Bipolar disorder or manic depression is a type of mental illness which causes frequent mood swings in a person. Within a short period, the person may experience extreme high and extreme low moods. This disorder affects the energy, thinking power and behavior of a person. The person can experience mania in one extreme and can experience depression on the other extreme. The cycles of bipolar disorder can last for days, weeks or months in certain people. Both men and women are equally affected by this mental problem. If untreated, the condition can get complicated and can even lead to suicidal tendencies.
Causes Of Bipolar Disorder
There are multiple causes for this disorder. Some people are genetically predisposed to this disorder. In some people physical changes in the brain causes the disorder. Imbalance of neurotransmitters, abnormal thyroid function and increased level of cortisone hormone are some of the factors that can cause bipolar disorder. Environmental as well as psychological factors are involved in the development of bipolar disorder. The external factors or triggers can set off mood swings or can make the symptoms worse. Some of the triggers which can cause new episodes of mania or depression are:
Stress- Stressful life events which are good or bad can trigger this disorder. Loosing a loved one or getting married, getting fired can cause stress and the disorder.
Substance Abuse- Use of cocaine and amphetamines triggers mania and the use of alcohol and tranquilizers trigger depression.
Medication- Medications such as antidepressant drugs, certain cold medicine, corticosteroids, thyroid medication and caffeine can trigger bipolar disorder
Seasonal Changes- The episodes of mania and depression in bipolar disorder often has a seasonal pattern. Manic episodes are common in summer and depression episodes are common in winter and spring.
Sleep Deprivation- Loosing even a few hours of sleep can trigger manic episodes.
Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder
The expression of the diseases is very different in different people. The symptoms also vary in people with reference to severity, frequency etc. There are four different mood episodes found in people with bipolar disorder. They are mania, hypomania, depression and mixed episodes the symptoms of each mood episode have unique symptoms.
Symptoms Of Mania
• Feeling highly optimistic or extremely irritable
• Unrealistic belief in one’s ability or powers
• Talking very rapidly
• Thoughts jumping quickly from one idea to another
• Impulsiveness and impaired judgment
• Delusions and hallucinations
Signs Of Bipolar Depression
Common Symptoms of bipolar depression are
• Feeling sad or hopeless
• Physical and mental sluggishness
• Concentration and memory problems
• Sleep problems
• Thought of death or suicide
Symptoms Of Mixed Episode
A mixed episode of bipolar disorder has the symptoms of both manic and depression. The common signs of mixed episodes are:
• Depression along with agitation
• Racing thoughts
If you notice the symptoms of bipolar depression in yourself or in someone else, it is necessary to get the long term treatment. Doctors will be able to prescribe the necessary medications for the problem. Those who are interested in natural methods to treat the problem can opt for home remedies for bipolar disorder.
Home Remedies for Bipolar Disorder:
The following are the home remedies that you can try out to naturally treat bipolar disorder.
1. Gingko Biloba
Gingko Biloba is an extract of the gingko tree and is an herb that will help in boosting your memory. It will help in improving the blood flow to your brain and will help in improving the memory function of the brain. It is also an antioxidant by nature. It is a very effective herb that is used in the treatment of bipolar disorders as well as other mental problems and disorders.
• You can use this herb to fight depression symptoms and to enhance the mood.
• You need to consume this herb regularly for a minimum of 8 to 12 weeks to see positive and effective changes in your mood.
2. Fish Oil
Fish oil is found to be very effective in treating bipolar disorder and will help in preventing the frequent mood swings. Fish oil is rich in omega 3 fatty acids which is very effective in treating bipolar disorder problems. It is advisable that people suffering from bipolar disorder consume fish oil everyday to overcome depression and frequent mood swings.
• Regular consumption of fish like salmon, herring, tuna, trout and mackerel that are rich in omega 3 fatty acids will help in treating bipolar disorders to a great extent.
• It will also help in decreasing the occurrence of frenzied episodes.
• If you do not like the smell of fish or do not eat fish, then you can substitute it with over the counter fish oil supplements.
3. Passion Flower
Passionflower is a very effective home remedy that you can think of when it comes to bipolar disorder. The herb will offer a soothing effect to the nerves which will help in providing the right balance of the neurotransmitters in the brain. This herb has to be taken every day without fail to get relief from anxiety and depression.
• Passionflower will help in reducing the effect of insomnia that is caused due to agitated and depression phases.
• It has got sedative and tranquilizing properties that will provide relief from the excitement that you will face during a manic bipolar disorder stage.
4. Valerian Root
Another natural herb that you can use as a home remedy to treat bipolar disorder is Valerian root. It has strong sedative properties that will help in providing good sleep to people suffering from sleep disorder problems. It is an ideal option for people who have strong and frequent headaches. It is known to be very effective in treating bipolar disorder as well as mental problems.
• Valerian root is a natural herb that you can buy easily in the market in the form of a tablet or capsule or herbal tea or liquid extract.
• It will help in effectively reducing anxiety, stress, nervous tensions, restlessness as well as mild to moderate mood swings in people.
Licorice is another natural herb that you can use to treat bipolar disorder problems effectively. It is one of the few natural herbs that can be used to treat a lot of symptoms associated with bipolar disorder. It will help in increasing the production of active hormones that is present in the brain. Consuming licorice herbal tea every day will help in treating bipolar disorder problems.
• Take a teaspoon of licorice powder and add it in a cup of water.
• Boil this water for about ten minutes.
• Strain the solution and drink the licorice tea. Drink this tea every day to treat depression caused due to bipolar disorder.
6. Flaxseed Oil
Flaxseed oil is rich in alpha-linolenic acid that is a kind of omega 3 fatty acids that will help in reducing the symptoms of bipolar disorder to a great extent. It has been researched that flaxseed oil is effective in treating depression caused by bipolar disorder. Flaxseed oil has been found to be very effective in boosting the effects of conventional treatments for bipolar disorder. It works well when used along with conventional medications and will help you in easing bipolar disorder problems.
7. Gotu Kola
Gotu Kola is a natural herb that has been found to be very effective in treating depression and anxiety in a lot of people. It is important for you to not take this herb when you are taking diabetes medicines or cholesterol lowering drugs. So, it is advisable that you consult with your doctor or physician before starting to use the herb to treat bipolar disorder.
• Taking Gotu Kola regularly will help in proving relief from various bipolar disorder related symptoms especially depression and anxiety.
8. Black Snakeroot
Black snakeroot or Black Chosh is a type of natural herb that will work as a nervous system depressant and can help in treating bipolar disorder. The herb also has sedative properties that will help to get rid of a few bipolar disorder symptoms.
• Black snakeroot herb has to be used along with squaw root to get effective results and to lessen the symptoms of bipolar disorder.
• It is important for you to not use the herb for longer duration as it can cause liver damage.
9. St. John’s Wort
If you are suffering from mild depression problems due to bipolar disorder, then you need to think of taking the St. John’s Wort herb. It is also a very effective antidepressant. It is important for you to consult your physician or your doctor before taking this herb as it has certain side effects when you take it along with some medications and antidepressants.
• St. John’s Wort is also known to trigger mania and other complications in people suffering from bipolar disorder and hence must only be taken after consulting with a doctor.
Another important natural herb that will help in improving the functions of the brain is the Ginseng. It is a very good herb that will help in improving concentration power, duration of the attention as well as the memory level of bipolar disorder patients.
• Ginseng is very effective in treating depression due to bipolar disorder and it is also found to be effective in treating people suffering from lethargy and fatigue due to bipolar disorder.
• It is advisable that you take Ginseng herb after consultation with your doctor.
11. Foods To Avoid
It is very important for you to stay away from eating certain foods that can easily trigger bipolar disorder.
• Foods rich in fat have to be avoided as it will trigger insomnia and irritability in people with bipolar disorder problems.
• It is important to avoid alcohol as it is a depressant.
• Make sure that caffeine foods are avoided as it will reduce the sleep.
• Sugar also has to be avoided as it can sometimes become a depressant.
• Red meat also has been found to cause irritability in bipolar disorder persons and hence must be completely avoided.
Lithium is found to be a very effective home remedy for bipolar disorder and is suggested by medical community widely. The manic behavior in bipolar disorder persons was found to be less in people living in areas where the water had higher quantities of natural lithium levels.
L-tyrosine is a non essential amino acid that has been found to be very effective in treating bipolar disorder symptoms. It is important for the patients suffering from bipolar disorder to increase amino acids in their body and this can be easily achieved by taking L-tyrosine supplements. Some of the foods that are rich in L-tyrosine are:
• Dairy products
Are you or someone in your family suffering from mild to moderate bipolar disorder problems? Do you want to know if there are natural ways by which you will be able to reduce the symptoms of bipolar disorder? Then, you will need to try out some of the above mentioned natural home