Published on May 04, 2015 and last reviewed on Sep 07, 2018 - 3 min read
Bipolar Disorder is characterized by bouts of depression and spells of intense happiness. This article focuses on the clinical features of this disorder and the available treatment options.
Bipolar disorder was previously called Manic-Depressive Psychosis, or MDP. There has been a paradigm shift in the understanding of this complex brain disorder.
Those afflicted with this disorder are prone to a lot many mood changes, sometimes on a day to day basis. This disorder runs in families and research has identified many loci for its inheritance.
The various facets of this disorder include hypomania, mania and depression. Each of these phases can be debilitating. Majority of those suffering from bipolar disorder spend their time being depressed, rather than in mania or hypomania.
Mood episodes are intense and people are prone to have behavioral disturbances during such episodes. It is imperative to seek professional help from a psychiatrist.
If left untreated, there will be serious socioeconomic implications with resultant loss of functioning capacity, quality of life, pay and absence from work.
On the other hand, those having a depressive spell will experience symptoms that are poles apart from that of a manic episode.
A host of options exist for the treatment of bipolar disorder. The current philosophy of treating bipolar disorder lies in symptom control and prophylaxis.
Risk for recurrent episodes exists through out one's life, and one school of thought says that prophylaxis should be for a lifetime. Again, there are differing schools of thought, as there is no one-size-fits-all treatment.
These are referred to as mood stabilizers. Those with euphoric (intense sense of happiness) mania are treated with Lithium, and those with dysphoric or irritable mania are treated with Valproate.
Those who have a preponderance for repeated depressive spells in their course of this disorder, are treated with Olanzapine-Fluoxetine combination, Quetiapine or Lamotrigine. All atypical anti-psychotics serve as anti-manic agents.
''Talk'' therapy can help clients to change their behavior and manage their lives. Therapy should also include family members, and they should be educated about the illness, its natural course, prognosis and treatment options.
A specialized form of therapy, called Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy (IPSRT), exists for clients with bipolar disorder. All psychiatrists undergo training to administer this form of therapy.
To bring a marked difference to the quality of life of the patients, it is vital to seek help from a psychiatrist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/psychiatrist
Query: Hello doctor, I am a 29 year old female. I have a diagnosis of autism. I have mood swings, feeling low/ depressed, which I do not know if it is related to my periods. People tend to notice more just before and during my periods (but also I do not know if it is partly frustration due to my living ci... Read Full »
Query: Hi doctor, I often feel very low, anxious, and stressed. I try diverting myself, but I still get into a trance, where I feel sad. I am afraid of losing people, and keep thinking about what they think and how they feel. Even though they are not worthy of my sorry at times, I still apologize out of ... Read Full »
Do you have a question on Depression or Bipolar Disorder?Ask a Doctor Online