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Two Psyciatric Wards And Some Fish Oil
My first real problems started at school, I knew there was something wrong as early as 12 when my primary school teacher tried to teach me a very basic long multiplication sum, he spent hour after hour showing me the system of how to do this very basic sum. Could I understand what he was saying to me? No chance, he may just as well of been speaking Japanese, not one single word that came out of his mouth made sense to me. After 2 long hard hours we were both exhausted and he gave up. The next day was even more interesting for me as we were going to learn how to add up pounds and pence. Great. So he started again to count the decimal places, add this, turn that and drop that to here, pull down one of those zeros and bang there’s your answer. So again, no surprise when I thought he was talking a different language. So that’s how most of school went for me in the 70s. It’s only now that I look back and the penny drops. Its sequences that I can’t do, its dyslexia, or some form of dyslexia, but in those days it wasn’t recognised as it is now. So from a very early age I had to work out all my own sequences. Here is an example of how I have to do multiplication in my head:-
6 x 6
Lots of people have asked me why I have to do it this
way. The simple answer is that dyslexia must affect a part of the brain
that also deals with memory, so no matter how many times you tell me 6x6=36
I can never remember, just like Richard Branson who is also dyslexic can
never remember the difference between net and gross- allegedly.
And that’s how I have to do most of my maths; I won’t go into adding pounds and pence that would need a full book of its own.
There were some thing’s I was good at. Mainly sport and anything to do with human movement and problem solving I have always been very creative and found that I’ve always had lots of ideas; this is apparently a trait of being dyslexic.
THE START OF THE BIPOLAR
I joined the army when I was 16 and things were going ok, lots of sport and activities. One thing I found very hard was the constant change and lack of information and constantly living in fear of the unknown, where was I to be sent next and when? Would I like it as much as what I was doing currently? Those sorts of worries.
After being in the army for about 6 years I had started to have had enough of the constant change and upheaval, so I decided to come out and have a go at something else. I gave my one years notice to leave. At that time the army had just made a lot of people redundant so I knew that I would still be sent out on active service in that year. Sure enough I was sent to Northern Ireland on a six month tour, on the whole that was a good crack and I had some good times with a good bunch of lads. After the six months we arrived back in our barracks in Germany to be told we had 2 weeks leave then we were to prepare to go to Bosnia for another 6 month tour of duty. Now at this point I was due to leave and was going to start my resettlement courses so I was not best pleased about this, and psychologically this triggered something.
So off we went to Bosnia – Croatia, everything
was great all the lads were really up for it. Our job was to build a runway
so NATO could launch air strikes if it needed to. When we arrived I knew
something inside me was very very different but still to this day I don’t
know what it was, I just didn’t feel right, our job was to build
our own accommodation first, then to start on the runway. we started to
build a tented camp the size of a small village which resemble something
from MASH, when we got there it was the back end of summer so in the med
it was very hot and the working days were short and bearable ( with the
occasional visit to the beach thrown in ). the showers we built were just
cattle shed frames with water pumped into the hollow metal frame, then
we punched a hole into the frame with a nail and there you have a shower.
The toilet was one long trench dug into the floor, right next to the road
so all the passing traffic could see you ( most of the traffic was military
The days were wet, windy and dark. Our clothes were constantly wet, our tents had small rivers running through them my sleeping bag and all my personal things were wet. I cant describe to you what its like getting into a wet sleeping bag with water still dripping on you, the tent was being blown all over night after night in the torrential down pours. Getting up in the morning having not slept a wink all night due to being soaking wet, was just horrid, everything was wet or very very damp for about 3 months. My morale was at an all time low! Then a ray of light, our troop commander said that it was our turn for a bit of rest and recuperation, just what the doctor ordered! Or was it?
We were sent to a small hotel about 20 miles from camp, 2 single beds per room, on suite shower and toilet, clean towels , dry clean beds, hot, quality food, hot running water . Heaven.
To feel such quality after such squalor was a high of biblical proportions, words cannot explain how high and elated I was.
For four whole days and nights we lived in relative luxury and ate quality food.
When the four days were up we were bussed back to our tents. On the way back it started to dawn on me that I had left a very wet sleeping bag and clothes behind. When we arrived it was worse than I had expected. Whilst we were away the camp had been flooded and our tent was under 1ft of water and things weren’t just damp they were literally under water, the pit of my stomach just sank. It came over me suddenly; I just wanted to kill myself there and then. Life had no meaning at that very point; I just burst into tears and sat there with my head in my hands wishing I was dead. As every second past I was going further and further down into a bottom-less pit, I had sat there for what felt like hours, it was probly only minuets, when a medic came, picked me up and walked me to the tented medical centre.
That was the start of my bipolar life- a world class
high followed by a Olympic gold low
After two very unsuccessful stays in 2 different psychiatric wards, (I wont go into that just in case you need to have a short stay in one yourself- just remember one thing if you do, never get angry, keep smiling and telling them your ok or your stay will be longer than you think) I resigned myself to self diagnosis, I have done much reading and came to the fairly easy conclusion of bipolar, massive ups and massive downs.
Ten years later and I have tried every antidepressant drug under the sun, none of which seem to do what they say on the packet apart from the side effect bit, they were really good at that bit.
My highs are now fairly manageable, they tend to upset every one else around me more than they upset me, and as for the downs well I kinda got them under control to.
I first read about the benefits of fish oil a couple of years ago, so I went along to my local super market and bought some fish oil.
I sat back and waited for my more balanced moods. They didn’t happen !
I saw another book that was talking about the benefits of these omega 3 fish oils, in fact this book was all about fish oil !! The entire book !
This book talked about the benefits of something called EPA, So off
I went again and had a look for a fish oil that had a lot of EPA. I found
one, and again sat back and waited for the balanced moods. They didn’t
So again I searched and searched for this elusive high grade oil. it was very apparent that all web sites use terms like high grade this and ultra strong that, so I had to hack through all this to get to the nitty gritty, I eventually found a product that had some independent reviews and was allegedly one of the strongest oils available
So I bought the oil sat back and waited, nothing!
So I rang the company involved and asked if I was doing something wrong, they asked how long I had been taking the oil for and how many per day. They told me it was not a miracle cure and that I would have to take 4 per day for a minimum of 3 months for the oil to be fully absorbed, and that there were other things that could put the brakes on the absorption process, mainly your diet.
So I upped my dose to four caps in the morning and improved my eating habits and tried to cut out all Tran’s fatty acids. Again I sat back and waited!!
Four weeks later I started to notice some very strange things happening to me that were a little out of character. my anxiety levels about very stupid things had all but gone, when I say stupid things I mean that I used to worry that when I got in to my car when it was raining that it was definitely going to break down ! I was also anxious about low level fast moving clouds in the sky! And the infinity of the sky! They used to worry me, don’t ask why, they just did .I noticed that all these things had completely gone. I also started to notice that my anger levels aimed at my children were also rapidly disappearing; I was talking to them rather than ranting at them. Not to mention the rapid growth of my hair and nails.
Over the next coming months I noticed a lot of things starting to fall into place, my moods were more balanced then they had ever been for the last 15 years. I found myself laughing at comedy on the TV (this was not normal for me) I started not to care about little things and I found it easier to let things go rather than nag at me for weeks on end. My concentration was nothing short of awesome, the ability to focus on a task was so much better, but the biggest thing had to be the balance of mood that this oil seemed to be giving me. Absolutely 100% cured ? No . 95% better! Yes . If my old moods could be compared to a tidal wave, my moods now are gentle waves lapping on the shore, and they are very easy to manage.
I hope by writing about my experiences that something somewhere has fallen into place for someone else and that it may help.
The oil I am using at the moment is called PuraEpa it’s the strongest one I have found with an EPA concentration of 90% and contains no DHA (I found that some English dr’s were suggesting there maybe a competion mechanism between EPA and DHA) and it seems to be working very well, if I switch in the future I will post the details of why and what to on this site.
wish you all good luck
Click here to go to the PuraEPA website.
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