Do you or someone you know experience extreme mood swings? We’re not talking about feeling good one day and feeling a little down the next; emotional fluctuations, with varying levels of intensity, are a very normal and healthy part of being human.
No, we’re talking about experiencing a high that can only be described as manic and a dangerously “low” depression that can last for hours, days, or even months. These abrupt and drastic highs and lows are typically a sign of an underlying condition known as bipolar disorder.
If you’re wondering how you can holistically manage your bipolar disorder at home, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’re going to share with you our top three natural treatments.
What is bipolar disorder?
Bipolar disorder, formerly called manic depression, is a mental health condition that results in an individual frequently experiencing sudden and extreme mood swings. Due to the severity of the symptoms, when left untreated, this condition can lead to fatal suicidal behavior.
Many doctors will choose to help you manage your bipolar disorder through the use of traditional means, but some people would prefer to avoid these medications or, at least, attempt alternative methods first.
The more we learn about the root causes of bipolar disorder, the more science is revealing that holistic methods are proving to be effective at managing this condition, and for some people, full healing of it.
Traditional versus alternative methods
Due to how extreme and unpredictable this condition can be, seeking professional help is always advised, but if you’re interested in exploring alternative methods, we’ve got you covered.
The truth is, one treatment is not better than the other; both traditional and alternative methods have proven to be effective and successful in the long term — it all comes down to which is going to work best for you.
The most common traditional form of treatment for bipolar disorder is medication-assisted treatment (MAT). This is where a medical provider will prescribe medications that are designed to rebalance brain chemistry to you in addition to you undergoing counseling.
Alternative treatments are very “full-spectrum focused,” meaning they are designed to treat your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. Thy are designed to encompass a wide variety of methods, ranging from herbal supplements to mindfulness practices.
Natural treatments for bipolar disorder
Here are our top three tips for managing bipolar disorder, holistically..
1. Eat a healthy diet
More and more studies are revealing the innate connection between the food we eat and the different physical and mental ailments we succumb to. Diets that are high in inflammatory foods play a dominant role in the development of mental disorders, including bipolar disorder.
Inflammatory foods include sugar, gluten, fast food and foods that are highly processed or full of synthetic ingredients, such as corn syrup and artificial flavors.
Some of the best foods for treating bipolar disorder include:
Raw healthy fats (such as coconut oil, olive oil, avocados)
“Clean” protein (think grass-fed beef over hot dogs, wild fish over farmed, and cage-free poultry)
Fresh produce (canned produce is often full of unhealthy sodium, oils, and syrups)
High-fiber foods (“ancient grains,” beans/legumes, and nuts)
Experiment cooking with any of these foods, and your mind (and belly) will thank you.
2. Engage in daily movement
You may have heart it a thousand times, but it’s because it’s true: consistent, frequent exercise is good for your mental health. Between the rush of happy chemicals your brain produces to the boost of self-esteem and pride you get from completing your workout, you can’t go wrong.
The best part is, this workout can look however you want. Instead of forcing yourself to engage in a bunch of exercises you hate, experiment with different movement styles. Try a gym, or also try walking on a mountain trail, yoga in the morning sunshine and dancing (yes, it counts).
3. Manage your stress
Many of us are carrying around a multitude of stresses, dilemmas, struggles and unhealed wounds that all directly impact the state of our mind. On the mental health level, stress isn’t good for you; on brain chemistry level, stress isn’t good for you.
While managing stress isn’t easy, it’s an essential component of not only taking care of your mental health on a daily basis, but for managing — and healing from — a mental health condition, such as bipolar disorder.
Some of the best ways to manage your stress is to practice breathwork, mindfulness (i.e. meditation or yoga), as well as mindset-focused activities like journaling to better know your thought patterns and, if needed, change them.
Reach out for personal support
If you or someone you love may be struggling with bipolar disorder, we’re here to help.
Tapestry is revolutionizing mental health care by teaching you to embrace intrinsic change so you can build the life you deserve around health, happiness, and purpose.
Our compassionate team is committed to helping you achieve this change by offering a variety of different mental health healing programs that integrate a combination of traditional and alternative methods.