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Overview And Evaluation Of Available Treatment Options For Bipolar Disorder

1443 words - 6 pages

Overview and Evaluation of Available Treatment Options for Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder is a mood disorder previously known by the name manic-depression. In modern times it has been renamed Bipolar disorder (BPD) to emphasize the dual mood character of the illness that is quintessential in its most common clinical presentation (Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 2008). Those afflicted with Bipolar Disorder typically experience alternating mood episodes of depression and mania. Depressive episodes are characterized by symptoms of lethargy, social withdrawal, diminished ability to concentrate, and excessive feelings of worthlessness and guilt. By contrast, manic episodes present with a markedly elated or irritable mood, grandiosity, decreased need for sleep, and impaired rational judgment. Of noteworthy mention is the fact that, out of the entire population of those suffering with Mental Illness, those afflicted with BPD has the highest rate of suicide (Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 2008)In the realm of conventional medical treatment of Bipolar Disorder, the options available for treatment are mainly limited to prescription drug treatment and Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT). Within the Allopathic (mainstream medicine) community, the most common choice by physicians of these various options is the use of a combination of prescription medication (Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine, 2008). The types of drugs prescribed by healthcare professionals in treating manic-depressives spans a wide range of medicinal drug classes. These include mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, anticonvulsants, anti-anxiety, and antidepressants (Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine, 2008). ECT, although having a very high rate of success for treating both the depressive and manic phases of BPD, is typically only used after all other pharmacotherapy has failed; This being due to convince of prescription drug treatment and the strong stigma associated with Electroconvulsive Therapy (Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine, 2008).Psychosocial treatment options (i.e. psychotherapy) have only relatively recently been explored by the medical community as means for managing BPD. However an increasing body of evidence has begun to show that using psychosocial treatment as an adjunctive therapy alongside drug therapy results in more positive clinical outcomes for manic-depressive patients then medication alone (Miklowitz & Otto, 2006). Current varieties of psychosocial therapies commonly used by psychologists with Bipolar clients include Family Focused Psycho-educational Treatment (FFT), Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Interpersonal and Social rhythm therapy (IPSRT), and group Psycho-education. (Miklowitz & Otto, 2006).In terms of Alternative Treatment there is a wide swath of modalities used in Bipolar Treatment. These include (but are not limited to) to acupuncture, biofeedback, Bright Light Therapy, and herbal remedies such as Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis),...

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