Treatments for Bipolar Disorder

Because bipolar disorder is a recurrent illness, long-term treatment is necessary. Mood stabilizer drugs are typically prescribed to prevent mood swings. Getting the full range of symptoms under control may require other drugs as well either short-term or long-term. Lithium is perhaps the best-known of the mood stabilizers, but newer drugs such as lamotrigene have been shown to cause fewer side effects while frequently obviating the need for antidepressant medication. Used alone, antidepressants can precipitate mania and may accelerate mood cycling.

Nutritional approaches have also been found to have therapeutic value. Studies show that omega-3 fatty acids may help lower the number or dosage of medications needed. Omega-3 fatty acids play a role in the functioning of all brain cells and are incorporated into the structure of brain cell membranes.

Work and relationship problems can be both cause and effect of bipolar episodes, making psychosocial treatment necessary. Studies show such treatment reduces the number of mood episodes patients experience. Psychotherapy is also valuable in teaching self-management skills, which help keep the everyday ups and downs from becoming full-blown episodes.

Recent posts on Bipolar Disorder

Long-Term Effects of Antipsychotics

Data support the long-term use of antipsychotics in persons with schizophrenia. However, less is known about the efficacy of long-term use for other conditions.

What's So Hard About Parenting Children With Mental Illness?

What are parents of children with illness most stressed about? A new research study gives us some answers.
klikk/bigstock

The Hell Fires of Depression

By Susan Noonan MD on October 26, 2017 in View From the Mist
Do you stay stuck in hell or take steps to keep going through it?

Bipolar, Hypersexual, and Celibate

Manic hypersexuality is the strongest urge I have ever known. It surpasses need. It makes lust seem tame. It’s all encompassing and in my case, uncontrollable.
wrangle/bigstock

Depression and Dignity

By Susan Noonan MD on October 16, 2017 in View From the Mist
Don’t let depression steal your personal dignity!

A Key Strategy Used to Accept a Mental Health Problem

By Lauren Mizock Ph.D. on October 12, 2017 in Cultural Competence
Lessons from research on resilience among transgender and gender diverse people

Is Direct Care Work in Mental Health Right for You?

Direct care work is not necessarily easy, but they payoff is large.

Depression and Mood Disorders

Most of us have learned to cope with mood swings but at any one time almost 10 percent of the U.S. adult population experience depression. Look for the signs and seek help.
Photosepia/Bigstock

Depression Does Not Discriminate

By Susan Noonan MD on September 30, 2017 in View From the Mist
Does having access to the best resources prevent a mood disorder?

Mitochondria and Mood

By Peter Bongiorno ND, LAc on September 29, 2017 in Inner Source
What are the energy packs of your cells, and could these be the underlying cause of mental health problems?

Lose Sleep, Feel Better?

By Susan McQuillan M.S., RDN on September 29, 2017 in Cravings
Can sleep deprivation improve the symptoms of depression?

Quantitative Electroencephalography in Mental Health Care

Are you looking for a more advanced approach that can help you evaluate abnormal brain activity in OCD, depressed mood, or bipolar disorder? QEEG brain wave analysis could help.
Kirisa99 /bigstock

Sharing Decisions with Your Clinician

By Susan Noonan MD on September 19, 2017 in View From the Mist
Be a member of your own treatment team.

The World Isn’t Designed Well for People With Bipolar

By Elizabeth Brondolo Ph.D. on September 11, 2017 in Take Control
How can we better engineer products to help people with bipolar disorder?

Bipolar Disorder and Expectations About the Future

By Elizabeth Brondolo Ph.D. on September 10, 2017 in Take Control
I thought I could handle things, but bipolar really interferes.

4 Ways Culture Impacts Acceptance of Mental Health Problems

By Lauren Mizock Ph.D. on September 08, 2017 in Cultural Competence
Four cultural factors that impact the process of acceptance of a mental health problem.

3 Clues to Recognize Bipolar Disorder Mania in the Eyes

Bipolar mania affects the entire eye, from lids and lashes to pupils and color rings. Once you start looking for mania in the eyes, you can spot a person’s mania, or your own.

Categorizing Treatments Used in Biomedicine and CAM

Do you sometimes wonder how different treatments work? Different treatments rely on different established or postulated mechanisms of action.

Jackson Pollock's Creation of Abstract Expressionism

Pollock's early painting was derived but he overcame symptoms of bipolar disorder and alcoholism to invent abstract expressionism by means of the creative janusian process.

Introduction to Integrative Mental Health Care

Are you curious about new ideas in mental health care? Integrative mental health is a new paradigm that uses treatments from Western medicine and alternative medicine (CAM).

Quantitative Electroencephalography in Mental Health Care

Are you looking for more an advanced approach that can help you evaluate abnormal brain activity in OCD, depressed mood or bipolar disorder? QEEG brain wave analysis could help.

Can mental illness ever be good for you?

A recent book on the poet Robert Lowell raises some fascinating questions about the relation between bipolar disorder and creativity

The Role of Functional Medicine in Mental Health Care

Are you curious about recent advances in assessment of mental health problems? Functional medicine offers a range of promising approaches.

Psychiatric Assessment is Evolving

Are you trying to understand what is causing your anxiety, depressed mood or another mental health problem? New approaches in assessment are providing better answers!

The Creation of the "The Scream" by Munch

Edvard Munch created "The Scream," a powerful and famous painting. First inspired by a visual hallucination, he converted that for over a year using healthy creative processes.
Roger W. Hunter/Bigstock

Staying In the Game

By Susan Noonan MD on July 26, 2017 in View From the Mist
What it takes to not give up - the pros and cons of just staying in the game

Five Tools That Help Women Accept a Mental Health Problem

Wondering what tools help women accept a mental health problem? Women's resilience is manifold.

Allowing the Emotional Painfulness of the Bipolar Diagnosis

A discussion of the importance of allowing the emotional pain that may accompany the bipolar diagnosis.

How to Live Well with Bipolar Disorder

By David Leite on July 11, 2017 in Notes on a Banana
Bipolar disorder can take it toll. These six life strategies can make all the difference.

Psychology, Art, And Body Fluids

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on July 03, 2017 in In Excess
The use of bodily fluids as part of art works appears to be on the increase. But what is the psychological motivation and is there an association with mental disorders?