People who have bi-polar disorders, extreme swings of mood that range between excessive euphoria and crushing depression, are often prescribed anti-depressants like Prozac by doctors and psychiatrists. While severe cases can benefit from such medications, these pills are over-prescribed and often ineffective against many other cases. Further, they cause terrible side effects that are often worse than the condition itself.
Physicians generally do not advise their patients to either alter their diets or to take mega doses of vitamins. This is because doctors, for the most part, are paid to serve the drug companies who do not invest in holistic therapies. However much research has proven that many sufferers of bi polar disorders, along with other psychiatric conditions, are lacking in basic vitamins and minerals. Once these are re-introduced, these individuals often report a leveling of mood and an increase in overall well-being.
The Orthomolecular Approach to Mental Health
Physicians and other health practicioners who advocate for changes in diet and vitamin therapy are have interests in orthomolecular research. They examine the role that vitamins, minerals and amino acids play in regulating the body’s neurotransmitters. For instance, they may request a history of the patient’s nutritional intake and analyze it for potential allergies or toxins that the individual ingests on a regular basis.
Many people with mental health disorders also have food allergies. The most common ones are milk and other dairy products, yeast or wheat and refined sugars. Also, due to a mania which prevents them from eating properly timed meals or a depression that might impede them from eating at all, bipolar patients may also have vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
How Mega Vitamin Dosages Help Mood Disorders
Mega vitamin therapy dates back to the 1950s but it has only been recently popularized.It involves daily dosages of vitamins up to 10 times the RDA (recommended daily allowance). Trials of mega vitamins first involved only the B vitamin, but have since progressed to including C, zinc and other trace minerals.
While vitamins A, D and Selenium are believed to be toxic in large doses, all the other vitamins and minerals can be taken in excessive amounts without any side effects. In mood disorders, the brain can be literally starved for certain vitamins and minerals, causing the molecules to be negatively affected.
While maintaining a healthy diet is important, most people still don’t obtain the amount of vitamins they need to be psychologically balanced.
Taking these megavitamins may be more expensive than resorting to antidepressants, but they have no side effects and produce a marked upswing in mood shifts among many sufferers. The full effect of megavitamin therapy may not be felt for several months. If the patient is taking anti-depressants they will wean themselves off the drug and onto the vitamin therapy slowly with the facilitative support of an orthomolecular specialist.