Q:

What are some treatments for bipolar disorder?

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Quick Answer

Some treatments for bipolar disorder include medication, psychotherapy, electroconvulsive therapy and transcranial magnetic stimulation, according to Mayo Clinic. A trained psychiatrist should be consulted to find the most appropriate treatment options for the patient.

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Full Answer

A number of medications may be used to treat bipolar disorder depending on the patient's symptoms, as stated by Mayo Clinic. These include mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, antidepressants, antidepressant-antipsychotic combinations and anti-anxiety drugs. Although side effects of these medications may be irritating, patients should not stop taking them or lower the dosage by themselves before talking to a doctor as they may experience withdrawal or a recurrence of symptoms.

Several types of psychotherapy can be helpful and are held in individual, family or group settings, as confirmed by Mayo Clinic. These include cognitive behavioral therapy, Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy, psychoeducation and several others. Electroconvulsive therapy works by sending electrical currents through the brain to provide immediate relief for severe depression, and it is often used when medications are unsuccessful or when pregnant patients are unable to take their normal medications. Transcranial magnetic stimulation works by sending magnetic pulses through the brain to stimulate nerve cells to help relieve depression. Patients generally undergo five sessions per week for up to six weeks.

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