Bipolar disorder is characterized by two hallmark symptoms: manic and depressive episodes. There are, thankfully, very effective medications to help you manage these frustrating, sometimes severe symptoms.

In addition, though, there are some simple, natural steps you can take that can complement your drug therapy. Whenever you can take control of your own health, you are farther ahead in so many ways.

The following steps may help you get through your depressive episode. These may not work for every individual who suffers with bipolar disorder, but several of them can help improve your overall health. You can't argue with that!

1) Talk therapy

When you find yourself depressed due to bipolar disorder, seek out a counselor who'll listen to you. Just talking to someone helps to ease depression some. Talking about all aspects of your struggle with bipolar disorder is an effective part of any therapy program. If you're currently not seeing some type of counselor, talk with your doctor about the possibility.

2) Exercise.

When you suffer from a depressive episode due to bipolar disorder, you may not feel like performing any physical activity. This thought just may be the ticket. Get your body moving and your will system produces more endorphins. Think of these as your body's natural mood stabilizers. This is what many runners feel when they speak about that 'runner's high'. The more you can produce the better you may feel. This will help your manage your depression due to bipolar disorder.

3) Fish oil supplements

Recent studies have shown that a diet rich in Omega 3 fatty acids can help alleviate the symptoms of bipolar disorder. Studies also show that it may be effective in combating depression. The ideal method of receiving these benefits of course is through your diet. How many of us though eat fish like salmon and mackerel twice a week? The next best thing is to take supplements. There are plenty of supplements on the market today.

4) Consider Chromium

Evidence is mounting that the trace mineral chromium may help alleviate depression associated with bipolar disorder. But more than that, chromium carries with it a host of other health benefits. Scientific research is just now touching the service of what added chromium may do for your overall health and mood. Some indications are that it can help with lowering your body's resistance to insulin a condition that has been linked to diabetes, high blood pressure heart disease and strokes.