When it comes to depression, there are many different types with one being Bipolar Disorder. This particular form of depression is among those categorized as being intense, which is why getting a proper diagnosed and Bipolar treatment is so critical. Otherwise, an individual would have a difficult, if not impossible time managing the illness. As a result, many facets of life would be completely disrupted.
Because there are so many people already diagnosed or being diagnosed with this mental health illness a tremendous amount of time and money has been dedicated to finding the best treatment. Obviously, the ultimate goal is for a cure to be discovered but until that time, professionals in both medical and mental health sectors are working hard to find or develop treatments that provide needed relief from symptoms.
Understanding Bipolar Disorder
Before we go over some of the newer treatment options now available, we felt it would be helpful for people to have an overview of what Bipolar Disorder is, along with symptoms it produces. To begin, this mental health problem was initially known as “Manic Depression”, which causes exaggerated highs and lows. One challenge is that an individual might have symptoms for only a few days or they could stretch out for months at a time.
If not properly treated, a person quickly feels out of control and with this, virtually every facet of life is affected. Just as it is important to understand the symptoms of this disorder, as listed below, it is just as important to know that today, options for an effective Bipolar treatment are incredible.
o Elevated mood that includes a racing mind, poor self-control, high energy, and even hyperactivity
o Boosted sense of grandeur
o Problems with controlling temper
o Excessive participation in activities
o Issues with being distracted easily
o Careless behavior such as poor judgment, sexual promiscuity, and binge drinking, illicit drug use, and eating
Now, there are two types of this disorder, Bipolar I and Bipolar II. The symptoms mentioned above are what someone with Type I would experience. For Type II, these symptoms plus those listed below would be expected. As shown, someone with Bipolar Type II would face a much more serious case of the illness.
o Problems with decision-making, concentration, and memory
o Eating issues that cause weight gain or loss
o Chronic fatigue
o A sense of hopelessness, guilt, and worthlessness
o Low self-confidence and self-esteem
o Ongoing feeling of being sad
o Poor sleep patterns
o Isolation from friends, family members, and favorite activities
o Ongoing thoughts of death
o Thoughts of committing suicide
Even though symptoms of Bipolar Type I am less severe, they are still serious. For that reason, proper Bipolar treatment is critical regardless of the type a person lives with.
Before a treatment plan could be devised, an individual would need a firm diagnosis. In meeting with a qualified mental health professional, information about family history would be taken along with symptoms the individual had been experiencing. In addition, the person’s moods and behaviors would be observed and a variety of medical tests performed so other illnesses that can cause similar symptoms could be ruled out. With this done, any of the treatments mentioned would be considered safe and effective.
The first thing that most healthcare professionals offer is some type of antipsychotic medication. Typically, a mood stabilizer would also be suggested, which would help even out thought processes and moods of the person. Although it has been proven that these medications work great initially, more research is required to determine long-term effects.
Another possible treatment would be Electroconvulsive Therapy, also referred to as ECT. In this case, a controlled electrical current would be administered to force the person to experience a seizure. While this might seem drastic or even dangerous, what happens is that while the person is under anesthesia, the central nervous system is “restarted.”
Sometimes, the mental health expert would suggest that a person undergo a sleep study. Based on the findings, additional treatment options would be discussed for promoting improved sleep patterns. Since sleep is a key factor when it comes to symptoms of Bipolar, this phase of treatment is critical.
Along with conventional treatment, many people are beginning to turn to more natural methods of getting and keeping the illness under control. For some people, the perfect treatment plan is comprised of both conventional and alternative medicine. One option is biofeedback, which teaches a person to control a number of symptoms more effectively.
Acupuncture is commonly used to treat Bipolar, which is an ancient form of Chinese medicine used to treat many different physical and mental disorders. In fact, this and other forms of meditation work by creating a sense of calmness that keeps symptoms in check. Finally, alternative Bipolar treatment would consist of a healthy lifestyle. This means eating right, getting daily exercise, and taking the right supplements daily.