A growing number of people take kratom to improve their mental health and wellbeing. A highly versatile herb, kratom provides a range of benefits to those who have a problem concentrating, suffer from anxiety, stress, and even depression.
Due to that, you may be wondering if taking kratom for bipolar disorder is a good idea. Let’s find out what it is and how kratom could support you.
What Is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a mental condition formally known as manic depression or manic-depressive illness. It causes a person to experience unexpected extreme shifts in mood, levels of activity, concentration, as well as the ability to perform day-to-day tasks.
There are three distinct types of bipolar disorder. Regardless of the type, a person with bipolar disorder goes through manic and depressive episodes. They feel irritable or extremely irritable during manic episodes, followed by periods of depression.
The episodes can be brief. Yet, they can also last several hours or even days.
The three types are:
- Bipolar I– this type is rather severe and involves manic episodes. They can last up to seven days or can be so severe that a person may require immediate hospitalization. A person suffering from Dipolar I Disorder can also experience depressive episodes that can be as long as two weeks. Sometimes, it’s also possible to experience depressive and manic symptoms simultaneously.
- Bipolar II – people with this type, predominantly women, go through depressive episodes that can last up to two weeks and periods of hypomania that can be up to four days long. The hypomanic periods are not as severe as the manic episodes characteristic of the Bipolar I type.
- Cyclothymia – people of this type experience periods of hypomania and depression that are considerably shorter and less severe than those you can expect from Bipolar I or II. Symptoms can last up to two years, and a person may experience only one to two months of stable mood at a time.
The exact cause of the disorder is not known, though experts speculate that genetics, trauma, extreme stress, and brain disorders could be some of the potential causes. However, it affects around 5million Americans or about 2.8% of the US population.
Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
A person with bipolar disorder can experience depression, mania, and hypomania, which is a milder version of manic episodes.
During manic episodes, a person may:
- Feel extremely positive or elated for extended periods of time,
- Need less sleep,
- Talk faster than usual and have disorganized thoughts,
- Feeling impulsive and restless,
- Be easily distracted,
- Have overly high confidence in their abilities, or
- Engage in risky and dangerous behaviors like going on shopping sprees, using drugs, gambling, having unprotected sex, and similar.
Hypomania is less severe than mania. In certain instances, it may not affect work or studies. Nonetheless, people going through them will feel changes in their mood.
During episodes of depression, a person may:
- Experience extreme sadness,
- Feel hopeless,
- Feel deficient energy,
- Have no interest in activities that they used to enjoy,
- Sleep too little or too much, or
- Have suicidal thoughts.
Common Ways of Treating Bipolar Disorder
At this time, there is no cure for bipolar disorder. However, with certain medications, it is possible to manage the symptoms, allowing people to experience a better quality of life.
Medications that can be prescribed can vary. However, they need to be taken carefully. Some, such as lithium that can be used for mood stabilizing, can become toxic if a dose is too high. Moreover, it can have numerous side effects, which include:
- Weight gain,
- Stomach pain,
- Excessive thirst,
- Stomach pain,
- Memory problems,
- Trouble concentrating,
- Thyroid problems, and
Because of the dangers, a person who takes lithium must also regularly have blood tests. They help to ensure that lithium levels are not in excess and endangering the person’s health. Steady and consistent water, coffee, and salt intake are also necessary to make sure that lithium levels remain safe.
A doctor can prescribe other medications such as anticonvulsants. Yet they and other pharmaceuticals can also result in numerous side effects.
Can You Use Kratom for Bipolar Disorder?
Due to the multiple side effects and dangers of medication used to manage bipolar disorder, many explore alternative means of managing the condition and alleviating the unpleasant symptoms.
Lifestyle changes such as a regular and steady sleep schedule, balanced nutrition, and exercise, as well as therapy, can be beneficial too. Yet, they alone may not be enough to help a person lead a normal life.
Many turn to CBB and marijuana as possible alternative treatment methods. Kratom is another herb for bipolar disorder that people turn to.
Due to its many beneficial properties, certain kratom strains can be helpful for bipolar disorder. It can help one balance their mood and provide support for both manic and depressive episodes.
Best Types of Kratom for Bipolar Disorder
Despite the many different beneficial strains that are popular among users, not all kratom for bipolar disorder will be effective. Certain types such as slow red strains may be too depressive and worsen the symptoms of depressive episodes, whereas white strains can make manic episodes less tolerable.
Therefore, green vein kratom strains such as Green Maeng Da, Green Malay, and Green may be the best options for those who seek support for bipolar disorder. It can provide mid pain relief, gently boost energy, elevate the mood, yet at the same time help achieve a more focused and level state of mind.
In fact, many in the kratom community have pointed out that kratom for bipolar disorder has been more effective than any pharmaceuticals of other herbs. Others point out that kratom makes them feel normal.
Regardless of the strain you choose, determine your right dose, and measure it accurately every time you take kratom.
Incorrectly measuring your dose or taking a dose that is too large can result in nausea and vomiting. While the side effects of taking kratom are not dangerous on their own, it may be too challenging for a person who already suffers from bipolar disorder.
Buying kratom from a reputable vendor who lab-tests their products is critical to ensure that you always purchase high-quality and pure kratom.
Nonetheless, keep in mind that kratom can interact with medication. Therefore, it is essential to talk to your health provider and enquire about any possible interactions. And be sure to seek professional help if you experience suicidal thoughts.
Have you tried kratom for bipolar disorder? What was your experience like? Would you recommend kratom to other people with bipolar disorder? Why or why not?