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  • Christine

How Is Bipolar Disorder Treated


A doctor who treats people with bipolar disorder.
Bipolar Disorder needs to be treated by a doctor.

After I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2002 I was told that I would need to be in a professional relationship with both a psychiatrist and a therapist. I was also told that I would need to take medicine, a mood stabilizer. One of the most common medications to treat bipolar disorder is a mood stabilizer called Lithium. I was on Lithium for many years. It made me gain a lot of weight and it didn't significantly help my mood episodes. This probably has to do with my individual chemistry. I know Lithium helps many people with this mental illness. I am currently taking two mood stabilizers, Seroquel and Lamictal. I need this combination of two medicines as my bipolar is unfortunately treatment-resistant. I am also taking an antipsychotic as I do experience psychosis often when I am manic.

I was told that I would need to take medicine under the care of a psychiatrist and be in therapy for the rest of my life. One time my doctor told me that sometimes individuals experience long periods of stability as they get older. This has not been the case for me. My bipolar disorder is very active. I have been in rapid cycling (extreme mood swings from depression to hypomania and this cycle repeats over and over) for the past year. During this time I stay close with my professional providers and sometimes the medication changes or doses are increased. It was also recommended to take a therapeutic course in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). This has been very effective for me.

There is currently no cure for bipolar disorder. I know research continues on all mental illnesses and I hope they make some breakthroughs in my lifetime. I need to have acceptance when it comes to my disorder. I do not have to like it but I need to accept that it exists so I can address it and get help.


Take good care,


Christine


We are ruled by that which we choose not to see. -- Clara Rosemarda

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