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Bipolar disorder – Treatment, Prevention and Home remedies of Bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder is also called as manic depression which is a mental disorder that is characterized by sudden swings in a person’s mood and it can vary from highly elated moods depression. This disorder affects all ages, genders and all ethnicities.Though this disorder cannot be prevented but knowing the early signs and seeing a psychiatrist can prevent further worsening of the condition.

Treatment of Bipolar disorder
Life long treatment is given for bipolar disorder. A psychiatrist treats the condition by administering medications, psychological counseling and support groups. The treatment includes:

  • Hospitalization: If a patient suffers from suicidal tendencies and behaving dangerously, then the patient is hospitalized. Getting psychiatric treatment at a hospital can keep you calm, safe and stabilize the mood.
  • Initial treatment: This generally involves taking medications to stabilise the moods of the patient. When the symptoms are under control,a doctor may put you on long term treatment.
  • Continued Treatment: This is an intervention which is done on a long term basis and this is also called maintenance treatment because people who skip this treatment are at high risk of relapse or suffer from minor mania.
  • Substance abuse treatment: This type of intervention is mainly for drug addicts and alcoholics.

Medications
The type of medications used for bipolar disorder include:

  • Anticonvulsants may be given if the patient suffers from seizure episodes. Common side effects include skin rashes, weight gain, tremors and drowsiness.
  • Antidepressants may be given with a mood stabilizer because it can trigger manic episodes.
  • Anti psychotics may be given when anticonvulsants do not act on the body.
  • Anti-anxiety medications can be given to improve sleep and reduce the anxiety levels. Side effects may include reduced coordination between the muscles, drowsiness and problems with memory and balance.

Medications and Pregnancy:

  • Firstly, meet a doctor and discuss the treatment options if you plan to become pregnant.
  • Use birth control medicines to prevent pregnancy and discuss about birth control methods with a doctor.
  • Birth control medicines lose effectiveness when taken with some of the bipolar medications.
  • If a women is breast feeding, discuss with doctor because some of the bipolar medications can pass to the infant through breast milk.

Psychotherapy
This therapy is a vital part in treating this disorder. Several therapies are used and are found to be very helpful. They include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy: In this therapy, the focus is on individual behavior where the psychiatrist identifies the negative and unhealthy beliefs and replaces with healthy and positive ones.
  • Education: Counseling or psycho education can help you and your loved ones understand the disorder better and you get the best support and treatment.
  • Family therapy: In this therapy, the psychologist along with your family members can identify and reduce the stress factor, learn to communicate well, solve the problems at home and resolve conflicts.

  • Group therapy: When people suffering from the same disorder are brought together as this provides a forum to communicate with others. It helps build better relationships and learn from others who have faced the same situation.
  • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT): This is also called a electric shock therapy in which electrical impulses are sent to the brain and is found to be effective in persons suffering from severe depression or suicidal tendencies. ECT may not be given during pregnancy.

Prevention
Though there is no way to prevent bipolar disorder but some strategies can help prevent minor episodes from becoming severe. They include

  • Pay attention to the warning signs and symptoms and consult a doctor immediately.
  • Avoid alcohol intake and drugs.
  • Take the medications prescribed by the doctor as directed to prevent further problems from drug overdose.
  • Check with your doctor before taking new medications that are prescribed by another doctor.

Home remedies to treat bipolar disorder
The natural remedies that can be of great use includes:

  • Rose petals: Fresh rose petals are added to a cup of boiling water, add sugar and drink whenever depressed.
  • Nutmeg powder: A fine mixture of 1/6th teaspoon of nutmeg powder and 1 teaspoon of fresh amla juice is taken 3 times a day.
  • Licorice: Tea is made out of licorice and this is a useful remedy in treating depression.
  • Apple: Eat apple with milk and honey as this uplifts the mood of the patient.
  • Asparagus: The dry root of asparagus can be taken daily in powder form. The dose is 1 to 2 grams.
  • Holy basil: Tea made of holy basil can be taken twice a day.
  • Orange juice: Drink fresh orange juice before breakfast.
  • Almonds: Ten to twelve almonds can be put in water overnight and eat it after peeling the outer skins in the morning.
  • Exercise: Regular exercise can help steady the mood when done with different yoga asanas.
  • Sleep: Get good sleep as it is an important of managing your mood.
  • Diet: Eat a healthy and a well balanced diet that can keep your body healthy.
  • Spiritual Practise: When recovering from this disorder, get involved in regular spiritual practise as you find it easy to recover much faster.

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