I know of a few people who say they've been "cured" of their bipolar disorder through nutritional supplements, religious faith, meditation and other methods, but I don't believe they are actually cured. Manic depression, as it used to be called, has physical roots in the brain.
There are still many places in the world where it's believed "mental" illnesses are caused by demons, lack of faith in a deity, etc. I hear every week from people living in the US who have been told the reason for their mood swings is that they aren't praying enough. It's a crying shame.
It's a fact that medications and therapy don't cure bipolar disorder. Medications affect the brain in ways that - we hope - reduce or minimize symptoms. Therapy should help us manage our lives to minimize the difficulties caused by mood swings.
Alternative therapies are the same. A person can't meditate just long enough to be "cured" and then stop. Orthomolecular medicine isn't a therapy you can do until you feel better and then stop, nor is TrueHope. Persons for whom these therapies work must continue them just like people who take medications.
I can't say that all alternative treatments are useless or are scams. I haven't tried any of them myself - my own mental health is too important for me to quit medications and try something else, since I know medications work for me. I do know neither orthomolecular medicine nor TrueHope have been proved effective in published clinical trials.
So the answer, at the end of the day, is no - there is no cure for bipolar disorder, and to date, only medications with or without therapy have been scientifically proved to be effective.
Published On: June 27, 2011
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