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Bipolar and Sense of Smell

This post was written by David Oliver on May 30, 2011
Posted Under: Uncategorized


Did you know that certain odors can have a profound effect on your memory, energy and even your mood swings? Even on your overall health in general? As far as memory, think about it.

For example, think about the smell of baby powder. If you have grown children, and you smell

baby powder, doesn’t it automatically trigger memories of your children when they were babies?

Or if you smell chlorine, don’t you associate it with a swimming pool? An ocean breeze with the beach? The smell of roses with a romantic evening? Just a whiff of a special scent can trigger

a happy, magical memory.

But today, neuroscientists are learning that our sense of smell is worth more than just remembering pleasant memories.

So what does this have to do with bipolar disorder?

Well, new research shows that it can lower our stress levels and even help with insomnia, both of which are problems for people who have bipolar disorder. There is even some research that shows that our sense of smell can help us lose weight, and many people with bipolar disorder struggle with weight because of some bipolar medications which make you gain weight.

Now, some people accuse me of being against natural remedies for bipolar disorder, and my

stand is pretty sure. I am against natural CURES, since there is NO cure for bipolar disorder. I am pretty protective of the people who read my courses and materials, website material and

emails, so I always try to make sure they know the truth. Just be careful to read the small print.

Natural herbs and remedies, etc., like fragrances, are ok, if they help you (always IN ADDITION

TO medication, and never IN PLACE OF it).

The process is complex. But researchers recently discovered how a particular fragrance can change your mood. In a brand-new study from Ohio State University, they exposed subjects to two fragrances – lavender, which is known to have a calming effect, and lemon – which many studies have shown to be invigorating. Subjects were then told to sniff these fragrances before and after a mildly stressful event (in this case, after putting a foot in freezing water). In the tests that followed, scientists uncovered “robust evidence that lemon oil reliably enhances positive mood.” In fact, blood levels of an energizing hormone, norepinephrine, spiked and stayed high for the subjects who smelled the lemony scent, while the subjects who smelled the lavender scent

got no boost.

In an Austrian study, researchers had some participants smell oranges while others smelled

lavender. The two groups felt less anxious, more positive, and calmer when compared with participants who were exposed to no fragrance at all.

Aromatherapy is a big deal these days, making all kinds of claims about lowering stress levels.

Like I said, I’m not against aromatherapy in itself. I’m only against natural CURES (because there is none), remedies, therapies, etc. that claim to have healing properties or tell you to go

off your regularly prescribed medication for bipolar disorder.

Something like aromatherapy, which has been shown to help people with bipolar disorder

(as in the use of lavender I was telling you about), can help you as long as you use it

IN ADDITION TO your regularly prescribed medication.

You should still always check with your doctor first.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


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Reader Comments

Post responses below

Written By David Oliver on May 30th, 2011 @ 9:58 am

I use aromatherapy regularly. I use Amber/Vanilla mostly. It makes me smile & relaxed all at the same time. I smile because it reminds of eating ice cream with my Grandpa when I was a little girl. This makes me feel happy! I have other scents I use & they cause different responses. Aromatherapy does work. Lavender works great if you are real stressed out or have a headache. Put a nice warm rag on your forehead & lie back & breathe in the lavender 30 to 45 minutes. First thing I ever tried & it worked great for me. But I do agree with you to do this while taking your regularly prescribed medications. Aromatherapy is an enjoyable way to help with our mood swings. I honestly don’t believe herbs can help with Bipolar Disorder. That’s just my opinion. You should follow your doctor’s orders.

Written By Davera S. on June 4th, 2011 @ 8:30 am

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