50 Natural Ways to Manage and Overcome
Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
This page has been edited and reviewed by psychologist R. Y. Langham, M.M.F.T., Ph.D.
If you believe that you can diminish the symptoms of bipolar disorder and recover, then you are much more likely to work hard to make changes which will result in a less intense symptoms profile, with a lifestyle conducive to good mental health.
Take heart! Many who have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder have been “cured” and haven’t had to resign themselves to a life of strong pharmaceutical drugs. Bipolar disorder is currently the most misdiagnosed disorder with more than an estimated 50% of BD diagnoses reportedly inaccurate.
As a result, it is important to always seek a second opinion. In addition, one medical source indicated that it is possible to experience a 30% decrease in symptoms simply by paying attention to the foods you consume and the amount of exercise you receive. Moreover, refraining from alcohol and nicotine (smoking) consumption can also improve symptoms commonly associated with bipolar disorder (Burgess). By committing to positive lifestyle changes, and acquiring an arsenal of coping skills, you may find that you are indeed “cured,” that is, out of the range of a diagnosable mental health disorder. In other words, you may be able to bring your symptoms profile down approximately 30-50%,
According to a long-term study (covering two years) conducted on the success ratio of treating bipolar disorder through drug treatment and psychotherapy, 50% of bipolar disorder participants that were treated with drug and psychological therapy (best treatment) achieved remission, while the other 50% relapsed (DePaulo, 2006). It should be noted that not all participants received the best treatment, but rather treatment “as usual.” Therefore, the actual success rate is much lower than the rate recorded.
Regardless of whether you choose to use drug treatment for bipolar disorder or not, educating yourself on self-help methods can be of great value to you, as you manage and treat your condition. Full recovery and remission is possible.
Physical and Health-Related Self-Help for Bipolar Disorder
1. Exercise: Walk, Bike, Hike, Swim for Better Mental and Physical Health
Regular exercise, such as brisk walking is not only a great stress-reliever, it is also one of the best strategies for overcoming depression. Exercising contributes to a healthy chemical balance in your brain – naturally releasing endorphins, a natural opiate, and providing you with a sense of well-being, balance, and accomplishment.