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Bipolar Disorder Prevention

Bipolar Disorder: Prevention


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1. Phototherapy

Phototherapy, commonly called light therapy or light box therapy, is the usage of full spectrum bright light visor directly on the patient’s eyes. It has proved beneficial in many severe cases. But, the therapy is only used for a short period, merely to relieve the severity or curtail the length of depressive mood swing episodes among patients.

2. Dialectical behavioral therapy

Previously effective in borderline personality disorder treatment, dialectical behavioral therapy is now also encouraged among bipolar patients. The therapy includes extensive consultations between the patient and therapist. This includes telephone contact, weekly training skills including interpersonal, emotion modulation, distress tolerance and core mindfulness.

3. Cognitive behavioral therapy

Complete dependence on drugs is not enough for people suffering from bipolar disorder, medication coupled with behavioral therapy helps lead a normal healthy life. Cognitive behavioral therapy has proved highly beneficial in the prevention and control of disturbing highs and lows of mood swings. There are a number of CBT interventions and one of the most popular is TEAMS. TEAMS stands for Think Effectively About Mood Swings. The therapy helps both the patient and therapist understand various dispositions, including panic, elation, clinical depression, leading to irritability.

4. Crucial role of family and friends

Family and friends of the patient should completely empathize with the patient’s situation. People suffering from bipolar disorder require a lot of attention and positive feedback. So, family and friends should help the patient by creating a favorable environment which is free of unwanted arguments and controversies. Remember, patients with manic and hypomanic depression do not realize the harmful effects of excessive stimulation. So, it is the responsibility of the family and spouse to check on the patient’s sleeping habits to see that they get adequate rest.

5. Healthy surroundings

Patients with mental conditions are more likely to suffer from stress. Normal health care precautions like proper sleep, healthy diet, cut down on intake of caffeine, tannin, sugar and carbohydrates are required. Along with this, maintaining physical fitness, following yoga and meditation practices have been proved extremely effective to restrain stress among bipolar people. Drugs and alcohol retards the healing process in the bipolar syndrome, hence, patients should steer clear of intoxicants.

6. Hospitalization

Remember, bipolar syndrome treatment requires regular sessions with one’s psychiatrist, failing which the patient’s chances of falling into severe depression rise higher. This situation in some cases also leads to hospitalization of the patient in order to bring back behavioral normality.

7. Open sessions with psychiatrist

Bipolar disorder or manic depression is basically a mental condition where the patient suffers from varying mood swings. Abnormal mood swings affect the patience’s ability to perform everyday jobs. So, treatment for controlling mood swings forms the basis of bipolar disorder medication. The most effective method to control both manic and depressive mood swings is to open up to one’s psychiatrist.

Sharing the specific string of events which cause varying mood temperaments with one’s psychiatrist is important. Sharing these events makes both the patient and his family aware of the reasons which lead to the mood swings. It specifically helps the patient to be controlled and composed while dealing with similar events next time.

8. Antipsychotic drugs

Antipsychotic medicines in bipolar syndrome are given when there is an element of psychotic syndrome and the illness entails bipolar I diagnosis. On the other hand, antipsychotic medicines which serve the purpose of mood stabilizers are recommended for bipolar II and other bipolar patients. Antipsychotic drugs are basically of two types, called typical and atypical. Generally, these drugs are also meant for fighting schizophrenia, postpartum psychosis and schizoaffective disorders.

9. Antidepressants

The ideal medication for the treatment of bipolar disorder includes a blend of stabilizer drugs with antidepressants in the prescription. Even though lithium is an effective mood stabilizer, it is given along with other antidepressants, like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) and tricyclic. It is to be noted that antidepressants often lead to mania and hypomania among patients, to the extent of causing suicidal thoughts and behavior. All antidepressants sold in the US compulsorily tag a ‘black box warning’ as a result of this fallout. However, some antidepressants, like SSRI, have been specifically approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to combat both depressive and anti-depressive anxiety disorders.

10. Mood stabilizers

Psychiatric illness in a patient due to imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain is the chief cause behind the condition. Lithium carbonate, valproic acid and carbamazepine are three extensively prevalent mood stabilizers used in prevention of maniac and depressive syndromes in bipolar disorder.

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