Effective natural treatments for bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder also known as manic-depressive illness. Nearly 6 million adults in the U.S. have bipolar disorder, but it's an often misunderstood— tricky to diagnose and treat—mental illness.

Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder characterized by extreme shifts in mood, as well as unusual fluctuations in energy and activity levels. During these abnormal shifts, the sufferer generally finds it difficult to complete day to day tasks. While effective base treatment is in medication, some natural home remedies also help  to ease the symptoms and help in recovering.

Some of the main causes of this mental problem are genetics, stress, hormonal imbalance, physical changes in the brain and some kind of traumatic event.If left untreated bipolar disorder not only effects your mood but also affects your energy level, judgment, memory, concentration, appetite, sleep patterns, sex drive, and self-esteem. Additionally, bipolar disorder can create other health complications like anxiety, substance abuse, diabetes, heart disease, migraines, and high blood pressure.

Some peoples believe that Bipolar disorder can't be treated and the patient can't lead a normal life. But in fact, proper treatment helps many people with bipolar disorder—even those with the most severe forms of the illness—gain better control of their mood swings and related symptoms. But because it is a lifelong illness, long-term, continuous treatment is needed to control symptoms.

Many people with bipolar disorder have successful careers, happy family lives, and satisfying relationships. Living with bipolar disorder is challenging. But with treatment, healthy coping skills, and a solid support system, you can live fully while managing your symptoms.

Below are some useful self help strategies and natural home remedies to treat bipolar disorder effectively.

First of all you have to make lifestyle changes to stop cycles of behavior changes that worsen your bipolar disorder, and to assure the support you need from people around you here are some steps you need to take:

1) Stop drinking or using illegal drugs. 
One of the biggest concerns with bipolar disorder is the negative consequences of risk-taking behavior and drug or alcohol abuse. Get help if you have trouble quitting on your own.

2) Stay clear of unhealthy relationships. 
Surround yourself with people who are a positive influence and won't encourage unhealthy behavior or attitudes that can worsen your bipolar disorder.

3) Get regular exercise. 
Moderate, regular exercise can help steady your mood. Working out releases brain chemicals that make you feel good (endorphins), can help you sleep and has a number of other benefits. Check with your doctor before starting any exercise program, especially if you're taking lithium to make sure exercise won't interfere with your medication.

4) Get plenty of sleep. 
Sleeping enough is an important part of managing your mood. If you have trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor or mental health provider about what you can do.

Natural home remedies for treating bipolar disorder 

1) Omega 3's
Oils rich in omega 3 fatty acids are found to be very effective in treating bipolar disorder problems. 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. Bipolar disorder appears to be less common in areas of the world where people regularly eat fish rich in omega-3s. 

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. It is advisable that people suffering from bipolar disorder consume fish oil everyday to overcome depression and frequent mood swings. Fish oil is found to be very effective in treating bipolar disorder and will help in preventing the frequent mood swings.

2) Gingko Biloba
An extract of the gingko tree, ginkgo biloba is a kind of herb that can improve your memory. As it is also an antioxidant in nature, it improvs the flow of blood to the brain. This herb can be used in the treatment of bipolar disorder and other mental problems. 

If you are suffering from bipolar disorder you can use this herb to fight symptoms of depression. But, you need to consume this herb regularly for a minimum of 8 to 12 weeks to see positive and effective changes in your mood. 

3) Passion Flower
In a small human trial, Passion Flower was as successful at treating Generalized Anxiety Disorder as the prescription medication Oxazepam. The soothing element of this herb can help balance the neurotransmitters in the brain. 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.

It has also got tranquilizing and sedative properties that can give relieve from anxiety and excitability experienced during the manic stage of bipolar disorder. It also reduces the effects of insomnia that can happen during depressive and manic phases. Although this herb has no side effects, yet at times it may cause stomach upset. However, before taking this herb it is advisable to discuss with your doctor.

4) Valerian Root
Another natural herb that you can use as a home remedy to treat bipolar disorder is Valerian root. 
It is known to be very effective in treating bipolar disorder as well as mental problems. It has strong sedative properties which can have impact on the central nervous system. It can be used by those having difficulty in sleeping properly or those having frequent headaches.

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.

5) Licorice
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. Licorice is another natural herb that you can use to treat bipolar disorder problems effectively.

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) 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 doctor before taking this herb as it has certain side effects when you take it along with some medications and antidepressants.

7) Ginseng
It is another important natural herb that will help in improving the functions of the brain. Ginseng 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. The energizing effect of this herb may be helpful to people suffering from depression part of bipolar disorder which is accompanied by extreme fatigue and lethargy. It is advisable that you take Ginseng herb after consultation with your doctor.

8) 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 providingng relief from various bipolar disorder related symptoms especially depression and anxiety.

9) Black Snakeroot
This herb also known as black cohosh is a good nervous system depressant and sedative which can help a lot in the treatment of bipolar disorder. Sometimes, this herb is used in treatment of various autoimmune health conditions due to its anti-inflammatory effects. Black snake root can be effective in easing the symptoms of bipolar disorder, but it must be remembered that when this herb is used for long duration of time, it can also cause severe liver damage.

10) Acupuncture, Yoga and massage therapy
Trying acupuncture won't hurt for you — acupuncture is safe and can be done along with other bipolar disorder treatments. Yoga may help ease depression and mood swings associated with bipolar disorder. It also has a number of other health benefits and massage may also help relieve anxiety and stress, which can worsen bipolar symptoms.

Are you or someone in your family suffering from mild to moderate bipolar disorder? Try out some of the above mentioned natural home remedies that would help you to reduce the effect of bipolar disorder symptoms to some extent.

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