Hormone Imbalance Can Cause Mental IllnessHormone Balance for Mental Health
The late Dr. John Lee was a visionary. He recognized estrogen dominance was condition that millions of men and women had, but one that was rarely being treated or acknowledged by the medical community. But just because something isn’t recognized, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
Estrogen dominance is a condition that Dr. Lee coined. It’s a condition where estrogen operates in the body without sufficient amounts of progesterone to balance it. So estrogen dominance and progesterone deficiency can be used interchangeably.
It’s a condition that I had and one that I now manage, thanks to the help of Dr. Lee.
I was 19 when I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. And the only reason I went to the doctor was because I had stopped bathing and brushing my teeth. I went to the doctor for no other reason.
I called my family doctor to discuss my hygiene problems and was told that I was being referred to a specialist. I had no idea the specialist was a psychiatrist and that my life was about to change forever.
I laugh now because it’s clear. I was being referred to a psychiatrist because my doctor knew I was mentally sick, but I didn’t know it.
I eventually made it to my referral appointment and told my psychiatrist how I was having problems bathing and brushing my teeth and sleeping. I told her how depressed I was and how I cried all the time and how I wished I was dead.
She asked me if anything stressful or tragic had happened in my life recently to cause these feelings. I told her “no.” My life wasn’t perfect, but nothing had happened to me to warrant those feelings.
So that was it. We talked and I wanted to die.
After we talked, she left her office and came back with a pamphlet and prescription pad.
She asked me if I had ever heard of bipolar disorder and she said the reason that she had asked was because that’s what I had.
She told me I had bipolar disorder as if I had won a prize. Like I had chosen the right curtain on “Let’s Make a Deal” and a shiny new car was waiting on me.
I was sick. A piece of me died.
I wanted to turn back time. I wished I had never gone to the doctor.
I wanted to go back to being that carefree girl who wasn’t bathing or brushing her teeth, but at least she thought she was healthy.
I would have given anything to be that girl again.
So from that moment on, I became determined to deny my disease. I suppressed every memory of that day whenever it sprang up.
The doctor gave me prescription for Zoloft. I swallowed one pill and flushed the rest down the toilet. She told me to make an appointment to see her again in two weeks. I basically told her to kiss me where the sun didn’t shine and skipped out the door.
I was wreck.
I’m not against psychiatry or psychiatrists, I was just afraid to take powerful medicines when no one really knew what was causing my bipolar disorder.
And so I did more running. I had a nervous breakdown.
I was alcohol poisoned twice. Hospitalized once.
I had wild, random sex. I was living on the edge.
My thoughts raced so fast they skipped out of my brain. I was in outer space.
My head ached so bad I thought I was having aneurysms.
I hated my life.
And then there were the ghosts that visited me every night. Howling beside my bed while I tried to sleep.
I would sleep with the lights or television on and I played loud music to drown them out.
This was my nightly routine for over 14 years.
I look back now and I say, I was hallucinating. But at the time, I didn’t know what was going on. I just assumed I was cursed and that God hated me.
Do you know how horrible that feels to think the Creator of the universe hates you so much that He allows demons to torment you?
It’s not fun, but it was the only way I could make sense of it.
It was only after my hormones became balanced that I realized I wasn’t cursed and that I finally experienced relief from all of these symptoms.
So at 28, I was sick and unemployed. I had to face my disease and *cringe* file disability so that I wouldn’t become homeless.
I did not want to be 28 and disabled. I wanted to be sipping margaritas on the beach, not dreaming of ways to kill myself.
I was at my bottom and I decided that I was going to stop running and to talk to my Maker.
One thing that this disease did for me is it made me feel closer to God, because so many days I knew that He was the only One who knew how I felt. The disease isolated me from family and friends and sometimes I felt detached from my own body.
I prayed to God and said, “God, I know You made me and You know everything about me. And You know that I’m sick. If it’s in Your will for me to die sick, I promise I won’t try and kill myself anymore but please give me the grace and strength to bear it. But if I’m not supposed to be sick and there is a way I can be healthy, please show me the way.”
And He did.
Shortly after my prayer I attended a women’s health conference and there was a nurse that presented there. I remember she talked about leading a healthy lifestyle which included a balanced diet and exercise.
After the expo I visited the tables and booths that were set up and filled my bag with the free goodies they had.
When I got home, I dumped my loot on the floor and looked at all the cups, pencils, notepads and pens I had received. And there a pamphlet I had thrown in my bag too. The pamphlet read: “The Signs and Symptoms of PMS.”
The symptoms read:
After reading the list I said, “I have all of these symptoms times infinity.”
I knew PMS was hormonal and so I figured that what I was dealing with was hormone related too.
Every time I researched hormones and hormone imbalance Dr. Lee’s name always came up. It was clear he was the authority on the topic and that if I wanted to know about hormone balance, I needed to read his work.
And so I did. I went to my local bookstore and bought a copy of his book, “Hormone Balance Made Simple” and read it in one night.
Reading Dr. Lee’s book was like breathing fresh air. I had long suspected my hormones were linked to my moods but every time I shared my suspicions with my doctor, whether it was my ob-gyn or psychiatrist they all but laughed in my face.
And here was Dr. Lee telling me how hormone imbalance can cause mental and physical sickness and he gave instructions on how to fix it.
Step 1) was to take hormones only if I needed them, Step 2) was to take bioidentical hormones instead of synthetic ones and Step 3) I was to take hormones in physiological amounts only (the amounts the body makes naturally when it’s healthy).
I followed Dr. Lee’s advice and balanced my hormones and my bipolar disorder went away.
At the time, I had no idea my hormones were causing my bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, hallucinations and mania. I thought they were only aggravating it. I was glad to find they were the cause.
Today, I continue to follow Dr. Lee’s steps for hormone balance. I take progesterone 10-14 days a month depending on my symptoms and the rest is history.
I’m glad we live during a time that so much is known about hormones and I’m even more elated that there is something we can do about it.
I know I’ve said a mouthful, but it needed to be said. Estrogen dominance/progesterone deficiency can cause bipolar disorder. And if your bipolar disorder is caused by this deficiency, it can be managed and you don’t have to live with the disease anymore.
If you have any questions, leave a comment or send me an email. I’d love to hear from you.
Best of luck to you!
Other people are recovering from hormone-based mental illnesses. Read one women’s recovery from bipolar disorder here.
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This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Please consult with your doctor regarding diagnosis, treatment recommendations or any symptoms you may be experiencing.