Natural Ways to Help Bipolar Depression

Fish Oil

One of the most talked about natural remedies for depression that may also benefit those with bipolar depression is fish oil. According to prevention.com, people diagnosed with depression may have lower levels of omega-3 in their blood. But high levels of omega-3 oils--EPA (eicosapentaenoic) and DHA (docusahexaenoic)--can be found in fish oil. Omega-3 oils help with the growth and maintenance of brain cells and protective cell membranes, which in turn assists with normal brain function.

Further, psycheducation.org points out that neither EPA nor DHA have a detrimental effect on the mood-stabilizing drugs and antidepressants normally used to treat bipolar disorder.

SAMe

SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine) is an amino acid that affects the serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a hormone that is essential for proper brain functioning. SAMe can help relieve bipolar depression by regulating serotonin levels.

The use of SAMe should only be taken with a doctor's supervision, as SAMe can cause the bipolar depression to switch to mania.

Folic Acid and Vitamin B12

According to psychcentral.com, while vitamins have not been proven to prevent or reduce either bipolar depression or mania, certain vitamins are associated with mood regulation and can help keep overall health at a higher level, giving the body a better chance at helping itself with chemical and hormonal regulation.

Vitamin B12 and folic acid are B vitamins that help with cell growth and reproduction. Vitamin B12 also helps regulate serotonin. Folic acid may help the body respond better to lithium, the mood-stabilizing drug that helps both with manic and depressive episodes in bipolar mood disorder.

Exercise

One easy-to-do natural method for relieving depression in both bipolar and nonbipolar patients is exercise. Regular exercise increases overall health and improves mood. Regular exercise also helps regulate sleep, which is an important element to good mental as well as physical health. Aerobic exercise prompts the release of mood-elevating hormones and increases the amount of serotonin in the brain. While the manic phase of bipolar mood disorder is often considered the most potentially destructive, bipolar depressive moods can lead to equal disruption of the life of a person with bipolar disorder, causing problems with jobs, school and daily life. Bipolar depression can become so deep that the risk of suicide becomes a reality.

While both the manic and depressive sides of bipolar disorder are usually treated with medications and therapy, it is possible to employ additional natural remedies to help relieve bipolar depression.