Bipolar Disorder Treatment For Humans
If bipolar disorder treatment is effective, symptoms of bipolar disorder will usually subside in less than three months. However, if these conditions are ignored or not treated properly, symptoms may last for months (3-6 months for episodes of mania and six months to a year for episodes of depression).
The purpose of bipolar treatment is to decrease the frequency of episodes of mania or depression so that people can live normally and mingle with those around them. There are drugs to prevent a recurrence of the bipolar phase and there are also medications to relieve symptoms while recurring.
In addition to drugs, bipolar treatment should be combined with psychological therapy under the guidance of a specialist or psychiatrist. Patients will usually also be advised to improve lifestyle in a healthier direction, such as exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and eating healthy foods.
Most people with bipolar disorder can improve without having to undergo hospitalization. Referral to the hospital is also commonly done if the symptoms are getting worse and feared the behavior of the patient may endanger others or himself, such as wanting to commit suicide.
Here are some medications that can be used to treat bipolar disorder, depending on the symptoms and medical history of each patient, among others:
- Anticonvulsants (eg lamotrigine, carbamazepine, and valproate). Anticonvulsants are actually drugs commonly used to treat epilepsy. However, because it has properties that can stabilize mood and relieve episodes of mania, it is sometimes anticonvulsant prescribed to people with bipolar disorder. The use of anticonvulsants should not be arbitrary and should be prescribed by a doctor. If used without going through a doctor’s examination first, the effects of anticonvulsant drugs can be dangerous. One of them is the use of valproate in women of childbearing age that can increase the risk of brain disabilities and brain disorders that will be contained later.
- Lithium. Drugs used in the long term is able to prevent the occurrence of symptoms of mania and depression and stabilize mood. During the use of lithium, a blood test to check lithium levels in the body needs to be done on a regular basis. This is to ensure lithium levels are still in a safe range so as to prevent the occurrence of serious side effects of disturbances in the kidney and thyroid gland. Side effects of mild lithium use are vomiting and diarrhea. These side effects usually arise due to incorrect doses. Doctors sometimes combine lithium with anticonvulsant drugs such as valproate or lamotrigine to treat patients with bipolar disorder who experience rapid cycling (rapidly changing episodes from high to low or vice versa in the absence of normal intermediate periods).
- Antidepressants. One example of a commonly used antidepressant is fluoxetine. In some patients with bipolar disorder, these depression relievers may trigger episodes of mania. Therefore antidepressants are often paired with doctors with mood stabilizer medication.
- Benzodiazepine. Drugs belonging to this antianxiety group can be used on a short-term basis to relieve anxiety. In addition, benzodiazepine can also be used to improve sleep quality of patients with bipolar disorder.
- Antipsychotics. Just like anticonvulsant drugs, antipsychotics are prescribed to overcome episodes of mania and are also effective for stabilizing mood. However, doctors will usually prescribe this medication if the episode of mania has been deemed severe and cause disruptive behavior. Some of the possible side effects of antipsychotic use are weight gain, constipation, dry mouth, and blurred vision. Examples of possible antipsychotic medications that may be prescribed are olanzapine, risperidone, aripiprazole, and quetiapine.
Psychological therapy for bipolar disorder can support the medications that have been given. Through this method is expected to cure the patient can be achieved more effectively.
In psychological therapy, patients will be introduced to the psychological problems they are experiencing. Patients will also be invited to identify the things that can trigger the occurrence of episodes, either in the form of thought and behavior of patients. Once the trigger factor is known, the psychiatrist or therapist will guide the patient to attempt to turn those negative thoughts and behaviors into something positive. Through this method called cognitive behavioral therapy, patients will also be taught how to cope with stress effectively, and given advice about diet, sleep, and exercise are good for health.
Not only patients, family involvement in psychological therapy can also be very helpful. The goal is for the family to understand the conditions experienced by the patient so that they can work together to identify problems that occur in the household as a possible cause of bipolar disorder and provide support to patients.
Bipolar disorder and pregnancy
Planning pregnancy for women with bipolar disorder is not easy because bipolar drugs have a risk of side effects and their effects on the pregnancy process are not fully known. It takes a cooperation between the medical side that handles bipolar patients and their pregnancies.
Pregnant women can suffer from bipolar disorder, generally when experiencing a dilemma. On the one hand, if he consume mood sedation drugs, then the fetus can be at risk of disability. But on the other hand, if the drugs are not used, then the symptoms of bipolar disorder pregnant women can worsen.
Women who are breastfeeding also face the same problem because most bipolar disorder drugs can be absorbed by breast milk and babies are feared to be affected by the side effects of these drugs.
As a way out of the problem, talk to your doctor for the right treatment solution without endangering the baby’s condition.