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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    Medications for bipolar disorder are mainly used to stabilize mood and prevent or lessen manic and depressive episodes. Lithium and certain anti-seizure drugs are typically used for this purpose. Doctors prescribe specific medications based on a person's symptoms. Certain antipsychotic drugs are also sometimes used to treat episodes of mania or psychosis. For people who are troubled by depression, doctors sometimes prescribe antidepressant drugs, though usually only with a mood stabilizer. Antidepressant medications used alone can cause mania in people with bipolar. 
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    A , Mental Health, answered
    If you have children, teach them journaling techniques and let them write about their feelings about bipolar disorder. If they are old enough, make sure you include them in your new treatment plan for your partner with bipolar disorder. Children may seem too young to understand what is going on, but you may find that involving them in positive action plans that help your partner get better will also reassure your children.
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    A , Family Medicine, answered
    A healthy lifestyle can stop cycles of behavior that worsen your bipolar disorder. If you drink or use illicit drugs or drink alcohol, talk to your doctor about getting the help you need to stop. Eat a healthy diet and get plenty of sleep. Quality sleep is important with bipolar disorder and can help you manage your mood. If you cannot sleep, call your doctor and ask for a sleep aid. Your doctor can help you manage your moods so you do not fall into a deep depression or go too high with mania.
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    Most psychiatrists are well trained to diagnose and initiate treatment of bipolar disorder. If one is unfamiliar with community psychiatric resources then a good place to start is with one’s primary care physician. He or she can often make a referral to a qualified mental health professional. If one doesn’t have a primary care physician, seeking help through a county mental health facility will also provide assessment by a qualified mental health professional.
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    A Psychiatry, answered on behalf of
    Both Trileptal and lithium can affect the blood salt balance (specifically reducing the amount of sodium). This can lead to a host of symptoms, including confusion. When the two drugs are used together, the likelihood of low sodium is increased. Therefore, electrolyte levels should be measured more frequently on the combination than on lithium alone.
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    A , Family Medicine, answered
    Mood-stabilizing medications can smooth out the mood swings associated with bipolar disorder, but they do have some side effects. One of the most significant is the development of metabolic syndrome, the name for a group of risk factors that increase the risk for a heart attack, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. According to the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, a person has metabolic syndrome if they have three or more of the following signs: blood pressure equal to or higher than 130/85 mmHg; a fasting blood sugar (glucose) of 100 mg/dL or more; a waist circumference of 40 inches or more (if male), or 35 inches or more (if female); HDL cholesterol below 40md/dL (if male) and below 50mg/dL (if female); and triglycerides of 150 mg/dL or higher. If you take a mood-stabilizing drug, it is important that you see your doctor regularly to check for signs of metabolic syndrome. If you do have signs of this health condition, your doctor may change your mood-stabilizing mediation or treat the symptoms of metabolic syndrome.
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    A , Psychology, answered
    In the treatment of bipolar disorder, interpersonal and social rhythm therapy (IPSRT) focuses on a number of the topics covered in psychoeducational groups—learning about bipolar disorder and finding ways for the family to help support the person with bipolar disorder. In addition, it places particular emphasis on developing lifestyles that are stable and highly regularized (such as eating meals at the same time each day, having specific times to go to sleep and awaken, and so on). In addition, IPSRT emphasizes the importance of addressing potentially troubling and destabilizing relationship problems. This can involve engaging in couples counseling and developing better communication skills.
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    A , Mental Health, answered
    You may be wondering how long your partner with bipolar disorder will have to take medications. It depends. On a positive note, new medications may one day be introduced with more successful results and fewer side effects, and there may be new nonmedication treatments in the future. For now, medication use depends on your partner's type of bipolar disorder. For example, those with full-blown mania are more likely to need lifelong preventive mania medications as compared to those with hypomania, who don't necessarily need a strong antimanic medication but may need more protection against depression. In other words, it depends on the specific type of bipolar disorder (bipolar I or bipolar II), current and possible symptoms, your partner's history (for example, past suicide attempts), and an assessment of ongoing risk. A few people go off medications and have years of stability, while others can't stay off medications for even a month without a return to mood swings.

    The advent of gene therapy will likely change bipolar disorder management in years to come. For now, it's completely proven through research, and probably your own life experience, that ongoing medication treatment—combined with appropriate daily lifestyle management—is essential for a good outcome in treating and living with bipolar disorder. This means that for now, staying on medications provides the best chance of staying stable during life's significant ups and downs.
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    A , Adolescent Medicine, answered

    Should you wish to pursue a more natural approach to treatment there are various options that should be explored. Because Bipolar disorder generally requires conventional drug treatment, caution should be exercised when combining the two as there are certain natural remedies for Bipolar disorder which may be incompatible with the psychiatric drugs. 

    • Natural remedies for bipolar disorder should feature calming herbs which are generally safe to use along with psychiatric drugs for Bipolar disorder include Passiflora incarnata and Lavender. 
    • Biochemic Tissue Salts such as Natrium sulphate, Kalium phosphate and Natrium phosphate can also be used as natural remedies for bipolar disorder since they have a calming and restorative effect on the nervous system and help to balance mood and prevent mood swings. 
    • Homeopathic remedies such as Tarentula and Hyoscyamus can also be very helpful and may safely be used together with psychiatric medication without adverse effect. 

    Consult a doctor, homeopath or naturopath for advice, especially when other chronic medications are also in use. 

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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.