This variant of depression is characterized by mood alterations, which cycle between mania and depression. A person suffering with biploar illness will have periods of unrealistic invincibility and hyperactivity, followed by periods of overwhelming hopelessness and emptiness, sometimes with thoughts of suicide and death. The severity of symptoms and nature of the symptoms varies considerably between individuals and over time. The shift between these two extreme moods may occur quickly or gradually.
Bipolar illness does run in families, so there appears to be a biological predisposition. However, individuals with no family history do develop the disorder, and not everyone with the genetic predisposition necessarily develops the illness. Therefore, it is believed that there are also psychological, social and environmental factors influencing onset. People with low self-esteem, a pessimistic view of the world and a tendency to be readily overwhelmed by stress are at higher risk for depression. Women are twice as likely as men to develop depressive disorders.
Herbal therapies, in particular St. John’s Wort, have recently become the focus of much attention as an alternative or adjunct to pharmaceutical medications for depressive disorders. St. John’s Wort has been used extensively in Europe, and in Germany is used to treat depression more than any other antidepressant. However, studies conducted so far with St. John’s Wort have been short-term only. European herbal success has been primarily with mild to moderate forms of depression. Due to large interest in North America, studies are underway examining herbal effectiveness in major depression as well.
Eat a good wholesome, well balanced diet, and do not skip meals. Eat plenty of fish. Consume no sugar, alcohol, dairy products (butter is OK), caffeine, carbonated beverages, food colouring, flavouring agents, preservatives or other additives. Check out your personal food sensitivities (see Diet Section). Do a 12 day D-Tox Diet, two to four times a year. Get plenty of rest, especially in the manic stage. Try to avoid excessive stress.
Various forms of psychotherapies, especially interpersonal and cognitive/behavioural therapies, can be helpful to change the pattern of depression. Gaining insight into disturbed interpersonal relationships and negative ways of thinking or behaving have been found helpful for depression. In severe situations, medication is usually administered to stabilize the patient before treatments such as psychotherapy, diet, light exercise and supplementation can be safely implemented.
Fill in Flower Essence Questionnaire to deal with underlying stresses.
Single Herbs: Reishi, St. John’s Wort, Ginkgo, Kava, Essential Fatty Acids.
Combinations: Depression and Apathy Flower Essence, Lighten Up Flower Essence, Reishi Extract, St. John’s Wort Plus Formula, Ginkgo Plus Formula, NervaHerb, Valerian Night, Phosphatidylserine with Gingko Biloba.
Nutritional Supplements: B complex (1 tablet, twice daily), Vitamin B6 (50 mg, three times daily), Folic acid (400 mcg daily), Vitamin B12 (250-1,000 mcg, daily), Vitamin C (1,000 mg, three times daily), Krill / Black Currant Oil (1000 mg, twice daily), Phosphatidylcholine (2,400 mg, twice daily), Magnesium (500mg daily), L-5-HTP (100mg, twice daily), SAMe (1600mg daily), NADH.
Depression and Apathy Uplifter can be taken as needed. There is no toxicity. If a person is having a rough time, it can be taken every 15 minutes.