Not just bipolar – staying healthy by avoiding ‘ultra-processed foods’ #ADHD

Ultra-processed foods – I am thinking “ultra-processed” may be a useful term, as avoiding all processed foods is too difficult for most people.

e.g. Boiling organic potatoes at home and mashing these with organic butter is food processing…. But compared with… say, making the same potatoes into crisps with about 6 ingredients and cooking such as the water content gets so low the crisps can be stored for a year is surely a lot more processing

This morning I am thinking that, “As most people want to eat processed foods, health may be improved quite a bit just by avoiding the most processed (ultra-processed) foods and going for some really simple processing… e.g. oats cooked in a saucepan with only water and natural rock salt added. This would seem to be fairly low processing.

Article on ultra-processed foods: https://thehealthsciencesacademy.org/science-catch-up/science-catch-up-25/#topic5

((( based on this – after a quick look at where this information came from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27733404 I am thinking that any result other than the people who eat the most biscuits getting fattest would have been odd! )))

I am adding #ADHD to the title above because one of the best things to do for reducing ADHD and bipolar symptoms is to avoid foods with a lot of added chemicals.

Feelings, energy and thinking – its normal, not #bipolar

feelings and energy and thinking

Emotions can be considered to be a mix of our feelings, our energy and our thinking.

Perhaps almost everything now called ‘mental illness’ may really be ’emotional distress’.

Calling it something different does not solve our problems. It is just that when we recognize our troubles are to with emotions rather than being an illness or a specific disorder, then we can help ourselves and help those we care for by gaining a better understanding of emotions.

 

Emotions are made of… #moodmapping #bipolarrecovery

Emotions are made of…

As a stress adviser I found this diagram to be useful showing emotions to have three components:

emotional health

Emotion

The arrows are there to show how:

  • The way we feel can affect our energy and our thinking.
  • Our energy can affect the way we feel and the way we think.
  • Thoughts can affect our energy levels and our feelings.

I was told I had a mental illness. ‘Mental’ being to do with thinking, it made sense to me that if I could improve my thinking that would sort out my problems. In fact, improving the way I was thinking did help me to recover.  I wrote about this my first book, Stop Paddling/Start Sailing. Readers have told me how much it has helped them.

The reality is, thinking alone does not provide lasting recovery or build resilience. If your feelings and energy levels are kind of out of control then simply reading Stop Paddling/Start Sailing is unlikely to do much towards a full and long lasting recovery.

Eventually, I was amazed and delighted to discovered I was not mentally ill. I was not even ill. I had a mood problem and for this  I needed to understand that FEELINGS and ENERGY are the components mood. Knowing more about how to feel differently and have more control of energy levels turns out to be an excellent place to start recovering from being labelled with bipolar disorder.

Next time… Looking at Feelings and Energy to provide a balanced approach to having moods that are good for you and those you live with.

Bipolar Recovery Bite-size – Mood Mapping #moodmapping

Two years ago I was writing ‘Bipolar Recovery Bite-size’.  This was to explain how I and others had come to understand what had happened to us and so recovered from the diagnosis. The reason for ‘bite-size’ was that emotional disturbances can make it difficult to read long articles – The challenge became one of sharing this important information in small chunks/bites.

I have started updating all the bipolar recovery bites and over the next few weeks hope to share the new versions here at Rethinking Bipolar

1.What are emotions made of?

Fourteen years ago as a patient on an acute psychiatric ward I was told I had an emotional disorder that would need to be treated with medication for the rest of my life. I was given a label, “Manic depressive”. There was no explanation of emotions, what was causing the disorder or what I could do other than take tablets.

I wonder how different the next few years of my life would have been if the psychiatrist had been able to explain to me something about emotions.

Perhaps he thought I was too ill to understand or perhaps he did not know how to explain?

We all have an idea what emotions are and yet we all seem to explain emotions in different ways. Emotions mean different things to different people.

 Before reading bite 2 , “Emotions Are Made Of…”, how would you describe emotion? 

And our target is…

To avoid, overcome or eliminate a disorder we have to be a bit cleverer than just looking at what we are trying to avoid.

Mood Map Miller

Calm moods instead of diagnosis?

On workshops I have given students cards with symptoms of bipolar disorder written on the cards.

I have asked the students to place the symptoms on a mood map according to which of the four main moods the symptoms seem to show.

At the end of the exercise the symptoms are spread out across the depressive, anxious and active sectors. It seems that the bipolar diagnosis picks up people who are exceptional at being in either two or three of these states. The people who get the diagnosis will have been seen being both depressed and anxious, or depressed and active or anxious and active. The third of these may come as a surprise, as surely you have to be seen to be depressed to be diagnosed as manic-depressive? We can come back to that another time.

With a set of say 40 typical bipolar symptoms it is rare that the students will place any of the symptoms in the fourth quadrant of the mood map. The calm quadrant remains pretty well empty. It is this quirk that only seems to be revealed by mood mapping that gives us our target and our big break in combating bipolar disorder diagnosis.

Rather than looking at one symptom after another and thinking, “I must avoid that”, “I must stop doing that”, now we can start with a mood to aim for rather than moods to avoid.

I am interested to hear from readers who have achieved a better life by being calmer.

I am interested to hear from readers who know why calmer is a great target, yet not the ‘be all and end all’/’ultimate aim’ if you want to avoid a bipolar diagnosis.

%d bloggers like this: