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A Holistic Approach to Bipolar (Comprehensive Treatment Guide)

Bipolar disorder causes shifts in energy levels, mood swings, anxiety, and sleep problems which can be a roller coaster for the diagnosed person, as well as their loved ones. Since symptoms can affect every aspect of one’s life,  and make things feel out of control, finding the best treatment plan is usually equally challenging. Medications alone can help you manage some of the symptoms, but they can also cause adverse side effects. At Magnified Health Systems we offer solutions to managing and treating bipolar clients with less invasive options and more holistic remedies including psychological counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy, and advocacy and support in making lifestyle changes.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder,  we want to help you manage symptoms through holistic treatment plans. Our team members are skilled and ready to work to help you take back control.

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    What is Bipolar Disorder? What are the signs?

    Bipolar disorder (previously referred to as manic-depressive illness or manic depression)  is a disorder that triggers unpredictable and erratic shifts in moods, energy, and concentration, and sometimes even causes difficulties in carrying out the simplest day-to-day tasks. Bipolar creates high-energy mood shifts referred to as mania. These manic episodes can cause a reduced need for sleep and loss of touch with reality. Eventually, the manic episode ends and then leads to unavoidable lows that may include symptoms such as low energy, low motivation, and loss of interest in daily activities. These episodes are commonly known as depression. Of course, symptoms can be experienced differently and at many different levels. Any of these mood episodes may last from days to months at a time and may also be associated with suicidal thoughts.

    Bipolar can only be diagnosed by a qualified medical professional, but there are a number of symptoms that can be observed to help identify if you or your loved one may be suffering from the disorder. Besides Bipolar Disorder, the symptoms listed below could indicate a myriad of different health conditions, so visiting a qualified professional for an assessment is the first step to gaining control of these symptoms.

    Signs and Symptoms of Depression

    When experiencing depression, some symptoms may include:

    • Lack of energy
    • Feelings of hopelessness and extreme sadness
    • Difficulty in remembering things
    • Feeling worthless
    • Having self-doubt
    • Lack of appetite
    • Suicidal thoughts
    • Insomnia
    • Hallucinations

    Signs and Symptoms of Mania

    Symptoms in the manic phase can include:

    • Extreme and unusually fast talking
    • Increased energy levels with very little sleep and no desire to sleep
    • Feelings of euphoria
    • Racing thoughts; jumping quickly from one idea to the next and easily distracted
    • Lack of appetite
    • Low Impulse control and impaired judgment
    • Acting recklessly without concern for consequences
    • Unable to identify possible disastrous outcomes as results of manic behavior
    • Delusions and hallucinations (in severe cases).

    Patterns of Depression and Mania

    With bipolar disorder, there are times when depressive episodes may increase and manic episodes dwindle, or vice versa. The patterns are different for everyone, and sometimes those diagnosed have experienced rapid cycling, which includes episodes of mood swings in a quick motion from high to low with no breaks and no time that they aren’t experiencing the symptoms of one extreme or the other. There are also patterns known as a mixed state: this is when a person experiences mania and depression symptoms together. Either of these patterns can be extremely taxing for everyone involved and following an effective treatment plan with a qualified professional is the best way to get symptoms and episodes to a place that is manageable.

    Causes of Bipolar Disorder

    There has been no provable or specific cause of the bipolar disorder. Medical professionals believe that there are a few factors that can combine to increase the likelihood of symptoms appearing and even triggering the condition. Some of these factors include:

    • A chemical imbalance in the brain – When the levels of noradrenaline (a chemical responsible for controlling the mind) are too high, there is evidence that it can lead to mania and manic episodes.
    • Genetics – A person whose family members have had bipolar disorder or other mental health disorders could be at a higher risk of having the condition in the future.
    • Environmental factors –  Stressful situations can initiate symptoms related to this mental disorder – even long after they are over.

    Some other possible contributing factors could be:

    • Sleep disruptions
    • Certain illnesses
    • Overwhelming and/ or extremely stressful or traumatic situations and experiences.

    What You Need to Know about Bipolar Disorder

    • Bipolar disorder is a chronic mental condition that involves extreme and unpredictable mood swings.
    • Episodes of depression cause low moods, and symptoms include feelings of hopelessness, a desire to withdraw from the social world, and loss of interest and enjoyment in hobbies and activities.
    • Manic episodes create high energy levels on little sleep and feelings of euphoria, resulting in decision-making that is logical with no regard for outcomes.
    • Bipolar is experienced differently by different people and this can include how the cycling of moods can occur.
    • If bipolar disorder is diagnosed early and proactively treated, a person can live a healthy and fulfilling life.
    • As much as certain medications can be essential to treat the symptoms of bipolar, a holistic approach including psychotherapy is also necessary.
    • Antidepressants and mood stabilizers have proven to be effective in conjunction with the right treatment plans, especially if the symptoms are severe.
    • Bipolar has also been referred to as manic depression or  manic-depressive illness

    Frequently Asked Questions: Holistic Bipolar Treatment

    Why is multimodal treatment most effective for chronic depression and bipolar disorder?

    Combinations of treatment provide the best outcomes. Treating symptoms holistically or with medication helps with stabilization and therapeutic treatment and education help family functioning and sustainability since the individual with the diagnosis gains tools needed for future situations. A combination of multiple treatment modalities is the most effective approach to treating bipolar.

    What is the most effective treatment for bipolar disorder?

    The most effective treatment for bipolar disorder is a combination of medication and psychotherapy with holistic methods of healing like yoga and wellness practices. Most people take more than one drug, like a mood-stabilizing drug and an antipsychotic or antidepressant. However, it's important that treatment is long-term and ongoing so that symptoms don't exacerbate.

    What are some of that top alternative holistic bipolar treatment methods?

    There are different herbs and minerals which support positive brain functioning such as:
    • Fish oil
    • Rhodiola Rosea
    • S-adenosylmethionine
    As well as some proven treatment methods that do not involve continued prescription medicine such as
    • TMS Therapy
    • Ketamine Therapy
    However, the best holistic approach to bipolar treatment is a healthy lifestyle and habit change. This would include increased exercise, meditation, yoga, and other positive habits that help you to become centered.

    Holistic Treatment For Bipolar Is Possible

    Bipolar disorder can be emotionally and physically draining, but you and your loved ones do not have to go through that alone. Reach out to Magnified Health Systems and we can help find the path to living without the extreme ups and downs. Our team of dedicated professionals offers guidance and treatment to people affected by a multitude of mental health disorders. We can provide the education, treatment options, resources, and support you need to achieve the best outcomes. We advocate for you and your healing journey. Reach out to us today, and let us help you take control.

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    This content is verified and moderated by Dr. Brendan Bickley

    This content is verified and moderated by Dr. Brendan Bickley

    Dr. Bickley graduated from U.C. Irvine with honors: Phi Beta Kappa, Golden Key International Honor Society, Cum Laude. He has been featured on national radio and print media. He is also a frequent lecturer at National Conferences. He holds an A.S. degree in Drug & Alcohol Studies, and two B.A. degrees in Criminology & Psychology, and masters and doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology. He is a licensed California Drug & Alcohol Counselor Level II, a licensed Clinical Supervisor and is certified in treating Eating Disorders.

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