Healthy Diet for Bipolar Disorder

Diet for bipolar disorder – mania and depression: Stick to these healthy diets to help you get rid of depression

Bipolar disorder, also called manic depression, is a mental illness that is characterized by severe mood swings, repeated episodes of depression, and at least one episode of mania. Bipolar disorder is one kind of mood disorder that afflicts more than 1% of adults in the United States, up to as many as 4million people. Bipolar disorder is the fifth leading cause of disability worldwide. It is the ninth leading cause of years lost to death or disability worldwide. The number of individuals with bipolar disorder who commit suicide is 60 times higher than that of the general population. People who have bipolar disorder are at a higher risk of also suffering from substance abuse and other mental health problems. Males may develop bipolar disorder earlier in life compared to females.

Bipolar disorder has a number of types, including bipolar type I and bipolar type II disorder. Depending on how rapidly the mood swings occur, the episodes of bipolar disorder can also be classified as mixed or rapid cycling. For every type and duration of the illness, the sufferer experiences significant problems with his or her functioning at school, at work, or socially, may require hospitalization, or may have psychiatric symptoms (for example, delusions or hallucination).

Diet for bipolar disorder - mania and depression

Symptoms of bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder is a condition in which people experience abnormally elevated (manic or hypomanic) and, in many cases, abnormally depressed states for periods of time in a way that interferes with functioning.

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Not everyone’s symptoms are the same, and there is no simple physiological test to confirm the disorder. Bipolar disorder can appear to be unipolar depression. Diagnosing bipolar disorder is often difficult, even for mental health professionals.

What distinguishes bipolar disorder from unipolar depression is that the affected person experiences states of mania and depression. Often bipolar disorder is inconsistent among patients because some people feel depressed more often than not, and experience little mania whereas others experience predominantly manic symptoms.

Additionally, the younger the age of onset – bipolar disorder starts in childhood or early adulthood in most patients – the more likely the first few episodes are to be depression. Because a bipolar diagnosis requires a manic or hypomanic episode, many patients are initially diagnosed and treated as having major depression.

Diet for bipolar disorder - mania and depression

Causes of bipolar disorder

One frequently asked question about bipolar disorder is if it is hereditary. As with most other mental disorder, bipolar disorder is not directly passed from one generation to another genetically. Rather it is as the result of a complex group of genetic, psychological and environmental factors.

Genetically, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia have much in common, in that the two disorders have a number of the same risk genes. However, the fact is that both illnesses also have some genetic factors that are unique.

Stress has been found to be a significant contributor to the development of most mental illnesses, including bipolar disorder. For example, gay, lesbian, and bisexual people are thought to experience increased emotional struggles associated with the multiple social stressors associated with coping with reactions to their homosexuality or bisexuality in society.

  • Genetic: Genetic studies have suggested many chromosomal regions and candidate genes appearing to relate to the development of bipolar disorder, but the results are not consistent and often not replicated. Advanced paternal age has been linked to a somewhat increased chance of bipolar disorder in offspring, consistent with a hypothesis of increased new genetic mutations.
  • Physiological: Abnormalities in the structure and/or function of certain brain circuits could underlie bipolar. Two meta-analyses of MRI studies in bipolar disorder report an increase in the volume of the lateral ventricles, globus pallidus, an increase in the rates of deep white matter hyperintensities. The “kindling” theory asserts that people who are genetically predisposed toward bipolar disorder can experience a series of stressful events, each of which lowers the threshold at which mood changes occur. Eventually, a mood episode can start (and become recurrent) by itself. There is evidence of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis) abnormalities in bipolar disorder due to stress. Other brain components which have been proposed to play a role are the mitochondria, and a sodium ATPase pump, causing cynical periods of poor neuron firing (depression) and hypersensitive neuron firing (mania). This may only apply for type I, but type II apparently results from a large confluence of factors. Circadian rhythms and melatonin activity also seem to be altered.
  • Environmental: Evidence suggests that environmental factors play a significant role in the development and cause of bipolar disorder and that individual psychosocial variables may interact with genetic dispositions. There is fairly consistent evidence from prospective studies that recent life events and interpersonal relationships contribute to the likelihood of onsets and recurrences of bipolar mood episodes, as they do for onsets and recurrences of unipolar depression. There have been repeated findings that between a third and a half of adults diagnosed with bipolar disorder report traumatic/abusive experiences in childhood, which is associated on average with earlier onset, a worse course, and more co-occurring disorders such as PTSD. The total number of reported stressful events in childhood is higher in those with an adult diagnosis of bipolar spectrum disorder compared to those without, particularly events stemming from a harsh environment rather than from the child’s own behaviour. Fairly experiences of adversity and conflict are likely to make subsequent developmental challenges in adolescence more difficult and are likely a potentiating factor in those at risk of developing bipolar disorder.
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Diet for bipolar disorder - mania and depression

Diet for bipolar disorder – mania and depression

Foods to eat

  • Blueberries
  • Oatmeal
  • Raspberries
  • Flaxseed
  • Strawberries
  • Flax oil
  • Spinach
  • Salmon
  • Nuts (almond, basil nuts, and walnuts)
  • Bananas
  • Dark chocolate
  • Raw apple cidar vinegar
  • Avocados
  • Beans
  • Liver
  • Apples
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Olive oil
  • Brown rice
  • Eggs

Foods to avoid

  • Alcohol
  • Processed foods
  • Caffeinated drinks
  • White flour
  • Food with lots of sugar
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Carbonated soft drinks
  • Also, avoid smoking

While these diets help you get better, it does not stop the need to see your doctor or health-care provider


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