Sunday, December 12, 2021

Treatments And Medications For Bipolar Disorder

There probably is no area in our remarkable bodies more complex than the brain. Even the best brains in the world just cannot fathom how this wonderful organ works. Much as we hold it in awe, it can also be a source of great torment and since we cannot understand the causes, the cures are also a far cry away. At most, any mental and emotional aberrations can be treated with medication and just about managed.

The brain is the seat of everything we do and everything we feel. When it comes to our emotional responses, sometimes we are happy, sometimes sad and it is usually dependent on a cause-effect situation. When you feel happy or sad for no conceivable reason however, then there is cause to worry. In the condition called bipolar disorder, there is really no control or hardly any control over the emotions. There is a kind of a seesaw of moods and nothing external can cheer them up. The whole focus is the churning of emotions inside, for no apparent reason.

Of course all of us are subject to mood swings but in bipolar disorder, the swings are very marked and come on for no rhyme or reason at intervals. The two types of bipolar disorder are the manic kind and the depressive kind. In the first one, there is a kind of hyperactivity, increased energy, a feeling that he is always right and very often, a tendency for substance abuse. In the second, it is a bleak and long sadness and emptiness, a sense of pessimism and the feeling that everything is going wrong always. There are times when the hopelessness is so bad, suicide seems the only answer.

These symptoms - whether it is the first or the second, can ruin any chances of a social life for the person concerned. It can also affect his education, his work and his family and friends. So it has to be attended to and the person put under the care of a qualified physician. Very often, the disease can be managed with medication and therapy.

Psychotherapy does help but it is usually more effective when combined with medication like lithium which is a mood stabilizer. An anticonvulsant like valproate or maybe even lamotrigine also helps. Medication must be done under experts and some side effects can be expected from these drugs. These could be hair loss, gaining or losing weight, dry mouth, tremors, a reduced sex drive and attacks of anxiety. However, they have to be taken, very often for life. The fact remains that life with medication is more tolerable than life without for bipolar disorder patients.