Treatment of Bipolar Disorder
By Marcia Purse, About.com Guide
Because of the complexity of bipolar disorder, there is a wide variety of medications that are used in treatment. Each group of medications treats a particular set of symptoms. Side effects are common: some may cause a patient to discontinue the medication, others may go away with time or be tolerable or treatable, and some side effects are dangerous. We offer an extensive listing of side effects for bipolar disorder medications.
- Overview of Medications for Bipolar Disorder
- Mood Stabilizers
- Anti-Anxiety and Sedative Medications
- Side Effects Library
- Financial Assistance for Medications
- Got a Love/Hate Relationship With Your Meds?
- Medications A to Z
Psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists and counselors. Primary physicians, psychiatric nurses, social workers and psychopharmacologists. Who are they all, and which do you need? A psychiatrist is best for prescribing medications. How do you find one, and who should you choose? These and other issues are discussed in the following resources.
- Who Are All These Mental Healthcare Professionals?
- How to Find a Psychiatrist
- Finding a Therapist
- When to Call Your Psychiatrist
- Counseling From Hell
Sometimes it is necessary to check yourself into a hospital for 24-hour monitoring and treatment. Sometimes you may find yourself in the hospital because you were out of control and it was determined you needed to have this type of care, even if you don't agree. Here are some descriptions of the experience of being hospitalized for bipolar disorder along with other specific information.
- Personal Experiences from Readers
- Packing for the Hospital
- Life as an Inpatient - A Reader Shares Her Experience
- In the Nuthouse - A Personal Story
- Weekend on the Inside
- Abe's Rabbit - A Story of a Psychiatric Patient
Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
Electroconvulsive Therapy, also known as ECT, shock treatments, shock therapy or electroshock, is one of the most controversial treatments for bipolar disorder and depression. These articles and resources may help you decide whether the benefits would outweigh the risks for you.
- ECT Pros and Cons
- Firsthand Perspective from Electroboy
- A Reader Shares Her ECT Experience
- Speaking from Experience - Electroshock Therapy
- ECT Research - Effects and Effectiveness
Other Types of Treatment
There are alternative treatments for bipolar disorder. Some, like electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), discussed above, are used when a patient doesn't respond to medication or experiences side effects that are unbearable with a variety of drugs. Some are yet to be proven effective but may be worth trying.
Treating Bipolar Children
Children with mental illnesses need medications too, but prescribing for a child with bipolar disorder (manic depression) is difficult. Many psychotropic drugs have not been tested or approved for children. There are also issues with administration at school. Parents need to learn about these drugs and the risks. Found here are resources and information to help.