Bipolar disorder is a condition that greatly impacts an individual's mental health. Formerly known as 'manic depression', bipolar disorder affects roughly 5.7 million adults in the United States of America alone. Chronically under-diagnosed, individuals with bipolar may showcase a variety of different symptoms including mania, mood swings, severe and sudden changes in energy level and unusual irritability which can lead to major bouts of depression. Individuals with bipolar disorder are typically ascribed one of three different statuses: Bipolar 1 (manic episodes and depressive episodes), Bipolar 2 (depressive episodes, zero manic episodes), or finally Cyclothymic (two years of both episodes). Bipolar disorder is a condition that will afflict an individual for the duration of their life, though the mental health disorder can be managed through psychotherapy and medication.
For individuals suffering from any class of bipolar disorder, getting medical treatment is the first step toward addressing the problem at hand. Bipolar disorder isn't the kind of mental health problem that can be ignored or addressed solely through sheer willpower alone. After consulting with a medical professional, the consulting physician will make a decision regarding which style of medication will work for the individual at hand. The most common medications being used for bipolar disorder include mood stabilizers that will help to stabilize the individual in question. These mood-stabilizing drugs include Carbamazepine, Divalproex and Lithium. No single drug will treat two sufferers of bipolar in the same way so, as a result, getting a professional medical diagnosis and referral is of the utmost importance.
Outside of medication, sufferers of bipolar disorder can seek treatment by way of psychotherapy. In fact, most medical professionals will advocate psychotherapy in addition to medication. There are many subsets of psychotherapy that seek to address the disorder from different perspectives. From 'talk therapy', which is the most common kind of treatment, to 'Dialectical Behavior Therapy', referred to as the most effective, there are customized treatment options available. Most individuals suffering from bipolar have found Dialectical Behavioral Therapy to be the most impactful for their disorder. DBT focuses on cognitive behavior as it helps the individuals in question to manage their emotions, coping skills and reactions to the world around them. No matter which kind of psychotherapy is pursued, close consultation with a medical professional and advocate is of the utmost importance.
Finally, people with bipolar disorder can also approach managing their symptoms by changing their lifestyle. In truth, lifestyle management is one of the most important and effective ways to regulate the impact that bipolar disorder can have. Lifestyle management is all about setting a standard for the most important aspects of a patient's life. Sticking to a stable sleep schedule, avoiding all drugs and alcohol, and focusing on dieting and exercise are all core foundations to this prospective treatment. Additionally, advocates of lifestyle management as a treatment for bipolar will also implore their patients to be consistently aware of potentially stressful situations so that they can avoid them in the future. It isn't easy to deal with the various ways that lifestyle can impact bipolar, but it is important.
Dealing with bipolar disorder in a healthy way is all about approaching the task from every conceivable angle. As a lifelong affliction, patients who are dealing with bipolar will be encouraged to stay focused on solutions rather than get caught up in relapses. Through medication, psychotherapy and lifestyle management, bipolar is an immensely treatable disorder.