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Does that word indicate Bipolar Disorder? NO.  Actually this rating scale was discovered while studying Bipolar Disorder.  Medical professionals began to notice that sometimes antidepressants produced no results but increased the symptoms of depression or triggered opposite effects like mania.  It was noticed that while these patients did not have Bipolar Depression OR Bipolar Mania they suffered highs and lows, anxiety, irregular energy and irritability with or without depression. These are called sub-affective symptoms.

Such phenomenons require epidemiological study.  Two large scale studies of this kind were conducted: The Angst research team in Zurich, Switzerland conducted one and Kersch research team in the United States conducted the other. They focused in depth on sub-affective symptoms.  Five common indicators emerged. They represent common symptoms that can become stronger over time and may lead to Bipolar Disorder if not treated. These 5 sub-affective symptoms are:

      1. Mood changes or mood swings reoccurring over time.
      2. Early onset in life of depression, anxiety or mood swings.
      3. Poor response to antidepressant treatment.
      4. Family history of Bipolar disorder in a first degree relative.
      5. Hormonally induced mood swings, low motivation and diminished physical activity (PMS or PTSD); OR a history of trauma, i.e., violence, abandonment, neglect, or unremitting stress.

 The Bipolarity Index is a warning tool informing us that:

      1. You must not take an antidepressant without a mood stabilizer.
      2. Having any or all of above symptoms does not mean that you are Bipolar; however, increasing severity and occurrence of the symptoms can lead to Bipolar Disorder if left untreated.


Brain imaging (CAT, PET, MRI, and virtual microscopy), biochemical, and physiologic research reveal the cause of sub-affective symptoms.  Consider your brain an engine to a vehicle. Experiencing the above symptoms indicate that your fuel system is malfunctioning. The battery (mitochondria) is not getting electricity to your neurons because the carburetor or fuel injector (ion gates) is not working. Therefore, fuel (neurotransmitters) is not sufficiently distributed from neuron to neuron. An untreated engine breaks down. So does your brain.


Antidepressants work on dendrites and axons to improve chemical function.  They do not help ion gates or mitochondria supply fuel or power to the neuron. Sub-affective symptoms like those listed above indicate that the root problem is battery, fuel injector, or carburetor related. Hence, you may have a full tank of gas (neurotransmitters) but the car won’t run without a functional battery or fuel line. When ion gates and mitochondria function spasmodically and chemical distribution fails and the engine light turns on. This is most commonly perceived as anxiety.

Ion gate malfunction can be treated with medication specific to the problem, e.g. antipsychotics, antiseizure medications, and natural substances found in nature. Specific food substances and supplementation, certain activities, and exercise actually help the brain function properly just as regular careful driving, tune-ups and oil changes extend the life of a vehicle. While illicit drugs and alcohol seem to offer temporary relief, they do not restore ion gate function or energy to the neuron. They do not assist in neuron growth or neurotransmitter production. It has been found that ion gate function affects at least 9 different mental disorders only one of which is Bipolar.

ion gate diagram

The brain, as a computer, consumes vast amounts of ions. The source of ions is food. The body rips electrical charges off food molecules during digesting, and feeds them through the brain’s Ion Gates. It requires ¾ of everything you eat. Your body is subsisting on the left over’s. The importance of nutrition and regular intake of food and water cannot be overemphasized as a trophic (BRAIN HEALTH) factor.


By Water Psychiatric Consultation,
721 South 1st St, Mount Vernon, WA 98273
P: 360-708-9741 - F: 801-780-9741