Bipolar Disorder Prevention & Treatment

Published: February 1, 2012

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How to Prevent Against This

Bipolar disorder is not a condition that you can necessarily prevent. You cannot control your genetics, and you cannot control many negative situations that occur in your life. The best preventative measure is to stay informed and catch symptoms early before they become worse. Know whether mood disorders run in your family, and listen to your friends and family if they point out any irrational changes in your behavior.

Be honest with your doctor, and stay on top of your annual physical exams. Usually, your doctor will ask you a series of questions about your social relationships and your life. Your answers will help identify any problems before they can become worse.

Catching the condition early is important because you will understand why you are behaving a particular way. If left unmonitored, bipolar disorder can cause serious harm to your personal and professional life. Many bipolar patients are at high risk for suicide and violent behavior.

It is important for people to get enough sleep. Melatonin levels and sleeping patterns are related to mood swings and fluctuating depressive episodes. Monitor your sleeping patterns to ensure that you are sleeping enough every day.

Diet Tips

There is no such thing as a "bipolar diet." In any case, it is important to maintain a pattern of healthy eating, since certain foods can exacerbate anxiety, poor health, and depression. Avoid red meats, saturated fats, trans fats, and simple carbohydrates. Make sure that you are getting enough nutrition and exercise so that you maintain balance in your life.

Treatment & Relief Methods

Bipolar disorder treatments vary according to the symptoms and the condition's severity. Lithium is a mood stabilizer used to treat the manic phase. Doctors will also prescribe antidepressants to treat symptoms of depression.

A person who experiences delusions may need to be hospitalized. While hospitalized, a patient might receive a course of anti-anxiety drugs. The doctor will discharge the patient to return home once the symptoms are under control.

Electroconvulsive therapy is a treatment method that induces small seizures through electrical currents. Patients are typically under general anesthesia for this procedure.

Many patients experience success through support networks and groups. By interacting with peers and discussing common problems, patients, friends, and family are able to cope with the consequences of bipolar disorder. Your doctor should be able to help you find the right support group.

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