Natural remedies for bipolar disorder

Some natural remedies may be helpful for bipolar disorder. However, it’s important not to use these remedies without first talking with your doctor. These treatments could interfere with medications you’re taking.

The following herbs and supplements may help stabilize your mood and relieve symptoms of bipolar disorder:

  • Fish oil. A 2013 study shows that people who consume a lot of fish and fish oil are less likely to develop bipolar disease. You can eat more fish to get the oil naturally, or you can take an over-the-counter (OTC) supplement.
  • Rhodiola rosea. This research also shows that this plant may be a helpful treatment for moderate depression. It may help treat depressive symptoms of bipolar disorder.
  • S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe). SAMe is an amino acid supplement. The research shows it can ease symptoms of major depression and other mood disorders.

Several other minerals and vitamins may also reduce symptoms of bipolar disorder. 

Tips for coping and support

If you or someone you know has bipolar disorder, you’re not alone. Bipolar disorder affects about 60 million people around the world.

One of the best things you can do is to educate yourself and those around you. There are many resources available. For instance, SAMHSA’s behavioral health treatment services locatorprovides treatment information by ZIP code. You can also find additional resources at the site for the National Institute of Mental Health.

If you think you’re experiencing symptoms of bipolar disorder, make an appointment with your doctor. If you think a friend, relative, or loved one may have bipolar disorder, your support and understanding is crucial. Encourage them to see a doctor about any symptoms they’re having. 

People who are experiencing a depressive episode may have suicidal thoughts. You should always take any talk of suicide seriously.

If you think someone is at immediate risk of self-harm or hurting another person:

  • Call 911 or your local emergency number.
  • Stay with the person until help arrives.
  • Remove any guns, knives, medications, or other things that may cause harm.
  • Listen, but don’t judge, argue, threaten, or yell.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, get help from a crisis or suicide prevention hotline. Try the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.

Bipolar and relationships

When it comes to managing a relationship while you live with bipolar disorder, honesty is the best policy. Bipolar disorder can have an impact on any relationship in your life, perhaps especially on a romantic relationship. So, it’s important to be open about your condition.

There’s no right or wrong time to tell someone you have bipolar disorder. Be open and honest as soon as you’re ready. Consider sharing these facts to help your partner better understand the condition:

  • when you were diagnosed
  • what to expect during your depressive phases
  • what to expect during your manic phases
  • how you typically treat your moods
  • how they can be helpful to you

One of the best ways to support and make a relationship successful is to stick with your treatment. Treatment helps you reduce symptoms and scale back the severity of your mood swings. With these aspects of the disorder under control, you can focus more on your relationship.

Your partner can also learn ways to promote a healthy relationship. 

Living with bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder is a chronic mental illness. That means you’ll live and cope with it for the rest of your life. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t live a happy, healthy life.

Treatment can help you manage your mood swings and cope with your symptoms. To get the most out of treatment, you may want to create a care team to help you. In addition to your primary doctor, you may want to find a psychiatrist and psychologist. Through talk therapy, these doctors can help you cope with symptoms of bipolar disorder that medication can’t help.

You may also want to seek out a supportive community. Finding other people who’re also living with this disorder can give you a group of people you can rely on and turn to for help.

Finding treatments that work for you requires perseverance. Likewise, you need to have patience with yourself as you learn to manage bipolar disorder and anticipate your mood swings. Together with your care team, you’ll find ways to maintain a normal, happy, healthy life.

While living with bipolar disorder can be a real challenge, it can help to maintain a sense of humor about life. 

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