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Bipolar Manic Depression

QUESTION: What treatments are available for bipolar manic depression?


Treatment for Bipolar manic depression – medication1
Mood stabilizers. Psychiatrists prescribe mood stabilizers as treatment for bipolar manic depression. During treatment with antidepressants, people with bipolar disorder are at risk of switching into mania or hypomania. They can also develop rapid cycling of moods. Mood stabilizing drugs are needed alone or in combination with antidepressants to help protect bipolar patients from this switch.
  • Lithium. Lithium is used to treat mania. It is effective in controlling it and prevents recurrence of manic and depressive episodes. This medication may be used, short term, to treat episodes of mania or depression that occur despite the mood stabilization.
  • Anticonvulsants. Valproate (brand name Depakote) and carbamazepine (brand name Tegretol) are anticonvulsants that have mood-stabilizing effects and are especially helpful in hard-to-treat bipolar episodes.
  • Antipsychotic medications. In addition to valproate and carbamazepine, evidence suggests that clozapine, an antipsychotic medication, may be helpful as a mood stabilizer for people who do not respond well to lithium or anticonvulsants.
  • Other medications. Other research has supported olanzapine as efficacious in treating acute mania; this has recently received approval from the FDA.
  • Caution: The medications listed above have side effects that need monitoring by the patient and the prescribing physician. Any use of over-the-counter medications or nutritional supplements should be monitored in regard to how they may interact with the medications. It is important to consult a medical professional for continuing and professional care.

    Treatment for Bipolar manic depression – assess thyroid function1 Abnormal thyroid function is often associated with bipolar manic depression. Thyroid levels need to be monitored by a physician to determine if thyroid medication is necessary as well.

    Treatment for Bipolar manic depression – psychosocial intervention1 The recurrent nature of manic depression or bipolar disorder makes continuous long-term treatment imperative. For optimal management over a period of time, a happy blend of medication and psychosocial treatment is important. Keep track of the following to make sure the treatment given is effective:
    • Daily mood symptoms
    • Treatment and medications given
    • Sleep patterns and the amount of time slept
    • Life events – happy or disturbing
    Treatment for Bipolar manic depression – protection against mania1
    • Keep a regular daily routine
    • Keep a regular sleep schedule
    • Educate the patient about the disorder
    • Understand the disorder’s medical aspect
    • Personal therapy
    • Therapy for the family and caregivers
    Learn More About Manic Depression.

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