Background to A Path Not Taken

Posted by on Nov 5, 2011 in Dave's Blog | 2 comments
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Welcome to “A Path Not Taken.” To see an introductory video click on “Read More.” In my first book, Too Good to be True? Nutrients Quiet the Unquiet Brain, published in 2003, I shared my family’s four generation bipolar odyssey.  Some of you sent me emails thanking me for the positive contribution that book made in your own life and the lives of your loved ones.  Some of you used some of the interventions discussed in that book to successfully withdraw from taking psychiatric medications. Others of you continued to struggle as did our family.

Having finally given up the search for the cause or causes of a mental disorder called bipolar disorder, I continued studying the medical literature. Learning about relevant measurable bio markers that are routinely neglected by those providing mental health care services led me to rethink the very concept of mental disorders

In early 2013 two new books will be published that share this perspective. Ten Ways to keep your Brain from Screaming “OUCH!” is a compendium of interventions designed to, well, figuratively keep your brain from screaming ouch. Beyond Mental Illness discusses the shortcomings of the current and pending Diagnostic and Statistical Manuals IV and V, some of the factors that keep us stuck in the past as well as examples of novel biologically based diagnoses that could and should be the focus of treatment for the so called “mentally ill,” or as I now prefer to say, those with bio behavioral syndromes.

The implications of these books have direct application to Chris, my 37year old son who has been hospitalized far too many times with manic psychoses as well as the the thousands of sons and and daughters currently destined to a life of chronic disabling mental illness.

Here is the good news. After years of futile efforts to get my son’s psychiatrists to treat some of these biomarkers, we finally found a doctor who is not only willing to read some of what I have written but who actually agrees with it. We are starting over again. Recurrent episodes, my becoming his conservator,  completion of the drafts of the two books, the doctor’s willingness to consider new ideas and my son’s willingness to engage in this process again has led us to begin anew to find and fix what is wrong with him.

In this blog, we hope to share less of an odyssey and more of a journey towards health. Chris has agreed to share his reactions and experiences and I will do the same. Exciting new technological developments promise to help us to discuss issues raised but not resolved in my first book. One of the biggest issues is whether or not Chris has chronic Lyme disease.


  1. What was the EMpower plus thing mentioned? is that a powder that is added to drink? I am not sure if I take that or not (although I do take liquid multivitimin drinks daily). My mother collects hundreds or thousands of nutrients, and it is sad I take only a handfull, though it is hard for me to swallow so many pills in addition when I am taking four drugs, three doses of antibiotics, herbs, and probriotics as a regimen each day. As far as lyme tests go I have my doubts because while mainstream ones say negative, a special sequestered lab can say positive, so I have it, but what lab is right?

    • I dated a woman once who was bi-polar. Every time she went through a despesrive stage I would hold her in my arms all night long and tell her everything was going to be ok. She would tell me about why she was sad and I would stay with her until it was over. One time I asked her what was wrong and she told me she didn’t like her toothbrush. That was when I realized that she would never be better, that I couldn’t take all her pain away, that I was helpless with her problems.Later, I went into healthcare. At one point I got one of my MR residents diagnosed as bi-polar (they incorrectly thought he had obsessive compulsive disorder). When he was manic he would be easily distracted, in the middle of a conversation he would start cleaning his apartment because it was dirty. He would do this for hours at a time even if there were other more pressing things to do. When he finally had a despesrive episode he would lie in bed and lack the energy to even get up. The medicine helped but left him feeling like he couldn’t experience emotions (it took the highs & lows away).I remember a third person who was obsessed with germs, when she was in a manic state she would shower dozens of times a day. She would actually run her books and notebooks through the dishwasher to keep them germ free.Manic Depressive behaviour often looks a lot like OCD, except in OCD people realize what they are doing is silly they just don’t feel comfortable not doing it. With bipolar they don’t realize there is anything wrong with thier behaviour.It can be very difficult to live with someone with Bipolar, and it requires a special kind of love.Good luck with the book NOTE: manic / despesrive cycles are very long, usually weeks or months shorter cycles (hours or days) are a different disorder.

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