Friday, February 29, 2008

Mind-Body Connection (Part 2)

Although I plan to continue reading about Qigong, my interest in yesterday's post was about Dr. Larry's Dossey. If you recall, the symptoms he was experiencing in medical school included migraine headaches, and recurrent episodes of blindness, nausea, and incapacitation, which was compounded by anxiety, stress, and overwork.

Those symptoms are certainly worse than any I have experienced during a depressive episode. I wonder what label they attached to Dr. Dossey's symptoms. If his medical adviser had labeled him "mentally ill," I wonder how Dr. Dossey's life would have turned out. If his medical adviser had recommended that he leave medical school rather than staying, I wonder what Dr. Dossey would be doing today.

I wonder what effect biofeedback and meditation have on bipolar disorder. I'm sorry that I don't have the answer today. Over the next few weeks, I will research biofeedback and meditation as they relate to bipolar disorder.

If anyone who is bipolar has tried biofeedback or meditation, please let us know. You can write about it in your own blog and I will link to you.

I do know that meditation has been shown to have a impact on depression. Yesterday afternoon, I bought the book The Mindful Way through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness by Mark Milliams, John Teasdale, Zindel Segal, and Jon-Kabat Zinn.

In the coming weeks, I will be discussing these topics and others. However, next week I need to edit my Ebook, Bipolar Depression Unplugged: A Survivor Speaks Out , which soon will be coming out as a paperback. So I will only be posting quotes--great ones no doubt--rather than longer posts.

Have a great week!


JayPeeFreely said...

I wish I could get to the bookstore and read some of these & gas? (I wish I could use water or snow to run a car, it would be so much easier..)

Have a Great Weekend!

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

I wish you could too!


Syd said...

This sounds really intriguing. Please keep us posted on what you learn as you explore these alternative healing methods. It would be wonderful to find that there's something that may be able to provide some relief! Thanks for your efforts to educate us all.

Cami Black said...

Susan, in the paper on 2/27, reporter Jane Haas did an interview with Terri Cheney, a successful Los Angeles attorney who was diagnosed with manic depression at age 34. She wrote a book, Manic, just out. She has been "stable" for three to five years. She's a big fan of medication. It took years to get the right "cocktail," she says.
Glad to hear your book will be out soon. Cami

Cami Black said...

Susan...on 2/27 reporter Jane Haas had an interview with Terri Cheney, a successful Los Angeles attorney, who was diagnosed with manic depression when she was 34. It took her 7 years to write her book, Manic, which just came out.
She has been "stable" now for 3-5 years. It took her years to find the right "cocktail." She is a big fan of medication. Glad to hear your book will be coming out soon. Love, Cami

Aimee said...

Just to share my experiences -

I have tried both meditation and biofeedback for treating my rather mild bipolar II condition. I can see the impact of the meditation sessions most clearly when I attend on-site retreats, where you don’t have to worry about anything besides attending the sessions and participating, all day. Usually it takes me a few days in a retreat setting, and then my otherwise-daily symptoms disappear for up to 10 days at a time, well past the period of the retreat. Otherwise, when I meditate on a daily basis but not for hours at a time, I believe it is useful generally but I haven’t been able to track any association with reduced symptoms of either hypomania or depression. It’s hard to do sitting meditations when I’m hypomanic, but walking meditation is more do-able at those times.

For biofeedback, I’ve tried neuro-biofeedback, using electrodes attached to my scalp, with an associated exercise to make colored bars on a computer screen move by changing my thought patterns. Apparently there are studies that have mapped out which areas of the brain are over- or under-active in depression, and these areas can be targeted by these feedback exercises. My treating physician wasn’t able to point to any research showing that this treatment is applicable to bipolar patients, however. I can’t say I saw much effect of the treatment, but I only completed three or four sessions. The thought patterns that “worked” were basically similar to what I would experience from reading a book with great attention, without letting my mind wander for a moment (which is hard work in itself). It was hugely expensive; a fit of hypomanic impulsiveness, actually.

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Dear Aimee,
Thanks for letting us know. I'm going to continue to research these options for myself, but it's always helpful to know what's working and what's not for others.

I appreciate your comments!


Mariposa said...

First time here...and I'm sure to be coming back...I'm including you in my blogroll too!

I'm been diagnosed with BP...well, they did try to give me all the pc statements about and I was into some meds...that was years I'm free from any meds...but I see my neuro and cardio regularly...the only thing rampant iin my downs are stress and did I manage? Meditation...physical activities and I'm seeing a spiritual director...