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Treatment of Bipolar Disorder

Treatmentof Bipolar Disorder

Treatmentof Bipolar Disorder

Humanbeings are vulnerable to different types of brain disorders thatdiffer in terms of their symptoms, effects, and severity. The bipolaris one of the key types of the disorders that affect the human brain.Bipolar is defined as a type of disorder that is characterized byalternating episodes of depression and elation (Kutzelnigg, Kopeinig,Fabian, Chen, Pujol-Luna, Shin, Treuer, Deix, Dyachkova, Kasper &ampDoby, 2014). The extremes of change in mood that are used to depictthe bipolar in the modern world were first described by Hippocratesin 337 BCE (Mason, Brown &amp Croarkin, 2016). However, the conceptsof melancholia and mania and their link to the modern bipolardisorder were done in the nineteenth century. This linkage was doneby a Greek physician named Aretaeus of Cappadocia. A FrenchPsychiatrist, Jean-Pierre Falret made a clear description of thebipolar disorder in 1851 by separating the concepts of depression andmania (Mason, Brown &amp Croarkin, 2016). The work of Jean-PierreFalret created the basis on which scholars were able to determine thesymptoms and start developing the treatment for the disorder. In thispaper, the treatment options available for the bipolar disorder willbe discussed.


Peoplesuffering from the bipolar disorder can be put under any of the fourmajor treatment plans. The first treatment plan is referred to as theinitial therapy. This treatment plan is recommended once anindividual is diagnosed with the bipolar disorder. The objective ofthis treatment plan is to help the therapists take control over thekey symptoms as they determine the most suitable long-term type oftreatment (Kutzelnigg etal.,2014).

Secondly,patients may be put under the continued treatment plan. This is alifelong therapy plan that is recommended when the therapists intendsto reduce the risk of full brown depression and mania. Mostimportantly, the continued treatment plan reduces the risk of relapseof the major symptoms of the bipolar disorder (Kutzelnigg etal.,2014).

Third,the health care providers may recommend the day or the outpatienttreatment plan when the symptoms are acute (Kutzelnigg etal.,2014). This treatment plan may also be recommended between the timewhen the diagnosis is made and then the health care providers selectthe suitable long-term therapy for the client.

Lastly,the hospitalization treatment plan is often recommended when patientshave developed dangerous behaviors. For example, the bipolar patientswith suicidal thoughts are hospitalized in order to calm them downand enable the health care providers help their clients stabilizetheir mood.

TheTreatment Options


Thetype as well as dose of the medication that is recommended for thebipolar patients depends on the type and the severity of thesymptoms. In other words, the health care providers prescribe themedication depending on the type of symptoms that they intend toaddress. The first group of pharmaceutical products is known as themood stabilizers. Drugs in this category are used to control theepisodes of hypomanic and manic, especially in patients with bipolarI and II (Goodwin et.al.,2016). Some of the mood stabilizers that are commonly recommendedinclude lithium, divalproex sodium, valproic acid, lamotrigine, andcarbamazepine (Goodwin et.al.,2016).

Thesecond category of drugs is referred to as antipsychotics.Antipsychotic drugs are recommended when the major symptoms of thebipolar disorder persist, is spite of the administration of the moodstabilizers (Goodwin et.al.,2016). Some of the antipsychotics that are prescribed in the modernhealth care facilities include olanzapine, quetiapine, risperidone,asenapine, and lurasidone. Drugs classified as antipsychotics may beprescribed together with the mood stabilizers or alone.

Thethird class of drugs is referred to as antidepressants. The objectiveof prescribing anti-depressants is to manage severe depression thataffects the bipolar patients (Poo &amp Agius, 2014). Most of theantidepressant drugs have the capacity to trigger episodes of manic.Consequently, antidepressants are prescribed together with the moodstabilizers. Alternatively, the antidepressants may be prescribedtogether with antipsychotic drugs when the symptoms of depressionpersist.

Fourth,a drug category referred to as antidepressant-antipsychotic isprescribed the therapists intend to address a set of symptomssimultaneously. Drugs in this category are made of compounds that arefound in antipsychotic olanzapine and the antidepressant fluoxetine(Poo &amp Agius, 2014). The antidepressant-antipsychotic drugs havethe capacity to treat depression and stabilize the mood at the sametime. They are mainly prescribed for patients suffering from bipolarI disorder.

Thelast category of pharmaceutical products is referred to asanti-anxiety medications. Benzodiazepine is the main type of drugthat is included in this category (Poo &amp Agius, 2014). It ismainly prescribed when the therapists intend to improve the sleepingpatterns and anxiety that affect patients suffering from the bipolarI disorder.

ThePsychotherapy Treatment Options

Althoughmedication is considered as the main type of therapy, thestakeholders in the health care sector recommend that it should beoffered together with the psychotherapy. There are many psychotherapyoptions that may be considered. For example, the cognitive behavioraltherapy (CBT) is a treatment option that is used when the health careproviders intend to help the patients overcome negative behaviors andbeliefs (Geddes &amp Miklowitz, 2013). The therapists who apply thisoption collaborate with the patients, with the objective of helpingthem adopt positive thoughts, behaviors, and beliefs. This type oftherapy aims to help the patients as well as the providers toidentify the specific causes of the bipolar episodes, which informsthe process of developing strategies that can help them manage theirsymptoms effectively. In addition, the CBT helps patients acquire thecoping skills that enable them to manage the upsetting situations.

Psycho-educationis a type of psychotherapy that is applied when the health careproviders intend to help their clients as well as the family membersgain a deeper understanding of the bipolar disorder. The objective ofoffering Psycho-education is to create a living environment in whichthe family members are willing to support the patient and avoidcreating scenarios that could result in the relapse of the majorsymptoms (Geddes &amp Miklowitz, 2013). A family that receivesPsycho-education can comprehend the risk factors as well as the moodswings that the bipolar patients experience in life, which makes iteasy to manage the illness.

Theinterpersonal and social rhythm therapy (IPSRT) is a treatment optionthat is used to address the challenges that the bipolar patientssuffer from on a daily basis. For example, IPSRT is recommended whenthe therapists want to manage the daily rhythms, including the wake,sleep, and mealtimes in the bipolar patients (Geddes &amp Miklowitz,2013). The long-term application of the IPSRT leads to an increase inthe patients’ capacity to manage moods and daily routines.


Thebipolar disorder has been in existence for many centuries, but thehuman understanding of its causes, signs, and treatment has occurredgradually. The treatment plans that are recommended to patientsdepend on the severity of the disorder and the objectives that thehealth care providers want to achieve. Currently, the main treatmentoptions for the bipolar disorder can be grouped into medication orpsychotherapy. In most cases, it is recommended that the two types oftreatment should be administered concurrently in order to facilitatehelp the affected people manage their symptoms effectively.


Geddes,R. &amp Miklowitz, J. (2013). Treatment of bipolar disorder. Lancet,382, 1-20.

Goodwin,G., Ferrier, I., Aronson, J., Barnes, T., Coghill, S., Holmes, G.,Macmillan, I., Williams, H., Miklowitz, R., Munafo, M., Saunders, S.,Vieta, E. &amp Young, A. (2016). Evidence-based guidelines fortreating bipolar disorder: Revised third edition recommendations fromthe British Association for psychopharmacology. Journalof Psychopharmacology,1, 1-59.

Kutzelnigg,A. Kopeinig, M., Fabian, A., Chen, C., Pujol-Luna, M., Shin, Y.,Treuer, T., Deix, C., Dyachkova, Y., Kasper, S. &amp Doby, D.(2014). Compliance as a stable function in the treatment course ofbipolar disorder in patients stabilized on olanzapine: Results from 124-month observational study. InternationalJournal of Bipolar Disorder,2 (13), 1-14.

Mason,L., Brown, E. &amp Croarkin, E. (2016). Historical underpinnings ofbipolar disorder diagnosis criteria. BehavioralScience,6 (14), 1-19.

Poo,S. &amp Agius, M. (2014). Atypical anti-psychotics in adult bipolardisorder: Current evidence and updates in the nice guidelines.PsychiatriaDanibina,26 (1), 322-329.