Bipolar Explained – Electroconvulsive Therapy For those that have severe bipolar disorder, medications and psychotherapy may not be enough to provide them with the relief that they need.
Electroconvulsive therapy is another option that is available to you. You’ll hear it called ECT more often.
Those that have electroconvulsive therapy generally have not responded well to the medications that have been used to help them.
In addition, they generally have very severe depression in which suicidal thoughts are common. In cases where suicidal tendencies are seen, it can be important to seek additional treatment.
In electroconvulsive therapy, your doctor will use electrodes placed on your head to start the treatment. Your doctor will also give you a muscle relaxer during the treatment. When this is done, you’ll be given anesthesia and you’ll feel nothing.
Once this is done, the electrodes will admit a very small amount of electrical current. As the current passes through your brain, your brain will actually have a seizure. While in normal circumstances, a brain seizure can be very severe and very traumatic, that doesn’t happen here.
Because you have taken a muscle relaxant, your body stays still and calm. The current only passes through your brain for less than a second.
But, why will this be done? There are actually not many answers to that question! During the process of electro convulsion, your brain will react in a very unique way.
Your brain’s metabolism changes significantly. The way that blood flows through your brain also changes. The end result is that the depression you face is lessened significantly and you feel better.
Although this has been proven to help ease depression and depression symptoms in cases such as bipolar disorder, it is not fully understood why this happens.
It can seem very troublesome to try this therapy. After all, it doesn’t sound as if passing an electrical current through your brain is a beneficial thing.
But, remember that the amount of current and the time in which it passes into the brain are very, very small. That coupled with the control of the muscle relaxers, you end up benefiting from it instead of suffering from it.
What’s Right for You?
Although we’ve presented several types of treatment for bipolar disorder, it will be up to you and your doctor to determine what the right course of action is for you. This decision will stem from your condition and its severity.
It also will take some time to adjust medications and to see benefits from psychotherapy. During that time, you may not be able to see much improvement.
Yet, studies have shown benefits in the combination of medications and psychotherapy enough so that many patients see remarkable improvement in their daily lives.
By working with your doctor, you too can find this benefit. Yet, it will be important for you to do just that: work with your doctor. Stay in constant communication with him about how you are doing. He’s there to help work out the wrinkles to find the best solution for you.
But, is that it? Is that all the help that you can get for your condition? No, and that’s why this e-book is only half through. There are other ways that you can learn to cope with your condition.
Behavioral Health Rehabilitative Specialist
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