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Bipolar Disorder Treatment

Nancy MacGregor MA, ATR-BC, LPC, ACS, Clinical Director

Bipolar disorder treatment

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that causes noticeable shifts in energy, mood, activity, and concentration. In the past, it was known as manic-depressive illness or manic depression because moods can go back and forth between the two. When feeling your best, you may experience mania or hypomania that results in tons of energy. Then, when you’re feeling your lowest, you can sink into a depression and feel sad, indifferent, and hopeless. Luckily, it’s possible to manage the mood swings of bipolar disorder with the right treatment.

Over the years, it’s been found that the best way to treat bipolar disorder is with a combination of medication and therapy. With the right combination of the two, it’s possible to maintain stability and live a fulfilling life.

Medications to treat bipolar disorder

There can be more than one medication used to treat bipolar. For example, a popular combination is a mood-stabilizing drug along with either an antipsychotic or antidepressant. The goal of the medications is to stabilize the chemicals within the brain to avoid peaks of mania and valleys of depression. Here’s how they do that.

Mood stabilizers – These are used to control manic episodes. Types of mood stabilizers include the well-known lithium along with valproic acid (Depakene), divalproex sodium (Depakote), carbamazepine (Tegretol, Equetro, others), and lamotrigine (Lamictal).

Antipsychotics – Adding antipsychotics into your treatment plan can help manage both depressive and manic symptoms. The kinds often prescribed include olanzapine (Zyprexa), risperidone (Risperdal), quetiapine (Seroquel), aripiprazole (Abilify), ziprasidone (Geodon), lurasidone (Latuda) or asenapine (Saphris).

Antidepressants – These are used to control symptoms of depression. It’s important that in bipolar treatment that antidepressants are only used in combination with a mood stabilizer or antipsychotics. This is because the use of antidepressants alone can provoke a manic episode.

Anti-anxiety medications can also be prescribed to help calm anxiety and help with sleeping.

If you have bipolar disorder, it’s very important that you continuously take your medication as prescribed by your doctor. Oftentimes, people will feel so good on their medications that they may think they may not need them anymore. However, that does not usually end up being beneficial. If you stop taking your medication it can be easier to experience intense mania or depression.

Psychotherapy for bipolar disorder treatment

Therapy is an extremely beneficial tool when combined with medication. There are different types of therapy that work best when treating bipolar. Regardless of which method is used, you’ll be able to leave your therapy sessions with a new understanding of your disorder along with tips and techniques that you can use to manage it. Here are some types of therapy you may encounter.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) – CBT helps you identify unhealthy and negative behaviors and beliefs and replace them with positive ones. It can also give you insight into different situations and things that can trigger your manic and depressive episodes.

Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) – DBT focuses on the practices of mindfulness and acceptance. This can be done with either individual therapy, group therapy, or a combination of both.

Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy (IPSRT) – IPSRT focuses on establishing daily routines in sleeping, eating, and exercising, all of which can help manage your moods.

Bipolar disorder treatment in South Jersey

If you or a loved one is looking for bipolar treatment, contact Harmony Bay Wellness. Located in South Jersey, we provide professional care to ensure that you get the proper treatment when it comes to managing your manic and depressive bipolar episodes. Contact us today at 855.857.6050 for more information on our treatment plans.

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Treatment with Harmony Bay

Harmony Bay is an outpatient behavioral health service that offers primary mental health treatment for a variety of mental health disorders. Our mission is to make mental health care convenient and affordable while providing an unmatched experience to our clients. contact us today by calling 855.765.6399.