Bipolar Disorder is classified as a mental illness; however, research has shown an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain and therefore, can also be considered a medical illness. Treatment for bipolar disorder reflects this and the most effective treatment has been found to be a combination of medication and therapy.
Bipolar disorder includes stages of high energy and elated moods, called mania, and periods of depression. Most people experience more periods of depression than of mania. Medication must address both of these issues.
Medications to help a person regain emotional control are often referred to as “mood stabilizers” and are effective in decreasing acute episodes. Standard anti-depressants (those used to treat Unipolar depression) have not been found to be effective in treating bipolar depression as they can often trigger mania.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved several medications for the treatment of bipolar disorder:
Medications for Mania
Medications for Depression
Many times, a combination of medications is used to help both stabilize moods and as a preventive measure to increase the time between episodes. It can be difficult for a patient to find the right combination of medications that will work for them and is frequently a matter of trial and error. It is important for patients to observe, monitor and track their moods, especially when beginning a new medication and discussing this with their physician to help determine the effectiveness of the medication. In addition, these medications cause side effects, one of which is weight gain. This is many times causes patients to stop using the medications, although this is quite dangerous as people suffering from bipolar disorder are at high risk for suicide and untreated bipolar increases that risk.
In addition to medication, psychotherapy can be an important component of treatment. Psychotherapy offers:
Patient education – learning about and understanding bipolar disorder is very important to finding strategies for coping with the daily struggles.
Talk Therapy – this can be one-on-one with a counselor or in a group setting. Talk therapy helps to provide support and feedback as well as helping a patient to understand their feelings and in the case of group therapy to share advice on coping strategies.
Support – counselors can offer support and advice on managing symptoms of bipolar, helping to determine lifestyle changes that can support a healthy lifestyle and help to create a specific treatment plan.
In addition to medication and therapy, individuals with bipolar disorder need to take responsibility for their own recovery. They need to monitor and track moods, reach out for help during periods of acute depression or mania appear, learn coping strategies to help them take control of their lives. Knowing the ways how to be treated is very important, just like how those who are into drugs are seeking help through Miami oxycontin rehab.