Bipolar Disorder: Can It Be Cured?

Q:
Bipolar disorder: can it be cured?

A:
Good news – the answer is yes! Treatments for bipolar disorder include medication, therapy, among other approaches. Consult your doctor for the best combination.

Treatment options:

  • Medication. Bipolar disorder can be treated with 3 types of drugs: antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, and antidepressants (effectiveness and safety are controversial). Lithium carbonate and valproic acid are the most widely used medicines. Doctors usually suggest at least one mood-stabilizing drug and/or atypical antipsychotic plus psychotherapy.
  • Psychotherapy. Medication is important, but treatment proves much more effective when you add psychotherapy. Types of psychotherapy include cognitive-behavioral therapy, interpersonal/social rhythm therapy, group therapy, and family therapy.
  • Other approaches. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is used to treat severely manic or depressed patients and those who don’t respond to medication or pregnant women who experience symptoms. This approach is safe and highly effective. Another approach is VNS (Vagus or Vagal Nerve Stimulation). It involves implantation of a device that sends electrical signals to the vagus nerve in order to treat depression.

 

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.