of what life throws at me.

Food and Mood / Natural Nutrition courses

After a few weeks of being really well and pain free…

I ate walnuts and figs at 9pm and now been awake since 1am with pain in my gut.

My old GP used to say such pains that kept me awake were due to me no longer taking drugs for bipolar disorder.

He was wrong. There are definitely foods I need to keep avoiding.

Anyway, a little 4am yoga helped and the pain has gone now.

On the plus side, being up in the night has allowed me write 1,400 words which I can have on an editor’s desktop for breakfast time.

Whether big changes in mood are called bipolar or simply attributed to obvious causes, like eating the wrong things at the wrong times, it isn’t much of a disorder if we are still able to do useful things and we are not disturbing those around us.

Mental Illness Becomes Mental Wellness

How mental illness becomes mental wellness. An idea I saw at http://www.menheal.org.uk


Illness Becomes Wellness

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No mention of bipolar: Lisa Rodrigues: A very personal ‘personal best’ – None of us has to say the word BIPOLAR

I heard from a reader of rethinkingbipolar yesterday. They said how this blog had helped them greatly. This has inspired me to start blogging again. I never stopped completely. It is just that i have not published much while going through divorce, moving house several times in a year, closing down my office, being given several new diagnosis and generally beating myself up for being such a loser. I never wanted to be a divorcee – now I just need to accept that I am and get on with what I set out to do with rethinking bipolar – and that is to get more people to realize bipolar is nothing like what it says in the text books and most importantly people and perhaps all of us can one day move on from the diagnosis.

I am doing something unusual here by reproducing an entire article because it impressed me so much. (The link to the original has stopped working. 3rd March 2018)

Please do read all and see what I say at the end…

——————————————————– A Brilliant Article ——– Please read on ——————————————–

Lisa Rodrigues: A very personal ‘personal best’


Lisa Rodrigues recently told HSJ (Health Service Journal) that she will be retiring from her role in charge of Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust in 2014. In this article, she makes a further important personal announcement.

Britain’s Personal Best is an Olympic legacy charity aimed at getting people to do things they have never done before to help others and themselves. Challenges can be physical, intellectual, artistic or just brave.

When I became an ambassador for Britain’s Personal Best, I had an idea of what my own challenge was going to be. It helps that the dates for the first annual Britain’s Personal Best weekend of 4-6 October coincide with World Mental Health Day on 10 October. World Mental Health Day aims to reduce the stigma still associated with using mental health services.

So this is my Personal Best, which I dedicate to World Mental Health Day 2013. I’m coming out.

Like one in four members of the population, I too have experienced mental illness; in my case depression, anxiety and the occasional bit of mania. I’ve been told I was a waste of space by an accident and emergency nurse while he washed out my stomach after an overdose. I’ve sat opposite a psychiatrist and been unable to find an answer when pressed to think of a reason for living. And I know how it feels to be an utter disappointment to my parents, teachers and friends.

Managing wellbeing

It would be a cop out to say that this was many years ago. Some of it was, but it is also right here and now. I have learned, by trial and error, ways to manage my wellbeing. I use mindfulness meditation and cognitive behavioural therapy. I gave up alcohol 12 years ago because I’m bad at moderation and it was a trigger for feeling ghastly. I suffer if I don’t exercise, outside if possible, and I need healthy food. I’m married to the kindest of men, and have a wonderful family and amazing friends. Some of this is luck, but there is judgement involved.

A major part of staying well is doing a job that stretches, motivates and moves me, although it’s tough and daily I face things that are deeply distressing. Suicide is devastating for families, but also very tough on staff, whether or not we learn with hindsight we could have prevented it. The 24/7 responsibility of being the accountable officer of high risk services, especially these days, weighs heavily. And I really hate conflict.

But I also love my job. We change people’s lives for the better. I love the continuity of having started my NHS career as a nursing assistant at a learning disability hospital in Sussex − over 40 years it has evolved into one of the best services my trust runs today. I love our patients; their bravery, quirkiness and the almost impossible challenges they pose. And I love our staff, for their kindness, endless patience, intelligence and long term commitment to people others may have given up on.

Shift in attitudes

I’ve recently told my board I plan to leave Sussex Partnership next summer, when I’m 59. That’s all part of my personal care plan. In my 13th year, I’m getting ready to leave well and to have some time out to think about my next thing.

I talked to Sue Baker at Time To Change before taking the plunge to write this. She clinched it. Over the last five years there has been a considerable shift in public attitudes towards those who experience mental illness, although still a way to go. Sadly, the ones who’ve shown the least change are NHS staff, including senior leaders. Expectations of people’s ability to live full and productive lives despite having experienced mental illness remain low.

Some readers might think my disclosure is self-indulgent psychobabble. Others may feel that someone so flaky shouldn’t be running a big mental health trust. My reason for writing it is because of views like these.

As I look back over the last 12 years, I’m proud that despite occasional days when I can barely face getting out of bed, I hold down a responsible job and am respected by my team, staff, peers and the people we serve. I said back in January that I wasn’t always CBE material. But I’ve done my very best with the material I’ve got. And that’s what Personal Bests are all about.

With love and thanks to Sue Baker of Time to Change, Steve Moore at Britain’s Personal Best, HSJ’s Shaun Lintern, my wonderful chairman and team. And to Betty, Steve, Alice and Joey.

Lisa Rodrigues is chief executive at Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust

———————————————————- That is a Brilliant Article —————————————————–

Roger’s thoughts on this article reproduced from http://www.hsj.co.uk/5063806.article#.Uk5qnCSkqxV:

I love the idea of doing our personal best rather than having to do what others expect of us,

Thinking about rethinkingbipolar the thing that really stood out for me was Lisa saying,

“I too have experienced mental illness; in my case depression, anxiety and the occasional bit of mania.”

So easily, Lisa could have said that she had ‘bipolar’ or ‘something like bipolar’ but instead she has chosen not to label herself in this article. Do any of us need to use the labels that psychiatrists use? I suspect that almost everyone who has read this blog could also say, “I too have experienced mental illness; in my case depression, anxiety and the occasional bit of mania.” None of us has to say the word BIPOLAR.

Bipolar? Stop blogging when unwell

Roger A SmithI have heard it said that, “When we are not well we are more likely to say something daft.” It is probably true.

Last autumn I listened to Mary Ellen Copeland speaking at a conference in Manchester. One piece of advice she gave was not to write anything online while unwell. It is generally good advice. However, if we feel unwell month after month (for example: if being divorced and having been made homeless) then there is a risk that we will never write anything again.

I have kept pretty quiet for a year, while my wife’s solicitor has been monitoring my blog. As I understand the situation, if they can prove I have an illness that will shorten my life expectancy then my wife will get a greater share of my pension based on her needing more money as she does not have a life shortening illness.

The reality with the bipolar label is that it is the drugs that come with the label that are the main cause of lives being shortened. I was certainly getting very unwell while on lithium and olanzapine. Since gradually coming off these a few years ago I have lost weight and generally got fitter. My GP does not see me as someone especially likely to die young. However, the decision will be made by the pension company based I guess on my medical records.

This leaves only one option and that is to get as fit as I can and do what I can to ensure my medical records correctly describe how I am now, which is not ‘bipolar’ these days.

Am I well enough to be blogging? I don’t know. You tell me. I look forward to any responses to this first blog for a while.


Moving forward #rethinkingbipolar

Yesterday’s funeral was especially difficult. It always is when our friends are dying are so young.  Fortunately, the burial plot was well sheltered from the wind and the sun came out for the service. We were offered some herbs we could drop down into the grave on the coffin if we wanted to. As I did this I promised my friend (it seemed rational at the time to be making a promise to a dead person) that I would make a big difference in the world to help others avoid the bipolar label that took his life. – I say ‘that took his life’ because I know only too well how we are taught in hospital and reminded constantly of the suicide option. I am not saying the nurses do this on purpose, but the question is always there. Even my excellent GP is obliged to ask in various ways if I am going to be alright… essentially her job requires her to ask me about suicide… I struggle with this aspect of the mental illness system. My feeling is that thinking about it again and again is not good, because when things go very wrong it is an option that pops into the heads of all us people who have been trained at some time to believe we are the ones most likely to take our own lives. It becomes for many a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The blots keep showing through #bipolarlabel

I turn over a new leaf every day but the blots keep showing through is an idea from “Billy Liar by Laurie Lee?

I often feel my life is like this. Each day I try to live without bipolar disorder but it is always there. I do not believe I have a definable illness or disorder called bipolar, but what I have is a label… In the UK anyone labelled with bipolar disorder by the NHS is considered labelled for life. There is no system for removing the label no matter what we do. Yes, you can have a big argument with a psychiatrist and be relabeled with a personality disorder, but once labelled by a psychiatrist you can never get rid of the label. It stays on your health records for ever.

Why does this matter to me?

  1. It is very hard to forget… Not a day has gone by in the last 14 years when I have not thought about the consequences of having this label. In fact, I rarely go for a few minutes without remembering how I have been labelled. It is there at the front of my mind all the time. It is often difficult to think of anything else other than having this label that has been killing me.
  2. Being labelled as ‘severely mentally ill’ makes it very difficult to get back into meaningful work. A few people, such as Stephen Fry, are able to work without being held back by being labelled. For most of us though, employers find it hard to know what to do when a potential employee has been labelled as severely mentally ill.

Why mention this now?

Sometime soon I am going to be meeting with health professionals to discuss the severe anxiety I have been suffering in recent months. I am struggling as much as I was back in 1998, although without the mood swings induced by psychiatric drugs. These struggles with anxiety do not have to be labelled as bipolar disorder. Although I have learned a lot about coping I now have the health problems caused by having taking prescribed drugs, as well as the effects of having this label round my neck to contend with on top of the distress I am facing every day. I am not looking for medication. Some sort of therapy would be nice, but I am not good at explaining just how bad things have been so I am not expecting miracles.

I still have a vague hope that I can be ‘undiagnosed’. That somehow the psychiatrists can look back at my medical notes and say, “You know what, all those symptoms we saw are things that happen to people when they get very anxious and drugs are involved. I tell you what we are going to re-diagnose you as suffering from extreme anxiety.” Maybe they will decide that the stress I suffered was enough to cause PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, as this has similar symptoms to bipolar.

It is a crazy idea. Just suggesting to a psychiatrist that you do not have the disorder they say you have is a dangerous thing to do.

Yes, I have met with critical doctors and critical psychiatrists who looking at my history can confirm to me that I do not naturally have extremes of mania and depression. However, these people are powerless to change my medical record. Only one man can do this. He is all powerful and it seems to me, he controls everything about how I will be living the rest of my life. I have never met him face to face and dread the prospect.

If he reads this, he will most likely pick up on my gloomy outlook… and a gloomy outlook will look to him like depression, to which he will be able to say, “That proves we were right all along, he is a typical manic depressive/bipolar person”.

I do keep trying. I do keep turning over a new leaf. Unfortunately the blot created in 1998 after taking one tranquilizer tablet that made me less tranquil, an ‘antipsychotic’ that made me psychotic, an ‘antidepressant’ that made me depressed and then high… is a blot that keeps on showing through.

Sorry to be so gloomy but it is true… at this time bipolar is for life… my advice to readers is try not to get the diagnosis in the first place.

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