How much melatonin to take for bipolar disorder? Is there a recommended nightly dosage for those who have been diagnosed bipolar? If so, what is it?
Melatonin Studied in Bipolar 1 Disorder as Adjunctive Treatment
Here is a study of Manic Depressive patients who were taking antimania medications and given 3 mg of melatonin to help with sleep. It worked.
The below is quoted from a Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry study abstract:
“Eleven patients, 8 males and 3 females, aged 22-43, meeting DSM IV diagnostic criteria for Bipolar Disorder, Manic Type, were selected for the presence of insomnia not responding to usual hypnotic therapies (benzodiazepine).”
“All the patients were on antimanic treatment. MLT 3 mg per os was administrated at 22.30 h for 1 month, without changing the previous antimanic and hypnotic treatments. All patients showed a significantly longer duration of sleep following MLT add-on. The severity of mania showed a parallel significant decrease.”
If Taking Large Doses of Psych Meds Melatonin May Not Help
I am not on any ‘antimanic treatment’ and have not been for more than 24 years. If I was, I honestly do not think melatonin would work as well as it does for me.
I share my story of withdrawing from high doses of lithium here: If I Can Get Off Psych Meds Anyone Can.
A psych med is like using a wrecking ball on your system, and disrupts many body functionings.
Taking a low to moderate does of the natural sleep aid melatonin is more like giving your circadium rhythms a gently but persuasive nudge to get going and do their stuff.
If you’ve got a chemical wrecking ball in there already, swaying back and forth, knocking around whoever dares to step in its path and all that is on both sides… that gentle nudge may not be felt.Melatonin Has Been Studied in Bipolar 1 Disorder Patients and Found to Be Effective. Click To Tweet
Your pea-sized pineal gland may start to release nightly doses of melatonin like it is supposed to, but you’ve got so much other chemical crap in there doing God knows what it doesn’t give the result nature intended.
It’s overriden by bully, psych med-saturated molecules that are trying to bully other brain chemicals and molecules in the effort to get you to sleep. That wrecking ball-style solution may help for short-term relief if manic, but is not a smart long-term solution.
Some Bipolar Patients Say Melatonin Does Not Work
Many who are bipolar, try melatonin and then say ‘it doesn’t work’ are most likely on large doses of other medications that are interferring with its ability to help.
I still have many restless nights – but I almost always get a few hours of deep sleep, which then helps me function normally during the day. That’s the goal.
I’ve taken various amounts of melatonin off and on over the years and have been taking 3 mg regularily for about the past three years.
No, I’ve never read that study quoted above until this morning. That amount – same used in the study for Manic Depressive patients – is just what I have found works best for me. And I’d up the dose if I felt I wasn’t getting enough rest to function during the day, be able to work and get some enjoyment out of my life.
The results of the above study – considering the fact the test subjects were on other medications – are incredibly hopeful.
Many who are not bipolar use melatonin for sleep and take larger amounts than 3 mg. I know one very successful woman who takes 10 mg at night. Yikes. I’ve never even considered that amount.
And she swears by a sublingual (dissolves under your tongue) brand you can buy at Costco. I personally have taken many different brands and all have given positive effects.
Why Doesn’t My Psychiatrist Tell Me To Try Melatonin?
Because they are not in the business of alternative medicine. They are in the business of psychotropic medication-selling.
Melatonin is a natural supplement, not a Big Pharma-produced product. The above study would not be of interest to a Big Pharma psychiatrist – they only want to promote and write prescriptions for psychotropic medications.
These kinds of docs love to prescribe antipsychotics to take at night. They are wrecking ball, russian roulette game supporters.
You decide whether that is the best approach for your health and healing – especially for the long term.