According to the National Mental Health Institute, there is no cure for bipolar depression disorder; however, this is the case for many mental illnesses and mood disorders. While there is no cure, there are treatments that are effective and can help with handling bipolar disorder on a daily basis. The NMHI lists three different kinds of treatment for bipolar disorder.
First, there are mood-stabilizing medications. These medications are usually anticonvulsants and help stabilize the mood of the patient so that the manic episodes are not so intense. Examples of these medications are Lithium, Valproic acid, and Lamictal (NIMH).
The second kind of medications is the atypical antipsychotic medications. They are usually taken in conjunction with other medications. Some of them are: Zyprexa, Ability, Seroquel, or Risperdal (NIMH).
Finally, there are antidepressants. These medications are used to deal with the depressive episodes in bipolar disorder. They list some examples of antidepressant medications such as: Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, and Wellbutrin. NIMH warns, however, that antidepressants can result in increasing the manic episodes by causing “hypomania.”
WebMD notes that medicines, regardless of which you end up using, are ongoing for those with bipolar disorder. WebMD bluntly puts it, that these medications will be “for the rest of your life.” It is important to note that these medications must be administered under the supervision of a psychiatrist, with ongoing meetings to see if the medications are causing any side effects or any other issues that come up with the medications.
Another thing that WebMD mentions is that medication needs to be administered in addition to psychotherapy, or as the website puts it, “talk therapy,” which can also be ongoing. Health.com mentions that another important aspect of dealing with bipolar disorder and that is involving getting regular sleep, consistent help from professionals such as psychiatrists and psychologists.
Having bipolar disorder can be lonesome, painful, scary, and alienating. Health.com reminds us that it’s important to reach out for help, take your medications, and stay connected with people who love you. Being social helps with the dealing with manic episodes, especially, since other people can help a patient make sense of this intense energy, and channel it in a healthy way. Be consistently active also helps channel that energy in a positive manner. You can exercise daily, go out for walks, create small projects to help you through your depressive episodes and manic episodes.
Whatever you do, know that bipolar disorder is a treatable condition, not a death sentence. Plenty of artists, musicians, writers, political figures, and celebrities with bipolar disorder and they manage to accomplish wonderful, great things. Know that you are not alone, even if sometimes, it is hard to believe this. You are not alone in this.