Prozac and lithium, often used as bipolar depression treatments, come with numerous, unwanted side effects. However, many people find natural remedies for bipolar depression treatment to be less costly and often more effective than just taking antidepressants alone. When you combine these alternative remedies with prescribed medication and treatment plans, you can manage the symptoms of bipolar disorder much better. Keep reading to learn more about some natural treatments for bipolar depression. You may decide to add some of these to your already established medical treatment plan for a little extra help. Remember to always consult with your healthcare professional or doctor prior to adding any new treatments.
Bipolar Depression Treatments | Natural Therapies to Try
1. Take a Rhodiola Rosea supplement
Rhodiola Rosea, an adaptogenic herb, helps you to manage stress and shows positive effects on people with depression. Users of this plant noticed an improvement in their mood, mental clarity, and energy level, among other health benefits.
Although it has fewer side effects, compared to prescription antidepressants, you still need to be cautious when taking it. Rhodiola Rosea should be taken early in the day, or thirty minutes before eating breakfast or lunch, on an empty stomach. In some cases, it can interfere with your sleep or cause you to have vivid dreams. Consult with your healthcare professional before trying this or any other supplement.
2. Drink St. John’s Wort Tea
St. John’s Wort, a perennial herb, has been used to treat nervous conditions since the time of the Ancient Greeks. Nowadays, most people know it for being a popular bipolar depression treatment for mild depression, and one of the best natural mood enhancers.
How does it work? Its chemical compounds prevent nerve cells in the brain from reabsorbing serotonin (a neurotransmitter that regulates anxiety, happiness, and mood). You can take this herbal remedy in liquid or capsule form, or drink it as a tea.
3. Take SAMe supplements
SAMe or S-adenosyl methionine, a naturally occurring molecule, has been extensively studied by researchers as an antidepressant, as well as a treatment for osteoarthritis pain. It reverses symptoms of depression such as low mood, tiredness, and stress.
People with bipolar disorder should use it cautiously, because it can worsen manic symptoms in some cases. Use only pharmaceutical grade products. Do not break, chew, or crush the tablet, and always consult with your healthcare professional or doctor before taking it.
4. Add omega-3 fatty acids to your diet
— Dr. Tony Youn (@TonyYounMD) July 25, 2017
Another beneficial treatment for mild to moderate depression involves incorporating more Omega-3 fatty acids into your diet. Patients with bipolar disorder should eat more fish heavy in omega-3, such as salmon, sardines, or mackerel.
Research further shows that people who take cod liver oil (rich in omega-3 fatty acids) are less likely to have high levels of depression. Other sources of parent omega-3, or alpha linolenic acid, (ALA) include hemp, flaxseed, walnuts, and canola oils.
5. Try Traditional Chinese Medicine
Many people find Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to be an effective treatment for anxiety and depression symptoms. It can be helpful as an independent treatment, or as a complement to more evidence-based treatments.
Most TCM practitioners view emotions as an essential aspect of your organs’ functions. However, this can sometimes be a cause of a disease in your body. TCM practitioners often link emotional disturbances, such as depression, to physical imbalances. Chinese medicine brings your mind-body-spirit back into balance, so it can manage depression in a safe manner. It works to correct the root imbalances in your body, instead of just suppressing the negative emotions. The most common TCM treatments for depression incorporate acupuncture and herbs.
6. Practice meditation
— Mindfulness Training (@TrainingMindful) July 16, 2017
Meditation, especially mindfulness meditation, reduces the symptoms of depression. Studies have shown the positive results that mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) has on depression symptoms. To practice this technique, sit with your eyes closed and focus on your breathing. It will get easier to do with time and practice.
Continuous practice of meditation restores your healthy thoughts, emotional balance, and overall well-being.
7. Try Light Therapy
— Psychiatry Advisor (@PsychiatryAdv) March 7, 2017
Light therapy can be one of the least costly ways to treat depression symptoms, but you should consult with your doctor before trying this therapy. During light therapy, the patient sits under an artificial light for a set of period of time each day. The biological clock of people with bipolar disorder does not work properly, so exposure to periods of light and darkness can change their sleep patterns.
Bipolar disorder can be very devastating to live with, but especially so when left untreated. Episodes of depression make it extremely challenging to live a normal and productive life, no matter how extreme your symptoms are. If you suffer from this condition, it’s important to educate yourself about the illness, symptoms, and treatment options available. You should communicate regularly with a therapist or doctor, and surround yourself with a good support system of family, friends, and co-workers. Finding the right techniques and treatments to manage your symptoms is the first step in the road to recovery. Try not to get discouraged, and don’t give up until you find what works best for you. Whether that’s taking a prescribed medication, trying some natural treatments, committing to therapy, or a mixture of all!
**Disclaimer: All content on this site is a suggested approach to help alleviate symptoms. The suggested remedies may have varying effects for each person. Please read our full disclaimer here**