What are the treatments available for bipolar disorder?
Mood stabilizers are a common treatment for bipolar disorder. HealthMaker Jeffrey Borenstein, MD, a psychiatrist at The Brain and Behavior Research Foundation. discusses medications and the important components of a successful treatment plan.
It's important when somebody takes an antidepressant medicine if they have bipolar disorder to make sure that they're
taking a mood stabilizer. Because sometimes taking an antidepressant, if they don't have the mood stabilizer,
can flip them into a manic episode. [MUSIC PLAYING]
There are a number of medications that are referred to as mood stabilizers.
So a number of them are available. The most famous one is lithium. And that was the first one that was made available.
Another one is Depakote. And those are two very widely used medications for bipolar disorder.
More recently, some of what we refer to as the second generation or atypical antipsychotic
medications have also been used for bipolar disorder as well-- sometimes alone, sometimes in combination
with some of the other medicines. And in addition, in order to treat the depression that's
associated with bipolar disorder, often people take an antidepressant medicine.
It's important when somebody takes an antidepressant medicine if they have bipolar disorder to make sure that they're taking a mood stabilizer,
because sometimes taking an antidepressant, if they don't have a mood stabilizer, can flip them into a manic episode.
So you want to be very careful about the medication management that the person has. In addition to that, it's important to have
talk therapy to help the person deal with issues in their life, to develop ways to deal with stress and reduce stress.
So that's an important component of successful treatment as well.
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