When a person is diagnosed with bipolar disorder, their physician will prescribe medication to help them manage their symptoms. These medications target neuromodulators in the brain to restore normal function. However, medication can have side effects. Therefore, it is important to know what to expect and how to prevent them.
Medications are generally effective and can help you keep your mood stable. The best way to determine which medications are right for you is to talk with your doctor. You may need to try different types of medications to find the right combination. Using an action plan with your physician can make it easier for you to follow through with your treatment.
Antidepressants are commonly used in conjunction with other medications to treat depression. Often, antidepressants are prescribed after other options have been tried. If an antidepressant is not working, electroconvulsive therapy is an option. Electroconvulsive therapy involves sending electrical currents through the brain in order to trigger a brief seizure. This technique is being explored as a possible alternative for those who do not respond to antidepressants.
Benzodiazepines are often prescribed for bipolar disorder. They can provide a calming effect, especially when used for short periods. Benzodiazepines are also useful for managing sleep disorders, which can be a symptom of bipolar. Lithium is often prescribed for bipolar patients. It is often effective in treating the symptoms of bipolar, but not all people respond to lithium the same way.
In addition to medications, therapy can help people with bipolar disorder lead full and productive lives. Therapy can teach coping skills, and can help you understand and resolve social and family problems. Also, it can help you monitor your progress.
Bipolar patients who are prescribed a medication should take it at the suggested dosage. Taking too much can result in unwanted side effects. Your doctor can give you instructions on how to safely taper off the drug.
Before starting a new medication, your doctor will ask you about any other medications you are taking. Many medications can interact with each other, making them less effective or even dangerous. Avoid combining drugs with alcohol. Alcohol can cause your body to stop the medication from working properly.
Other medications can have unexpected side effects that can exacerbate your bipolar symptoms. Taking medications with other drugs can cause you to experience toxic reactions, which can lead to disorientation and dizziness. Some medications can cause birth defects, which pass through the mother’s milk. Additionally, certain drugs are not recommended during pregnancy.
A psychiatrist will discuss your feelings and behavior patterns with you. He or she will also talk to your family and friends about your condition. Talking to others about your condition can help you understand and cope with your feelings better.
Getting help for your bipolar disorder is very important. Whether you need to be referred to a psychiatrist, need to see a psychologist or need help reducing the medications you are taking, your doctor can help you find the best treatment for you.