Treatment of Bipolar Disorder

A psychiatrist who specializes in diagnosing and treating mental health conditions is the appropriate person for treating bipolar and related disorders.

Updated: December 2, 2017

A psychiatrist who specializes in diagnosing and treating mental health conditions is the appropriate person for treating bipolar and related disorders. Bipolar disorder is a lifelong condition. Treatment is aimed at managing symptoms. Depending on your requirements, treatment may include:

Medications:

You may need to start taking medications to balance your moods right away.

Continued treatment:

Even during periods when you feel better, you need to continue with your medications as it is a lifelong treatment with medications. Skipping maintenance treatment may lead to high risk of  re- occurrence of symptoms or having minor mood changes turn into full-blown mania or depression.

Day treatment programs:

While you get symptoms under control, a day treatment program is recommended for you. These programs provide the support and counseling you need.

Substance abuse treatment:

To manage bipolar disorder, you also need substance abuse treatment if you have problems with alcohol or drugs.

Hospitalization:

If you are having a manic or major depressive episode such as you feel suicidal or you become detached from reality, hospitalization is recommended for you. Getting psychiatric treatment at a hospital can help keep you calm and safe and stabilize your mood. The primary treatments for bipolar disorder include medications and psychological counseling (psychotherapy) to control symptoms. The treatment also may include education and support groups for counseling.

Medications:

Several medications are used to treat bipolar disorder. The types and doses of medications prescribed are based on your particular symptoms.
Medications may include:

Mood stabilizers:

Usually to control manic or hypomanic episodes, mood-stabilizing medication are used. These include lithium, valproic acid, divalproex sodium, carbamazepine and lamotrigine.

Antipsychotics:

If symptoms of depression or mania persist in spite of treatment with other medications, adding an antipsychotic drug such as olanzapine, risperidone, quetiapine, aripiprazole, ziprasidone, lurasidone or asenapine may help. Some of these medications are prescribed alone or along with a mood stabilizer.

Antidepressants:

Because an antidepressant can sometimes trigger a manic episode, it can be used to help manage depression. It is usually prescribed along with a mood stabilizer or antipsychotic.

Antidepressant-antipsychotic:

Symbyax is a combination of the antidepressant fluoxetine and the antipsychotic olanzapine. It works as a depression treatment and a mood stabilizer.

Anti-anxiety medications:

Benzodiazepines may help with anxiety and improve sleep, but should be used on a short-term basis.

Finding the right medication:

Some trial and error method can be used for finding the right medication. As some medications need weeks to months to take full effect, you need to try it in patient. Generally only one medication is changed at a time to identify which medications work to relieve your symptoms with the least bothersome side effects. Medications also may need to be adjusted as your symptoms change.

Side effects of Medications:

Often there are mild side effects which get improve as you find the right medications and doses that work for you, and your body adjusts to the medications. But if you have bothersome side effects, consult your doctor or mental health professional. Do not make any changes or stop taking your medications by your own without consulting your doctor. If you stop your medication, you may experience withdrawal effects or your symptoms may worsen or return. You may become very depressed, feel suicidal, or even go into a manic or hypomanic episode.

Medications and Pregnancy:

Certain medications used for bipolar disorder are associated with birth defects and can pass through breast milk to your baby.  Medications such as valproic acid and divalproex sodium, should not be used during pregnancy. Birth control medications when taken along with certain bipolar disorder medications, may lose their effectiveness. If you are taking medication to treat your bipolar disorder and planning to become pregnant, talk to your doctor before your pregnancy.

Psychotherapy:

Psychotherapy is a essential part of bipolar disorder treatment which include:

Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy (IPSRT):

IPSRT aims on the stabilization of daily routine, such as sleeping, waking and mealtimes. A consistent routine helps better mood management. People with bipolar disorder may benefit from establishing a daily routine for sleep, diet and exercise.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT):

CBT can help identify which factor triggers your bipolar episodes. The aim is identifying unhealthy, negative beliefs and behaviors and replacing them with healthy, positive ones. Effective ways to manage stress and to cope with upsetting situations can be learned from this.

Psychoeducation:

This is about learning bipolar disorder which can help you and your loved ones understand the condition. You get the best support, identify issues, make a plan to prevent re-occurance and stick with treatment if you are aware of the condition and its consequences.

Family-focused therapy:

Family support and communication can help you stick with your treatment plan and help you and your loved ones recognize and manage warning signs of mood swings.

Other Treatment Options:

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT):

During this therapy, electrical currents are passed through the brain, intentionally triggering a brief seizure. This can make possible changes in brain chemistry that can reverse symptoms of certain mental illnesses. If you do not get better with medications, can not take antidepressants for health reasons such as pregnancy or are at high risk of suicide,ECT may be an option for bipolar treatment.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS):

This is an option for those who do not respond to antidepressants.


Related Articles

9 Common Causes of Hip Pain in Women

9 Common Causes of Hip Pain in Women

Hip pain in women can result from several reasons. The hip joint can withstand repeated motion and a fair amount of wear and tear. However, wear and tear as well as overuse can cause hip pain.

Management and Monitoring Thyroid Dysfunction

Management and Monitoring Thyroid Dysfunction

Thyroid hormones are necessary for proper metabolism and growth of the human body. Except brain, testes, and spleen, all tissues experience an increase in oxygen consumption when stimulated by thyroid hormones.

Risk Factors, Treatment, Medication & Self-Management Of Gastritis

Risk Factors, Treatment, Medication & Self-Management Of Gastritis

You may find some relief from gastritis if you have a healthy Lifestyle.

Cholecystitis: Symptoms, Causes, Complications, Diagnosis and Treatment

Cholecystitis: Symptoms, Causes, Complications, Diagnosis and Treatment

Cholecystitis is inflammation of gallbladder which occurs when bile from the liver can not released into the small intestine because of some obstruction.

 Diabetes in Children: Causes,Symptoms, Risk Factor and Complications

Diabetes in Children: Causes,Symptoms, Risk Factor and Complications

Mostly diabetes in children are of Type 1. Type 1 Diabetese is an autoimmune disease in which your child's body no longer produces insulin or may produce insufficient amount of insulin.

Anal Disorders: Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention

Anal Disorders: Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention

The anus is the opening at the end of the digestive tract where stool leaves the body. The anus starts at the bottom of the rectum and the anorectal line separates the anus from the rectum.

Periods or Menstruation

Periods or Menstruation

Period or monthly also known as menstruation is the regular discharge of blood and mucosal tissue from the inner lining of the uterus through the vagina.

Lifestyle change and Management of acne

Lifestyle change and Management of acne

Acne is a common problem with a number of underlying causes. As conventional treatments can cause dryness, redness and irritation, you can take few simple steps in your daily life to prevent or manage if your skin is prone to acne.

Suppliers Across World


Browse suppliers across the globe including Honduras, Niger, Slovakia, Tajikistan, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Palestine, Suriname, Azerbaijan, North Korea, Sweden, East Timor, Switzerland, Turks and Caicos Islands, Gibraltar, Mozambique, French Guiana, Singapore, Tanzania, Armenia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, British Indian Ocean Territory, South Sudan, Swaziland, Falkland Islands, Bermuda, Burundi, Cambodia, Guyana, Liberia, French Southern territories, Faroe Islands, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Isle of Man, South Africa, Guatemala, Bulgaria, Kyrgyzstan, Sao Tome and Principe, Lebanon, Northern Ireland, Finland, Jamaica, Eritrea, Bahrain, Cuba and other localities of World as well..