Bipolar Treatments: A Look At Your Options

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So you’ve been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, otherwise known as manic-depression? Now what? Should you seek treatment?

The fact is that untreated bipolar disorder can wreak havoc on your personal life. Recurring episodes of mania and depression will probably significantly reduce your productivity, as well as your ability to maintain satisfying personal relationships. Drug addiction, poverty, and incarceration are all potential outcomes for someone living with untreated manic-depression.

Scott Weiland, the front man of the legendary US rock groups Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver, refused treatment for his bipolar disorder. He preferred to live with his extreme, often crippling emotions, and to make use of them through his art. However, even this famous artist has had to pay for his decision not to treat manic-depression: Weiland struggled with drug addiction for years, and spent several years in jail.

In short, deciding not to seek psychiatric help for bipolar disorder is always an individual decision. Yet, the individuals who make that decision must be mindful of its consequences. Most of us, if diagnosed with bipolar manic-depression, would want to seek some form of treatment.

What bipolar treatments are out there? What do modern psychiatric medicine and therapy offer in the way of care for bipolar sufferers?

The simplest form of continuous treatment for bipolar patients is psychotherapy. Fortunately for the human race, our emotions–no matter how powerful–do have ultimate control of us. We can choose to separate ourselves from our feelings. At the very least, we can become aware that, although our feelings affect us, in the end, they are just that–feelings. A trained therapist and a supportive circle of friends and caretakers can bipolar sufferers manage their moods to an extent.

A more direct and forceful form of treatment is medication. This is a great favourite among therapists, just because it so typically achieves results. Mood-stabilizing drugs, and, occasionally, anti-psychotic drugs, are typically prescribed to bipolar patients undergoing a manic phase. Lithium is a popular drug to prescribe. Medications of this nature must be administered with the aid of trained medical professional, because the dosage is very important.

An even more extreme treatment for some bipolar symptoms, such as suicidal depression, is known by the acronym ECT. This acronym stands for electro-convulsive therapy. Electric shocks administered to certain areas of the brain and nervous system can jolt a suicidal patient back into his or her senses.  ECT is also a good way to stop the psychotic episodes that sometimes accompany bipolar mania.

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