Bipolar Medications Form the Treatment Basis for This Disorder

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Characterized by mania and depression episodes, bipolar disorder requires prolonged treatment that includes psychotherapy and bipolar medications.  Bipolar disorder can affect all aspects of a person’s life including relationships and work, so doctors use common interventions such as interpersonal, family and cognitive behavioural therapy.

Because it is such a complex disorder, there is a broad range of bipolar medications used in bipolar treatment with each medication group treating a specific set of symptoms.  Drug side effects are often severe although some do become tolerable or disappear. Unfortunately, some people with manic-depression will quit taking their bipolar medications because of the side effects.  It is important for people with this disorder to take their bipolar medications faithfully on a regular basis as prescribed.

Patients should take an active role or use self-help in managing their bipolar disorder, which includes making themselves as knowledgeable as possible by reading and doing research.   Self-help also includes exercise, getting enough rest, eating a healthy diet, and keeping track of their symptoms and moods.  It helps to find out what activates peoples mood swings in order to avoid them if possible.  Some patients find it beneficial to join bipolar disorder support groups.

Because it is an extremely complex disorder, bipolar medications form the treatment basis.  Three of the main drug types utilized in treating this disorder are antidepressant drugs, antipsychotic drugs and mood stabilising drugs.  For patients in a depressive episode, doctors often prescribe antidepressant drugs to take with their mood stabilizing drugs.  Psychiatrists and psychologists use antipsychotic drugs to treat patient’s mania or hypomania.  During severe episodes of depression or mania, doctors will prescribe antipsychotic drugs to deal with psychosis in which contact with reality is extremely distorted or lost.

Along with delusions and hallucinations, patients experiencing severe agitation, insomnia or anxiety may also receive antipsychotic drugs, which they sometimes use alone or along with other bipolar medications.  Taken continuously, mood stabilising drugs can reduce or delay the amount of depression or mania bipolar episodes.  Of the three mood stabilisers most often prescribed, each of these bipolar medications works differently to prevent or treat acute attacks.

The different side effects that bipolar medications cause depend upon the person and drug types used.  Some of the more usual side effects include tremors, weight gain, nausea, sexually problems and even hair loss.  Because bipolar medications work differently for everyone, a doctor may have to try several drugs and dosages when starting treatment, until they find one that works for the patient.

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