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How to Treat Bipolar Disorder

By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 21, 2017
How to Treat Bipolar Disorder

One of the most difficult mental illnesses to diagnose is Bipolar disorder because it can be confused with states of mind such as excitement or depression. However, it is important to learn how to detect the disorder to treat it as soon as possible, so that the patient can enjoy a stable life without suffering the symptoms of this condition. In this OneHowTo article you'll discover how to treat bipolar disorder so you learn about the medical tests that are usually performed to diagnose it, as well as the medication and therapies that are given to help overcome the symptoms of this disorder.

You may also be interested in: How to Manage Bipolar Disorder
Steps to follow:
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To begin, it is important that you know how to detect the symptoms of bipolar disorder and above all, so you don't confuse them with emotional disturbances that everyone experiences throughout the course of their lives. A person suffering from this disorder can go from laughter to tears in a moment, and without any apparent cause. It is also possible for them to feel sad for a period of time and then, one day, they feel better and start going through the phase of joy and euphoria.

There are no exact patterns of these mood changes and the causes of the appearance of this disorder are not known for definite as yet. For this reason, the disorder can be easily confused with any mental disorder but the truth is that bipolar patients experience their feelings very deeply and are never stable. In fact, sufferers can even endanger their jobs, their family relationships and even harm themselves when they are experiencing a depressive episode.

How to Treat Bipolar Disorder - Step 1
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If you think you or someone close to you may be suffering from this disorder, it is best to go to a doctor to perform a series of tests and examinations which will determine the diagnosis. Some of the actions usually performed to detect bipolarity include a series of questions to try to assess the patient's personal circumstances to see if there is any history of illness in the family. Certain studies claim that there may be genetic causes of bipolar disorder.

It is also likely that the specialist will perform a thorough check of the patient's health to detect if other diseases could be causing some of the symptoms of bipolarity. Consequently, these mental disturbances may merely be the symptoms of a major condition.

The doctor will talk to family and friends to understand any changes in attitude, learn about the patient's reactions to each situation and evaluate their behavior. Therefore, a specialist in the area will know if the patient is suffering from bipolar disorder.

How to Treat Bipolar Disorder - Step 2
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Before talking about bipolar disorder, it's important to know that there is no cure to date that can cure this condition. Medications and treatments that continue to treat it are intended to alleviate the symptoms and allow the patient to live a more stable and balanced life but there is no cure for bipolar disorder.

So, with the treatment prescribed by a doctor, a patient can experience less frequent and less intense mood swings. They also allow the patient to lead a normal life, have a job and a family. Additionally, the prescription of medication also prevents the patient from experiencing such intense episodes that lead them to becoming aggressive or wanting to self-harm.

Therefore, medication is one of the most important parts of treatment for bipolarity as it helps to stabilize the patient's mood. Usually, the medications prescribed are:

  • Antipsychotics: Help reduce psychosis or hallucinations in patients.
  • Lithium: To stabilize mood and control episodes associated with the disorder.
  • Anticonvulsants: Also indicated to stabilize mood.

In any event, a bipolar patient will frequently visit a psychiatrist so that they are monitored at all times and, if necessary, to change their medication.

How to Treat Bipolar Disorder - Step 3
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In addition to pharmacological treatment, there are alternative treatments for bipolar such as, for example, ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) which is indicated to stabilize a patient's mood if medication doesn't work. In fact, when a patient is in the midst of both manic and depressive episodes, it is common for them to require hospital admission to prevent aggression or self-harm.

However, when treating a mental health illness, it is also imperative that the patient accesses supportive therapy so they can turn to it both individually and with the family. Engaging in this type of therapy can help the patient become aware of their condition and start taking action on the matter (taking medication, empathizing with the family, etc.). They will also learn to recognize the symptoms and so they'll know how to act when they feel that way. Self-awareness is vital to lead a stable life.

How to Treat Bipolar Disorder - Step 4
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If you believe that you live with a bipolar person, you must pay special attention to their symptoms and know when contact a professional. Many people take this disorder lightly because they don't know for sure if this is something serious or is simply a person's normal behavior. You will have to contact a doctor in the following cases:

  • If you see that they are very aggressive and that they may harm themselves or assault others.
  • If they are experiencing deep depression where they are isolating themselves and cannot lift themselves out of it.
  • If they admit that they are having hallucinations or that their understanding of reality doesn't stop them from feeling paranoid.
  • If they have not left the house for a long period of time and, in fact, have no intention of going out.
  • If you don't think they will be able to do daily tasks such as eating, washing themselves, cleaning the house, etc.)

It is also advisable to call the doctor if their medication is causing highly visible side effects, as well as realizing that they are not taking it.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Treat Bipolar Disorder, we recommend you visit our Mental health category.

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