Bipolar disorder treatment

Bipolar disorder (manic depression) is a serious condition that affects many people across the world. It is an often misunderstood condition that usually goes undiagnosed for a long period of time. There are also many misconceptions in regards to treatment options for bipolar disorder and many people believe the condition is untreatable. However, this is not true, there are ways to treat bipolar disorder and make it a condition that you can safely, and happily, live with.

What Is Bipolar Disorder?
First off, lets look at exactly what bipolar disorder really is. There is no short way to describe the condition but the most basic way to put it is a severe form of depression, hence the secondary name “manic depression”. People suffering from bipolar disorder will have major mood swings, energy shifts, strong thoughts, and behavioral issues. The severity of some of these symptoms can range from less serious to extremely serious.

The best way to look at the condition for someone that is clueless to exactly what it is would be to look at the mood swing aspect, as it affects all the symptoms for bipolar disorder. People with bipolar disorder will have quick changing climaxes of emotions, thoughts, feelings, etc. This means that they may be feeling great one minute, and then terrible the next. In some of the more severe cases of this condition the low extreme of depression could even be suicidal.

The statistics for people with bipolar disorder that commit suicide as a result of the extreme changes is simply staggering. Statistics have shown that roughly 15% of people with bipolar disorder commit suicide, though not always directly because of the condition. As well, a whopping 80% of people with bipolar disorder have considered commiting suicide at one point in their life.

Bipolar Disorder Symptoms
Now that you have a general idea of what bipolar disorder is, we can focus on the symptoms associated with the condition. Serious depression is obviously one of the more noticeable symptoms to the condition, but there are many others. Some symptoms that you may notice if you have the condition include: depression, suicidal thoughts, mood swings, etc.

Usually these symptoms will be noticed in cycles that could last anywhere from a few days to a few months. It is also possible that something in the person’s life, possibly a dramatic event, could trigger this. Usually the extremes of the condition are called “episodes”. There are two forms of this.

Manic Episode – this is where someone with bipolar disorder may do various chaotic things that may not seem logical when in a normal mind state. For example, even if things are going fine in the person’s life, they may up and leave their job without notice, and possibly go on an unwarranted shopping spree. Depression is not necessarily noticed during a manic episode. Usually someone will actually be rather happy and full of energy during a manic episode. This person may even run with little to no sleep during this particular episode.

Depressive Episode – this is where the low of the condition cocurs. Extreme fatigue, over-sleeping, loss of hope, and self-hate often occurs during a depressive episode. This is where people reach their lowest point emotionally and suicidal thoughts may be triggered. It is also possible that someone could randomly start crying during a depressive episode for any reason.

Determining whether or not a person is suffering from bipolar disorder may be a little tricky. There are all sorts of mood disorders that a person can have so trying to distinguish if bipolar is the disorder that one has can be difficult at times. There are several forms and several levels of severity of bipolar disorder that a person may suffer from. A person may have a very mild case or may have a very severe case of the disorder. Depending on the type of bipolar disorder that one has will determine the symptoms the person experiences and will also determine the type of treatment that a person may need.

The most common symptom of bipolar disorder is the dramatic and severe shifts of moods that a person may go through. The moods are unpredictable and hard to manage for the patient and for those around the person. When a person has bipolar disorder they will suffer from some level of manic and depressive states of mind. These moods can come and go frequently or over long periods of time. A person with bipolar disorder may have extreme mood swings or may only have one episode in their entire lifetime. Most people who suffer from bipolar disorder have moods that consume their life and become difficult to manage. The moods alternate between extreme depression and extreme moods of hyper activity.

When a person enters into the depressive state they become isolated, angry, agitated, and irritable. They also become very sad, they may cry often, sleep a lot, and have poor eating habits. They can gain weight or lose weight due to increased anxiety. They may be hard to talk to and uninterested in everyday life or any activities that they used to enjoy. They can have a lack of energy or desire to socialize. Often a person in a severe depressive state may feel like giving up on life and have thoughts of suicide. When a person enters into this state it is necessary to get medical help in order to prevent them harming themselves.

When the manic stage hits the exact opposite behaviors can come out of a person. They may require less sleep, have tons of energy, be in a good mood and be extremely active. They may enjoy being around others and socializing, and they may make plans that are outrageous. A person in a manic state may do things that they would not typically do and this can get them into trouble. They can be spontaneous and lack good judgment, especially when it comes to making big decisions or spending money. The manic stage can also bring on restless behavior and irritability to a certain extent. People who are in a manic stage may also have an increased sexual desire.

Treatment Options For Bipolar Disorder
We now arrive to the most important part of the article. By now if you do not know what bipolar disorder is, or the symptoms, you should have a general idea. We are now going to focus on the treatment options for people with bipolar disorder. Please note that the information provided in this section can be effective but if you have bipolar disorder you should always speak with your doctor first before attempting to treat the condition.

First off, there are two very important things you can do to dramatically increase your odds of succesfully treating the condition. 1) Get informed about bipolar disorder and the variety of treatment methods, as well as signs of episodes occurring, and, 2) Seek help or support from a professional, or possibly join a support group.

Now, lets look at a few treatment possibilities for people with bipolar disorder. While there is no way to completely remove the condition from your life forever you can make sure the symptoms go almost unnoticed by taking certain precautions.

For instance, you should go out of your way to avoid any majorly stressful situations. Part of being succesful at this would also be changing how your stress levels jump, and a form of doing this would be stress control exercises. For example, yoga exercises, meditation, or even taking deep breathes when stress is noticeable may have good results.

You will also want to change your lifestyle completely for the better. A healthy diet and regular exercise can help ward off unwanted stress and also has the other, more obvious, health benefits as well.

It is important to know that the most important thing is to treat the condition immediately. If you do not treat it as quickly as possible and think that it might go away, the condition will just worsen and could become life threatening or very painful and stressful to live with. To prevent any personal or financial difficulties as a result of excessive stress and mood changes you should make sure the condition gets treated.

Living with bipolar disorder can be extremely hard. The moods are uncontrollable and will affect the way a person lives his or her life. These moods can affect family life, school situations and work environments. Luckily there are medications that can help a person manage their mood swings and find a little more stability in the way they function and feel on a daily basis. Medications may be able to balance out the moods to prevent the severe stages from occurring.

Medication is one of the most common bipolar disorder treatment methods. While just taking medication for the condition will not guarantee a manic or depressive episode will not occur, it can definitely help a lot. In combination with a healthy lifestyle, therapy, and support from friends and family, you should see noticeable changes from this treatment method.

Another important thing to remember is that you should not stop the bipolar disorder treatment if you feel better. This is a long term treatment and if you do discontinue treatment then the symptoms can come back and they can be very severe and destructive. You may also want to speak with a psychiatrist for support while treating the condition.

If you or a loved one has been suffering from these types of mood swings and they are starting to affect your life or those around you then it may be time seek professional help. A lot of people suffer from this condition and are confused by the way they feel. Getting medical advice may help you realize you are not alone and do not have to live the rest of your life with these uncontrollable feelings.

In closing, the ample information provided in this article should be a good start towards further understanding bipolar disorder and knowing what bipolar disorder treatment methods are effective. Take advantage of what you have learned here and treat the condition immediately if you are diagnosed with it, or if you believe you may have bipolar disorder then get a diagnosis by your doctor.

Last updated on Apr 25th, 2010 and filed under Mental Health. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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