When I first started vlogging on Youtube I made a video series called “Beating Bipolar Step 1-6″
The first video introduces the series and talks about distancing yourself from stressful or mentally ill people in order to therapy yourself without being brought down by other people. It is an older video and the it was made on the weaker of the two laptops we have so the frames and voice are not as smooth as the videos I have made of late. You can watch it here
I went on to describe in other videos, a number of factors one can micro manage in order to control and remit mental health symptoms.
Some of the critical components are:
Media and entertainment choices
Lighting and environment.
You can even use the *bipolar* aspect of your personality and mood swings to create a better mind-body space for yourself. That’s right you can use the bipolar mood swings to your advantage. I explain how this is done here in this video.
I have repeated myself in several videos. I have gone on to pinpoint specifics such as taking up tai chi and yoga regularly .
I told people to quit smoking, take fish oil, supplements and eat organic food. I told people to drink enough water, get enough sleep, make a routine ritual of personal and private relaxation time. I told people to stay away from toxic and disturbed people because they will never heal you and only drag you down to their level. I told people to experiment with their diet, with sound, lighting and different movement therapies.
These days it seems that a lot of Bipolar people are hip to this stuff. I get correspondence and comments on my videos to the effect of.
“Hi Jane, I do all that stuff you say to do. I take (insert supplements x,y,z) I do yoga, drink water and I quit smoking. I stay away from toxic people, take melatonin and get enough sleep. I am still depressed! I am still manic! I still have anxiety! What I am doing wrong?”
My answer is this. No one specific positive wellness choice is going to banish your mental health problems. I know some people think otherwise. I have seen videos, website and blogs where people say.” Oh I cured myself of bipolar and it turned out I just needed to get X,Y and Z out of my life and Poof! All my troubles went away. One woman on youtube experience was that her hidden gluten allergy caused all her depression and that getting off gluten permanently cured her. No more therapy and drugs. Wonderful! I think that is great.
Do you think if you folks stopped eating all gluten your bipolar would just go away? Maybe it will. She and others like were fortunate that making a dietary change was enough to remit their symptoms.
Most of us are not as lucky. The rubik’s cube of mind-body wellness is bigger than just diet. For some of us diet and nutrition is not enough. If dietary changes do not put your depression, anxiety, mania or other health problems into remission, then your search for a cure may need to shift elsewhere. Nutrition builds a healthy body and helps ward off physical problems which have negative mental health effects. She was lucky that gluten allergy was her issue. For the rest of us, diet and nutrition is but one facet of total wellness and mental health management.
My answer to people that tell me they are doing everything right in terms of mind-body wellness and who still remain symptomatic is, are you meditating?
Meditation was the key element, the Rosetta stone, the master switch. Meditation saved my life. Meditation totally reprogrammed my mind and personality and really made me into a newer and better person than I was.
Unlike some psychiatric medications which cause long term brain damage, meditation rebuilds the brain. It will grow a bigger, denser and stress resistant brain. It heals the delicate structures and cells of the brain, rather than killing them off like Agent Orange or chemotherapy. Meditation is scientifically proven to grow a smarter healthier more elastic brain. It clears the fog and creates stillness of thought and mood.
Here is a video I made about the latest research discoveries in brain science.
With all things being equal, if you and I have bipolar, and we both do everything right. We have perfect stress management and holistic health. The reason I am cured and you are not is because I changed my brain structure and grew a healthier, more powerful, more focused and more relaxed mind through meditation.
Then I get some people who write to me to say, “Hey Jane, I practice meditation and it does not work. I am still symptomatic.”
I have already shown you folks, that meditation is scientifically proven to rebuild the brain and make a stronger more cognitively and emotionally stable mind.
If you have not received those effects in your meditation practice. Then in all likelihood, you are either:
A: Not meditating enough
B: Not actually meditating, or meditating improperly
I explain all this here in this video
You can hate for me saying so, but I have to be honest with you. I have had a woman roundly castigate me for daring to tell her she might be meditating wrong. She had told me in no uncertain terms, “Well I tried meditation and it did not work”
Meditation is my life’s work. I was able to cure myself of mental illness using a scientifically proven means of changing brain structure permanently. I have been studying this subject all my life.
It is unreasonable expect to sit for 10 minutes a day painting visualizations in your head and expect to permanently beat bipolar. It is not going to happen. By the time all my symptoms had gone into remission I had put over 10,000 hours into meditative practice. In order to get the same effects I did you have to:
A. Learn to meditate properly.
B. Meditate for prolonged periods of time.
In the final analysis, meditation is what healed my mental illness. My depression had gone into remission over a decade ago. In fact almost 12 years ago now.
Until 8 years ago, I still hated myself deep inside and I psychically self injured from time to time. I was still effected by psycho-emotional triggers, anxiety, compulsive behavior and the hurricane in my thoughts and mind remained for some time.
Meditation does not work over night. You have to be patient as you are leveling out and flexing mental muscles and you will experience your symptoms, sometimes intensely. I kept at it and won freedom from suffering. Then my mind was still, my anxiety was gone and I discovered self love. All this I explain in this video.
There you have it. I wish Dr Kay Jamison, who loves looking at CT,MRI and PET brain scans of depressed,bipolar and schizophrenic people, would have a chat with Dr Sarah Lazar and take a look at Dr. Lazar’s PET, fMRI and CT scans of Tibetan Monks and connect the dots. There is this science division separation going on. Dr Kay Jamison never tried meditation to deal with her mental illness. I have read tons of her work. She never tried learning meditation. So she has not tried everything to deal with her manic depression.
After growing up with child abuse and trauma. After 20 years of the most severe and unmanaged Bipolar Disorder symptoms. My brain scan should be a denuded wasteland.
I know that is my brain is not a wasteland. Year by year my brain gets healthier and stronger. I reprogrammed my mind with meditation successfully. It took time a long time to grow a meditation circuit in my brain. It did not however, take a lifetime. In fact, it took five years to get there and another five years just to be sure. Just to be safe.
Considering the fact that when I started this, I did it reluctantly. As I did not want to be here anymore. When you have nothing else to deal with but you. You come face to face with your inner world and you experience your mind and all that it is in it. You either construct a newer better personality matrix out of the primal chaos, or you lose your mind. Having faced the decision to euthanize myself at age 20. I had resolve and will. From having looked down at my own body. I know that that nothing, absolutely nothing I can experience while in this body is the real me. It can not touch your real core. It can obscure your being. Like permanently dark, foggy, rainy night. But deep inside it all. You are still there. You take none of that *stuff* with you when you cross over. If you plan on staying here. You either suffer it or you have to transcend it. Failing that, you have to become one with it.
I will tell you what folks. In all humility ( and confidence ) I would gladly submit myself to PET or fMRI scan to prove this. I would love for Dr Lazar to explain to Dr. Jamison what she is looking at in my brain images. I am guessing there is no evidence of brain damage at all. My brain scan will scan like a Tibetan Monk while I am meditating. I know it.
How many suicidal, depressed or manic Zen, Taoist, Buddhist, or Tibetan nuns or monks have you met?
One of the things I learned in the process of meditating for over ten thousand hours is this.
It does not need to take ten thousand hours, once you learn how to meditate properly and the tricks to stabilizing your mind and emotions.