Bipolar disorder or manic-depressive disorder, which is also referred to as bipolar affective disorder or manic depression, is a psychiatric diagnosis that describes a category of mood disorders defined by the presence of one or more episodes of abnormally elevated energy levels, cognition, and mood with or without one or more depressive episodes. The elevated moods are clinically referred to as mania or, if milder, hypomania. Individuals who experience manic episodes also commonly experience depressive episodes, or symptoms, or mixed episodes in which features of both mania and depression are present at the same time. These episodes are usually separated by periods of “normal” mood; but, in some individuals, depression and mania may rapidly alternate, which is known as rapid cycling. Extreme manic episodes can sometimes lead to such psychotic symptoms as delusions and hallucinations. The disorder has been subdivided into bipolar I, bipolar II, cyclothymia, and other types, based on the nature and severity of mood episodes experienced; the range is often described as the bipolar spectrum.
Being bipolar and living with the illness means that you should have a bipolar disorder treatment plan in place. This usually begins to be formed from the time that a diagnosis of bipolar disorder is made. Often the bipolar disorder treatment is split into two types – one for treating manic episodes and one for treating depressive episodes. It is essential that this happens so that the person with bipolar disorder is getting the correct bipolar disorder treatment.
During a manic episode the bipolar disorder treatment will start with the elimination of any substances that might could the sufferer harm – many will turn to stimulant drugs so they should be removed as they can further alter the mood. Next an assessment should be made to determine whether the best form of bipolar disorder treatment is to hospitalise the sufferer. In particularly extreme manic episodes this can happen to prevent the sufferer from coming to any harm.
Then mood stabilising drugs need to be administered as the next phase in the bipolar disorder treatment. Lithium tends to be used at this stage as it is can be a highly effective mood stabiliser. If after a week or so the bipolar sufferer will then be given antipsychotic drugs which should help to stabilise the moods. After this stage of bipolar disorder treatment additional drugs may be prescribed along with any therapy that might be needed. By this point the bipolar sufferer should be quite stable and able to continue with their daily life as usual.
During a depressive episode the bipolar disorder treatment is quite similar with lamotrigine or lithium being given to the sufferer initially. If they fail to respond to these many doctors have the opinion that they will have to cope with the depressive episode for as long as it lasts. Strangely antidepressants are not normally included in bipolar disorder treatment plan for depressive episodes as they don’t tend to work very well.
Once the bipolar disorder treatment is underway the next step could be to begin cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) so that the sufferer can start to recognise what triggers their bipolar disorder and learn ways to avoid these triggers. Therapy of this form can be hugely successful if the sufferer is willing to try this type of bipolar disorder treatment. By being able to manage their different moods a bipolar sufferer is helping to reduce the number and severity of depressive and manic episodes. Alternative bipolar disorder treatments are also quite popular with yoga and meditation being two of the most widely used by sufferers around the world.
Although there is no known cure for bipolar disorder there are a number of ways that bipolar disorder treatment can help sufferers and there is constant research into finding more ways. It may seem as though there is nothing that can be done for someone who is bipolar but as you can see there are several options that sufferers can try to find which is the best bipolar disorder treatment for them.