Holistic Approaches to Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder and Manic Depression
Question for Dr. Leia: Can you offer any holistic medicines that treat manic depression symptoms?
Dr. Leia’s Answer: Manic depressive illness is a psychiatric disorder also referred to as bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder symptoms are characterized by extreme changes in moods, alternating from states of high euphoria and extreme excitability to severe depression and lethargy. These mood changes can occur suddenly and without warning and with or without any trigger factors. Often the person can go without diagnosis for a long period of time during which the extreme mood changes can wreck havoc with one’s life, sleep, relationships, and job or work situation. These emotional variability are more extreme and more severe than the ordinary day-to-day mood elevations and depressions which occur naturally with daily living.
Currently, there has been increased interest and research into the holistic treatments for manic depression, unnatural mood fluctuations, and emotional variability. Diet, particularly adherence to wholesome, healthy, additive and chemical-free fresh whole foods, plays a major role in emotional health and well-being. Removing the allergens from one’s diet can also effect the moods and emotions. So some basic suggestions would be to check the diet and see if it is healthy. Remove all chemical additives, hormones, food colorings, MSG, synthetic preservatives, nitrites, etc. and maintain a healthy wholesome diet with fresh live foods. Limit or remove all caffeine, colas, green tea, stimulant drugs, and alcohol from the diet.
It might be good to get food allergy testing done by your medical doctor or a holistic health practitioner, to make sure that you are not exposed to any allergens. Curtailing the intake of sugars in the diet, including honey, simple complex carbohydrates, and other high glycemic index foods will help to maintain the correct blood sugar levels and keep the body from fluctuating from extreme low blood sugar to high blood sugar problems which could cause a “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” reaction. Weight loss stimulants and cold medications from over the counter could also aggravate the manic condition. Also, you might want to be checked for heavy metal toxicity via a hair mineral analysis test just to make sure that you do not have any toxic metals in your body. Many toxic metals can get into the brain and are responsible for mental and emotional problems.
Recent studies have shown that physical activities such as simple regular walking can also help with manic depression or bipolar disorder symptoms. Being active in all manner of forms is an important part of keeping the body and mind healthy. Regular daily yoga, relaxation therapy, stretching, tai chi, qigong, pilates, swimming, weight training, and bicycling are just a few enjoyable physical activities which seem to help keep the symptoms under control. You might want to look into getting regular acupuncture treatments, acupressure, massage, hypnosis, healing touch, aromatherapy, music therapy, psychotherapy, or Reiki treatments to see which of these modalities are most effective for your particular lifestyle.
Supplementing with the following nutraceuticals have also proven to be effective. Some of these need to be taken under the prescription of a licensed health care practitioner or Naturopathic doctor:
- St. John’s wort
- free form amino acid therapy
- folic acid
- vitamin B6
- vitamin B12
- omega 3 fatty acids including DHA and EPA, and L-carnitine.
I hope that the above list of suggestions will assist you in your search for optimal well-being to help with the manic depression symptoms you are experiencing.
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You may also want to read this article to further you understanding of Bipolar disorder symptoms and manic depression.