We have such wonderful clients who are so forthcoming about their personal trials and tribulations. They share their very personal and private stories with us so that we can create very custom aromatherapy blends to help them move through whatever it is they are experiencing.
We had the honor this week of working with a client who has been going through a debilitating depression associated with Bipolar II disorder. She is someone we’ve known for some time, and she has graciously allowed us to share a part of her story in hopes that it can help others see that there can be light at the end of a very dark tunnel.
She has been affected by Bipolar in many ways. She has lost family members to suicide who suffered from Bipolar psychosis and depression; she has seen family members spend fortunes in their euphoric induced manias only to put others in financial jeopardy; and, she has seen family members suffer life-threatening depression in silence for years in mental health care facilities.
She is a warrior in the truest sense. She has accomplished more in her life than most people do who don’t suffer from a mental illness. She has multiple degrees, a demanding career, a burgeoning business on the side, and she is getting ready to start a family with her husband.
She explained to us that the reason her depression hit so hard this time was because she has been tapering off of her medication so that she can get pregnant. She has been doing it slowly over the past few months and as soon as she stopped taking the medication the depression hit her like a tornado. While this depression was mostly triggered by the lack of medication, it has gotten worse because the reality of being medication free during her pregnancy means she and her husband must make changes – and financial sacrifices – in their lives.
Her doctors have informed her that she has a high chance of experiencing a steady decline in her health once she is off of her medication – if she doesn’t make major changes. She must look for ways to reduce her stress and obligations, perhaps taking time way from her career and eventually finding a less demanding job; and, she must also be monitored very closely by her doctors and family for any subtle changes in her behavior. This uncertainty about her future and the scrutiny, as she described, leads to more stress and sadness on top of the already debilitating depressions associated with Bipolar. This can be the vicious cycle of any mental illness.
We designed a blend for her that targets serious depression associated with Bipolar disorder. Because depression comes in all shapes and sizes, whether it be irritability, lethargy, weepiness, deep sadness, or silence, each blend has to be very well thought out and designed for the symptoms associated with the disorder. (We do design a general “depression” aromatherapy blend – but when it comes to severe and targeted depressive episodes, we think long and hard about the recipe.) We admit – we can’t do this alone: We rely on trusted recipes passed down over the years that have been used and proven to help people cope and move through mental illness.
If you know of a warrior who battles depression associated with Bi-Polar disorder, we recommend the following essential oils to use in your blends:
Depending on the severity, we recommend a blend of the richer oils, such as Benzoin (which is actually a resin) combined with one of the lighter mood lifting essential oils, such as Geranium. Black pepper is an amazing essential oil to help depression, as is Coriander (when used in small doses).
Here are some very nice recipes from a few sites we like to help with depression:
We use aromatherapy as a complimentary treatment to mental health conditions and truly believe in its positive healing effects. People with mental illness often have very heightened senses and have shown to respond well to complimentary therapies, like Reiki (energy healing), aromatherapy and other forms of sensory healing.
A note to end this post:
Our client emailed us after using the blend telling us she is slowly feeling a bit better. A supportive husband, a flexible job and her faithful doctors have allowed her to rest this week and re-evaluate her future. She is still feeling pretty low, but she told us that the blend we sent her was a potent one and she has been burning it in her clay tea light diffuser since yesterday. The scent has helped clear her cloudy head and she said she is already feeling “lighter” which has allowed her to get out of bed and begin to get things in order again.
With the help of her progressive, open-minded Doctors, our client has been using aromatherapy, acupuncture, massage therapy and other techniques (meditation, visualization, light therapy, medicinal eating) for over a decade as complimentary treatments to help her manage Bipolar. She has told us that aromatherapy and acupuncture are the two most effective alternative therapies for her.
Most of us have known someone who has Bipolar and we know how serious it is. It is a genetic condition – and one that doesn’t just go away. In almost all cases, it will stay with someone for the rest of their life so understanding the triggers and how to manage the symptoms before they blow-up is critical in managing this condition.
Disclaimer: Bipolar disorder – and any mental illness – is a very serious medical condition. Please contact a medical doctor in case you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of Bipolar disorder. Natural remedies, including aromatherapy, are only recommended for those who are already undergoing treatment and monitored by a licensed medical doctor and/or psychiatrist. We do not claim that aromatherapy or any alternative treatment will cure Bipolar disorder or any mental illness. If someone you know is showing signs of being suicidal, please call 911 immediately.