First, I would like to congratulate Adam on a tremendous fight and the courage to have his story told. At times this story is very embarrassing for him, but he feels it’s a story worth telling and if other people can be helped by his story, then it’s worth it.
At the beginning of 2011, Adam was going to college for computer software engineering. He began having problems sleeping, his thoughts were racing and he wanted to try marijuana or alcohol to help him sleep. I asked him to try reading instead, knowing the problems with both marijuana and alcohol, and the effects on the brain and loss of brain mass. At first our son was pleasant and doing quite well, he just wasn’t sleeping. His grades in computer science were good and he had become more talkative. Adam was always a bit of an introvert so this was a welcome change.
On Friday March 18th, 2011, our world changed. Adam wanted to see his friends and asked if he could borrow the truck. I told him to try and get 5 hours of sleep and then I would consider it. He tried hard to sleep, but his racing thoughts prevented it from happening. At 8:00pm he asked to borrow the truck and I refused. We were then subjected to 4 hours of screaming and cursing, his language was abusive and insulting as he spent those hours telling us how we were incompetent as parents and not worthy. It was non-stop berating from the mouth of an unrepentant disgruntled lunatic.
The constant abuse kept up for the next week. He had become paranoid, delusional and caustic. He would wake me at night to have someone to talk to and to settle him down. I would play home videos of our family when Adam and Alyssa, my daughter, were younger. He refused to speak with the family doctor and didn’t feel that there was anything wrong with him. He was finally awake for the first time in his life. I finally convinced Adam the following Friday at 4:00am to go with me to the emergency ward at the hospital and see if we could get a prescription for sleeping pills. After a couple hours we finally saw a doctor and he immediately did a psychiatric exam on Adam and committed him to the psych ward. It was at this point that the research took on an immediate urgency.
I was feeling extremely guilty and my son felt betrayed. I had no intention of having him committed, but by this point the doctor had drawn up a Form 3 which took it completely out of my hands. While in the hospital, Adam was immediately drugged and didn’t wake up for another 22 hours. The doctor had prescribed him Lorazapam and Zyprexa. We finally saw him the next day in his hospital room. He was extremely paranoid and had hung his clothes on lamps and over pictures because he was convinced there were hidden cameras and the room was bugged. We had to speak in whispers.
One of the things that I did when Adam first became manic was write down all the strange things he was doing. I came up with a list of 40 bizarre items which certainly helped later on.
After a few days we managed to talk the doctors into letting him out on day passes. He would be reasonable in the morning when I arrived to pick him up, but then the nurses would give him his prescriptions as we were ready to leave and Adam would become more manic. I would bring him home and then it was my job to babysit him and then take him back in the evening. Sometimes he would ask to go to the mall. I’d be driving through the parking lot and Adam would open the door while I was driving and make a run for the mall. I had to quickly park the car and then spend the next 30-45 minutes trying to find him.
Most of my days and nights were spent searching the internet for alternative solutions to Adam’s condition. I found some information on changing his diet, meditation, art therapy, acupuncture, massage therapy, fish oil and finally some information on vitamin therapy.
I came across some information on a company called TrueHope.com. One of the gentlemen who started the company, Anthony Stephan, had lost his wife and father-in-law to suicide and two of his kids were suicidal. Anthony’s friend, David Hardy, who was well educated in biological sciences and had spent 20 years as an animal feed formulator, said the bipolar behaviour of Anthony’s son, Joseph, sounded to him like a pig with ear-and-tail-biting syndrome. Hardy explained to him some farmers had successfully used a nutritional supplementation program to control the syndrome. The two of them put together a human version of the supplement and within 30 days his kids were no longer suicidal. They continued to improve and to this day no longer suffer the symptoms of bipolar disorder.I also found some YouTube videos with Margot Kidder, the actress who played Lois Lane from the original Superman movies. You may recall that Margot Kidder was found by the police bruised and naked in a park in L.A. in 1997. A few years later, she met up with Doctor Abram Hoffer, a Canadian biochemist, physician and psychiatrist who treated her with Orthomolecular medicine or a concoction of vitamins with heavy emphasis on the B vitamins.
My research also lead me to Dr. Linus Pauling, a two time Nobel prize winner, who also wrote the book “How to Live Longer and Feel Better.” Because of this book people started taking vitamin C to fight colds! (It works for me. I can usually get rid of a cold in two days if I feel one coming on.) Dr. Pauling believed that some people may not have the propensity to be able to get the proper nutrients out of their food and that this was quite possibly a cause for mental
I also came across a lot of websites that totally trashed TrueHope.com and said that it was nothing but a scam. They said the company was preying upon uninformed and uneducated people’s money. I discussed the vitamin therapy with Adam’s psychiatrists and they told me that there were no medical studies and that they would not support this approach. Well there are about 22 studies on Empower Plus (TrueHope’s product) and I wasn’t concerned that the medical community wouldn’t accept them because they are run by the pharmaceutical industry that have never cured any disease and only tries to manage pain and symptoms. I was looking for a cure and wouldn’t stop till I had my son back from this horrible disorder.
Well back to the story. After a couple of weeks, I managed to convince the doctors to release Adam into my custody. I was picking him up every day on day passes and only brought him there to sleep at night. I assured them that I would be able to take care of him. I certainly had the time, since I was unemployed and I would make sure he got his medications and fill his prescriptions.
As soon as we got home, I threw out his drugs and began the TrueHope Empower Plus vitamins. It wasn’t easy. Adam ran away from home three times. Early one morning (3:00am), Adam was ranting and started being aggressive towards my wife, Christine. I ended up having to restrain him and once I let him up he called the police on me. There I was at 4:00am with a police officer telling me to get out of my basement. I ended up speaking with another officer, who told us that if we had any weapons in the house we should get them out of his reach because if he was ever caught with them the police would shoot to kill. I quickly found all the BB-guns and pellet guns and toy guns that I could find and hid them. The next morning Adam managed to find the only gun I didn’t find, a beretta style co2 bb-gun, and pointed it at my face. I managed to calm Adam down and he handed over the gun. I quickly hid it as well and then came back and Adam had grabbed a large butcher knife. Adam had never intended to use the gun or the knife to hurt me, but there he was waving that butcher knife at me. Again, I managed to talk him down and he thrust the knife into the counter top of our kitchen. Adam went to his room and I quickly grabbed the butcher knife and all the other knives in the home and locked them in a storage closet in our basement.
Life continued on in our new hell. Alyssa, my daughter, wasn’t sure who this idiot was, but she sincerely missed her brother and was convinced that she was now mourning the loss of the brother she knew and loved. After a month of vitamins, Adam was still wild and Christine, my wife, was ready to send Adam back to the hospital. Alyssa wanted to stay with a friend and I was going crazy trying to manage Adam. He demanded numerous trips to the mall and would constantly punch me while I was driving him back and forth to appointments. It wasn’t an easy picnic.
When Adam first started Truehope, the company wanted to know if Adam suffered from candida. Well I had never heard of it and said no. They sent me a questionnaire about candida anyway and asked me to complete it. After filling out the questionnaire, we realized that Adam was suffering from a massive systemic case of candida. We had no idea that his Athlete’s foot and jock itch were related to this yeast overgrowth. We immediately changed our diet to an Atkins style diet, cutting out all sugars, starches and carbohydrates. We lived off of eggs, omlettes, salads, brown rice and meat. It was great for the waist line. I lost about 20 lbs and Christine lost about the same.
We all have candida in our system. Unfortunately because of Adam’s intake of antibiotics when he was young, all of his bacteria was wiped out. With all the bacteria destroyed, the stomach is now susceptible to bad bacteria and like weeds, candida took over his system. Adam’s cravings for candy were insatiable as a child growing up and this only fed the candida. TrueHope explained that we would have to get his candida under control so that his body and brain would be able to digest the nutrients and minerals that his brain needed. If the candida was given full control, then it would steal all the nutrients for itself and Adam would live off the excrement of the candida.
Time carried on and after two months Christine and I sat down and evaluated Adam’s progress. We noticed that he was no longer doing half of the items on the list that we had created and he his mania had eased to a more manageable level. He was still having problems sleeping. He would sleep every 2nd day, so we gave him books to read.
The Truehope formulation has 36 minerals and vitamins that are setup to feed the frontal lobe of the brain. Adam didn’t sleep because his brain wasn’t releasing serotonin, melatonin, dopamine and all the other hormones at the proper time. The brain is a fascinating organ and if you give it what it requires, it will rebuild the neural pathways. The B vitamins, especially B-12, were busy rebuilding his brain. (Just a note to the older folks. Our bodies appear to have a problem digesting B-12 once we reach the age of 50. This causes Dementia, Alzheimer and Parkinson’s disease as we age.)
By 3 months, Adam’s mania had subsided but he was still only sleeping every 2nd night. We finally took a family vacation to Prince Edward Island and it was here that Adam finally slept through the night. Four long months of craziness had come to an end. We had our son back.
Truehope is an amazing company. They offered us 24-hour support absolutely free. We called usually every day in the first 2 – 3 months and they gave us the strength to carry on while our world was falling apart. I can’t say enough about this company. All the people that we dealt with had their own stories of their loved ones or themselves that had suffered from bipolar, schizophrenia, ADHD, Post traumatic stress disorder, etc. (All of these diseases are the same, they just manifest themselves differently.)
Adam takes his vitamins every day, but still suffers from candida. We have seen great success stories of people using Kangen water to alleviate their issues with candida and Kim, the girl who gave me the water to try, told me that her really good friend has got complete control over her candida overgrowth problem. I suspect that we may be able to cut down Adam’s vitamins once we get his candida under control. I will keep you posted.