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Today our guest is Dr. Ellen Vora, MD and Holistic Psychiatrist. We loved our previous chat with her about about anxiety and this time she’s back to speak about bipolar. Ellen says she is here to do something a little bit different than other psychiatrists, which is to help people who either want to manage mental illness holistically and never go on medication in the first place, or work with people that want to do the hard, slow work of getting off it. She shares innumerable tips in this episode, including how upping magnesium intake, keeping blood sugar levels stable and addressing thyroid problems have really helped her patients with bipolar. As with other health issues, diet and lifestyle are key to avoiding or minimizing problems (our key takeaways: aim to sleep like a kitten and step away from the pancakes). We also chat about how psychedelics can be useful for treating a range of conditions but are not safe for people with bipolar. 

Special note: If you are struggling with bipolar, depression or any other mental health issues, or if you know somebody that is, help is available at any time on the suicide prevention hotline on 1-800-273-8255.

Dr. Ellen Vora talks about...

  • The different types of bipolar and the ways it can manifest

  • Tools for diagnosing it and how it is sometimes over-diagnosed 

  • How she helps patients treat their bipolar holistically 

  • How SSRI antidepressants can cause bipolar episodes in people who are predisposed

  • Following a disciplined diet and lifestyle can be the key to transitioning off of some seriously scary meds that are used to treat disorders like bipolar

  • How bipolar tends to travel genetically with things like celiac disease, thyroid, autoimmune illness and alcohol abuse

  • Other hidden and surprising triggers...ahem, GLUTEN.  

  • How Klonopin and other "benzos" are being handed out WAY too cavalierly, and withdrawal from those drugs is no joke 

  • Microdosing with drugs such as Lithium as a potential treatment option