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Alternative Treatments for Bipolar Disorder

Having bipolar disorder can be a rollercoaster ride. You get your highs and then you get your lows. I have been on medication treatment for it for years, ranging from Sertraline to Buspirone, to Aripiprazole (a.k.a. Abilify). However, I decided to quit cold-turkey on my synthetic medications and  found alternative treatments for Bipolar disorder using Turmeric Curcumin and Ashwagandha supplements. Here’s my story.

Bipolar Disorder Treatment Using Turmeric and Ashwagandha

What Is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is rapid fluctuations in one person’s mood from being manic (or high) to being depressed (or low). When one is in a manic phase or episode, she usually feels hyper with rapid thoughts about a lot of things such as being on top of the world, a feeling that you can conquer the world, or even a feeling of extreme positivity that sometimes can lead one in trouble (e.g. being extremely friendly or talkative to the point that she is bothering other people without her even realizing it). On the other hand, when one is in a depressive state, she will usually feel extremely low or depressed to the point where daily activities are hard to do such as waking up in the morning and going to work. 

What Are the Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder?

There’s a myriad of things that can show up as a sign or a symptom of having Bipolar Disorder such as elevated mood, depressed mood, irritability, impulsivity, etc. 

During a manic phase, there may be reduced need for sleep because of the high energy. This is the time when someone might feel extreme positivity, that she can conquer the world and nothing can stop her. There might also be impulsiveness during this time such as going on a shopping spree, starting too many projects at once, and/or being overly talkative with other people.

On the other hand, when someone experiences a crash from the high, it turns into a dark world of depression. From not being able to get up from bed to losing all interest in simple daily activities such as watching tv or taking care of oneself.

These highs and lows can be experienced within a matter of hours or days. Sometimes, it is unpredictable and irritability may occur to the point where one regrets saying things later on.

How Is Bipolar Disorder Treated?

Bipolar disorder is treated using a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy, prescription medicines, and psychiatric therapy sessions. Sometimes, only one modality is utilized while other times, a combination of one or two of the examples given. 

Prescription medicines include mood stabilizers, anti-depressants, and/or antipsychotics. A doctor may prescribe Abilify, Sertraline, Buspirone, etc. The medications work to stabilize one’s mood and prevent the highs and lows from going overboard. 

My Bipolar Disorder Treatment Journey

I have been on depression medications for years and as much as I want to, I don’t really like taking prescription medication, especially the ones that are synthesized in the lab. I am more of a naturopathic person and would like to heal naturally. I don’t even take pain meds not unless I’m dying of pain. However, with bipolar disorder, I really needed help in order to function everyday at least to a normal state just like the others. Hence, I stayed on it for as much as I can; Until now. 

I used to take Sertraline everyday but that did not help me that much. So, I switched to Wellbutrin but it also did not have much effect on me. Not only do I have Bipolar Disorder, but I also have social anxiety which was so severe back then that it took me a while to get used to people being around me. I was prescribed Hydroxyzine for this and that I took as needed. Then, I was also put on Propranolol for the anxiety which I also took as needed. After a while, I was put on Aripiprazole (Abilify) and Buspirone and this has been my medication prior to stopping and going cold-turkey on them.

Why I Stopped Cold-Turkey

If it had not been for my boyfriend, I wouldn’t have stopped at all because I was too scared to be off my meds and getting irritable at the slightest of things. However, he has convinced me to go natural instead. I did not plan on going cold turkey, but I did. It’s not a good thing so don’t try it on yourself. I did cold-turkey because I simply wanted to be off the medications and rid of the toxins as fast as possible. 

The Effects of Stopping My Bipolar Disorder Medications Cold-Turkey

To be honest, when I stopped cold-turkey, I felt wonderful. However, I immediately supplemented my diet with turmeric and ashwagandha upon stopping my medications. And no, my psychiatrist nor my primary care physician (PCP) does not know about this. Sssshh! 🤫

So far, it’s been great weeks. I have felt normal and more upbeat than when I was on my meds. I have not experienced any withdrawal symptoms at all as far as I’m concerned and I’m very happy about that. 

The Benefits of Taking Turmeric Curcumin for Bipolar Disorder

Turmeric is a spice and is mostly used in Indian and Asian cuisines. Some people take it as an anti-inflammatory for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arhtritis. In one study, researchers have found that people taking curcumin in combination with saffron have “greater improvements in depressive symptoms as compared to the placebo”. However, more studies are needed in light of this therapy.

The Effects of Taking Turmeric Curcumin Based From My Own Experience

When I quit my bipolar medications (Abilify and Buspirone) cold-turkey and supplemented it with Turmeric Curcumin and Ashwagandha, I immediately felt wonderful. I’m unsure if this is just placebo effect, but I am quite happy with the results. I have more energy than before, I also feel happier and more encouraged to do things as compared to when I was on the bipolar medications. In fact, I felt like a zombie on those medications.

I am currently taking Ace Nutrition Organic Turmeric Curcumin Bioperine 1650mg. I got it for free from Facebook. 

The Benefits of Taking Ashwagandha for Anxiety

Moving on to the next supplement, Ashwagandha is known to be as an ancient medicinal herb. A lot of people call it an “adaptogen” which means it has the ability to “help your body adapt to stress“. For that, Ashwagnadha is known to help alleviate the symptoms of anxiety, but then again, more research is still needed.

The Effects of Taking Ashwagandha Based From My Own Experience

To be honest, when I started taking Ashwagandha, I felt more outgoing and I think that it definitely helped my social anxiety. Again, this could be placebo effect but I am very happy and satisfied with the results. It has been three weeks from the time of this writing, and overall – positive effects so far.

I currently take the Happy Healthy Hippie Organic Ashwagandha 2100mg. I got it for free and at a discount over at Rebatekey (but I think the deal is over). If you also order from them, they send you a free bottle if you request from their website and I got another free one doing that. So, now I have a total of three bottles for only spending $0.99. What a deal! 

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The Verdict

My overall emotional health has been stable so far and I feel that my mood has been on the stable side as well. The Turmeric Curcumin and Ashwagandha is definitely helping with my stressors and I have a feeling that I wouldn’t need to go back to those synthetic medications prescribed by doctors. 

How about you? Are you suffering from Bipolar Disorder as well, or maybe just depression and anxiety and is thinking of ditching the synthetic medications? Do you want to make the switch to all-natural supplements instead? 

Chanel