Treatment Options for Bipolar Disorder

2013 Bipolar Update

Treatment Options for Bipolar Disorder

It is helpful to note that there are plenty of treatment options for bipolar disorder. Oftentimes, patients and family members think in extreme terms when it comes to treating bipolar disorder. As a result, they completely miss the mark with regard to healing and recovery. Some think that bipolar disorder is easily treated and that the patient can recover in a matter of days while others think that the condition might be permanent and beyond help.

In this post, we will set the facts straight for the treatment options for bipolar disorder so everyone can get on the same page in terms of expectations and the effort required in bringing a patient back to full mental health.

The most essential step prior to deciding on the treatment options for bipolar disorder is to get a proper and accurate diagnosis of the patient’s exact conditions. Among the questions that need answered are:

§ Which cycle is more prominent: mania or depression?
§ How frequent is the cycling characteristics? Does the mania last for longer than a few weeks or is the cycling rapid enough to fit rapid cycling conditions?
§ Are there noticeable triggers to the disorder?
§ How is stress and other social factors contributing to the development and progression of the illness?

These are just some of the questions required to define a viable treatment option for the specific case. Consequently, diagnosis will require multiple visits to the doctor to complete psychological and medical histories and evaluation.

Once the extent of the condition is ascertained, it becomes possible to select from the numerous treatment options for bipolar disorder. Some of the most common options available include medication, therapy, education and lifestyle management changes as well as finding support for the whole process.

§ Medication - There is not a more important treatment option for bipolar disorder than medication. However, the exact combination, dosage and frequency depend on the exact nature of the illness. A poorly diagnosed bipolar disorder can lead to ineffective medication routines.

§ Therapy - To be specific, a psychotherapy session is required to restore the patient to a balanced state of mind. This should target potential disorder triggers such as lingering psychological problems and social pressures including trauma and perhaps, loss. In cases where hallucinations accompany mania episodes, patients may be confined to a mental facility for two to four weeks for full observation and therapy prior to adopting a normal treatment routine.

§ Education and lifestyle management - These two go hand-in-hand and will prove vital towards keeping the effects of the disease to a bare minimum. Stress minimization and adopting a more balanced routine such as regular sleep, and avoidance of drugs and alcohol are required to reverse the effects of the illness. Treatment options for bipolar disorder should be geared towards targeting both the immediate and long-term risk factors that complicate and aggravate the condition of a patient with regard to a bipolar disorder.

If properly treated, a patient should be able to completely recover from bipolar disorder within a period of 2 to 6 years depending on the severity of the condition. In some cases, the condition may persist for life but should gradually subside with continued treatment. It is not impossible to treat bipolar disorder. Armed with the right treatment options for bipolar disorder, a patient and his or her family should be able to slowly but surely combat the effects of the disease and ultimately reverse its effects in order to free the patient from the toxic grasps of bipolar disorder.