Natural herbal & homeopathic remedies for bipolar disorder (bipolar affective disorder or manic-depressive illness)

Bipolar Disorder
HEALTH HERBS & NUTRITION - REMEDIES - BIPOLAR DISORDER

· General Description

· Symptoms

· Causes

· Herbal & Homeopathic Remedies

· Helpful Dietary Habits

· Dos and Don'ts

Natural herbal & homeopathic products for bipolar affective disorder, manic-depressive illness
General description and overview of bipolar affective disorder, manic-depressive illness
 

Affecting approximately 1 percent of the population, manic-depressive illness is more popularly known as bipolar affective disorder. Bipolar disorder is a serious brain illness that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. This means that the patient alternates between extreme moods of mania (very happy or "up,") and depression (very sad and "down,"), although in some manic-depressives, either the mania or the depression, may be predominant. The patient’s mood cycles back and forth at varying intervals.

During the manic phase, the manic-depressive is in either an expansive and euphoric mood or an irritable mood. He has less sleep, is hyperactive, speaks rapidly, and may have sequences of ideas that are impossible to follow. He may go on extravagant spending sprees, embark on new adventures, or become promiscuous. In addition, he is often distracted and has impaired judgment; he may develop grandiose delusions, or a firm belief that he has powers he doesn’t actually have.

Eventually, the manic person moves form this phase to either a normal mood or a depressed one. Some manic-depressives are considered ‘rapid cyclers’ because they have four or more episodes of mania and depression within a single year. Others may show both manic and depressive symptoms at the same time in what is known as a ‘mixed bipolar’ state.

Bipolar disorder often develops in a person's late teens or early adult years. At least half of all cases start before age 25. Some people have their first symptoms during childhood, while others may develop symptoms late in life.

The illness can make it hard for a child to do well in school or get along with friends and family members. The illness can also be dangerous. Some young people with bipolar disorder try to hurt themselves or attempt suicide.


Natural remedies for bipolar disorder (bipolar affective disorder or manic-depressive illness). When children develop the illness, it is called early-onset bipolar disorder. This type can be more severe than bipolar disorder in older teens and adults. Also, young people with bipolar disorder may have symptoms more often and switch moods more frequently than adults with the illness

Children and teens with bipolar disorder should get treatment. With help, they can manage their symptoms and lead successful lives. Natural solutions like herbal & homeopathic remedies can provide long lasting relief without the harsh, sometimes extremely serious, side effects of conventional medications.

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Symptoms of bipolar affective disorder, manic-depressive illness
 

A person may be having an episode of bipolar disorder if he or she has a number of manic or depressive symptoms for most of the day, nearly every day, for at least one or two weeks. Sometimes symptoms are so severe that the person cannot function normally at work, school, or home.

 
Symptoms of bipolar disorder are described below.
 

Symptoms of mania or a manic episode include:

Symptoms of depression or a depressive episode include:


Mood Changes

  • A long period of feeling "high," or an overly happy or outgoing mood
  • Extremely irritable mood, agitation, feeling "jumpy" or "wired."

Behavioral Changes

  • Talking very fast, jumping from one idea to another, having racing thoughts
  • Feel very happy or act silly in a way that's unusual
  • Have a very short temper
  • Being easily distracted
  • Increasing goal-directed activities, such as taking on new projects
  • Being restless, Do risky things
  • Sleeping little, but not feel tired
  • Having an unrealistic belief in one's abilities
  • Talk and think about sex more often
  • Behaving impulsively and taking part in a lot of pleasurable, high-risk behaviors, such as spending sprees, impulsive sex, and impulsive business investments.


Mood Changes

  • A long period of feeling worried or empty
  • Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed, including sex.

Behavioral Changes

  • Feeling tired or "slowed down" and no interest in fun activities
  • Having problems concentrating, remembering, and making decisions
  • Being restless or irritable
  • Complain about pain a lot, like stomachaches and headaches
  • Changing eating, sleeping, or other habits, e.g. sleep & eat too little or too much
  • Thinking of death or suicide, or attempting suicide, feel guilty and worthless
 

Substance abuse - Both adults and kids with bipolar disorder are at risk of drinking or taking drugs. Substance abuse may trigger or prolong bipolar symptoms, and the behavioral control problems associated with mania can result in a person drinking too much.

Anxiety disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and social phobia, (also separation anxiety in children) also co-occur often among people with bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder also co-occurs with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which has some symptoms that overlap with bipolar disorder, such as restlessness and being easily distracted.

People with bipolar disorder are also at higher risk for thyroid disease, migraine headaches, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and other physical illnesses. These illnesses may cause symptoms of mania or depression. They may also result from treatment for bipolar disorder.

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Causes of bipolar affective disorder, manic-depressive illness
 

Several factors may contribute to bipolar disorder, including:

  • Genes, because the illness runs in families. Children with a parent or sibling with bipolar disorder are more likely (four to six times) to get the illness than other children. However, most children with a family history of bipolar disorder will not develop the illness. It is likely that many different genes and a person's environment are involved as, for example, both the identical twins who share the same genes may not have bipolar.

  • Abnormal brain structure and brain function. Brains of people with bipolar disorder may differ from the brains of healthy people or people with other mental disorders. For example, one study using MRI found that the pattern of brain development in children with bipolar disorder was similar to that in children with "multi-dimensional impairment," a disorder that causes symptoms that overlap somewhat with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

  • Anxiety disorders. Children with anxiety disorders are more likely to develop bipolar disorder.

Herbal remedies & causes for bipolar disorder (bipolar affective disorder or manic-depressive illness). The causes of bipolar disorder aren't always clear. Scientists are studying it to find out more about possible causes and risk factors. Learning more about these differences, along with information gained from genetic studies, helps scientists better understand bipolar disorder. One day, it may also help doctors prevent the illness in some people

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Herbal & homeopathic remedies for bipolar affective disorder, manic-depressive illness
 

Conventional Medications

Bipolar is treated with antidepressant medication for acute depressions and the antimanic medication lithium carbonate to maintain mood stability. In case of psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations or delusions, tranquillizers are also administered.

Rapid-cycling patients who don’t respond well to lithium, or people who can’t tolerate it, can benefit from anticonvulsant drugs such as carbamazepine or clonazepam. These drugs are taken alone as well as in combination with lithium.

Psychotherapy should be a help in coping when medications have stabilized the sufferer’s moods. Only rarely would electroconvulsive therapy be found necessary to treat a manic person who is not responding to medication.

Different medications for treating bipolar disorder may cause different side effects. Some medications used for treating bipolar disorder have been linked to unique and serious symptoms, which are described below.

Lithium can cause several side effects, and some of them may become serious. They include:

 
  • Loss of coordination
  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Blackouts
  • Seizures
  • Slurred speech
  • Fast, slow, irregular, or pounding heartbeat
  • Hallucinations (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist)
  • Changes in vision
  • Itching, rash
  • Swelling of the eyes, face, lips, tongue, throat, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs.

If a person with bipolar disorder is being treated with lithium, he or she should visit the doctor regularly to check the levels of lithium in the blood, and make sure the kidneys and the thyroid are working normally.

Some possible side effects linked with valproic acid/divalproex sodium include:

 
  • Changes in weight
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting
  • Anorexia
  • Loss of appetite.
 

Valproic acid may cause damage to the liver or pancreas, so people taking it should see their doctors regularly.

Valproic acid may affect young girls and women in unique ways. Sometimes, valproic acid may increase testosterone (a male hormone) levels in teenage girls and lead to a condition called polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is a disease that can affect fertility and make the menstrual cycle become irregular, but symptoms tend to go away after valproic acid is stopped. It also may cause birth defects in women who are pregnant.


Herbal supplements & homeopathic medicines for bipolar disorder (bipolar affective disorder or manic-depressive illness). Lamotrigine can cause a rare but serious skin rash that needs to be treated in a hospital. In some cases, this rash can cause permanent disability or be life-threatening

In addition, valproic acid, lamotrigine, carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine and other anticonvulsant medications have an FDA warning. The warning states that their use may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. People taking anticonvulsant medications for bipolar or other illnesses should be closely monitored for new or worsening symptoms of depression, suicidal thoughts or behavior, or any unusual changes in mood or behavior. People taking these medications should not make any changes without talking to their health care professional.

Other medications for bipolar disorder may also be linked with rare but serious side effects. Ensure that you research all the options and are aware of all the side-effects and precautions of taking any prescribed medication before making a decision. Remember not to discontinue any prescription medication for Bipolar Disorder without first consulting your doctor.

For the latest information on various side-effects of all such medications for bipolar, visit the FDA website.

Natural Herbal and Homeopathic Remedies

Should you wish to pursue a more natural approach to treatment there are various options that should be explored. Because Bipolar Disorder generally requires conventional drug treatment, caution should be exercised when combining the two as there are certain natural remedies for bipolar disorder which may be incompatible with the psychiatric drugs.

Herbal and homeopathic remedies can also provide relief for severe mood swings, emotional outbursts and manic behavior. These natural treatments effective yet gentle on the body’s system without the risk of negative reactions. Natural remedies for bipolar disorder should feature calming herbs which are generally safe to use along with psychiatric drugs for Bipolar Disorder including Passiflora incarnata and Lavender. Biochemic Tissue Salts such as Natrium sulphate, Kalium phosphate and Natrium phosphate can also be used as natural remedies for bipolar disorder since they have a calming and restorative effect on the nervous system and help to balance mood and prevent mood swings. Homeopathic remedies such as Tarentula and Hyoscyamus can also be very helpful and may safely be used together with psychiatric medication without adverse effect.

Homeopathic ingredients such as Kali. Phosphoricum, Nat. sulphuricum, Tarentula and Hyoscyamus niger helps to control excitability, agitation and emotional outbursts and promote a balanced mood while supporting the brain and nervous system.

Consult a doctor, homeopath or naturopath for advice, especially when other chronic medications are also in use.

Because of bipolar, a person is likely to have repeated episodes of mania and depression throughout his life. But these episodes can be minimized or controlled. With the judicious use of herbal & homeopathic remedies, most of the treatment can take outside the hospital.

Herbal & homeopathic products recommended for bipolar affective disorder, manic-depressive illness

MoodCalm for bipolar disorder (bipolar affective disorder or manic-depressive illness)

MoodCalm™

Homeopathic remedy temporarily calms emotional outbursts and reduces mood swings.

Product Details

PureCalm for bipolar disorder (bipolar affective disorder or manic-depressive illness)

PureCalm™

Aids nervous system in stress resistance for balanced moods and feelings of well being.

Product Details

MindSoothe for bipolar disorder (bipolar affective disorder or manic-depressive illness)

MindSoothe™

Promote balanced mood, emotional health and feelings of wellbeing.

Product Details

MindSoothe Jr. for bipolar disorder (bipolar affective disorder or manic-depressive illness)

MindSoothe Jr.™

Promote balanced mood and stability in children.

Product Details

Mood Tonic for bipolar disorder (bipolar affective disorder or manic-depressive illness)

Mood Tonic™

Optimizes nervous system health and promotes balanced mood and peacefulness.

Product Details

 

Dos and don'ts (precautions) in bipolar affective disorder, manic-depressive illness

Psychotherapy

 

In addition to medication, psychotherapy, or "talk" therapy, can be an effective treatment for bipolar disorder. It can provide support, education, and guidance to people with bipolar disorder and their families. Some psychotherapy treatments used to treat bipolar disorder include:

  1. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) helps people with bipolar disorder learn to change harmful or negative thought patterns and behaviors.
  2. Family-focused therapy includes family members. It helps enhance family coping strategies, such as recognizing new episodes early and helping their loved one. This therapy also improves communication and problem-solving.
  3. Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy helps people with bipolar disorder improve their relationships with others and manage their daily routines. Regular daily routines and sleep schedules may help protect against manic episodes.
  4. Psychoeducation teaches people with bipolar disorder about the illness and its treatment. This treatment helps people recognize signs of relapse so they can seek treatment early, before a full-blown episode occurs. Usually done in a group, psychoeducation may also be helpful for family members and caregivers.
 

Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

For cases in which medication and/or psychotherapy does not work, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may be useful. ECT, formerly known as "shock therapy," once had a bad reputation. But in recent years, it has greatly improved and can provide relief for people with severe bipolar disorder who have not been able to feel better with other treatments.

Sometimes ECT is used for bipolar symptoms when other medical conditions, including pregnancy, make the use of medications too risky. ECT is a highly effective treatment for severely depressive, manic, or mixed episodes, but is generally not a first-line treatment.


Homeopathic remedies and precautions in bipolar disorder (bipolar affective disorder or manic-depressive illness). While the response rate to ECT is usually very fast, most studies show that it only has a short-term effect and should only be used for immediate relief from a severe bipolar episode.

To help a friend or relative, you can:

 
  • Offer emotional support, understanding, patience, and encouragement
  • Learn about bipolar disorder so you can understand what your friend or relative is experiencing
  • Talk to your loved one and listen carefully
  • Listen to feelings your loved one expresses-be understanding about situations that may trigger bipolar symptoms
  • Invite your loved one out for positive distractions, such as walks, outings, and other activities
  • Take note of early warning signs and mood patterns so that you can learn to predict future episodes and help curb them.
  • Remind your loved one that, with time and treatment, he or she can get better.
  • Plan ahead so that you know what to do in case of an emergency. Discuss limiting financial access or suggest that someone else be appointed ‘decision-maker’ over important matters during a manic or depressive episode. Agree beforehand on certain limits and boundaries to be set in place.
 

To help yourself:

  • Talk to your doctor about treatment options and progress
  • Keep a regular routine, such as eating meals at the same time every day and going to sleep at the same time every night
  • Try to get enough sleep. While most people can skip a few hours of sleep here and there with little consequence, loss of sleep has been shown to be a major trigger of bipolar episodes.
  • Stay on your medication. It is a common mistake for people suffering from Bipolar to stop their treatment when they begin to feel better. This often results in relapse.
  • Learn about warning signs signaling a shift into depression or mania. Keep a diary so that you begin to notice the patterns and triggers of your episodes. Involve family members and friends in watching out for these warning signs. If the signs suggest a pending episode, contact your doctor.
  • Expect your symptoms to improve gradually, not immediately.
  • Avoid the use of alcohol and illicit or stimulant drugs. These sometimes trigger manic or depressive episodes. If you have a substance abuse problem, get immediate treatment - until that is dealt with, you will be less likely to stick to your treatment plan.

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Herbal & homeopathic products recommended for bipolar affective disorder, manic-depressive illness

MoodCalm™

Homeopathic remedy temporarily calms emotional outbursts and reduces mood swings.

Product Details

PureCalm™

Aids nervous system in stress resistance for balanced moods and feelings of well being.

Product Details

MindSoothe™

Promote balanced mood, emotional health and feelings of wellbeing.

Product Details

MindSoothe Jr.™

Promote balanced mood and stability in children.

Product Details

Mood Tonic™

Optimizes nervous system health and promotes balanced mood and peacefulness.

Product Details

 

Regardless of how severe or the actual type of bipolar that you or your loved one is suffering from, there ARE things you can do to take control of your life and regain that confidence, happiness and put you on the path towards living the life you were truly meant to live.

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