Bipolar disorder is the proper term for the mental condition wherein patients experience depressive and manic symptoms on a regular basis. According to Dr. Kimberly Delaney, PsyD, PMHNP, “Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.”
Having this illness is similar to forcing someone with motion sickness to go on a never-ending roller-coaster ride. The loops, twists, and turns come at short intervals without the slightest indication. You can’t reject the disorder either, regardless of how much you despise it.
In fact, you may not even know why you got the disease in the first place. Scientists have just gone far enough to deduce that it may be due to environmental or biological factors. But it may still take years – or worse, decades – before the medical world can determine what exactly causes bipolar disorder in every individual. Take note that based on the statement of John Preston, PsyD, “Bipolar disorder is probably the main psychiatric disorder where medication is absolutely essential.”
With limited information known about the condition, the only person who can help someone with bipolar disorder is a psychiatrist. He or she can do the following:
- Diagnose The Disease Properly
People living with this mental disease are not foreign to receiving a misdiagnosis. As the symptoms are on the extreme ends of the spectrum, doctors tend to assume that they have depression or mania alone.
While there’s no assurance for it, what may increase your chances of finding the right treatment is having the psychiatrist detect your bipolar disorder at once. In this manner, you won’t have to try the healing methods for other illnesses.
- Consider Prescribing Drugs As The Final Option
Have you ever seen an elaborate card trick in slow motion to find out how it took place, and then found yourself wondering later if it’s OK to watch the magician’s handsomely?
Well, that question practically sums up how researchers feel when they focus on pills to lower the symptoms of mania and depression. In their eagerness to treat whatever aspect of the disease, they forgot about their side effects,e.g., weight gain, memory loss, and another ailment.
Such payoffs may increase the severity of your depressive episodes, especially if you’re sensitive about body image. Hence, it’s best to have a psychiatrist who will think of prescribing drugs as the last choice for treatment.
- Recommend Various Forms Of Therapy
We are lucky to live in a period wherein people have access to facilities that may treat bipolar disorder. Likewise, the remedies available are no longer limited to a couple of options. There are cognitive, behavioral, and social rhythm therapies as well that involve reshaping your intellectual patterns, deflating your stress levels, and improving your routine, respectively.
Your psychiatrist may advise you to try them one by one or simultaneously so that your life can be as healthy as possible.
A point worth knowing is that scientists won’t stop searching for ways to cure bipolar disorder. According to Jose Sánchez-Moreno, PSYD, “In fact, new trends in pharmacological treatments include focusing on restoring cognitive functioning rather than psychosocial functioning.” It’s just a bit unfortunate that we only have short-term remedies for such an illness at the time of writing this article. But for the meantime, have faith in what your psychiatrist suggests as a treatment for the disease. Just like how real friends are, they won’t lead you astray in your mental health journey.