Treatment of Manic Depression (Bipolar Disorder)

There is psychotherapy available to treat Manic depression (Bipolar Disorder). They are usually aimed at treating core symptoms, reducing negative expressed emotions in relationships and recognizing prodromal symptoms before full blown recurrence. The types of treatment with the largest efficacy range is cognitive behavioral therapy, family-focused therapy and psychoeducation. For most individuals with bipolar disorder a good prognosis comes from good treatment, which comes from an accurate diagnosis. Bipolar disorder can be a severely disabling medical condition, but many people can live full lives. A naturalistic study from first admission for mania or mixed episode (representing the hospitalized and therefore most severe cases) found that 50% achieved syndromal recovery (no longer meeting criteria for the diagnosis) within six weeks and 98% within two years. 72% achieved symptomatic recovery (no symptoms at all) and 43% achieved functional recovery (regaining of prior occupational and residential status). However, 40% went on to experience a new episode of mania or depression within 2 years of syndromal recovery, and 19% switched phases without recovery. The following behaviors can lead to depressive or manic recurrence:

o Discontinuing or lowering one’s dose of medication.
o Being under- or over-medicated. Generally, taking a lower dosage of a mood stabilizer can lead to relapse into mania. Taking a lower dosage of an antidepressant may cause the patient to relapse into depression, while higher doses can cause destabilization into mixed-states or mania.
o An inconsistent sleep schedule can destabilize the illness. Too much sleep (possibly caused by medication) can lead to depression, while too little sleep can lead to mixed states or mania.
o Caffeine can cause destabilization of mood toward irritability, dysphoria, and mania. Anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that lower dosages of caffeine can have effects ranging from anti-depressant to mania-inducing.
o Inadequate stress management and poor lifestyle choices. If unmedicated, excessive stress can cause the individual to relapse. Medication raises the stress threshold somewhat, but too much stress still causes relapse.
o Often bipolar individuals are subject to self-medication, the most common drugs being alcohol, diazepam/sleeping tablets and marijuana. Studies show that tobacco smoking induces a calming effect on most bipolar people, and a very high percentage suffering from the prolonged use

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Beating Depression With Help

Modern lifestyles have contributed to the rise in depression as well as the state of our economy at this point in time, which has wreaked havoc on many families and individuals. Loss of businesses, repossessions, foreclosures, divorces and just complete devastation to many people throughout the nation. Depression is at an all time high with over 9 million people in America, over 340 million in the world, one in four women and one in ten men. It can affect anyone of any race and strikes the rich and poor alike. It is a very serious mental disorder that can cause serious physical symptoms and possible deadly consequences.

There is no question that depression is a mental health disorder that should not be ignored. It can cause poor school performance, truancy, drug and alcohol abuse, a feeling of worthlessness and hopelessness. Suicide has been connected to depression, over the past few years suicide amongst teenagers and young adults has dramatically increased. Some individuals may experience only one episode of depression over their lifetime and there are those that may have multiple reoccurring episodes.

There are various manifestations of the disorder, each having unique symptoms that define a particular type of the disorder. Sometimes these can manifest for no apparent reason or at times the episodes can be linked to life situations or stresses. There is even one type that is seasonal, (SAD) Seasonal Affective disorder, occurring in the winter months and not just the winter blues.

Individuals can have great difficulties in performing the simplest of daily activities while others can force through them, but upon observation are clearly not acting or thinking as usual. Bipolar depression is a disorder where the affected individual will cycle between high and low moods, grandiose ideas about their competence to extreme despair.

Depression is very treatable, however, there are many who suffer and do not seek treatment because they think they will be viewed as being weak and believe they can just work through the problem or will it away. Others do seek treatment and will sometimes stop treatment. This is usually due to the medications and their side effects. The medications do have side effects that can be unpleasant, however these usually disappear after a couple of weeks.

Not everyone experiences these side effects of some may experience less severe symptoms. Another issue with the medications that can cause individuals to stop treatment is when the medication does not work. Some medications will work for some individuals while for others it may not work. Usually after a couple of weeks if there has been no improvement or the side effects are to severe a different medication is usually prescribed. trying to find the right medication and having to wait two weeks between each trial can be very discouraging. Depression will subside at some point on its own, however this can be weeks, months or even years.

The amount of destruction it can cause can be devastating to the individual and those close to the individual, it is unnecessary. Getting as much information as possible about the disorder, the treatments and medications available is essential to beating depression. Aside from medication, which only treats the symptoms, there is psychotherapy which is essential in retraining the thinking pattern of the brain which has been affected by the disorder and the reason why medication alone will not cure the disorder, and also why if left untreated one cannot just will themselves better. Beating depression is definitely possible and anyone suffering from the disorder should get informed and seek help from a qualified professional such as a physician or mental health professional.

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