“Bipolar disorder suffers from this history of being seen as an über-biologically driven disorder, with the assumption likewise that the treatment has to be biologically driven,” says Boston University psychologist Michael Otto, PhD, who specializes in the treatment of mood disorders. “It’s time we undo that history.”
Below are mood stabilizers which are found to be very useful in maintaining the remission and stabilizing the symptoms of bipolar disorder:
Lithium is used to “calm down” people with bipolar disorder. This drug takes effect around 10 to 14 days and eventually, the manic symptoms would subside. For the indications to diminish totally, it will take six weeks to see the results.
As for its efficiency, around 50 percent of the patients who opted to take a Lithium-based drug has significantly improved during manic and depressive episodes. The other half have adjusted as well, but they also had to drink other medications. Lithium was first used in the United States to combat the tiring indicators of bipolar disorder.
“The first line of intervention for bipolar disorder is medication,” says Simon Rego, PsyD, chief psychologist at Montefiore Medical Center and associate professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. So for people taking lithium, they have to visit their doctor to do a blood check regularly. It’s for safety reasons, just to see that there is nothing wrong with your body while on the drug. This check-up is also very important to monitor the kidneys and other renal organs. The medication may have an effect on the said organs.
Valproate or Valproic (Depakote)
This medication is for people suffering from depression, mental retardation, substance abuse and post-traumatic stress. Valproate or Valproic usually takes seven to fourteen days before it affects the person’s system. The US Food and Drug Administration approved the distribution and use of this medication. In fact, it was highly recommended as the cure for mania disorder and issues.
Carbamazepine doesn’t have FDA approval, but medical professionals and mental health experts have been prescribing it to patients with bipolar conditions. This recommendation was backed up by extensive research and studies. It is found to be very active since a minimum of 43% up to a maximum of 63% of the people who took it gets relieved from severe symptoms. However, this would also depend on the severity of the person’s disorder.
Gabapentin is a helpful medication for those with seizures. However, it is not applicable to people with mania problems. There are personal statements which claim that Gabapentin will NOT work on those with substantial bipolar issues. Users and medical experts say that use of the said medication is quite disappointing. However, it was adequate for less severe bipolar cases. This drug is best for adults, but not for children.
This medication is best as an anti-seizure drug. It helps prevent epileptic attacks, migraines and other similar indications. It can also be used to treat bipolar disorder. The most evident effect of the said medicine aside from treating seizures are weight loss and improved psychosocial health.
Oxcarbazepine is good for bipolar disorder. It is perceived to be a possible anti-manic substance, but more research and studies on the medicine are required. This medication may not have a positive result if there is another drug taken with it. Another good thing about Oxcarbazepine is that it has no significant impact on a person’s white blood cells and liver.
Lamictal, as a treatment for conditions like epilepsy, works wonders. Though the said drug has no FDA approval as a treatment for manic and depression issues, still it was found to be very useful for people with bipolar disorder. Studies on its efficiency are still ongoing at the moment.
“The holidays can be very hard for people with bipolar disorder,” says Raymond L. Crowel, PsyD, vice president for mental health and substance abuse services at the National Mental Health Association. While the drugs are highly suggested by medical experts, those who pursue the natural way of treatment (and if possible without drugs) push the psychiatry care approach. People with bipolar disorder can very well cope and improve through psychotherapy. Use it to assist intake of these drugs to speed up the healing process.