Treatments For Bipolar Disorder

Posted on 22. Jan, 2014 by in Disorders

Bipolar disorder is a common mental illness. Constant shifts in certain chemicals found in the brain can lead to unusual mood swings, changes in energy and activity levels, and an impaired ability to carry out the regular tasks that make up day-to-day life. Sometimes these chemical shifts can become severe, and if left untreated, the resulting symptoms can be so taxing that they may lead to damaged relationships, failure at work, and thoughts of suicide. While there is no cure for the disorder, mental health treatments for the illness can be quite effective at easing the symptoms. Those who live with the disorder can often lead full, happy lives, given the proper help.

Medication is a crucial treatment for many individuals facing bipolar disorder. A psychiatrist will often diagnose and treat those with the disease by offering a course of medication to counteract the symptoms, or to try to correct the chemical imbalance that causes the disorder. Different medications are effective for different people, so many different medications in different combinations and dosages may be required before a correct treatment plan can be established.

Mood stabilizing medications, such as valproic acid, lamotrigine and gabapentin are anticonvulsants, which can be quite effective mental health treatments. Lithium, one of the most effective and commonly used mood stabilizing medications, is great at controlling manic tendencies and helps prevent the cycle of depression and mania from continuing.

Atypical antipsychotic medications, such as Olanzapine, Aripiprazole and Risperidone, are also sometimes used to treat the disorder, and are often paired with other drugs to increase effectiveness. Antidepressant medications can treat the depression side of bipolar disorder, and are usually paired with a mood stabilizer.

Psychotherapy is a great addition to any treatment plan. It provides education, support and guidance to people with the disorder. Cognitive behavioral therapy, family-focused therapy and interpersonal and social rhythm therapy are all effective psychotherapy treatments.

Bipolar disorder can be a difficult thing with which to live, but due to the slew of effective mental health treatments available today, those who suffer from the illness can lead happy, productive lives.

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