Bipolar Disorder Treatment - Sovereign Health Group

Bipolar Disorder Treatment

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Bipolar Disorder Treatment

It is natural to experience ups and downs in life, including significant changes of mood within the same day. However, the more than 10 million Americans living with bipolar disorder experience extreme highs and lows as well as mood changes that disrupt their lives. The extreme highs, known as mania, are followed by extreme lows, or depressions, which make it difficult to work, maintain relationships and otherwise enjoy life.

Bipolar disorder does not have to be debilitating. With the right treatment, people can overcome the disorder and regain control over their life.

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder causes disruptive shifts in the mood and energy that can occur over a few days, weeks or months. The fifth edition of “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” lists five different types of bipolar disorder:

  • Bipolar I disorder: manic or mixed episodes that last for more than seven days, or severe manic symptoms requiring hospitalization. Depressive episodes that last at least two weeks might also occur
  • Bipolar II disorder: Lengthy depressive episodes with hypomanic episodes that do not become full-blown manic episodes or mixed episodes. Bipolar II is typically less disruptive than Bipolar I disorder
  • Bipolar disorder not otherwise specified (BP-NOS): Bipolar symptoms exist in a person and are clearly not within the normal range of behavior for that individual, but they do not meet any of the diagnostic criteria for the above bipolar disorders
  • Cyclotheymic disorder or cyclothymia: A milder form of bipolar disorder where a person will experience hypomania and mild depression for more than two years but they do not fulfill the above diagnostic criteria
  • Rapid-cycling bipolar disorder: a person experiences four or more episodes within one year
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Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis

When a person believes he or she is bipolar, the first step is to visit a doctor for diagnosis. Because there is no one bipolar disorder test, the initial phase will include a physical examination and tests to rule out any other conditions. If the most likely diagnosis is bipolar disorder, the doctor will refer the patient to a mental health specialist for further review.

Bipolar Disorder Treatment

Bipolar Disorder Treatment

Bipolar disorder can be treated and maintained, but it is a lifelong disorder. Treatment protocol must be maintained to avoid a relapse. Even with the right treatment program, symptoms can linger. The right treatment provides an opportunity for people to regain control over their life and learn to manage their symptoms.

People with bipolar disorder often have concurrent conditions that need treatment, such as anxiety disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder, substance abuse, heart disease, obesity and thyroid problems. Those with co-occurring disorders have a higher risk of relapsing. It is important to find the right treatment program for continuous, adequate care. The most common treatment for bipolar disorder is a mixture of psychotherapy and medication.

Medication for Bipolar Disorder

Medication for Bipolar Disorder

Several types of medications can be used to treat bipolar disorder. The typical medications are mood stabilizers, antidepressants and atypical antipsychotics. Mood stabilizers are prescribed more often than others. Medications can have different side effects per person, making it important to adhere to your doctor’s orders as well as say in contact with the doctor regarding side effects.

People respond differently to medications and dosages, so it may take trial and error before getting it right. Genetic testing can help a doctor better understand how a person metabolizes different drugs, making it easier to select the right drug for each individual.


Psychotherapy Treatment

Various types of psychotherapy provide support, education and guidance to help patients learn to control their mood swings. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps train people to change their negative thoughts and behavior. Family-focused therapy teaches coping mechanisms to both the patient and family. Interpersonal and social psychotherapy can help people learn to manage their relationships. Finally, patients might undergo psychoeducation, which teaches how to recognize a mood change and stop problems before they start.

For some people, an intensive residential treatment program, like ours at Sovereign Health, provides the best way to regain control over their life. It provides a supportive environment away from daily stressors so that people can focus on managing their disorder.

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Sovereign Health Group is a residential rehabilitation treatment provider that has programs and services devoted to mental health conditions. To learn more about our continuum of care, speak with one of our expert treatment consultants and begin the journey to recovery today!

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