Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that causes extreme changes in mood. Also called bipolar disease or manic-depressive disorder, it can prevent people from doing everyday tasks and having healthy relationships. Although there’s no cure for this illness, many bipolar disorder treatment options are available to manage the symptoms.

Understanding Bipolar Disorder

bipolar disorder treatment programPeople with bipolar disorder experience three main symptoms. These are depression, mania, and hypomania. The nature of these symptoms is why bipolar disorder treatment is so important.

When people experience a period of depression, they usually feel deep sadness and don’t have much energy. The lack of energy could be because they don’t get enough sleep. On the other hand, some people sleep too much during depressive episodes. These periods can also cause loss of interest in hobbies or activities, feelings of hopelessness and suicidal thoughts.

Mania is a state in which people’s emotions become erratic. Most of the time, manic episodes make them feel impulsive, full of energy, excited and euphoric. Because of that, they might engage in drug use, spending sprees, unprotected intercourse or other dangerous behaviors. Hypomania is a less severe state.

Methods of Bipolar Disorder Treatment

Proper diagnosis is key to managing bipolar disorder. The symptoms that people experience determine the type of bipolar that they have. Then, doctors can determine the best services to include in the bipolar disorder treatment program.

With bipolar I disorder, manic episodes last at least a week and depressive episodes for at least two weeks. Bipolar II disorder involves a pattern of depressive episodes for at least two weeks and hypomanic episodes for four days. Cyclothymia consists of multiple hypomanic- and depressive-like episodes that last for at least two years.

Medications

In many cases, a bipolar disorder treatment program starts with medications. Some people continue to take these prescriptions even after they get control of the disorder. The purpose is to keep symptoms in check.

Mood stabilizers are very common because they control manic and hypomanic episodes. Antidepressants assist with depression symptoms. Sometimes, they can trigger manic episodes, so doctors may prescribe them alongside mood stabilizers. Another option is an antidepressant-antipsychotic, which combines the two types of drugs.

Antipsychotics address persistent manic and depressive symptoms. Doctors usually combine them with mood stabilizers. Anti-anxiety medicines may also help because they reduce anxiety and can improve sleep. However, they’re usually a temporary part of a bipolar disorder treatment program.

Education and Therapy

Education and counseling are essential for treating bipolar disorder. The reason is that simply taking drugs doesn’t offer long-term improvement.

Psychoeducation is a type of therapy that teaches people with bipolar disorder and their families about the condition. With an understanding of the illness, they can better manage it. Family counseling during bipolar disorder treatment improves relationships at home. Also, it teaches family members how to recognize the symptoms and help their loved ones manage them.

Cognitive behavioral therapy involves talking to a therapist about how to manage the illness. People learn how their thoughts and emotions affect their responses to situations. They also develop coping skills. In addition, bipolar disorder treatment helps them regulate their exercising, eating and sleeping habits to improve balance in their lives.

Learn to Manage Bipolar Disorder at First Step Center of Arizona

Men experience bipolar disorder differently than women. Because of that, First Step Center of Arizona focuses on helping men achieve symptom management. As part of that commitment, we use a range of services, including:

Since substance use commonly occurs alongside other conditions, First Step Center of Arizona is also a dual diagnosis treatment center. If you use alcohol or drugs to self-medicate bipolar disorder symptoms, we can help you stop using.

Don’t try to self-diagnosis or self-medicate your symptoms. Get a proper diagnosis and bipolar disorder treatment at First Step Center of Arizona. Take the first step toward a healthier life by calling 8668326398.