Ok, here is some back story. I've been diagnosed bipolar I for about 3 or 4 years now, I've done meds and then stopped treatment completely about a year ago. I'm a college student and my symptoms have really wreaked havoc on my transcript and now I'm having to file an appeal for financial aid to be able to finish out my last year. I really didn't have a better excuse for all of the failed and dropped classes over the past several semesters other than that I'm crazy and have had to seek out treatment from my psychiatrist again and get back on meds to show I'm "making the effort" to get through this last year successfully and get my financial aid back.
I've been an off and on paleo dieter for about the last year but have had trouble sticking with it solidly for whatever reasons (lack of money, lack of will power, I'm a recovered anorexic binge-eater with lots of food issues, etc.). I do truly believe that eating a clean paleo diet does help with my mood (not necessarily social phobia/anxiety issues, but my mood seems more stable unless I face a large stressor or traumatic event which still tends to throw me off the deep end). I tried to do fish oil for a bit but it became hard to afford that extra bit and dropped it (I've read that this can be helpful for treating bipolar), but other than that I haven't tried many natural ways of treating other than trying to avoid too much stress when possible.
So, now I've been prescribed Zyprexa, which from what I've been reading there is really nothing I like about it. I've read it works very well for stabilizing mood and might even help with anxiety (as an add-on) but it seems to be one of the worst for weight gain and also carries the risk of causing development of diabetes with long term use. I have expressed to my pdoc that I am EXTREMELY against gaining weight. I've took Seroquel for maybe 3 months and gained 60 lbs, and it is the same type of med (atypical antipsychotic). She told me that not everyone reacts that way (although I have before to a similar med) and that's why they weigh me every time I come in because if I gain any weight she will take me off of it. I have my follow up appt in 2 weeks, but I honestly don't know about taking this stuff AT ALL. It is kind of freaking me out. Even if I do give it a go I think I will just tell her at my appt in two weeks that I'm not cool with taking something that can cause such serious medical issues (obesity and diabetes, namely). I am already a bit overweight (about 40-60 lbs I could do without) and much of it is actually from my stint on Seroquel. I am taking 5 mg daily for these first two weeks, so if anyone has any experience with this med (or similar ones) let me know what you think about just going with it for the two weeks. I'm afraid if I refuse to take it or tell them I've decided I don't want to do meds that they won't approve my appeal and let me finish school.
I have been trying to research other options for rx treatment of bipolar disorder that does not have the weight gain or hyperglycemia issues but the two that I've found info on are two that I've been on and probably can't do again. The first is Abilify, all I remember is that when the dose was raised to a certain point I had SEVERE issues with involuntary movements in my facial muscles, mouth, and tongue and my anxiety went through the roof and to the moon. I don't know if it would be worth it to try it at the lower dose I was initially on that didn't cause these problems and see if it works. The other med is Lamictal, which worked GREAT for me, I really liked it, but I had a reaction to it and ended up in the ER with my mouth and throat swelling and I don't think they would even ever prescribe it to me again (Lamictal rash and all that business). So if anyone happens to know of any other RX treatments that don't make you fat or give you diabetes, let me know. (I know nobody probably really approves of any of this stuff, and neither do I really, but just having the info could help me work with my pdoc).
Lastly, if anyone has any experience, knows of some research or has any ideas of how natural supplementation can and has helped with both bipolar disorder and social phobia/generalized anxiety disorder (all my diagnoses) such as the fish oil stuff I've read, maybe these are things I could talk to my pdoc about trying out and she could still monitor me (so I can show the school I'm still in "treatment") all ideas are welcome! And you are welcome to chastise me about using prescription psychotropic meds as well if you like, give it to me straight! I am REALLY going to try and stick to paleo (if I do take the zyprexa or something similar definitely low carb probably to try and prevent the weight gain) but I'm already worried about it because finances are going to be extremely tight, so it will be like the worst version of paleo probably (lots of factory farmed chicken and pork and BHT containing lard and stuff like that I'm thinking). Better than ramen, that's for sure.
Sorry so long (I'm wordy) and thanks in advance :)