About five years ago, the story of bipolar disorder, pig vitamins and Health Canada was all over the news. Probably, you haven’t heard too much about it since.
Autumn Stringam, once from Grimshaw, was in the forefront of the controversy. Her family’s curse, bipolar disorder, had landed her in a psychiatric ward by the time she was 22. Her mother and grandfather had committed suicide and her younger brother had also inherited troubling mental disturbances. Her father’s search for help turned up an unusual clue: aggressive hogs could be calmed using a cocktail of common vitamins. Autumn tried the supplements.
Quickly, she began to feel better. Other people tried the vitamins and offered their testimonials. The mixture was packaged and marketed as something of a miracle cure. Of course, that caught the attention of Health Canada officials, and when they blocked sales of the “treatment” for mental disorders, the story went to the courts and to the media and to us.
Today the news is out of the papers and onto online forums where you’ll only find information if you are looking for it. People seeking alleviation from mental disorders can purchase the vitamin supplements through an online company and read testimonials from people all over the world who believe the product has given them or someone they know a new lease on life. Several studies of the supplement are available on the website as well.
This Alberta entrepreneurial story is still unfolding, but for Autumn, at least, many chapters are already written. In 2007, she published a book called A Promise of Hope. The autobiography relates her childhood, descent into the darkness of bipolar disorder, and the remarkable story of the pig vitamins that changed her life.
The book is available through Amazon. Your local library also has it, or can order it through Trac. Canada.com has a typical article from 2008, when the story was still attracting media attention, that outlines the story in more detail. Also, you can read an excerpt from A Promise of Hope here.