Bipolar Explained – Your Options As we’ve discussed, the first thing that you need to do is to talk with your doctor to determine what is affecting you.
If it is in fact bipolar disorder, then there are several treatment options that your doctors will recommend to you.
The process of treating bipolar will come from two main forms, from your doctor that is. The first need is that of medication.
The second is that of psychotherapy. The combination of these things has been effective in helping millions of people to improve their lives even while suffering from bipolar.
There is no cure for bipolar, but with the right treatments for the condition, you can increase your quality of life and keep yourself safe, too.
It is the combination of both medication and additional psychotherapy help that is the best route to go.
Later, we will talk about other things that you can do beyond your doctor’s care that can also aid in your improvement.
There are a number of different medications available that your doctor can prescribe to deliver some help to you. Medications have the goal of helping to regulate your mood swings.
The most common types of medications for mood control include Lithium in name brands such as Lithobid and Eskalith. These work as mood stabilizers and are actually one of the first tools to work against manic episodes. They are your first line of defense in regards to your mood swings.
In addition to these, there are other medications that are used to help stabilize the mood. Anti-seizure medications in particular actually provide the help that’s needed. These include medications like valproic acid with the brand name Depakene. Divalproex and Iamotrigine also provide this same help.
They work as mood regulators. A less commonly used anti- seizure medication is Topiramate which is sold as Topamax.
Yet, there is more help needed in the maintenance of the mood swings brought on by bipolar disorder. You probably will face episodes of depression and often doctors find it important to handle these symptoms carefully.
They can actually be treated in a number of ways, though. Your doctor has several ways to go.
He may decide to give you antidepressants. Antidepressants are ideal for treating depression specifically and therefore often work with bipolar patients. These medications include a line of medications including:
Paroxetine which is marketed as Paxil
Bupropion which is marketed as Wellbutrin
Fluoxetine which is marketed as both Prozac and Serafim
Sertraline which is marketed as Zoloft
In addition to these, your doctor has the ability to provide you with antipsychotic medications if he deems that you need them. This includes two types including risperidone as Risperdal and olanzapine as Zyprexa.
Some medications have been created to treat both depression and the mania symptoms that you face with bipolar disorder. For example, just recently, the Food and Drug Administration approved quetiapine as Seroquel to treat both extents of your condition.
Yet, there are some concerns about medications that treat bipolar. There are some health risks that you can take because you are taking these medications.
The American Diabetes Association has done research on several of these commonly used medications and has found that there are some very serious risks with them. For those that are taking antipsychotic medications, the risk that is highest is the development of diabetes.
In addition, you are prone to gaining weight to a very staggering level without the proper exercise and diet. In association with this, the increased weight can lead to increases in blood pressure which puts your heart at risk for problems.
This does not mean that you can’t take these medications if your doctor tells you to. In fact, you must take them if your doctor tells you to because they can improve your life and health. But you should always follow the recommendations of your doctor in regards to limitations as well as diet and exercise.
Some medications like Risperdal, Zyprexa and Seroquel are only used in severe bipolar conditions. Even then, your doctor will closely monitor your health in use of them. Doing this helps to keep the risks of complications at bay even when you take this medication regularly as you will for bipolar.
Each medication that you take will have different side effects and reactions. Some people find that medications offer no side effects to them while the same medication taken by someone else will have severe side effects.
When taking these medications for the first time, it is essential for you to take into consideration how they affect you. If you find that they are overwhelming or simply provide too severe side effects, then contact your doctor right away so that he can tweak the dosage.
In addition, you should realize that medications often need some time in your system before you actually see any results. Some medications can take weeks of taking them daily before you notice their full benefit.
If it goes this long and you don’t see any type of improvement, talk to your doctor. There should be another medication that will deliver the desired effects.
It will take some time before your doctor will be able to get the right dose for you. Be patient and work with your doctor as closely as you can to actually gain the benefits that you can have.
Although psychotherapy sounds like a pretty scary thing, it is actually something that can be done easily and with your help, it can be quite rewarding for you.
During psychotherapy, you and your doctor will work together to determine the best possible treatment for you. Usually, you’ll be taking medications during this process. The combination can be quite beneficial to your overall health.
By meeting with a doctor to talk about psychotherapy, you both can learn more about your bipolar condition. The goal will be to find patterns in your episodes. By tracking and exploring the pattern of episodes that you go through, your doctor can better understand what triggers them.
By tracking your mood changes, the doctor can see if there is something that causes them in the first place. For example, if you take medications for some other condition, those medications may actually be triggering your mood changes and leading to the effect of bipolar.
Other common triggers include emotions. For example, if you have an argument with a loved one that is severe, then you may experience a mood swing that is severe. In addition to emotional causes, physical changes can also trigger your causes.
Just identifying these patterns is not enough, though. During psychotherapy, your doctor will work on finding ways for you to manage these episodes. By learning to cope with the uncertainties that bipolar brings up, you can improve your overall well-being.
Medication alone does not often bring the help that you’ll need to deal with bipolar disorder. Those that face this condition need to learn how to realize that they are dealing with mood swings. Psychotherapy can help them to realize that they can cope with what’s happening to them and stop hurting themselves and those around them.
It can also help you to realize the very importance of continuing to take your medications. When you realize the extent of what you do during your mood swings and how they are unfounded, you can learn to spot them and you’ll realize that you need medication to help control them as much as possible.
Psychotherapy is something you should do on a continuing basis. By doing so, you allow yourself to get the most help that you can have.
Behavioral Health Rehabilitative Specialist
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