Bipolar Disorder: How Do You Treat Bipolar Disorder?
The treatment depends on what state the individual is in and how severe. Manic patients have a wide range of symptoms. The severely agitated and psychiatric manic patient needs hospitalization and treatment with antipsychotics, like Risperdal, Seroquel, Geodon, and Zyprexa. The less severe forms of mania respond to Depakote, Lamictal, Trileptal, Lithium, Abilify, Topamax and Zonegran. The key here is to put someone on a medication which they can live with. Most Bipolar patients require a lifetime of treatment.
What happens if they are depressed with a known history of mania? You have to pre-treat with a mood stabilizer which I mentioned above and then use an anti-depressant. Anti-depressant medications I like to use are Wellbutrin, Lexapro, Zoloft and Prozac.
(Note, some mood stabilizers like Abilify, Lamictal, Seroquel, and Zyprexa may be enough to treat both depression and mania.)
Situations do arise where bipolar patients can just be treated with antidepressants like Wellbutrin, Lexapro, Zoloft and Prozac.
No treatment presents problems. These individuals feel so uncomfortable they may self medicate with alcohol, opiates and benzodiazepines. Opiates are drugs like Oxycontin and Vicoden. Benzodiazepines are drugs like Xanax and Ativan. Once addiction develops they can only be treated if the bipolar illness is treated.
Untreated bipolar patients also lose friends, lovers, jobs and their freedom. They frequently violate laws and wind up in jails. They can destroy families with their violent inappropriate behaviors.