Many individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder do not respond to treatment

It is estimated that fewer than one half of individuals who take prescription medications following a first manic episode have good long-term control of their symptoms. To make matters more complicated, as many as 40% of bipolar patients who are taking one or more medications at recommended doses continue to have manic or depressive mood swings. As many as 1 in 4 of individuals who have the more severe form of bipolar disorder (so-called ‘bipolar I’) attempt suicide, and a significant percent eventually succeed. Stressful work, family or relationship situations, changes in the season, not getting enough sleep and the use or abuse of stimulants or recreational drugs significantly increase the risk of a manic episode. Regular exercise, good nutrition, a strong social support network and a predictable, low-stress environment help reduce relapse risk.

In the context of widely shared concerns about the effectiveness of conventional pharmacologic treatments of bipolar disorder emerging research findings suggest that select natural supplements may help alleviate symptoms of bipolar disorder and other mood disorders. To read more about safe and effective uses of natural supplements and other complementary and alternative treatments of bipolar disorder read “Bipolar Disorder: The Integrative Mental Health Solution,” by James Lake M.D.

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