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Bipolar Disorder: Alternative Treatment Methods

Dealing with bipolar disorder can make living extra difficult for you because you often struggle with the unpredictable depressive and manic episodes on a daily basis.   

Not being able to cope with it, you might find it harder to maintain relationships and function well at home, work or play.

So if you’re suffering from a bipolar disorder and looking for ways to cope with it, you can refer to the following for alternative treatment methods.

Lifestyle changes

Applying (healthy) lifestyle changes are one of the most effective ways of overcoming the bipolar disorder.    A few things to help start with a healthy lifestyle are,

  • Eating healthy food and taking supplements like fish oil to improve mood
  • Exercising daily
  • Cutting back on caffeine, sugar and alcohol
  • Getting enough and quality eight hours o sleep
  • Cutting back on activities

You can also develop a wellness toolbox, which is consist of activities and things that can help you stabilize and maintain mood, develop coping skills and feel better when feeling down.  Some of these include,

  • Having a support group
  • Talking to a supportive friend
  • Taking time to unwind or relax
  • Cutting back on activities
  • Doing something creative like writing in a journal
  • Decreasing or increasing environmental stimulation

Meditation

It is another way to cope with bipolar disorder because it can transform your mind. It is an effective method of equalizing the mind – including unstable moods.   

You can find balance during and after meditation even after a few days after it. One of its benefits is a shorter lived and less severe brainwave disruption.    

With meditation, your brain will be able to snap back to your trained and calm/clear state of mind state.

Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy

Bipolar disorder leads to energy and mood shifts, disrupting one’s life.

An effective way of coping with it includes interpersonal and social rhythm therapy.

This therapy is designed to help the sufferer better manage or prevent behavior and mood shifts.

It’ll teach you how to focus in order to stabilize your daily rhythms like eating meals and waking up.

Its interpersonal aspect has to do with the link between how your mood will affect your life and how you can relate to other people in the world.

In this case, your counselor or therapist will ask about ways the disorder has affected your life – relationships, friendships and work relationships.

Medical Marijuana

With an MMJ card, driver’s license and doctor’s recommendation certificate, patients can purchase cannabis, which can help in alleviating symptoms of different qualifying conditions, diseases and disorders, at a medical marijuana dispensary.

In recent years, cannabis has also been regarded to be a good alternative treatment for mood disorders because it can be a natural mood stabilizer.

A certain study at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, might have applications in bipolar disorder and mood improvement.

It turned out that the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) compound in cannabis may have antidepressant, anti-hypnotic and anti-anxiety effects to promote a sense of well-being and improve mood.

On the other hand, CBD might have bipolar disorder application in terms of mood stabilizing actions.

Overall, the researchers concluded that both CBD and THC might have potentials in treating bipolar disorder.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Also called TCM, traditional Chinese medicine, such as acupuncture is a good alternative medical system, which is now recognized even by Western practitioners and in fact being blended with Western approaches.

For example, acupuncture benefits bipolar disorder sufferers because it helps in promoting energy flow from the body’s surface and into the organs.  

This energy is essential in mental, spiritual, emotional and physical health balance.

Overall, acupuncture can help in stimulating the central nervous system resulting to the release of endorphins that reduces mania symptoms with regular acupuncture sessions.

Massage Therapy

It can help in relieving  the symptoms of bipolar disorder and depression because it can relieve connective tissue and muscle tension, promoting relaxation and increased blood flow. It may also help in alleviating sluggishness and relieving sleeping problems and fatigue.

Fish Oil

Certain studies had it that fish oil may have a significant role in improving behavior and brain function.  It may also be more helpful for sufferers that are also at a higher risk of developing a heart disease or have high bad cholesterol levels.

So supplementing with fish oil, which is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, you can stabilize mood and prevent the mood shifts in bipolar disorder.

However, fish oil can be more effective in regulating the depressed phase than the manic phase of the disorder.

Final Thoughts

Cope with bipolar disorder by stabilizing your mood and preventing its shifts.  

And in order to do that, you might want to consider the alternative treatment methods, such as traditional Chinese medicine, fish oil, interpersonal and social rhythm therapy, meditation and medical marijuana, to deal with your symptoms and manage them better.

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Written by Lilly Myers

Lilly Myers is a freelance content writer and social worker at Beverly Hills Speech Therapy. She has just recently received Master's in Medical Sciences. Besides her occupancy she tries to find a spare time for volunteering and helping the people with disorders.

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