The treatment methods used for bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder is a manic-depressive condition that causes unusual brain functions. Every human experience up and downs during their lifetime, however, the effects of the bipolar condition are much more extreme. It leads to sudden extreme shifts in one’s mood and causes a fluctuation in the levels of energy and the ability to undertake daily tasks. Bipolar disorder is a serious condition of the brain and can severely affect one’s relationships, performance, and school or work. In a nutshell, it disrupts the daily life of the afflicted.

The symptoms of bipolar disorder do not follow a set pattern. The dramatic episodes of different moods can take place at any time and last for however long. While some may experience lengthy, isolated manic episodes, for others, depressive episodes may be recurrent. The different episodes can be triggered over a few days, months and even several years. Since the condition is long-term, it demands ongoing care through the effective methods of treatment that include:

  • Medication – Medications are used as the first-degree treatment method and can bring good effects. The way an individual responds to medication will vary from the way another individual does. The kind of medication used will completely depend upon the patient and the severity of the condition. Typically, the doctor will employ different combinations of medication to understand which one shows brings the best effects. They will include atypical antipsychotics, antidepressants, and mood stabilizers. However, the steady dependability on medications can lead to some side effects. Even the sudden stopping of medications can cause the symptoms to become much worse. It is best to always consult a doctor before considering stopping or taking any new medication. Also, any side effects must be brought to the notice of the doctor.
  • Therapy – Therapy is found to bring great benefits when treating bipolar disorder. There are different kinds of therapy forms and each carry distinct benefits. Psychotherapy is popularly used to aid with the bipolar condition. It assists in changing the altered behavior and having better control over one’s life. Therapy also helps the patient cement relationships with loved ones. For some therapies, friends, and family too may be included.
  • Electroconvulsive therapy – For some individuals, the above forms of treatment may not work. This is when patients will have to undergo electroconvulsive therapy or ECT. This form of treatment may also be known as ‘shock’ therapy. It involves the use of a quick electric shock or current that can set the issues in the brain right.

Bipolar disorder, when severe, often brings with it the major risk of suicide. People who suffer from the condition are more likely to attempt suicide than people since they are not in control of their emotions often. It is important that the symptoms are tracked regularly, and the behavior observed to avert any fatal action. There is no treatment method that can completely cure the condition but controlling the symptoms will help in keeping the symptoms under control and aid in leading a normal life.