I have been given a recent article on how yoga helped a person with Bipolar, what is your knowledge of how yoga may help?
- Dr. Dombeck responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
- Dr. Dombeck intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
- Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
- No correspondence takes place.
- No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Dombeck to people submitting questions.
- Dr. Dombeck, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. Dr. Dombeck and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
- Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.
Yoga is a truly wonderful system of exercise for conditioning the body and the mind too. It can definitely help the average person gain in body strength and flexibility, and as well, it is an effective means of stress reduction and relaxation. While all these things are true, Yoga is not a medicine in of itself (at least as it is likely to be practiced by the average American), and it is not a match for a true case of Bipolar Disorder or any other serious illness, for that matter. The only truly effective treatments I’m aware of for impacting Bipolar Disorder are psychiatric medications such as Lithium and Valproic Acid (e.g., the “mood stabilizing” medications). Standard SSRI and SNRI antidepressants are used for bipolar conditions as well sometimes, but cautiously as they can precipitate mania. By all means, pursue yoga training, and as vigorously as you feel you safely can. So long as you do not injure yourself (which is a real possibility!) the practice will probably be very helpful and healthful. But I don’t think it will be sufficient in of itself to manage a serious mental illness like Bipolar