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Links to our Bipolar Support Group & Information

Bipolar Disorder, Manic Depression Treatment

Most people with Bipolar Disorder, also known as Manic Depression, or Manic Depressive Illness, can be helped through treatment.  Bipolar can show in many different severities and forms.  For some, a proper diet and exercise are enough to gain control of their lives, and there are some with more severe symptoms that require therapy and sometimes medications to alleviate the symptoms of Bipolar Disorder.

Mood stabilizers are very effective with a high percentage of patients suffering the symptoms of Bipolar Disorder.  There are several medications that can be taken that are effective in controlling mania and preventing the recurrence of both manic and depressive episodes. Most recently, the mood stabilizing anti-convulsants have been found useful, especially in Bipolar Disorder cases that are harder to manage.

Some scientists believe the theory that an anti-convulsant medication works because it has the effect of calming, a process in which the brain becomes increasingly sensitive to stress and eventually begins to show episodes of abnormal activity even in the absence of a reason for stress.

Thyroid augmentation may also be of value.  There are some similarities in people that have problems with thyroid and people that have been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder.

For depression, several types of antidepressants can be useful to alleviate the symptoms. Because there are many different types of chemical imbalances, trial and error are sometimes the only way to decide what works for different people.

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is often helpful in the treatment of severe depression and/or mixed mania that does not respond to medication.

As an adjunct to medications, seeking professional help from a therapist is often helpful in providing education, support and guidance to a patient and the family members.

A lot of patients and health care professionals have said that creating a life chart of moods, medications and life events can be very helpful when the patient is having a hard time describing what the problems are.  This can let the doctor know if the medication/s are working just be reading the activities, moods and events.

Bipolar Disorder, also known as Manic Depressive Illness, or Manic Depression is recurrent, which means that the disorder is not something that will just go away.  A lot of people that take medication for Bipolar Disorder start feeling better and decide they do not need the medication and some even stop taking it only to find the symptoms come back.  It is highly recommended that you discuss any doubts or concerns with your health care professional before making any drastic decisions about your medications.

There are a variety of medications used to treat Bipolar Disorder, for some, trying to find the right medication or combination of medications is a long and drawn out process and can sometimes be discouraging, but when the right medications are found, the patient can live a very productive life.  But even with proper medication, and therapy, there are still some that do not  achieve a full decrease of symptoms.

During a depressive episode, people with manic- depressive disorder commonly require treatment with antidepressant medication. Although some anti-depressant medications have caused people that have Bipolar Disorder to show symptoms of mania, so proper monitoring by the professional is very important.  The relative capacity for producing a desired result or effect of various antidepressant medications in Bipolar Disorder has not been determined through scientific studies.  An anti-convulsant given along with an anti-depressant sometimes protects against a switch into mania or rapid cycling, which can be provoked in some people with Bipolar disorder when taking antidepressants. In some cases, the newer, atypical anti-psychotic drugs may help relieve severe or "hard to treat" symptoms of Bipolar Disorder and prevent recurrences of mania. Further research is necessary to establish the safety of atypical anti-psychotics as long-term treatments for Bipolar Disorder.

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