Bipolar Disorder Treatment

Bipolar Disorder Treatment

Bipolar Disorder Treatment
The main treatment options for bipolar disorder include a combination of mood-stabilizing medication, psychotherapy and lifestyle changes to reduce stress and improve diet and exercise. Medications are used to stabilize your mood and to help moderate the depression and/or mania associated with bipolar disorder. While there is no cure for bipolar disorder, proper treatment can help even those with the most serious forms of the condition effectively control mood swings.

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    A , Internal Medicine, answered

    It sounds scary and Frankenstein-esque, but electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a type of therapy that uses electric shock to change your behavior and provide you with rapid symptom relief. During ECT, a shock to your brain causes a small, controlled seizure, which affects how your brain functions afterwards.

     

    There are a couple theories about how inducing a seizure helps treat bipolar disorder:

    1. The seizure activity affects the brain’s chemical messengers, called neurotransmitters, including dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, which are implicated in bipolar disorder.

    2. The seizure activity affects stress hormone regulation, which (as we all know) plays a role in energy, sleep, appetite, and most importantly, mood.
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    A variety of medications may be used to treat bipolar disorder. The drugs are basically all aimed at stabilizing your mood or helping to moderate the depression or mania that you may experience.

    The specific medications that are prescribed may depend upon your symptoms. For example, people with bipolar I disorder experience mania and depression, but not major depression. They will need mood stabilizers but possibly not antidepressants. People with bipolar II disorder experience major depression and hypomania, which is a more mild form of mania. They are more likely to need antidepressants.

    Other types of medications that may be used are anticonvulsants to stabilize mood, antipsychotics, and anti-anxiety drugs.

    Doctors and patients may have to work together over time to find the right dosage and combination of medications. They need to consider not only effectiveness, but also side effects.
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    The risks involved in VNS therapy have more do to with convenience than health. Remember to always inform your healthcare provider of your VNS device.
    • once the pulse generator is implanted, it is difficult to remove
    • mammography will require special positioning
    • patients will be warned to avoid short-wave diathermy, microwave diathermy, and therapeutic ultrasound diathermy
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    A , Family Medicine, answered
    If you think you have bipolar disorder, you may be meeting your psychiatrist for the first time. They will want to know all about your symptoms, your personal medical history, and any family history of bipolar disorder. They will ask you the following questions: When did you notice the bipolar disorder symptoms? What symptoms did you notice (depression, mild depression, hypomania, mania)? Do your mood symptoms change frequently? Do you have family members with bipolar disorder (a parent, sibling)? Do your symptoms of bipolar disorder disrupt your life? Your job? Your relationships with friends? Do you have other mental disorders (anxiety disorder, OCD, panic disorder)? Do you drink alcohol and, if so, how much? Do you use illicit drugs or prescription drugs? Do you sleep poorly, or do you get good sleep? How long do you sleep at night? Do you feel "superhuman" at times and engage in risky behavior? All information gathering will help make a more precise diagnosis.
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    Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) side effects, which occur only during the treatment, have proven to be mild to moderate. Even these tend to become less noticeable over time. Nevertheless, patients report experiencing:
    • temporary hoarseness or a change in voice tone
    • increased coughing
    • shortness of breath
    • tickle in the throat
    • weight gain and sleep disturbance occurs in less than 2% of patients
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    Herbal or natural supplements, such as St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum), have not been well studied, and little is known about their effects on the disorder. Because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate their production, different brands of these supplements can contain varying amounts of the active ingredient. Before trying herbal or natural supplements, it is important to discuss them with your doctor. There is evidence that St. John's wort can reduce the effectiveness of certain medications, including some used to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), heart disease, cancer, as well as oral contraceptives. In addition, like prescription antidepressants, St. John's wort may cause a switch into mania in some individuals with bipolar disorder, especially if no mood stabiliser is being taken.
    Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil and EMP+, a vitamin-mineral complex, are also being studied to determine their usefulness, alone and when added to conventional medications, for long-term treatment of bipolar disorder.
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    A , Mental Health, answered
    Did you (or someone you care about) just get out of the psych ward?  Well...
    It’s common to go to the hospital if you have bipolar disorder. It can be a stressful time, so it’s important to have a plan for when you come home. (Loved ones can really, really help with this!)
    Here are three tips:
    1. Recreate the hospital environment at home so that you can ease back into life.  Hospitals can be traumatic, but they can also be comforting. There is a routine with set meal times and doctor rounds. Structure helps so much when you get out of the hospital. The less stimulation at first, the better.
    2. Forget the guilt and shame. Just let it go. I mean this. You went to the hospital because you were sick. You would NEVER be filled with guilt and shame if you had shoulder surgery! You are not weak if you go to a psych ward. If anyone is telling you otherwise, tell them they have to mess with me! People who are seriously physically ill go to the hospital and their loved ones feel relief that the person is safe. A person with bipolar disorder goes to a psych ward and everyone gets freaky scared! You went to the hospital because you have a physical illness called bipolar disorder and it got a bit too strong for you to take care of it on your own.
    Going to the hospital is a sign of strength. Good for you! Now it’s time to get a plan to manage this illness so that you don’t have to go back.
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    A , Psychology, answered
    How do I know if I need to seek treatment for bipolar disorder?

    You should seek treatment for bipolar disorder if you find yourself alternating between very deep depressive and then wildly manic behavioral episodes. Watch as psychologist Jeffrey Gardere, PhD, explains why you should seek out help and treatment.


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    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    There are risks to any treatment you pursue for any condition, including bipolar disorder. Also keep in mind that “natural” doesn’t always mean it’s good for you. Snake venom is natural, but that definitely isn’t good for you. Bottom line, talk to your doctor about any supplements or pills you are thinking about taking. You need to make sure there are no negative interactions with your existing medications. And no matter what, do not stop taking your medications cold turkey. You cannot substitute one for the other, but you and your doctor may be able to come up with a complimentary regimen that includes standard and alternative treatments.
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    A , Psychology, answered
    Medications for bipolar disorder are often prescribed in combination with each other. A recent large-scale study found that the average number of medications taken concurrently by bipolar patients is three to four. A combination of medications is most often required for effectiveness and medication tolerability. Antidepressants and benzodiazepines (tranquilizers) are considered risky in treating bipolar disorder, especially if used alone. Lithium usage may precipitate thyroid damage in up to a third of patients taking it for a number of years, so many people, especially women, also take thyroid hormone supplements while on lithium.