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Natural ways to deal with bipolar depression and anxiety

T

Tree1

Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2021
Messages
15
Location
canada
Hello,

I was recently taken off my anti depressant and anti anxiety medications because it was causing mixed episodes. I am now deciding to try to manage my depression and anxiety through natural means (I am still on my mood stabilizer). I have tried so many over the past 11 years and nothing has helped. I started exercising, eating whole grains and cutting out simple carbs, I started taking vitamin d and omega 3 supplements. I also did some research and rhodiola is supposed to help so I am going to try that too. I also started meditating. I don't really know what I am doing though. Does anyone have advice for trying to manage these symptoms naturally?
 
S

SFGuy

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Diet, exercise, and meditation help me as do some of the skills I learned in DBT therapy. I couldn't manage without anxiety and sleep meds on top of my mood stabilizer, though. We're all so different.

Do you feel better without the anxiety drugs and antidepressants? Mixed states are awful, so I see why you stopped them.
 
Wishbone

Wishbone

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You'll likely be much better just for having got rid of the antidepressant, which shouldn't be anywhere near Bipolar in my view (they did the same thing to me by the way) but alas. If you want to keep it natural then...Body clock, body clock, body clock!

Regulate sleep-wake cycles, light and dark exposure, meal times, exercise times etc and your body and mind will be a lot happier; it's all about homeostasis.
There has been plenty of research done on Bipolar and sensitivity to body clock disruption which seems to create something of a chain reaction within us. I can link you to some studies if you want to see more about that kind of stuff.
 
Zana

Zana

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Meditation can take a while to master and it's best (in my experience) to try a variety of guided meditations to pick up some techniques which work for you, then you can then practice those and form your own routine. Also, knowing when to call it quits on a particular day if it isn't working (e.g. your mind or body just will not settle) is important to remember.

With managing depression I just take my entire life day by day now. If it's a bad day, let it be a bad day BUT set up for a good day, or at least a good start, tomorrow. It's little things like putting fresh bed sheets on, cleaning your kitchen and laying out what you need for breakfast, reflecting on the day, why it went wrong, what you can try differently tomorrow. Then in the morning, don't hit snooze, make your bed, maybe a small bit of exercise, have a shower, nice breakfast. Set up these small wins in the beginning of the day to put you in a good (or at least neutral) frame of mind and on a good trajectory. If it still doesn't work, it's just one day, try again tomorrow.

I also find monitoring my mood and sleep every day helps me know where I am and maybe if I need to change something or if an episode might be coming which is a big anxiety relief for me as mania scares me sh!tless. These are defo not wholesale cures and it doesn't always work, but hopefully it helps!
 
T

Tree1

Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2021
Messages
15
Location
canada
Diet, exercise, and meditation help me as do some of the skills I learned in DBT therapy. I couldn't manage without anxiety and sleep meds on top of my mood stabilizer, though. We're all so different.

Do you feel better without the anxiety drugs and antidepressants? Mixed states are awful, so I see why you stopped them.
I was taken off the anxiety meds and antidepressants just 2 months ago. They took me off completely, all at once, for all 3 medications. No tapering down. So I had a lot of side effects from withdrawing. The withdrawal symptoms have finally gone away (I think) but I still don't know if it helped. It definitely stopped the mixed episodes though. I definitely feel clearer mentally and am starting to lose some weight. So I guess it did help now that I think about it. I am starting a mild depression though. Trying to keep it at bay. Thank you.
 
T

Tree1

Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2021
Messages
15
Location
canada
You'll likely be much better just for having got rid of the antidepressant, which shouldn't be anywhere near Bipolar in my view (they did the same thing to me by the way) but alas. If you want to keep it natural then...Body clock, body clock, body clock!

Regulate sleep-wake cycles, light and dark exposure, meal times, exercise times etc and your body and mind will be a lot happier; it's all about homeostasis.
There has been plenty of research done on Bipolar and sensitivity to body clock disruption which seems to create something of a chain reaction within us. I can link you to some studies if you want to see more about that kind of stuff.
I have such a hard time with sleep as I am a super light sleeper. I am trying to create more of a routine but am nervous that when I go back to work (I'm on sick leave) it will throw everything off and ill be in worse shape. I would love to see those studies. Thank you.
 
T

Tree1

Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2021
Messages
15
Location
canada
Meditation can take a while to master and it's best (in my experience) to try a variety of guided meditations to pick up some techniques which work for you, then you can then practice those and form your own routine. Also, knowing when to call it quits on a particular day if it isn't working (e.g. your mind or body just will not settle) is important to remember.

With managing depression I just take my entire life day by day now. If it's a bad day, let it be a bad day BUT set up for a good day, or at least a good start, tomorrow. It's little things like putting fresh bed sheets on, cleaning your kitchen and laying out what you need for breakfast, reflecting on the day, why it went wrong, what you can try differently tomorrow. Then in the morning, don't hit snooze, make your bed, maybe a small bit of exercise, have a shower, nice breakfast. Set up these small wins in the beginning of the day to put you in a good (or at least neutral) frame of mind and on a good trajectory. If it still doesn't work, it's just one day, try again tomorrow.

I also find monitoring my mood and sleep every day helps me know where I am and maybe if I need to change something or if an episode might be coming which is a big anxiety relief for me as mania scares me sh!tless. These are defo not wholesale cures and it doesn't always work, but hopefully it helps!
 
T

Tree1

Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2021
Messages
15
Location
canada
Right now I just close my eyes and focus on my breathing. So I think ill try a guided meditation. Like I said, I don't really know what I am doing. So that will help. Thank you. When I was on antidepressants I would try to "will" myself into having a good day which only made the depression worse. Your way sounds much less stressful. Just before I was hospitalized (when they decided to take me off antidepressants and anti anxiety meds) I just kept taking more pills trying to make myself feel better and I accidentally overdosed. So day by day sounds really nice and peaceful.
 
Zana

Zana

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Joined
Apr 15, 2020
Messages
151
Location
England
The app Headspace is quite good for some basic breathing techniques which you can pick up in their free trial period. Feel free to DM me and I'm happy to go through some techniques in detail.

You'll likely be much better just for having got rid of the antidepressant, which shouldn't be anywhere near Bipolar in my view
If you want to keep it natural then...Body clock, body clock, body clock!
Couldn't agree more!
 
S

SFGuy

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Joined
Mar 28, 2021
Messages
107
Location
California
So I guess it did help now that I think about it. I am starting a mild depression though. Trying to keep it at bay.
Wow. You've done superbly considering that your meds were stopped without a taper. Ouch.

A knowledgable psychiatrist can try quite a few meds that can help with bipolar depression without inducing mood problems. The drugs aren't usually conventional antidepressants. I use Ketamine (expensive), but I have an empathic psychiatrist who is open to novel treatments.

It's great that people brought up structure (I forgot). It stabilizes me every day unless I'm in the middle of a major episode. It's drug free, too.
 
Wishbone

Wishbone

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 20, 2019
Messages
1,313
Location
England
I have such a hard time with sleep as I am a super light sleeper. I am trying to create more of a routine but am nervous that when I go back to work (I'm on sick leave) it will throw everything off and ill be in worse shape. I would love to see those studies. Thank you.
Yeah many of us do and things so easily knock things out of balance. For example, hayfever has hit me this week and the antihistamines I've taken have made me very tired at the wrong times, I gave in to napping once or twice and my sleep has lost its pattern again. Last night I got 3.5 hours.
Studies/research here my friend:

 
T

Tree1

Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2021
Messages
15
Location
canada
Wow. You've done superbly considering that your meds were stopped without a taper. Ouch.

A knowledgable psychiatrist can try quite a few meds that can help with bipolar depression without inducing mood problems. The drugs aren't usually conventional antidepressants. I use Ketamine (expensive), but I have an empathic psychiatrist who is open to novel treatments.

It's great that people brought up structure (I forgot). It stabilizes me every day unless I'm in the middle of a major episode. It's drug free, too.
Thank you. It was very rough getting off them. I haven't tried Ketamine but I don't think that I would be able to afford it. And I doubt my insurance would cover it. I am so sick of trying new meds without finding anything that works. Its very frustrating as I am sure you know. I need to structure my day better. I feel like a mess. I am glad that you found a med that works for you.
 
T

Tree1

Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2021
Messages
15
Location
canada
Yeah many of us do and things so easily knock things out of balance. For example, hayfever has hit me this week and the antihistamines I've taken have made me very tired at the wrong times, I gave in to napping once or twice and my sleep has lost its pattern again. Last night I got 3.5 hours.
Studies/research here my friend:

I am sorry that you are having a hard time now with your sleep. 3.5 hours is rough. I read the study and I had no idea how significant it is. Thank you.
 

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