Bipolar Disorder Treatment Alternative Therapies

Although Western medicine and pharmaceutical therapy will always play a role in treatment of bipolar disorder, alternative treatments may complement these efforts. Armed with knowledge about alternative bipolar disorder treatment options, you’ll be able to decide whether this treatment approach is for you.

Alternative Bipolar Disorder Treatment: Mindfulness

Alternative bipolar disorder treatments often center on the idea of mindfulness. This technique involves paying close attention to your mental state throughout the day, which may help you manage bipolar episodes. One popular way to do so is keeping a detailed mood chart. With this tool, you may be able to foresee episodes, sense when they are starting and examine the effectiveness of various treatment options.

Another alternative bipolar treatment is meditation. Especially during a manic episode, spending time quietly paying attention to your body and mental state can provide the stability you need to control the episode. Meditation can potentially teach you to recognize your mental state, as well as manage stress that may lead to an episode.

Treating Bipolar Disorder: Alternative Medicine

Alternative medicine, such as herbal supplements, may provide help in managing bipolar disorder. For instance, omega-3 fatty acids — which can be found in fish and fish oil tablets — have been shown to be effective in treating both depression and bipolar disorder symptoms. Alternative treatments may also include multivitamins. Vitamins that may play a role in managing illness are the B-complex vitamins (especially Vitamin B-12 and folic acid), as well as Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). These supplements can’t replace pharmaceutical mood stabilizers, but they can increase their effectiveness in some cases.

Alternative Bipolar Disorder Treatment: Healthy Lifestyle

If you’re trying to manage your bipolar disorder, alternative treatments may be easier than you think — just treat yourself well! For instance:

  • Avoid illicit drugs and alcohol. Even a few drinks or experimenting once with drugs can cause or worsen manic or depressive episodes.
  • Eat at normal mealtimes to avoid stretches without food, which can stress your body.
  • Establish a steady sleep schedule and stick to it, regardless of tempting late-night TV shows.
  • Keep a steady routine. An unsteady routine can cause stress, leading to manic or depressive episodes.
  • Try to keep a normal work schedule, if possible.

Alternative treatment can also involve managing your stress levels. The modern world is full of stress, so people with bipolar disorder have no choice but to learn to manage it well. Leave yourself time to unwind after stressful events, such as an important work meeting or big party. Meditation can be extremely helpful in achieving this task.

If you’re already receiving help with your bipolar disorder, alternative medicine and practices may help you to lead a healthy and productive life.


McManamy, J. (2010). Nutritional supplements for bipolar disorder. Retrieved August 12, 2010, from

Schwarcz, B. (n.d.). Alternative bipolar treatment: A mindfulness approach. Retrieved August 11, 2010, from