Bipolar Disorders are as varied and complex as they are for any other mental illness. It involves episodes: of manic episodes and depressive episodes. Natural treatments for bipolar disorder is also one important piece of the puzzle for solving this complex condition.
In a depressed episode, you may have low moods or feelings of sadness. You might lose pleasure in activities you once enjoyed. Or you might feel tired, have trouble concentrating, or experience changes in your sleep patterns (sleeping too much or not enough).
In manic episodes, you may feel really happy, talk very quickly, and be easily distracted by anything of interest. Your sleep patterns change and you sleep less or stay up all night doing work tasks or playing video games.
Bipolar disorder is known for its severity and sometimes the symptoms are often very disruptive.
Some people have many symptoms
In bipolar disorder, you may have extreme symptoms of mania and depression, but some may only have a mild case. Then again, others will have moderate to severe cases of both. The symptoms of mania include:
- Mood swings
- Trouble sleeping
The symptoms of mania are the opposite:
- Increased energy levels
- Decreased need for sleep
- Rapid speech patterns
- Racing thoughts
Manic symptoms are disruptive
Bipolar Disorder is all about manic episodes, depressive episodes, and psychotic symptoms.
People who have it either alternate between depression and mania or experience both at the same time (this is called “mixed mood”).
Mania and hypomania elevate your moods, but they can be so disruptive that they’re anything but a good time.
Of course, during manic phases, you will feel great!
You’ll be bursting with energy!
But there’s a problem when you start hallucinating and having delusions—not to mention anger, anxiety, irritability, rapid speech, racing thoughts, excessive energy, and activity.
Managing Manic episodes
Manic episodes can last for hours or days. This means that with a manic episode you may not be able to sleep for several days, which is called an “insomnia” episode, or you may be in a manic state for a week or more. You may not be able to eat during this time and not be able to control your behavior.
You may get very irritable if you have to wait around and may become aggressive if someone tries to make you leave.
There are some things you can do to help yourself during an episode:
- Try to get some sleep
- Take some pain medication, such as ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- Take some anti-anxiety medications, such as clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), and valproate (Depakote)
You may need sleeping pills or other drugs to help them sleep
Earlier in this article, we looked at some of the more impressive ways that doctors have tried to help people with Bipolar Disorder sleep better. One of these methods is the use of sleeping pills.
As many of you already know, sleeping pills are not a cure for Bipolar Disorder. They can help you sleep at night, but they also carry serious risks if used improperly.
In fact, your doctor may actually increase your risk of having an episode by giving you sleeping pills. Be sure to follow your doctor’s orders carefully and never take more than prescribed.
Sleep can stop the cycle of mania and depression, sleep deprivation can make the episodes worse by increasing the intensity
You may not realize that sleep is the culprit. If you experience sleep deprivation for long enough, there are ways to stop it before it gets bad. Here’s how:
- Sleep deprivation can lead to a number of different mental health problems, including mania and depression, mood swings, irritability and anxiety, hallucinations, and delusions.
- Sleeping helps keep your sanity intact—which is why those who suffer from bipolar disorder are particularly vulnerable to its effects on our brains. In other words, if you’re suffering from sleep deprivation right now, you may be at risk of developing these issues later in life!
Be careful about controlling your behavior
It is important to remember that people with bipolar disorder are not responsible for the control they have over their own behavior. There are lots of reasons why you may have trouble controlling it. However knowing that you may have trouble controlling yourself be mindful about it helpful, like moving out when you feel uncomfortable or feeling excited.
For example, you may be having a manic episode and feel very excited. You may not be able to pay attention or think clearly.
Another reason may be related to substance abuse. The relationship between bipolar disorder and substance abuse is complex, but it is known that certain drugs act as triggers for mania or depression.
Whatever the reason, blaming someone with bipolar disorder for their lack of control over their behavior does more harm than good. Especially since most people with bipolar disorder want to stop engaging in destructive behavior.
Correctly diagnosing your condition is the key to treatment
With its characteristic “highs” and “lows,” bipolar disorder can be tricky to spot.
The hallmark symptoms of bipolar disorder—irritability, extreme mood swings, fatigue, restlessness, and difficulty sleeping.
Many people with Bipolar Disorder are not correctly diagnosed, they often experience up to 10 years of untreated illness before receiving treatment.
One reason that it’s so difficult to detect Bipolar Disorder is that its symptoms overlap with those of other psychiatric disorders.
- For instance, some people with Bipolar Disorder report having panic attacks during their manic episodes.
- Others may experience alternating depressive and manic periods without ever experiencing a true hypomanic episode.
These overlapping symptoms make it challenging for researchers to predict whether someone has Bipolar Disorder or another psychiatric condition such as schizophrenia.
Some natural treatments for bipolar disorder
Diet and exercise
Exercise improves mood through positive endorphins release.
It’s best if you’re walking briskly or exercising at the gym so you get a full-body workout.
If you run out of things to do at home and have some extra time in your schedule, it can be helpful to walk the dog or go for a quick walk outside when the weather is nice.
Otherwise, just take a stroll around the block whenever you can!
But don’t overdo it.
Go run three times a day only!
Omega-3 fats, which are found in fish and fish oil, help to protect the brain. In addition, they play a key role in controlling inflammation and reducing your risk of depression.
The best food sources of omega-3s include salmon, halibut, and other cold-water fish that swim deep in the ocean.
Some plant foods are also good sources of omega-3s, including chia seeds, walnuts, and hemp seeds. You should aim to get at least 1 gram a day from your diet or from supplements.
If you don’t eat fish regularly or you don’t like it at all then opt for a high-quality fish oil supplement instead (make sure to take it under the supervision of a doctor).
A balanced diet has always been important for all kinds of illnesses including mental health. Since a balanced diet improves your mental and physical endurance. Certain nutrition is helpful in good sleep like magnesium, adequate hydration is equally important. Fruits, vegetables, and protein are important for a healthy brain so never neglect them even if you suffer from depression or bipolar disorder.
This compound helps regulate mood and may be a natural treatment for depression. SAMe can also be used to treat osteoarthritis, liver disease, fibromyalgia, and depression associated with bipolar disorder.
SAMe has been found to work as well as some antidepressants that are commonly prescribed for depression.
Research on the safety and effectiveness of SAMe for treating depression is still being completed. However, it appears to be safe and effective in treating depression.
N-acetyl cysteine (NAC)
Next up, n-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is the precursor to glutathione, the body’s master antioxidant—so it may be no surprise that it’s effective at reducing oxidative stress.
Additionally, NAC has been shown to improve symptoms of bipolar disorder in several studies. It’s thought that there could be a link between bipolar disorder and reduced levels of glutathione in the brain.
NAC is extremely safe and well-tolerated, and it doesn’t appear to cause any side effects when used long-term for up to 24 months at doses of up to 3 grams per day.
It can interact with some medications such as warfarin (Coumadin).
Rhodiola Rosea, also known as Arctic root or golden root, is an herb from Scandinavia and Russia that has been traditionally used for centuries to treat depression.
Rhodiola helps to normalize a group of neurotransmitters in the brain that are known as monoamines. These neurotransmitters are responsible for regulating mood, so it is thought that this plant can help to stabilize bipolar disorder.
Vitamin D is essential for good health, and it can be hard to get enough from food. Supplements can help. Vitamin D helps with depression and anxiety, so make sure you’re getting enough of it!
The best remedies for bipolar depression are natural because they do not require a prescription or the use of drugs.
Since bipolar disorder is a life-long illness, these remedies should be sustainable and effective. Natural remedies also allow you to save money and avoid the harsh, long-term side effects of medication.
Many people choose to take the medication in addition to natural treatments.
Those who have chosen natural treatment options found that their prescription medications only masked their symptoms and did not treat the underlying cause of their condition.
Feeling connected and having a community for support is also a big support for people with bipolar disorder or any other mental illness.
People who follow natural treatment plans tend to experience longer periods of emotional stability as opposed to returning quickly back into depressive episodes when they stop taking medication. So be careful about your moods eat a balanced diet, exercise and supplement with natural treatment in addition to prescribed medicine.
I hope you like the blog post!
Check out the following blog post for better mental health and endurance.