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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5220
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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Since I understand that bipolar disorder causes cognetive problems,

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Since I understand that bipolar disorder causes cognetive problems, I am wondering what would be good for my son to try and do to try and assist with this problem. I know of some things he can try and do for memory but wonder what other things are good to do.

Cognitive problems are not a one size fits all type of problem. A lot depends on where in the brain the problems are and what types of problems are manifesting. But there are some preliminary results today from efforts being done with brain enhancing software that is encouraging for a number of cognitive problems. And I think that there is growing evidence that the general lifestyle changes a person makes affects cognitive functioning.

As I said, there has been some research support for brain enhancement games and software products. One of the best programs is called Lumosity:

It's one of the less expensive of the good programs even though they have started to market the program very aggressively. Here's also a site that is worthwhile for him to look at:

Go through the web pages on this site that they list on the left hand side and focus on the information they give as much as the products they promote. He'll get a good sense of what's out there from this site.

When he's ready, he might also begin to take classes at a local community college. I don't know what the options are for that in your town but explore it. This is a low tech solution, but it's an excellent one if he's ready for the social immersion of a classroom. here is evidence from research now, for example, that crossword puzzles can increase cognitive function in certain patients with deficits from traumas.

Now let's move on to lifestyle. I'll address it to him and you can print it out for him:

Diet: cut out coffee, sugar, white flour. That may be tough. But you will see results as some of the newer research shows. Also, take Omega 3 fatty acids. Either in flax oil, fish oil or capsules. You need to take daily a clinical dose, about 1,600-3,000 mg a day. The research is conclusive on this for depression and positive for anxiety issues. There's preliminary results showing some improved mood for BD as well. So that's diet. Oh, and lean meats only. No fast food restaurants, no fatty foods.

Exercise: 5 days a week moderate exercise, to include 3 days of strength training as you will get more used to it. Pretty amazing isn't it? What you put in to it you will get out of it. Your doctor will verify the research results show the benefit to overall health, mood issues, and physical problems.

Coach yourself: Be your own life coach! I want you to get really into motivational videos and books. In other words, accept your fears, accept your worries and hurts and traumas. Accept them and focus on becoming who you WANT to be now. Here's a simple YouTube search I put together on "motivational speakers":

Some like Tony Robbins are the classic big guys. Some are newer. Watch them all. Get inspired. Buy a book or two. Here is one, but it’s only a suggestion as there are so many good ones.

This book is by Anthony Robbins. He's one of those speakers who fills up huge auditoriums. For a reason. He's a terrific speaker and writer. The particular book (if you like it, try his others): Awaken the Giant Within.

Do you see the approach? Right! You're taking control of YOU and your present and future.

Okay, I hope that might help your son. I wish you the very best!

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