CBD Oil for Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder, formerly called manic depression, is a term that can be overused in modern society with so many people feeling more comfortable applying labels to their feelings and behaviors. Having to live with an actual bipolar diagnosis can be devastating, but those who have discovered the benefits of using CBD oil have found relief from the symptoms that were ruining their lives. CBD oil can be used in combination with a variety of traditional therapies or it can be used individually. People who have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder will go on and off their prescribed medications, as well as in and out of therapy because of their lack of control over their impulses and judgments. Sufferers of bipolar disorder have many other symptoms for which CBD’s role is specifically to balance the systems in the body — helping to lessen the occurrence of mood swings, insomnia, anxiety, and other symptoms associated with the disease. Let us review how CBD oil can help someone suffering from the effects of bipolar disorder get their life back.

What is bipolar disorder biologically?

Most people have heard of someone being bipolar or joked about it, but what is it really? People and their loved ones who must live with this chemical imbalance face intense mood swings, behaviors, and energy levels. Individuals diagnosed tend to not take this devastating disease seriously. There is no cure, but one can manage it enough to reinstate the quality of life that allows patients to maintain a normal routine.

While people who suffer from bipolar disorder rarely admit or even recognize that they have a severe mental illness, there still is a biological basis that physically proves the chemical imbalance. Individuals who have an increased risk of developing bipolar disorder:

  • Relative with bipolar disorder – parent or sibling
  • High stress periods – death of loved one or traumatic event
  • Drug addictions or alcohol abuse may trigger its onset
  • Hormonal imbalances

What are types of bipolar disorder?

  • Bipolar I Disorder
    • Manic episodes of at least seven days, or severe manic symptoms causing a person to need immediate hospitalization. Depressive episodes lasting at least two weeks occur and having mixed reactions of mania and depression at the same time is possible.
  • Bipolar II Disorder
    • Hypomanic and depressive episode pattern but not as full-blown as displayed in Bipolar I
  • Cyclothymic Disorder (Cyclothemia)
    • Periods of hypomanic and depressive symptoms alternating for at least two years (one year in teens and children). The symptoms do not meet the requirements to diagnose with depressive and hypomanic episodes.

What are symptoms of bipolar disorder?

Everyone experiences diseases in a different manner and may exhibit a combination of or only some of these symptoms:

  • Alternating intense depression and heightened activity
  • Changes in sleep pattern
  • Changes in activity levels
  • Uncharacteristic behaviors
  • Change in appetite
  • Change in the pace of their speech patterns
  • Racing thoughts
  • Trouble focusing and concentrating
  • Doing risky things and showing poor judgement
    • Leading to financial, legal, and relationship issues
  • Change in sexual pattern
  • Suicidal tendencies
  • Hallucinations or delusions

Accurate diagnosis is important the younger someone is so that they can get the treatment they need. Routines of taking proper drugs and recognizing symptoms to be able to catch oneself as they go into an episode will help them manage their disease throughout their lifetime. When they are feeling totally normal, they may think that they no longer need their treatment. Sufferers need to be able to trust the people around them and lean on them for support. They need to listen to their loved ones when they are in one of their mood swings and think that they no longer need to take the drugs that keep them from experiencing symptoms. The most abused substance by bipolar individuals is alcohol, and about 41% of them fall into alcoholism. If someone has co-current issues, such as PTSD, alcoholism, and ADHD, it makes diagnosis and treatment even more difficult.

What are the therapies for Bipolar Disorder and their drawbacks?

An effective treatment plan caters to each person’s specific symptoms and needs. Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, can be extremely beneficial in conjunction with medication, to which they must adhere on a consistent basis. It is a lifelong illness and patients can go through phases where they are tired of dealing with symptoms, just like any other normal human reaction. Long-term, continuous treatment helps to regulate symptoms. Individuals can also get discouraged because it may take time to find the right mixture that works. Therapies include, but are not limited to:

  • Antipsychotic drugs restore the balance of dopamine in the brain
  • anti-anxiety medications
  • mood stabilizers
  • ECT, electroconvulsive therapy, stimulates the brain and creates a rapid response in the case of suspected suicide risk or catatonia
  • TMS, transcranial stimulation, brain stimulation with magnetic waves
  • Regular exercise and eating properly

Many of these are intense alterations of the body, including the brain. Some are so harsh that they are only used in severe cases that are not responding to anything else. They come with serious side effects that can include:

  • Stiffness and tremors
  • Restlessness
  • Constant movement of jaws, tongue & lips
  • Sexual issues
  • Sleepiness
  • Weight gain
  • Diabetes
  • Blurred vision
  • Hypotension
  • Kidney and liver damage
  • Hair loss
  • Short and long-term memory loss
  • Panic attacks

How CBD oil can help every symptom of bipolar disorder?

Certain triggers can make bipolar symptoms worse, so controlling bad triggers can help keep the entire system balanced. Keeping the individual secure and relaxed is the goal to achieving a functional lifestyle. With the harsher and more traditional treatments creating such negative side effects, some can be used as a last resort; however, CBD oil has been shown to produce little to no side effects. It is an all-natural alternative that produces only positive results. The ECS, or endocannabinoid system, consists of endocannabinoids and receptors. The endocannabinoids are only produced as the body needs them, so introducing them naturally with CBD oil can harbor extremely positive results. Cannabinoids, or CBD oil, found in the cannabis plant binds to these receptors in the exact way that the endocannabinoids produced by the body does, bringing an emotional and physical stability to someone suffering from Bipolar Disorder. Various post-mortem studies on the brain of those who were diagnosed with bipolar disorder found abnormalities in the ECS, which is a huge leap in the medical research field.

CBD oil’s ability to balance mood, appetite, sleep issues, pain, blood pressure, sugar levels, and so much more without causing damage anywhere else offers amazing hope to those whose bodies aren’t responding to traditional treatments. There was initially less research on CBD, as people were focused on the most abundant cannabinoid in cannabis, THC, but the past few decades of increasing research bore nothing but positive results. Quality CBD oil, no matter the form of consumption, has been shown to maintain mood and help the body maintain the level of homeostasis it needs to operate at its optimal level.

References:

  1. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/bipolar-disorder/index.shtml
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bipolar-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20355955#:~:text=Factors%20that%20may%20increase%20the,Drug%20or%20alcohol%20abuse
  3. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/37010#:~:text=Biological%20traits&text=Hormonal%20problems%3A%20Hormonal%20imbalances%20might,to%20or%20trigger%20bipolar%20disorder.
  4. https://www.rethink.org/advice-and-information/living-with-mental-illness/medications/antipsychotics/
  5. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/electroconvulsive-therapy/about/pac-20393894
  6. https://dailycbd.com/en/condition/bipolar-disorder/

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