Treatment for bipolar disorder in individuals can be challenging due to the unique nature of the disorder. Mood stabilizers lack efficiency in many cases and carry risks of unmasking mania in prone individuals.
However, there are alternative therapies that have proven successful in treatment of bipolar disorder. These natural bipolar treatments include NAC, Omega-3 fatty acids, 5-HTP, DHEA, and St. John’s Wort, which have all proven to have varying degrees of success.
NAC, (N-acetyl-cysteine) effectively increases glutathione in the brain, a deficiency of same has been noted in persons with bipolar or depression. Available as an OTC medication, clinical studies have shown that NAC produces marked improvement in individuals with depressive disorders.
High levels of Omega-3 fatty acids can help in preventing depression or mania. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in meat products, cold water fish, green vegetables, and in capsule supplement form. Recent studies found that higher levels of this complex can increase effectiveness of mood stabilizers in treating bipolar disorder.
5-HTP assists the body in serotonin assembly through a process of enzyme breakdown in the neuron where it causes increased serotonin levels. 5-HTP has further been proven to be free of the side effects of weight gain as seen with many SSRI’s. Available in capsule form, 5-HTP shows increased effectiveness when used with St. Johns Wort.
DHEA, (dehydroepiandrosterone), is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands. Known as the body’s “master hormone,” DHEA is suggested to have potent anti-aging effects, as well as having a notable effect on mild to moderate depression. Some Orange County psychologists have noted that clinical studies have shown DHEA supplementation produces a marked improvement in both men and women with depressive disorders.
Produced naturally in the body, DHEA in supplement form is derived from the wild Mexican yam, or the barbasco root.
St. John’s Wort, in limited studies, has proven to have some effectiveness in treatment of mild to moderate unipolar depression. A medicinal herb, St. John’s Wort has an effect on serotonin reuptake, while also adjusting the neuro-transmitters, dopamine, norepinephrine, and GABA. St. Johns Wort is available in a cream and capsule form.