Friday, October 22, 2010

Depression Nutrients: The difference between Unipolar and Bipolar Therapies

To begin with, let's look at nutrient approaches used for unipolar depression (especially amino acid therapies). Check out:

While there, you may want to explore the entire site.

And the "Recommendation Summary" half way down the page.

The problem is, many treatments (either pharmaceutical or nutritional) developed for unipolar depression can destabilize bipolars.

This is because bipolars can be particularly sensitive to changes in brain stimulation. In general, the more extreme the antidepressant treatment, and the more quickly it works, the greater the likelihood of triggering mania,  more rapid or frequent cycling, and general worsening of the illness over the long term.

So  —

(1) Bipolar antidepressant nutrients should be as gentle and gradual as possible, while still addressing symptoms sufficiently. For instance, one might want to consider tyrosine instead of phenylalanine, tryptophan instead of 5HTP, green tea instead of coffee,  etc., And the lowest doses that do the job. Generally: good food, relevant vitamins, exercise, creativity, friendship, and moderation rather than overstimulation.

(2) Even though trying to elevate mood, concurrent therapies that support stability are critical!

More later. 

For more information, see my book, Natural Healing for Bipolar Disorder.