06 Aug The Ups and Downs of Bipolar Disorder – A Look into Manic Depression
Manic-Depression and Bipolar Disorder are two commonly heard phrases when it comes to psychiatry. Learning to cope with the day to day cycles of the mania to depression can be tough, not only on you but your loved ones as well. The first and most commonly misdiagnosed and mistreated symptom of Bipolar Disorder is depression.
Depression is most commonly treated by the psychiatrist with anti-depressants. Anti-depressants will decrease the symptoms of depression and increase the symptoms of mania. With the increase of mania symptoms the likelihood of a manic episode is great.
Mood swings are most commonly noted in the Bipolar patient, with highs characterized by increased or pressured speech, goal directed behavior, behavior “things you wouldn’t normally do” and excessive spending; the lows (depression phase) is characterized by feelings of helplessness or hopelessness, suicidal thoughts, homicidal thoughts, fatigue and excessive crying. With Bipolar Disorder a person can experience the two spectrum’s on any given day, at any given time, and quite possibly at the same time, most of the time called a mixed episode.
A family physician is not the appropriate physician to diagnose and prescribe treatment for a patient with suspected Bipolar Disorder. The appropriate practitioner is a psychiatrist, who is an expert in the field of psychiatry and neurology. Finding the psychiatrist that is right for you can be a challenge. Always remember, you don’t always buy the first pair of shoes you try on. In other words, if you don’t like your first psychiatrist, don’t hesitate to find someone you are more comfortable with.
Some people benefit from more intensive treatment than just psychiatric visits. There are cases where inpatient hospitalization is necessary or intensive outpatient treatment.
Medication management is an important role in the proper treatment of Bipolar Disorder. Once you have entered into a therapeutic relationship with your practitioner of choice, your physician will most likely prescribe an atypical, anti-psychotic, or an anti-epileptic. The medications you will find to be, to most, are sedating. Many times a anti-depressant will be prescribed to counteract the depression. Once you have found the therapeutic medication and dose, you should feel a change in your symptoms.
Mood swings will decrease, you will find that you are able to focus, and no longer feel depressed. Many different pharmaceutical companies provide literature for the patient and patients family, on ways to cope and help through the different episodes. Lamictal®, which is a very popular medication for Bipolar Disorder, provides a great deal of literature not only for the patient, but for the patients family. The literature explains what to expect, how to cope and what treatment options are available. Just remember, do not be afraid if you have been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, it is manageable if you follow the treatment recommend to you by your physician.