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Treating Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder, also known as bead depression, is one of the major mental disorders described in DSM-IV-TR. It is characterized by episodes of depression and mania. The first article in this series, Understanding the Symptoms of Bipolar Disorders, describes this episode and discusses the various types of Bipolar Disorders. This article will tell you about some treatment options.

Usually, someone with Bipolar Disorders needs a combination of medication and psychotherapy. Many people see a drug practitioner and think that it will be enough to overcome the symptoms of the disorder. To truly understand disorders, therapy is important. Medications can help manage, but not cure, symptoms of Bipolar Disorders. Most of the people living with the symptoms persist, even when taking medication. That's why I strongly recommend that someone attend therapy.

A trained therapist can help you identify behavioral strategies for managing symptoms of depression and mania. The most common type of therapy used with Bipolar Disorders is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT is a therapy that teaches one to understand the reasoning behind some irrational emotions and behaviors. It can also teach someone to change their behavior to positively impact their thoughts and feelings.

Another important technique for managing Bipolar Disorders is relaxation exercises. A therapist will teach you how to relax to manage some of the physical anxiety and discomfort that may accompany the disorder. Breathing exercises, visualization, and progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) are common relaxation exercises that will enhance your ability to manage symptoms.

Awareness is another way of managing some of the negative emotions you may be experiencing. Consciousness is a technique that teaches you to recognize and present your emotions without responding to them. It is especially useful for people with depression or hypomania.

Supportive therapy is also often needed, especially when the diagnosis is first made. My motto is, "smart people have therapists." It is wise to have objective, knowledgeable people to talk to as you learn how Bipolar Disorders affect your life. A therapist can help you process the emotions you experience and receive a diagnosis. Support therapy can also help with important things like establishing a healthy routine to help manage symptoms.

Having a healthy daily routine is very important for both managing and recognizing symptoms. The better you can maintain your daily routine, the easier it is to see when episodes of depression or mania begin. Also, routines will help you keep yourself balanced.

Keeping a daily mood chart is a way to see if your mood is starting to change and if there are any triggers or patterns of your mood changes. Therapists can help you identify key aspects to include in your daily chart. Watching your mood begin to change is one way to help yourself manage your symptoms and make you not 'blinded'. by episode.

Diet and exercise can also help cure Bipolar Disorders. Exercising daily can help reduce the amount of episodes of depression you experience. Similarly, low carb, high Omega 3 diet can help stabilize mood changes. You can talk to your doctor, dietitian, or therapist to learn more about dietary options.

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is another common way to treat Bipolar Disorders that do not respond to drugs. ECT involves electrical shock to the brain performed in a controlled environment by a trained physician.

You are not expected to know how to manage the symptoms of this disorder simply because you have been diagnosed with it. Don't be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help from a friend, family, doctor or therapist. People with Bipolar Disorders can lead a healthy, productive life when treated with the right medication and teach behavioral skills to manage their symptoms.


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