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Initial Book Reviews and Reader Feedback

Virginia T Sherr, M.D.

"A gripper of a classic. ...an education in the humanity required to help manage inhumane illnesses."

Melvyn R. Werbach, M.D.

Author, Nutritional Influences on Illness

 

"While drugs are the focus of treatment in mainstream medicine, there are many less-known options - options that are far safer - for those who are determined to discover the best treatment for themselves and their loved ones.  This intriguing book documents one manís journey in his effort to help his son, a victim of bipolar disorder.  In his candid description of successes and failures, the author shows us how much more is out there, if we are willing to make the effort."

Bryan Kolb, PhD, FRSC, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, AB, Canada

"Behavioral disorders are undoubtedly the most complex and personally debilitating of all human conditions. As a neuroscientist, perhaps the most difficult part of understanding behavioral disorders is that we simply do not understand how the normal brain works so that our understanding of how it fails to work properly is mostly based upon hunches and promising leads. As a result, the available treatments are often crudely described as treating a "hangnail with a hammer." Such a characterization is perhaps an overstatement but it captures the futility that both patients and family feel when behavioral disorders are treated with powerful psychotropic drugs. David Moyer poignantly captures this in his personal tale of his father and son who suffer from bipolar disorder. But there is more to the book that a study of two people. It is also a perceptive study by the author into the nature of drug discovery and the difficulty in finding nonmedical treatments that not only make sense scientifically but have valid scientific support. As a neuroscientist I was impressed by his scholarly and objective analysis of the "parallel" universe of treating behavioral disorders both inside and outside mainstream medicine. This is a book that deserves to be read by clinicians, scientists, as well as the families of people suffering from behavioral disorders stemming from all sorts of etiologies."

Linda Norman - a reader (from Amazon .com)

Do you remember Steinbeck's "Grapes of Wrath"? This book actually reminds one of the award-winning novel. Steinbeck writes a chapter about the Joad family, then a chapter on the "big picture". Moyer does a similarly exemplary job of interweaving the personal with the general in a way that is really quite captivating.

Moyer discusses his family history. We learn about a malady that appears to have effected distant relatives, his dad, and finally his son. We learn how it can impact a family. We learn about a health care system that too often is ineffective and, at the same time, lacks respect for the patient and loved-ones. We also learn about the incredible complexity of bipolar disorder, brain chemistry, and the myriad of potential solutions to the disorder. It is this last aspect that offers hope to those impacted by the disorder.

This is a book that both touches and educates us. A hearty thumbs-up for both a moving and informative work.

Dan Stradford, Safe Harbor, www.alternativementalhealth.com

To our knowledge, this is the first book on bipolar disorder to emphasize the role of nutrients and other underlying (and treatable) physical causes of bipolar symptoms. An intelligent and engaging writer, David Moyer combines family biography with his own impressive research on the many research fronts currently tackling the causes and treatment of bipolar disorder. 

The reader gets a truly rare, well-documented glimpse of the journey of a father, educated in the medical model of psychiatry and the "need" for drugs, as his research and observations slowly but clearly demonstrate to him that bipolar disorder is not a vague "mental illness of unknown etiology" but has definite, treatable causes, including nutritional imbalances, fatty acid deficiencies, and Lyme Disease. Moyer tells of his enlightening experience through trying the TrueHope supplements (www.truehope.com) on his son and finding a light at the end of the tunnel. 

Shirley A. Hibbeln, MA

The following review is written by Shirley A. Hibbeln, MA, who, along with her husband, Ray, was one of the founders of the National Depressive and Manic Depressive Association, now known as the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. For many years, as a member of the Education Committee, she reviewed books for the lending library of education materials on depressive and bipolar illness for the Chicago chapter.

David Moyer is not only a professional social worker but the father of a son who has bipolar disorder, the son of a person who is bipolar and a grandson and grand nephew of women who had bipolar disorder. Too Good To Be True? is a war report from the trenches. David's odyssey is dramatic, compelling, a template for many classic case histories where there is hope, improvement, relapse, crushed hope, treatment, improvement and relapse. His telling has the fingerprints of authenticity and is full of details He cites excerpts from his notes, from his son Chris's notes. He leads us with a practiced hand through this detailed case history whose complexity threatens to spill out of the book.

David called upon all his professional skills to help his son. Putting aside his philosophy that man made his own choices and could change them, he accepted the notion that the biological nature of an individual's brain plays a major role in the options a person has. He studied the medical side of bipolar disorder and sought the best care for Chris, his son.

Chris objected to the side effects of meds, and would not stay on them. In a few years, a pattern of treatment, improvement, stopping meds and relapse was set up. David was able to get Chris to accept some alternative treatments. Over the Internet he met Tony Stephan who had two children with BPD. Tony had weaned them off standard meds with something called Synergy, which was a combination of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. It worked for Tony's kids. Tony was willing to help David.

After years of failure with standard meds, David was ready to accept the notion that symptoms like bipolar disorder occurred because the brain lacked certain nutrients. His rationale went as follows: Proper functioning of the brain depends on the proper nutrients. There are many different medical conditions which change the availability of those nutrients. Why wasn't the psychiatric establishment testing people who developed bipolar symptoms for those illnesses? Perhaps food allergies caused release of histamines, or infections caused by Lyme' s disease or stealth viruses, improper amounts of trace metals or vitamin deficiencies were causing or contributing to the malfunctioning of the brain. Very possibly the immune system was involved.

David took his son Chris to a Medical Center in Reno where they did extensive testing for all these trace metals, allergies, etc. Both of them decided something was phony when they were shown large size slides showing what they claimed was a spirochete of Lyme disease in Chris' blood. The Center gave an estimate of over $25,000 for biologics to kill off the Lyme disease. Father and son left the Lyme disease paradigm only to come back to it later.

Chris started taking the Synergy supplements and, for the first time in four episodes, did not exhibit hypomanic symptoms. Then several crises ensued until something (I can't recall what) threw Chris into a mania which resulted in his hospitalization for a long time in a hospital. David tried to persuade doctors to introduce some alternative meds (like omega 3's), hoping to reduce the amounts of Chris' meds but got nowhere.

David Moyer criticizes the DSM IV-R, saying that it relies too much on behaviors and not on objective tests, that there is no scientific description of psychiatric illness. He also pleads with the professionals to consider the use of alternative treatments.

I recommend this book because I am convinced of the honesty and integrity of the author. It is an exceptionally coherent case history with extensive details. Well organized by chapters and fully developed. Moyer has good chapter notes, references and bibliography. Anyone who is interested in family dynamics will find this worth studying. Moyer is pleading for a better way to treat people with bipolar disorder. It is difficult to disagree.

Mark Andrews, www.byepolar.com:

In this compelling work, the author details his personal struggles with his adult son, diagnosed bipolar.  The author has taken great efforts to leave no stone unturned in trying to understand the etiology of the symptoms of bipolar disorder.  He has traveled the country, interviewed tens of doctors, and researched extensively the sea of hypotheses surround the causes of the symptoms of the bipolar disorder, with an open mind and clear logic.  He chronicles his son's recovery with the TrueHope supplement, Empowerplus, and additional nutrients, as well as the problems and victories he encountered along the way.

Robert Sealey, BSc, CA - SEAR Publications - www.searpubl.ca

Bipolar sufferers, concerned families, frustrated caregivers and even mental health professionals will find Moyer’s book well-researched and thought-provoking. Bipolar Odyssey encourages readers to consider restorative mental healthcare. Marvel at the complex family dynamics as you read how four generations of the Moyer family were affected by four members with bipolar disorders; consider the puzzling spectrum of ‘bipolar’ symptoms; find true hope for restorative care; learn as the author looks beyond conventional psychiatry and explores leading edge biological and medical treatments while searching for the Holy Grail of bipolar recovery.

Too Good To Be True: Nutrients Quiet the Unquiet Brain shares a wealth of information about mood disorders: depression, bipolar and schizoaffective symptoms, medical triggers, family and caregiver issues, medication side effects and compliance concerns, limits of conventional psychiatry, leading edge medical care and restorative treatments. Maybe David Moyer doesn’t have all the answers - he doesn’t claim to - but he certainly asks a lot of interesting questions. Well worth reading.

Karen Anderson - a reader:

"I was completely enthralled.   You've opened up a whole  new world of
possibilities for me, and I appreciate all of your research... I was
astounded to read about your research/experience with the supplemental
therapy."


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