by chris.bburn Bipolar Disorder, also called manic-depression, is one of the major mental illnesses described in the DSM-IV-TR. It is characterized
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Bipolar Disorder, also called manic-depression, is one of the major mental illnesses described in the DSM-IV-TR. It is characterized by episodes of depression and mania. The first article in this series, Understanding Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder, defined these episodes and discussed the different types of Bipolar Disorders. This article will inform you of some of the treatment options.
Typically, a person with Bipolar Disorder will need a combination of medication and psychotherapy. Many people see a practitioner for medication and think that it will be enough to cope with the symptoms of the disorder. In order to really understand the disorder, therapy is pertinent. Medication can help manage, but not cure, the symptoms of Bipolar Disorder. Most people are left experiencing continued symptoms, even when taking medication. It is for that reason that I strongly advocate that a person attend therapy.
A trained therapist can help you identify behavioral methods to manage symptoms of depression and mania. A common type of therapy used with Bipolar Disorder is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT is a type of therapy that teaches a person to understand the thinking that is behind some irrational emotions and behaviors. It can also teach a person to change behaviors in order to positively affect thoughts and feelings.
Another important technique for managing Bipolar Disorder is relaxation exercises. A therapist will teach you to relax in order to manage some of the anxiety and physical discomfort that can accompany the disorder. Breathing exercises, visualizations, and progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) are common relaxation exercises that will improve your ability to manage symptoms.
Mindfulness is another way to manage some of the negative emotions you may experience. Mindfulness is a technique that teaches you to recognize and be present with your emotions without over/under reacting to them. It is very useful to those experiencing depression or hypomania.
Supportive therapy is often needed as well, particularly when the diagnosis is first made. My motto is, "smart people have therapists." It is wise to have an objective, knowledgeable person to talk to as you learn how Bipolar Disorder affects your life. A therapist can help you process the emotions you are experiencing and come to accept the diagnosis. Supportive therapy can also help with important things such as establishing a healthy routine to help manage symptoms.
Having a healthy daily routine is very important to both managing and recognizing symptoms. The better able you are to maintain a daily routine the easier it will be to notice if an episode of depression or mania begins. Also, a routine will help you keep yourself in balance.
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Commonly question about Treating Bipolar Disorder
Are there any effects for not treating bipolar disorder?If you are bipolar and you do nothing about it (except try to hide it), will it make is worse? Is there any affects to not treating a bipolar disorder?
Absolutely... Medication noncompliance is very common in bipolar disorders. This is in fact dangerous because bipolar disorder is a lifelong, life-threatening illness and often requires medication. The suicide rate in bipolar sufferers is tragically high... some articles suggest that up to 50% of bipolar sufferers will attempt suicide during their lifetime. Reading these figures alone is very scary, as I am a bipolar sufferer, recently diagnosed and still trying to come to terms with my diagnosis. I feel that delaying my treatment and not seeing a doctor sooner has caused significant damage to my life, damage that I am now having to heal (now that I am on medication that has made me feel better than I have in more than 2 years), and would advise anyone else who has been diagnosed with, or thinks they may have, bipolar disorder to see their doctor and to comply with medication, because long-term prospects are much worse without medication. Psychotherapy and psychoeducation are vital parts of treatment also. Even when one feels stable (euthymic) and not on medication, there are often subtle sub-syndromal cognitive deficits such as impaired concentration, motivation and symptoms such as anxiety, which continue to impair one s life and prevent full emergence from mood episodes. Some bipolar sufferers will not take medication because they enjoy the hypomania/mania symptoms, but mania can be damaging (socially and mentally) and may include psychotic symptoms, and is often followed by depression/mixed states, which are very dangerous. Some meds have side effects, but the benefits greatly outweigh such side effects and they are generally safe for long-term use. Hope this helps.
Source(s):Personal experience and research
Has anyone tried treating bipolar disorder without medication?I m pretty sure I have bipolar disorder. This isn t just a sudden thing where I think I might have it. I have been suspicious of it for a while and have been analyzing my situation for a couple of months. My brother is bi polar and they just gave him pills. I don t like the idea of taking pills that effect my mood and personality. Is there anyone here who has experience from themselves or people they know with alternative ways of treating it? If so how did it turn out?
Absolutely YES. Not only that, you can cure this condition they lie and tell you is some kind of untreatable brain disorder. I know this to be an absolute fact. I have seen with my own eyes several cases of people who have cured this uncurable so called disease. Well actually I believe there are some few people for whom it is a real mental disease. The rest are largely misdiagnosed. In any case, yes, treatable. It takes consistent effort, the willingness to self examine in a critical way, and patience. Actual non med treatments that help are first and foremost, meditation and good nutrition. There are meditation related practices such as yoga that are also extremely beneficial. Those that I personally know who have recovered have used meditation to a great extent. One of the people I know started using "B12 dots" and got relief within two weeks. I don t know if that is the actual name of the product but they are vitamin B12 that you put under your tongue once or twice a day. I certainly think that it is worth trying all of these crazy alternative ideas that are all completely safe, and comparatively inexpensive before simply jumping on the bandwagon and allowing your brain to become permanently damaged through psychotropics.
What drugs have you had the best results with for treating bipolar disorder?I have been on quite a few and I know everyone is different. I just feel like none of the ones I have been on really worked. They helped but I feel like I need something that works better.
I have been on SEVERAL antidepresants. But as far as bipolar treatments I have tried Lamictal, Depakote, Seroquel, and Trileptal.
Just curious what seems to work well for people with this disorder and how well it does work?
Lamictal and Lexapro worked great for me once it fully kicked in. Lamictal is for maintenance, not acute therapy. I have since come off of Lexapro, seeing that I am a truly happy person now. I still get an uneasy feeling from the depressive side of bipolar from time to time, but I know it will always pass. (I m bipolar 1). Lamictal never made me a zombie or anything. I just feel normal. But like I said, it took a while for the Lamictal to work. (pdocs know how much time it takes to get the right blood levels, I forgot though, it was a few years ago.)
One thing that really helps me is taking Karate. It gives you discipline, which helps in a lot of aspects of bipolar. Especially being able to control your emotions. But it has to be the right kind of martial arts, and it requires dedication. A traditional type of martial arts. (i.e. not kickboxing or "just to learn how to fight" martial arts.) Wado, Iaido, and countless others are great. Very meditative. Stay away from the "trophy schools" though. Of course, if you have anger issues I d stay clear of karate.
That s just my 2 cents.
I hope it helped in some way, sorry to get off topic.