Some natural remedies may help provide relief from bipolar disorder symptoms when used with traditional treatments.
Some people with bipolar disorder have reported that using alternative treatments provides relief from symptoms. Scientific evidence supports many of the benefits in treating depression, but the effectiveness in treating bipolar disorder requires more research.
Always check with a doctor before starting any alternative treatments. Supplements and therapies may interact with your medication and cause unintended side effects.
Alternative treatments shouldn’t replace traditional treatments or medications. Some people have reported feeling increased benefits when combining the two.
Fish oil and fish are common sources of two of the three main types of omega-3 fatty acids:
- eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
- docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
These fatty acids
Bipolar disorder seems less common in countries where people consume fish and fish oil. People with depression also tend to have
- reduce irritability and aggression
- maintain mood stability
- reduce depression symptoms
- improve brain function
You can take fish oil supplements or consume more fish, such as salmon, to help reach this amount. However, fish oil supplements may have side effects that include:
- stomach pain
Not all researchers agree that omega-3 fatty acids can reduce symptoms of bipolar disorder. According to a
Rhodiola rosea (arctic root or golden root)
- vivid dreaming
Talk with a doctor before taking R. rosea, especially if you are taking other medications for mood disorders, as it can cause drug interactions.
Some people believe that the supplement form of a substance that naturally occurs in the body, S-adenosylmethionine,
But some dosages of these supplements can cause serious side effects, such as triggering manic episodes. S-adenosylmethionine may also interact with medications you may be taking. As a result, this supplement may not be safe or recommended for people with bipolar disorder. Talk with a doctor before taking this supplement.
This antioxidant helps reduce oxidative stress. Additionally, a review of the literature reported that in one randomized controlled trial of people with bipolar disorder, adding
This water-soluble vitamin may be effective for symptoms of mania in people with bipolar disorder. A
Inositol is a synthetic vitamin that may help with mood disorders, particularly in people using lithium therapy. A
Though people commonly use this herb to treat depression, the effectiveness of St. John’s wort for mood disorders is mixed. One problem seems to be that the forms and dosages of St. John’s wort used have not been the same among studies.
However, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) notes that it
Stress can complicate bipolar disorder. Several alternative therapies aim to reduce anxiety and stress in addition to doctor-prescribed treatment. These therapies can include:
Calming techniques cannot cure bipolar disorder. But they may help you manage your symptoms as a valuable part of your treatment plan.
Erratic patterns and sleep deprivation may worsen symptoms of bipolar disorder. IPSRT is a type of psychotherapy. It aims to help people with bipolar disorder to:
- manage stressful life events
- maintain a routine
- adopt good sleep habits
- learn how to solve problems that interrupt their routine
IPSRT, in addition to prescribed medications for bipolar disorder,
Although lifestyle measures won’t treat bipolar disorder, certain practices may enhance your treatment and help to stabilize your mood. These can include:
- getting regular exercise
- getting adequate sleep, typically between 7 and 8 hours
- eating a wide variety of nutritious foods
Exercise can also help stabilize moods. It can also help ease depression and increase sleep.
Adequate sleep can help stabilize your mood and reduce irritability. Tips to improve sleep can include:
- establishing a routine
- creating a calm bedroom environment
- limiting screen use before bed
Including fish and omega-3 fatty acids in your diet is good. However, consider reducing your intake of saturated and trans fats, which
Research indicates that alternative treatments may be helpful for bipolar disorder when they are used with traditional treatments. However, very little research about these treatments has been done. Alternative treatments shouldn’t replace your current treatment or medication for bipolar disorder.
Always talk with a doctor before starting an alternative treatment. Certain supplements may cause side effects with any medications you may be taking or may affect other conditions that you have.