Bipolar disorder is a disease that affects one in five teens, and 5.7 million adults in the U.S. This disorder can be debilitating, with the sufferer going through unpredictable moments of either depression or manic episodes. Bipolar disorder can often result in drug or alcohol abuse, criminal activity, or suicide. It can be managed with modern medications and therapy, but many Americans go without effective treatment.
Traditional treating of bipolar disorder consisted of using sedating tranquilizers. The effect of this type of treatment was that patients were heavily drugged and not able to live a normal life.
Newer medications are mood stabilizers that aim to provide relief from depression without sedating the patient, and without causing manic episodes. These drugs block brain receptors that regulate mood and behavior, and help restore the balance of brain neurotransmitters.
Psychotherapy is an important component to any modern treatment of bipolar disorder, because it helps teach the patient to comply with medication regimes, how to diminish stress, and how to manage interpersonal relationships.
There are concerns anytime a patient is in need of medications for life, such as in the case of bipolar medications. Some drugs have negative side effects on the body, causing organ damage or weight gain. Others are habit-forming and lead the patients into a life of addiction.
It is for these reasons that many people hope for a better way to treat disorders such as bipolar depression. Paul Huljich, an organic food pioneer, claims to have successfully treated his own bipolar disorder with a 30 day routine. By using organic foods, exercise, proper sleep, and stress reduction techniques, he now is living symptom-free and drug-free, and he promotes this type of treatment for others with bipolar disorder.
Natural treatment techniques may work for some people suffering from bipolar disorder, but it is something that needs to be done with special care. Under the watchful eye of a physician, some people are able to regulate their brain functions without the burden of medication. But for many people, more aggressive treatment is needed. In these cases, medications are used to regulate mood, while psychotherapy is used to counsel the patient.
Perhaps over time, a person that at one time needed medication for bipolar disorder will be able to live a more natural life with the help of psychotherapy, natural foods, and exercise. But this is not something that can happen overnight. Someone who is unstable cannot safely stop their medications abruptly. Many stories can be told of terrible crimes being committed by someone with bipolar disorder that stopped taking their meds. We simply can’t take the need for medications lightly.
A trusted doctor is the best place to start. With the help of a good treatment professional, patients can help create their own treatment plan; one that they are comfortable with. If the goal is to eventually reduce the reliance of medications, a trusted professional can help work toward that goal.
This article was written by Bethany Winkel
Joining the TSN online family in 2008, Bethany has used her skills as a writer to reach many people through her blog. Always eager to be a help to others, she is pleased to see her writing become a source of information, encouragement, and hope for those impacted by substance abuse. Bethany is happy to be involved with an organization that is making a difference in the lives of others. Bethany has also held the position of development coordinator for a nonprofit youth center for the past 6 years. With her expertise in grant writing, Bethany has raised over $1 million for programming that benefits at-risk youth. The happy mother of 4 young children, Bethany juggles her writing from home with spending time with her family. If her hours of research for her TSN blog articles have taught her one thing, it is to be an involved parent who takes time to listen to her kids.