Prozac and lithium are often used for bipolar depression treatment. Yet, some of the sedatives and antipsychotic drugs come with numerous side effects. It’s a good thing there are natural remedies for bipolar depression treatment, which are less costly and often more effective than taking antidepressants alone. When you combine these alternative remedies with prescribed medication, you can manage the symptoms of bipolar disorder much better.
Bipolar Depression Treatment | Natural Therapies to Try
1. Take a Rhodiola Rosea supplement
Rhodiola Rosea is an adaptogenic herb that helps manage stress and has positive effects on people with depression. Users of this plant notice an improvement in their mood, mental clarity, and energy level.
Although it has fewer side effects compared to other antidepressants, it is best to take Rhodiola Rosea early in the day, or thirty minutes before eating breakfast or lunch on an empty stomach. There are some cases where it can interfere with sleep or cause vivid dreams.
2. Drink St. John’s Wort Tea
St. John’s Wort is a perennial herb used to treat nervous conditions since the time of the Ancient Greeks. Nowadays, it is a popular bipolar depression treatment for mild depression and it is considered to be one of the best natural mood enhancers.
Its chemical compounds can prevent nerve cells in the brain from reabsorbing serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that regulates anxiety, happiness, and mood. You can take this herbal remedy in liquid or capsule form, or you can also drink it as a tea.
3. Take SAMe supplements
SAMe or S-adenosyl methionine is a naturally occurring molecule that has been extensively studied as an antidepressant, as well as treatment for osteoarthritis pain. It can reverse symptoms of depression such as low mood, tiredness, and stress.
Although SAMe is quite safe, people with bipolar disorder should use it cautiously, because it can worsen manic symptoms. Take 200mg or less on an empty stomach and use only pharmaceutical grade products. Do not break, chew, or crush the tablet.
4. Add omega-3 fatty acids to your diet
— Dr. Tony Youn (@TonyYounMD) July 25, 2017
Another beneficial treatment of mild to moderate depression is to incorporate 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, which is 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
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is effective for treating anxiety and depression. It can be helpful as an independent treatment, or it can also complement evidence-based treatments.
Most TCM practitioners view emotions as an essential aspect of organ functions and sometimes can be a cause of a disease. Emotional disturbances, such as depression, are frequently linked to physical imbalances, and Chinese medicine can bring your mind-body-spirit back into balance. Thus, it can manage depression in a safe manner, which corrects the root imbalances instead of suppressing the negative emotions. Acupuncture and herbs are the most common TCM treatments for depression.
6. Practice meditation
— Mindfulness Training (@TrainingMindful) July 16, 2017
Meditation, especially mindfulness meditation, has a strong impact on reducing the symptoms of depression. Studies show mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is better than drugs or counseling. You will need to sit with your eyes closed and focus on your breathing.
Constant practice of meditation can keep you from going into a downward spiral that can lead you into sadness and deeper depression. It can make you whole again by restoring healthy thoughts and emotional balance.
7. Try Light Therapy
— Psychiatry Advisor (@PsychiatryAdv) March 7, 2017
Light therapy is one of the least costly ways to treat depression. The patient sits under an artificial light for a set of period of time each day. Some say it is more effective than antidepressant monotherapy. The biological clock of people with bipolar disorder is not working properly, and exposure to periods of light and darkness can change their sleep patterns. You may want to consult your doctor before trying this therapy.
Bipolar disorder is a lifelong condition that can be very devastating, especially if it is left untreated. Episodes of depression make it extremely challenging to live a normal and productive life. Bipolar depression treatment is not enough to battle the disorder, therefore, it is important to educate yourself about the illness, communicate with a therapist or doctor, and surround yourself with a support system. Stick to your treatment plan and commit to getting better, so you’ll be able to manage the symptoms and live your life to the fullest.
**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**