Treatments for bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder is one of the most widely diagnosed mental illnesses globally. This condition notably affects the psychological state and behavior of those affected, consequently there are difficulties to be able to have a good quality of life. Therefore, it must be treated in time to avoid suffering the consequences of its symptoms and the eventual deterioration of mental health.

Since this disease can be suffered by anyone , it is important to recognize the symptoms early. Receiving adequate treatment can help the patient to better manage their emotions, they will also have greater control over the symptoms associated with the disease. It is important to turn to a doctor who specializes in this matter, who will be in charge of making a more precise diagnosis.

What are the most used treatments?

The most widely used treatments for bipolar disorder combine psychotherapy in its different forms and various medications. Depending on the diagnosis made by the treating physician, the method that best suits the patient’s needs is selected. 

Understanding that there are two types of bipolar disorder, type 1 and type 2, some techniques and medications provide better results in each case. Type 2 bipolar disorder is generally considered to have milder symptoms compared to type 1 bipolar disorder. However, the reality is that this is a different diagnosis.

It actually depends on the manic episodes that the patient experiences, these can be classified as more serious or dangerous. Especially in those cases where patients have experienced long periods of depression, which has a negative impact on the state of health of the mind.

The most common types of medication used to treat bipolar disorder are described below. They are as follows:

  • Mood stabilizers are a type of medicine that helps balance mood-related brain functions. They are used to control manic episodes as well as hypomanic episodes. Examples of this type are lithium, valproic acid, and sodium divalproate.
  • Antipsychotics often help mood stabilizers work, so they are prescribed together. Examples of this type are olanzapine, risperidone, aripiprazole, and asenapine.
  • Antidepressants, as their name suggests, allow you to control depression. These medications are often used for bipolar disorder when you have symptoms related to depression, however when not administered properly it can cause a manic episode. Due to this factor, it is best to combine its use with an antipsychotic or mood stabilizer.

The administration of any type of drug must be carried out under strict medical supervision. For example, antidepressants exert their effect on neurotransmitters responsible for generating changes in mood. Specifically, they are classified into two groups according to the type of neurotransmitter they affect. SSRIs have an effect on serotonin and SSRIs have an effect on norepinephrine.

As for the treatments, it always depends on the doctor’s criteria and also on the current condition of the patient. In some cases, highly limiting symptoms are observed , they have priority and must be treated with certain techniques and resources.

Therefore, there is a wide variety of treatments and therapies that have been designed precisely to treat bipolar disorder in its different stages. What they are are described below:

  • Psychotherapy is a psychiatric treatment that usually has a cognitive behavioral approach. This means that negative behaviors, beliefs and thoughts must first be identified; they are replaced by healthier ones. It is the ideal resource when it comes to helping the patient to have a better social integration, in addition to providing the necessary tools to have greater control over their mood.
  • Substance abuse treatment is often used when patients have struggled to stop using alcohol, drugs, or tobacco. In these cases these resources are used as a means to try to alleviate the symptoms of the disorder, however what they really generate is the worsening and prolongation of mania and depression.
  • Treatment programs are for outpatient use, usually implemented during the patient’s hospitalization. They are used in order to improve performance and psychological functions.

The effectiveness of all the treatments and medications described above depends on the patient. Each person responds differently , these treatments may not be adapted to certain situations, but in others they provide the required solutions. Your treating physician may need to try several of these alternatives before finding the best one.

Therapy or medication?

The selection of a particular therapy or medication depends on the treating physician. However, in most cases both are usually combined due to the complexity of this disease. That is, there are medications that can not only help to stop the different phases of depression, mania and euphoria. In the case of drugs, they have substances that have a direct effect by reducing the frequency and intensity of symptoms.

It is important that the patient has emotional support from family and friends. Not only the psychological support will allow to face the difficulties that this disorder generates. With the contributions made by both parties, the patient will be able to more effectively recognize their own symptoms.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can also provide benefits, especially when it comes to eating and meeting the hours of rest when sleeping. Stressful situations and a hectic lifestyle can contribute to worsening symptoms.

Psychological therapies are broad spectrum, which means that the patient will learn various strategies that can be put into practice individually. These same should be combined with sport or exercise, also mental practices such as reading should be taken into account.

Can it be prevented?

Unfortunately, bipolar disorder cannot be prevented , it is a condition that does not have a definitive cure and is suffered for life. Because studies are still being carried out in relation to this topic, new theories continue to emerge that try to explain what are the causes of its development. Some experts consider that genetic inheritance is decisive, but others also believe that certain brain dysfunctions are responsible.

However, what these studies have been able to show is that symptoms can be controlled. In addition, if the patient adopts certain strategies and care in his life, he can significantly improve his quality of life. In combination with the use of prescription drugs, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help achieve physical and psychological improvements; especially when it comes to having peace of mind and less stress.

Psychotherapy is usually the most appropriate strategy because the specialist in charge can teach the patient how to live better with his illness. Eventually you will be able to make positive and effective modifications in your schedules and identify the symptoms in each of their phases. This in the long term will allow to foresee relapses, as well as to be able to treat certain episodes.

 | Website

Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *