Bipolar, Not So Much

Resources from the self-help book from WW Norton. Now available in audio.


Daylight Classic (folding stand)

Daylight Classic Plus (solid stand)

How to use light therapy

Circadian Rhythm Test (AutoMEQ). Tells you the optimal time to start light therapy in the morning.

Dawn Simulator

Philips HF3520. A good option with a built in permanent bulb that’s bright enough to be therapeutic

Philips Somneo Connected HF3670. Same as above, but with some luxury features like temperature monitoring and smart-phone integration for a premium price

Lighten up. Lowest cost option. Requires a bright, dimable lamp to work.

How to use dawn simulators


Uvex Skyper S1933X This low cost model is a good starting place, but more comfortable models are at LowBlueLights below All the glasses on this site work, and they have other devices to block blue light

Learn how to use them for general sleep or bipolar disorder. After wearing them at night, sleep in a pitch dark bedroom.

N-Acetylcysteine (NAC). Life Extension (also good is NOW Foods brand at Walmart but often out of stock). How to use.

Acetyl-L-Carnitine NOW (starter or 2-pack). How to use.

L-CarnosineBestvite and NOWHow to use.

Citicoline. Cognizin Bestvite. How to use.

CocoaViaHow to use.

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). Doctor’s Best. How to use.

Gingko (Tebonin) (for tardive dyskinesia and memory; full dose 2/day or 240 mg/day)

Lavender (Silexan). Nature’s Way CalmAid. How to use.

Melatonin: Dr. Wurtman’s and Swanson’s are good products. How to use.

L-Methylfolate (Deplin). Opti-folate 15mg is the best-priced option for this folate vitamin (another option is MethylPro). How to use.

Omega 3 (Fish Oil). Viva Naturals (typical dose is 2-3/day) capsules or liquidHow to use.

Probiotics. Mood probiotic. How to use.

ResveratrolFinest Nutrition or TruNature Resveratrol Plus (TruNature is also at Costco). How to use.

Saffron (Swanson starter or 4-pack). How to use.

SAM-e (S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine). Doctor’s Best or NOW 400mg (or there is a 200mg for Doctor’s Best and NOW). How to use.

Sensoril. Stress-Relax Ashwagandha. How to use.

Turmeric (Curcumin). Doctor’s Best. How to use.

L-Theanine. Swanson Suntheanine. How to use.

Weekly Mood Chart Dr. Aiken’s version

Daily Mood Chart the original NIH version

Wellness Tracker free app from Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)

Mood charts for children and teens (a free research program from Robert Post, MD)

Other rating scales

Retitration with lamotrigine after a rash

Antidotes for Common Side Effects

Constipation: Docusate-Senna combination (generic of peri-colace)

Dry Mouth: Gums with xylitol (SpryEpicPur). How to use.

Nausea: Ginger tabsHow to use.

Tremor: Vitamin B6 for tremor, restlessness, or tardive dyskinesia. How to use.

Tardive dyskinesia: Gingko (Tebonin) (full dose 2/day or 240 mg/day)

Prescribing Psychotropics (Dr. Aiken’s 2022 book on drug interactions)

Medscape Drug Interaction Checker (free)
Epocrates (top-rated, free with registration)

Ora-Plus: Liquifies your pills so you can slowly lower the dose
Ora-Plus Sweetener and Sugar-free Sweetener allows you to flavor the liquid


Triple P Parenting: Online courses for parents of toddlers to teens. Evidence-based.
Love & Logic: Books and courses that help parents guide their children with “natural consequences.” Also evidence-based.

Essential Guide to Sleep
Preventing Jet Lag
CBT-Insomnia Apps: Search your app store for “CBT-i Coach” (free) or Somyrst (not free).

Top Mental Health Apps
CBT-Insomnia Apps: Search your app store for “CBT-i Coach” (free) or Somyrst (not free).

Savings Programs

For brand name medications, check the official website for coupons (the website is the, e.g.

GoodRx. Searches your local pharmacies for the lowest out-of-pocket price. Note that Costco often has the lowest price and you don’t need to be a member to use their pharmacy.

Needs Meds. Discount card and connects you to various savings programs, including patient assistance programs for people who need brand name medications but have a low income.

Save on My Meds. Checks for lowest price if you’re paying out of pocket, also verifies if an online pharmacy is safe.

Refill Wise. Discount card.

If you plan on getting your meds through an online or overseas pharmacy, there are ways to do it safer and ways that are riskier. Those risks are big, as many overseas pharmacies ship poorly made products with dangerous ingredients in them. Deception is rampant. Most of the ones that advertise as “Canadian” don’t even sell medications that would pass inspection in Canada.

The safest online sources are those with a “.pharmacy” at the end of their web address. Two groups that can check the safety, and give you a list of safe online sources, are:

Buy Safely. Type in your pharmacies website to check if it’s safe. Or download their list of verified pharmacies.

National Association of Boards of Pharmacies. Check their list of pharmacies that past inspection through their VIPPS program.

We recommend keeping all your pills in a weekly box. Otherwise it’s nearly impossible to remember them, and even more frustrating when you’re not sure if you did or not. It’s best to get 4 weekly boxes so you only have to fill them once a month. There are lots of good options, but mainly it comes down to the size you need and whether you need one with twice-a-day boxes.

Weekly large boxes for daily dose: Standard or Pop-up

Weekly large boxes for twice-a-day dose: Standard or Pop-up

Weekly large boxes for three-times-a-day dose

Monthly small boxes

Monthly large boxes

Travel-friendly boxes. These allow you to pop out a few days at a time when you’re on a trip: Daily dosesTwice-a-day doses.

New self-help book has 32 natural therapies for bipolar and depression

Follow Dr. Aiken’s Daily Psych feed on LinkedIn or Twitter (@chrisaikenmd) for practice-changing research updates

PsychEducation, a free resource from Drs. Aiken and Phelps

Dr. Aiken’s Pocket Psychiatrist podcast is full of tips for living better with mood disorders

Dr. Aiken’s co-hosts the Carlat Psychiatry podcast with weekly updates on psychiatric research

How do we make our recommendations?

  1. We gather products that were shown to work in clinical trials.
  2. We find brands whose ingredients have been tested to make sure they contain the right stuff (usually through ConsumerLabs  or  US Pharmacopeia).
  3. We narrow that down to the most affordable options and list them above.